Tuesday, November 11, 2008

"A Right Nice Brew"

Such were the words uttered by an english friend of mine, after tasting a Scotch Ale I made at the Incredibrew Brewkitchen in Nashua. It was a nicely balanced 9 % ale, that I named 'Asshole Ale' and made this label for.

Well, while perusing a new-to-me grocery store in salem, I was surprised by the breadth and depth of their beer selection. There were no fewer than 30 domestic micro-brew brands, with several offerings from each brewery. This was in addition to an equally impressive collection of euro-beers, as well as the obligatory domestic mass produced crap.

Of course, the main thing that caught my eye was the collection of Flying Dog brews - my favorite micro brew - and in particualr, a new (to me) Horn Dog Barley Wine Ale. Now, I'm a sucker for a dark malt. I went nuts over the Gonzo Imperial Porter. So, of course, the Horn Dog sucked me right in.

I found the molasseses in the Horn Dog a bit heavy. Unfortunately, for me anyways, I found it to be distracting from the from the overall character of the beer. It was still very good, of course, and a welcome change from the Hops Race I've been noticing in the microbrew industry lately ( who can stuff the most hops in a bottle) . Since it was very cold, I decided to let it sit for a few and come up to room temperature. I was hoping that would bring out some of the more subtle flavors and balance it out. It did, but this revealed another issue. Since a beer of this type has a 'sweet spot' temperature where the beer really comes alive, one is tempted to drink it in that short period of time. I had no sooner poured a second one into my glass, when I started to feel the buzz.....then I looked closer at the label.....10% abv.....oooooookaaaaaaaaay. Now, Horn Dog isn't as good as my Asshole, but it comes close, and it has that same nuclear detonation kick.

So, if you like a big, beefy, chewy, sweet 300+ calorie beer with the promise to make you take a cab home, try the Horn Dog. You won't be disappointed.

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