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25th Anniversary Vanilla Doubledog - Abita Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
25th Anniversary Vanilla Doubledog25th Anniversary Vanilla Doubledog

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

535 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 535
Reviews: 201
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 14.13%
Wants: 16
Gots: 53 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Abita Brewing Co. visit their website
Louisiana, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
Turbodog is the inspiration for this robust dark ale. It is brewed with generous amounts of pale, caramel, and chocolate malts and Willamette hops. Whole natural vanilla beans are added during the aging process.This combination provides a rich body and color with chocolate, vanilla and toffee-like flavor.

(Beer added by: EgadBananas on 09-14-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 535 | Reviews: 201 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of oberon
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice to see Abita mark their anniversary with a new "big" beer.Pouredinto an imperial nonic a murky deep chesnut brown with a great tannish colored one finger head that held well.Light molasses and vanilla in the nose,not real assertive but nice,flavors are of sweet caramel/vanilla with a light shot of peppery spice wich was different,it dried out pretty well in the finish.Not great but its a good drinker,congrats Abita on 25 years!

oberon, Nov 05, 2011
Photo of tdm168
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with a red hue. There's very little head. The nose has notes of caramel, vanilla, and sugary sweetness. The taste is vanilla and caramel with very faint hops in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated.

Not a bad beer, but overall unfulfilling. It's rich and sweet with the caramel and vanilla having a great presence. In the end it's just an average brown ale.

tdm168, Nov 05, 2011
Photo of coldriver
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber poured in to Sam Adams glass. Pours a deep brown with sufficient head and lacing. Subtle aromas of chocolate, vanilla, and caramel. Can really taste the vanilla in with the dark malts altough it's not overdone. Plenty of Heath-bar toffeeishness in there as well along with some dark roast coffee. Very smooth, medium to light bodied, well carbonated. Overall this one's a decent pour and worth trying.

coldriver, Nov 05, 2011
Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a super dark brown with off white head and amazing lacing.

The smell is nutty, vanilla, and some dark fruits.

The taste is vanilla, cinnamon, and plum on the front. This beer has a pretty amazing back with a roasted nut and Vanilla on the back.

I dug this beer for sure and would suggest picking it up.

Eriktheipaman, Nov 02, 2011
Photo of juhl31
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

-it poured a dark brown with a tan head on top that was a bit home brew looking

-there wasn't a big smell here. some malt sweetness that leaned towards a dark bread type of smell and a hint of vanilla in the background

-the vanilla taste comes in nicely through the middle and it is more prominent than i would have expected. around this is an english brown type of malty sweetness with a bit of roast in there as well

-mouthfeel was a bit light in the body, and the carbonation gave the right kind of tingle...on my palate

-this beer ended up being a lot more flavorful than i was imagining. it was a great price at 3.99, so i thought i would give it a shot and it was worth it

juhl31, Oct 31, 2011
Photo of bmwats
4.22/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 650 ml bottle into a standard pint.

A: Dark brown. Pours about a 2 finger, foamy, brown-white head. Settles evenly, and fairly slowly, eventually resulting in a nice, even foam blanket. Some pretty substantial spiderweb lacing.

S: Roasted espresso, dark chocolate, and hints of vanilla.

T: Tastes like it smells. Roasted coffee is prominent balanced out well with just a slight unsweetened chocolate bitterness, and a subtle sweetness from the vanilla.

M: Full flavored, and a hearty robust body. Grainy in the front, transitions to a slight bitterness, and then to a dry subtly sweet finish. A bit of a peatiness clings to the palette...but not too much.

D: Sip and enjoy....if you can; because this thing goes down easy.

Atmosphere is really good. Deep brown hue, with a foamy head, and persistent lacing. Nose is a great combination of espresso, dark chocolate, and vanilla; all roasted up together. Flavor is a very well-done balance of dark roasted coffee base, and bittersweet baking chocolate evened out with a subtly sweet vanilla finish. None of the flavors overwhelm the other though. Great balance. Overall, this is a very good quaff.

bmwats, Oct 30, 2011
Photo of tone77
3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 22 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of roasted malts, some vanilla. Taste is rather mild, malts, hints of chocolate, a touch of vanilla, not overly flavorful. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

tone77, Oct 29, 2011
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark brown with a foamy 2 inch khaki head that settles to a small cap. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, nuts, cocoa powder, and vanilla beans. Taste is of roasted malts, toasted nuts, and some minor chocolate and vanilla flavors. A mild roasty/toasty bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but nothing all that exciting. The vanilla aspect of this beer is pretty subtle all around.

