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Dog Schwarz - Flying Dog Brewery

Not Rated.
Dog SchwarzDog Schwarz

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

78 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 78
Hads: 98
Avg: 3.97
pDev: 11.34%
Wants: 36
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Flying Dog Brewery visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
Rauchbier |  7.80% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: sideshowrob on 01-07-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 78 | Hads: 98
Photo of Sammy
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A fine bomber to be appreciated. SMoked malt, chocolate malts, pale malts. A balanced not overly complex beer. Not too much smoke, or shwartz, or carbonation, just finely drinkable. Pours dark brown with brownish big foamy head. Wood dry smoke in the aroma. Lots of lace. Though would like more shwartzbier flavours, and thicker, this was unique and enjoyable.

 360 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours out like a cola color with a thick tan colored head on it. The head leaves a really good lacing down the glass. The smell of the beer isn't heavily smoked which I personally like. There is a light hop aroma along with the roasted malts on the nose just beyond the smoke. The taste isn't overly smokey either, it's a got a strong hoppiness to it than anything else I think. Perhaps it's the bitterness from the dark malts I'm getting. The mouthfeel is lighter than I expected it to be. Overall it was pretty good, I'm not sure if I'd seek it out again.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Impressed to see the Dog Schwarz on the local shelves. Surprisingly, the beer holds true to the delicate yet bold schwarzbier character while interjecting a pleasant layer of smoke qualities.

The beer opens with a dark brown, nearly opaque clarity, and with head formation that remained formitable for most of the duration. No real lacing, but that does not deter from the look. A basic similar to a good porter or a dry stout.

Bold and super clean aromas with big bready, toasty malts, layered with light coffee, cocoa, roasted barley, toast, and a touch of nuttiness. Then there's the smokey aroma that takes on a campfire-like aroma- quite pleasant. On par with a Kostritzer, but bolder and toastier.

Likewise, the proportions of classic Schwarz make their way into the delicately balanced beer. Again, toasty, roasty, cocoa and a bit of coffee. Don't get this confused with a porter- this is much less sweet, no real hop character, and no fruitiness or phenols. Very clean tasting in the finish. A moderate dose of smoke flavor gives a meaty, savory character to the beer without dominating like many rauchbiers might.

For such maltiness and gravity, the beer remains remarkably dry, airy, and a little chalky. The beer just lifts and then evaporates from the tongue. Creamy and rich wihtout being heavy, sweet, or cloying to the palate.

A very enjoyable and refreshing beer. Clean, simple, and characterful. At first I was apprehensive about opening the bomber because I didnt' know if the boldness and smoke flavor would wear on me quickly. But now that I am at the tail end of the bottle, I could easily open another. On a side note, it must have been hard for Flying Dog to make a sub-50IBU beer!?

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Charred coffee bean black with dark cranberry highlights. The golden brown sugar colored crown is especially dense and creamy... like mousse. It's also pretty tacky and is starting to grace the glass with dotted sheets of lace.

The beer's appearance would suggest that it isn't your typical rauchbier. The amount of roasted maltiness (along with a moderate smokiness) in the nose confirms it. This is the happy result when a brewery decides to create a 'Smoked Double Lager'. Which, in this case, can be translated as a Smoked Double Schwarzbier.

Dog Schwarz is wonderful beer. In my opinion, the brewers have done exactly what they set out to do. No muss, no fuss, just a bigger than usual schwarz with a pleasing amount of smoked maltiness, all tied up with a big bow of drinkability. Nice job all the way around.

Specifics include crisp chocolate wafers dipped in Hershey's syrup, dark caramel, a splash of vanilla, a half splash of java, and enough wood smoke to make the above style more accurate than any other. The finish is where all flavor elements come together most harmoniously, creating a beautifully balanced whole.

The mouthfeel is a tough call. It's definitely on the lighter side for the ABV, but its silky smoothness and near perfect carbonation allow me to go with the higher of the two considered scores.

