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Turbodog - Abita Brewing Co.

Not Rated.

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2,599 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,599
Reviews: 987
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 13.7%
Wants: 83
Gots: 263 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Abita Brewing Co. visit their website
Louisiana, United States

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-02-2001

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
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,599 | Reviews: 987
Photo of GilmooDaddy
2.74/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle. Purchased from Total Wine in Norfolk, Virginia.

(Appearance): Pours an opaque brown with a fingernail sized foam head that dissapears shortly after pouring.

(Smell): Almost nonexistent, this Brown Ale has an extremely subtle smell of what I sensed to be a malty chocolate with a hint of nuttiness.

(Taste): I'll be harsh to judge here, but this beer tastes like the failed aftermath of a new seltzer experiment. It is very bland and subtle with absolutely no aftertaste.

(Mouthfeel): Watery and slightly carbonated.

(Drinkability): If you enjoy the taste (which might be asking a lot), the Turbodog might make a good session beer. With an almost complete lack of flavor and a low alcohol content, this Brown Ale won't be meeting my friends anytime soon.

Photo of Daniellobo
3.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fair brown ale, more iconic than attractive but still reliable.

Presentation: 12 oz brown capped bottle. Dark label framed in silver with barley in the background and the name of the ale highlighter in yellow. Nothing to rave about but pretty iconic. Back narrative explains the intent, ingredients, and brewery ethos. Offers an unmarked best by date. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Dark brown pour, with a fairly rich ecru frothy head. Medium retention, fair fading surface memory with a consistent surface ring, and a couple of splashes of lacing.

S - Nose is a bit subdued, malty, with a nutty touch, dash of caramel and chocolate.

T - Mouth follows with a nice and soft malt sense, expanded nuttiness in the palate and a bitter dash in the final part. Caramel and chocolate are also part of the soft bill.

M - Light-medium body with soft carbonation, a slight watery side to it.

D - Flows pretty well without much pretense or memorability.

Notes: It had been such a long time that I just felt compelled to revisit it. When I first came to the US years ago this was one of the easily available and enticing brews that seemed to be out of the mainstream. At the time pretty beer uneducated, and in that context it also shares for me some of that iconic micro status. All in all it is something that having a choice I´d probably won´t revisit in a long while, but it remains pretty drinkable and all kinds of decent. I´d always welcome it crossing my path again as I move through the South, or elsewhere, in the future.

Photo of AhabFlanders
3.72/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark brown with a half inch tan head. The head faded quickly leaving a ring around the glass and moderate lacing.

S: Very inviting. Clean malt at first giving way to sweet toffee, and a bit of chocolate.

T: Similar to the nose. Sweet toffee and caramel malt with some hints of cocoa as well. A light hop bitterness is also present, just enough to keep it balanced. The toffee roasted malt flavors return in the aftertaste. As it warmed it developed a noticeable alcohol taste which dragged it down a bit.

M: Light with moderate carbonation. Nothing special but nothing wrong with it either.

D: Overall a fairly drinkable brew. The first half had disappeared almost before I noticed. However, the noticeable alcohol which came out as it warmed limits the overall experience.

Photo of kinupanda
3.28/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruddy dark brown with a thin yet perceptibly dense head that leaves a very subtle lacing during drinking. An extremely light nose; the noticeable characteristic is a chocolate that is almost candy-like, and when mixed with the malt is somewhat reminiscent of a bread pudding. Carbonation is low to medium, having more of an impact depending on how long it is held in the mouth. Very smooth, and in fact almost too smooth. The flavor insinuated by the scent profile does not translate to the palate very well, and it seems to dissipate too rapidly; it is, nonetheless, pleasant and easy to drink. A dry, lingering semisweet chocolate and coffee aftertaste that is not overwhelmingly bitter.

FourthBeer potential: AVERAGE, as there are many brown ales with more body, but for a light closer, this might do the trick.

Photo of suretolose
3.39/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. A nice black brown that shows amber on the edges when held to the light. The head is light and does not last long.
Aroma is light. Slight citrus and malt. Not much to it.
Taste has hints of malt and mocha, not heavy. A lingering aftertaste almost of hard water. Not bad, but not too impressive.
Very light in the mouth. Does not coat the mouth.
An ok beer, nothing special.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.51/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with a freakin huge off-white/lightly tan colored head, fades at a really slow rate, the head almost has a nitro look to it but it's just a regular bottle, for as much head as there was there isn't much lacing on the glass.

Smell is rather mute, what I can pick up is primarily malt, no hop aroma at all, picking up some subtle sweet chocolate.

Taste is as the nose suggested, mostly malt with a light presence of chocolate/toffee, medium carbonation, slightly metallic aftertaste, for a brown ale it's really thin in the mouth which is surprising considering the nice color to it.

The thinness of it hurts this beer the most, I'm not expecting it to have stout-like qualities, but at times it seemed like water. Overall though, it's a ever-so slightly above average brown ale. I'll reach for some Oak Pond first if I get a craving for the style.

Photo of bum732
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

S: Toffee, toasted marshmallow, some cocoa.

L: Clear dark crimson red, light tan head.

