Turbodog | Abita Brewing Co.

1,014 Reviews

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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Reviews: 1,014 | Ratings: 2,879
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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Photo of ngandhi
3.54/5  rDev -2.7%
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 +6.3%
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 +3.8%
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 -11.3%
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 +5.8%
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 +2.5%
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 -16.8%
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 -9.3%
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 -4.4%
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 -10.2%
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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Turbodog from Abita Brewing Co.
3.64 out of 5 based on 2,879 ratings.
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