New Belgium designed their Somersault Ale to be “a fun roll around on the tongue while requiring only the minimum of palate gymnastics. In other words, this perfect summer lounge around beer is ridiculously fun and easy to drink.” Somersault replaced Skinny Dip as the summer beer seasonal in the New Belgium line this year. It is 5.2% ABV with an IBU level of only 28. The alcohol level is a touch high for a session beer, but the low IBU level guarantees easy drinkability and your palate won’t get tired after one or two.
Somersault pours a hazy yellow-gold with a wet, frothy white head. The aroma is malty, but crisp. For something designed to be a summer gulper, there is surprisingly a lot going on in the flavor of this beer.
I didn’t read much about this beer before I drank it. The first thing I thought was, “Gee, there is a LOT of fruit on this beer, like ripe peaches.” I looked at the New Belgium site and sure enough, there is apricot and ginger in this beer! My palate actually works! I find this to be MUCH more fruit forward than the Magic Hat #9 I reviewed recently. In fact, I like this more because of it.
I used to turn my nose up a little at fruit beers, but I’ve matured a lot since then. I like beer. I like apricots. I like apricot-flavored beer! There really is a lot of apricot in this, but it’s not overly sweet. The apricot flavor is powerful up front, then there is a sensation in the sides of my tongue that is sort of tart, but not sour, like the tart component of the fruit, followed by a slightly sweet, long finish. There are hops in this beer, but really just for balance. It’s pretty fruity all the way through and I like it, a lot! The finish is a tad sweet to make this a perfect drinker, but it goes down nice and smooth and if they could dry it out a little it’d be a mainstay in my summer beer drinking for sure.