Aug 22, 2011

Flying Dog Centennial Imperial IPA

Flying Dog Centennial IPA photoCan you smell the hops?

This is the second beer in Flying Dog’s Single Hop line of Imperial IPAs that I’ve had the opportunity to sample. I absolutely fell in love with the layered depth found in their Simco-focused release. It showcased a range of flavors that was hard to imagine came from only a single hop variety. It was a beer that was beyond one-dimensional and this latest Centennial-based version is just as deep with layers of character.

Flying Dog has done an amazing job pulling out flavor dimensions and depth from just the Centennial hop variety, all the while utilizing the same base recipe for each of these single hop releases. The beer has a great aroma and excellent flavors and serves as an example of what the Maryland brewer can do with a single hop for flavoring, bittering and aroma.


The Centennial Imperial IPA pours a deep, golden amber in color with a large, frothy white head.


You can smell the hops immediately upon cracking the top off the bottle. Once poured into the glass, waves of grapefruit, orange, pine resin, honey and lightly toasted malt flow into your nose.


Just like the Simcoe-centric release, this Centennial version is wonderfully layered. Caramel malt mingles with juicy, fruity and piney hops. While the beer focuses heavily on hops, it is well balanced from beginning to end. At 70 IBU, there’s a moderate to high level of hop bitterness (depending on your IPA experience) that loiters around for a good long while after each sip. The 10% ABV is masked fairly well for the most part, but does impart a light bit of warmth late in the swallow — it also makes its presence more known as the beer warms in the glass.


I would love to find a couple of bottles of each of these and sit down for a side-by-side tasting to see exactly how different (or similar) the two hop varieties are next to one another. I’ve enjoyed this series a good deal so far and can’t wait for the next release.

I highly recommend these beers for any fan of hoppy IPAs.

Rating: 4.25/5

This is a review of a promotional sample received from the brewery.

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