Feb 25, 2013

Flying Dog Lucky SOB Irish Red

It’s fairly well documented on this site that I’ve had my struggles with the Irish Red Ale style of beer. It’s not a style I hate, but it’s not one that I would go out of my way for either. I’ve found a few that I actually quite like, but they’ve all come with a heavy handed dose of hoppy goodness. There are very few “true to style” examples (meaning not overly hopped up) of the style that I can get behind.

This version from Maryland’s Flying Dog Brewing (crafted with the addition of four-leaf clovers nonetheless) is one that I could possibly see myself sitting down with for a while — possibly. I’d need to try it again a couple of more times to fully sign on for that commitment. Lucky SOB is, however, the best local example of an Irish Red that I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy, so it’s got an advantage in that area.


Lucky SOB pours a deep, brownish copper with a beige cap of foam that dropped slowly to thin surface cover.


Caramel and bready, peaty malt dominates as a light toast and distant grassy, citrusy hops are also present. I can’t say that I’ve ever really taken to the time to smell a four-leaf clover so I can’t say that I actually pick that up in the nose, but I can assume that it probably adds a little more grassy character to the beer.


The brew is solidly malt forward for the first half with a bready character, caramel and a bit of peat. The back half of the beer packs a decent amount of grassy hop character with a light-to-moderate bitterness that lingers nicely in the dry finish. The beer is refreshing on the palate and pretty darn easy drinking. At 5.5% ABV the alcohol is no where to be found.


Of the local varieties of this style that I’ve had through the years, this is hands-down the best of the bunch. But I’ll need to sample it again a couple of times over to determine whether or not it’s going to be a beer that I can rely on in the future. As it stands, Lucky SOB is still a tasty brew with a solid malt-driven character and is smooth drinking. Fans of Irish Reds should probably check this one out.

Rating: 3.5/5

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

More: ,