Turbodog | Abita Brewing Co.

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2,957 Ratings

Brewed by:
Abita Brewing Co.
Louisiana, United States

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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,957 |  Reviews: 1,032
Photo of JohnnyDuvel
3.06/5  rDev -16.4%
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 -6.8%
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 +13.4%
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 +2.5%
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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Photo of ngandhi
3.54/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Abita Turbo Dog is remarkably thick and juicy for a brown ale. If this were wine, you'd describe it as "extracted."

The nose carob with mild hops, spice, and some alcohol in the background. It's ready to explode, but stays controlled.

The palette opens to immediate chocolate/carob malt balls that's backed by a solid and relevant graininess. It has properties of great American ambers and stouts. Unfortunately, these flavors hit you over the head into submission, but never really develop. Such is the way with overmalted beer.

The taste sheds new light on the smell and the smell then further accentuates the taste -- inordinately complex. A meal unto itself -- the Turbo Dog would go great with any big or greasy meal and last into dessert. Creamy, sumptuous, and very full-bodied, this is the most aggressive interpretation of this style I've ever tasted.

Relax, relax.

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Photo of mac56
3.87/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: deep mahogany color, light tan head (similar to a Guinness) good and thick, a moderate amount of lace.

Smell: slightly nutty. My wife said "sesame".

Taste: Slightly nutty, slightly sweet. Which is what my wife says about me. The sweetness is not cloying, like so many brown ales can be. A nice, moderate hop bitterness that seems completely appropriate to the style.

Mouthfeel: Silky. Smooth, but not oily.

Drinkability: I decanted the bottle straight out of the fridge. Liked it much better as it warmed up. Cellar temperature from the beginning would make it better. Still, I wanted another as soon as I finished.

Overall: This is one of the better domestic brown ales I've had. I'll recommend this without hesitation. I also like the new label design.

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Photo of WesWes
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick off-white head. The aroma is decent. It is full of roasted and crystal malts. It has a deep, rich, almost porter like scent. The taste is good. It has a smooth, dark flavor with a dry finish. It boasts of roasted, even black malts. The mouthfeel sucks like most of their beers. It is a medium/full bodied beer with too much carbonation. This is a good drinker, but the CO2 needs to be reduced.

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Photo of ElGordo
3.23/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep dark brown hue with a small creamy head. Rich malty nose, but not much on subtlty. Malt is about all you get. Sweet, creamy, rich malt taste. Flavor more or less vanishes after about two seconds. I like it - it seems to land somewhere between a brown ale and a porter. Not much for sessions, though; I max out at one per evening with this one.

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Photo of Rob6852
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice brown ale from the bayou.
Comes in a 12oz. bottle with the best by date clearly notched on
the back.
Pours a nice dark brown with ruby highlights and a tan head that
settles down to leave a nice laceing around the glass.
A nice malt taste with hints of coffee / toffee. Has a bit of hops
dryness after the swallow. This beer does have a good taste to it.
Abita has a good one here and i'll be revisiting it from time to time.
A good beer to have on a cold winter day.

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Photo of Starchild
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great looking head and nice malt aroma to the nose. One of my favorite Brown Ales’s. It’s drinkable, complex, and tasty. The taste? Big malted backbone covered with toffee, a hint of espresso maybe dark chocolate. Then half way through the roast emerges again. Fantastic. The body is just great and really showcases an English ale, it was a medium body but packs in the flavor. Well done. I’ll have a pint of this with friends anytime. The bitterness from hidden hops shows up in the end. Refreshing.

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Photo of Foxman
3.03/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It pours a dark reddish-brown, heck, maybe almost ruby in the right light, and the darkness surprised me for some unknown reason. The head is a very light brown, soft looking, and disperses after the first sip into little swirly cosmos. It leaves little wisps of lace in its tracks.

The aroma comes across as malt, chiefly, with some small hint of chocolate, and less still of fresh coffee.

The malt train arrives quickly on the track, and parks itself squarely on the tongue. Still, through the malt sweetness creeps tendrils of chocolate and maybe some coffee, not surprising considering the aroma. The hop presence is more assumed than tasted.

It's medium bodied, and the malt/chocolate combo brings to mind the feel of a melted milkshake that coats and lingers for a short time.

After I got through the initial surprise of the color, I found the beer interesting in its way. However, I wouldn't drink many in one sitting, maybe when I want just one beer, something different, outside the usual rotation of IPA's. It's a Bayou beer that would stand up well to piquant Creole and such related cuisines, so next time I'll see about having one with said food at a local establishment and maybe find it more a fitting accompaniment than soloist.

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Photo of GreatPondBrewer
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Dino. Pour was very pretty with a deep brown bordering on opaque with splashes of scarlet around the bottom with a odd grey tan head that unfortunately did not last too long. Smell was sweet with caramel and roasted grains with a slight dose of butterscotch underneath. The taste was very odd as each time I sipped it it started with the sensation that it was liquified sushi rice. This morphed into a grainier more brown ale style with some coffee hints in the undertow, but the rice flavor never really subsided. There was just a little bitterness hidden in the aftertaste, but no where near overpowering. Went well with my bbq, but not a beer to write home about.

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Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

To me, this beer has a small malty nose.
It’s predominant flavor is hops. Dark color almost stout like, but I’d
call it a brown ale. The mouthfeel is that of a "lite" beer. The hops flavor dissolves on the pallet and turns to water like consistency, although the finish is clean but not particularly long lasting. Overall I’d lump it in the lighter bodied brown ale department. Not bad, but I believe there are better/more satisfying.

