Flying Dog St. Eadman
I’ve had the opportunity to try many great beers from Maryland’s Flaying Dog Brewery, but this is the first time that I’ve had the chance to sample anything from their Brewhouse Rarities collection. Each release in this limited series of beers is the devious work of an individual brewer at the company and is best described, as the company quotes Hunter S. Thompson, “too weird to live, too rate to die.”
With the release of St. Eadman — named for the artist, Ralph Steadman, who does a vast majority (if not all) of the label artwork that Flying Dog presents to the world — the brewer’s decided on a Belgian strong dark ale. Well, they certainly got the strong part of it right. This weighs in at a hefty 10% ABV which presents itself front and center throughout its life in the glass — perhaps a touch too much.
St. Eadman pours a dark copperish brown in color with a creamy, light tan head.
Belgian yeast, bready malt, light caramel, a hint of raisin and a touch of background alcohol fill the nose with the scent of a rich brew.
St. Eadman starts off with yeasty notes, caramel malt, a touch of a roast and dark fruits up-front. The medium bodied beer transitions through to a peppery, lightly bitter hop presence that lingers for a bit in the very warming finish. A light sweetness goes well with the earthy malt and does its best to temper the alcohol. This is not a small beer.
Some time in the cellar would do this beer some good. Right now St. Eadman is just a bit too hot to fully enjoy. It needs a little mellowing of the alcohol to really come into its own. The brew is still quite tasty, but the alcohol can be distracting at times. Then again, perhaps it’s meant to be a bit more forward in the regard in order to mirror its namesake’s own artistic endeavors.
This is a review of a promotional sample from the brewery.