One quarter of a century. Who knew this brewery had been in operation since 1986? I sure didn’t. Hell, everyone talks about the California brewers as being the pioneers of the craft beer industry, but Abita was right there with them. Providing fresh beer to the Southeastern US and doing so with integrity and quality. Everyone loves Turbodog. Their delicious brown ale which rivals the likes of Moose Drool and Georgia Brown became their flagship beer and the backdrop for this celebratory brew.
The appearance is very similar to its non-vanilla relative. Deep brown/mahogany with golden highlights towards the edges. The head was khaki in color and took a more rocky consistency on the first pour and had a dense creaminess on the second. It laced the entire way down the glass as I sipped.
If you like vanilla you will like this beer. Hints of vanilla extract rose from the glass. It reminded me of when my Mom use to make chocolate chip cookies and I would stick my finger in the batter right after she mixed in the extract and chips. Yummy! Rich caramel and chocolate notes combined to add layers under the vanilla. This is not a porter so the coffee or deeper roasted malt notes do not present themselves. Instead, the vanilla adds a very pleasant aroma that blends well this an amped up Turbodog malt body.
Think Breckenridge Vanilla Porter with not as much roasted grains and a lighter mouthfeel. That about sums it up. While the use of vanilla might be overbearing to some, I think they incorporated it well. It has the same feel and texture as Turbodog and finishes clean. The vanilla sticks around, but not in a bad way. It is soft and soothes the palate. The malt backbone lends those classic hints of chocolate and toffee making this beer a winner in my book. I could actually see this beer holding up to a few days in an oak cask which would play nice with the vanilla. If you see it, get it.