Reviewing them side by side is the only sensible way to choose between Weizenbock and Dog Schwarz as the best of the Flying Dog Wild Dog series (of those that I've had so far). Unfortunately, the insane price of $18.59 for this bottle ensures that that comparison will never come to pass. If it was $12, I'd buy this one again. In a heartbeat.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, near black body with a frothy, off-white head.

Smell: Nose of roasted malts and wood smoke with notes of baker's chocolate, mild coffee, charred grains. The smoke is distinct but discreet; it's no Schlenkerla.

Taste: Roasted malts swirled with a rich, but tempered smoke character -- flavors of unsweetened chocolate, licorice root, coffee, blackened barley, and pitch glide by the tongue. Delicate touch of black currant fruitiness. Mild bitterness. The smoke is still there, still present, but it's still somewhat reserved. A more predominate roasted grain flavor develops. Finishes dry a lingering (but still subtle) smokiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-plus carbonation, which keeps the brew delightfully light and aids in overall drinkability.

Drinkability: A pleasant, quaffable, bumped up smoked-schwartz, but, at the prickly price of $18.25 a bottle, this'll have to be a one-time visit.

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Photo of jlindros
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saved this bottle from my visit to the brewery last summer.

A: Dark rich bubbly smooth head that fades quickly, almost black dark brown color with very little light coming through.

N: Loaded with roast and smoke, smoked cheese, a slight fruit, little chocolate.

T: Lots of smoked malts, some bacon and smoked cheese but much less bacon taste than I remember when I had it fresh. A little tangy fruit flavor, and quite a bit of dark malts. Pretty malty overall, and some chewiness. Hints of bitterness. It seems to be a lot more subtle than I remember.

N: Semi thick and chewy with lower carbonation.

F: Semi bitter, drier, lingering smoke and smoked meat. Some syrupy sweetness as well.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml corked and caged bottle that I shared with some fellow BAs. Into a snifter.

Pours a dark brown/almost black with a 1/2 finger of creamy dark mocha colored head. Quite the robust retention on this as well, that just absolutley coats the sides of the glass with lacing. A nice spiced smoked meat character is prevelant in the aroma but isn't in any way overpowering, going the more subtle route. I'm also getting a solid backing sweetness of cocoa and caramel. Touch of light roast in the back as well.

The taste is more Schwarz and less Rauch than what was in the aroma. Roasted chocolate and carmamel, with a bit of coffee and nuttiness mixed in. Some bitterness pulls up the back. The smoked malts that are present are even more subtle than the aroma was, wafting in and out of the other flavors. It's overall pleasant but I was hoping that it would be a little more aggressive. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a sharper carbonation up front but then it gets creamier towards the back of the swallow. For a 7.5% beer, this actually feels pretty easy in the mouth. Not bad.

I liked the effort here. A Schwarbier with a bit of smokey Rauch attitude seemed to be what they were shooting for here and for the most part, they succeeded. I personally would have liked to have had a bit more smoke in the taste but hey, that may just be me. On a side note, while I liked this for the most part, IMHO, this is not worth the $15-17 per bottle that most places are selling it for. They need to release this in six-packs and make it a fall release.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Dog Schwarz pours a black body beneath a short head of dark tan foam. The head retention is good, and it leaves some nice lacing about the glass.

The aroma is immediately smoky. Beech wood. It's not over-done, however, which is nice. And, in fact, you even get some of the caramelized sugars of the malt through it as well. Hops are suggested in that malt, but they don't really stand out on their own, and, stylistically, they shouldn't. Also, very clean. Nicely done.

The flavor follows suit, and its a very rounded and polished beer. The alcohol barely shows as well, and when it does it's in the finish where you'd expect it. It's gently smokey, and caramelish with and almost scorched sugar side, and subtle hints of cocoa or chocolate, chickory and coffee, and a mild hint of toffee. A restrained bitterness supports it, and that's all that really needed as the smokiness and dark malt acidity help to dry the finish anyway.

