Tag Archive: Flying Dog


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.

Flying Dog: International Arms Race (USA: Spice and Herb Ale: 7.5% ABV)

Visual: Cloudy amber with lots of orange to red bits within in. Fizzes up but doesn’t settle into a head. Quite a bit of carbonation.

Nose: Squeezed orange and ginseng. Herbal and minty. Ginger root. Sour grapes.

Body:  Marmalade. Bitter but sweet. Grapefruit juice. Herbal bitterness, maybe dill.

Finish; Good bitterness and greenery. Marmalade again. Tart pineapple.

Conclusion: Despite my Brewdog bias I have to say, in the international arms race Flying Dog have taken the crown.

Unlike Brewdog who, against type, went much closer to the traditional interpretation of the unhopped beers, Flying Dog have gone for this fruity, solidly bitter and fresh grapefruit in an American style solidly herbal beer.

Marmalade is definitely the base flavour, and brings recollection of Dalmore’s whisky range to mind. This beer, again in contrast to the Brewdog version, does at least bear a passing resemblance to the IPA style. Well if you squint a bit anyway.  The bitterness is solid, and the freshness tends towards the pineapple and grapefruit notes of a lot of American hops. Heck even the marmalade isn’t a million miles away from the heavy Apricot hop IPAs that seem all the rage in the USA.

That said it is still definitely its own thing, herbal and fresh with a shit ton of bits in it. Frankly I am impressed. It isn’t really an IPA, but there are enough calls to the style that I’m satisfied with this zero hop interpretation.

Refreshing, a call-back to traditional ales, bitter and flavoursome. By its nature it is rough edged, definitely an unpolished gem, but a gem nonetheless and one with charm.

A definite winner of the arms race.

Background: Drank the Brewdog version of this a short while back, and as explained there these two beers were created as part of a competition to create and IPA style beer but without using any hops. This version uses bay leaves, rosemary, juniper, spearmint, elderflower and orange peel instead. Flying Dog are pretty easy to get this side of the pond, but for some reason I’ve never got around to doing a tasting note on one of them (Edit: I totally forgot, Snakedog IPA. Ok. Nearly never then.)

Flying Dog Snakedog IPA (USA :IPA : 7.1% ABV)

Visual: Golden brown : medium but lasting head

Nose: Good dose of hops, dried apricot, stewed apples

Taste: Chewy, balanced hops rich maltiness

Finish: Sweet thick and hoppy

Conclusion: Very nice, well balanced, just outside the top range of the range IPAs such as punk IPA and not as unusual as Innis and Gunns very non standard IPA but not a beer you regrets drinking – a fine choice

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