Dec 12, 2016

Flying Dog Raspberry Leaf Ale and Lemon Sugar Cookies

In one of last year’s Holiday beer and cookie pairings, Flying Dog set these tasty lemon sugar cookies from Otterbein’s Bakery with a Cranberry IPA. I wasn’t a fan of that beer, but the tasty dessert treats made the combination much more tolerable, tasty even. Well, the brewery has done it again — they’ve matched the lemon sugar cookies with a beer that was my least favorite of this season’s offering.

The Raspberry Leaf Ale is a 6.5% (20 IBU) ABV pale ale brewed with raspberries, raspberry leaves and grapefruit — the bottle label mentions tea while the press sheet does not. A pillowy cap of off-white foam sits atop the muted amber brew. Soft raspberry mingles gently with leafy tea, grapefruit, light bready notes and a lemony tingle on the nose. The lightly tart raspberry is the predominant flavor, but isn’t overly strong or dominating as grapefruit lingers gently with the tea influence. The ale is earthy and floral with a soft carbonation.

Flying Dog Raspberry Leaf Ale

The cookies arrived in the shape of rounded hearts. Thin, crisp and light on the palate, the cookies also bring an excellent lemony flavor to the affair with a good amount of sweetness. I flet these cookies were the surprise personal hit of last year’s Holiday pack and are just as outstanding this time around.

Separately, the cookie is much better than the beer. Together, their flavors work pretty damn well. The lemony flavor of the dessert brings a liveliness to the raspberry and tea flavors while the sweetness cuts through the beer’s light tartness. This is definitely a case of the cookie helping out the beer, at least for my own personaly preferences.

Flying Dog Raspberry Leaf Ale

Just like last year’s Cranberry IPA, the Raspberry Leaf Ale wasn’t my favorite of the bunch, but I’ll be damned if its flavors didn’t work well when matched with the cookies. The lemony sweetness was a much needed aspect that paired nicely with the beer’s lightly tart raspberry and earthy tea leaf character. I realize I’m not going to like every beer I sample, but I was still surprised at how complimentary the flavors from the cookie were with that of the pale ale.

This is a review of a promotional sample.

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