Tuesday, July 13, 2010

378. Flying Dog Raging Bitch

Let me start by saying this beer has a terrible name. Terrible. You can make whatever feeble attempt to justify your misogynistic leanings you want, but beer companies in general, and this beer in specific, pander to the lowest common denominator. Sure, anniversaries are special and all, this being Flying Dog’s 20th Anniversary beer and all, but that’s no excuse. Stop being dumbass dudes. Please. That said, this beer is also the best of the recent spate of Belgian-influenced IPAs that have come out as of late. More on that in a second. As per normal, Flying Dog has its Ralph Steadman splatter rock meets Picasso on acid artwork label design, which have never made sense to me. Previously from Flying Dog, we’ve tried Gonzo Imperial Porter.

Raging Bitch pours a crystal clear copper with a fluffy ivory head that hangs around. Aromas in the nose include hop spiciness—specifically pine, citrus, and resin—mixed with yeast esters, light fruitiness, candy, and malt sweetness. The biscuit breadiness of the front also carries candy flavors and yeast fruitiness before giving way to the hoppiness and bitterness of the middle. In addition to the pine and resin hop flavors, there is a dry mineral taste on the back of the tongue that leads into and increases in the final third, helping build the drying sensation on the palate that happens in the final third. There is a slight return candy malt sweetness in the finish, but the lingering bitterness quickly covers it over as the palate dries out. Carbonation is bright on the palate, and, with the mineral component and hop bite, helps dry out the beer in the final third, giving the medium body an even lighter feel as the beer concludes. As it dries out, a slight alcohol warmth emerges at the end of the beer. Raging Bitch is well-balanced between Belgian ale and a more American IPA characteristics—the two complement each other nicely, working collectively to create an enjoyable series of palate sensations. This beer is also the first Flying Dog beer that I would actively seek out—let’s hope that it sticks around longer than just as the 20th Anniversary beer.

From the bottle: “Two inflammatory words...one wild drink. Nectar imprisoned in a bottle. Let it out. It is cruel to keep a wild animal locked up. Uncap it. Release it...stand back! Wallow in its golden glow in a glass beneath a white foaming head. Remember, enjoying a RAGING BITCH, unleashed, untamed, unbridled—and in heat—is pure GONZO!! It has taken 20 years to get from there to here. Enjoy!”

Holy overblown rhetoric, Batman!

From the Flying Dog website: “Bitches come in a variety of forms, but there’s never been something as sassy as Flying Dog’s Raging Bitch Belgian IPA. An American IPA augmented with Belgian yeast, our 20th anniversary beer jumps out of the glass and nips at your taste buds with its delicate hop bitterness. At 8.3% ABV, this bitch is dangerously drinkable.”

Can you give it a rest? Damn, you sound like an 8 year old boy with a brand new vocabulary word.

ABV: 8.3%
IBU: 60
OG: 18 P
Hops: Warrior, Columbus, Amarillo


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