Nov 13, 2014

Flying Dog Imperial Hefeweizen and Sugar Cookies Pairing

Last week, I received a cool package from Flying Dog Brewery. The Maryland company recently announced a holiday variety pack inspired by the products of another local mainstay — Otterbein’s Bakery. Not only are these holiday beers inspired by cookies, but the package (as seen in the tweet below) arrived with cookies in tow to sample with the brews they inspired.

The decision to start with the pairing of the brewery’s Imperial Hefeweizen and bakery’s sugar cookies was solely based on personal preference. Namely, I chose to work my way through the pairings with my least favorite — beer and cookie — styles first. It just so happened that fate had the hefeweizen and sugar cookies set up together. Here we go.

The Imperial Hefeweizen is a big boy version of your standard example of the style. Everything is amped up. The brew pours with a murky haze and amber in color. A frothy cap of tawny foam falls gently to a patchy surface cover. Smooth wheat and loads of banana are about all that are discernible on the nose — maybe a hint of alcohol, as well. As far as the flavor of this 7.8% brew goes, it’s pretty much what I expected. A solid amount of wheat, yeast and banana-y esters wash over the tongue, leading toward a bit of warmth in the lingering finish. There’s also a touch of grassy hops present in the mix.

Flying Dog Imperial Hefeweizen and Sugar Cookies Pairing photo

The Otterbein’s sugar cookies are quite thin, almost wafer-like in appearance and cut to resemble snowmen. And just like most sugar cookies that I’ve had in the past it’s sweet and dry. For fans of this style of baked treat, I’m sure it’s right in line with what they want, but I’ve just never been a fan of them since I was a kid. It’s a straightforward type of cookie.

Separately, the two halves of this pairing don’t do much for me. But, together… that’s where it’s at. The combo only really worked for me if I took a nibble of the cookie after a sip of the brew — before and the cookie flavor was wiped out. The result is a fruity, doughy, sweet concoction that certainly has a flavor profile appropriate for the season.

Flying Dog Imperial Hefeweizen and Sugar Cookies Pairing photo

All in all, it’s not a bad combo. Not being a fan of either the beer or cookie styles long before this package was ever conceived, I had my reservations about the pairing. In the end, however, the mingle of flavors worked out well enough as evident by me eating and drinking all that was offered for review.

Rating: 3.25/5

This is a review of a promotional sample.

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