Spot of Tea for You
A Review of Earl Grey Black Wheat by Flying Dog Brewing Co.
Posted on 5/15/2015 by Chops
                   
Great
Sometimes a beer can leave you scratching your head. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's just that the American craft beer movement hungers for new and interesting ideas. These days, beer fans know what it's like to sit down with some seriously strange concoctions. Flying Dog is a brewery that loves to tease the beer drinker brain with all sorts of wacky ideas. They keep our minds churning and we keep coming back for more. One of their latest quirky brews goes by the name of Earl Grey Black Wheat.

For those who need an explanation, Earl Grey is a popular English tea with a black coloration and a distinctive citrus character. It achieves its unique flavor by utilizing oil extracted from the rind of the bergamot orange.

In the glass, this beer had a stark black coloration. It came with a creamy tan head that had a nice long retention. On the nose, I found a light and sweet roasted aroma, much like a dry stout. Also swirling around were mild notes of coffee and chocolate. There wasn't much else to find, no distinctive tea or citrus characters. I could only assume that the flavor would sort things out.

It took me several sips to come to the concrete conclusion that this beer is hard to describe. Yup, that pretty much sums it up. This beer took on so many aspects of so many different styles that it left me scratching my head. Part Dry Stout, part English Mild, part Munich Dunkel, part Baltic Porter, you name it. I found a light coffee roast, mocha-like chocolate, mild citrus, hints of herbs (which I assume is the Earl Grey), licorice, rye, the list goes on and on. Every note was mild, nothing was assertive. The beer had a light body, felt smooth on the palate to start, then exited with a dry, somewhat chalky finish.

Overall, I found Flying Dog's Earl Grey Black Wheat to be a tasty weirdo. It was certainly high quality, as we have come to expect nothing less from Flying Dog. But appeal wise, I have absolutely no idea who I would recommend it to. Above all else, this beer comes across more like a dry stout (think Guinness) with its subtle and enjoyable roasted flavors. On that note, fans of simple stouts will definitely enjoy this brew. I applaud Flying Dog for continuing to think outside the box with their Brewhouse Rarities series. This one hurt my brain, but that's part of the fun.

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Earl Grey Black Wheat by Flying Dog Brewing Co.
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