Friday, October 14, 2011

Abita Brewing Company's 25th Anniversary

Posted by Benson

This year is the Abita Brewing Company’s 25th Anniversary.  As you probably already know, the Abita Brewery is one of my favorite local microbreweries.  This is perhaps because I live in Abita Springs, Louisiana, but I might have moved to Abita due to a subconscious desire to be closer to the brewery (the brewery does offer a free beer-filled “tour” three days a week).

In honor of the 25th anniversary, the Abita Brewing Company released a new beer: Vanilla Double Dog.  I’ve recently had the opportunity to sample this new brew and I have a few thoughts about it.
According to the bottle, Abita Turbodog was the inspiration for Vanilla Double Dog.  Sadly, Turbodog is my least favorite Abita beer.  In fact, I never drink it.  Turbodog is a dark brown ale brewed with a combination of pale, crystal, and chocolate malts.  Supposedly, this gives Turbodog a rich body and toffee-like flavor.  To my palate, Turbodog is dark, bitter, and thick, but not in a pleasing way.  It has strong notes of char and an undercurrent of overcooked chocolate.  No offense to Abita brewing, but the malt tastes as if it was burned. 

Turbodog, along with Purple Haze, was the one of the first beers that Abita distributed widely.  The pair could be found around college campuses all over the country, and for me, apart from the overly toasted flavor, Turbodog has always had the stigma of being popular with drunken frat boys who thought they had a taste for decent beer because they sucked down a chocolate beer between cases of Bud Light.

I was therefore somewhat disappointed to discover that the Abita Brewing Company decided to honor its 25th anniversary with a beer inspired by Turbodog.  Even so, I decided to give the Abita Brewing Company the benefit of the doubt. 

Although Vanilla Double Dog is far better than Turbodog, it still leaves much to be desired, and won’t be the first beer I’ll be reaching for.  Although the beer is in many ways subtly different from Turbodog, the most striking alteration is that whole vanilla beans are added during the aging process.  This does impart an identifiable vanilla note to the beer, which serves to push the flavor from charred malt to something closer to toffee-like.

She looks happy about Turbodog, but then she also licks her crotch

Without a doubt, Vanilla Double Dog is a rich, dark beer with a slightly creamy finish and a hint of vanilla.  It is a bit on the bitter side and has a strong, roasted flavor.  Overall, Vanilla Double Dog manages to shed many of the shortcomings of Turbodog.  It is an interesting beer, but I would have liked to see something better for Abita’s 25th anniversary.  

1 comment:

  1. I have to agree with Benson's assessment of Vanilla Double Dog, or as I call it, VD2. In case anybody is wondering, Turbo Dog is crap and I don't know anyone in Louisiana who thinks otherwise. It's kind of an 'export' beer. Purple Haze is also crap and the only reason I can think of to make such an abomination is pandering to LSU students. One does not need pure Abita Springs water to create such swill.

    On the other hand, the vanilla is a really nice touch. It adds an interesting depth to the beer that makes it worth tasting.

    Still, this is the best they can do for the 25th anniversary? I don't think so.