Flying Dog Raging Bitch Belgian IPA
This has been a long awaited beer for me. Flying Dog is one of my favorite breweries, yet NJ always seems to be at the bottom of the list. I get it, I understand why, New Jersey is not considered a craft beer state. I’m working on it, converting people one beer at a time. But I digress, it’s finally in NJ and I have one to drink tonight, which makes me a happy man! Raging Bitch is Flying Dog’s Belgian Style IPA, brewed as their 20th anniversary beer.
I love the way they describe this beer:
Bitches come in a variety of forms, but there’s never been something as sassy as Flying Dog’s Raging Bitch Belgian IPA. An American IPA augmented with Belgian yeast, our 20th anniversary beer jumps out of the glass and nips at your taste buds with its delicate hop bitterness. At 8.3% ABV, this bitch is dangerously drinkable.
“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!”
ABV: 8.3% Alc/Vol
A pretty clear amber ale, lots of little bubbles. Not much in the way of head on this beer, a thin collar was what remained of a quickly dissipated head.
Oh boy! The aroma doesn’t quit on this beer. Tons of apricot and mango on the nose, smells like it was dryhopped with a combination of Amarillo and Columbus hops. There was also a bit of pine and a hint of yeast on the nose. I could just smell this beer for hours.
A very bold beer, well suited to its name! Some initial up front caramel, met by a zing of orange zest with lots of effervescence. Once that initial effervescence is gone, the is a short creaminess that slides into a great rolling piney bitterness with a hint of an underlying peppery spice and alcohol. But, for an 8.3% abv beer the alcohol is very well concealed.
Calories: At 8.3% abv slightly sweet, some residual sugar, would estimate 250-275 cal per 12/oz (Calorie Chart)
Glassware: Nonic, Narrow Goblet
I only had one bottle of this beer, a gift from a friend. Looking forward to a six pack of this She Dog! I don’t think this is going to be around very long, and the aroma makes this beer exceptional, so don’t sit on it!
I appear to be alone in my thoughts on this beer. Perhaps I’ll pick up another to see if I had a bad six pack. I felt like there was an over dose of tannin that lead to a rubber flavor.
I always give brews a second chance!
I think in NJ it’s exceptionally hard to get the Beer on Delivery Trucks. Do you think its easier in NYC , worth finding a spot? i saw several places in lower Manhattan that surprised me with their selection
Nate, I got no sense of tannin or rubber, that is a pretty distinctive flavor you describing. I’ll be getting a 6’er of this soon. I’ll look out for this.
Gevon, I think it is just the low percentage of craft beer NJ sells which makes for very little incentive for breweries to push their distributors to get the product out.
Again it sounds great. Jim is not a big fan of this brewery, but perhaps he could give this one a try. If I see it I’ll pick it up.
Very enjoyable beer, I thought as well. Unusual blend of flavors between the IPA hops and Belgian yeast strains – and good taste buds there. The beer was dry-hopped with Amarillos.
As for Jersey and craft beer – I think that it might be an issue with where in Jersey you’re at. There are a couple of very good brewers in Jersey – River Horse in Lambertville, NJ, and Flying Fish in Cherry Hill come to mind immediately – but I admit to struggling to come up with too many more.
yeah man… I almost (*almost*) have to remind myself to stop sniffing at this one. fantastic aroma. perfect balance between the hoppiness and the spices, too.
I’m lucky to be relatively nearby in B’more, but even here I have a hard time finding it in stock at the moment.
Don, I think Jim needs to try a few more beers from Flying Dog. They make some great stuff!
Kevin, As far as Jersey Breweries, Flying Fish, River Horse, plus Cricket Hill, Ramstein, Boaks, New Jersey Beer Co, and one more new startup, plus a couple brew pubs. But as far as other breweries bringing in their beer to NJ, we are the low man on the totem pole int he northeast.
Platypotamus, we just got it in North NJ last week, so there is still some supply out there, but with those killer aromatics it isn’t going to last long.
I think overall things are getting better for us in NJ, as Peter mentioned there are several established breweries that make great beer, and some new ones popping up soon too! I’ve had mixed results with Flying Dog.
Peter, I’m on my second six pack of this…we got in Ocean County a couple of weeks ago. I think your review is spot on. I would add that at $8.99 a six pack (at least by me), you can’t find a better bargain! It drinks like a much more expensive beer. I’m going out to grab another six pack before it’s gone….
Yeah I got to get a couple to keep around for drinking
I just got my hands on one of these beauties and can’t wait to try it out. As you know, I’ve been unimpressed by Flying Dog thus far, but I think that’s because I haven’t had the good stuff. I’m eager to eat (actually drink) my words.
Drink your words JIM! 🙂 Let us know what you think of this brew.
definitely try their Gonzo Imperial Porter (on cask, if at all possible), too. delicious.
Peter – had to try based on your review. Must agree it is a flavor packed punch, with an aroma that keeps coming at you. A must-have for your upcoming Flying Dog tasting party. Ralph can sure come up with some crazy labels….. Thanks for the tip.
Scott in Denver
Finished off a growler of this tonight courtesy of Mike from leafgreen.info. We brewed some beer this afternoon and he brought over the growler for brewday. Just as good out of the day old growler as the bottle!
Great review, awesome photo. The Bitch has been flying off the shelves here in Chicago, and for good reason. I was really happy with the sixer I bought. Does it go without saying that I’ve saved a couple bottles for later?
Here’s my review if you wanna swing by: http://bit.ly/5mtVQ0.
Well, I tried it this weekend and thought it was just okay – a typical wild ale. I guess I was expecting more (dunno why).
I also had the Gonzo Porter, which was pretty good as well. Nothing mind-bending, but respectable.
I’d definitely drink both again.
Best beer I’ve had. Been drinking 6’s of this for months.
John, I’m with you on that I could drink this beer every day and be a happy man!
I loved this beer in the winter. Smooth caramel attack, with plenty of fruit and a strong hoppy finish. FINALLY it came back in stock last week (here in KY) and I naturally bought everything the local store had. I am terribly disappointed in the tannin/rubbery front end on this round … terribly disappointed. And I just told all of my fellow homebrewers to go get it as I had stated for months that it was the BEST beer I had tried in years .. the best. I am a happy man, but this batch of bitch is chipping away at that >:-(>
@brian – Ohh, dang sorry to hear that. I have a recent batch and got nothing of those flavors your describing. I hope for the rest of our sakes yours was a slightly off batch or the truck got stuck in the heat or something, cuz this is a damn good beer and would hate to see it lose its appealing quantities as they make it part of the Canis Major series and not just an anniversary beer. I have 3 more bottles of the 6pack I bought 2 weeks ago, I’ll try one this weekend and look for the tannins.