T: Caramal/toffee malt followed by a touch of fruitiness. Medium low herbal bitterness. Finishes with a touch of cocoa. Slightly sweet.

M: Medium-bodied, medium-high carbonation.

An ok brown ale, smells better than it tastes.

Photo of Lauthaha
4.23/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a beer glass.

Appearance: Ultra-dark ruby/mahogany color. About 90% opaque, but held to light, there is some pretty vivid carbonation visible. Head is a milky beige which leaves moderate lacing as it recedes. Remains at a height of about 1/2 cm.

Smell: Mellow, sweet maltiness. Just a touch of vanilla extract within a toffee/caramel malt base. Hops (if any) are floral, otherwise, there's a touch of flowery/fruity presence.

Taste/Mouthfeel: First sip is sweet, and slightly oily. The malt presence is very noticeable. As it sits on the tongue, the carbonation comes to life, and the hops really shine through. Bitterness without being overpowering. A little added flavoring or spice (maybe some nutmeg) and just a hint of vanilla. Aftertaste is bittersweet; no cloying, no sourness. Amazing.

Drinkability: This is a great, drinkable beer. Great by itself, but with the potential to be paired with food.

I love the English Brown Ale. As with most of my contemporaries, my first introduction to the genre was with Newcastle, and as such, I base most comparisons of EBAs on that beer...that being said, this one shines above Newcastle. It's more flavorful and similarly priced. Given the choice, I would choose Turbodog from now on over Newcastle.

Photo of AlexanderSelby
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This "brown ale" is more like a stout in both color and taste. What holds it back is the body, which is a touch light for a beer of this color and palate. However, this lack of body may work in Turbodog's favor as it becomes extremely drinkable and approachable compared to more burly stouts. The roasty aroma of coffee and cocoa is quite nice; however, I had to literally stick my nose in the beer to get a worthy whiff. Appearance is a lovely dark brown with ruby at the edges. As seems to be the theme with this beer, the flavor is lighter than expected, too. What you do get of the flavor is quite wonderful, though: a roasty onslaught of coffee and marshmallows roasting on a fire.

While serious beer drinkers may be slightly underwhelmed with this beer's showing, it is undoubtedly a phenomenally balanced beer. It would be a great almost-session brew for a dark beer lover, or a great intro brew for the dark beer skeptic.

Photo of TheSarge
4.06/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been eyeing this beer for a while, and finally decided to give it a try.

Has a lovely appearance. Produces about two and a have fingers thick of light tan head that has perfect retention. The body of the brew is cleanly filtered and is dark copper/ruby red in color.

A pretty malty aroma... Some sweet bready notes, maybe some cola like characteristics, and a slight metallic hops presence with a hint of tea.

Taste wise it seems to be on par with the style: tea characteristics, sweet bread, and herbal qualities.

Feels medium in body with an oily slickness, except the brew leaves the palate a little dry. Great beer and I'm glad I finally gave this one a try.

Photo of Jeffro96
4.33/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am a fan of dark flavorful ales and this beer met that mark well.

It started with a cream colored head two fingers thick in a frosted pint glass. The aroma was light but smelled of of sweetness and maybe a hint of fruit or citrus.

on the tongue it started with a mild sweetness that hinted at chocolate and coffee or toffee mingled with malt and perhaps bread followed by a slightly fruity lightly citrus flavor and a bite of hops and warm alcohol.

this beer finishes a bit dry and lingers on the palate, but in a good way. Good balance over all. A must try for any beer drinker.

Photo of EgadBananas
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown pour, with a light tan head, and not much lacing.

Aroma is nice and malty, with some coffee and light chocolate notes.

Taste is much of the same, with a hint of hops and bittersweet.

Feel is medium in body, medium carbonation, and clean.

Drinkability is solid, multiples would be easy.

Photo of Retsinis
3.23/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Bruery Tulip glass. Pours nearly black, with a thin foamy head that rises about an inch, then fades with no lacing.

Not much going on Aroma wise, some hazelnut, raisin, but that is not unusual for the style.

Taste has some rye bread notes and mild toffee that lingers.

The mouthfeel is mostly carbonation and dry, but is not offensive.

The packaging of this beer is very simple, and might be why I had low expectations of this beer. ( not fair, agreed, and packaging in know way makes up for quality)

Overall, Being a british style nut brown ale, my base comparison would be new castle, though this is better, it not by much.

Had this beer at my brothers, and I know that I have seen these sit on shelves at Bevmo for a while here, so it is very possible I just had one that was past it's prime. Would try fresh and re-review if possible.

Photo of RRoeb1123
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass from bottle.

Appearance: Decent head on the beer, but fades quickly, and leaves a nice spotty lacing.

Smell: Caramel, hints of chocolate, toffee, and some slight fruit esters come through, very pleasant and mellow.

Taste: No surprise here, the roastiness and malts come through very pleasantly. Nice balance on the flavors. Hints of chocolate, toffee, caramel, and a slight earthiness come through.

Mouthfeel: Decent carbonation. It is slightly thin to me, but it was good. It washes over your palate well, allowing you to pick up the notes well.

