Review #5: Strawberry Fields for a Limited Time

On the docket:  22 oz.  bottle of Abita’s Strawgator (Strawberry Doppelbock)

Poured into:  German style wheat glass, etched with the logo of NNPTC (Naval Nuclear Power Training Command).  Three of these were given to me as a gift from my now-honorably discharged brother.

S: A burnished gold body gives support to a spongy but thick off-white head.  The lacing it leaves on the glass as it recedes reminds one of aboveground pool-lining vinyl, in a rounded but grid-like pattern.  Good head retention, about a thumb’s width.  Bubbles well up from the bottom leisurely, as if on a Sunday stroll down the main street of a Southern village on a hot day.

A:  A waft of strawberry and banana, much like a smoothie, greets the nose.  Doughy malt and sweetness is a close second.  Sniff gently, and one can also detect fruity esters and just a faint hint of alcohol.  No discernable hop presence in the aroma.

T: Strawberry again in the beginning, plus a tiny taste of spice from the yeast.  Like the aroma, doughy sweet malt follows joined a trace of bubblegum.  It ends tangy, sweet, and just the smallest bit of dryness and bitterness.  The German Perle hops get lost in the bayou until the beer warms up a bit.  This is certainly of the dessert side of the beer scale.

F:  Slick, full and creamy.  There’s enough carbonation present not to make it a chore to drink, but on the flatter side.

O:  An interesting take on the style, certainly not traditional.  There are no real roasty, chocolate notes here- more like strawberry shortcake.  Between all the aspects, you have the smell, sight (almost), and taste.  Think of this as a heavier version of Abita’s Strawberry Harvest Lager.  It’s better consumed (I say) a little cooler, as it’s a bit more crisp.  As it warms up, the sugar is a bit more apparent.

S:  4.25 A:  4  T:  4.25 F:  3.75  O:  4

Suggested food pairing:  Summer salad with strawberries and almonds, strawberries and cream, strawberry shortcake a la mode… you see where this is heading