In the mouth it's medium bodied with a thin edge of malty dextrins, and smooth with a moderate carbonation level.

If there's anything to fault the Dog Schwarz, it's just that there's just not enough of the Dog Schwarz! The restraint of the smokiness, and the superb balance are great, but at the same time I really feel there could have been more flavor overall and still maintained the balance. Overall, it's more like a smoked schwarz than a "double" smoked schwarz. On that note I'm off, I've got to try to sell the empty bottle on eBay to recoup some of my costs!!!

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Photo of Slatetank
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(I gotta roll, cant stand still,
Got a flame in my heart, cant get my fill) sorry Led Zep reference(dog schwarz) poured chilled from the 750ml into a snifter and ale glass.

A - A very shadowy brown w/ a corpulent 2 finger medium light brown cap that drops quickly leaving a subtle lace ring. The opacity is dense w/ pin sized bubbles comprising the head

S - A splendid smoky cocoa nose w/ woody vanilla and mild pepper notes. Sweet malts dominate w/ caramel fruitiness restrained in the aroma

M - A rich caramel toasted note, smoky dry accent and med full carbonation w/ mild sweetness and smoke in the finish

T - I am intriqued by the toasted woody smoky subtlety which is like an accentto the schwarzbier flavor. Both nutty w/ a hint of caramel mixed w/ light roast coffee and subtle smokiness as the malt is almost like a candy center to the rauchbier coating. It is pretty accurately described on the label which is unexpected. A very flavorful dark lager w/ added interest in taste of smoke. There is a pleasing fig-like taste w/ light toffee note of sweet cream.

D - The 7.5% dark lager/rauchbier qualities still well referenced. A very drinkable beer and one I would definietly look forward to tasting again, the combo of Schwarz/Rauch is very well matched I was wishing there was more when the bottle was finished.

 1,328 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Top 5 rauchbier? Yes please. Not sure what vintage although i'm going to assume that it's old. Beer served in a wine glass. Beer is dark brown but clear at the corner with a lazy thin head of tan tiny bubbles that doesn't leave lacing on the glass. Beer is lowly carbonated.

Aroma is sweet with a little smoke.

Beer is medium to light in body with a nice midpalate full of hickory smoke. The finish is mildly bitter and has an odd almost tannic quality to it. This is why I think the bottle was old, I think it may have been slightly corked. As the beer waremed up it got a little more bitter and started tasting like cork. The smoke and mild sweetness seemed to be unaffected by late corkiness but it did distract and detract from the overall experience of the beer.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Pickled Pig Pub.

A: Pours a rather dark brown color, practically opaque, with a small tan head on top. Retention wasn't very good, eventually ending up in a ring of foam around the edge. Not much lacing.

S: Bold aroma with a good bit of chocolate and cocoa, a little bit of coffee, some roast, and a bit of honey. The smoke is very light but present.

T: Roast, chocolate, and cocoa are the predominant flavors, with a little bit of coffee. On on level, it is similar to a porter, but it lacks the hop presence and the sweetness. The is some like smoke on the midpalate, fits just right and does not over power the other flavors.

M: Medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. It is rather dry, but still has a creamy texture.

O: A very nice beer that straddles the line of a schwarzbier and a rauchbier. The chocolate and light smoke combine nicely to make a rather easy drinking beer.

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Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a 1/2 finger of tan beige head. Color is a dark brown, pretty much black.

Aroma: Smoked and roasted malts. A bit of bacon flavors. A hint of chocolate malts as well.

Taste: Chocolate and caramel malts show up more in the taste. A nice amount of smoke and roast complement the other malts. I like that the smokey malts aren't overdone and work as a complement rather than the dominate flavor.

Mouthfeel: Smokey, smooth, and creamy. A very nice texture. Medium bodied with a nice amount of carbonation.

