Abita Spring IPA

Oh Abita. I have a special place in my heart for you. I’ve been through my affinity for Abita simply because of the nostalgia of it. When my craft beer shoes were barely wet, Abita was a go-to brewery for me. Now that I’ve broadened my horizons (a lot), I tend to go for other beers. It’s almost like I’ve outgrown them a bit. But, when I saw their Spring IPA on the shelves, I figured why not take a trip down memory lane?

ABV: 6.2%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Spring IPA (March-May) is a West Coast-style IPA with an up-front intense hop flavor and aroma. Amarillo and Centennial hops give the brew a rich and resinous flavor of citrus and spice. This bright pale ale has a malt sweetness that will give way to a pleasant bitter. It pairs well with Mexican or spicy Szechwan Chinese food. Spring IPA is a nice accompaniment for cheeses with strong flavors, like sharp cheddar or goat cheese.”

Random: I like how Abita has updated their packing and their labels. I definitely like it better than the old sixers.

This one poured a three finger, white head that dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear yellow color with moderate carbonation visible throughout the body. The nose was grassy and then a bit of resiny hops, but nothing that was too overwhelming. The taste was pretty hoppy at first, bringing notes of grass, grapefruit and citrus rind. Again, nicely bitter, but nothing abrasive in the taste. The body was a little too thin for me with very high carbonation. It had a quick grapefruit finish. In the world of IPAs, was this outstanding? No, but it doesn’t have to be. I was expecting it to be bitter and drinkable and it was. I could see this as a lawnmower beer, although the ABV is a little high, without a problem. If you still see it on the shelves…it’s probably past its prime, but try it next year when it comes out.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Abita SOS (Save Our Shore)

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but I usually record my review notes in one of three ways. Either I put it in the notes of my iphone, write it manually in my beer notebook or put it directly into wordpress. For this one, I wrote it manually. I left my beer notebook on the table and my five year old managed to draw all over the review notes. So, deciphering this one was a lot of fun.

ABV: 7%

Style: German Pilsener

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Abita Beer established ‘SOS – A Charitable Fund’ in 2010 to assist with rescue and restoration following the the Deepwater Horizon disaster. The centerpiece of the fundraising effort is a charitable beer created by Abita called SOS – A Charitable Pilsner. SOS is a message in a bottle…a distress signal for the troubled Gulf Coast. For every bottle sold Abita will donate 75¢ to the rescue and restoration of the Gulf Coast. In addition, SOS retail merchandise (hat, tee shirt and more) donates 100% of the net proceeds to the SOS Fund. How Abita is helping ‘Save Our Shore’ Over $350,000 has been raised by SOS. Donations from the fund have fed fishermen and their families, restored critical wetland habitats and made Christmas a little brighter for struggling families. In 2012, our focus turns to addressing the greatest threat facing the future of our state: coastal land loss. Abita has formed a partnership with the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL), our state’s longest-standing organization dedicated to coastal restoration. CRCL is a non-profit citizen’s organization with 24 years of experience leading efforts to restore coastal Louisiana. Louisiana’s coastal wetlands are disappearing at an alarming rate. These wetlands provide habitat for hundreds of species of animals, protect us from devastating storms and serve as a cultural base for more than 2 million people who call Louisiana’s coast home. We are losing our wetlands at the rate of one football field of land every hour. 80% of the entire nation’s coastal land loss takes place right here in our state.”

Random: I really dislike Florida.

This brew poured with a huge, two finger, pure white head that dissipated very slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, light yellow color with heavy carbonation visible. The nose was very grainy with some grass. Usually I get some metallic notes with this style, but not in this one. The taste had a hint of sour apple and lemon with a touch of peppercorns. I also got some light bitterness at the end coupled with biscuit. The body was towards the thicker side with high carbonation. The booze was relatively well hidden as well. I found it generally to be non offensive and on the soft side, but I’m generally not a fan of the style. The finish was quick and left behind some biscuit on the tongue. I would have this again, but it’s not my favorite of the style. What I was a huge fan of is that this is a charitable beer and given all that’s happened in New Jersey lately, it seemed very appropriate to pop this one open.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Abita Amber

After spending a few days in Tampa, we were headed to the “Happiest Place on Earth.” Yep, we went to Disney. We stayed at the Port Orleans, which was pretty nice. I’ve never stayed in Disney, so this was a new experience for me. Once we got there, we had a few hours to kill before hitting up the Magic Kingdom for the Christmas party. So, Kate and her mother took the kid to the pool and I hit up the pool bar at the Riverside. The beer selection was pretty slim, but they did have 3 selections from Abita. I overheard the bartender telling someone that it was really rare to find Abita outside of Louisiana. I for one, have never ever had a problem finding Abita in New Jersey. So, I nicely corrected him and talked some beer with him and ordered a pint of amber.

