Jun 3, 2011

Flying Dog Imperial IPA (Simcoe)

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

I wasn’t expecting a package this week so when I noticed that small brown box sitting in my car port Wednesday afternoon upon my arrival home, a sheer, glee-like euphoria swept through me. Then I stepped out of the truck and felt the heat… Abject terror immediately destroyed any excitement I felt.

It was 96° outside and I had no idea how long the package had been sitting on our patio table (luckily still in the shade). My heart sank even further as, upon opening the box, I found a very warm-to-the-touch sample of Flying Dog’s Imperial IPA (Simcoe) — a limited release, single-hopped brew that focuses solely on Simcoe hops. I had to act fast.

Thankfully, the combination of a short transition period in the basement and a little time in the fridge seem to have cooled the beer slowly enough that I didn’t notice any adverse effects from the heat when I cracked it open yesterday afternoon.

Flying Dog Imperial IPA photo
Now that’s a nice looking IPA.


As you can see from the photo above, this is a really nice looking IPA. It pours a golden amber in color with a fairly large, off-white cap of foam.


Hops, glorious hops. Elements of grapefruit, tangerine, light pine resin, subtle sweet malts and a touch of peppery alcohol all come together wonderfully. There’s an earthy quality to the nose.


Wow! Loads of juicy, citrusy hops fill the mouth with a touch of a malt sweetness before rapidly, yet smoothly shifting to an awesomely pleasant dose of bitterness that lingers a good long while in the finish. The hops are earthy, floral and clean on the palate as a crisp mouthfeel adds to the bite on the back-end. At 10% ABV, I would have expected much more of an alcohol presence, but it was well hidden even as the beer warmed in the glass.


I’m a big fan of Flying Dog’s Snake Dog IPA (a year-round offering), but this Simcoe-based Imperial blows it out of the water. It carries an incredibly drinkable flavor profile and wonderful hop component that is both somewhat intense and refined at the same moment. This is, hands down, one of the best beers I’ve had from the brewery.

Rating: 4.5/5

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