Overall, I definitely enjoyed this one. It was a beer that I have been wanting to try for awhile and I am glad it showed up on tap. It was easy to drink and very pleasant.

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Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at World of Beer North Hills on 12/29/11.

pours a deep black with a thin lacing of off white head. The nose has notes of hickory smoke, chocolate, and roasted malts. The flavor has notes of chocolate and hickory smoke up front with some notes of chocolate and coffee in the finish. This is a medium to full bodied beer with decent carbonation.

This is a very unexpectedly nice beer. The smokey, full body actually makes for a solid cold weather offering.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown to black with a a light brown head. Lots of smoke in the aroma as well as roasted malt. Very inviting and unique aroma. The flavor is smoke, roasted malt and some coffee towards the end. Medium/thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very good beer and one of the best from Flying Dog.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sampled August 2009
A careful pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces an almost four-finger thick, lightly browned, tan colored head. The body is a black color with a hint of brown to it, when held up to the light it shows a hint of amber around the edges but remains an opaque black hue. The aroma smells of dark, roasted malt and smoked grain. The smoke is a bit on the soft side, though readily apparent, and when combined with the roasted, bitter dark grain aromatics it seems to lose the richness that many smoked beers have. Burnt bread like aromas, a touch of charcoal, toasted whole grain bread crust notes and a touch of burnt plum are all found in the nose as well. The aroma is not overly complex, but it is fairly nice any way. I do wish the aroma had more of a rich smokiness to it as well as a bit more malt complexity (some rich caramelized sweetness might be nice).

Despite sitting in my glass for over 10 minutes this is still quite frothy, foamy and overly effervescent as it first hits my tongue; luckily some vigorously swirling released the excess carbonation. This has a rich texture to it, it is viscous and has a malt heft to it that I found lacking in the aroma; dark cocoa notes and a rich dark malt sweetness up front is offset by bitter roast (almost has a dark cocoa bitterness to it) grain, a light smoky richness and even a touch of bitter hops are found in the finish. There almost seems to be a cherry like character in the finish at times as well. This beer is actually not really sweet, it does have a rich, complex, savory malt character to it that is boosted by the soft smokiness though. The flavor is much more integrated and complexly balanced than the nose was.

The excessive carbonation can be a bit annoying at first, luckily some persistent, aggressive swirling brings this down to a reasonable level. The initial, hard carbonation accentuates a burnt, roast vegetal note (that I find in some roasted grain / malt heavy beers) that is a touch off putting, but remains fairly light and does disappear as the carbonation does. In the end this beer is quite enjoyable, I like how the light smokiness makes this a rich tasting brew (even though the aroma is a touch too flat, though still enjoyable). Definitely another solid Wild Dog beer from this brewery.

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Photo of tempest
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Krog for sharing this. It was a deliciously balanced, strong smoke beer. Poured black with a short tan head. Sure, it tastes kind of like bacon, but like a good rauchbier, there's more to it. I'm reminded of the smell of cedar planks on the grill for a toasted wood flavor. The background malts have a touch of caramel with smooth dark chocolate. Very drinkable for a good smokey beer. Worth a try.

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Photo of ppoitras
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle purchased as a single from Domaney's in Great Barrington, MA. Corked and caged.

Poured into heavy glass chalice, formed a 1/4" light brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head quickly morphs into a swirly coat, with bubbles at the rim, with lasting sticky lace. Aroma is smoke and dark fruits. Taste starts lightly smoky, goes nicely sweet with dark maltiness in the middle, and a lightly fruity boozy finish. Mouthfeel is velvety smooth, and drinkability is good as well. Nice brew.

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Photo of Viggo
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml corked and caged bottle, thanks Cyrl!

