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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Ratings: 550 |  Reviews: 204
Photo of hdelavega
3.2/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber to a snifter.
Pours a deep brown that yielded a two finger sticky tope colored head, looks like it will leave some nice lacing.
Nose is full of malty sweetness, honey, caramel, spice, vanilla, a little cinnamon, some lager skunk,.
Taste is malty, I get coco, a bit of coffee, that's really all I get. Still trying and not picking much more, maybe a little dark fruit.
Mouthfeel is nice, creamy, silky, medium carbonation, medium body.
Overall, not a bad brown. It lacked a little bitterness, it wasn't very complex, I feel like it would have been nice in a six or four pack.

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Photo of ej285701
3/5  rDev -16.7%

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 wyatt
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of brewskifan55
4.17/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass

Appearance: cola brown, creamy tan half-finger head that dissipates quickly; light lacing.

Smell: malty as hell; bits of vanilla (or was that just my imagination?)

Taste: malt comes on like a big dog followed by smoked cedar, toffee and light chocolate. Dry finish.

Mouthfeel: light, creamy; medium carbonation.

Overall: An excellent brew. Abita's best by far. I wasn't expecting much and this made my taste buds proud. I'll definitely be getting more. A bargain at $4. Well done, Abita!

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Photo of cps98
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried this beer tonight poured into a regular pint glass. Beer was served fairly cold out of the fridge.
A – The beer poured a dark brown with a decent 1 finger off-white head. Head retention was pretty good with decent lacing. Finished with a fine ring of lingering bubbles.

S – Light hint of chocolate, some sweet maltiness, a little toffee and caramel. I was surprised by the lack of vanilla.

T – Very malty brew. Lite hints of toffee and chocolate. The chocolate flavor lingered the longest with no hop bitterness to be found. The vanilla is non-existent.

M – It was smooth but a bit watery for such a dark beer. Medium carbonation.

O – I expected more from this beer. Not that impressive. It really reminded me of an average Brown Ale. I really wanted more vanilla in the flavor profile and it just didn’t get there.

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Photo of Crossmd
3.86/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Sam Adams pint glass at 50 degrees fahrenheit.

Pours a dark brown with a Maroon reflection with a thin tan head that dissipates relatively quickly.

Smells of roasted malts and a faint oatmeal.

Taste is a thin chocolate rush that turns into a touch of slightly bitter creme. Relatively dry, almost peppery dark chocolate finish.

Taste is a smooth, if relatively tasteless and dry offering. Pleasing, easily drinkable and worth the relatively cheap cost of 6.50USD though.


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

Pours a very dark brown body with an initially tall, beige head that recedes leaving some spotty lacing.

Aromas begin with some toasty, nutty maltiness with slighter additions of roast, caramel and unsweetened cocoa powder. Subtle notes of vanilla emerge and become slightly pronouced as it warms.

The tastes begin fairly sweet and straight-forward with lightly roasty malts, toasted nuts, cocoa powder, mild caramel and a bit of vanilla bean. Very lightly earthy hops with a low bitterness and and equally low yeast presence or fruitiness. Malty, vanilla extract-hinted in the finish.

The mouthfeel is medium-to-light bodied with medium carbonation. Soft mouthfeel and sublte finish.

Overall, this is a decent anniversary offering from Abita but it just left me wanting a little more in all facets. It's one of those beers that doesn't justify the 22 oz size bottle and would be better suited as a simple 6 pack beer. Flavor profile is quite tasty, yet simple overall. Very drinkable and enjoyable but nothing I need to have again or even recommend. Luckily it was a very fair $5 price, so I guess in that regards it's probably worth a go.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks goes out to my boy caSSino for the chance to try this one! Served from bottle into a shaker. Poured a deep dark red brown with a one finger cream colored head that subsided to half a finger slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, dark chocolate, and cream. The flavor was of sweet malt, dark chocolate, subtle vanilla, cream, and roasted malt. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. Nothing on this one really stood out at me to make it memoriable. For the style this was a pretty good offering, but was definitely not my favorite either. Lots of sweetness going on in this one. The dark chocolate and roasted malt tried to counter-act this as much as it could, but it just fell short of being a well-balanced brew for me. Worth trying if you get the chance, but that is about it.

