Review #46 – Flying Dog Snakedog IPA 78/100
Some of Flying Dog’s later expressions have been somewhat…confusing, their spiced pear ale for instance wasn’t the best. They still produce some of my favourite beers such as the Gonzo Imperial Porter and the Snakedog IPA which I will be reviewing here…their bottles are also adorned with the artwork of Ralph Steadman, friend of the late Hunter S. Thompson and illustrator for his books.
The Snakedog is a medium bodied, well balanced IPA with a healthy level of malt and hop character.
Out of the bottle and into the glass the beer pours a deep, hazy honey colour producing a brilliant white head which retains itself quite well.
On the nose there is a delicate level of spice, almost like freshly baked rye bread, a little nutty with a generous dose of rich malt sweetness, all laced with sharp aromas of citrus peel and freshly cut grass.
For an American IPA, in my opinion the Snakedog is a cut above the rest, despite having quite a heavy presence of citrus and hop bitterness, it has retained quite a lot of complexity, the citrus notes have definitely not masked the more subtle flavours. The first flavours to greet you upon taking a sip are that of malt and cereal sweetened with honey, an infusion of sweet and savoury spice – black and white pepper, cinnamon, mace and nutmeg, there are also some delicate herbal notes of coriander and sage. Soon after taking a sip, the senses are enveloped by the dominating citrus notes of the warrior and columbus hops. Despite this beer having an IBU rating of 60, it is surprisingly easy to drink. It’s a hop monster, but a kind and interesting hop monster.