Beer Blogging - Abita Turbodog Ale
I had one of these last night out of the bottle, and I didn't think it would be nearly this dark. It poured with a big, solid-looking head that decreased in size but shows no signs of disappearing. The aroma (which is much stronger in the glass) was a surprise, too. The label describes the beer as a dark brown ale brewed with three kinds of malt and dry-hopped with Willamette hops, but the main smell is a very strong sourdough. Underneath that is the malt, and maybe a very faint suggestion of floral hops. Interesting - I wonder if it tastes very different out of the glass, too?
I think it does. This is a complex beer, to be sure, and you can tell it was dry-hopped. In fact, it might be a little too complex. The flavors are all crashing into each other; I think the problem is too many different kinds of malt. The bottle says they use pale, crystal and chocolate malts. I think they need to pick two (probably throwing out the chocolate would be best).
The taste is hard to describe, but if I had to guess something I'd say that it starts off with a harsh floral hop flavor and finishes with chocolate malt, which persists into the aftertaste (along with some of that sourdough). Between the hops and the malts is a weird blank space that tastes almost watery, quite a trick in a beer with so much going on. There's no hint of alcohol, so I have no idea how much is in there because they don't seem to print ABV values on the labels of beers sold in Tennessee. [UPDATE: The website's Turbodog page says it's "a bit stronger" than their other beers, which I'm guessing means ~6.5%]
One interesting thing: the head disappeared after a few minutes, and with it went the aroma. Seriously, once the head is gone there's no smell coming off this beer. Strange. There's also kind of a lousy mouthfeel, because the beer blew it's carbonation wad in building up that thick head. A porter or a stout is allowed to feel this flat, but an ale should not. The overall effect is profoundly uninteresting.
The rating: 4/10. I think it's actually better out of the bottle, which is not a positive thing. I can't think of any reason I'd recommend this beer, so it's not recommended for anyone who's got access to anything better.