Last weekend I went to the beer and food pairing extravaganza know as SAVOR in Washington DC. Before I left I threw a comment out on my Twitter asking what beer blogger wanted my exclusive recap of the event. My response consisted of crickets and my gracious host Rob, who asked what SAVOR was.
In the end, I gave the exclusive to the beer travel website Road Trips for Beer. You can read part one and two if you like. Understandably, this hurt Rob’s feelings so I am trying to make it up to him today with a review of Flying Dog’s Wild Dog Series release Coffee Stout, batch #2. Flying Dog makes one of my all time favorite beers, Gonzo Imperial Porter.
This is a good beer for me to choose for review as it was only released close to Flying Dog’s home base of Frederick, Maryland. If you weren’t aware, Rob doesn’t leave his home base of Miramar, Florida to purchase the beers he reviews. So it was unlikely he would have this review for his loyal readers anytime soon.
Batch #1 of Flying Dog’s Coffee Stout was a draft only offering. There was apparently enough variation in batch #2 that it made sense to label it as such. Coffee Stout’s label is a departure from their well known Ralph Steadman art work.
With an aggressive pour of this 12 oz offering into a tulip glass, I could raise only a minimal amount of tan head atop of the pitch black beer. It quickly dissipated.
Wow! It has quite a wonderful aroma of coffee and not much else. The coffee overpowers any other potential aroma. It smells like I walked into a high quality coffee shop when they were freshly grinding some wonderfully aromatic beans. The beans in this beer come to us via The Black Dog Coffee Company.
The coffee flavors are there on the palate and the flavor matches the aroma in character. However, the volume has been turned down and is balanced out by a chocolate malt. There is a touch of creamer added as well. This is the definition of a well balanced coffee beer. The perfect amount of hops provide a touch of bitterness in the finish.
Contributing to the harmonious balance would be the the amount of carbonation and body to the beer. This beer walks the fine line between sessionable and a big body. I am enjoying sipping this 8.9% ABV offering, but I could easily be tempted to down another if I had one.
With the recent news of Flying Dog’s 40% growth last year and their need to pull out of approximately thirteen states to concentrate on supplying their home markets, offerings like this make it clear why their neighbors are lapping up their beers in ever increasing numbers.