25th Anniversary Vanilla Doubledog | Abita Brewing Co.

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25th Anniversary Vanilla Doubledog25th Anniversary Vanilla Doubledog

Brewed by:
Abita Brewing Co.
Louisiana, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

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.

Added by EgadBananas on 09-14-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 204 | Ratings: 550
Photo of jordanblaskey
2.18/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a snifter.

Pours a cola colored brown with a decent off-white head that recedes down to nothing but leaves nice lacing.

Sweet. Roasted hops.

Very sweet. Very one dimensional. Honestly, the more sips I take the more disgusting this beer gets. There's just no substance here. It tastes like you put a few spoonfuls of sugar into Bud Light.

Decently thick. Feels like carbonated water.

Yuck. This is the best Abita could put out for their 25th Anniversary?

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Photo of bobhits
2.25/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a HUGE near glass full of pillowy head. Deep brown color with some red notes against the light. A bit of lacing, not as much as expected.

Traditional brown ale with toast, caramel, bread, hints of vanilla, toffee, but this isn't overly intense. I wouldn't mind a bit richer aroma...would really prefer that.

This is really weird stuff. Vanilla is just over powering, we're talking vanilla extra strong at times. The malt or maybe the yeast has a bit of fruity flavors I'm completely confused by this in a brown...or any non fruit beer.

That pillow of head didn't last in the mouth. It hits the middle ground of imperial vs non imperial almost dead middle. A touch of alcohol is present and given the 7% that seems off.

So final verdict...this is hard to explain. Love the bottle work and screen printing...really classy. At 3.99 for a bomber or about 13 a 6 pack equivalent, the price for an anniversary beer seems reasonable. Now I can't recall what turbo dog tastes like...I'm pretty sure I've had, but anyway. The fruity flavors here (I think yeast does this) are way out of line. The vanilla flavor doesn't seem to work either. This beer is way out of line for the style and frankly I didn't enjoy it, and frankly I generally enjoy brown ales.

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Photo of ediaz
2.41/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: pours a deep brown, lets light through. Bone colored head about 1 finger dissipates quickly to a think lacing.

S: malt, a lot of vanilla, not very pleasant.

T: Watery, vanilla, malt. I don't like this at all.

M: a bit of carbonation, medium, not great.

O:I wouldn't buy this again, even at the $5.99 price tag. Big let down.

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Photo of GRG1313
2.5/5  rDev -30.6%
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.

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Photo of JRdaSconnie
2.61/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

P: bomber out of fridge allowed to warm a bit. Served in Cuvee des Jacobins tulip.

A: Deep dark blackish brown with ruby edges in light. Nice tan head, 2 fingers that drops to foamy ring with min lacing.

S: Not a lot here to me. Some faint caramel, maybe breast malt.

T: Again, not the bounty of flavor I'd hoped for. Some caramel sweetness, not much toffee at all. Little pointed dark roast grain. I'm not great at hop recognition but I think I get a little earthy Wilamette spiciness.

M: I love big, sweet bombs with thick moutfeel and this is not one of them. Pretty thin body, more viscosity would have helped make this feel as hefty as I had hoped it would be. Carb level is nice though, helping to tease up a little more caramel flavor.

O: Disappointed mainly. Like I said, I like sweet bombs like Southern Tier makes and this falls way short. Glad I tried it but would not buy again. Also glad the bomber is split with the Mrs. because a full one would bore me by the end.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.72/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - a dark pour, with a sort of diluted claret color against light. A large fluffy mocha head of two fingers. It melts away, leaving a high water mark of lace as well as a few sudsy pockets and slants.

Aroma - has a cereal grain start, some roast and malt coming along with setup, but the cereal element persists. Not as exciting as I'd hoped.

Taste - it's grainy, again with the cereal part of the malt dominating. A hint of vanilla but not enough to include in the name of the beer. I'm disappointed that this beer is coming through with mostly grain and little vanilla. Not much development on the swallow and follow through other than some mild abv heat.

