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K-9 Cruiser Winter Ale - Flying Dog Brewery

Not Rated.
K-9 Cruiser Winter AleK-9 Cruiser Winter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
76
okay

734 Ratings
THE BROS
67
poor

(view ratings)
Ratings: 734
Reviews: 355
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 14.71%
Wants: 8
Gots: 69 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Flying Dog Brewery visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  7.40% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 10-30-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 734 | Reviews: 355
Reviews by Brenden:
Photo of Brenden
3.15/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Just "K-9" on the bottle, apparently this beer isn't a cruiser anymore. The snippet on the label seems to be implying that this beer will numb you.

It's off to a pretty good start in the appearance, as a creamy and somewhat rocky head of a light brown color rises to about a finger in height and, while retention is average at best, the island of foam leaves good patches of lacing behind.
Then it gets weird. It seems to be maybe a brown ale base, but the first smell in my nostrils is metal. Give it a minute and it's at least tamed a bit. There is some chocolate in there. There's also a tea-like note that I'd expect in an English Mild or maybe an English Brown. Actually, it could be the hops, as an earthy layer comes out with a little floral spiciness. To be fair, when this beer has a minute or two out and warming it gets better.
Apparently this beer has gone through some reincarnations of a sort. This isn't bad, per se, but probably not its best. It get the tea and the floral note as well as the earthiness and spiciness, but it's not as flavorful as, say, a good breakfast tea. It's really altogether light. the chocolate note fades out, and the malts barely hold it beyond average. The herbal hoppiness going into the finish turns tinny and the malts go grainy.
I'm also never quite sure from one sip to the next what kind of body this beer has. Ultimately it seems a little too thin, though carbonation and a certain smoothness attempt to hold it up.

Flying Dog really is a crazily hot-or-miss brewery.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
2.91/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep amber with a decent fluffy head to it leaving some trace amounts of lace,aromas were very subdued for a strong ale I picked up some brown suger and caramel but nothing really going on here.Flavors as well are pretty subdued for a stronger ale some caramel and butter stick out most but you would know ur drinking a strong ale just lackluster.Well I have come to expect somewhat hohum beers from Flying Dog and this is status quo for me.

Photo of brownbeer
2.73/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours clear, deep orange with a nice, off white head. Looks a little light for a winter warmer.

Bready aroma with c-hops, citrus undertone, pine, a hint of caramel.

Flavors of pale grain, green tea, has almost a soapy note that's not too attractive. A soapy note, a little on the raw side.

Kind of generic overall. I'm not sure that I get it. That's just life. Dance through it all.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.15/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer review from BA Mag Dec 2007.

The self-described "psycho in the pack," this Winter Warmer is yet another addition to a style that American brewers have been taken by. Available until late March.

A hefty amount of foam from a medium pour, head retention is solid even when it dwindles down; the lace seems to want to stick everywhere. Dark brown tarnished penny color, clarity is great. The nose starts off with toasted grain, biscuity for the most part with mild chocolate and a faint citric hop in the back. Smooth and slick on the palate with a medium body. Heavy on the toasted malt flavor throughout with a quick glimpse of caramel and chocolate; the malt character feigns a bigger dryness than there actually is. Warming up the beer a little bit more draws out a bit more sweetness. The alcohol is a touch warming but never to the point of being dominant in any way. Hops are mellow with an even bitterness and a pop of spicy herbal flavor in the semidry malty finish.

Perhaps the driest Winter Warmer we've had this season, not a bad thing but certainly different from the rest of the pack. Regardless, this is a pretty inviting brew with winter knockin' on the door.

Photo of Todd
2.32/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A deep red coloured beer with a nice sticking creamy foam head. Aroma is nill. Flavour is kind of boring for a strong ale. Some fruity, roasty malt action going on with a raw feel about it. Buttery, faint hint of vanilla, chocolate and raisiny edges. Finish is bland.

Another near average beer, from a seemingly near average brewery. It's almost like they don't know how to handle their own yeast?

Photo of clarkkr
2.78/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle -> tulip glass

Pours copper/bronze color and has a fairly thick head with good retention and some lacing. Smells of deeply roasted sweet malts with some caramel-like malted scents. Tasting it, I pick up some chocolate flavors that compliment some of the roasty-sweetness fairly nicely and some very faint hops add bitterness and keep the alcohol from entering in too strongly from the equation. You don't really taste the alcohol, but you do notice its warmth and it bites a bit along with the light hops. It makes an impact on your mouth, and I'd be wrong to call this brew "smooth." It's forceful which sort of makes it hard to appreciate the texture of this one. Overall, it makes for an okay winter ale, but misses out on some of the fun "wintery" things that one tends to look for in the style.

