Mar 20, 2017

Flying Dog Shishito Rice Ale

Last year, Flying Dog launched the first four beers in their new Heat Series — a limited line of beer inspired by and brewed with chili peppers. All of them were tasty in their own right and only left me wanting more when they were gone, itching for another round from the brewery. Well, the wait is over as Flying Dog has launched four more spicy beers for the series — I started off with their Shishito Rice Ale.

The Shishito is a mildly spicy pepper generally used in cooking. It’s not a chili that’s going to scorch your tastebuds, measuring in a roughly 50-200 Scoville heat units, much lower than that of your standard jalapeƱo. The effect the chili has on this beer (brewed with Saki and Ardennes yeast) is that of a light fresh pepper flavor, a subtle touch of smokiness and just a hint of a spicy tingle on the tip of the tongue. The beer, overall is crisp and refreshing, with an almost saison like character thanks to the yeast blend.

To that extent, this beer reminds me a good deal of a friend’s home-brewed Serrano Saison, but with much less heat. Shishito Rice Ale is a refreshing little beer at 5.3% ABV and one that would do nicely as a replacement to the standard Tsingtao or Kingfisher bottles at my local Thai restaurant. It’s flavors and easy drinking nature would not only compliment the food, but perhaps help temper some of the more fiery dishes.

Shishito Rice Ale is a great way to start off the brewery’s new Heat Series. It’s light and refreshing with just the slightest tingle of chili warmth as an added bonus. Serving this one cold during the hot Summer months to come sounds like something I may need to do, providing there are still a few bottles laying around stores by then.

This is a review of a promotional sample.