Just Two Strangers Passing in the Night
A Review of Raging Bitch by Flying Dog Brewing Co.
Posted on 5/10/2011 by Chops
                   
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Raging Bitch, a Belgian-style IPA. This beer shouldn't work. It's a contradiction. It's the kind of beer you look at and immediately tilt your head sideways like a confused dog. Course, it is a Flying Dog beer, so maybe that's what they were going for.

In the glass, Raging Bitch looks much more like an IPA than a Belgian. It actually looks a lot like an Imperial IPA with that deep hazy gold tone. The aroma definitely leans more towards IPA than Belgian with crisp floral smells as well as some pine and citrus. It looks and smells like it's going to be more of a sweet hopped IPA. But with Belgian in the title, I'm not really sure what to expect. But hey, it's Flying Dog, so at least I know it's not an ''accident'' beer.

For the home audience, an ''accident'' beer is a beer usually brewed by apathetic breweries. What happens is they brew some sort of monstrosity that was supposed to be something specific, but instead came out as something in the general ballpark without being completely unpalatable. And instead of admitting defeat, pouring it out and trying again, they just slap a label on it, call it a ''whatever the funky taste is'' style of ''whatever it was supposed to be'' and market it. But anyway, moving on...

The first taste of a Raging Bitch tells you nothing. There is a really weird flavor train crossing your palate, so it takes several sips to get a grip on it. And then it happens, that lovely Belgian Dubbel taste rears it's head long enough to get your attention. Sweet malted and full-bodied with a hint of citrus. Oddly enough, it's right at the beginning and easy to miss. The entire front end of this beer is Belgian, but it quickly and completely dissipates into a quality IPA. Those sweet tones disappear and are promptly replaced by big bitter hops with hints of pine. There is no mixture whatsoever in this beer. Belgian up front, IPA in the back, period. It's almost like two different beers are politely passing each other in the cramped hallway that is your mouth. It's quite a remarkable achievement.

Most of the mouthfeel you're going to get with this beer is on the IPA end. The Belgian front is just too quick to factor it in, so this beer feels a lot like a quality IPA, i.e. crisp and mildly aggressive with a lingering finish. The only additional note I would make would be that Raging Bitch is much drier than your average IPA. It's actually a pretty airy brew, which is a nice refreshing touch.

Overall, Raging Bitch is quite good. It's a beer that can be enjoyed by multiple camps. Hop heads will like it for a change of pace and flavor. Belgian lovers will like it as a more hoppy version of their favorite style without being too bitterly aggressive. Honestly, this is a beer for anyone who is in the market for something new and interesting. It has high drinkability and a lot of great flavor. Course, I would expect nothing less from Flying Dog. Rage on bitches!

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Raging Bitch by Flying Dog Brewing Co.
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