It’s that time of year when the Winter Warmers and holiday ales are coming into season (despite many being release as early as October), so reviewing the free bottle of K-9 Cruiser Winter Ale from Flying Dog fits in perfectly with that seasonal mindset.
K-9 is a warming, malty, spicy ale that sits at 6.4% alcohol. According to the specs, it’s brewed with 50/60 Crystal, chocolate malt, oats, and Munich malt, and hopped with Millennium and Saaz hops. The oats are a bit of an eyebrow-raiser, not something I would ordinarily associate with this style.
Appearance: Roasted brown in color, fairly clear. Deep red at the edges. Head is light tan, dissipated quickly.
Smell: Sweet, lots of spicy phenols, alcohol—kind of a whiskey/brandy character. Molasses, burnt sugars. A hint of some dark fruits… plums? Black cherry?
Taste: Reminds me of a strong Old Ale. Dark sugar flavors, dark and roasted malts, blackstrap, bitter alcohol notes. It really "pops" on the tongue. A bit of bitterness and spiciness from the hops, though the maltiness is the overall defining character.
Mouthfeel: Nicely medium-bodied and a bit dry. Warming alcohol heat and a bit prickly on the tongue.
Overall: Seems to me a faithful Winter Warmer, reminds me a bit of Jubelale (which is a good thing).