Thursday, September 29, 2011

Abita Jockamo IPA

Abita is a brewery I've reviewed only a few times on this show, due to the fact every beer of theirs I've had I've found to be only above average at best. But since this is "All Viewer Request Month" and I aim to please, I decided to give Abita Jockamo IPA a try since requested I review something from this Louisiana-based brewery. It's been a while since I reviewed a regular, traditional, single IPA so I picked up this bottle.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (644) - Albany, USA - SEP 29, 2011
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tumbler.

Appearance: Dark clear copper hue. Plenty of carbonation visible. Forms a small, yellowish, sudsy head which leaves some lacing.

Smell: Light pine needles, brown sugar, some tropical fruit rind or pith, and just a hint of black tea leaves. Complex and pleasant but not intense.

Taste: I drink so many "big" and eccentric India Pale Ales that I sometimes forget what a classic "single" IPA is supposed to taste like and Abita’s Jockamo plays that role pretty much perfectly. This is an East Coast IPA all around. It begins with a confectionary sweetness of caramel or brown sugar - almost as if these ingredients were roasted or burned. Very organic and natural-tasting - nothing candy-like here.

The middle of the palate is piney with slight sap and resin qualities. Some beers take these flavors to the extreme and taste and feel literally like syrup, but this one is more reserved. There’s a hint of black tea and a drop of coffee-like flavors and bitterness to prevent it from being all-around resiny and dry. The finish is very pleasing, actually, with a return to the confectionary sweetness and an aftertaste that is remarkably clean.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied in all aspects. Not quite as crisp as most single IPAs, but definitely not a chewy, thick brew, either. Soft and comfortable with little carbonation presence.

Drinkability: I never really think of IPAs as being "sessionable" because the high bitterness levels and lingering dry aftertaste can wear down your palate quickly. However, I’d say Abita Jockamo is quite the opposite - plenty flavorful while it’s in the mouth with no residual bitter or cloyingly sweet aftertaste. The 6.5% ABV seems totally accurate, and the body is light enough to pair it with food or snacks or over the course of a fun sporting event.

Abita has never really impressed me that much, so I think I’m impressed by how impressed I am with Jockamo IPA. If only the rest of their line were as good.

Grade: 7/10

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