Thursday, December 27, 2007

Flying Dog Double Dog Double Pale Ale

Recently I received a package from Flying Dog Brewery in Denver (and Frederick, MD) with four different beers for my reviewing pleasure. Their Double Dog Pale Ale was included, and as a fan of DIPAs, I was looking forward to trying it out. I knew it was a big beer and waited for an opportune time. Last weekend we were relaxing after finishing up with the Christmas tree decorations and it seemed a good time to sit down and enjoy a powerful beer.

The Flying Dog's description says "Double recipe of Pale Ale dry hopped with an insane amount of Cascade and Columbus hops." Indeed, Double Dog Pale Ale is no meek beer. It comes on with a bang. I could smell the hops as soon as I opened the bottle. The pour is a bright copper-orange color. Many high hop, high ABV beers don't exhibit much in the way of a head, but this has a moderately thick head that's surprisingly long-lasting. There are lots of bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass to replenish the persistent thin head at the top. There's no ignoring the strong citrus hops in the aroma or in the taste. Double Dog also has a pretty strong alcohol flavor. I could feel this beer in my cheeks and under my eyes as I drank it. There's a slight bit of dark fruit detectable as well. The hops and malts are strong and well-balanced so the alcohol is not unpleasant, but still very noticeable. There’s no ignoring the 10.5% ABV in this one.

This is a strong, brash beer. If you’re a fan of double DIPAs as I am, it’s a beer for you. The hops are up front, as is the alcohol. But this isn't just about being in your face, there's a balance here that makes it quite drinkable. I'd suggest making it your only, or at least last beer of the evening. It would take a very strongly flavored beer to follow up the Double Dog. Thanks to Flying Dog for the sample. With Flying Dog's upcoming move to Maryland, I'm sure their beers will be having an increased visibility in the area. This was a fun beer and one I'll have again.

Update: Stan Hieronymus has a post about Flying Dog's 2008 planned release of their Canis Major series (which includes Double Dog) in a mixed eight-pack of 7-ounce bottles. Perfect for when you want a smaller serving of one of these big beers.

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