Initially Confusing, but a Hoppy Delight
A Review of Double Dog by Flying Dog Brewing Co.
Posted on 6/17/2011 by Chops
The first time I had Flying Dog's Double Dog, I was immediately confused. I was decently versed in the brew world at that point and could pick out all the major characteristics of all the major styles. So when this beer touched my lips for the first time, I had no idea why they called it a double pale. My tongue was telling my brain that it was an Imperial IPA, and a damn tasty one at that. But only after honing my palate and after many more Double Dogs did I finally see what they mean. Yes, this is a double pale ale.

To the average beer lover, nothing about this beer says pale ale. It's got a deep burnt amber coloration, which is confusing for any side of the hop spectrum, be it pale ales or IPAs. It's very nice looking, just atypical. The aroma is even more confusing because you get those big citrusy hop blasts, which are much more characteristic of high gravity IPAs. So in reality, it's really hard to gauge exactly what the first sip is going to be like. With an 11.5% ABV, you know it's going to be really strong and really hoppy, and that's about the extent of it.

The first sip is mercilessly front-loaded with hops. It's relentlessly hoppy. If you're not properly prepared with a base understanding of high gravity hoppy beers, then Double Dog will kick your ass. Your taste buds will detach from your tongue and repel down your shirt for safety. But after the first few sips, you start to realize why it's a double pale instead of an imperial IPA. That signature mineral taste rears it's head and the hops stay thin on the tongue. It loses body quickly and settles into a sharp, stingy hop profile. This is where the amplified pale ale makes sense. Oddly enough, the highlight of this beer is the finish. The hops finally let up, leaving a sweet syrupy aftertaste that is just delightful. My only gripe with this beer is that I wish the bitterness let up sooner because the finish flavor would make a wonderful middle ground.

Overall, Double Dog is an explosion of hoppy goodness. Hop heads will definitely appreciate this beer, but it might be too aggressive for fans of other styles. Novices will not like this beer at all. It's just too aggressive to properly appreciate. I would recommend enjoying a Double Dog well after acquiring a taste for IPAs. But for those of you who have honed your beer palate, Double Dog is definitely a ''dayum'' brew.

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Double Dog by Flying Dog Brewing Co.
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