I poured a 12oz bottle into a mason jar. It had a best before date of 6/15/14 and cost $2.50 ($0.21 per ounce).
Appearance: Hazy orange color with a slightly pinkish hue (but not
purple). Pours to a small, white/magenta soapy head which does not lace
or retain very well.
Smell: Typical raspberry beer aroma – sweet and fruit, but nothing fake. An underlying lager scent as well.
Taste: Most light-bodied fruit beers tend to be of the general American
wheat beer style, but Abita’s Purple Haze is actually a lager, and a
light lager at that (it may have been a wheat ale at one time). I don’t
think this beer is intended to be anything other than what it is: a
drinker-friendly fruity beer. While there’s nothing overtly wrong with
that approach, it doesn’t make for much than simply a drinkable beer.
Fruit beers of this class tend to be rather simple in their approach,
and this is a perfect example. Raspberry is, not surprisingly, the
dominate flavor. It’s lightly sweet at first and blends with the general
wheat/pale malt base, but finishes with a strong tartness. That’s
pretty much all there is here, which makes it rather repetitive since
there isn’t much in the way of hops or actual lager to concentrate on.
However, I like the taste enough to warrant this a positive review. As
far as mainstream fruit beers go, you could do a lot worse.
Drinkability: I was actually surprised to see the 4.2% ABV indication on
the label, as you do not tend to find craft beers of such light weight
so readily available. I was worried the beer was old and wouldn’t be
flavorful, but my bottle of Abita Purple Haze had plenty of taste. The
body didn’t feel as light as the numbers indicate, though it definitely
does not weigh heavy on my system. It’s crisp and refreshing while in
the mouth and would be an ideal session beer for the summer.