Friday, March 4, 2011

Flying Dog: Raging Bitch

How do you excite dedicated beer drinkers? It's pretty easy really. 1. Give them good beer. Or 2, give them free beer. Believe it or not, the other main contributor to this site, Hof, is still a beer enthusiast. Just five days ago, we shared a new amber lager together on a relaxing Sunday afternoon. While I paid for the sixer, thus making it free to Hofer, it didn't get him excited enough to get back into the blog. This saddens me, as in less than one month, Hofer will have gone a full year without writing a blog post for 801onTap.

But I still have hope for Hof. While free, the amber lager I provided to him last week ago was nothing special and woulda been a pretty boring post. Then it hit me. What Hof or any beer drinker loves is free and good beer.

When I think of free and good beer - I think of Flying Dog Brewery. We here at 801 are fans of Flying Dog because they occasionally check out the blog and back in the day, the marketing department sent Hofer some free samples of their good stuff. And you know what, Flying Dog can make a beer. My favorite of their craft is their Old Scratch Amber Lager. So in retrospect, that's what I shoulda picked up for Hof on Sunday. Not just some new amber lager but a good free amber lager: Old Scratch. Well, I messed up that offering, but it got me thinking about Flying Dog. Since someone at FD took the time to read our blog I made the note to sample all their brews. And I just never got around to completing that goal. Shame on me. Well, there's no time like the present. So on to Flying Dog's Raging Bitch Belgian Style Indian Pale Ale.

This Belgian inspired beer pours a golden orange hue with a modest amount of head. The first sip was harsh to the tongue and immediately reminded me of a doppelbock. However, don't be scared away by this bitch, the more you sip, and the more the beer warms, it actually produces a very nice creamy mouthfeel. At 8.3% alcohol, it's really no surprise that the first taste is a jolt to the system. And you do get a distinct grassy alcohol aftertaste. But the creaminess never disappears and once your mouth acclimates to the high abv, you will find bready and fruity malt flavors along with classic Belgian yeasts notes. The hop flavors are almost nonexistent and every time I feel like I'm about to get a hint of hops the alcohol takes over the pallate. Overall, this Belgian IPA is pretty fun to drink - in that most IPAs, Belgian or otherwise, have a fair amount of hop bite. But this brew maintains its smooth creaminess throughout, making for a very drinkable yet intoxicating beverage.

While I didn't think of giving Hof a free six pack of Raging Bitch, I gotta remember to bring over some Flying Dog on my next visit. While I doubt this post or other fond blog memories will inspire him to write again, I still have a feeling free and interesting beer will do the trick. Cheers.

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