Brewdog: Flying Dog: Dogfight (Scotland: IPA:8.5% ABV)

Visual: Slightly bronzed gold, yellow edged. Banana skin tinged froth.

Nose: Overripe banana. Pineapple. Smooth lime hops. Quite low key overall. Golden syrup.

Body: Clinging hops. Apricot and pineapple. Low level growling bitterness. Banana and syrup. Custard. Belgium yeast feel. Honey.

Finish: Bitter. Brown bread. Banana skin. Light greenery. Juicy fruitiness hangs over it.

Conclusion: The first impressions on this were not good. I’d tried a quick sip sample and it felt a bit like a below average pale ale from that.  So I ordered a half.  Why I did that I don’t know, surely the whole point of a sample is if you don’t like it you don’t go on and buy the beer.  Thankfully I did though, as on a half pint it’s a whole other ball game. Much smoother feeling with a mix of banana and apricot flavours.  So, after I got over my surprise I delved deeper.

The texture is almost Belgium in style, very smooth textured beyond what you would normally expect from an IPA.  The flavours are similarly smooth in delivery and quite easy going. For an over 8% abv beer it is very easy to drink. The hops are understated and juicy which gives a very refreshing beer with a bitterness that wakes you rather than kicks you.

The mix of Belgium style with the sweetness also allows passing calls to be made to the Belgium Tripel style, though if it were one it would be the world’s most easy going tripel.  At 8% it isn’t sessionable but the flavours feel like it could do it.

Has a bit of problem them finding its niche then, and the aroma is weak, giving no real hint at the surprisingly pleasant beer that awaits you.  Overall though as an easy going beer it does well, and slips down easy.  It doesn’t shake the world, but keeps the flavour going and mixes styles well.  Definitely worth taking the risk on a half then.

Background:  After the two zero IBU IPA’s it seems Brewdog and Flying Dog got together to make this actual IPA.  This was found at Brewdog Bristol. As always I am not an unbiased actor on Brewdog beers.  I’m fairly unbiased on Flying Dog though. Belgium Style IPA’s, which this closely resembles are a usually a lovely twist on the IPA style and one I welcome. I’ve seen one person say this is a rye IPA, but haven’t been able to find confirmation on that.