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 Halcyondays
3.13/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours brown with a full off-white to tan head, good retention and lace.

S: Toffee, some brown sugar with a hint of vanilla.

T: Dark chocolate, caramel, light molasses, with less vanilla than I would have liked. Average flavour.

M: Medium-bodied, astringent at times, semi-creamy.

O: A solid effort, but nothing wowing. I like regular Turbodog better.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.47/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle - $4.99 at Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown body with an initially tall, beige head that drops down fairly soon.

Smell: Toasty, nutty with slighter backings from roast, caramel, and unsweetened chocolate and the thinnest notion of one lonely raisin. Subtle hint of vanilla, which I'm hard to honestly fault, as I can't really recall a vanilla-flavored beer that knocked my socks off when it came to the vanilla additive.

Taste: Sweetish tastes of roasty malts, toasted nuts, a small pinch chocolate powder, a whisper of caramel, and a bit of vanilla bean. Very lightly earthy hops with a low bitterness. Low fruitiness. Though "natural vanilla beans" are specifically mentioned on the bottle, it's got a bit of harshness akin to a small sip of vanilla extract. Malty, vanilla extract-hinted finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied (just barely). Medium carbonation. Soft mouthfeel.

Overall: Though the name is 'Double' Dog, they kept it closer to the easy-going, drinkable roots of the standard Turbodog. Not that great, no, but as far as bomber prices go, I'm not about to get riled up over five bucks. I'm really not!

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Photo of JayS2629
4.09/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a thin off-white head that fades fast but leaves ok lacing.

The aroma is full of rich, burnt toffee and loads of vanilla. Notes of baker's chocolate and mild coffee notes.

The flavor is not as rich as the aroma. The toffee notes are much more mild than the nose leads you to expect. Vanilla is spot on with chocolate backbone and mild coffee tones.

Smooth, medium bodied

Awesome, delicious, and nicely balanced beer. Much better than turbodog. Vanilla is bold and just enough.

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Photo of JordonHoltzman
3.97/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a thin tan head with a brown body that shows amber in the light. good lacing
smells similar to turbodog which provides aromas of coffee and nuttiness. the doubledog has a subtle scent of vanilla.
tastes great. its a more flavorful and balanced version of turbodog; the vanilla is a great addition.
crisp mouthfeel with good carbonation.
overall this was a good beer. abita has been my go-to college beer and i'm glad they made a great beer for their 25th anniversary. it was smart that they took their best flagship beer and built off that.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.36/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 220z. "bomber" bottle into a standard pint glass.
Dark brown in color with ruby highlights. Big tan head of foam.
Aroma-Faint caramel, sweet malt notes.
Taste-Vanilla and toffee notes, subtle cocoa, very smooth. A bit on the thin side, a little more of everything would have fleshed this out, but overall not bad and worth a try.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a very dark color that you really can't see any light through. There is a nice 1/2" head of creamy foam on top, that is morphing a bit, so I assume that there are quite a few bubbles rising. There was a nice of-gas when I popped the top. The head was a light tan and was about half its original height a minute or so after the pour. There really isn't any lace yet.

Aroma: My fist impression was that the beer was a bit earthy, but when I came back to it I didn't really get that. I get some sweet caramel malts and some obvious hops that come across a bit catty. There is a spicy impression that I am calling cinnamon that is a little unusual in just about any beer I've tried. I'm not sure what is going on with this one.

Taste: The flavor departs completely from the aroma. It is much sweeter than the aroma suggested. There is dark caramel as the key ingredient, but there is still a bit of hops in here to keep things balanced. As the beer is sitting, the vanilla and chocolate notes are starting to be a bigger player. The bittering hops are reserved and let the sweetness come through nicely. The carbonation is ample, and the overall body is medium to med-light.

Opinion: Overall this beer delivers a lot better in the flavor than you expect from the aroma. I am not sure why that is the case, but it's true. Even as the beer sits, the aroma never really sync's up with the flavor. Weird. Either way, once you taste this beer, it is a pretty good one and I don't mind recommending it. It's a pretty good malt balanced American beer.

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Photo of GoatRoyal
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with a nice head that quickly fades; hold to the light and let it bend & you get some nice flashes of red.

As for the smell, I got some chocolate & toffee right off the bat, with maybe a hint of something sweet. Malt? Vanilla? Perhaps a mix of the two, I really couldn't tell. Whatever the case, this beer looked and smelled pretty good.

Take a sip and I immediately get hit with a familiar taste of Turbodog - except amplified. Normally content to just hang out, I get the brown ale & chocolate up front & up loud. Vanilla also swirls in there with rootbeer flavor... Not much of a finish, some alcohol as it warms, but that's about it. I'm not a regular Abita drinker, but definitely tastes more flavorful than their regular line-up, as it should.

Unfortunately, the mouthfeel brings this brew down for me. To be honest, thus far the beer struck me almost as more of a stout than a brown, but not with the complete lack of density. Some carbonation when it's first poured, but after that it's just thin & watery. To me this really hinders the experience, as you have all this flavor, but nothing really carrying it. Everything else was a step up from the norm, but mouthfeel just drags.

