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Turbodog | Abita Brewing Co.

999 Reviews
For Trade:

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

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Turbodog is a dark brown ale brewed with Willamette hops and a combination of pale, crystal and chocolate malts. This combination gives Turbodog its rich body and color and a sweet chocolate toffee-like flavor. Turbodog began as a specialty ale but has gained a huge loyal following and has become one of our flagship brews.

28 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-02-2001

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Reviews: 999 | Ratings: 2,817
Photo of granger10
3.3/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a cola-like brown color with red highlights when held to light. The head was light and fizzy but faded quickly and there was no lacing. The smell was very sweet and acidic as well, it burned my nostril hairs at first sniff. The taste offered more malty sweetness. Very sweet in flavor but weaker in body. A lot of brown sugar sweetness here and more dextrin sweetness as well. The sweetness wasn't offset by anything but it wasn't too sweet to be offensive (like malternatives are). This reminds me a lot of coke which means I like to drink it but it offers nothing that great to me beerwise. Definitely a good transition beer though.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.12/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brewed with a combination of British pale, crystal and chocolate malts. Dry-hopped with Willamette, and fermented with a German Alt yeast.

Pours out to a beautiful dark mahogany with chestnut accents, forming a nice, soapy light tan head with good retention and nice lacing, eventually settling to a thin scum of head with a few areas of flocculation. Carbonation is moderate. Immediate aroma of malted chocolate, then touches of vanilla, toffee, and more chocolate malt shakes. Hint of black walnut and almonds. Very nice aroma...delicately sweet and smooth...lovely. Mouthfeel is initially zesty with a piquant earthen hop bite towards the end and a medium body. Taste begins with flavorful earthen and herbal hops, followed by a substantial, but not quite "porterish" chocolate and amber malt body, a slight isopropyl twinge with associated astringency, vanilla and cocoa in the middle, followed by a medium herbal bitterness towards the slightly woody finish. Fair amount of toffee, but it doesn't bother me. Earthy but nice. No appreciable off-flavors. Crisp water and clean ferment.

This is a solid brew. Its like a brown ale in that it is rather mild and medium bodied, but like a porter in that it has a nice chocolate roastiness to it. Exhibiting the finer characteristics of both Brown Ales and Porters, this is very enjoyable and I would gladly drink it again.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.28/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I had this beer a few years ago and remember loving it, this time I found it to be fairly good, but nothing spectacular.

Appearance- Nice dark cola color with moderate light brown head.

Smell- Subtle, with a sweet chocolate highlight.

Taste- Fairly malty, with chocolate or coffee taste, seems a little roasted. Unfortunately Turbo Dog leaves an aftertaste I don't quite like.

Drinkability- Not too bad, but something I probably won't buy again. For me it isn't an "all-night" type of beer.

Turbo Dog is my first of this style and I was hoping I'd like it as much as I remembered. Too bad, maybe I just don't love the style or maybe just not Turbo Dog.

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Photo of Shiloh
3.71/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pleasant surprize!!!
Arrived a very dark/brown ale with a limited crown...carbonation is short. Body is full.
Nose has a bread like quality to it and a secondary in bitter/sweet chocolate.
The taste has a short hoppiness to begin followed by the same to end. No linger here at all.
Very nice...

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Photo of cokes
1.77/5  rDev -51.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Dark cherry-stained brown under a tight and kept dome of beige.
Nose features rubber bands, bandaids and chocolate.
Taste follows suit. The dominating flavor is one of rubber bands. Not those little drawer-clutterers, but rather the huge industrial-strength 8 inchers. The ones that just reek. And you know how after you use a rubber band enough, it starts to gain a soiled, black hue? That is how this tastes.
Aside from that, some powdery nuts appears. Minor cocoa surges. Maybe toffee too? Hopping is present, but totally overmatched by latex.
This sucks. Enough said.
The body is decent enough, clocking in at a sturdy medium. But when the flavors are so godawful. Who cares?
I am hoping this bottle is either old or off.
But this seems like bad news regardless.
All apologizes to my sink, which suffered through more of this than I.

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Photo of GuinnessSmurf
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When ever I think about Turbo Dog, I think about Under Dog. I'm sorry, Abita, but I do. I love Under Dog. He had that sweet blue cape.

