Sunday, 20 February 2011

Flying Dog Beers

Utobeer, £2.50 - £4.50

Firstly let's begin with a quick shoutout to Ed over at The Beer Bunker who confirmed the excellent Utobeer in Borough Market as a likely destination to encounter some Flying Dogs.

I recall little of a recent trip to the United States of America, but one thing that does stick is spending a fair amount of time staring at a number of blurry and obscene Ralph Steadman cartoons on beer bottles.

And what beer! Huge on flavour, alcohol, distinction, and faux-Gonzo copy on the labels. Good enough to stand out in the already excellent American craft brewing scene- it filled the gaps between bouts of vintage claret very nicely indeed.

And so below, ranked in order of preference, are the bottles I picked up:

1. Snake Dog IPA 7.1%
Big, bold, crunchy hoppiness balances the alcohol perfectly. Flowers, peaches, enough richness. A smidge better than brilliant.
2. Gonzo Imperial Porter 8.7%
Really heady stuff. Starts with caramel sweetness and clever, distintive smacks of coffee and dark chocolate, before unwinding with a cleansing bitterness.
3. Double Dog Double IPA 11.5%
Another cleverly balanced, hop-heavy IPA. Pretty delicious but not quite as bright as the Snake Dog.
4. Old Skratch Amber Lager 5.5%
A good interpretation of a noble US style, perhaps doesn't quite have enough of the moreish malt sweetness that makes Sam Adams so successful.
5. Tire Bite Golden Ale 5.1%
Good, refreshing stuff, but lacking swagger. A touch dilute.
6. Kerebos Tripel 8.5%
Should have left it to the Belgians. Drastically deficient in the malt-beeriness necessary to balance the sugar and alcohol. Way too hot.

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