Mouthfeel - I like the smoothness here, the moderate crispness and body are fine.

Drinkability - okay, but a miss for me. Maybe some barreling would have been a good idea for a vanilla brew. You're only 25 once...

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
2.72/5  rDev -24.4%
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.

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Photo of jmunsters
2.78/5  rDev -22.8%
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.

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Photo of frenchblood21
2.9/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance- Very dark brown with an amber hue at the bottom of the glass. One finger of tan head. Great looking beer.

Smell- Very pedestrian...almost no scent at all.

Taste- Bitter chocolate and toffee, just as the bottle claims.

Mouthfeel- Great coating, kinda like Guiness, but a bit thinner.

Overall- A drinkable beer...A huge letdown for a 25th anniversary beer. This is a one-time affair for me.

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Photo of kbuzz
2.92/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into my trusty tulip glass. "Best by 10/2/12". I really dig turbodog (which is supposed to be the base beer here), so we'll see how this turned out.

A: Pours a dark mahogany brown...reddish hues as it enters the glass. A nice fluffy two finger light tan head forms and hangs around a bit...nice amount of lacing.

S: Not much going on...some slight vinegar notes and some slight yeast ester. Not a very "bright" smelling beer. A touch of muted caramel malt sweetness, no hops whatsoever.

T/M: Caramel malts steal the show here...but might be overused. Some yeast breadiness. Slight vanilla, subtle malt character and even just a bit of cherry pit toward the end. Mouthfeel is solid. Very creamy - medium to full bodied. Carbonation is appropriately on the high end.

O: The taste is a little better than the nose, but not by much. This is an average beer, no better, no worse. Just a slightly more complex brown ale, really.

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Photo of elNopalero
2.98/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Vanilla, vanilla, vanilla. This is very vanilla but pretty much one-note about it. Smells like vanilla. Tastes like vanilla. Finishes… yup, vanilla. Well, vanilla extract more than the actual seed pod. Specifically, the cheap kind of extract, thinned with alcohol and water. Mix with a brown ale and I imagine you’d find something akin to this beer. Perhaps vanilla doesn’t play well with beers? Or it’s just my personal tastes preferences? Or maybe I haven’t found the right vanilla-beer combination, because this one just didn’t work for me.

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Photo of Brent
3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

As I drank this, I could not help but think (in the voice of the little old lady who did the Wendy's hamburger commercials) "where's the vanilla?" Overall, a somewhat pumped-up Turbodog, with additiional density and malt, but the advertised vanilla made a brief cameo appearance in the initial aroma and then vanished altogether. This leaves us with a rather bland brown ale that strives to be something more, and fails.

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Photo of obywan59
3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a murky dark brown with some ruby highlights, and a light tan 3 finger head that leaves moderate lacing.

Tart toasted grains on the nose. Vanill appears as the beer warms.

More toasted grains here, and vanilla as well, but there is a somewhat off-putting bitterness. A bit unbalanced.

Medium bodied with a light tingle of carbonation and a bit of warmth in the throat.

Not that hard to drink, just not very tasty to my perception.

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Photo of Vierenner
3.01/5  rDev -16.4%
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.

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Photo of Thingus
3.03/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Live tasting, bomber into a glass...

Appearance; pours a dark, dark brown, when held to light, the edges are a translucent mahogany brown... A vigorous pour yeilds 2-3 fingers of pale khaki colored head that dissipates fairly quickly leaving pretty moderate lacing and a thin film...

Smell; I'm not getting much here, an odd, sweet, almost chemical vanilla smell, it's really subdued however...

Taste; has a cream soda vanilla quality goin on, with hints of cocoa on the finish... Not as complicated as I expected given the description...

Mouthfeel; bright and lively on the tongue, again, very reminiscent of cream soda...

Overall; not bad, but certainly not as complex as I had hoped or expected... Tastes like a malt liquor cream soda, not necessarily bad but not really my thing...

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Photo of BrewnoMarzen
3.05/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From 11/12/11
22oz bomber to goblet

Pours a dark brown. Nice 2 finger head. Decent retention and lacing.