Anyway, the Turbo Dog flew into my beer and formed a glowing mahoghany colored beer with minimal head. The smell was very sweet - you could definately smell the chocolate malts.

At first taste, there was a nice combination of chocolate malts and yeast. It turns into a gentle bitter compliment as you continue drinking the beer.

This beer is highly drinkable. Much like Under Dog, the Turbo Dog goes down with you noticing. I think I finished my first Turbo Dog in 7 minutes...and I was not trying to drink it fast. It just - disappeared.

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Photo of LuckySevens82
4.4/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz stubby twist-off bottle.
Pours a nice clear brown with a small but sturdy tan head. Lacing isn't anything special.
Smells slightly of caramel, toffee, a little chocolate. Very nice.
Caramel, ripe fruit, and a slight roasted character dominate the flavor. The yeast that Abita uses definitely lends a fruity character to this brew that is not overly present in many of the other Brown ales I've tried.
This is just a great example of the style. One of my personal favorites that I always have stashed away for when I am feeling a little down. This brew always makes me happy.

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Photo of schoolcb
4.16/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

They categorize this beer as a Brown Ale, but I'd say it's outside the style guidlines, and more like a Porter. Not that this is a bad thing, this is IMHO their best beer. The beer pours with little head, is garnet in color, has a roasted-malt nose, and a big malt flavor. I had the pleasure of drinking one of these at the Abita Brew Pub in Abita Springs, and would highly recommend going there if you are ever in the New Orleans area.

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Photo of merlin48
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brown 12 oz bottle pours a dark chestnut body, with a minimal tan head that has moderate retention, and leaves some nice, sheet lacing on the glass.

Aroma is dominated by dark roasted malts, with a molasses overtone. Toffee and citrusy hops are also picked up on the nose.

Mouthfeel reveals a medium body, almost chewy, and amply carbonated.

Molasses and toffee lead the flavor parade, with a note of roasted coffee also prominent. Hops add a welcome bitterness. Some walnut nuttiness comes on near the finish, and there is a pleasant, roasted coffee aftertaste.

This Abita was a pleasant surprise, after a less than happy experience with their Purple Haze, several weeks ago. This is a tasty ale, with good drinkability. Do you have to go to New Orleans, to get this on tap?

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Photo of bigbubba
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very dark amber brown with a tan head that fades quickly. There is some lacing, and it is well carbonated. The smell is not real strong but it is the delicious smell of dark malt. There is very little flavor, probably because it is too cold. What I can taste is good. The mouthfeel is good, not too watery, the carbonation helps but isn't too much. It is very drinkable. As it warms a little it seems to be getting a little more flavorful with a hint of chocolate and very little bitterness.

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Photo of mschofield
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy mahogany brown with an off-white film (most likely the work of an over enthusiastic bartender), temporary rings of lace with no staying power.
Clean fruity aroma, caramel, nut, an overactive British brown ale maybe.
Predominantly caramel in the taste, a little sour, a bit of earthy bitterness, walnut, butter, grassy.
Medium bodied, it didn't quite have it's mind made up about what it wanted to be.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.93/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - a frothy pour into a pint glass filled the glass quickly, half with foam. The head is a light mocha with a creamy top. Brown and ruby color with a stray bubble or two. Some streaky lacing, not much.

Aroma - coffee notes, malty, pleasant but on the faint side. Aroma improves greatly as the beer warms with a good chocolate/coffee mix.

Taste - full roasted malt flavor profile. Turns sweet on the swallow, mild hop bitterness hits, and some low level charcoal taste peeks through. More character at the end that at the start. Gets better as it warms up. Mellower flavor as the taste buds adjust a little. A much improved 2nd impression.

Mouthfeel - when sampled cold, it feels a little too macro-like, watery, some weak carbonation. But as it goes from cold to cool, it smoothes out, making the beer much better. The carbonation level seems much more in step and in style.

Drinkability - I would buy this again. Be patient and let it warm up, though, it's a whole bunch better.

