Abita Andygator

Abita Brewing Company, Abita Springs, LA
(Helles) Doppelbock
8% ABV

Usually the color, ingredients, or flavors are important in defining a style of beer.  Not so with a Doppelbock. It can be light or dark, sweet or bitter. It must, however, be a strong lager. And the name must end with “-ator.”

When the waitress brought me this beer– gold, pale, and cloudy like a wheat beer– I tried to send it back. I thought a Doppelbock was dark, like Spaten Optimator, or Bell’s Consecrator, or at the very least amber, like Paulaner Salvator. (The word “Helles” wasn’t on the menu.)

This is a thoroughly enjoyable beer. It reminds me of a Belgian Blonde, with bold spices and fruits on the palate. It is like liquid Lebkuchen– a German gingerbread cookie studded with almonds and orange peel. This is not to say it’s a chintzy holiday beer brewed with spices and sweeteners! The spice and fruit aroma come naturally from the yeast.

For some reason my father began fantasizing about clogs, tulips, and hay bales when he tasted this beer. He then began rhapsodizing about Holland, as the promised land of high gravity beers and fried foods– not so different, in fact, from the offerings in the northern Californian pizza shop where we tasted this brew. Perhaps the smell of weed in the parking lot set off this vivid association…. “Dad, why are you talking about tulips? Eat your pizza and give me back my beer.”

“Bock” means billy goat in German. This beer is like a billy goat in a tutu en pointe– elegant with a strong kick.


~ by nininja on November 24, 2009.

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