UCLABrewN84, Oct 28, 2011
Photo of 2xHops
3.2/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's not the best beer that I've tasted from Abita....

A: It had a super dark brown color with a healthy amount of head foaming then dissipating. It seems to be a bit darker than the usual brown ales we all drink.

S: It smelled a bit sweet, and I presume it's probably from the vanilla, but other than that, I can't really discern anything unique.

T: Where's the vanilla? It's not quite obvious that vanilla is being incorporated into this beer. I think I can very faintly taste the vanilla, but it's a far cry from the name of the beer, "Vanilla Doubledog."

M: Very easy on your palate, and it's very mellow. The carbonation isn't that strong, so the beer really does feel very soft/malty/whatever adjective that I should be putting here, and it's very easy to drink.

Overall, it's a decent beer, but great? Nope. It was priced at $4.99 for me, so it's not too extravagant of a purchase.

2xHops, Oct 28, 2011
Photo of cokes
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Translucent auburn brown with a thick cap of tan suds that leaves smears of lacing.
The aroma is primarily chocolately, both fudgey sweet and cocoa powder dry. A touch of pecan nuttiness, and a squeal of vanilla dots the background.
Chocolately again as it hits the tongue. It hits with a big, sweet fudge brownie, with it's cakey, sticky mouthfeel. It dries a tad over time, with the cocoa powder appearing, along with traces of nuts. Vanilla hits late and lingers through the swallow, along with a bit of astringency when served too cold (though it mostly disappears with warmth and/or time).
Full bodied with a low trickle of CO2. It teeters on the cloying edge, but doesn't really cross it.
Turbo Dog has never been a favorite of mine and this isn't either, though it the better of the two. Vanilla Doubledog hangs heavy in the mouth, and, while different and bigger, the vanilla helps cloak a few things I probably wouldn't like anyway.

cokes, Oct 27, 2011
Photo of Halcyondays
3.1/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours brown with a full off-white to tan head, good retention and lace.

S: Toffee, some brown sugar with a hint of vanilla.

T: Dark chocolate, caramel, light molasses, with less vanilla than I would have liked. Average flavour.

M: Medium-bodied, astringent at times, semi-creamy.

O: A solid effort, but nothing wowing. I like regular Turbodog better.

Halcyondays, Oct 26, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle - $4.99 at Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown body with an initially tall, beige head that drops down fairly soon.

Smell: Toasty, nutty with slighter backings from roast, caramel, and unsweetened chocolate and the thinnest notion of one lonely raisin. Subtle hint of vanilla, which I'm hard to honestly fault, as I can't really recall a vanilla-flavored beer that knocked my socks off when it came to the vanilla additive.

Taste: Sweetish tastes of roasty malts, toasted nuts, a small pinch chocolate powder, a whisper of caramel, and a bit of vanilla bean. Very lightly earthy hops with a low bitterness. Low fruitiness. Though "natural vanilla beans" are specifically mentioned on the bottle, it's got a bit of harshness akin to a small sip of vanilla extract. Malty, vanilla extract-hinted finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied (just barely). Medium carbonation. Soft mouthfeel.

Overall: Though the name is 'Double' Dog, they kept it closer to the easy-going, drinkable roots of the standard Turbodog. Not that great, no, but as far as bomber prices go, I'm not about to get riled up over five bucks. I'm really not!

ChainGangGuy, Oct 26, 2011
Photo of JayS2629
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a thin off-white head that fades fast but leaves ok lacing.

The aroma is full of rich, burnt toffee and loads of vanilla. Notes of baker's chocolate and mild coffee notes.

The flavor is not as rich as the aroma. The toffee notes are much more mild than the nose leads you to expect. Vanilla is spot on with chocolate backbone and mild coffee tones.

Smooth, medium bodied

Awesome, delicious, and nicely balanced beer. Much better than turbodog. Vanilla is bold and just enough.

