When the people of Arkansas discovered their spring water source the result was Ozarka Spring Water Co., and that’s neat, but when the fine people of Louisiana discovered their pristine spring waters, Abita Brewing Co. was eventually born. This makes complete sense because quality beer tastes better than any water when you’re at cousin Thibodaux’s crawfish boil. Grab 5 lbs. of mudbugs and a six-pack of cold Andygator and tell me I’m wrong.

Abita Bourbon Street Rye Pale Ale bottle

Abita Brewing has been commercially brewing beer just north of New Orleans since 1986. Not only have they done well in the industry, but they have also been instrumental in environmental preservation and giving back in momentous ways to its local community. With about 40 beers on the current roster, Abita Brewing has an offering from Abby to Stout. In addition, the company also provides an extensive list of suggestions for various food & Abita beer pairings.

I’ll say it again, crawfish & Andygator. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Today’s review subject is the Abita Rye Pale Ale Bourbon Street Series, a pale ale from the Big Beers group, specifically the Bourbon Street Series. The narrative on the bottle characterizes this beer as sweet, nutty, bready, citrusy, and of course finished in oak bourbon barrels. That spectrum is about as expansive as Lake Pontchartrain or good roux recipes, so let’s dissect this beer a bit further.

Abita Bourbon Street Rye Pale Ale

The ale pours a red and copper color mixture, and is topped by a short-lived khaki head. The carbonation presents itself in a lively way and does not disappoint. The aromas are a little less complex than what one might anticipate, but are a balanced blend of sweetness and bourbon heat in the forefront and supporting undertones of bread and baker’s spices. The mouthfeel is crisp and finishes cleanly. The beer has a medium body due to the barrel-aged inclusion, however, it is quite drinkable. The flavors of the ale yield a somewhat overbearing sweetness that I feel is largely imparted from the chosen barrel source. There is very little woody or smoked impression, as the vanilla, caramel, and fruity notes overwhelm the senses. The malted barley and rye counterparts are present, but they just can’t quite stabilize the rest of the palate. Much of the brew registers on the front of the tongue and lacks a fullness that other barrel-aged ales achieve.


Abita Bourbon Street Rye Pale Ale
BREWERY: Abita Brewing Co.
LOCATION: Abita Spring, La.
STYLE: Pale Ale
ABV: 9.5 percent
IBU: n/a
PRICE: $10.52
AVAILABLE IN: 22-ounce bottles
Generally speaking, this beer is very drinkable and finishes well, but doesn’t deliver on what Abita suggests it has produced. The overall tasting impression is a sweet pale ale infused with a heavy handed bourbon peculiarity. If this brew presented a more woody character and was dry hopped a bit longer, I think this would be a cut above the rest, I guarantee. C'est tout.
76Overall Score
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