Sep 28, 2012

Flying Dog 2012 Secret Stash Harvest Ale

Flying Dog Brewing’s Secret Stash Harvest Ale is a seasonal release that is a “…celebration of Maryland’s agricultural roots.” Each year the brewery procures a different set of ingredients to produce the beer. Last year the brewery employed fresh Cascade and Chinook hops, soft red wheat, sweet corn, potatoes, and honey in the recipe. This year they’ve decided on local wheat and malted rye, as well as local Cascade and Chinook hops.

Last year’s version of the beer was complex and outstanding. This year, it’s not quite as layered in terms of flavors, but is still pretty damn tasty. It’s a beer that’s probably the more well-rounded of the two.


The beer pours a light golden straw in color with a quickly falling white cap of foam.


Subtle wheat, light spicy rye, grapefruit and hops that have a grassy, piney combine for a well rounded thought subtle aroma.


The Maryland Cascade and Chinook hops are the first flavors to arrive as grapefruit, grass and a touch of pine wash over the tongue. The hop presence is strong, but not overbearing. The spicy rye that arrives shortly thereafter helps to accentuate the hop bite a bit before fading smoothly into a linger wheat character present in the slightly drying finish. A fairly low level of alcohol (5.5% ABV) and a moderate crispness makes for a beer that is refreshing and quite drinkable.


While I prefer last years depth and range of flavors, the 2012 release for Secret Stash is still a tasty brew that doesn’t rely too heavily on the wheat side of things, but arrives in a very approachable and well balanced package of flavors. I can certainly see myself putting a couple of these away after doing a little early Fall raking.

Rating: 3.75/5

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

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