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Beer Review: Flying Dog Raging Bitch

Hoppy, strong, bitter and delicious
by David Covucci on Dec 23, 2011 in Beer
Beer Review: Flying Dog Raging Bitch

The intensely hoppy style known as India Pale Ale originated in Great Britain, but the U.S. has largely taken over the art form of infusing brews with beautifully bitter flavor. There are a huge number of IPAs out there, and no one brews a better one than Flying Dog Brewery, originally based in Denver, CO, and now in Fredricksburg, MD.

The much celebrated Raging Bitch Belgian IPA hasn’t even been in the Flying Dog arsenal that long. The company’s first IPA was known as Snake Dog. But for the Great American Beer Festival in 2010, in celebration of their 20th anniversary, the brewery set out to create a new and improved rendition. And out came a Raging Bitch that was so popular, they decided to make it a year-round staple.

It’s beer not to be messed with. Uncap a bottle or take a whiff of a draft fresh from the tap and you’ll be hit with a floral aroma laced with a scent of citrus, which comes from grapefruits hops with grapefruit notes used in the process. The beer pours like the best IPAs should, with a thick but airy white head atop a dark, deep amber body.

The first sip hits you with hops, a bite that the brewers liken to being attacked by a rabid dog. It’s overwhelming and it should be. The ale is brewed with three different types of hops, and comes in at 60 on the International Bitterness Units scale – high even for an IPA. That’s not the only part of Raging Bitch that tops the charts. The beer is a strong, clocking in at 8.3%. However, beneath these hefty numbers is a strong malty body, which helps undercut some of the intensity and allows drinkers to enjoy this first-rate quaff from first sip to last. And then, makes you want to follow it with a second one.

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