Drinkability: Above average. I found it quite good overall.

Photo of r0nyn
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into my Stone pint glass.

Pours a translucent chestnut brown that's pretty dark in the glass. Fizzy head that dissipates quickly and leaves some loose, spotty lacing. Smell is full of roasted malts with some hops on the back end. There some mild chocolate character that's pretty subdued.

Light and malty to open things up, with a more pronounced, but still rather subdued chocolate nuance. Can taste the grains toward the end, along with some very slight hoppy bitterness that disappears quickly. Bit of a nuttiness as well. Mouthfeel is distressingly thin and has just a little too much carbonation. Finishes pretty dry too, leaving my palate searching for something more substantial.

Drinkability is above average, as I wouldn't mind putting away a couple of pints of this in a sitting. I just wish there there was a bit more oomph to it, but I'm not going to fuss so much over it. A solid, drinkable brew from Abita.

Photo of FanofHefe
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Good one finger head that dissipates promptly leaving just a little lacing. Dark brown and slightly reddish body.

Understated aroma of sweet malt. Just a hint of toffee.

Bigger flavor than the aroma would predict. Roasted malt flavor with a bit of coffee and chocolate. Very mild in bitterness.

Fairly smooth mouthfeel, decent level of carbonation. Very solid offering.

Photo of knowledge
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass. Very distinct head yet recedes quickly. The body is very, very dark, and has a definite taste of tamarind. Treat this beer with respect as it gives you pleasure in its session.

I really enjoyed the flavor as it is astringent with a lemony aftertaste.


Photo of bishopdc0
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The appearance is dark dark brown with a a very nice head

The aroma is sweet, buttery with a toasted biscuit nose. nice.

The taste is carbonation upfront, with a sweet malt taste. The carbonation milds out and leaves a dry roasted taste in the mouth.

The mouth is a little abrasive at first but quickly mellows along with the taste

3.04/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

tried last night at han's bierhaus in houston, tx. poured a medium color brown with not much of a head. its very smooth and doesn't a bitter after taste like some of the american versions of the english brown ale i've had before. will definitely try again.

edit: gave this another try saturday at lucky's pub downtown and i swear it tasted like watered down hot chocolate. word to the wise, never judge a beer on how it tastes when you're already drunk.

Photo of Rifugium
2.46/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

First had: on tap at Jimmy's No. 43, NYC, NY.

Dark reddish-brown color. A moderate tan head with noticeable carbonation. Roasty malts in the aroma, a tinge of chocolate, but mostly burnt coffee, which was kind of a turn off. Taste full of dry cocoa and burnt coffee; not too appealing. Somewhat thin and highly carbonated. Bitter, burnt aftertaste. Overall, not very drinkable, due mainly to the burnt taste and subsequent unpleasant aftertaste.

Photo of mikeg67
2.76/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle at Boiling Pot, Rocport TX. Pours a dark brown with a small, tan short lasting head. Aroma is dark fruit and roasted malt. Flavor begins with espresso and nutty malt, but ends as spoiled fruit. May be it was a bad bottle. Not sure if I will try it again.

Photo of sommersb
3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. brown bottle with no date indicated, poured into a nonic pint glass.

A: Dark brown color with reddish highlights. A couple of fingers of tan head with a moderate amount of lacing.

S: Aroma is of sweet maltiness with some faint chocolate notes, along with a light smell of hops.

T: The taste is not as sweet as the aroma would lead you to expect; instead it is pretty dry. Nutty, roasted grains lend to a medium amount of bitterness.

M: Thin body that is moderately carbonated. Leaves a lightly bitter aftertaste.

D: I'd say so-so. A good beer, but the bitterness overshadows the malts in a disappointing way.

Photo of MoreThanWine
3.67/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a big 3" head which took quite a while to dissipate but when it did hardly left a trace. Deep dark Van Dyke brown with redish highlights when poured and held to the light. Nose and taste have caramel and sweet malt, and the finish is a pretty long caramel ride. Really quite the quality beer for the reasonable price.

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.91/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Evening Star in Alexandria, VA.

Turbodog is a dark hazelnut color with crimson highlights. The head is a half inch thick, has good retention and leaves ample lacing. The appearance is fabulous. The aroma is mild, containing malt, subtle sweetness, and an earthy scent. The beer is very malty with minimal, if any, hop bitterness, definitely in accordance with the style. The beer is simple and straightforward, with no detectable flaws or shortcomings. The feel is full bodied, especially given the low alcohol content of the beer. I had no problem enjoying two pints of this brew. I have never had it in the bottle, so I can't vouch for it there, but served fresh and on draft it was a very enjoyable brown ale.

Photo of JayS2629
3.12/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Dark muddy reddish black with creamy tan head with ok lacing.

S- Roasted coffee and cocoa

T- Roasted coffee, toffee hints, cocoa, and earthy tones almost dirty tasting.

M- Crisp, medium bodied with a creamy feel but dry finish.

D- Nothing impressive. Earthy taste brings drinkability down. Easy enough to drink, but would prefer not to.

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Turbodog from Abita Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 2,599 ratings.