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Pecan Harvest Ale | Abita Brewing Co.

393 Reviews
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Pecan Harvest AlePecan Harvest Ale

Brewed by:
Abita Brewing Co.
Louisiana, United States | website

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Pecan Harvest Ale is made with real Louisiana pecans that have been toasted to perfection. That makes it something really special, because most beers with a nutty flavor or aroma aren’t made with real nuts. The natural oils from the Louisiana pecans give the ale a light pecan finish and aroma.

20 IBU

Added by acrawf6 on 02-05-2007

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Reviews: 393 | Ratings: 1,044
Photo of BeerWithMike
4.21/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sampled back on Sunday, October 18th. Comes in a 12 ounce bottle. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a "It's 5 O'clock Somewhere" pint glass.

Brew pours a pretty dark amber in color with a 1-finger creamy off-white head. Some spotty lacing is seen when sipped. Aroma is really nice and is of light roasted pecans and caramel. Taste pretty much follows the nose with a touch of brown sugar and maybe honey also. Really smooth with just a mild hint of bitterness of the nuts near the finish. Medium-bodied with medium carbonation. Overall a very tasty seasonal brew.

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Photo of keithmurray
3.71/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - translucent copper colored liquid with beige head

Smell - toasted nuts, candied pecan, caramel

Taste - much like the smell - caramel, candied pecan, toasted nuts, honey

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, medium carbonation, slight sweetness upfront, mild bitterness

Overall - decent beer, something a little different off the beaten path

Price Point - $1.79/12 oz bottle

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Photo of logicalparadox
3.64/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer is probably a little underrated. Is this a world class, earth-shattering beer that will change your whole perception of a style? No. But it is a good beer, nonetheless.

What I like about this beer is its simplicity, yet it's uniqueness. I don't think I've had or seen another beer that focused on a nut, let alone pecans. The humble pecan is more than just an occasional filling for pies, topping for ice cream, or add-in for salads. It is one of the quintessential culinary and cultural icons of the American south, generally, and Louisiana in particular.

Being a Louisiana-based brewery, it's fitting that Abita would reach to this heritage to try and represent themselves. But Abita could have done something more glitzy (and cliche), like the all-too-obvious vanilla pecan-praline porter that I'm sure someone has already done or thought about doing. Heck, that would be all the more "New Orleans" touristy, crowd-pleaser (or at least sales-generator) beer, wouldn't it?

Instead, Abita chooses to embrace the pecan itself. Just the nuts. They use real pecans, from the Louisiana crop harvest no less, and they toast them up before adding to the brew. Maybe I just love a great concept beer with something to say, but I think this beer works at least as well as an example of Southern Americana with actual integrity, getting back to the roots of classic Southern crops and ingredients, as it does as an actual beer in my glass. Props for that alone.

OK, long digression, but the result is an enjoyable brew. It's got a nice, light toasted pecan amber hue to it, puts on a good head, and the head has pretty good retention (perhaps from the nut proteins?). Aromas a malty, with a subtle nutty backdrop that alludes to the pecans without shouting about them. The flavor profile is light, with some toasty and grainy malts, a mild crispness, some dark leafy fall flavors of toffee, toasted bread, honey, biscuit, and dare I say something vaguely reminiscent of candy corn. True to it's base, it's a good old brown harvest ale under the hood.

In that mix, the nutty pecans come through with distinction, and a bit of that toast. Not cloying at all like a "pecan pie" interpretation of such a beer.

Overall, perfect for the season, a nice change from the herd of all those pumpkin beers, Oktoberfest Marzens, big milkshake-heavy porters and stouts, and harvest ales that are typical for Fall. This is not a beer made to be an alpha dog and outperform all contenders, nor is it a flavor bomb... but I think the "less is more" approach works well here.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.67/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Abita does some interesting things but they also have flops. Let's see how this one pans out. Poured into a flute glass, just because.

Look : Pecan-honey colored, with light hues of browns and oranges. 70% opacity with shadows of fingers on the opposite side. The head is popcorn colored and 3 fingers tall, but recedes like a landslide to a small ring within a minute. Lace is left in a "connected dancing" pattern around the glass.

Smell : Some festive fruity aromas, with banana bread, caramel roll, cranberry, raisin, and finally the nutty pecan and honey aromas. It finally ends on a kettle corn note. Very malty and little to no hop to be detected in the aroma.

