Lately, local New Orleans craft brewery, NOLA Brewing, has been on a nice little streak with their seasonal beers.
We had Hurricane Saison (which wasn't one of my favorites, but did well on the market) and the Irish Channel Stout, which received 4.5 Buddhas from me here on this blog. I had said at the time that I felt that the Irish Channel Stout could possibly be one of their best beers next to the Hopitoulas, but I guess opinions change. Especially when they keep one-upping their own brews.
Recently, I was fortunate enough to stop by the brewery and try their newest creation, Flambeau Red. This red ale is named after the men who carry large torches on poles that light the way for the floats and night parades during Mardi Gras. This was originally done before we had electric street lights, but is a tradition still carried on today. If you look carefully at that label, you'll see the masked guy with the torch.
So what about the red ale? In one word: Wow. I think NOLA once again has proven themselves a powerhouse to be reckoned with in Louisiana. I have a feeling this will be my favorite brew and I will be upset that it's only a seasonal. Anyways, on to the review:
Brewery: NOLA Brewing
Beer: Flambeau Red
ABV: Approximately 5 percent
Louisiana Availability: Yes; seasonal. Will release around end of February, beginning March.
Price Range: Not yet on the market.
Appearance: Huge reddish-tan head. Color was a deep rub-amber hue.
Smell: Wonderfully hoppy (citrus and pine) with hints of caramel and toffee.
Taste: Had a nice caramel maltiness with a wonderfully balanced hoppiness to it. And what an incredible balance as well. The hops were cranked up a bit, but not too much. It's great because the sweet maltiness greets you in the front and then at mid palate you are greeted with that wonderful hoppiness.
Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation.
Overall: Dare I say I think this will be one of NOLA's best beers? Yeah I'll say it. Get ready New Orleans, because I think NOLA has another winner on their hands.
Score: 4.5 out of 5 Buddhas