Pours a cloudy and opaque dark brown/black, thick tan head forms, drops some nice lacing, settles to a thick ring, great retention, looks real nice. Smell is awesome, very smokey, some caramel and biscuity malts, chocolate, roast, iron, very malty, light bit of spicy alcohol, perfect smokiness. Taste is similar, but also real nice, lots of smoke, caramel, roast, toasty malt, light fruit, raisins, some iron, real beef jerky smokiness, very clean flavour, really nice. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, buttery smooth. Great smoked beer, perfect amount and very drinkable. A real treat. Thanks Carl!

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light syrupy black and maple syrup colored brew. Great to finger plus brown head that quietly returns to the black. Smokey, hickory, some charcoal, heavily roasted malts, and even some pipe tobacco. Charcoal roasted malt that was first smoked over hickory, oak, and some peet. The smokey malts help accentuate the pipe tobacco flavor. While the peet rounds out the taste with an earthy finish. Very silky, but a little syrupy. Still a nice rauchbier. Good sipping.

 464 characters

Photo of THECPJ
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark brown black with 1 finger mocha head

smell: roast, little hint of smoke, sweet, malts,

taste: smoke, roast, malts,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: a nice schwarz / rauchbier. glad I finally got to try it.

the CPJ

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Photo of drpimento
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

more of a rauchbier than a schwarzbier, but eh.... Very good, if misleading. Poured with a light tan head and a little lace. Color is an opaque black. Aroma is mainly smokey, plus malty, spicey, yeasty. Flavor is like aroma plus a hint of a tart tang. Perhaps the most smokey yet drinkable beer that I've had. Great body and carbonation. Finish is very good although a little boozy.

 382 characters

Photo of Bung
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml. Dark chocolate pour with a beige head. Good head retention. Aroma is lots of malt and grass, some pine and chocolate. Very creamy mouthfeel, but pretty light bodied. Extreamly smooth roast malt and chocolate up front. Almost has a little milk stout characteristic to it. Enough hops to keep it honest though, but just barely. Just a hint of smokiness through the finish. Excellent drinkability. ABV non-existant. Maybe the best Schwarzbier/Rauch I've had. Exactly what I was looking for to watch my Spartans in round 2 of the NCAA.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apparently this beer style is second to David Hasselhoff as far as being loved by Germans, intriguing… Served from bottle with a cork that had a moldy base into a Mikkeller oversized wine glass. Poured a massively dark brown basically black with a minimal khaki colored head. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, smoked malt, smoke, and ham. The flavor was of sweet malt, smoke, ham, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. I can see why Germans love this style of brew as it is one of my favorites out there too. The smokey tones come through very nicely on this brew and are quite refreshing. I was quite concerned upon inspecting and smelling the cork. Note for future openers of beers with moldy corks; DO NOT SMELL IT! Really glad this didn’t translate into the beer at all. A definite must try if you get the opportunity to do so.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I also have difficulty categorizing this beer. The label says it's a Smoked Double Lager, and calls it a Schwarzbier, but I have to agree with the previous reviewer and say that it is a Rauchbier. It's a dark brown color with beautiful red highlights. A thick tan head that left a bit of lacing. Once you catch a whiff, there's no doubt it's a Rauchbier. Very strong, but pleasant, smoke aroma. The smoke is less noticeable in the taste, where the malt predominates. Just an incredibly smooth beer, one that I want to get more of.

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Photo of Pencible
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

This poured a nearly opaque black mahogany with some tan head. It smelled like lots of smoke and oak and peat, with some roasted barley and molasses and coffee. It tasted like smoke and oak and peat and roasted coffee, with some burnt barley and a bit of molasses. It was fairly thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a bitter smoky aftertaste. Overall this had a nice rich flavor with great body. It had tons of smoke, of course, but it wasn't too overwhelming, and the peat flavors made this seem more like scotch. The alcohol was hidden quite well, but this is still more of a sipping beer due to the bold flavors. This beer would be perfect with a BBQ cookout.

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Dog Schwarz from Flying Dog Brewery
88 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.