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Photo of moulefrite
3.27/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep chestnut brown in color. Pours a mildly creamy light brown head that has minimal retention. Aromas are toasty, malty and inviting. A little bitter coffee/chicorky aroma can be found in the background. The mouth feel is on the lighter side of medium bodied. The taste is of a watered down stout with little hints of cocoa, some molasses, weak coffee-not much to urge another sip, while not totally boring. More bitter, weak, three hour old coffee flavors on the finish. An innocuous brown that might make a good red-eye gravy for a slice of Smithfield Ham?

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Photo of Shaw
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When I tried Turbo Dog again tonight after a long haitus, I had forgotten exactly what style it was.

When I logged on here to write a review, I wasn't expecting to see this classified as a brown ale, considering its light porter taste, with more chocolate and coffee flavors than I usually see in a brown ale. But that's a good thing.

It has a nice brown color, with a short light brown head. It didn't have too much of a smell that I could discern.

Having Turbo Dog again reminded me why this is considered a classic mirco brewed ale. It lives up to its hype.

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Photo of stirgy
3.71/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a ruby brown color and was topped off with a very creamy, almost Guinness-like head. Good carbonation. There’s some roastiness and caramel notes in the aroma, but overall weak in that regard. Is this a porter or a brown ale? I’m not sure I could distinguish, but it doesn’t matter because the flavor is very pleasant. Roasted chocolate, toffee, burnt coffee come through with a nice underlying bitterness. Very drinkable and well made.

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Photo of far333
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with ruby highlights and a light brown foamy head. The head settles very quickly, and leaves oily spots of foam on the glass. Roasted malt aroma with hints of raisin and fig. Flavor is sweet malt, molasses and brown sugar, bitter coffee, and faint bits of cocoa. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel, moderate carbonation.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.56/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another of the tap beers at Beer Sellar, Newport, Kentucky. This beer has a dark amber to brown body with a creamy looking abd beige head. The lacing is very nice and consistent. The flavor is a bit hard to pin down, but ranges from a nice nuttiness to a smoother malt/grain sense. The feel is nicely sold, but does not impress of the creaminess so often found in this style. Overall this is a solid, if not impressive, beer.

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Photo of BierManVA
2.76/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5


\Tur"bo\, n. turbo-

1. Turbine: turbocharger.
2. Driven by a turbine: turbojet.


2. Something of inferior or low quality: “The beer was a real dog” (BierManVA).

I tried this a long time ago and remember not being impressed. Can't say things have changed much.

Lacking in smell, almost a flat taste. You either really hit it with a Brown Ale or you don't. This one doesn't. This is almost like cold water with food coloring in it. I'd rather drink an Amber Bock.

It does have a nice color though!


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Photo of Dogbrick
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This was an interesting beer that pretty much defied description to me. At different points in my glass I would have guessed it was a Brown Ale, a Dunkel, or an Altbier. Points for being different. Pours a dark brown but clear, with a medium thick light beige head. Quick lacing. Aroma of malt, coffee and chocolate. Medium bodied with flavors of coffee, nuts and malt, with a sweet malty aftertaste. A good session beer, and the best from Abita I have tried.

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Photo of Loki
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 12 oz bottle with a freshness date on the six pack case and on the bottle. Sampled a few months after the freshness date, but it didn't seem to matter.

Poured a dark cherry brown with an off white head. Minimal lacing, but it was present.

Aromas of malt, chocolate that are very inviting.

Tastes of a malt with tones of mild toffee with a medium body. Subtle tones of coffee flavor that lead to a slight bitter finish. Very nice. Great drinkability and wonderful beer that goes down smooth and easy. A great craft brew and a great example of the style

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Photo of smitty1080
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Never thought I would see this in Northwest Ohio, but to my surprise there she was at my local beverage center. I should have waited until I made my chicken fajitas to try it but i couldn't resist. It pours rather nicely with a thick light brown head that lasted about halfway through the glass. The color is accurately described in previous reviews, dark golden brown. The main surprise hit me with how light the mouth feel is for something so dark and with such a rich aroma. Great taste that didn't weigh on me and created a nice appetite. Can't wait to try it on draft.

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Photo of nomad
3.62/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep ruby color with a big light-tan colored head - it was rocky and cavernous and falling fast. But, it kicks up very fast again, and then when it sits it dies to nothing. Smelled chalky, woody, with some black and roast malt notes. Fairly light in profile. Taste was a malt kind of sweet, but not too strong, a little bit of hops, and some roasted notes. A smooth thin drink and a lightly drying finish. Good, well-known, good to have around.

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Photo of Ellbert
3.61/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a short 12oz bottle this little guy won my heart. It pours a nice dark color. The head quickly diminishes to only a lace. It makes it look like you are drinking cola. The taste of this wonderful brew is by far one of the best brews I've had. It is very smooth and goes down easy.

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Photo of Stubbie1
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown color with an off white head. The head stays awhile and fades to a sticky lace. The lace stayed till the end. The aroma was earthy with hints of coffee and roasted malts. The taste was roasted malts with a coffee finish. A very satisfying smooth flavor made this a very drinkable beer. Nice mouthfeel and its solid taste makes this a good brew!

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Turbodog from Abita Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.66 out of 5 with 2,957 ratings