25th Anniversary Vanilla Doubledog | Abita Brewing Co.

204 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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.

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 204 | Ratings: 550
Photo of JWU
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter

A- dark, dark brown. Pretty much like turbodog. A thick, fluffy tan head sits atop, dissipates in normal time, and laces nicely down the glass.

S- milk chocolate, vanilla, and a hint of coffee.

T- the base of turbodog is certainly there, a nice milk chocolate, coffee, and dark-ish malts. The vanilla is very complimentary, and doesn't steal the show. Well done.

M- A bit thin for what I would ideally expect. A bit drier on the finish that I would have thought as well.

O- A very nice twist on good ol' turbodog.

 553 characters

Photo of WMEugene
4.18/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Similar to the turbodog - dark brown, almost black. Thin tan head and some lacing.

S - Roasted Malts and Vanilla. Some cocoa and toffee. Somewhat sweet.

T - Big chocolate and vanilla flavors up front. Comes on pretty sweet and bold. Vanilla is always an odd taste for a beer - it either comes off as too boozy or too cloying, but Abita does it right here.

M - Medium bodied, a little thinnish than expected. Very smooth and drinkable.

O - Vanilla beers are hard to do right, but Abita has made a great drinking one in the Vanilla Doubledog. Well done!

 559 characters

Photo of palma
4.23/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is way underrated. Beautiful looking froth tan head. Malty vanilla nose with hints of licorish. Fusel alcohol. Taste is excellent. Sweet chocolate notes upfront. Vanilla middle with just enough hop bitterness at the end to keep it uncloying. Good balance for a sweeter beer. Will definately look for this beer in the future. Also a great value at 4.50 per bomber.

 373 characters

Photo of ryan1788a5
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a large snifter.

A: Pours a very deep brown, almost black. Rocky tan head has good retention, but eventually settles into just a thin crown. Minimal lacing, just a small spot here and there.

S: Cocoa, caramel, cola, vanilla bean. A bit of toffee and coffee, very slightly nutty. Not much else going on in the nose. A touch bland and not particularly aromatic.

T: Bakers chocolate at the outset, hint of molasses. Strong vanilla bean presence toward the middle. Cola. Slightly nutty, ghost-like roasted malt impression. Flash of chocolate covered oranges. Caramel washes over the palate toward the end. Finishes semi sweet with tastes of cocoa powder, strong vanilla bean, and a kiss of smoke.

M: Medium bodied, creamy and slightly slick and viscous. Low carbonation.

O: A solid enough beer. The vanilla is incorporated nicely. Nothing mind-blowing though.

 885 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a near jet black with a ruby brown tinge where light can penetrate. Head is a light tan color, a tad over a finger thick, decent retention, and the resulting head is thick and semi-sticky.

Smell - Hints of chocolate, roasted malt and vanilla. Subtle, but enticing.

Taste - Big malted chocolate flavor upfront, with distant notes of coffee. A faint coconut character? An underlying vanilla note kicks in around midtaste, then hits harder on the finish and intermingles with the chocolate as it fades into the aftertaste. As awesome as that all sounds, the vanilla tastes somewhat artificial, and the rest hits on only two or three notes. Simple, and somewhat boring.

Mouthfeel - Medium in body, with a moderate amount of carbonation. Smooth and silky. The best part of the beer.

Overall - There are several beers who do vanilla and do vanilla well... this isn't one of them. It's not a bad beer, but it's fairly bland and does little to sate my craving for a big, bold ale.

 995 characters

Photo of HalfFull
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bit of a rarity in these parts, I find this Anniversary beer upon my desk. This, the double dog, I'm intrigued. If this were Firestone Walker and a Double Jack then things might be different. But alas, doubling anything is good, right???

Pours a deep and clear burgundy with a robust inch of foam. Offers decent clarity and just a light haze. Aroma of dark and yet muddled malts. Bit of black cherry and a touch of chocolate and raspberry. Gladly the off flavors I've found in other beer from this brewer and it's yeast are lacking.

