Sep 30, 2020

Flying Dog Great Job West Coast Double IPA

If there is one thing I’ve learned over my nearly ten year relationship with Maryland’s Flying Dog Brewing, it’s that the company knows how to make a solid – if not, extraordinary – IPA. Whether a one-off, single hop affair or one crafted with Belgian Yeast to celebrate their 20th anniversary, the brewery has put on display over and over their expertise with the hop flower.

Great Job, a west coast style double IPA, falls right in line with the IPAs that have come before it. The big beer (9%ABV and 60 IBU) also presents a more straightforward drinking experience than other imperial or double IPAs that I have had in recent years. It’s not hazy, it’s not fruit-juicy and – wait a minute – are those alpha acids tingling my palate?

An array of pungent hop aromas and flavors are packed into this 12 ounce bottle. From the first sniff to the last, agonizing sip, Great Job presents a great double IPA experience. Grapefruit, resinous pine, a bit of toasted bread and a light sweetness all come together quite smoothly and with a deceptive balance. At 60 IBU, the beer does grab the tongue a bit, but this beer isn’t going to wreck your tastebuds any time soon. The malt bill makes sure to keep that side of each swallow from becoming overwhelming to the senses.

I am a big fan of IPAs of this nature. I want to taste a bold hop character. I want that bitterness. Many big IPAs in recent years seem to have forgotten their roots. Yes, there are exceptions and I’ve praised those that I have encountered, but for the most part, I still run into examples of the style that are too fruity or don’t offer up that haymaker of hop bitterness. Flying Dog have made sure to capture the style’s origin with Great Job. This is a darn good IPA worthy of a 30th anniversary release.