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RATINGS: 1634   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.73   IBU: 60   EST. CALORIES: 249   ABV: 8.3%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Flying Dog Brewery will celebrate its 20th Anniversary a few months early on Friday, September 25th (the brewery turns 20 next year). The brewery will be sampling the new Raging Bitch Belgian-style India Pale Ale at the Flying dog Brats And Gonzo party in Denver that day as part of the Great American Beer Fest happening that week (unscramble the FBAG acronym to get GABF). More info about the fest can be found on the official Flying Dog blog. The beer also appeared on draft at this past weekend’s Gonzofest party. Al from Hop Talk was in attendance and reported on his blog, “I understand it’s made from an augmented Snake Dog wort with an exclusive Belgian yeast strain (called Diablo) and dry-hopped with a load of Amarillo hops. They’re calling it a Belgian IPA. It was really good. It had that hop bite from a big, bad American IPA with the banana and bubblegum from the Belgian yeast.” Some may remember a beer called, Raging Bitch Birch Beer, that Flying Dog introduced on April 1st. Whereas that low-gravity series beer was a joke, this beer is anything but at 8% ABV (60 IBU). Propaganda from the label: “Two inflammatory words…one wild drink. Nectar imprisoned in a bottle. Let it out. It is cruel to keep a wild animal locked up. Uncap it. Release it…stand back! Wallow in its golden glow in a glass beneath a white foaming head. Remember, enjoying a RAGING BITCH, unleashed, untamed, unbridled – and in heat – is pure GONZO!! It has taken 20 years to get from there to here. Enjoy!” – Ralph Steadman


4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
RPKLove (105) - Astoria, New York, USA - JUN 17, 2010
Aromas of intense citrus and subtle orange peel, very nice. Appears a dark amber, with a plentiful tan froth. This is a very complex number in terms of taste. Caramel malts, orange peel, and lasting bittering hops occupy the palate. This is the finest beer I’ve had from Flying Dog.

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
waltersrj (280) - Washington, USA - JUN 16, 2010
12 oz bottle shared with Judah. Pours a golden honey yellow with a thin but foamy white head. The nose is pine, citrus fruits (pineapple, mango, and lemon), as well as banana, clove, and bubblegum from the yeast. The taste is spicy hops at first, mixed with citrus qualities and transitions into banana, bubblegum, and clove but finishes with a strong hop presence without the usual caramel malt backing of an ipa. Probably because of the yeast. Great new ipa style.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
thornecb (4545) - Marblehead, Massachusetts, USA - JUN 15, 2010
Pours deep amber into a tulip. Bright white head with medium retention recedes to skim surface. Sweet grapefruit, tropical fruit and Belgian yeast aromas. Medium bodied with upfront sweet mango and pineapple turning to grapefruit and resin in the lasting finish.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
FlacoAlto (3810) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JUN 15, 2010
Sampled on tap April 2010 @ ChurchKey, Washington DC,br> In the dim light the beer shows a brilliantly clear, red-copper hued body that is topped by a wispy pale colored head. The beer is quite hoppy smelling, which mixes well with fermentation derived spiciness and phenols. A herbal, somewhat hay-like and definitely tropical fruit character forms a backdrop to the up front aromatics. The spiciness contributes aromas of clove, pepper and ginger and as the beer warms the hops contribute more pine-like aromatics.

The flavor is quite spicy as it first hits my mouth, but there is also quite a bit of fruit character here as well. This is very herbal tasting with a substantial bitterness and lots of big pine like flavors. The American hops contribute expressive flavors of lychee, kumquat and tangelo just underneath the herbal notes. The finish has some peppery alcohol, ginger flavors and phenolic notes that lean more towards turpenes than the typical clove notes. The hops are actually heavy enough that they drown out the fermentation character (I have a feeling that the fermentation character changes the emphasis of the hops here though), and I definitely like this part of this beer.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
TEJA (1376) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - JUN 15, 2010
Draught at Sorbon, Stockholm. Beige fluffu lasting head. The beer is a litle clowdy and has a nice orange amber color. Big hop roma with some citrus but also other hop related aromas. The belgian aroma comes after some time when the beer gets warmer together with some caramell malts. The taste is initially dominated by the hops and a medium bitterness. After the beer gets a litle warmer one also detects a small malt taste.

