Dec 6, 2016

Flying Dog Horchata Lager and Sugar Cookie Pairing

I’ve been fortunate enough to receive samples of beer from a number of smart, inventive and skilled brewers for a few years now. There’s one seasonal release, however, that I have been looking forward to since August. For the past two years, Maryland’s Flying Dog Brewing has collaborated with Otterbein’s Bakery to produce a holiday beer and cookie pairing. The two companies are at it again and the first combination for 2016 is Horchata Lager paired with sugar cookies.

I’ve never really been a fan of sugar cookies, but Otterbein’s are pretty damn good and have come very close to correcting my opinion on the cookie. These, just as in years past, are thin, crisp and light with just the right amount of sweetness. They’re pretty damn good, I mean, as far as sugar cookies go.

Beer and cookies photo

As for the 6.8% ABV lager paired with the cookies, I had to look up “horchata” on the Interwebs. I had no idea what it was and, frankly, am still confused a bit by the various definitions of the drink. For our purposes here, it’s a milky beverage made with sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. Thankfully, this lager is dark amber and crystal clear, not milky in any fashion as a dense head of off-white foam sits firmly atop. The beer smells lemony and herbal as a tingle of cinnamon plays games with your nose.

As the beer washes over the tongue, loads of cinnamon are presented, leaving a tingle in it’s wake. I don’t pick up much, if any vanilla in the mix and the beer isn’t at all sweet. The lager does have a nice bready character with a soft caramel presence as the crisp beer carries everything to a refreshing finish.

Beer and cookies photo

Both halves of this pairing are good in their own right, but when they come together — that’s where it’s at. That sugar sweetness from the cookies meets the beer’s cinnamon in a tasty and well balanced combination. The peak gives off an impression of the wife’s snickerdoodle cookies that she bakes periodically. The two create a nice pairing, complimenting one another quite nicely.

This is a review of a promotional sample.

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