JayS2629, Oct 25, 2011
Photo of JordonHoltzman
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a thin tan head with a brown body that shows amber in the light. good lacing
smells similar to turbodog which provides aromas of coffee and nuttiness. the doubledog has a subtle scent of vanilla.
tastes great. its a more flavorful and balanced version of turbodog; the vanilla is a great addition.
crisp mouthfeel with good carbonation.
overall this was a good beer. abita has been my go-to college beer and i'm glad they made a great beer for their 25th anniversary. it was smart that they took their best flagship beer and built off that.

JordonHoltzman, Oct 24, 2011
Photo of hosehead83
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 220z. "bomber" bottle into a standard pint glass.
Dark brown in color with ruby highlights. Big tan head of foam.
Aroma-Faint caramel, sweet malt notes.
Taste-Vanilla and toffee notes, subtle cocoa, very smooth. A bit on the thin side, a little more of everything would have fleshed this out, but overall not bad and worth a try.

hosehead83, Oct 24, 2011
Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a very dark color that you really can't see any light through. There is a nice 1/2" head of creamy foam on top, that is morphing a bit, so I assume that there are quite a few bubbles rising. There was a nice of-gas when I popped the top. The head was a light tan and was about half its original height a minute or so after the pour. There really isn't any lace yet.

Aroma: My fist impression was that the beer was a bit earthy, but when I came back to it I didn't really get that. I get some sweet caramel malts and some obvious hops that come across a bit catty. There is a spicy impression that I am calling cinnamon that is a little unusual in just about any beer I've tried. I'm not sure what is going on with this one.

Taste: The flavor departs completely from the aroma. It is much sweeter than the aroma suggested. There is dark caramel as the key ingredient, but there is still a bit of hops in here to keep things balanced. As the beer is sitting, the vanilla and chocolate notes are starting to be a bigger player. The bittering hops are reserved and let the sweetness come through nicely. The carbonation is ample, and the overall body is medium to med-light.

Opinion: Overall this beer delivers a lot better in the flavor than you expect from the aroma. I am not sure why that is the case, but it's true. Even as the beer sits, the aroma never really sync's up with the flavor. Weird. Either way, once you taste this beer, it is a pretty good one and I don't mind recommending it. It's a pretty good malt balanced American beer.

SkeeterHawk, Oct 24, 2011
Photo of GoatRoyal
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with a nice head that quickly fades; hold to the light and let it bend & you get some nice flashes of red.

As for the smell, I got some chocolate & toffee right off the bat, with maybe a hint of something sweet. Malt? Vanilla? Perhaps a mix of the two, I really couldn't tell. Whatever the case, this beer looked and smelled pretty good.

Take a sip and I immediately get hit with a familiar taste of Turbodog - except amplified. Normally content to just hang out, I get the brown ale & chocolate up front & up loud. Vanilla also swirls in there with rootbeer flavor... Not much of a finish, some alcohol as it warms, but that's about it. I'm not a regular Abita drinker, but definitely tastes more flavorful than their regular line-up, as it should.

Unfortunately, the mouthfeel brings this brew down for me. To be honest, thus far the beer struck me almost as more of a stout than a brown, but not with the complete lack of density. Some carbonation when it's first poured, but after that it's just thin & watery. To me this really hinders the experience, as you have all this flavor, but nothing really carrying it. Everything else was a step up from the norm, but mouthfeel just drags.

Overall, the Vanilla Doubledog leaves the impression of being a special, amped up version of one of Abita's staples. I liked it, but I don't think I'll be buying another one.

GoatRoyal, Oct 23, 2011
Photo of hoptualBrew
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber split with my roommate, two pint glasses make two happy souls. Dark brown with red hues and a yao ming cream head, fluffy like pillow clouds. Minimal lacing but good looking legs!

In the nose is bready, boozy toffee notes, nut aroma, and a touch of vanilla. I only found the vanilla because I was looking for it though.

Grainy caramel, toffee malts on the tongue with a heap of nuts to compliment the English yeast like character and only a touch of vanilla. Very bready & grainy here, and a bit boozy on the back end. Overall, very smooth & quite the easy drinker. Not overly impressed, but it is a descent brown ale.

hoptualBrew, Oct 20, 2011
Photo of GRG1313
2.35/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pours black/brown with a lovely light khaki head.

Nose is grapes and prunes with undertones of root beer that is likely how the vanilla is manifesting itself. More vanilla nose develops as the beer gets air. Nose is very inviting.

Mouthfeel is thin and watery and with little body, if any.

