Flying Dog is a brewery I've yet to initiate myself with, but I do see their stuff around quite a bit. It's hard to miss their crazy artwork. The price is always a bit much, but I figure that's the same everywhere in Ireland, with regards to imports of the slightly lesser-known Americans. I took the plunge with this one, eager to see what all the fuss is about.
Double Dog is an Imperial IPA, something I now consider to be the quintessential American Craft Beer, what with their obsession with hops and constant desire for the extreme. It pours a lovely blood orange, perfectly clear with a small off-white head. In my notes, the first thing I've written about the aroma is 'Wow'. There's so much fruit in here, it smells like a tropical cocktail. Strawberry, orange, citrus, pine and zest are all present, and the caramel malt underlayer keeps in grounded. It brings Sierra Nevada to mind - first for the fruitiness of the Pale Ale and then for the toffee malt heaviness of the Bigfoot barleywine. Lovely stuff. As time goes on, chocolate becomes more noticeable in the aroma, as in the Bigfoot. Bubblegum fruit also becomes more defined with warmth. The taste opens with syrupy malty toffee and caramel flooding the palette, before juicy fruit follows up with highlights of strawberry and grapefruit. The whole thing actually finishes quite mellow, which is nice.
It's not at all as bitter as I'd expected, and it's maybe not as spectacular as I'd hoped, but it's something different and it's still bloody delicious.