Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Abita Turbodog review

Abita TourbodogI happened upon this beer by chance during a beer run and exchange with Eli and Erik from BeerTapTV. I traded one of my brews for one of these. Today's beer comes from the Abita Brewing Company of Abita Springs Louisiana just north of New Orleans and is called Turbodog.

Turbodog is a dark English Brown Ale by style and weighs in at 6.1% ABV. For you calorie counters, Turbodog has 168 calories per 12oz serving. Older versions of Turbodog were 6.1% ABV, today it's more like 5.6%.

I had never tried a beer from Abita Beer before so I was looking forward to it. Abita Turbodog was brewed with a mix of pale, crystal and chocolate malts and was dry hopped with Willamette. The brew was then fermented with some German Alt yeast.

Originally, Turbodog was one of Abita's specialty beers but it quickly became one of their most popular brews and now is one of their 3 flagship beers.

Turbodog poured a very dark brown with reddish highlights. I served this cold out of the fridge and it left a small, less than a finger tall, light tan head that quickly disappeared. This beer seemed to have a very low amount of carbonation as well.

Being a darker beer, I knew to let this beer warm up a bit before sampling. The hop smell became a bit more apparent as it warmed up. Strangely enough, I couldn't get much of a smell out of this beer. I could detect the dark malts but it wasn't very dominant in the aroma.

The taste reminded me of molasses, some coffee and caramel malts. It also had a mild spicy hop bitterness.

One thing I noticed was shortly after the first taste my mouth began to salivate heavily. It left my mouth with a strange feeling that I've not experienced before. The water they brew with must be a bit different as to trigger a mouth watering effect.

In this sample, I can only describe Turbodog as nutty but somewhat flat. It burped with little aroma or taste. The brew slightly coated my tongue.

For a brown ale, the flavor just wasn't all there for me. I expected a bit more sweetness and maltiness but rather I got more roast. I bet this would have tasted much better on draft with a bit more carbonation. However, by the end of the glass this brew was starting to get a bit better.

I suggest drinking this beer fresh and well carbonated (on tap would be best) and not too cold else you risk masking the flavor. I ended up liking this beer but couldn't help think it could have been better.

I'll give this beer a Thumbs Sideways rating for now with the desire to try this again later. Brown ales aren't as flavorful as other styles so seek this out if you are looking for a step up from a typical session beer.

Did you have a similar experience with this beer? Think I just got a semi-flat bottle? Let me hear your opinion in the comments below.

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