Flying Dog 2017 St. EADman Abbey Ale
Back in 2013 Flying Dog released a big, boozy beer from their “Brewhouse Rarities.” St. EADman was brewed as a tribute to long time friend of the brewery and artist who produces most of their artwork, Ralph Steadman. It was a limited release beer that not only delivered a solid array of flavors, but also a large amount of alcohol warmth. Fast forward a few years and the Belgian-style strong dark ale has just been added to the company’s year-round rotation. It’s a bit smaller in size (8.3% ABV) now, but still presents a solid flavor and drinking experience.
I only have my notes to go on from that first tasting — and a polluted memory — so a one-to-one comparison isn’t fair, but I can almost certainly say that while the beers share a similar flavor there are nuances between the two. The latest incarnation of St. EADman carries a bit more of a roast than its predecessor, supplying a touch of coffee and a burnt caramel trait to both the aroma and flavor. The strong yeast backbone is still there as is the raisin and fig presence and the touch of sweetness that lingers on the lips after each sip.
Perhaps my palate has evolved (devolved) over the years or I’m tasting a revised recipes (always a possibility), but St. EADman doesn’t come across quite as rich as I remember. And that’s quite alright in all honesty. I do like the rather raw presentation this beer carries with bready grain and yeast without too much sweetness or alcohol. Adding this beer to the brewery’s year-round line-up feels good to me as it offers up a change of pace from the core and a unique flavor fans can sample at any time of year, not just on a special occasion.
This is a review of a promotional sample.
St. EADman pours a dark mahogany in color with a garnet edge when held to light. The large stack of rocky, beige foam falls slowly to a full ring and solid surface cover. It looks just like it did back in 2013.