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Review of Abita Abbey Ale

22 Apr
How about another beer review?

Tonight’s beer comes from the Abita Brewing Company located just north of New Orleans, Louisiana.  This effort is called the Abita Abbey Ale.  One of the “big” beers amongst the assortment of different styles they brew.

The website, abita.com, has a full description of all their beers, so here is the Abbey’s.

Abbey Ale honors the ancient tradition of monks who perfected the art of brewing beer to support the monastery and their “liquid bread”.  We offer up our support and thank them with a $0.25 donation to St. Joseph’s Abbey with every bottle sold of this heavenly brew.  Dark amber in color, the aroma of caramel, fruits and cloves invites you to contemplate the creamy head of the “Dubbel” or double ale.  Abita Abbey Ale is a malty brew, top-fermented and bottle aged to rapturous perfection.  This ale pairs well with barbecue, meat stews or a nice thick steak.  For dessert, try Abita Abbey Ale with milk chocolate or chocolate bread pudding.

Sounds enticing!!!

This baby came in a beautifully designed 22 oz. bottle and had an ABV of 8.0%.

The color was an amber/burgundy that was hazy with a smooth and creamy, off white head that had a slight maroon tint to it.  Very nice size and some worthy lacing was left on the glass as I sipped. 
The aroma was very fruity with hints of booze coming through.  It smells a bit like sour dough bread, which appealed to me.  Notes of dark cherries and spicy cloves.  It might be a bit heavy in the sweet, dark fruit department, but it’s still a very nice touch.  I’m not really picking out any of the caramel that was mentioned in the brewers description however. 
The taste is also fruity with only small traces of alcohol.  It’s rich, malty and bready.  Again, it’s very sweet, although I’m still not getting any caramel.  The dark fruits come in full force at first, but as it warms they seem to transform and become a bit sugary, which was pretty nice actually.  Decent amounts of bitterness caress the taste buds, however it’s nothing so strong as to mislead the malt.  Overall, nicely balanced considering the the abundance of sweetness. 
The mouthfeel was medium to medium/full.  Very dry and smooth.  It leaves a welcome alcohol warmth at the back end along with very nice carbonation, which allows the flavor to blanket the tongue and the roof of the mouth amiably.

This is a very solid beer.  As it warms, the alcohol vanishes completely and it becomes even more easy to drink.  It is a bit sweet and rich, so I may have trouble making a night of this brew, but I still thought it was gratifying and worth a try if available.  The ease of drinkability and high ABV could make for a dangerous combination.  For me, it became more of a “sipper” as time passed and I pondered the complexities and characteristics.

Score:  4.0 out of 5
Grade:  B+

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Posted by on April 22, 2011 in Abita, Country: USA

 

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