Taste : There's a richness to the flavor, mostly enhanced by baked malts and sappy pecan. It's hard to nail down what else I'm tasting, but I'll aim for caramel, biscuit, and finally more nut hull and wraps up with a vanilla-root beer and slight rind hop bitterness. From the bottle the flavors are tighter and less spread out, but also less variety of flavors and more of a focus on simple caramel malts and pecan nuttiness with hints of blueberry. Once poured and let to sit a few moments, the flavors spread out and that's where you get the root beer, vanilla, and hop finish. Any off flavors are created by an exaggeration of yeast.

Feel : Mildly creamy, has a good carbonation to it, medium bodied. Sharp bite at the end fades out the feel.

Overall : Abita has been hit and miss for me. I think I've had three Abita beers and this one is about in the middle. I neither love it nor hate it. It could be a lot worse, but it could be better, although I'm not sure how. It's something I'd be willing to try again, but I think this beer needs a special occasion or a pairing for it to really shine. I'll shelve this one for awhile and maybe come back to it next year.

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Photo of Buck89
3.56/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Burnt orange color with a reasonable light tan head that receded quickly. Aromas were muted - toasted pecan and a bit of caramel. Did not seem artificial or medicinal to me. Tasted roasty up front with toast and pecan and a bit of sweetness but finished dry. Better than I expected.

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Photo of PA-hunter
4.13/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured bottle into glass. 5.2% abv.

Appearance- Pours a dark amber. Two finger plus head that lasts. Semi-clear.

Smell- Sweet caramel malt. Quite bready too. Nutty as well.

Taste- The sweetness is dry and toasted, like a baked pretzel. Caramel quality adds to the pecan nutty flavor of this beer. The pecan flavor lasts, along with some slight bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel- Medium-light in body. Active carbonation.

Overall- A nice brown ale, well done with regard to flavor. Easy drinking and sweet. Great use of using a regional ingredient (pecans) to make a tastey beer.

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Photo of MrWonka
4.28/5  rDev +27%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very, very good beer. Definitely has a prominent nutty-like flavor in the smell and in the taste. Would definitely recommend to anyone interested in drinking beers other than just Coors light, Bud Lite, etc. A very interesting brew that I would buy again and invite friends to try.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.15/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

BOTTLE: 12 fl oz. Brown glass. Generally appealing label art. Branded orange pry-off pressure cap.

5.2% ABV. Reviewed live as a brown ale given the label calls it a pecan ale and I assume any nut ale is a brown ale unless explicitly informed otherwise. Served cold into a pilsner glass and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Expectations are average; I'm suspicious of the terminology "flavored ale" listed on the label, which makes me think this might taste like artificial pecan extract.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 1.5 fingers wide. Off-white colour. Average thickness, creaminess, fullness, consistency, and complexion. Above average (~3 minute) retention. Leaves no lacing as it recedes.

BODY: Clear deep dark copper of above average vibrance. Clean; no yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Appears well-carbonated. In short, it looks nothing like a brown ale. It's closer to an amber or even an IPA to be honest. Far from unique or special, but generally appealing, sure.

AROMA: Heavy caramelization. Artificial pecan/pecan extract/pecan flavoring. A hint of orange is present, but it medicinal and off-putting; Delsym cough syrup comes to mind. Toastiness, with a faint burnt character. Definitely seems too sweet, though the artificial pecan notes disguise the malts.

No yeast character or overt alcohol is detectable.

Overall, I find it off-putting and oddly artificial. Aromatic intensity is average.

TASTE: Buttery diacetyl announces itself, which is quite unwelcome - especially alongside the extract-redolent artificial pecan character. No legitimate nut notes are present whatsoever. Has way too much sweetness, as well as overly prominent caramelization. The Delsym cough syrup/artificial orange fruit character I found on the aroma manifests in the taste, and is even worse than I feared. There's a strange absence of brown malts and authentic nuttiness, making this a terrible brown ale - if that's what it's intended to be. In actuality, it drinks closer to an amber - albeit a rather poor one.

Shallow, simple, and uninspired. It fails at the fundamentals; the pecan character is poorly executed and it's largely an unevocative build (regardless of which style you approach it as). I can't say I like it.

TEXTURE: Overcarbonated, unrefreshing, sticky, syrupy, overly thick, overly full-bodied, and overly heavy on the palate, with a poor overall presence. This texture fails to elevate the beer or to accentuate any of the flavour profile's constituent notes. Not a good companion to the taste by any means. In its defense, though, it's not coarse or dry, but instead opts aptly for smoothness and wetness. It's also not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, scratchy or rough. But boy does it need work.

