Since the holiday season is finally officially over, I am getting back to brewing and a few lose ends. More to come on the brewing, but for now, I was the lucky recipient of a surprise package from Flying Dog Brewing Company. This isn’t a first, I have reviewed Flying Dog per-request by the brewery in the past, and to be honest I didn’t think I would be getting any more samples based on my review.
However, they decided to try to woo me with another brew, and this time it was a success. The package came as a surprise to me in December. I had seen the Raging Bitch, Belgian Style IPA out and about, but hadn’t broken down and gotten any yet.
A quick overview, this is called a Belgian-Style IPA which I assume means that they ferment an IPA with Belgian yeast, but I am not sure. Either way, it was a great brew. The aroma was vanilla with hints of banana and coriander. The spices I assume are the result of the Belgian yeast. The hops as listed on the website are Warrior, Columbus and Amarillo with a reported IBU of 60. The ABV is listed as 8.3% and is very apparent in the mouth feel. There is a recognizable after burn, but not offensive and nothing you wouldn’t expect from a brew of this size. It’s a light copper color, almost suede or camel, not overly dark with a touch of red. There is some cloudiness in the beer that is another sign of it’s Belgian styling.
The flavor is deep, warm and full. There are tiny fruit notes and a tinge of hops bitterness that ends the flavor. The front-end is really dominated by the vanilla (Columbus hops I assume) and maltiness you expect from a Belgian brew. This beer is great. I loved the vanilla with all the fruity notes, it was all done in a grace and harmony that made this an enjoyable beer.
Over all, I would say they hit this one out of the park. In the past I have not been satisfied with Belgian IPA’s because they don’t balance the flavors that make the Belgian beers so wonderful with the power of the hoppy IPA. Flying Dog breaks that barrier for me and delivers the beer that I had hoped for in a Belgian IPA, balance, complementary hops and an emphasis on the brilliance of the Belgian yeast. Big score for Flying Dog, great beer and I highly recommend it! (I’ll be grabbing a sixer before long)
More to come this week, I will be brewing Saturday, time to revisit the Doppelbock.