Photo of mikechance
2.95/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A --- Nice reddish orange --- not much of a head

S --- earthy floralness, yeast, raisin

T --- not much of anything. Kind of malty, maybe a faint hint of clove

M --- light body and little carbination

O --- I'm a little disaapointed. I was expecting it to big one way or another. It's tame and not very memorable.

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
3.23/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a New Belgium snifter.

A - Two-finger head of dense, light-khaki foam that collapses under itself, leaving rings around the glass. Deep amber red/orange and decently opaque, but not cloudy. When the head finally finishes, there's a thin, but almost solid layer of lacing across the surface that stays longer than I have patience to see if it's going to clear.

S - Huge malt on the pour. Nose is toasted malts, spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, aromatic pine hops, and a bit of the alcohol pushing its way through from the background.

T - Rich buttery toasted malts and caramel. Bittering hops take over rather quickly and dominate the finish; it's citrus, but darker. As it warms in the glass, there's a touch of competition on the back-end of the finish between the sugar and the hops, but it's pretty subtle and appears only at the end.

M - Creamy, but well-carbonated, so it's also rather foamy. Decent structure, although a bit thin for the ABV. Bitter finish lingers on the tongue.

D - A winter warmer for those who enjoy a bitter finish on their beer. I would have liked to see more attention given to the malt side of the profile, since they're definitely in there and are tasted at the beginning of the quaf as well as exploding from the bottle on the pour.

Photo of Jason
3.08/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck with a scary dog theme artsy label. Freshness date is printed on the label.

Appearance: Bright reddish amber with a very well formed off white lace that leaves ring all the way down the glass.

Smell: Slightly fruity buttery diacetyl, malt sweetness with hints of caramel and a plum like fruitiness in the nose. Touch of hops mostly earthy and herbal.

Taste: Full bodied with a light carbonation, slick malty mouth feel with a sturdy smoothness. A mix of fruity diacetyl and malt sweetness mostly caramel meld together to make a butterscotch flavour throughout. Within the fruitiness is a ripe plum and raisin flavour. Hop bitterness only balances and fades quickly, light earthy hop leftover. Hints of unsweetened chocolate and carob in the finish though the diacetyl still holds strong right to the end.

Notes: The fruity buttery diacetyl (by-product of the yeast) is a bit excessive borderline overwhelming though not as bad when the brew warms up to cellar temperature. A half decent brew yet hard to finish one due to the high level of alcohol and flamboyant flavours.

Photo of Billolick
3.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, purchased as part of a sixer @ Green Growler Grocery in Croton-On -Hudson, NY.

Pours dull light brown, with an orange hue. Loose and minor light tan head, leaves fine bits of lacing.

Mild nose of some sugary malts, honey and dark toast.

Malty brew, dark toast comes to mind. Minor complexity and pretty straight forward. Some honey and more sugary sweetness in the finish. Nothing special, but a decent holiday season sipper. 7.4% well in the back ground. Would just fine in a marinade for chicken or pork or as part of a sweet reduced sauce

Photo of bsp77
3.18/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Note: I think the Winter Warmer category on here is ridiculous because it is a catch-all - it includes Spiced Christmas beers, Old Ales, big Brown Ales and the English Strong Ale. Most of the non-spiced so-called Winter Warmers in the US are really English Strong Ales - medium to full bodied malty English Ales that may have a good amount of English hop counterbalance. More than anything, they simply taste English and are relatively high in alcohol (but not a Barleywine).

Anyway...

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into tall glass.

Appearance: Somewhat dark reddish-amber with nice light tan head.

Smell: Mostly cherry and spicy & floral English hops. Some bread, tea and caramel. Smells English.

Taste: Sweet upfront before swiftly turning quite dry. Cherry and caramel come through at the forefront, along with some light biscuit & tea tones. End more peppery, spicy and floral rather than truly bitter. Unfortunately, there is a little bit of an astringent aftertaste.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, exceedingly dry finish.

Drinkability: My first thought was this was a fine English Strong Ale, and I wondered why it has a relatively meddling average. Then that astringent aftertaste began to gnaw at me. Ultimately, there are much better English Strong Ales out there, such as Odell Isolation, Deschutes Jubelale, Avery Old Jubilation and Full Sail Wassail.

