Tasting: January 24, 2012
Style: American Strong Ale
Abita Brewing is located in Louisiana and their website claims that they opened their brewery 25 years ago at the site of an artesian aquifer. Wow, “artesian aquifer” – sounds fancy doesn’t it? An artesian aquifer is a water source where the contents of the water table are under pressure that may make the water rise. The aquifer part suggests that the water is held in a natural “tank” of sand, limestone or rock and it may just be the same sand, limestone or rock that produces that pressure. Really — its just a nice well. But since water makes up to 97% of beer – it’s an important element of good beer. It needs to be free of chemical and biological influence, while having mineral content that will helps with PH and hop perception. A lot of public water is treated with chemicals and stripped of its minerals so brewers that aren’t blessed with artesian aquifers put their own additives in water to “condition” it for brewing – so to have a base ingredient that doesn’t need any adjusting is a great start.
Pours pretty dark with an off-white head. Not much of a nose. First sip — speaking of water — that seems to dominate here. Very watered down flavor. Not what I would brew for my 25th anniversary. Yes, there is some subtle chocolate, roasted grains and even some of the advertised vanilla — but this one is devoid of any complexity. It isn’t terrible — but neither is water. I’ll put this at 78 points.