Turbodog is one of those beers I’ve been aware of for ages, but have never tried. The one trip I’ve made to New Orleans was during one of the soberer stages of my life, and the few drinks I did have were of a more weather-themed variety (i.e. Hurricanes). The only Abita brew I’ve tried is Purple Haze, which is a fine brew, if you’re in favor of fruit in your beer and Hendrix references.
Abita brews in Abita Springs, about thirty miles north of N’Awlins, and runs a pretty respectable operation. Beers such as SOS (Save Our Shores) and Restoration Ale give money directly to some good causes: 75 cents of every bottle of SOS to an environmental restoration fund and $1 from every six-pack of Restoration Ale to the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation.
Turbodog is pretty dark for a brown ale, and tastes the same. If someone had given me this as a blind sample, I probably would have guessed it was a porter.
The beer hits the tongue with an almost burnt cocoa flavor, but it isn’t harsh or astringent (we’re not in Starbucks coffee territory here). Adding to the bitter flavor is a very distinct hop flavor; they’re using Willamette hops here, and the brew tastes hoppier than the 28 IBUs would indicate.
The bitter elements are balanced out by a fairly light caramel flavor. The beer has a pretty thin body, and goes down very smoothly. Turbodog reminded me quite a bit of Firestone Walker’s Reserve Porter, which I reviewed two months ago, and also liked quite a bit.
C’mon, Abita, I love ya, but feel free to get wacky sometimes.