While out in New Orleans for the fourth of July weekend I went out to Abita for some beers. The main tasting room only does tours and serves people beer as part of the tour. They also have a brewpub if you want to order some food along with your beers. I was a little disappointed that they only use plastic cups for beers on the tour but it seems to be common in certain local bars to give people plastic cups.
When you go on a tour, you are given a cup and allowed to pour your own beer from whatever they have available. They even pulled out a few bottles of the Bourbon Street bourbon barrel aged imperial stout and baltic porter for people to try. Though I didn’t get to try the bourbon barrel aged imperial stout while I was there I did bring a bottle home from another local bottle shop and my thoughts are included.
While I was there I tried a smaller sample than usual because you only had one cup to fill and pouring small taster sized pours of everything would not be very practical. I got to try the Jockamo IPA, Wrought Iron IPA (which I’ve previously written about when it showed up in San Diego soon after the brewery released it), Turbo Dog brown ale, bourbon barrel aged baltic porter, and bourbon barrel aged imperial stout.
I started with the Jockamo IPA. It was a solid IPA with good balanced caramel malt base and medium bitterness. Hop flavors mostly tended towards the classic English earthy variety. In comparison, the Wrought Iron IPA is closer to a West Coast style IPA. Hops give it a good golden flavor that sometimes tends towards citrus and mango. Malts are not as strong as the previous beer. This is the one to go for here if you like the West Coast style.
I then went for the Turbo Dog brown ale. It had a higher alcohol content than most browns I see in California with some solid roasty and nutty flavors. This was a solid beer. I skipped most of the other lighter options available and went straight for the bourbon barrel aged stuff.
The bourbon barrel aged Baltic porter has a smooth caramel flavor from the Bourbon barrels. It is a little on the sweet side but overall solid. The bourbon barrel aged imperial stout is fairly light bodied and the bourbon comes in strong. I opened this bottle recently after returning from my trip. It is a solid first beer to introduce someone to bourbon barrel aging but compared to many of the more well-known examples of the style it doesn’t hold up.
Overall, I was impressed by the tour offered of the brewing facility, especially that it was offered for free and included free beer. Though, with the way they don’t really limit your pouring, make sure you have someone coming along to drive you back. If you are mostly a hop head, you might be better off looking for the wrought iron on tap in the city of New Orleans because the Jockamo IPA will likely disappoint most who are not big fans of the English style