Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Flying Dog Double Dog

While perusing the selection at the local beer distributor, I came upon a six pack of the Flying Dog Double Dog Double Pale Ale. I have been very much into high ABV beers recently (always), especially high ABV beers that work magic with their malt and hop profiles to create a well balanced beer. Also, it's nice to have one beer, feel a little "nice", and then just call it a night. Sometimes, calling it a night isn't the case at all, and it's nice to go slightly overboard without feeling like a bloated slob. I digress.

The point here is that high ABV beers are very interesting on many levels. What a lot of beer drinkers rarely realize is that the alcohol that is a result of the fermentation process adds just as much to the flavor profile of the beer as the malt, hops, and yeast. I always tell my friends who are just starting to get into craft beer to make sure they sample high ABV beers, along with session beers to see how complex, and differentiated the flavor profiles become. You see? High ABV beers are about more than getting you wrecked. In fact, if that's the only reason you drink these beers, well, then you might be missing some interesting magic that happens during the brewing and fermentation processes.

So, here is my review of the Flying Dog Double Dog Double Pale Ale. Honestly, what really caught my attention in the store was the ABV of this brew. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the 11.5% listed on the six pack container. I thought to myself, "That is far more than a Double Pale Ale." I was overwhelmed with excitement to try this one. Well, here's the review...

Brewery: Flying Dog
Beer name: Double Dog
Style: Double Pale Ale
Location: Frederick, MD
ABV: 11.5%
Packaging: 12 oz bottle
Price: $16/6 pack of 12 oz bottles

Appearance: Beautiful, bright amber color indicative of a true Pale Ale. The head on this one is a creamy white, one finger thick head. There is minimal, spotty lacing on the glass. The lacing and the head tend to fall quickly on this one, with very little residual lacing remaining on the glass.

Aroma: A surprising amount of spice on the nose, as well as a malt forward presence. The hop presence is mostly pine and resin. There is also a slight pineapple presence on the nose, as well as a slight amount of citrus,

Taste/Mouth Feel: On the heavier side of medium body with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a generous mouth coating from this brew that lingers for quite a while after the initial sip. A surprising amount of spice up front. I got a bit of pine and resin on the front of the tasting (but not a strong presence, and not for long), followed by a very distinct and strong sweet malt center with hints of toffee and caramel. The finish of the beer has a very distinct alcohol profile, creating a burning alcohol taste in the throat and the back of the mouth.

Overall: 7.5/10 Although this beer is a Pale Ale in appearance, I seriously have an issue with it being referred to as a Pale Ale, being that this is far more along the lines of an American Strong Ale. The hop profiles are present, but not enough to give you the tastes that are associated with Pale Ales. There isn't much going on hop wise on the nose, except for a sight pine and resin presence. I would've expected a hop forward presence on the nose and taste, but they simply weren't there. The sweet malt characters and blatantly present alcohol characters are the stars of this show. Enjoyable, but definitely more of an American Strong Ale than a Pale. Cheers!

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