In the interest of full disclosure; I will admit up front, that the reason I am reviewing 4 beers from Flying Dog is that they were sent to me by the Flying Dog Brewery PR department. A comment was left in response to my blog post reviewing Jolly Pumpkin Brewery’s Bam Noire by Stephanie, from the PR department of Flying Dog Brewery, offering to send me some free bottles of beer. I, of course, responded like any beer geek would, “I would love some tasty brews from Flying Dog. Who doesn’t like beer delivered to them at work?” True to her word, a few days later a box arrived containing 3 bottles of beer, and then Flying Dog sent me another bottle of a very limited edition beer, their Horn Dog Barrel Aged Barley Wine. Awesome!
For whatever reason, I have not had much exposure to Flying Dog’s beers. I am sure I have had their beer in the past, but I can say that about a lot brewers’ product. All I really knew about Flying Dog, is that their bottles all had super cool Ralph Steadman designed labels. I am a huge fan of all things Hunter S. Thompson, so these labels always grabbed my attention as Ralph Steadman did the illustrations for most of the late great Dr. Gonzo’s books and articles. Check out the Flying Dog Website for more information about the link between the brewery and Hunter S. Thompson. The site is very well laid out, extremely informative and probably the best brewery website I have yet to come across, so get clicking on it.
On to the beers… I gathered my wife and my good friend Mike, who is always interested in trying new tasty beers, for a mini tasting in our kitchen to try out the four beers I had been sent.
First up was the K-9 Cruiser Winter Ale. The beer was dark red amber with little noticeable nose. We all found it very balanced with a steady undertone of hops layered over with sweet toffee malt. Overall, a very balanced and drinkable ale on the strong side (alc. 6.4%). My friend was glad to note that there were no spices or added flavors like a lot of other companies winter ales.
Next was the Gonzo Imperial Porter. I was very excited to receive this beer as I have not met too many imperial porters I did not love. Plus, it had great caricature of Hunter S. Thompson on the label. The beer did not disappoint, and was my favorite of the bunch. As soon as I opened the bottle I could scents of floral hops and dark roasted coffee hit my nose. The beer poured dark with a minimum dark brown head. The flavor was dominated by dark chocolaty roasted malt with a slight anise (me) or dried fruit/raisins (my wife and friend) flavor. My little tasting group found this to be a very rich complex brew that left us all with slightly different impressions. We all agreed that the beer finished extremely dry with and a nice warming feel of alcohol (9.0%).
To be continued…
[techtags: BEER REVIEW, FLYING DOG, FLYING DOG BREWERY]