Saturday, June 20, 2009

Dear Abbey

I picked up a bottle of Abbey Ale from Abita Brewing Company on my way down to Florida with the intent to drink it while on vacation and just never got around to it. So, I purchased the bottle in Maryland, dragged it all the way down to Florida and then trucked it all the way back up here to New Jersey, where I was finally able to crack open the bottle. Let's see how she fares:

The color looks nice: hazy copper with a big (at first) off-white head that quickly settles to a thin lace, leaving only hints of residue on the glass after each sip.

I like what the aroma brings to the table, and that would be a bit of candy, hints of wood and that Belgian yeast vibe. There's definitely a good dose of darker, slightly tart fruit in the mix as well, which in turn brings out a touch of earthiness. This was Belgian for sure, but at the same time it wasn't and it worked nonetheless.

The flavor is a touch tamer than expected from what the aroma gave off, but is still nice. The tart fruit is more subdued here, as are the rest of the characteristics mentioned above. They're all still in the mix, but mellowed out. This helps to bring out the earth flavors a bit more than anything else and brings out some bread flavors as well, which means you might expect a bit of a heftier body, but instead the body ends up falling a bit on the thinner, slightly watery side which was a bit of a disappointment.

The end result here for me is that I enjoyed this one and would certainly drink it again, but would like the flavor to have some more of the pop that the aroma has, and certainly a bit more of a bite or heft to the body. Also of note: this is a very easy beer to drink and it hides it's 8.0% ABV quite nicely so be aware, as while it's not an uber-ridiculous ABV, it's still high enough to kick you in the ass.

It's nice to see Abita bottling more of their bigger beers or at the very least making them more readily available (I had never seen them in these parts until recently...only the regular lineup of Turbodog, Purple Haze, etc along with their seasonals). Let's keep this series going, Abita...

Abbey Ale, Abita, beer, Belgian, Louisiana, Turbodog, Purple Haze, Hopback