Monday, May 17, 2010

Flying Dog Raging Bitch Belgian Style India Pale Ale

Brewery: Flying Dog Brewery
Location: Frederick, MD
Style: IPA
Brewery Website
Rating: A-

The Cascade hop variety was developed in Oregon in 1972 by the USDA breeding program. It is one of the quintessential American hop varieties. Along with the Columbus and Centennial varieties (commonly referred to as the "Three C's"), Cascade hops are known for their distinct citrus aroma. The Cascade hop in particular is noted for a very distinct grapefruit aroma.

Why do I mention the Cascade hop here? Because the Flying Dog Raging Bitch is loaded with them. It's interesting that Flying Dog uses a hop that is so distinctly American in a beer that they label a Belgian Style IPA.

The Flying Dog Raging Bitch IPA is reddish-amber color with a touch of gold. It pours a 2-finger thick, light gold, foamy head that leaves a trail of lace down the glass. The nose is dominated by hops. There are notes of pine and lemon and a huge Cascade aroma of fresh grapefruit.

On the palate, the Raging Bitch has fruity, grapefruit hops up front over a background of sweet cereal malt. The hops bitterness starts on the mild side and then builds to a moderate level. The finish has bitter grapefruit over slightly sweet cereal malt notes. The Raging Bitch has a crisp, medium body that holds up well to the assertive hops fruitiness of this IPA.

The Raging Bitch is an interesting IPA. Its flavor is dominated by the fruity Cascade hops, with bitter and malty notes as bit players in complimentary roles. The grapefruit notes in both aroma and flavor are truly distinct here. If you enjoy grapefruit and/or Cascade hops (as I do), then you will love this beer.

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