ABV: 4.5%

Style: Vienna Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Amber is a Munich style lager brewed with crystal malt and Perle hops. It has a smooth, malty, slightly caramel flavor and a rich amber color. Abita Amber was the first beer offered by the brewery and continues to be our leading seller. Amber is Abita’s most versatile beer for pairing with food. It has been voted “best beer” in numerous New Orleans reader polls and is used frequently in recipes of great Louisiana chefs. Because of its smooth, malty flavor, try it with smoked sausages, Louisiana boudin, or even with caviar. It’s great with crawfish and Cajun food. You might also enjoy it paired with a spicy gumbo or tomato-based pasta sauce. It also goes well also with fried catfish dipped in a tart, lemony tartar sauce. Parmesan, Pecorino and Romano cheeses are good pairings with Abita Amber.”

Random: I guess since the hotel had the whole Cajun thing, they had to find appropriate beers from the area.

Disney was keeping it classy with the plastic cup. It poured with half a finger of white head that lingered for awhile and left some lacing on the plastic cup. The body was a clear, mahogany color with very light visible carbonation. The nose was very light with some caramel malt and maybe even a hint of hop. The taste was a malt bomb up front. It had some nuttiness to it and followed up with some sweet caramel malt. There was also some toasted bread thrown in too. There wasn’t any real bitterness to it. This was a bit one-dimensional to me. The body was on the heavier side with light carbonation. It finished quickly, but had a slight metallic hint to it. This brew was only alright to me. I wouldn’t rush back to have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Abita Pecan Harvest Ale

Today was a pretty busy day for me. I ran a bunch of errands and helped my sister pick up about 40 bricks. Tonight, I’m just hanging out at home watching a movie with my sister, so what better time to do a review? Anyways, since I’ve been talking about vacation so much, here are a few pictures. And yes, I’m rocking my DFH hat.

This was also the bar that I kept talking about with the decent beer list…

So, anyways, onto the beer. The final beer that I haven’t had from the harvest series…and from a brewery I love. So, without further ado…

ABV: 5%

Style: American Brown Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery, “Pecan Harvest Ale is made with real Louisiana pecans that have been toasted to perfection. That makes it something really special, because most beers with a nutty flavor or aroma aren’t made with real nuts. The natural oils from the Louisiana pecans give the ale a light pecan finish and aroma.”

Random: What is up with Snooki’s glasses on Jersey Shore? They’re kinda horrible…

The brew poured with a half a finger of white head on a clear, mahogany body with moderate visible carbonation. The nose has definite notes of pecan nuttiness with a hint of almost maple sweetness. It smelled really good. The taste was not quite as good as the nose. The taste had a lot of the nuttiness that was apparent in the nose with a bit of sweetness. But, the body was a little watery and there was very low carbonation on the taste. The finish was quick with a bit of nuttiness. Honestly, this is my least favorite Abita beer so far. It was a little too watery and boring for me. I wouldn’t have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Abita Turbodog

I took today off from work and after yesterday, I definitely needed a day off. I decided to smoke some ribs yesterday since it was the first football game of the season (which involved me waking up at 5 AM to start the whole process). My girlfriend came over to watch the game and brought these insanely good cupcakes. I guess this makes up for the fact that she’s a Giants fan and I’m an Eagles fan (she’s also a Mets fan, go figure). This is us getting along for this moment during football season.

So, after sleeping in a little bit today, we spent the day together and ended up in Asbury Park to try this restaurant I’ve been waiting to try forever: Trinity and the Pope. It’s a cajun/creole restaurant and they had lots of Abita brews available, so I figured I’d bang out a review of one I hadn’t had yet.

ABV: 5.6%

Style: English Brown Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Turbodog is a dark brown ale brewed with Willamette hops and a combination of pale, crystal and chocolate malts. This combination gives Turbodog its rich body and color and a sweet chocolate toffee-like flavor. Turbodog began as a specialty ale but has gained a huge loyal following and has become one of our flagship brews.”