Flavors are dull bitter without character or appeal. Tastes a bit like a lightly burnt black lager. The nose promises - the mouth does not deliver in any respect.

Finish is a dull light pine bitter. No need to try this again.

GRG1313, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of alpinebryant
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark mahogany pour, lacing is heavy and tan head stays around for a while. Great dark brown color for a brown ale

S: Mostly brown ale with a tiny hint of vanilla, sweet malt, and some bitter aromas

T: This is a nice brown ale with bitterness at the first sip. Slight hints of vanilla with strong early hop bittering presence, but no aroma hops. I pick up some toffee and a bit of caramel in here with a good dosing of nut flavors.

M: Medium bodied mouthfeel with a light carbonation. Only slightly watery.

O: Very enjoyable smooth drinking brown ale. Clearly worth its price and I would pick this up in 6 packs if they were available.

alpinebryant, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of MrVonzipper
4.08/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cola brown. Black in glass with a touch of brown at edges where light comes through. Nice foamy tan head with great retention and lacing.

Pretty good nose with notes of dark malt, vanilla, oak and nuttiness.

For a brown ale I think the flavor is good as well. Good balance and flavor. Mild cocoa, nuttiness, dark malt and vanilla.

Mouth is medium bodied. Just right for the beer and style. Nice creamy, smooth carbonation.

Overall it's a good brown ale, especially for the price. It's not gonna blow any minds or anything but it's extremely drinkable and for under $5 a bomber and 7% abv. It's a steal.

MrVonzipper, Oct 14, 2011
Photo of jmunsters
2.8/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter from a bomber.

A - Dark ruby brown. Full head that dissipated quite quickly. A little lacing, but not much.

S - Sweet malts. Molasses. I don't get the vanilla much, but it does smell a bit decadent.

T - A bit of sweetness rounds out a light and delicate malt. Toasted almonds, molasses, raisins.

M - Thin. Quite a bit thinner than I would have imagined for the style. Drinkable for the style. Otherwise, it's OK.

D - Imagine Yeti as a lager. Certainly drinkable, but it's nothing special as the $5.00 bomber implied. Meh.

jmunsters, Oct 14, 2011
Photo of beeragent
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a bomber.

A - Pours a medium brown with ruby highlights. Fluffy mocha sodapop like head that fades quickly. Not much in the way of lacing.

S - Very sweet malt aroma with a noticeable alcohol presence. A more nutty aroma develops as the beer warms.

T - Light nutty flavor with a hint of caramel, maybe some toffee, and some light vanilla to finish it off. The vanilla is very faint at first but comes out a bit more once the beer warms up.

M - Medium bodied, but a little thin for the style IMO. Medium carbonation and very smooth and clean.

D - Not a bad beer and definitely different than just another brown ale. Unique flavor but the body could use a little boost. Again, this beer is much better once it warms up a bit.

beeragent, Oct 13, 2011
Photo of Vierenner
3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

For the money, a fairly decent beer. Doesn't have any very impressive qualities, but at the same time doesn't do anything terribly wrong. I've tried several sub $5 bombers and been quite disappointed ... not this one.

Bottom line: It's as if you took a robust, sweeter, stout and carefully watered it down about 50%. Remaining are the remnants of a delicious beer, still balanced, but definitely watery. The vanilla is there, albeit faint.

Vierenner, Oct 13, 2011
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
2.75/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Abita Vanilla DoubleDog, bottle bought at The Wine Thief in New Haven, Connecticut, for some five bucks.

Appearance: The DoubleDog goes down with a thick pour, producing two fingers of fluffy, solid head with lotsa bubbles and Pat Steir-like lacing. Looks pretty good.

Smell: Fail. Some sugar, vanilla powder, cheap chocolate. That's about it.

Taste: A little better, with a more pronounced chocolate profile and an alright (but artificial) vanilla finish. Some faint roastiness around, and a milky taste. Reminds me of the milk stout my homebrewing friend gave me.

Mouthfeel: Thin, thin, thin. Did I say THIN? Watery and unimpressive. Two sips and I knew I wouldn't love this.

Overall: Very average indeed. There is a reason why I never drink Abita!! I'm full of a beer I didn't really enjoyed. I call bull on this.

DoubleSimcoe, Oct 10, 2011
25th Anniversary Vanilla Doubledog from Abita Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 535 ratings.