Here's to a Long Life and a Merry One
A Review of Lucky SOB by Flying Dog Brewing Co.
Posted on 3/14/2013 by Chops
It's that time of year again when everybody gathers to celebrate Irish culture. Of course I am talking about St. Patrick's Day. For many people, this means drinking until your liver starts waving the white flag of surrender. But for fans of better beer, this means something much more specific. It's the time of year where we get to indulge in that most glorious of malty delights: the Irish Red. I have been a big fan of the style for as long as I can remember (I still love a good ''Smittix'' from time to time). But during this time of year, I'm always on the hunt for something a little more special. I found it in Flying Dog's Lucky SOB, an Irish Red Ale brewed with real four-leaf clovers. It's not every day that you can literally drink in the Luck of the Irish.

In the glass, this beer has a deep amber coloration with a rich red tint, the signature appearance of a great Irish Red. It comes with a frothy light tan head that has really nice retention. On the nose, I was greeted with that classic toasted malty aroma. It's both sweet and savory with a slight herbal flare and a touch of hop bitterness. I have no idea if the clovers are adding anything to the mix. I don't know if they used a significant amount or if they just dropped a handful in during the brewing process for good luck. So the herbal notes may or may not be attributed to the clovers. Not that it matters, just speculating.

That first sip was very rewarding. The flavor closely matched the aroma, so I was greeted with a toasted malt complete with herbal zest, hop sting, and a touch of caramel. The hop profile was restrained and nicely balanced with the malt. This is somewhat atypical for Flying Dog, a brewery well known for aggressive beers. Strong bitterness would have killed this beer, so it's obvious that they took great care in crafting it. This beer had a solid medium body that was clean, smooth and easy drinking. The herbal flare, regardless of the clover influence, added a wonderful personality to the brew. The beer finished clean with a malty bitter aftertaste.

Overall, Flying Dog's Lucky SOB is a great Irish Red and is the perfect companion to St. Patrick's Day. I can easily drink this beer all day long and never grow tired of it. It has great flavor that is easy to grasp and equally easy to drink. Consequently, I can recommend Lucky SOB to any and all beer fans. Seasoned drinkers will love it as a festive session brew. Novices will love it as a flavorful upgrade from their standard mass-produced Irish options. In closing, I can think of no better send off than to raise a glass and repeat the Irish limerick that the Flying Dog brewers recited when adding the four-leaf clovers:

Here's to a long life and a merry one,
A quick death and an easy one,
A pretty girl and an honest one,
A cold beer and another one!

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Lucky SOB by Flying Dog Brewing Co.
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