IPAs tend to have a citrusy taste due to the hops used in their
brewing, so it would seem to make sense to brew an IPA with grapefruit.
Ironically enough, Abita Grapefruit Harvest IPA isn’t particularly
grapefruit-y nor IPA-y (yeah I know those terms don’t exist – so sue
me). It’s more of a pale ale with some fruit essence to it and in that
respect it works.
I poured a 12oz bottle into a goblet. It had a best by date of 4/15/15 and cost $2.50 ($0.21 per ounce).
Appearance: Hazy orange hue, though some carbonation is visible. Pours
to a small, white, foamy head which laces and retains pretty well.
Smell: Typical citrusy IPA aroma with some flower notes, though a bit milder than most. No noticeable grapefruit aroma, though.
Taste: The palette here is what I would consider a very pedestrian, or
mainstream, or even “starter” IPA. Coming in at only 40 IBUs, Abita
Grapefruit Harvest IPA is not exactly a hop bomb. And despite the name,
it’s not exactly a fruity bomb, either. There’s a solid pale malt
foundation which accounts for mild sweetness, but there’s also distinct
Cascade hop presence as well. A light citrus and floral flavor
combination is noticeable from beginning to end of each swig. The actual
grapefruit character is more of an implication than an overt flavor
component. Some tartness and a hint of zesty spice, but not much in the
way of authentic fruit or juiciness. It actually emerges more in the
aftertaste than at any other time in the palette.
Drinkability: A mild palette delivered via a crisp mouthfeel is usually a
winning combination, and Abita Grapefruit Harvest IPA is no exception.
It’s even refreshing for a moment while in the mouth, and it finishes
quite clean, as well. At 6% ABV it could (and should) be a little bigger
in body and taste, but at least it doesn’t come across as a session