K-9 Cruiser Winter Ale

K-9 Cruiser Winter AleIt’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).

On BeerAdvocate, it seems to be receiving a lukewarm reception; it scores 80 out of 100 with 85% approval. On RateBeer, it scores 3.21 out of 5 and is in their 62nd percentile.

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