Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Abita Christmas Ale 2009

OK. You all probably know I've been out of town in Bogota, Colombia for the past several days. It was my second trip there, the first being almost 8 years ago. I have some great storytelling material, too, as I'm sure you can imagine.

What I decided to do (to start) was list some observations from the trip, and maybe expand upon them at a later date. You could just go to the City of Bogota's website or even trust Wikipedia, but if you're ever planning an excursion there, you need to pay attention. Most of these are negatives, but don't think for a second I didn't have an awesome time!

Things to be prepared for:
  • These people must be burning gasoline constantly to keep the poor quality of air so high. The pollution stench is noticeable and annoying. How about some automotive quality standards?
  • It didn't affect me, but the Mile High City has nothing on Bogota, which is the 1.64 Mile High City. Watch out if you're sensitive.
  • The city's roads have to be among the worst I've ever seen. Between potholes, holes from stolen sewer manholes, and a crumbling assortment of speed bumps, the roads flat out suck! Add on top of that a traffic congestion problem to the point of banning certain cars depending on the day (based on license plate), an extremely aggressive driver population, and tens of thousands of motorcycles, and you're in for a treat!
  • Expect to see lots of police and even military dudes armed with machine guns. Everywhere.
  • You can do most of your grocery shopping at red lights, as there are tons of vendors selling everything from toys to fruits to sodas to (fill in the blank).
  • Don't blink twice at the cows in the median or alongside the road. Those "street cows" are grazing there because their owners don't have a pasture for them. Don't let the rickety horse-drawn carriages bother you either. Just pass them by.
  • The beer selection in Bogota bites the big one. Club Colombia, Aguila and Joker? Whatever! Although the aguardiente is a bit harsh too. Don't worry, you'll find something to keep you happy, but it might not be a nice stout or IPA.
Again, not to lose sight of the fact, I had a great trip! Terrific food, people, entertainment, unique things to do, etc. Hell, I could have milked a cow and drank the milk on the spot or climbed the hundreds of steps of Monserrate (which has an elevation of almost 2 miles). But I didn't do either--too much work. I had a Colombiana and took the gondola to the top of the mountain instead!

So I'm back to having a nice craft beer to review today. I'm betting that no matter what beer I choose, it'll be an extreme improvement. At least it better be after my kind words above about Colombia's beers.

So let's start with Abita Christmas Ale 2009 brewed by Abita Brewing Company in Abita Springs, Louisiana. Apparently they give careful thought each year to the recipe for this Christmas gift, and the recipe changes annually.

The aroma is lightly spicy with some bready notes. The flavors sport some of that spiciness, mainly with cinnamon. This beer starts out malty with a bit of nuttiness, but some hops to come in and give a slight bitterness. Actually, more than bitter, this beer can be described better as being slightly sour. The finish is a little drier and the aftertaste has medicinal flavors. Was OK.

Bogotá and Beyond: A One of A Kind Guidebook to Bogotá, Colombia with over 350 Pictures

She Wolf--Shakira

Easy Spanish Phrase Book: Over 770 Basic Phrases for Everyday Use (Dover Easy Phrase) (Spanish and English Edition)


bunny said...

I have been universally disappointed with Abita beers. First Turbo. Then their Strawberry Lager. BLEH. Not awful, but just not memorable. I don't think I will try again--what the old saying about "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

Beer Drinker said...

Hey bunny.

Actually, Turbodog is probably my favorite of the Abita beers I've tried. I think these guys really try to push the envelope when crafting their beers.

I also liked the Satsuma Harvest beer they brew.

Cooking Asshole said...

what about all the awesome cocaine?

Beer Drinker said...

Hey CA. You know, that stereotype is about the only one that pisses my wife off. Not that she's a reader or anything!