Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Beer of the Week (Vol. XXXV)

Whether it's trying to find a last minute gift for the guy who has everything (you can NEVER have too much whiskey) or stocking up in anticipation of the Great Christmas Blizzard of Aught-Eight, Glen Lake Wine & Spirits is the place to go for all your drinking needs. They once again make this special Christmas edition of Beer of the Week possible.

There's not many things that temper my desire to enjoy a good beer. A nasty winter head cold however usually diminishes the pleasure of drinking beer enough to dissuade me from partaking. The beer doesn't taste the same and the very things that make beer what it is--hops and barley especially--usually exacerbate the stuffed nature of your head. It's one of the many reasons that God invented whiskey, which is actually a most welcome tonic when confronted with a cold.

But I'm a professional. Well, maybe more like a glorified amateur. But the Beer of the Week must go on. For neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of cold stays me from the swift completion of my appointed rating. And this week that rating is of Flying Dog Brewery's K-9 Cruiser Winter Ale.

Brown bottle. Usual Gonzo style Flying Dog label with a crazy-looking K-9 shredding on a snow board with a blue and white wintery background.

Beer Style: Winter warmer

Alcohol by Volume: 6.4%

COLOR (0-2): Very clear brown. 2

AROMA (0-2): Malty and sweet. A little light. 1

HEAD (0-2): Pretty thick off an aggressive pour. Off-white color. Decent retention and lacing. 2

TASTE (0-5): Mostly sweet malt with light roast flavor as well. Light bodied and a bit thin. 3

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Sharp finish with some hoppiness. You can definitely taste the alcohol even though it's not exceptionally strong. 2

OVERALL (0-6): While doing some background research on this beer, I noticed a number of reviews that were not very favorable. It seems that some take exception to Flying Dog calling this a "winter warmer" when it fact it's better categorized as another style such as brown or pale ale. Frankly, I don't care that much about such esoterica. While it may not fit into the traditional categories, I found K-9 Cruiser to be a decent winter beer. The thing that really stands out is the alcohol taste. Again at 6.4% ABV, it's not unusually strong for a winter beer, but for whatever reason it comes through and in a good way. 4

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 14

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