Overall, the Vanilla Doubledog leaves the impression of being a special, amped up version of one of Abita's staples. I liked it, but I don't think I'll be buying another one.

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Photo of hoptualBrew
3.72/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber split with my roommate, two pint glasses make two happy souls. Dark brown with red hues and a yao ming cream head, fluffy like pillow clouds. Minimal lacing but good looking legs!

In the nose is bready, boozy toffee notes, nut aroma, and a touch of vanilla. I only found the vanilla because I was looking for it though.

Grainy caramel, toffee malts on the tongue with a heap of nuts to compliment the English yeast like character and only a touch of vanilla. Very bready & grainy here, and a bit boozy on the back end. Overall, very smooth & quite the easy drinker. Not overly impressed, but it is a descent brown ale.

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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 alpinebryant
3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark mahogany pour, lacing is heavy and tan head stays around for a while. Great dark brown color for a brown ale

S: Mostly brown ale with a tiny hint of vanilla, sweet malt, and some bitter aromas

T: This is a nice brown ale with bitterness at the first sip. Slight hints of vanilla with strong early hop bittering presence, but no aroma hops. I pick up some toffee and a bit of caramel in here with a good dosing of nut flavors.

M: Medium bodied mouthfeel with a light carbonation. Only slightly watery.

O: Very enjoyable smooth drinking brown ale. Clearly worth its price and I would pick this up in 6 packs if they were available.

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Photo of MrVonzipper
4.08/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cola brown. Black in glass with a touch of brown at edges where light comes through. Nice foamy tan head with great retention and lacing.

Pretty good nose with notes of dark malt, vanilla, oak and nuttiness.

For a brown ale I think the flavor is good as well. Good balance and flavor. Mild cocoa, nuttiness, dark malt and vanilla.

Mouth is medium bodied. Just right for the beer and style. Nice creamy, smooth carbonation.

Overall it's a good brown ale, especially for the price. It's not gonna blow any minds or anything but it's extremely drinkable and for under $5 a bomber and 7% abv. It's a steal.

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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 beeragent
3.81/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a bomber.

A - Pours a medium brown with ruby highlights. Fluffy mocha sodapop like head that fades quickly. Not much in the way of lacing.

S - Very sweet malt aroma with a noticeable alcohol presence. A more nutty aroma develops as the beer warms.

T - Light nutty flavor with a hint of caramel, maybe some toffee, and some light vanilla to finish it off. The vanilla is very faint at first but comes out a bit more once the beer warms up.

M - Medium bodied, but a little thin for the style IMO. Medium carbonation and very smooth and clean.

D - Not a bad beer and definitely different than just another brown ale. Unique flavor but the body could use a little boost. Again, this beer is much better once it warms up a bit.

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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 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 shoky01
3.36/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber served chilled in stem-less red wine glasses.

A: Dark brown, nearly black. Half to quarter inch tan head. Good Carbonation with good lacing.

S: Hints of vanilla and wheat. Some spices. Hint of coffee?

T: Wheat and vanilla. Lights hops, some end bitterness. Pretty different from the standard Turbodog. Reminds me me of the Breckenridge Vanilla Porter.

MF: Very light almost watery. Foamy.

OA: I like it. I like the normal Turbodog so its not that big a stretch.

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Photo of GregSVT
3.91/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a nice brown color, black in the glass, with a nice light khaki head that slowly fades to a layering and leaves a lot of sticky lacing on the glass. I'm a fan of the way this looks although it's more of a stout than a brown ale look.

S: The nose is a bit of cocoa and a lot of vanilla. Not much else to the smell but it's melded pretty well.

T: The taste follows the nose with a nice cocoa flavor followed by some vanilla. It's not much different from the original besides the vanilla flavor and the loss of a roasty flavor. It's pretty sweet but it's not overly cloying.

M: The feel is nice and creamy...no hint of the 7% alcohol.

O: This is definitely an American Stout and not a Brown Ale...the style should probably be changed. Original Turbo Dog may be one but when you double it to 7% it becomes something different. Given that it's a pretty good one and the vanilla flavor really adds a special twist.

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Photo of mcallister
3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Deep garnet color with a large frothy head of off white that holds a long retention and leaves a thick sticky lace behind.

Aromas of toffee, raisin, vanilla, milk chocolate, caramel, earth, dark breads, and a light spicey character.

Tastes like it smells. Milk chocolate covered toffee, with caramel, and hints of fig. Vanilla flavor is light and adds a nice layer of flavor to the beer. Was going into this expecting it to be overpowered with vanilla, I was wrong. Dry and to the point on the finish, nice use of bittering hops to leave the malts do the trick.

Mouthfeel is a little light. If they could have gotten this a bit more creamy it would have been a much better brew, still pretty good for what it is.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.43/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle. Served in a mug, the beer pours a reddish/brown color with about an inch light tan head that sticks around for a long time. There's a decent amount of lacing left behind on the glass. Aroma is nice and malty, the brew smells like chocolate, caramel malt, toffee and vanilla. Taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like bittersweet chocolate, toffee, and some vanilla. There's also a slight roasty coffee-like bitter finish. The vanilla isn't all that strong in either the taste or aroma. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's a bit thin and watery, and it's also well carbonated. With that being said, it's easy enough to drink. I think it's a decent overall beer, but there isn't anything about this that stands out or would make me want to buy it again. But for $4.99 a bomber, I think it's worth trying.

