Abita Brewing Co – 25th Anniversary Vanilla Double Dog

I read on some other blogs how people get beer sent to them in the mail from different companies, or how they manage to trade cool beers through the mail.  Until a few weeks ago, I had never had that happen.  Not like that was an end goal in starting this blog, but I would be more than pleased to see some company send me some beer in the mail.  There are definitely some rare beers or different types of beers I can’t get around here that I would love to see show up in the mail.  Thankfully, I have some amazing friends down in New Orleans who gave me a little taste of this the other week.

Abita is one of those companies I think gets a little overlooked when it comes to the beer world.  I personally have a soft spot not only for Abita, but also, for all things that come from the great city of New Orleans.  Having travelled down there a few times to see friends, I have enjoyed quite a few different styles of Abita and been to their brew house.  I don’t know what it is, I can definitely just sit down and enjoy an Amber Abita as my steady go to beer.

Probably one of my favorite beers of the year was the Stone 15 year Black IPA; therefore, I got pretty excited to see this bottle come out.  Abita put together a beer that they based off their Turbodog.  Turbodog is a dark brown ale that has some of those coffee, chocolate, and toffee tones that a lot of browns do.  Personally, I really enjoy a good Turbodog.  For the Double Dog, they took the recipe for the Turbodog and added vanilla in the aging process.  Although there really doesn’t seem to be a whole huge other difference in the brewing process, I was pretty excited for this one based off the last Vanilla Java Stout I had.

The color on this one poured out a rich brown color.  On the pour, there is a moderate thick head that develops.  Although it does seem to dissipate rather quickly, a little swirl of the glass brings the creamy goodness right back.  There is a lot of sticky lacing that also develops on the swirl.  This manages to cling to the glass far longer than the head manages to stick around on top of the beer.  There is a bit of haziness in the beer when held up to the light; although, there is still some obvious carbonation visible in the glass as well.

Coffee is the biggest smell that I pull out of the beer.  Although it is advertised as a vanilla beer, the coffee still seems to take control. The coffee smell has that oaky and smokey quality to it as well.  There is a slight scent of vanilla that follows that; however, I thought I might pull more vanilla out of the nose.  There is a slightly bitter chocolate that is quite strong on the nose as well.  This really is a surprisingly crisp and clean smelling beer.  I think it’s due to it being more of a brown ale than a porter or stout.  There is a little bit of the sweet caramel and toffee smell that finishes this one off.

The taste starts off with a really rich malty flavor.  This has a slightly clean quality to it; however, that bitter chocolate taste comes in quickly.  The chocolate taste is kind of mellow, but is really nice.  Blending with the end of the chocolate is the advertised vanilla.  The vanilla is not as strong as I was expecting.  Here they used real vanilla bean and not the extract that had me wondering in a previous beer.  The last vanilla beer I had was so overwhelming with vanilla that I was really happy with the more mild side of vanilla this one was showing.  The vanilla blends in with the ending coffee flavor and creates a sort of french vanilla coffee flavoring.  These all combine nicely into a really clean and smooth aftertaste.

The mouthfeel here creates a really pleasant blend of all the flavors.  None of the flavors really overpowers the other flavors; therefore, it has an overall really smooth quality.  There is a high amount of carbonation that really assists this one in having a nice blend and not really being too syrupy.  The aftertaste is enjoyable.  I thought the vanilla could last a little long, but it fits in nicely with the rest of the flavors.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this one.  I’m a big fan of Abita, and I don’t think they disappointed here.  I think it’s important to remember that this is a take off of the Turbodog.  That really helps to shape your mindset on this one as you start to consume it.  If you have never had an Abita, you definitely need to check the company out.  Also, if you happen to stumble across this one, you should definitely pick it up.  Although it isn’t my favorite Anniversary release of the year, it is a really good beer.

Teacher Grade: B



  1. wow….Just went to new orleans for the half marathon! Good luck on yours. Very accurate review of the doubledog! Love the beer!! Having one now! Agree also on your take from NOLA. First time there and LOVED it. It really helps that I did my PR- by far- at the half marathon!


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