Photo of magictrokini
2.68/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've been suckered in again by Flying Dog. Clear mahogany pour with a bubbly, short-lived off-white head. Thin aroma of malt and hops, with a little caramel. Weak taste consisitng of watered-down caramel malt, some hops, grains, and nuts. While this was better than Tire Bite and Snake Dog, I have learned my lesson to not buy any more overpriced beers from this brewery.

Photo of pat61
3.59/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Had this from a cask at the Town Hall Brewery and from a 12 oz bottle in a chalice.
A: Brilliant copper tinted amber to chestnut under a finely bubbled 1” off-white foam collar that clings to the side of the glass leaving sheets of lace
S: Hint of chocolate, faint banana, more aromas from the cask version than the bottle.
T: Big malty flavors, fruit, chocolate, banana.
F: Medium to full body, creamy, sweet, medium low carbonation, a grainy astringency that grows towards the finish.
O: This beer has all the right bones but they do not quite come together and the grainy astringency on the finish suggests that someone sparged too long.

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.06/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A 355ml bottle with no visible BB date. Picked up recently from my local beer specialist. I like the snowboarding dog on the label.

Poured into a Sam Smith's pint glass. A clear coppery-brown hue with good carbonation. Yields a large head of light tan foam with a fine consistency; after a few minutes this reduces to a decent surface layer. Aroma of sweet dark malt with notes of caramel, yeast and coriander.

Tastes of sweet caramel malt with a bitter finish. Chocolatey overtones on the palate. Notes of caramel, dry yeast, coriander, faint chocolate syrup, candy sugar and stewed hops. Bitterness has a somewhat herbal quality. Mouthfeel is tingly and dry, but rather thin. Quite astringent. Aftertaste of sweet malt and bitter hops.

Hmmm - OK. A brown winter ale with a strange spicy note; coriander seems like an odd addition to a winter ale (if that's what it is). Smell/taste are a bit uneventful, and the body is watery. It's alright, but not amazing. Helps to confirm my opinion that american brown ales are not a style I like that much.

Photo of far333
2.95/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a dark brown color, and tops itself with a beige, thin and low head that disappears too quickly. Aroma is sweet malt, and that's about it. Flavor is sweet and syrupy. The ABV doesn't interfere with the flavor, but maybe something should. This one is cloying to me, and the body is thin. I wouldn't be able to guess the style if I didn't know.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.01/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Cool label, I like the notion of crazed dogs skiing recklessly.

Light brownish pour with a red hue to it, uneventful formation of head, aroma was well, warming, mildly hoppy, but not much else going on.

Easy sipper, just like a winter warmer should be I guess, but hardly inducing excitement in any fashion. Hops kept out of the taste, smoothness and warmth are in. Caramel, mild spice, brown sugar. Offputting bitterness in a warmer a few seconds after you tell yourself its smooth. Huh?

Photo of dwren89
3.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: chestnutty brown with gold highlights and a creamy light tan head, brilliant clarity

Aroma: warm date and fig with a subtle hint of cardamom and raisin, soft molasses and an overall pleasant and warming aroma

Taste: bready, with molasses overtones and nutty finish. Subtle spiciness of nutmeg and cardamom and a dark fruitiness in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium-full body, smooth finish, medium carbonation

Overall: A nice beer that can be swigged instead of just sipped by the fireside, embracing the taste of the season of nutmeg, cardamom, date, fig, and molasses and keeping the body to a drinkable level.

Photo of ADR
3.46/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Amber color, clear and tending toward brownish. Head is decent, it slightly pale, creamy in texture. Lacing is nice, complicated webbing down a pint glass. Aroma is heavily malty, scant hops, pear fruit and butterscotch are the main characters. Mouthfeel is medium, but the flavor is a littlle much -- lots of sugary sweetness and diacetyl re-inforced by the aroma. Unidimensional to me, front to back, a big aftertaste continues to underscore the dominant notes of the flavor profile. While not sticky, the beer is border line cloying.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.68/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Mad Mex Robinson, pours a deep caramel ruby amber hue with a light cream head, leaves behind speckled lacing. Aroma has upfront malts with a bit of xmas spicing, nothing outweighs one or the other a cohesive force of bready malts and christmas spices. Flavor is upfront with cramel sweet malts, a nice herbal spice and piney hop finish complements the whole experience leaving behind a dry finish vesurs your typical bread dough version of this same style of Christmas ale. Mouthfeel is medium bodied easy going carbonation glides across the palate defintitely doesn't cloy or make the experience sour. A smooth drinking go to Christmas ale that I will revisit in the future.

