Sunday, March 29, 2009

Flying Dog's Canis Major Mix Pack

I've been a fan of Flying Dog's beers ever since I was introduced to their wares at their original brewery in downtown Denver. For whatever reason I haven't had many of their beers since they moved across country to Maryland. Well that has now changed. This past weekend I made a journey up to Spec's Downtown and saw Flying Dog's Canis Major Mix pack. Now this is not just any mix pack. It contains two bottles of Flying Dog's Big beers. Big as in high alcohol. Two each of Horn Dog Barley Wine, Kerberos Tripel, Gonzo Imperial Porter, and Double Dog Pale ale. However, the coolest part of this pack was the bottles. These were packaged in 7.0 oz bottles instead of the traditional 12 oz. I think this is a brilliant way to package stronger beers as you can have a couple of bottles and not be plastered so kudos to Flying dog as they are the only brewery that I know of that packages in this way. Another reason that I was excited to see this mix pack is that its the only way we can get Gonzo Imperial Porter and their Tripel as for whatever reason they don't ship those two to Texas. So as I've had the Horn Dog and Double Dog before I dove into the mix pack for the other two.
Kerberos Tripel: I love tripels as I believe they are the Champagne of beer (no that is NOT Miller High Life), and have a lot of similar characteristics of toasted bread, bubbles, yeasty notes, etc. So let's see how this one pairs up. It weighs in at 8.5% and pours a golden orange color with a quarter inch bright white head. The nose is of honeysuckle, pears, fruity sweet yeast notes. The mouth feel is poppy, but not much a little flatter than expected. There are peppery notes, honey, pears, candied sugar. A little boozy. Its missing some of the biscuity flavors and some of the bubbly mouthfeel I love in a tripel. The flavors are good, but its just missing a little oomph. It gets a B- from me. Here's what the folks at BA have to say.
Gonzo Porter: The label calls this an Imperial Porter, but most would call it a Baltic Porter. These are named after the Baltic area in Eastern Europe where they took English Porter and amped it up quite a bit to higher alcohol levels. This one weighs in at 7.8% and a hoppy 85 IBU's. It pours an inky dark brown with a thick rich brown colored head. The nose is full of molasses, chocolate, citrusy hops, and coco nibs. The mouthfeel is think and tongue coating. Rich dark chocolate, raisins, and grapefruityness. Its a bitter beer, bitter times 2. One level of bitterness hits you from the deep dark chocolate malts, the other bitterness hits you from the citrusy hops. Very different, but they compliment each other. Think of dark chocolate covered orange peel and you get the idea (not quite as citrusy as that though). Some vanilla flavors show up as it warms. Very nice. This one gets a B+ from me. Lots of BA praise for this one.

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