OVERALL: A poor stab at a pecan ale with few redeeming characteristics, this subpar offering from Abita is best left on the shelf. Not undrinkable, but the medicinal off character combined with its inherent artificiality really brings it down for me. I wouldn't drink another if it was offered to me for free. Ugh.


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Photo of VirginiaBeerMan
3.16/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle
A - Clear reddish amber, almost like iced tea, with thin head and no visible carbonation
S - I actually thought I caught a whiff of apple or pineapple upon opening the bottle which gave way to molassas, brown sugar and nut
T - A bit weak with no real dominance; the smell gives high expectations for a taste that lets you down.
F - Thin, little carbonation, very slightly dry
O - Nothing remarkable; the best part are the smells when drinking, everything else is simply average; I didn't get the pecan nut flavors that I was expecting, which was a bit of a let down

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Photo of bmeehan
3.5/5  rDev +3.9%

I was a nervous excited to try this, knowing I don't love pecan flavored things, but that this couldn't possibly taste like only pecans, and I was relieved to see that it didn't. There's enough of a hint to know it's a strange brew of sorts, but plenty of your typical beer ingredients to remind you this is just a fun experiment that you'd want to drink again.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.77/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark copper color with good clarity. The head is two fingers high, with a pale yellow shade. Retention is quite good, and the texture is beautifully fluffy. Plenty of lacing is left on the glass. (4)

Smell: I'll give Abita credit, pecan comes through quite well. It's backed by a pleasant toffee sweetness, and some gentle roast rounds it out. The nose is dead simple, but it pulls off exactly what it intends. (3.25)

Taste: Sadly, the pecan doesn't come through nearly as well here. It opens up with some caramel and toffee sweetness, though it does finish with some long-lasting pecan flavor regardless. Dare I say, the nut flavor seems slightly chemical. It's both out of balance AND it's bland. Yeah, I'm not enjoying this one much... (2.5)

Mouthfeel: While light in body, it's also incredibly sweet and - frankly - slimy. The trademark Abita drinkability is crippled because of the former. Carbonation is somewhat light. (2.5)

Overall: I've come to expect a couple things from Abita beers: they're usually easy to drink, but they're also really bland. This being no exception. Unfortunately, this also adds an unpleasant chemical flavor to the mix. Just another underwhelming beer from Abita. (2.5)

2.73/5: Why is it that every beer brewed with nuts taste so artificial???

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Photo of JLaw55
3.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A pretty good flavor profile, definitely taste the pecans. They are very prominent and it is a very smooth beer, all flavors being well balanced. The only problem I have with this one is the awkward mouth feel of the beer. It is so far off from what I thought it should be with a beer of this flavor profile. It is a darker beer with a hearty flavor profile, definitely a fall and winter style beer. Yet the mouth feel is extremely watery and lacking any sort of body to hold up the flavor profile. I have had other Abita beers and seem to get this same odd mouth feel. The last one I had was a summer brew though, so it wasn't a problem as much, but this time is quite prominent and ruins a part of the experience.

Would Drink Again: Yes
Would Purchase Again: No

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Photo of chefhatt
3.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Has a light brown body with a thin head.
Aroma is of a roast nuttyness.
taste has a upfront nut flavor followed by a malt back bone
mouthfee, is thin and overall a ok beer.

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Photo of ordybill
3.75/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. Aroma is a faint pecan smell mixed with hops. The appearance is a light brown color with a thin head. The flavor is a slight nut flavor with a malt and hop background The palate is a light bodied beer with average carbonation Overall, this is not a bad beer at all. it is my fifth Abita beer I have had and it is second to Andygator in my opinion.

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
3.41/5  rDev +1.2%

Pours a very appetizing amber color with a cream head. The smell is sweet and earthy with almost a bit of salt on the end. The taste was a bit more subdued with some malt and hop flavor coming through, but not nearly as much pecan as I expected. It was nice but I just wanted more earthy nut flavors to make this beer really stand out.

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Photo of 57md
3.45/5  rDev +2.4%

Copper. Bready nose and the flavor follows the nose with the addition of some nutty notes. Not getting a distinct pecan flavor, however. Looks like a bitter, tastes like a brown.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.07/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Pours a brilliant clear orange with a thin layer of white head that lingers and leaves nice lacing. The smell has a nice presence of pecans. I'm actually surprised at how well the essence of pecans are contained in the aroma. Not much else comes through on the nose. The taste unfortunately does not feature the nice nutty nose the nose has. Instead, I get a bland and fizzy flavorless liquid. Almost adjunct lager flavorless. This is disappointing as the nose is quite promising. Up front I get watered down malt, this is followed by a tinge of nuttiness and a hint of sweetness. No hops to speak of. Mouthfeel is light and fizzy. Overall this is a let down.