Smells of....MALT! I'm guessing lots of that...yeah. Nice chocolate aroma with some toffee notes. Vanilla is in the name but I don't pickup vanilla. Go figure. I do detect a light hop aroma.

Taste is malty with moderate chocolate present in the middle and I actually do detect some vanilla bean like flavor towards the back. Alcohol is pretty well hidden.

The carbonation on this brew is pretty darn good although the overall mouthfeel on this is more towards the light side.

Overall it's not a bad beer but I don't think I'll have this again. Average is the word that comes to mind when thinking of how to describe it. The price was good though. Worth trying once.

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Photo of Brodybeer
3.05/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had in a chalice glass. Appearance coppery red. Good head
Smell. So so. Get some alcohol and yeast
Taste. Very average brown. Has a little too much heat. Carbonation masks everything. Can't even taste the vanilla:-(
Overall just tastes like a basic brown ale. Sorry I can't give it more than that. Just dissapointing. Has a copper tin like taste an carbonation is too high

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.07/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass. Has a great finger and half of tight brown head. Dark brown color.

Faint smell of roasted barley. It smells good, but it's just so faint.

Balanced taste of malt and hops. Neither stands out. The vanilla comes in the latter half; a good addition at the perfect strength. A nice, mild bitter at the end.

Smooth, medium body, moderate carbonation.

Great looking beer. Average taste.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.08/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Poured cloudy dark brown. Very slight ruby glow around the edges. Two fingers of bubbly light brown head formed and slowly receded to a few bubbles.

S - Sweet toffee and brown sugar up front with a faint touch of vanilla in the background. Alcohol is slightly noticeable.

T - Sweet toffee and brown sugar up front. Light chocolate and vanilla flavours in the background. The vanilla is much more subdued than I expected. Extremely sweet and got sweeter and sweeter with each sip. The ABV is slightly noticeable but is dominated by the sweetness. This became difficult to drink after a while.

M - Medium body; light to moderate carbonation.

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Photo of CMUbrew
3.08/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Very dark brown color, and a head forms on top for a time. Carbonation bubbles are very active on the pour, but settle down fairly quickly.

S: Yep, this one is oxidized. Dark fruit aroma and nothing else.

T: Dark fruit oxidization flavors and a hint of paper. Unsurprisingly, therr is no trace of vanilla.

M: Standard feel for a beer of this percentage. Slightly low on the bubbles maybe.

O: Clearly this beer did not hold up to aging. I'm sure it was decent fresh, but but fresh this was not.

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Photo of Hophead717
3.08/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appropriately enough, this is my 25th review!

A bomber poured into a DFH Signature Glass.

A: Very dark, a few shades shy of black with a 1.5 finger head. There's a fair amount of lacing and a bit of the head stays with the beer throughout.

S: Burnt malt and lots of vanilla upfront. I think I detect a touch of cocoa too. Fairly sweet smelling.

T: Burnt malt upfront...almost with hints of coffee that reminds me of a stout. None of the cocoa detected in the nose, and there's not a lot of vanilla flavor actually. As the beer comes to room temperature, the vanilla shines a bit more. Unfortunately, the vanilla seems to be closer to the artificial flavoring rather than the natural extract, which is majorally disappointing. Overall, there's something a little weird going on in the back of the sip. Not too great. I'll give this a low 3.

M: Medium body-maybe a little thin through the finish. Good carbonation.

O: Disappointing overall, but at least this was an affordable anniversary beer.

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Photo of DCon
3.08/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bought a 1 PINT. 6 FL.OZ. Bottle of this from Gateway Liquors in Charleston, IL for $6.49. Poured from the Gold/White labeled bottle w/ 25th Anniversary & 1986-2011 on the front into my 12oz Surly Darkness Tulip Glass. Has BEST BY 10/12/12 on the back of the bottle.

Aroma- The aroma starts with tons of malt sweetness and caramel. Very average for the style and even could use more strength and character.

