25 November 2016
It’s hard to believe we’ve hit the post-Thanksgiving season already…and with Black Friday upon us, the choice was clear. Either spend all day fighting the crowds at the mall, or sit down and sample two new great beers coming from Flying Dog.
Up first I couldn’t resist trying the new Brewhouse Rarities release, Sea Salt Caramel Brown. This beer starts life as a brown ale, but if that’s all you’re expecting to find in the nose and the taste, you’re in for a surprise. Sea Salt Caramel Brown is loaded with great vanilla and caramel malt aromas and on first sip you’ll find the vanilla sweetness remains. Next up, we found some really interesting saltiness and the balance of the sweet and salty really worked out well. My palate kept reaching for the chocolate flavors to complete the candy-like trifecta, but the caramel and salt remain prominent. Sea Salt Caramel Brown uses imported caramel malt, aromatic malt and Midnight wheat as well as Perle hops and Chico yeast…and the 7%-AbV is really sneaky. This beer felt a little more hoppy than I expected, but that 35 IBU helps balance out the sweetness nicely. All in all a very nice and drinkable savory/salty/sweet beer.
Next up we broke into the Flying Dog Heat Series release; Jalapeno White Ale. The base for this beer is a Belgian-style wit, brewed with coriander and orange peel, but the nose and flavor is dominated (in a good way) by the Jalapeno pepper. The peppers smell earthy and it was really interesting how the spicy peppers played with the Belgian yeast flavors. This beer also uses Perle hops as well as wheat, oats and El Diablo yeast. As expected, the peppers bring the heat, but there’s a complex balance here that doesn’t let the pepper flavors hide the traditional witbier flavors. Heat Series Jalapeno White Ale hits 5.5%-AbV and 18 IBU and it strikes a nice balance without being too hot (for me).