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Photo of jtfest
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark chocolate brown with a thin toffee head. Not quite opaque in the glass, but very dark. The aroma is very malty and sweet. An almost chewy mouthfeel carries a big -- somewhat surprising -- taste. Hints of honey, toffee, and (really?) peppermint. Very enjoyable and very drinkable -- I can see why this one has a cult following, coming from an area of the country not known for its quality of brew.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
2.93/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Decent light brown head, disappeared after a minute. Dark cola brown colored beer with an amber glow. Lack of carbonation bubbles in the beer is evident in the first sip. A pretty light bodied beer, mildly creamy mouthfeel. The aroma is a little off, a little malted barley and caramel mixed with a cheap corn infused lager. The taste is pretty weak, some caramel, a bit of chocolate, with a flash of bitter hoppy coffee at the end. Get rid of the off corn flavor, add some carbonation, and you'd have a good drinkable brown ale.

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Photo of Gavage
3.08/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The bottle sports the new look black label with light grey wheat stems with a simple Abita Turbodog in block letters. Pours a dark brown color with burgandy tones. A nice 1" tan colored creamy head. Some lacing. The aroma is of roasted malt with a very burnt tone. The taste is of heavy roasted malt with mild burnt coffee and wisps of chocolate are detectable. Definitely unbalanced. This seems to want to be a porter instead of a brown ale but it is somewhere inbetween.

The mouthfeel is smooth with some crispness. The aftertaste is of roasted malts and burnt coffee and it lasts forever. I can't see drinking more than one of these in a sitting. Burnt flavor just too overpowering for a brown ale.

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Photo of CBFanWish
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Abita Turbo Dog is a decent beer with a lot of potential. Once again tonight I found myself at MacGregor's on my never ending quest for the perfect beer, I stumbled across this. Turbo Dog is a friend of mine that goes back a few months. Nothing spectacular, but very comforting. It pours a dark brown colour with a moderate to thin tan head that lasts for a couple minutes. Smelling of roasted malts with slight hints of citrus. The taste was remarkably likewise, highly malty with a slight, but distinct lemon zest to it. Not a bad beer. It went down smoot. I feel good with it. A great session brew.

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Photo of Beastdog75
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

BAM! Abita Turbodog has probably gained more notoriety from its usage as one of Emeril Lagasse's favorite coooking ingredients than from its own merits. This beer may very well be one of the more popular brews to come out of the Louisiana scene, and its name is catchy and memorable. When all is said and done, Turbodog is a slightly above average brown ale that serves as a very good thirst quencher and probably makes a great cooking ingredient.

The 'dog pours a nice dark brown color with a 1 finger tan foam that lasts for about 1 minute. The smell has light notes of roasted malts and citric hops, but is bit more neutral than I would've cared for. The mouthfeel is slightly thin, but it does have a good smoothness to it that lends to the drinkablilty factor. The first sip of this brew contained a mixture of fruitiness and roasted malts, with the main malt characteristics being of chocolate and coffee. While a bit sweet, it is balanced out nicely by the moderate hop level. The hops lend a citric and a chlorophyl like essence to the beer. The finish is slightly dry, and it continues into the aftertaste with some light lingering roasted notes as well. An additional aftertaste flavor popped up as well, and the only way I can describe it is that is reminded me of the flesh of an orange (without the juice). The beer finishes with very little alcoholic warmth.

I can easily see pairing this with some classic bayou dishes like gumbo and jambalaya, as well as possibly being used as an ingredient in some of those dishes. Although this beer is slightly sweet, there is enough hoppiness here to make this a very drinkable beer. While not a very complex brew, this one still satisfies.

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Photo of Imbiber
3.33/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep reddish-brown with a tan head. Aroma is very malty, a bit musty and grassy. Flavour is richly malt-dominated, not highly carbonated, and some buttery notes are evident after a second or two. Slightly more bitter finish, but that fades fairly quickly. Easy for drinking as it is smooth and fairly innocuous, although quite a heavy-textured beer.

Pretty average, but not bad.

