If you’ve been visiting The Brew Club recently, you might remember we recently did several berry flavored beer reviews. We covered strawberry flavored beer, blueberry beer, cherry flavored beer, elderberry flavored beer and a Raspberry Lambic. Well, we’ve got one more fruit flavored beer for you! Purple Haze Raspberry Wheat Beer from Abita Brewing Co. out of Louisiana!
This 4.2% ABV is a lager that has raspberry puree added after the filtration process – and that’s no joke! The bottle informs that you ‘may see raspberry pulp’ in the beer, and you most certainly do. Lots of it! There are particles of all sizes floating around in there, and left still for a bit everything settles at the bottom of the bottle.
Poured into my glass, the Abita Purple Haze creates a whitish fizzy head that fizzes out in short order. (No lacing is apparent if you were wondering about that). In addition to the giant raspberry molecules (you can see in the picture) mentioned previously, the beer is otherwise hazy (big surprise, I know) and, as their label suggests, the raspberries give the amberish colored beer just a touch of a purple coloring.
The smell is rather mild. Its a more subtle smell of sweetness and fruit, I probably wouldn’t be able to identify raspberry as the primary fruit ingredient if I didn’t know better. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. I find that for me, if the beer smells too much like fruit and less like beer then its just fruit overkill. Too fruity. Too sweet. Too synthetic. So far, the Abita Purple Haze is still in the ‘less is more’ end of the spectrum whereas the Wild Blue would be on the Overkill end of the spectrum.
Tasting this raspberry flavored beer, I’m at first impressed that like the aroma, the taste is not overwhelming raspberry. It still tastes like beer, but there are subtle raspberry overtones that really blend well with the beer. The berry flavor doesn’t steal the show, but rather compliments the beer. Makes it just a little different but not over the top. So far, so good!
There’s a bit of a hop bite toward the finish, but it isn’t bad, and the aftertaste is slightly tart with just a bit of lingering berry flavor. Nice, but nothing to write home about either.
Unlike some of the other fruit-flavored beers I’ve had recently, I don’t find myself liking the Abita Purple Haze less and less with each sip. It remains consistently average. I’d certainly say that this beer has that ‘crisp’ thing going for it, and its a light feeling beer that’s easy going down. Compared to the other fruit flavored beers I’ve had, this is one of the better ones, but that isn’t necessarily saying much.
I’m not sure I’d have this beer again. Sure, I can appreciate the craftsmanship and care that goes into this beer’s making. Small hand-made batches, artesian water from Abita Spring, no additives or preservatives added. That’s all good, but for me the Abita Purple Haze, while good compared to other berry flavored beers, just didn’t hit the spot. I found myself not really moved by the experience, and aside from the raspberry ‘thing’, its kinda plain. I didn’t really have a ‘WOW’ moment while drinking it, but that’s just me.
So, what’s the verdict? I think the Abita Purple Haze is one of the better fruit-flavored beers I’ve tried recently because its fruit component is kept in check. I think the Abita Purple Haze is a quality beer, and brewed by a quality brewer with quality ingredients, but it just didn’t make an impression on me and that’s the driving force in my ratings. If you like berry flavored beers, perhaps it will make a better impression on you!
Have you tried Abita Purple Haze? Whatcha think about it? What’s your favorite berry-flavored beer?