Offers a firm sweetness with a tad bit of brown sugar and some more milk chocolate. Offers a light touch of alcohol but it is well kept. Overall this brew offers an almost Belgian complexity in the malt profile while having a limited yeast exposure in that regard at the same time. Quite Baltic in style at times..

Perhapas an odd cat, but quite nice..

 891 characters

Photo of drpimento
3.34/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Almost a very good brew. Poured at a good temperature with a great, giant, foamy, frothy, fluffy, billowy, cream-colored head that lasts a long, long time and some lace. Color is a clear dark mahoganey with some bubble trails. Aroma is malty, vanilla, caramel, toffee, a bit roast. Flavor's like nose, hugely sweet up front, followed by some bitter and very slight carbonic tang. Can see where they were trying to go, but decided to cut back on the malt bill. Flavor's a bit shallow. Body's a little lacking too; carbnation is soft. Finish is like flavor, surprisingly of average length, and good for one bottle.

 612 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle pours a nice dark brown color with an attractive, long lasting tan head. Nice lacing as well.

Nose is roasty, caramely sweet and chocolaty...similar to a turbodog. The vanilla seemed to be a bit more prevalent when fresh.

Taste is a good mix of Whoppers-esque sweetness, light hop presence and nutty yeast. I liked it better when fresh, although it didnt seem to have the malted milk ball quality to it that it is expressing now. A modest fruit presence is poking through as it warms. Mouthfeel is fine, nothing to complain or rave about there. I wanted Abita to come with something that would knock my socks off for their 25th Anny beer, but this is merely good beer I’d be happy to quaff most anytime. Not special, but solid, and I am really happy they kept this under $5 a bomber. I’m of the opine this would merit a 3-5 bomber purchase, and I don’t think it would age well. Solid, if not great job Abita!

 930 characters

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.

 332 characters

Photo of hopsolutely
3.82/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A fascinating beer, with a lot going on.

Pours a translucent, clear dark brown - almost black - with limited coffee coloured head and no real lacing. Mouthfeel is refreshing, but thinner than I expected for something with this high ABV and complexity.

The aroma is stunning, with the chocolate malts at the forefront. The chocolate transitions nicely with the vanilla into the taste, with hazelnut and coffee tones as well. Ends with a nicely bitter finish alongside a distinct caramelized malt sweetness.

Overall a very interesting malt bill and a beer I'm glad to have tried.

 581 characters

Photo of soulfly1492
4.2/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: So this is supposed to be a strong ale, interesting. Bold dark malt character, not burnt or roasty. Toasty chocolate and crystal malts. Worty. Some chocolate, little or no vanilla. Mild floral hops. Lots of sweet, not much bitter.

Appearance: Very dark brown. Appears to be opaque... holding up to a bright lights shows a very dark brew with high clarity. Head pours tall and is medium brown in color. Good retention and lots of lacing.

Flavor: Tastes more like a light stout at first. Lacking the moderate dark fruity esters typical of this style. Only mild raisin and plum. Nice dose of chocolate and mild crystal malts. Very smooth flavor throughout. Aftertaste is savory yet mild. Hops are mildly bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Slick and creamy. Very little carbonation. Finishes just barely dry.

Overall: Good brew. Different yet conservative and mild enough to be extremely drinkable. I typically love the strong and bold varieties, but this wins out regardless of being quite mild. Savory from start to finish.

 1,031 characters

Photo of ChimRichels
3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Body is fairly clear in that I can actually see through it. For some reason I thought this was a stout when I bought it so needless to say I was a little shocked at the color. It is a deep brown/mahogany with a very slightly beige head that maintains a thin film throughout.

S - Aroma is very similar to that of a nice brown ale - very rich and toasty, but not overbearingly so as with a heavy stout. Chocolate is very prominent, and of course the vanilla is there, although not as forward as I was anticipating.

