Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Beer Review: Abita 25th Anniversary Vanilla Doubledog
I have a love/hate relationship with Abita. In my opinion, they've become to big for their britches and have lost focus of what is truly important: the flavor of the beer. They seem to be complacent with mediocrity.
I believe that their are some at the brewery that want to break this trend and we have seen moments of brilliance(Black IPA)but overall they seem to be content with the status quo. And why shouldn't they be? Their sales speak for themselves. They had a volume increase this past year to 109,000 barrels and they are the 30th largest commercial brewer in the nation and the 17th largest craft brewer.
I love Abita as a company and want them to succeed. They are the "grandfather" of craft beer not only in Louisiana but the entire Southeast. Perhaps that's the issue here. They are so well established that they have no interest in being an innovator and would rather sit back with a "wait and see" attitude.
Abita could have easily realized that cans was the way to go especially here in Louisiana(Mardi Gras anyone??)but instead they announce they were going to start canning as soon as they heard Tin Roof and NOLA Brewing were canning. Now to be fair Abita could have been planning on canning WAY before both of these breweries but it doesn't look that way. How long did it take to make an IPA? Bottle in 22oz bottles? Exactly.
This post wasn't meant to bash Abita and unfortunately is seems to have taken that path. That is not my purpose here. Abita is like that overpaid star athlete that has so much damn potential but has lost their love for the game so I push and criticize them harder than the other players in hopes that they can remember why they started playing in the first place. I expect more. And I expected more with their 25th Anniversary beer. I feel they've lost their love of the game. They need to do some serious soul searching in my opinion. Here is my review:
Brewery: Abita Brewing
Beer: 25th Anniversary Vanilla Doubledog
Style: Brown Ale
Louisiana Availability: Yes
Price Range: $4.50
Appearance: The beer pours a nice coffee color with a thin off white head which dissipates quite quickly. Lacing present throughout.
Smell: Slight hints of toast, vanilla and chocolate.
Taste: Very malty brew. Hints of vanilla, toffee and baking chocolate. The bitter chocolate flavor lingers on the back of the tongue for a bit. The vanilla is barely present.
Mouthfeel: Surprisingly thin and watery with medium carbonation.
Overall: Not that impressive. Tastes like an above average brown ale from any other craft brewer in the country. I am a bit disappointed actually. I expected more from Abita with this being their 25th Anniversary beer and all. Then again I always expect more out of Abita.
Score: 3 out of 5 Buddhas
The Beer Buddha