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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Abita Brewing AndyGator Helles Doppelbock

In addition to their regular release, harvest, and seasonal beers, Abita Brewing offers a small line of beers called Abita Big Brews, available in 22oz. bottles and leaning towards the more European side of varietals such as Pilsner, Abby, and Doppelbock. I selected the appropriately Louisiana themed Abita AndyGator Helles Doppelbock to kick off my Sunday night.

Poured in the glass, Abita AndyGator Helles Doppelbock was an apple juice amber with out much head and mild but long lasting carbonation streams. AndyGator had a mellow nose dominated by yeast, bur there were sweet honey and lemon notes to support it.

On the tongue, Abita AngyGator opened bright and lively with a lemon hop taste. The citrus front fades to a sweet pear flavor, which transitions to banana and hints of clove. AndyGator ended on an extended sweet bread note.

My disappointment in their other exotic beers, coupled with my general indifference to Doppelbocks, made me approach Abita AndyGator with little enthusiasm. The complexity and drinkability (especially at 8% ABV) of this Doppelbock caught me off guard. Abita AndyGator Helles Doppelbock is a great beer, balancing a nuanced profile and high ABV with the drinkability of a session beer. Abita... One in three isn't what I'd call a good average, but this beer is enjoyable enough I'm going to just pretend the other two don't exist.

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