Saturday, September 24, 2011

Flying Dog Secret Stash

Arriving home after a long day at work and finding a package from Flying Dog waiting for me is always a day brightener. Earlier this week a bottle of Flying Dog Secret Stash Harvest Ale arrived. The enclosed description was very intriguing and I didn't wait long to try it out. The brewery incorporates locally grown ingredients when creating Secret Stash — Cascade and Chinook hops, red wheat, sweet corn, potatoes and honey. Spices and a Saison yeast strain round out the recipe

Flying Dog Secret Stash pours a golden amber color with a thick, fluffy head. The aroma is earthy with an interesting funkiness. The first sip hits with a sharp tang that was a bit of a surprise. Immediately the complex flavors start emerging. Grassy hops, Saison funk, bitter hops, it's all there. The beer has a moderately high carbonation level. The finish is dry with a lingering bitterness.

Secret Stash is an annual project from Flying Dog Brewery. The recipe changes every year "due to harvest availability and the whims and interest of the fine brewers at Flying Dog Brewery." I've not had previous years' batches, but I certainly enjoyed this one. Unfortunately by the time I started figuring out all the nuances in the flavor, my glass was empty. And that happened all too quickly. The beer is rumored to be showing up at stores and pubs in Virginia, Maryland and DC. I do think I need to find a few more bottles of Secret Stash to further interpret its secrets.

FTC Notice: I drank and reviewed this beer of my own free will. No compensation was received for the review.

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