Archive for the 'Abita' category
It tastes sorta like this…
If memory serves me correctly we’ve had a couple Abita brews sent to us from the BOMC. And Ben bought an Abita variety pack a while back so this brewery is well represented on our site, relative to their number of offerings. The Purple Haze is the only one that comes to mind right now and I remember it being kinda ehhh. Plus Ben just informed me that his extensive experience has resulted in fairly lackluster reviews so I’m a little hesitant to delve into this IPA. Nonetheless it must be done so off we go.
This beer has a clear burnt sienna hue topped off by a fluffy white head. As expected the smell is wrought with piney goodness. What wasn’t expected was a bit of sugary sweetness. The aroma is full and refreshing and its expansion in the nostrils is quite delightful. The (insert your favorite hop-like adjective: piney, hoppy, floral, grapefruity, etc.) characteristic takes center stage in the front of the mouth. The actual taste dances on the tongue and the hop burn and carbonation carry the flavor toward the back of the mouth. So far so good. The taste is further complemented by the same subtle sweetness noted in the smell. It’s a little hard to pinpoint the exact flavor but I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s orange. It might be better to say it’s orange peel but that could lead one to believe it’s also bitter and in this case I think the bitterness is coming from the increased hop concentration. In the end it serves to round out the hop flavor and create a thick but at the same time slick mouthfeel. I’m diggin’ this beer. I can’t say it’s sessionable because the hoppiness suggests to me it can result in a serious headache the next morning, but I can say I would have no problems enjoying this in moderation over and over again.
This, the final brew from the month’s batch from Beer of the Month Club, is from the folks at Abita in Louisiana. As such, it was brewed in order to raise money for Hurricane Katrina victims in the New Orleans area. So, this beer has been around for a bit of time now, and hopefully it has raised some decent funds for those in need (kudos to BOMC for buying up a bunch for the customers). As this is a charity brew, it might make sense for Abita to make this appeal to the largest demographic possible. With that in mind, I’ll expect a tasty but rather generic golden ale out of this.
The pour of this is about what I hoped for – it’s a medium golden with no debris. The aroma of this brew is fairly generic, except with a hint of fruity sweetness on the head. In the mouth, this beer is actually a bit more flavorful than I would’ve expected. It is, by all accounts, a golden ale. However, there is a light fruitiness to it that reminds me of a hint of blueberry, and it hits just about the back of the mouth and then creeps up into the nasal passage. It leaves me with a lightly sweet touch on the palate, and a very good impression of the beer. I’ve had some bad experiences with Abita’s fruit beers in the past and, while this isn’t a fruit beer per se (I imagine it contains no actual fruit), I’m favorably impressed to have this experience. In short, I like this a lot more than I expected I would. Okay, I’m glad that Abita is helping out for charity, obviously. However, this beer isn’t what I would call ‘generic’, like I expected. Rather, it’s a fairly exceptional golden ale that is refreshing with a punchy sweetness that I really like. Good job to Abita for putting forth a good beer for a good cause.
If you were to ask if I approve of good beer companies making attempts at ‘light’ beers, I would probably say that I don’t. I suppose the only redeeming quality of these beers are that they might be a stepping stone for domestic light-beer guzzling folk to branch into the wonderful world of craft brews. That being said, the Abita light beer is one of the better ‘micro-lights’ that I’ve had thus far. It pours a light golden and smells like a watered-down pilsner. The flavor is, as expected, a little flimsy. However, there is noticeable malt and hops in the beer, and no disappointing sourness or metallica overloads that you’ll find in most other light beers. So, as far as the genre goes, I’d say this is pretty good. But, as far as beer goes, I’d say this is watered-down. I’d be interested to try this alongside the Sam Adams Light, as it seems to be the big competitor in the domain of ‘quality’ light beers.
This beer is about as standard as beer gets. The beer pours a clear golden, as expected. The aroma is much like your standard lager – mild malt and mild bitter hops. In the mouth, this beer immediately hits you with a gentle malt sweetness that traverses the tongue to finish in a slight hop bitterness with a metallic aftertaste. I don’t think this is a great beer, but that’s probably only because it’s so plain. This is, in a nutshell, a ‘beer’. Nothing crazy, no fancy additions – just beer. And that’s about all I have to say about that.
