Posted 12 months ago | Beer, Maryland Beer, Reviews

Flying Dog Experimental Pepper IPA


When the four beers in Flying Dog’s new Heat Series arrived last week, I had planned on saving this Experimental Pepper IPA for last, what with it appearing to be the spiciest of the bunch. But a warm and beautiful afternoon called for a refreshing IPA and not the stout I had originally prepared to review. So, sitting outside on a lovely March evening, I cracked open this 7% ABV (40 IBU) IPA and prepared for the heat.

The level of chili fire that I encountered on the first couple of sips wasn’t so bad. Yes, it affects the nasal passages a bit and tingles the tongue with a gentle warmth, but it’s not on the same level as, say, Ghost Face Killah or Stone’s Crime and Punishment. It’s very similar to last year’s Flying Dog Carolina Reaper Peach IPA in terms of the peppery intensity. This is to expected, as I believe — based on what I tasted and felt — the experimental pepper in use here is a strain or sibling to the Guinness World Record holder.

As for the rest of this IPA, it’s fantastic. Loads of tropical fruits and pine accompany the moderate heat from the experimental pepper on a flavorful journey across the palate. The beer is neither overly fruity or too focused on the chili influence, instead presenting excellent balance between all aspects. Pine and a soft bitterness only add to the experience.

I was thoroughly impressed with this beer. Unlike the contemporaries I mentioned above, this one does not solely focus on the chili heat which is fine — let those beers do what they do best. Instead, Flying Dog’s Experimental Pepper IPA uses that chili to accent the luscious fruitiness of the base IPA, allowing everything to be presented in a fair and even level. The end result is a beer that I will most likely buy several times over in the coming months.

This is a review of a promotional sample.


Well, it the beer certainly looks like a benign IPA — crystal clear and golden in color. A large stack of rocky white foam falls unevenly to a full crown around the surface.

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