We talk about Abita a lot in this space, and for good reasons that we’ve also talked about a lot. One of my favorite things that they’ve done in the last two years is place a major emphasis on their Bourbon Street series — seasonal beers that are aged in bourbon barrels.
Over the summer, they reduced a coffee stout that appears set to stay around for a while:
This dark Coffee Stout is brewed with pale, caramel, chocolate and roasted malts and oats. Willamette hops balance the malt sweetness. After fermentation and first aging, the beer is aged again in oak bourbon barrels. Espresso Dolce beans from PJ’s Coffee® are added to the beer for a blend of flavors including coffee, malt, wood and hints of vanilla.
And that is fine by me.
This one has the rich texture you’d expect of a coffee stout, but the bouquet is all bourbon. It doesn’t quite match the flavor of the beer, as you’d think you’re getting something much more sweet. That’s not a complaint though. The open is nice and soft — there’s texture, but not too much body, which is nice. There’s a bit of the roasted malts and the coffee flavor to provide a hint of bitterness, but the sweetness of the bourbon barrel jumps in at just the right time for the finish to provide a really strong balance. One of my favorite bourbon-barrel beers because it’s not too heavy. A very well-balanced beer. Not quite a session beer, but something you can have more than a pint of without feeling too bloated. A very strong 4.5 out of five stars.