It seems like this 12-pack sampler of Abita just never runs out. The Amber is, thus far, one of my favorites from the batch. The pour on this one is, as expected, a dark amber. The aroma is rather thick and smells of sorghum and horehound. In the mouth, there is a bit of initial carbonation burn. Through the mouth, there is a substantial flavor of woodsy sorghum, for lack of a better term. There is a malty sweetness that traverses the palate and sticks in the back of the mouth for the aftertaste. The mouth feel of this one is also rather thick – almost syrupy. This isn’t as crisp as many Ambers, but instead elects a more decadent thick sweetness. I doubt I would use this as a session beer, but as a one-off it is really quite nice.
This tasty little treat is a specialty brew from the folks at Abita. This is a beer that many of you have probably tried, especially if you’re either a girl or are into girly beers. The pour is a cloudy purplish hue. The aroma is very sweet and the presence of raspberries is very apparent. In the mouth, this beer tastes more like a flavored malt liquor than a beer. The fruity sweetness is quite powerful – on the edge of being “too much”. This sweetness last through the mouth, followed by a slight tartness and ending with a grainy wheat flavor that mingles with the sweetness in the aftertaste. Overall, I would consider this an original and excellent take on a fruit beer. It isn’t as complex or interesting as some I’ve had. But, it is tasty and refreshing, and there’s something to be said for that.
This is a pretty standard, albeit a bit sweet, red ale. The pour on this one I can’t decipher, because I elected to leave it in the bottle. The aroma is rather malty with just a tint of hops. In the mouth, this beer hits you with a mighty heavy malt – it seems the predominant flavor in the beer. This malty sweetness carries through the mouth and lasts all the way down the throat. It isn’t a bad flavor, but rather a well-developed sweetness that never tastes artificial, but also never becomes much more complex. So, if you’re in the market for a simple and sweet red, this might be just the beer for you. If you expect something a bit more adventurous with your drinks, you might want to look elsewhere.
While the name doesn’t give much up regarding the style of this beer, let me assure you that it is a brown ale. I can’t say that there is terribly much ‘turbo’ about this beer, except perhaps for the fact that it is a bit more hoppy than a standard brown. This beer pours a traditional dark brown, and has a standard caramel head to it. The aroma is exceptionally heavy in toffee and chocolate for a brown ale. In the mouth, there is a preponderance of that same toffee flavor, along with hints of chocolate, nut, and just a bit of coffee. In comparison to other browns, I would say that this one is a bit more decadent with respect to the dessert aspects – there is a lot of sweetness, and it drinks much like a dessert. However, there is a backbone of hop that is readily apparent if you look past the toffee flavors. It’s a very pleasant beer, and one that I imagine would side well with a number of lighter dessert dishes.
To put it bluntly – the best part of this beer is the aroma. This lager is brewed with a heavy addition of Louisiana strawberries that add a tremendous amount to the great aroma of this beer, but a bit less to the eventual taste. This beer pours a traditional lager hue of light gold. As I said, the aroma is fantastic – very heavy with strawberries – so much so that you can’t really smell any beer characterstics whatsoever. The berry aroma is so strong that it literally hits you from the moment you pour the beer. The taste, while good, is more of a novelty. As is expected, there is a strong strawberry flavor to the beer – again, so much so that it ceases to taste like a beer. It seems that the cost of this berry flavor is the texture of the beer. While it starts off rather crisp, this beer settles to the back of the mouth with a slightly syrupy feel. This is, initially, not a bad thing. However, the intense sweetness eventually tends to wear on a brotha’ and I got tired of the sweetness. Furthermore, I notice that, as the beer warms, the pleasure of the flavor wanes heavily. You know how cold strawberries taste so much better than hot ones? Well, this beer is the same way. I WILL recommend this beer for those who are big fans of the strawberry flavor. However, I will also recommend that you enjoy it as a novelty and not a session beer, and I will recommend that you drink it while it’s cold.