Monday, December 29, 2014

Abita Strawgator

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
Chad9976 (1251) - Albany, New York, USA - DEC 29, 2014
Fruit beers tend to work best as light, sessionable offerings. With the exception of Belgian-style lambics and sours, you don’t tend to see big 8% ABV fruit beers like Abita Strawgator. This beer basically is a generic fruity summertime beer but with double the body. It doesn’t really work, though, as the strawberry flavor and base brew flavor seem to be fighting for my palate’s attention and neither emerges victorious.

I poured a 22oz bottle into a lager glass. It had a best before date 2/18/15 and was given to me by a friend (thanks, Robin!).

Appearance: Mostly clear golden color with carbonation visible. Pours to a fairly large, white, frothy head which laces and retains very well.

Smell: Potent, but seemingly faux, strawberry aroma. A noticeable lager smell, too.

Taste: There’s a difference between a beer tasting like a fruit and having a fruit flavor (one’s authentic, one is not). Abita Strawgator is an example of the latter as it has a taste akin to ice cream or a milkshake or some kind of candy. It’s a light sweetness throughout the first half, though there’s a considerable amount of genuine pale lager character here as well. I detect pale graininess. Through the middle, the strawberry taste becomes quite pronounced; it’s a fine taste but nothing amazing. It’s on the finish that everything falls apart as a sharp, dry bitterness and metallic tang show up out of nowhere and are extremely distracting and annoying. It’s easy to tolerate, but it takes some getting used to – but that’s not what makes for a good beer.

Drinkability: Abita describes Strawgator as a doppelbock right on the label, but this beer does not taste or drink like that style at all. It’s more of an imperial pale lager as the mouthfeel is noticeably thin and crisp despite the hefty weight of 8% ABV. The alcohol is noticeable, though, creating for mild warmth and astringency. It does go down smooth and finishes clean, so it’s not a challenge to drink. 
Grade: 4/10

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