Saturday, July 9, 2011

King of the Case: Flying Dog Brewery

Wherein I will buy a variety case and decide what the best beer in it is.

Doggie Style Classic Pale Ale
A crisp ale with a vibrant flavor. The golden beer offers a hoppy zest that does not overwhelm. A smooth beverage with no aftertaste of which to speak.

Snake Dog IPA
Since I forgot to put this in the freezer before I consumed it, the effect of this beer was slightly lessened, but I have had it before and it is potent. It is a pleasantly hopped beer with a slight aftertaste. Goes down very easy. All in all, a terrific East Coast IPA.

Raging Bitch Belgian Style IPA
A lot of good notes on this one. It has a beautiful brown color and an immediately distinctive taste. Not only is the flavor bold with a slightly lingering taste, but it even has a fragrant scent that adds to the enjoyment. The balance of India Pale Ale and Belgian notes is expertly achieved.

Simcoe Imperial IPA
Funny, but for someone whose favorite style of beer is the IPA, double IPAs don't always work for me. This beer falls into that category. It is very strong on the hops, which makes it a little tough to drink as a late-night closer.The aftertaste sticks around longer than invited as well. All in all, this is one that I would probably stay away from as a one-off.

Best Label
All labels in the variety case are a joy to ogle as they were drawn by legendary artist Ralph Steadman, the man who illustrated Hunter S. Thompson's seminal Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, my personal choice for the greatest book ever set to page. All feature surely rabid canines, with Doggie Style looking like half-bat, Snake Dog's having an extended neck in the way of a python, and Raging Bitch's pretty much looking like it would bite your head off at a moment's notice. I suppose I would have to go with Raging Bitch because of the extra points I am giving it for the bloody paw prints strewn about the label. Snake Dog jumps out when the bottles are lined up due to its intense red color, but Raging Bitch hits me on a vicious, guttural level.

King of the Case
Again, Raging Bitch Belgian Style IPA gets the slight nod over Snake Dog IPA. Snake Dog is a perfectly hopped IPA, but Raging Bitch's flavors are a little more adventurous and memorable. You really can't go wrong with any of these beers, and I am betting that if you really like hops, you would find Simcoe much more palatable than I did. All around, the Frederick, Maryland brewery's case is one that I would recommend to any and all beer heads. Get the Alpha Collection now at Jamison's Beverages on Main St. in Jeffersonville.

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