Hats off to Abita
Springs, Louisiana's Abita brewing Company for their dedication to using
local ingredients in their exotically spiced Harvest series of beers.
In the past, they've done it with locally grown strawberries and pecans;
their latest effort, Abita Satsuma Harvest Wit incorporates the less
well-known Satsuma citrus fruit.
Arguably, the Satsuma is the most fitting of all choices for truly local
flavor; Louisiana actually has a town named for the fruit. And of course the
name, suggestive as it is of Asian influence, was derived from the Japanese
moniker for the orange, Satsumas being indigenous to Japan and transplanted
to North America.
Here, Abita does something a bit different than with their past two
Harvest efforts. Rather than simply brew up a wheat beer with fruit or
nuts, they've actually taken a classic style (Belgian Wit, or white ale) and
replaced an ingredient with a local one. Smart thinking, that.
I like Witbiers with salads, especially exotic ones made with fresh greens
and orange slices, sprinkled with walnuts and doused with raspberry
vinaigrette dressing. Abita's Satsuma harvest Wit should accompany same most
wonderfully. It's average in alcohol strength at 5.1% by volume, so a couple
bottles with your salad (or poultry or seafood dish for that matter) should
not leave you too tipsy. Abita Satsuma Harvest Wit pours to a cloudy yellow-orange color with
a light and fizzy head formation and a citric-fruity, slightly spicy nose.
Then too, there's a great deal of chunky yeast sediment floating around my
glass, too. Taking a sip, I like the zestiness of this one right away, and
immediately appreciate the tart, refreshing wheat character that vies for
position with the biscuity malt. That makes Abita Satsuma perfect for warm
weather, which works out well, since that's what the brewer intends.
I'm getting spicy coriander here, too, appropriate for a wit, and of course
the whole affair is underlined by the citric, slightly bitter satsumas.
They're very distinct and add a tart orangey-flavor that's actually quite
similar to the bitterness imparted by the more usual (for a Wit) Curacao
variety of orange.
I like this one. It's refreshing, spicy, plenty flavorful and a perfect
summer treat. Extra points for using local ingredients, too. It's a bit more
expensive than I'm used to paying for an Abita beer ($7.99 for a six-pack),
but then all beer is becoming increasingly dear these days.
A beer I would certainly buy again.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For
reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.