T - The brown ale theme is very prominent - I would guess this is a beefed up ABA recipe. Definitely a malt-bomb with notes of fresh bread, chocolate and cola being the dominant flavors. Hops bowed out of this one from the get go.

M - very full-bodied and viscous. Coats the palate thoroughly.

O - Solid beer that is quite sessionable. I could put a few bombers of this down no questions asked, although it left a bit to be desired with the flashy "25th Anniversary" labeling... I was definitely anticipating a creme de la creme beer. Regardless, it's pretty solid

 1,085 characters

Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.42/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Vanilla Doubledog poured a deep amber color with a modest head that yielded a slight lacing on the glass. Immediately, one notices a striking hit of vanilla in the aroma with a hints of the chocolate malts. If you have ever patronized an ice cream establishment that uses artificial vanilla in its milk shakes, you are already familiar with the taste of Vanilla Doubledog. Drinkers will get a big hit of artificial vanilla in the initial taste, like drinking vanilla flavoring straight from the bottle. The malty backbone is pleasant, but far from extraordinary. The aftertaste gives a sensation of chalky vanilla flavoring that lingers on the back of the tongue. Perhaps this is Turbodog with a shot of vanilla flavoring added. Given the opportunity, I would pass on this in the future.

 787 characters

Photo of cvm4
3.3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours and looks like a turbodog. Nice tan, 2 finger head.

S - Brown sugar, vanilla, malts.

T - Vanilla is straight forward. Nice malt balance and a smooth ending. Very drinkable.

M - Creamy with good carbonation.

O - I expect more out of Abita and a bolder beer for their 25th anniversary.

 297 characters

Photo of acevenom
4.05/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've enjoyed this beer a few times since its release, but never got around to giving it a fair review. Poured into a large brandy snifter. Pours almost opaque dark brown with a two-finger length light tan head that dissipates slowly. Some bubbles can be seen rising along the side of the glass near the head. The aroma is of dark roasted barley malt and the alcohol can be detected easily in the smell. There is some vanilla in the background, but it is not a strong aroma. Chocolate is detectable as well. The taste is smoother and more pronounced than the aroma. Dark roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, and molasses all blend together well in the mouth. The flavors are sweet and rich. There is some alcohol heat in the background, but it is not very strong. The body is medium to full with adequate carbonation to clear the mouth. The beer is smooth and creamy. This is also fairly easy to gulp for such a big beer. This is an excellent beer that is fitting for this brewery's 25th anniversary. This is a reasonably priced beer, so definitely give it a try if you find this in your area.

 1,090 characters

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

 373 characters

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.67/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep amber brown in color, good clarity, head wasn't bad, lace ok.

Smells kinda pungent malty with brown sugar, vanilla, nuts, toffee

Taste is smoother than you'd expect given the smell, with toffee, chocolate, vanilla, nuts, and a bit of an almost dry hay grassy character (I know that's a weird descriptor, lol).

Body is pretty smooth and not as hot as I'd expected from the smell. ETOH is well hidden. Pretty full with a sweet lingering aftertaste.

Overall it's an interesting creation but it's probably better as a one-off.

 533 characters

Photo of barczar
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear deep brown color with garnet highlights and a solid inch and a half tan head that lingers. When it does slowly dissipate, it leaves sticky lacing.

Nutty, bready, toasted caramel malt and hints of chocolate open the aroma, with vanilla surfacing in the background. There's a slight note of alcohol.

Flavor is very sweet and rich, with lightly roasted malt complemented by brown sugar, chocolate, malted milk balls, artificial vanilla, and a bit of citrus at the slightly bitter hop finish.

Body is slightly thick and creamy, with moderate carbonation and an alcohol warmth. Roast malt is a little acrid.

Overall, a good dessert beer. Under-attenuated malt provides significant sweetness. It's reminiscent of chocolate milk...with a twang. A guilty pleasure of a beer.