Random: Please note that the girly drink in the background is obviously not mine…

This brew poured with a one finger off white head, which dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown with moderate visible carbonation on it. The nose had notes of coffee (even Aly picked this up) and chocolate with a bit of roasted malts. The taste on the brew was almost exactly like the nose, except the coffee overwhelmed the other flavors a bit. The roasted malts and chocolate were detectable, but definitely took back seat to the coffee. The finish lingered with the coffee flavor. The body was moderately thin, decently carbonated and the alcohol was obviously on the lower end. As I sipped the beer, I may have gotten a hint of sweetness as well, but it was very difficult to detect. This was a very flavorful brown ale that I would definitely have again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Abita Jockamo IPA

It’s been a crazy weekend. I’ve been MIA because I’ve been working like crazy since Saturday because of the hurricane. Saturday, I got to work at 1430. I left work at 1530 on Sunday and went to my girlfriend’s house. I was lucky enough to not only be fed and get a chance to shower, but she also did my laundry and made me lunch for the next day. This is actually the first day I’ve been home since the hurricane. See below for my hurricane uniform…

Anyways, now that you’ve seen me dorking out, onto the brew.

ABV: 6.5%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Jockamo is named for the tribes of dancing, singing, chanting ‘Mardi Gras Indians’ who have marched in New Orleans for over 250 years. When you hear the drums, join in the song…’Iko! Iko! Jockamo fe na ne.’ Jockamo I.P.A. is a traditional India Pale Ale made with the best pale and light crystal malts that give the beer a copper color and malty flavor. This full-flavored beer is hopped and dry hopped liberally with Willamette and Columbus hops from the Pacific Northwest and has a 6.5% A.B.V. The spicy aroma of the hops contrasts nicely with the pleasant sweetness of the malts. Jockamo has a flavor that entices and excites the palate. The intense hop character adds more spice to the meal and makes it a perfect choice to team up with many spicy dishes. Cheddar and strong farmer cheeses stand up well to Jockamo’s hoppy character. Jockamo goes well with wild game, grilled meats and Thai or Mexican cuisine.”

Random: In all my almost ten years in EMS, I’ve never seen anything like this hurricane. At least in my area.

This brew poured with a one finger pure white head that dissipated and left a decent amount of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, chestnut-brown with lots of active carbonation visible on the brew. The nose presented with notes of fresh grapefruit, quickly followed up by a bit of nuttiness. On the first sip, I found the brew very watery with a decent amount of carbonation. After I got used to how thin the brew was, I got definite notes of hazelnut on the brew with some minor bitterness. I didn’t find this an overly hoppy brew, especially for an IPA. There was also a bit of sweetness and nuttiness that lasted onto the finish, which lasted for awhile. Overall, this was not a fantastic IPA. I wouldn’t rush back to have this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Abita Select Triple Haze

It’s been a few days since a review. I had a pretty decent week at work and I spent a relaxing weekend at home. I cooked yesterday and made some flank steak with homemade chimichurri sauce, a tomatillo salsa and grilled zucchini. Today, after not wanting to get out of bed because of the rain, I went to Surf Taco. I seriously love the food at Surf Taco. Anyways, I saw they had Triple Haze on tap and I had to try it, especially given my love of Abita brews.

ABV: 8%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery, “Our Triple Haze is a take off of one of our most popular year round offerings, Purple Haze. It is a strong golden lager made with malted barley and wheat. Despite being strong (8% ABV) it is still light in color. It is hopped with German Perle hops to give the beer a delicate hop flavor. After filtering the beer, a generous amount of fresh raspberry puree is added. Because we use real fruit you may see raspberry pulp in the beer. This gives the beer a tartly sweet taste and aroma, as well as a bright purple color and haze.”

Random: I think the best thing at Surf Taco is the garlic shrimp tacos…they are so yummy.

This brew poured with a one finger, pure white head that dissipated slowly and left a tinge of lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy orange with mild visible carbonation. On the nose, I got hints of raspberry with some wheat to it. On the taste, I definitely got a decent amount of raspberry, which is to be expected. What I didn’t expect was the bite that went along with it. It was almost like regular Purple Haze with more heat to it from the 8% ABV. The finished lingered with a boozy burn. Honestly, it’s not great. I prefer the regular version. I wouldn’t rush back to have it again.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0