2.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
popery (1455) - San Francisco, California, USA - JUN 14, 2010
I had high hopes for this one but came away fairly disappointed. It looks nice - amber-orange transparent liquid with a mess of fine white bubble on top. The aroma is pretty good - orangey/floral/cat piss hops, clean wood, honeyed malt and light Belgian earth. It’s actually a tad boring for the style, to be honest. The taste is just disappointing. There’s a lot of bland bitterness from both hops and wood. I’ve never much cared for Amarillo hops, so that could be to blame, but this beer just doesn’t have much going on. The more delicate hop notes have faded, the wood doesn’t provide much interest and the yeast is understated. For the style, it’s harsh on the palate and drinkability is poor.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
ShawnMalloy (130) - Auburn, Massachusetts, USA - JUN 14, 2010
Pours clear orange. Sweet scent and alcoho aromasl. Taste of bubblegum coats a generous hop bitterness. Best thing Flying Dog has released since Gonzo.

4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (1249) - Albany, New York, USA - JUN 14, 2010
To celebrate their 20th anniversary, the Flying Dog brewery out of Maryland created Raging Btch - a "Belgian-style" India Pale Ale. Usually, I raise an eyebrow when an American brewery makes a point of saying their beer is "Belgian-style" since I find it to be a marketing term. However, Flying Dog has a good reputation so I’m inclined to believe they can pull off the "Belgian-style" thing rather well. Not that Raging Btch IPA is a beer that reminds me of monks and old world breweries, but it is a wholly original beer in its own right.

APPEARANCE AND AROMA

I poured a 12oz bottle into a nonic pint glass. The appearance is what I like to see in an IPA: bright orange/light brown in color; clear and effervescent. It produces a generous layer of frothy, off-white head which leaves generous lacing on the glass all the way down and never completely evaporates.

The aroma is quite interesting for an IPA. It’s slightly floral with a distinct scent of non-citrus fruit like pear or apricot. There’s a touch of dryness in the nose as well, similar to Belgian beers but not nearly as strong.

TASTE

I’ve been a huge fan of the IPA style for years and am always excited to try beers that offer something new. Raging Btch is just such a beer as it has the basic building blocks of a quality American IPA, but it’s the fine details that make it so different.

It’s rare I use the word fruity to describe a beer of this style, but that’s an accurate assessment here. Immediately my palate is greeted with a sweet, fruity, almost juicy taste of pear, apricot or green apple. The hops bite back with a dry, almost powdery bitterness. I suppose this is the Belgian aspect of the beer, although I found it rather one-dimensional whereas authentic Belgian brews tend to be a mélange of peppery spices.

Overall, these flavors are an interesting variation of the floral hop palette found in many stronger American IPAs. There’s a touch a citrus as well, which makes the taste slightly refreshing as it crosses the tongue, but the dry bitterness of the aftertaste overshadows it. I think Raging Btch could’ve been a perfect beer had the finish been moister, but as it stand it’s satisfying.

DRINKABILITY

I drank this beer with two friends and we each had different perspectives on the drinkability of Raging Btch. We all agreed it is indeed a full-bodied beer, but had different takes on the overt bitterness. I thought the hops lingered just enough, but my friends thought they wore out their welcome quickly. We also found the dry palate made the beer taste rather warm even straight out of the fridge.

However, we all agreed that the beer doesn’t taste or feel as potent as its 8.3% ABV would seem to suggest. It would actually pair quite well with a spicy meal or salty snacks, although I think the average drinker might become a little fatigued after two servings.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I’ll admit I went into Flying Dog Raging Btch IPA with reservations, but I’m also happy to report this is most definitely not a gimmicky beer by any means. I probably wouldn’t call its "Belgian-style" self-description entirely accurate, but I do like its originality and craftiness.

NOTE: watch the video version of this review at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbISc-4KQ4w

4.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
troopie (2291) - Munchen an der Willamette, Oregon, USA - JUN 13, 2010
Bottle. Wonderful! Clear orange with lasting thick white head. Full aroma of sweet orange and herb. Full mouthed flavour, citrus, and some sweetness. Lasting hop finish. Yet this is well balanced, and not a mere hop bomb.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
DocLock (8054) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 13, 2010
Bottle from Smith’s. Pours hazy dark straw with off white clingy head. Nose is funky yeasty hopcitrus, pale malt, some funk. Tastes complex, hopcitric, with some yeasty funky esters and a smooth finish. This one surprised me with its greatness.


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