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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Flying Dog Beer Review: K-9 Winter Ale

Welcome to review number 3, featuring Wild Dog's K-9 Cruiser Winter Ale, another fine beverage provided by Flying Dog Brewery for my reviewing purposes. This review should have been posted a month or two ago, but as you can see from the lack of recent posts, life has dictated that my time be spent elsewhere. My apologies to the folks at Flying dog for the delay. Not to worry, I'm back and so too will be the posts.

As with the last two Flying Dog beer reviews, my buddy Dave was kind enough to assist me with his own review offering a second opinion.

Beer: Flying Dog Brewery's - K-9 Cruiser Winter Ale

Some words from Flying Dog: The psycho in the pack. It is a dark, sweet and malty "Winter Warmer" that will captivate any adventurous microbrew drinker. A true Flying Dog original, K-9 Cruisers is the perfect brew to warm you up in those cold winter months. The malts used are 50/60 Crystal, Chocolate, Oats, Munich malt with Millenium and Saaz hops. 30 IBU's and an alcohol content of 6.4%.

Style: Winter Warmer

Style Description from our friends at BeerAdvocate.com: These malty sweet offerings tend to be a favorite winter seasonal. Big malt presence, both in flavor and body. The color ranges from brownish reds to nearly pitch black. Hop bitterness is generally low, leveled and balanced, but hop character can be pronounced. Alcohol warmth is not uncommon.

Many English versions contain no spices, though some brewers of spiced winter seasonal ales will slap "Winter Warmer" on the label. Those that are spiced, tend to follow the "wassail" tradition of blending robust ales with mixed spices, before hops became the chief "spice" in beer. American varieties many have a larger presences of hops both in bitterness and flavor.

Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 5.5-8.0%

(In this case, the Horn dog boast a whopping 6.4% abv)

How was it served? From a bottle
Glass: Standard pint glass
Location of tasting: Dave's apartment
Reviewers: Bryon & guest reviewer - Dave

Bryon's Review

1. Appearance - An inviting crystal clear display of an orange-red amber topped off with a big bubbly head.

2. Smell - A mild malty sent, with hints of biscuit. (A note on smell - I have a very limited sense of smell, that comes and goes, so my opinions on beer smells should be taken with a grain of salt...)

3. Taste - A sweet malted toasted flavor, with hints of roasted cinnamon, finishes clean with no after taste. The subtle "holiday seasoning" is nearly over powered by the malty flavoring.

4. Mouthfeel - A medium to heavy texture with a light and disappointing flavor.

5. Drinkability - While the K-9 goes down easy, I would say it goes down easier than it should. For a Winter Warmer, this feels like a very small beer. It seems like a novelty beer that fell short.

Drinkability Scale from 1- 10: A 6. (Would I have another? I COULD drink more than one, but would prefer something else. Although it might be better paired with food, and I may just not care for the style. Over all, this isn't my cup of tea, or beer I should say) Sorry guys, this one isn't for me...

And for a second opinion...

Dave's Review

1. Appearance - Dark amber in color, reminiscent of dark corn syrup or a light brewed coffee. Carbonation seems low, but the beer is clear with a well formed head.

2. Smell - K-9 has a nutty, malty scent with hints of roasted grains. It is a clean smell and is very inviting.

3. Taste - The taste is surprisingly light. It refreshes like water, and has mild tones of malt with a slight spicy finish. If you work for it, K-9 will leave a slight after-taste that is a little hoppy; like cinnamon that has a bitter tinge from being slightly burnt. Sweet and clean, but not great.

4. Mouthfeel - Another smooth, medium-weight brew, somewhat under-carbonated. The sweetness tends to cause the beer to cling to your mouth, but not unpleasantly.

5. Drinkability - This beer is very drinkable. It is good, but underwhelming for a winter brew. I think most will enjoy it, but there are a lot of better choices out there.

Drinkability Scale from 1- 10: 6

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