American beers are my new guilty pleasure. No not the bland, mass produced American beers which shall remain discretely unmentioned, I’m talking about the fantastic array of products coming out of the USA craft beer scene.
Flying Dog are a classic example of this with their brilliantly diverse range of full flavoured craft beer. I managed to get hold of a few recently to try and have dropped brief tasting notes below. For the official brewery notes and food pairing ideas, visit them on their website here.
Tire Bite Golden Ale – 5.1%
Light refreshing lager type beer. There’s not much going here on the aroma front, maybe traces of the German hops. The beer itself has biscuity taste with dry finish. It poured a little flat with almost no head at all, not sure if that was the bottle, glass or if that’s just the way it is? Verdict: A good hot day thirst quencher, chill it for when you finally get to light the BBQ..
Snake Dog IPA – 7.1%
This one is amber in colour, with a really pleasant grapefruit & pine resinous aroma. There’s a full mouth filling flavour of grapefruit & citrus peel, with burnt biscuity tasting malt, with a lovely refreshing dry bitterness on the finish. Verdict: Every fridge should have one, it’s fabulous.
Doggie Style Classic Pale Ale – 5.5%
This pours a copper to amber colour with a decent size white frothy head. Slight fruity hop aroma but not as much as the Snake Dog. The flavour is faint tangerine citrus, cascade hop bitter finish. Verdict: Good Pale Ale, for the less adventurous with ABV.
Raging Bitch Belgian Style India Pale Ale – 8.3%
As the title suggests this is an American slant on a Belgian Style IPA. It smells like a good Belgian tripel would, with aromas of yeast & biscuits. On tasting though the flavour is much more IPA, is has lemon, grapefruit, citrus peel and lightly roasted malt, all topped off with a nice bitter finish. Verdict: Just beautiful beer and definitely one you should try.
Check this one out on YouTube or direct on the BeerRitz website, where award winning Zak Avery, one of the UK’s most respected beer writers does a video review of Raging Bitch after it’s UK debut.
Gonzo Imperial Porter – 9.2%
Gonzo is a dense black beer pouring with thick creamy brown head. The smell from the glass is of creamy malts it’s like dunking Malted Milk biscuits into a steaming mug of Ovaltine. The taste is still of that rich malt but here it turns to bitter dark chocolate (see the comment on aroma and add high quality chocolate to that biscuit), there is underlying taste grapefruit citrus which works really well. It’s big and full on in both flavour and texture, like a big fat alcoholic bedtime drink. Verdict: Snuggle up to one soon, warm and comforting…
A brief extract from the Flying Dog story:
“From a brewpub in Aspen, Colorado to a full-fledged Denver brewery, and then to a state-of-the-art brewing facility in Frederick, Maryland, Flying Dog stands for not only extraordinary beer, but also for standing tall, doing great things, and not letting anyone make you eat shit.”
Finally no Flying Dog blog post would be complete without mentioning the brilliantly designed label art, illustrated by Ralph Steadman. The labels are impressive enough, but to see more of his work check out Ralph’s website here:
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