Flying Dog Green Tea Imperial Stout
Maryland’s Flying Dog Brewing announced their 2013 Brewhouse Rarities release schedule back in November of last year. While a vast majority of the beers on that list are draft only, there are a couple of releases that would be available in bottle. The first small run available in shops is the brewery’s Green Tea Imperial Stout.
I knew going into pulling this beer of the shelf that I was going to be in for an interesting ride having proclaimed my love of the stout ad nauseum on this site and not being a huge tea drinker and/or fan. The addition of a cold green tea steep to an already rich imperial stout made for a drinking experience that was quite complex — perhaps too complex for my own personal liking, but I was thrilled to have been able to purchase and try out the release nonetheless. The rich, robust quality of the stout is met with the earthy, herbal nature of the tea in a way that took the beer in a completely different, but not at all unpleasing direction.
This big beer pours a midnight black with a dark brown cap of foam.
You can definitely pick up a good amount of herbal green tea along with a dark roast coffee presence, a touch of cocoa and solid malt backbone. For some reason the combination reminded me of graham crackers.
Man, the green tea really turns this stout on end. It’s big and robust with chocolate and coffee notes, but the initial blast of green tea is something I wasn’t quite prepared for. I guess i was expecting it to be a little more subdued, but the earthy, slightly minty and herbal tea presence takes its spot front and center. The tea doesn’t last long through as its grassy character fades smoothly to a solid imperial stout flavor profile. The beer is full on the palate and ends slightly drying with a lingering light level of sweetness. The alcohol is masked quite well.
I’m not sure that green tea is, well, my cup of tea. It brings an interesting presence to a big stout and is one that I’m glad I at least tried, but if I’m going to enjoy a stout from this brewery, I’m going to stick with their Gonzo or maybe even their barrel-aged Gonzo (review coming soon).