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Photo of EHopkinsi
4/5  rDev +18.7%

This beer surprised me. I was fearing it'd be some overly-flavored concoction, kinda like many flavored coffees. It wasn't. As another reviewer noted, I didn't detect much, if any, nuttiness in it. But it poured in a manner my unsophisticated self doesn't have words for; a fantastic, solid-cloudy color I don't know what to call. Decent "ale" flavor; not too overboard, but not washed out like some seem. Definitely drinkable and refreshing. Maybe it benefits from my very low expectations for it, but I liked it well enough to rate it higher than most. Won't seek it out, but would chose it over some other stuff if given choices.

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Photo of humuloner22
3.25/5  rDev -3.6%

This beer is not spectacular. Its kind of a one note wonder. I don't really get a lot of the pecan in there. I detected maybe some nuttiness to it, but it was thick and sweet and that is about all you get. Its a nice looking beer. Has a good aroma of caramel, the slightest amount of nuttiness, I assume that is the pecans. It had a lot of head that really never tamed down. I was interested in trying this one. I have seen it for years, but its not one I would drink regularly. Its too sweet for my taste. If you like your beers to taste like a stuckey's pecan roll, then go for it!

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear pale to medium amber in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and some faint golden yellow highlights. The beer has a three finger tall foamy beige head that reduces to a medium to large sized quarter finger thick cap towards the center of the glass surrounded by a thick film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of caramel + lightly toasted malts with pecan nuttiness.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of lightly toasted biscuit malts with a light amount of caramel malts which imparts a touch of initial sweetness. That is followed by a light flavor of pecan nuttiness and just a hint of earthiness (which I guess could be attributed to the hops).

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin/watery.

O: Easy to drink and definitely a beer than reminds me of fall - it is a little on the lighter side of what I would prefer (slightly fuller body and just a touch more pecan flavor) but I can see it having wider appeal because of that... Not bad but just not too exciting.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
3.25/5  rDev -3.6%

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a pretty, clear, amber color with a quarter of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that almost completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic. Lots of pecans and butter, vanilla, caramel and some toasted malt notes as well. Reminds me of toffee and butter pecan ice cream.

Taste: Malty and nutty up front, not as sweet as the aroma, but it has some nice caramel-like sweetness. Not getting much in the way of nuts in general or pecans in particular. A little more hops than I usually like, but it’s still a very tasty beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with some pretty good carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 5.0%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a pretty good beer. Great aroma, but not as good in flavor. Good malt presence, but a bit too much hops bitterness for me to really like. Worth a try once though for malt fans and I’m sure that hop heads will like this beer.

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Photo of Foyle
3.91/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pours a nearly 1" off white head that dissipates rapidly leaving significant lacing. Color is amber, minimal amount of carbonation bubbles streaming up.
Aroma: love the smell of this one. Malty caramel, yeasty bread, and nutty pecans with a hint of the hops in the nose as well.
Mouthfeel: fairly light bodied and watery with a pleasant finish that leaves me ready for the next sip.
Flavor: echoes the aroma with a wonderful combination of the caramel malt flavors, the nutty flavor of the roasted pecans, and a mild hop bite at the end.
Overall: Excellent and delicious.

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Photo of Karibourgeois
3/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear amber and copper colored pour with medium carbonation. Slightly sweet taste with caramel and nut flavors. Finishes with a slight hint of bitterness.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.33/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-Semi clear deep orange, some carbonation, two finger head with some lacing.

S-Lots of wheat, grass, dirt and pecans not balanced at all.

T-Not balanced at all. Starts with lots of wheat then pecans and dirt. THe base brown all isn't even noticable.

M-Medium to lighter in body, slight carbonation.

O-A bad beer. I wonder why I keep buying Abita.

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Photo of atr2605
2.94/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A-pours nice copper/amber color with an off white head with great retention
S-soft toasted pecan smell with some maltiness
T-pecans and some caramel malt, bit of dry biscuit in the finish
M-medium light bodied
O-pretty drinkable brew but overall flavor is a bit flat

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Pecan Harvest Ale from Abita Brewing Co.
77 out of 100 based on 393 ratings.
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