Marshall's Mugs: Flying Dog Raging Bitch Belgian-Style IPA
Published: Thursday, November 8, 2012
Updated: Thursday, November 8, 2012 16:11
Sorry for the language folks, but Flying Dog is too crafty of a beer to pass up. Flying Dog is a somewhat local brewery in Frederick, Md., which is located west of Baltimore. Flying Dog features 10 year round brews such as lagers, pale ales and oyster stout. Raging Bitch suits any season.
Drinking this brew is a unique experience. It has the hoppy flavor of an American India Pale Ale and the body has the sweet nectar of a Belgian style. The Belgian IPA is a knee-slapper at 8.3 percent and includes 60L caramel specialty malt that really gives the beer its color, body and sweetness.ra
Three different types of hops are used in the brewing process. Warrior, Columbus and Amarillo give Raging Bitch its spicy, pungent aroma. The Warrior hops are added in the main brewing, while the Columbus and Amarillo are added just at the end of the boil. Flying Dog also dry hops Raging Bitch with the Amarillo, which gives it an extra punch of hoppy flavor.
What I found most interesting about Raging Bitch is the El Diablo yeast they used. I had never heard of this yeast strand and I was interested to taste it. El Diablo is a Belgian white beer yeast, which is why this IPA has an oddly smooth finish for a such a hoppy brew.
I suggest pouring this Belgian IPA into a tulip glass. The hazy caramel color rises to the top of the glass with a well-carbonated white collar. The citrusy Amarillo and Columbus hops really stand out in the nasal passages. On the first sip, confusion ensues. How does this above 8 percent IPA go down so smoothly? Like I said, the yeast is magical. The Warrior hops provide the first wave of bitterness, but then the citrusy Columbus and Amarillo hops violently take over. Before you know it, a rush of caramel sweetness washes it all down.
If you just let the beer sit on your tongue for a second, you really get all of the flavor reactions. In 2010, Flying Dog released Raging Bitch as their 20th anniversary beer and those who have tasted it know you know why. Try pairing it with a spicy buffalo chicken sandwich or something cooked with citrus, but be careful—it’s deceptively drinkable.
Reverse ends of the beer-loving spectrum unite. IPA lovers will really enjoy this beer. Belgian lovers will enjoy this beer. So give it a try and use the little key below to understand what these numbers of mugs stand for.
1: Don’t try
2: I probably would only drink it
if someone bought it for me
3: Always worth a try
4: Buy it for a friend at the bar
to impress them
5: Christmas present for dad, because, yeah, it is that good
QUICK REVIEW (all mugs out of 5):
Taste: 4 mugs
This beer definitely took a while to grow on me. At first I thought there was too much going on, but then I really started to appreciate its complexity.
Feel: 4 mugs
A complex drinkable beer that is unique in its own right—spicy, citrusy and yet sweet.
Look: 5 mugs
A hazy caramel color that deceives the eye as the hops lay the smack down on your mouth.
Smell: 4 mugs
Citrus really stands out in the smell, which is why it pairs so well with spicy foods.
Overall: 4 mugs