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Photo of vande
3.09/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a - big, frothy, rootbeer float like head... nice and pretty dark brown... a fairly attractive lookin beer

s - Way lighter than what I expected here... slight hints of toffee, bit of vanilla, sweeter malts....

t - similar to the aroma, lighter than expected.... enjoy turbo dog, so was expecting this to be more amped up I guess.... vanilla, toffee, malty, bit of nuttiness....

m - carbonated well, lighter to medium in body

o - an OK beer....not one I would expect for a 25th anniversery, but for $5.99....can't truly complain a great deal...

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Photo of beertraveler08
3.1/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Look-A dark amber color with about 3/4 beige foam.

Smell- Smells very good and not too overpowering.Notes of vanilla,Weak caramel and coffee.

Taste-The taste was sweet at first with notes of vanilla and a trace of coffee bean.

Feel- The feel was hearty with some carbonation but not too much to mask the taste of the vanilla.

Overall- I would probably drink again in the right atmosphere.Not exactly what i was looking for but i am happy i got to try this beer.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.11/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I picked up a bottle of Abita's 25th Anniversary Vanilla Doubledog for $6.99 at The Lager Mill. I have had a couple beers from this brewery before but have not reviewed any and I have had Turbodog before and thought it was ok, so I am interested to see what the double version is like, so lets see how it goes. 2011 Vintage. Poured from a brown 22oz bottle into a snifter.

A- I like the label on this beer, it looks classy and the two dogs in the background is a nice touch. It poured a nice muddy brown color that turned to a dark ruby amber color when held to the light and it had just about three fingers worth of slightly tan head that died down to a thin layer that stayed till the end and left lots of nice spotty lacing. This is a nice looking beer.

S- The first thing that I pick up in the aroma is a bunch of pretty sweet malts that impart a sweet bread and grainy aroma that is very similar to an English Brown ale. I also picked up a light cocoa, toffee, and vanilla aroma along with a slight nutty aroma. Not the most interesting aroma but it wasn't that bad.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma. It starts off with loads of the malts that aren't as sweet as they were in the aroma but still has a medium sweetness and imparts some caramel, toffee, brown bread, flavors followed by a light cocoa, coffee, and vanilla flavors toward the end. It had a low amount of bitterness and a sweet and malty aftertaste. The flavor of this beer is pretty simple and straightforward, it's ok but I can't help but think that the flavors were a little muted and that it could taste a little more roasty and robust.

M- Smooth, dry, on the light side of being medium bodied, and it had a slightly high amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is ok but the body and carbonation need to be tweaked a little to make it great.

Overall I thought that this was an Ok beer and a pretty average American Strong Ale. This beer wasn't too bad but I thought it was going to be more roasty and for stressing the addition of vanilla it really didn't make that big of an impression or stick out that much. This beer has ok drinkability, it was a little sweet but it still went down pretty smooth but one bomber of this beer is more than enough for me. What I liked most about this beer was the look, the color was nice and so was the head, lacing, and head retention, the combination made for one good looking beer. What I liked least about this beer was the flavor, it just wasn't that interesting and it didn't do a great job at highlighting the vanilla. This beer was priced nicely but I don't think I would buy it again since it couldn't hold my attention and I don't think that it really lived up to it's name. I can't say I would really recommend this beer but if you really like English Brown Ales, this may be worth a try. I wasn't too impressed with this beer and thought it was pretty average in almost all categories, I had Turbodog a long time ago when I was just getting into craft beer and I remember it being pretty smooth and roasty, I didn't get the same amount of roast out of this beer but it may be because I didn't drink to many dark beers back then. So far I'm not the biggest fan of this brewery, I have yet to be impressed with a beer from them, oh well at least this isn't as bad as Purple Haze, I guess I will have to see what else you guys are working with before I fully form an opinion, but so far I'm not a fan.

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25th Anniversary Vanilla Doubledog from Abita Brewing Co.
3.6 out of 5 based on 550 ratings.
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