It’s been a while since I’ve had an Abita beer that’s worth my time or that could actually be labeled as “good,” for that matter. The Restoration Pale Ale is decent and very sessionable, but it lacks the hop character that I and many others look for; the Jockamo IPA is pretty weak in my opinion as well, and that Grapefruit IPA tastes like medicine. Abita seems to be going through a surge in brewing, branding, and, really, the overall handling of their business.
They’re introducing several new beers in the coming months, already released two new brews, and taking a nice turn in the way the art on the bottles looks.
So, when I heard that Abita had recently introduced a new IPA, I figured I would give it a try. The Wrought Iron IPA received some nice ratings on Beer Advocate and RateBeer, so when I scooped it up, I had my expectations set fairly high, and they were met. The gothic lettering against the black background really sets this one apart from the rest of Abita’s lineup, but in the best way possible. This beer is nothing like any Abita beer in that it is outstanding. Here are my thoughts:
First of all, I love the bottles that Abita uses. I’m not sure why, but if I’m not drinking out of a can, I prefer it to be a stubby bottle. Anyway, I poured this hazy orange, almost a light copper beer into a pint glass and watched about a finger- and-a-half width of white head rise to the top of the glass, and then slowly dissolve. The fragrance of this beer is extremely hoppy and citrus-filled. I picked up a lot of orange, and grapefruit, but pair that with breadiness from the malt and a touch of resin, this beer smells great and stays true to the style. Immediately, I’m reminded that most Abita beers just don’t have the aroma of what they’re supposed to be. This one delivers. Trust me.
As I lifted the glass to my mouth, I could already begin to pick up on the hops. It’s that feeling you get when you are eating a spicy food and you get hit with the heat and it stings the inside of your nose. Upon first taste, I was bombarded with huge flavors of juicy grapefruit and hop. The citrus component is so flavorful, it seemed as if my mouth was watering because of the beautiful fruit flavors. Midway through, you really start to get a lot of that bread-like malt that mellows out the flavor and adds a bit of heaviness to the beer. Finally, it finishes with another round of hop bitterness that rests on the back of your tongue, but not too strong. A nice balance of tropical citrus fruits, bready malts, and great hop bitterness. I’m coming back for more just on that initial flavor.
Mouthfeel was fantastic on this beer. Feels a little heavier due to the malt and very fine carbonation used. I felt as if it was a little dry, but nothing like where most IPA style beers fall on the scale. This one is probably on the border for me of being somewhat sessionable and just a dinner beer. I could see this one being paired with a big bowl of gumbo or some red beans and rice. The heat of the food would be a great partner to the hops and citrus flavors in this beer.
I was really surprised and found myself checking the bottle to make sure that Abita was the one that brewed this one. It was a pleasant surprise from a brewery that I want to love. This just goes to show that regardless of what you’ve had in the past and despite what you’ve heard, you should always try new beers. That practice has yet to prove faulty with me and I will continue to do so. All in all, good job Abita, you have restored my faith in your brewery and your capability of creating tasty brews, because this one is top-notch. I definitely plan on picking up another six-pack or two of this one.

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