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Photo of ChrisBowers
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. Was poured from a 12oz bottle into a stemmed glass at Harry's Taproom in Arlington (not really a taproom, I'll be sure to add a BF review). Appearance is dark brown with a nice tan head. Aroma is of yeast and malt with a hint of chocolate. Nothing to knock your socks off though. Taste is quite pleasant. Hints of coffee and chocolate, along with a nice hop finish make it a very enjoyable beer to have with american-grill type fare. Its nothing earth shattering, but its tasty. Compared to the 30 odd offerings in bottles at this joint, it was a gem. I think they managed to have every crap lager in existence.

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Photo of Zorro
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark black beer with ruby highlights if you hold it up to the light.

Smell is sweet malt and a charcoal aroma almost as if this was a porter not a brown ale. I can also smell some chocolate in there.

Taste is mildly sweet with a taste that is unmistakably a porter style beer. It is a bit smoky tasting with some coffee and chocolate in it. This beer is in the wrong category; it is a mild porter. Its main attraction is in being a tamed version of the style.

Mouthfeel is good.

Very drinkable. Well suited for pairing with sweet foods or very spicy foods. I have had this served with spicy jambalaya; it was a good match.

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Photo of beergeek279
3.62/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in the 12 oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The color is a dark brown with a clumpy white head. The smell is a strong dark malt. The taste is a slightly sweet maltiness and a bit of bitterness in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is a bit thin. As for drinkability, maybe another.

A decent offering from Abita. Though Brown Ale isn't a personal favorite, I suppose this is a good one amongst the not-on-crack brown ale (Brooklyn Brown, Indian Brown) crowd. Good, but not great.

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Photo of JohnnyDuvel
3.06/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Unfortunately, not nearly as good as I remembered it. I haven't had this beer in quite some time, and I guess my tastes have evolved a lot. Too much of the macro-type flavor in there. I got the impression that after a couple, this would get better. Hard to define, reminds me some of the Yuengling porter. Doesn't really fit any style, and ultimately doesn't impress. Better than the average macro lager, but so what.

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Photo of UnionMade
3.41/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The brew arrives looking a deep, deep brown, nearly black. Some blood red highlights through light, topped with a thick film of khaki head. Decent head retention, keeping at least a thick collar through the entire pint. A stringy cobwebbing of lace sticks to the glass.
The aroma is quite light, and you really have to agitate the beer and get your nose in the glass to get any scent. Some slight coffee-like roasted malt, with a very subdued, vague hopping. A suggestion raisin. Realtively smooth, with no graininess or coarse aromas.
The flavor starts with a very smooth roasted maltiness. Very easy drinking, if a bit simplified, with pleasantly low, nitro-like carbonation. Some coffee and mocha flavor into the middle, with a pleasant, lightly burnt roasted flavor. Not much in the way of fruitiness, traveling straight into vague earthy, herbal hop taste which provides very little bitterness. Most of the bittering comes from the roasted malt. The beer finishes smooth, with a weird saccharine sweetness in the aftertaste. Poor attenuation?
A decent pint, if a bit unchallenging. A smooth, easy drinking beer with very little bitterness. Certainly not the most complex beer on the face of the planet, but it was enjoyable.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.15/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mahogany/Dark Brown with a nice full fluffy brown head, good carbonation, and leaves nice lace rings. Nice upfront chocolate malt aroma. Good chocolate/toffee malt flavor with no hop character. A bit sweet but not overly so. Medium bodied with a lightly sweet finish.

Per Abita website: Abita Turbodog is a dark brown ale brewed with Willamette hops and a combination of British pale, crystal and chocolate malts.

Per B.A.B. book: 6.1% ABV

Best Before: 11/24/03
Tasted: 01/29/04

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Photo of johnrobe
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

Turbodog is quite an anomaly as it doesn't fit neatly into a particular beer style mold. The body and mouthfeel are appropriate for a nut brown, but the roasted flavors are more akin to a stout (albeit a light one) and it is quite clean, almost lager-like. It pours a dark, dark mahogany with a thin off-white head. The smell is strong with dark roasted malts and it also has that quality I can only describe as "beery". Roasted malt dominates the palate but comes with some light toffee sweetness. Mildly spicy hops are noticeable but never come to the foreground. A bit thin and watery. Not an exceptional brew, but exceptional in its originality. This would make an excellent dark summertime session brew and would pair very well with spicy food.

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Turbodog from Abita Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 999 ratings.