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

A - Pours deep brown into my snifter with about two fingers of light tan head that has decent retention and a fair amount of lacing.

S - Caramel malts and nutty with hints of dark fruit and vanilla.

T - Roasted malts, dry toasty nuttiness, mild caramel and vanilla, somewhat of an unpleasant/off finish.

M - Medium, smooth and creamy.

O - Could have gone without this one, not overpriced for the bomber though, worth a try I suppose.

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Photo of rtaps
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured a dark dark brown, looks black in the glass until held up to the light. with a good size head

smell was enticing, caramel,malts,a nuttiness, and slight hints of vanilla

taste was to bad for a brown ale. i was expecting the vanilla to come into the mix more, but the caramel and malts played well together. with a roasted nutty flavor left in your mouth.
minimal carbonation

overall pretty good brown ale, nothing to special. Worth the price and alc%

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Photo of WastingFreetime
3.32/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Transcribed from the Abita session in my tasting notebook.

Pours out a deep brown with mahogany reddish overtones, some light tan head froth rapidly dies back with minimal lacing, body is just a little too thin for the flavor profile, although the carbonation is alright.

At first I smell the distinctive vanilla promised by the label, but it quickly gets overtaken by a milk chocolate pudding and raisins scent which is itself replaced by an bittersweet chocolate and dark roasted porter-like malt profile. A very nice scent, although I was expecting more of the vanilla, which remains steadfastly in a support role for this beer.

Taste is more bitter and dry than the nose had me expecting, and I'm fine with that. Taste is a bit *too* simple compared to the nose, however, and I'm not OK with that. Where are the raisins and the moments of sweeter malt that I was promised by my nose? I can't find them. Instead I get a blunt and simplistic flavor of just medium roast malt with a touch of vanilla.

Overall, It is fair to say that I got my money's worth on this one, all things considered. There are better brews trying to do the same sort of flavor profile as this one, but they carry a heavier price tag to match.

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

Pours to a rich buff head with moderate lacing and dark brown color. Aroma is creamy vanilla and chocolate malt. Flavor is...creamy vanilla and chocolate malt--what else? Ok, there are some caramel notes and a bit of alcohol sweetness in there too. Mouthfeel is medium and there is a nice low co2 presence and slight alcohol warmth. Overall, this is a tasty, interesting beer for those who like strong, vanilla flavored beers.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is dark almost black with light brown highlights when held toward the light. Head is light khaki tan head with fine even scattered lacing. Aroma has dark chocolate malts with hints of cocoa and dark fruits and a touch of vanilla in the background. Flavor is a warming sweet dark roasted malt flavor with hints of vanilla and a dry semi bitter sweet chocolate finish. Herbal hops coming out the backend definitely not a hop heavy experience. The taste is a bit one dimensional but the price was right and it definitely has enough flavor to keep me interested. Mouthfeel is medium bodied even carbonation, nothing cloying or too sticky actually drinks pretty well. Alcohol is well hidden no harshness or booze burning the palate. Overall I would take their 20th Anniversary Pils over this but not a bad beefier version of Turbodog.

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

$5.99 bomber from Bourbon Street, Greenwich.

Attractive brown body topped by four plus fingers of dark tan foam. Good stretchy lacing. Striking painted bottle.

Assertive vanilla backed by chocolate aroma.

Light chocolate hits the tongue first. Vanilla follows, makes itself noticed, but does not overwhelm. Crisp hop snap at the swallow. Chocolate and vanilla mix resumes in the afterglow.

Smooth, creamy mouthfeel.

Not a beer to make you say "oh my God", but a tasty treat, and an anniversary bomber that did not cause me sticker price debate.

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Photo of oberon
3.56/5  rDev -1.1%
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!

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Photo of tdm168
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

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Photo of coldriver
3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

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Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.19/5  rDev +16.4%
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.

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Photo of juhl31
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
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

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Photo of bmwats
4.2/5  rDev +16.7%
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.

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Photo of tone77
3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Photo of 2xHops
3.21/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

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Photo of cokes
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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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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