Oct 15, 2013

Flying Dog 2013 Secret Stash

I’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to sample Flying Dog’s annual Secret Stash Harvest Ale over the past couple years — 2011 and 2012. Each year the brewery sources local ingredients in crafting a beer to “honor Maryland’s agricultural roots.” In years past the company has utilized local potatoes, corn, hops, wheat and a variety of other ingredients.

For 2013, Flying Dog has changed things up a bit. For this 5.5% ABV (and 40 IBU) Belgian-style ale, the brewery has kept things relatively simple with local raw wheat and a blend of Cascade, Centennial and Chinook hops from Organarchy and Black Locust Hops. The result is a beer of modest structure but also one that carries a great flavor.


A dense column of resilient white foam rests atop the hazy, pale straw colored brew.

Flying Dog Secret Stash close up


The nose on this beer is simple yet inviting with hits of soft yeast, wheat, distant citrus and a light, spicy hop profile.


I kept wanting to compare Secret Stash to Flying Dog’s collaborative Table for Two, a beer that is similar in style. And much like Table for Two, this particular seasonal is just a fun little beer. It’s lighter body and crisp mouthfeel bring wheat and gain to the palate first. Then a bit of biscuity malt and a wonderfully citrusy hop character that lasts a good long while. At 40 IBU, this beer isn’t a hop bomb by any means, but it does bring enough of a bite to let you know they’re there. This is a very refreshing and drinkable brew.

Flying Dog Secret Stash back label


I love the relative simplicity to this year’s Secret Stash. It’s not overly complex with a myriad of ingredients as past releases have been, but that certainly doesn’t take away from its enjoyment. Clean, crisp and thirst-quenching, Secret Stash 2013 is a beer that is ideal for the warmer months of early Fall.

Rating: 4/5

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