 784 characters

Photo of JustinQ
3.12/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Serving Type: 22 oz bottle poured into snifter

Apparence: Deep brown, Opaque, Nice head

Aroma: vanilla, coffee, cocoa, No hops, No diacetyl, Sweet, Roasty, Awesome aroma

Taste: Rather light, Like a deep brown ale type of beer, roast balanced out nicely with maltiness and vanilla complexity, very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Thick and then slightly dries out the palate

Overall: Good beer, First beer ive ever had from Abita

 423 characters

Photo of beer2day
3.52/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown with significant red tint. 1-finger medium cream head, not too dense. No retention and no lace.

Nose is a bit lacking, though with a year on the bottle that's not too surprising. Mix of chocolate malt and vanilla bean as advertised. Lighter roast malt under that.

Taste matches the aroma with a mix of chocolate and vanilla. Bits of toffee in there, too. Very creamy from the vanilla bean. Light bitters in the finish and then a blast of chocolate malt at the very end. Leaves a bit of a metallic aftertaste.

Body is creamy and smooth, but not heavy at all.

Overall, glad I tried it but probably would not get another.

 635 characters

Photo of LXIXME
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from about an inch above the glass gave this beer a pretty good sized light brown head above a clear very dark reddish brown colored beer.

A light film/lacing cover this beer throughout drinking with a decent sized lacing hugging the glass above this medium to light full bodied beer.

Roasted caramel malts with light vanilla and a small amount of chocolate and alcohol aroma.

Caramel malts, vanilla, and chocolate covered cherries taste.

A lingering dry aftertaste with some of the vanilla and roasted malt remaining.

The alcohol in the aroma seems to be more prevalent as the beer sits and warms a bit.

This beer kind of grew on me as I drank the 22 ounce bomber, might have been the alcohol.

 707 characters

Photo of metter98
3.41/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is nearly opaque brownish red in color. It poured with a dense, finger high light beige head that gradually died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are very light aromas of caramel, chocolate and vanilla beans in the nose. The smell gets a little stronger as the beer warms up.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, but the flavors are a bit stronger.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a bit smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very easy to drink but seems like it could use stronger and more complex flavors.

 604 characters

Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.2/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep brown hue, almost a nutty color. Fairly opaque and a small foamy head. The head retains a little and reduces down to a thin film on top. Good lacing.

S- Smells slightly nutty and a little acidic. Not a very strong scent overall, just a little faint with malts and nut flavors being prominent.

T- A very solid porter taste right up front. Solid malt backbone with a slight burnt flavor. Hints of toffee and nutty flavors intermingle with a very slight coffee profile. Slight sweetness throughout from the vanilla. Finishes very cleanly.

M- Middle of the road for weight/thickness. Carbonation is about spot on for the style. Easily drinkable over a long session.

Overall, not as sweet as I expected, but still a very solid beer. I'd like to see a slightly more prominent vanilla flavor, but when compared to the most similar brew I've had (Breckenridge Vanilla Porter) it compares fairly.

 907 characters

Photo of jeffjeff1
3.82/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My wife picked this up for me a while ago and I just noticed that I had it.

Appearance- black color, medium size head with pretty good retention

Smell- chocolate, vanilla, toffee

Taste- vanilla, toffee flavors, very nice

Mouthfeel- medium to full bodied

Drinkability- I really liked it. It was much better than I thought it would be.

 338 characters

Photo of charlzm
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed May 11th, 2012 at The Abita Brewpub, Abita Springs, LA.

Beer pours a coppery/brassy color with almost no head.

No aroma to speak of save for a faint whiff of vanilla and cinnamon. A little bready.

Strong resiny flavor, reminiscent of an English style barleywine. Peppery toffee and a little fuesel. Clean finish followed by a lingering mild bitterness.

Well carbonated. Tingly. Beer is a little thick in the mouth.

Nicely done. I would drink another one of these, but watch out for the deceptively high ABV.

 521 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.