Review #63 – Flying Dog Tropical Bitch Belgian Style IPA 68/100
More often than not I find some the core ranges of various breweries a little underwhelming, they are generally good but don’t blow me away, but they occasionally produce some special batches with real wow factor. I find with Flying Dog that things work the other way around, their core range is varied and well refined but a lot of their special releases and some which they label ‘Brewhouse Rarities’ are less impressive and in a few cases not worth drinking. I would like to point out that their Gonzo Imperial Porter is out of this world. I enjoyed this beer with a hand made pizza I prepared earlier.
The Tropical Bitch is a Belgian style IPA that has been brewed with pineapple, mango and passionfruit juices. Out of the bottle and into the glass it pours quite a deep amber colour with a slight red/pink hue, there is quite a lot of yeast sediment which forms in large clumps floating around for a little while before settling at the bottom of the glass. Head retention is good, medium in height, creamy white with a slight yellow tint, laces the glass well and sticks around for a good while.
The nose is quite heavily dominated by layers of fresh pineapple and mango. Spicy and slightly phenolic aromas creep in from the Belgian yeast with ester like notes of over-ripe bananas and molasses. Quite a lot of citrusy notes are also present.
On the palate, the beer has a strong caramel sweetness to it and the high ABV provides a good strong backbone needed to carry these complex flavours well. Quite a lot of hop bitterness up front, sharp flavours of citrus peel and flavours of sweet tropical fruit juice with a generous savoury flavour reminiscent of spicy rye bread. Carbonation is medium to high and the beer in medium bodied. I found the beer a little too sweet for my liking, a little sickly and not one of the better expressions from the brewery. Not a bad beer but I won’t be rushing out to buy it any time soon.