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Photo of MrHassellYaHurd
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a pint glass. Deep garnet color with a thick, but quickly-falling tan head. A fairly attractive brew.

The smells of the 25th anniversary Doubledog are of syrupy sweet malt, toasty biscuits, and a hint of hard candy. The malt-centric nature of this beer definitely reminds me of a simple british porter.

The initial tastes I get from this are of bitter (and slightly astringent) dark-roasted malt, and a VERY slight hint of vanilla. The sweet aromas from the nose don't carry over that much into the flavor--the sweetness is quite subdued, here. The overall texture of the beer is a bit of a combination of a creaminess and an assertive carbon dioxide prickliness.

Overall, I think this is a very safe and solid beer. It isn't one that will wow you, but it's certainly well-brewed, and enjoyable.

Cheers, BA!

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Photo of mobius387
3.71/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber

Appearance: pours dark brown almost black. Forms a huge foamy head even when poured carefully

Aroma: light smells of chocolate and not much else. Catch some hints of cream perhaps

Palate: sits very light in the mouth, almost airy. Was expecting something fuller and creamier/smoother. The body is very underwhelming

Taste: a nice blend of chocolate and vanilla. Reminds me of some vanilla creamer you add to coffee. The taste is a mismatch for the body tho, as it's very big and bold.

Overall: a good beer with good flavors. Was expecting more body for a vanilla brew, and there's not much by aroma, but considering the price for a bomber this is worth a pick up.

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Photo of skylab
3.82/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not much to add to what has already been said but I'll try anyway.

Pours nice and dark like you would expect a Turbodog relative should. Little head that doesn't really last.

Smells of chocolate, malt, and a little vanilla. Mostly chocolate to me. Very nice on the nose and even a bit toasty if you breathe deeply.

Taste is what you would expect if you have a slightly vanilla Turbodog mix. The vanilla is definitely there but it is subtle and doesn't overpower. It adds a nice enhancement to the body that mellows the middle quite nicely to me. Not at all a sweet addition but not "chemically" either as some flavor enhanced beers can be. Seems to be fairly consistent as it warms though the body deepens a little bit as the volume in the glass shrinks.

ABV of 7% makes it something to be a little careful with but it is also not something you would pound down anyway. To be enjoyed one sip at a time as the football game plays out on TV. American football. Preferably a Saints game.

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Photo of Beerbuddha
3.11/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: The beer pours a nice coffee color with a thin off white head which dissipates quite quickly. Lacing present throughout.

Smell: Slight hints of toast, vanilla and chocolate.

Taste: Very malty brew. Hints of vanilla, toffee and baking chocolate. The bitter chocolate flavor lingers on the back of the tongue for a bit. The vanilla is barely present.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly thin and watery with medium carbonation.

Overall: Not that impressive. Tastes like an above average brown ale from any other craft brewer in the country. I am a bit disappointed actually. I expected more from Abita with this being their 25th Anniversary beer and all. Then again I always expect more out of Abita.

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Photo of theboozecruise
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Alright, I've been waiting to try this one since I heard about last Spring... hopefully it's worth the wait!

The beer pours (from a 22 oz. bomber) a dark brown color, with hints of red when held up to the light. The head is a couple fingers of off-white bubbly froth that holds its shape for a few minutes and leaves a little lacing on the glass. It's a pretty good looking beer overall.

The aroma is a little sweet at first with the vanilla coming out, but then the roasted malt aromas of the 'Turbodog' base come through. It's not extremely strong or in your face, but I like the flavors melded together.

The taste is a lot more roasted malt goodness than sweet vanilla. I really enjoy it, but that balance on the nose is lost a little here and it's more 'doubledog' than vanilla. I still think it's an above average brown ale but a little more sweet balance and this would be approaching greatness.

The body is middle of the road... maybe even a little thick for the style. It feels good going down and there are no funky aftertastes or anything.

Overall, I think it's a solid B to B+ beer. It's definitely on par with some of Abita's better select offerings and a notch above the regular lineup.

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

22oz bomber into an Abita balloon glass.

Looks black on the pour, but you can tell its just very, very brown. Light tan colored creamy head of a finger and a half forms. Laces decently.

Mild vanilla bean aroma, mixed with light chocolate, roasted malts and hints of caramel. Less potent vanilla nose than other vanilla beers they have done, but nice nonetheless.

Lightly mixed vanilla and chocolate taste, with some back end caramel notes, toffee and nuts, with a roasted finish. Not much heat, but you can tell it's got a better kick than turbodog.

Creamy feel, but not very heavy. Maybe medium bodied. Carbonation is solid.

Overall, I thoroughly am enjoying this. I think a bolder Turbodog was fitting as anniversary beer for Abita, and though it's not as big of a beer as I expected/hoped, it's well done. Not sure how this will age, but I'm going to sit on a bottle or two.

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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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