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Sunswick in Astoria, NY.

Pours a slightly hazy dark copper color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of citrus and pine hops with a rustic caramel malt backbone.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Grainy caramel malt flavors up front are joined quickly by loads of pine and citrus hops, more pine than citrus. The hops carry through to a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I didn't think this was a winter warmer but I can't penalize it for that - it's labelled as a "winter ale" which in my opinion is undefined (see Bell's Winter White). I found this to be a nice hoppy ESB, worth a shot.

Photo of ianjsullivan
3.03/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

ST: 12oz poured into a pint.

A: Deep amber with a half-a-finger off-white head. It is very clear and has good light. Leaves thick lacking everywhere.

S: Malty, some caramel notes, sweet cream, a bit watery.

T: Lots of malt with a hint of caramel and a bit of alcohol warmth on the finish. The finish is dry rather than sweet with a bit of bitterness. Overall, it is a bit bland.

M: Medium

O: Nothing impresses me here. It looks nice, but the aroma and flavor are bland or relatively one-dimensional.

Photo of jbphoto88
3.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beautiful caramel red with blood orange highlights. A tan colored head rises up fast but fades to a sudsy nothing before I even take my first sip.

The smell is dominated by sweet malts. Toasted but not burnt. Hints of toffee and caramel and even an inkling of coffee and chocolate. Not much in the way of spice or hop.

Taste is smooth, refined and full of malt. There is a nice complexity to the grain profile. It starts with a caramel influenced sweetness, then segues to a more roasty, toasty, robust malt flavor. The finish is a lingering sweetness with a mild bitterness from some hops. A nice flavor and feeling addition that accents the fullness of the sweet malt.

Clean and creamy mouthfeel that lasts well into the finish. This one doesn't have much bite only some slight metallic bitterness and a lack of spice for the style that frankly I don't miss. Damn fine beer.

Photo of CloudStrife
3.56/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a clear ruby with a 1 finger off white head. Average amount of visible carbonation. Leaves some splotches of lacing as the head dissipates.

S: Sweet carmel malts with a hint of spiciness to it. A touch of roasted malt and a decent amount of dark fruits. Raisin, fig and plum come to mind.

T: Carmel and toffee blend together with some of the roasted malt. Mild dark fruit taste with a hint of fermented fruit. Spices like allspice and cinnamon come to mind as well. Slight touch of booze at the end. Lingering sweetness.

M: Medium to thick body with a slightly syrupy mouthfeel. Low carbonation and a bit sticky after swallowing. Works well in the warming department.

Overall not an overwhelming flavor, certainly something smooth and relaxing for a cold winter night. Wouldnt mind just a bit more spice or a more complex malt profile.

Photo of zjungleist
3.9/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer looks a lot like a soda. Brown, but semi-transparent in color, with a creamy off-white head that lasted about 2 minutes. The smell is sorta nutty, with some decent hops too. The flavor is semi-sweet, with some toasty, caramel malts and some fairly bitter hops. The flavor is sorta flat, as in not complex, but still flavorful. Dark malt, hops, and that is about all. It's not bad, just kinda non-descript. The nice thing is that it has a fairly light mouthfeel, but still the bold flavor. The drinkability is quite high, and with the medium/high abv, that is a plus. Overall, a fair brew.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.05/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The look is good with a bright rusty amber color with reddish hues, good carbonation and a 1/2" deep tan colored head that had very little retention.

Smells like Cinnemon toast crunch cereal with sweet and sour fruits, toffee, astringent alcohol and pine-needles.

The malt is large and in charge, very toastie malt with extra butter, a smooth, creamy malt for sure. The malt flavor is only overshadowed by a big bitterness from the hops and alcohol, the ABV is not really high but it tastes like rubbing alcohol should. There's a decent herbal, earthy and semi-spicey effect. The aftertaste is much like the sour yeast flavor of a lager.

This one is full-bodied, thick and smooth feeling but still packa a nice bite.

This is a strange brew for sure, taste like a big Brown ale with spices. It would be decent if it wasn't for the bitter-alcohol like flavor.

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K-9 Cruiser Winter Ale from Flying Dog Brewery
76 out of 100 based on 734 ratings.