Profiled for professorgoodales.net by Ken Carman
I was amazed. I have actually found Abita to be a ghost of what it once was years ago in the late 80s/early 90s: an innovator, ahead of the craft beer curve… for the east coast at least. But over the years, and perhaps due to many changes in brewers, they seemed to have become humdrum. For a brief while, after they moved the brewery down the road and kept the neat little building under the huge magnolia tree as a brewpub that brews on the premises too, they snapped back. But it was mostly down hill, in my opinion.
Vanilla Double Dog may be signs of an awakening, a resurgence. God, I hope so, especially on their 25th anniversary. This beer celebrates that event.
Plenty of pillow head mixed with rocky. Brown, probably in the SRM 24-28 range… (I didn’t match it up with my samples of that standard, so I’m guessing.) …and good clarity, VDD delivers a very distinct malt nose, perhaps Marris Otter? The nose has that Lager sulfur sense and not much else.
Mouthfeel: medium body with a slight sweetish tinge on the tongue and decent carbonation; not dominating, just right.
Vanilla in taste isn’t dominate but asserts itself well. The malt is the slight dominant taste; again with that Marris Otter like, caramelized sense… especially as it warms. Just a tad sweet and maybe a hint of hop bitter in the background. Very well balanced.
A few reviewers I’ve read get a “metallic taste.” I don’t, but I know that Abita brews with local water that was noted for its mineral profile and used for health: as in bathing, years ago. Perhaps its the minerals they’re tasting, but I think it more likely the few I read might be mistaking vanilla for mineral.
I recommend this brew. Packaged in 22oz bottles.