As I will be in New Orleans for the next few days, I'm focusing on their regional brews. Abita Brewing Company, hailing from Abita Springs, Louisiana, is the ubiquitous brewery in the Big Easy, with their Amber and Turbodog being poured at every bar and restaurant in the Quarter. Abita Brewing is built around the philosophy of using only natural ingredients (no extracts or additives) and keeping as many of the ingredients local as possible. In the spirit of adventure, I picked up a few of their more exotic sounding beers. Today I started with Abita Pecan Harvest Ale, which the bottle purports is a brown ale Brewed with Louisiana pecan oil.
Poured in the glass, Abita Pecan Harvest Ale was a light orange color with a sudsy head that was loose but ample. The nose was disturbing, as the hints of pecan were overshadowed by the distinct odor of dry dog food.
Drank, Abita Pecan Harvest Ale was carbonated and mineral flavored, and for a brief moment the sweet, nutty taste of pecans came through, but as the nose warned, my palette was quickly overcome by a dried dog food taste. The taste lingered for a few seconds, and the ale ended on a note that was equal parts pecan and dog food.
I like the idea behind this beer, and really wanted to like it, but the taste was terrible. I think the combination Of malts, hops, yeast, and pecans just came together in an unappealing way, and while applaud Abita for embracing regional foods to create new beers, they have no excuse for bottling this ale and selling it.