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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.

716 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 716
Reviews: 352
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 15.02%
Wants: 8
Gots: 64 | 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: 716 | Reviews: 352 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tehawful
3.18/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

At times, I have a soft spot for Flying Dog. The brewery started in Denver (the city in which I was born) and moved to Frederick, MD...which is where I live now. This, combined with the fact that they use Ralph Steadman's art leaves me really wanting to support this brewery.

The K9 cruiser pours a dark copper color with an appealing creamy head. The aroma isn't very strong, and consists mostly malt and sweet caramel characteristics. There is just a little bit of a hop smell at the end...but it seems to be barely there.

Not surprisingly, malt is also the prominent trait in the taste. Buttery caramel notes are also there, along with a slight bit of toasted grain. A subtle pine-like hop presence appears at the end to add a bit of dryness. As the head might have suggested, there is a very creamy mouthfeel and light carbonation. The creaminess is probably one of the best traits about this beer. For the most part, this is a decent enjoyable beer...however the dry finish adds some redundancy to the experience.

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

Foamy 1/2" light tan head. Semi-ringed lacing. Deep maple in color with highlights of auburn and burgundy.

Moderately sweet light caramel. Orange peel, plum, raisin, and a hint of sour apple. Also tones of earthiness; wheat and grain.

Sweetened fruit that borders tartness: orange, plum, green apple, cherry, and grape. A creamy, near chocolate-tasting malt character. The fruit flavors finish very earthy and almost musty. Alcohol presence lingers throughout the aftertaste.

Medium bodied; the sweetness makes this a bit filmy and heavier than usual.

The flavors are subdued at times, and the sweetness is unbalanced. An average Strong Ale.

Photo of beerme626
3.18/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brown/red

Smell: I can't smell much of anything, but that said, not much to smell here. A malty smell with a few spices.

Taste: Much more of a hoppy taste than I expected from their label on the box that suggested it was super malty. The spices give it an interesting twang, but it's difficult to pin down one flavor.

Mouthfeel: A little sharp on the tongue (reminiscent of IPAs?), which feels a little strange, but I like it.

Overall: A strange beer. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I like it. Might not buy it again (there are better Flying Dogs-- Raging Bitch, In Heat Wheat, etc) but definitely worth a try.

Photo of kennyo
3.18/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had it on tap at Alternative Brews

Beertenderess recommended this as one of her favorite christmas beers, so I took one for the team.Dark amber beer with a nice foamy head, not much of an aroma. Taste was malt with some spices and some friutiness. It is medium bodied and had a nice mouthfeel.

I enjoyed drinking this beer, was tasty and really didn't offend. Wouldn't be dissapointed if i saw this on tap.

Photo of akokandy
3.18/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A- I poured this beer into a standard pint glass. It was copper in color with a 1-finger head that fades fast. With a little agitation, you can coax the head back with no problem.

S- Wheaty grain aroma. There isn't much here.

T- Starts out with pronounced hops. I was surprised at the hop flavor for a beer listed at 30 IBUs. Finishes with cereal grains and dryness.

M- A light-bodied beer. A pretty good amount of carbonation. Pretty average.

D- I have no problem throwing these puppies back.

This isn't a bad beer, but there are so many other beers I would rather have in the house.

Photo of CB2maltygoodness
3.16/5  rDev -5.1%

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 bsp77
3.15/5  rDev -5.4%
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).


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 UCLABrewN84
3.15/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Best before 3/6/13.

Pours a clear copper with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, herbal hops, and a nutty aroma. Taste is much the same with a somewhat high herbal hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer with an astringently bitter flavor that is somewhat unpleasant.

Photo of mklinger
3.15/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a New Glarus pint glass. It pours a pale brown -- not amber, orange or reddish which is what you might want for the darkness of this beer. Instead it is slightly brown. It's not an appetizing color. Inch thick head composed fairly large bubbles.

No real aroma coming off this beer at all, just nothing really there. Now, there's nothing bad about it but nothing really good either.

Taste is better than I thought it would be. Some caramel sweetness followed by more hop bitterness than I thought there could be. I can't quite figure out from the taste what makes this a Winter Warmer compared to any other bitter amber-type ale. Seems like it could be called an Americanized Old Ale more than anything else. I guess that's maybe OK for a winter warmer.

Carbonation and mouthfeel are fuller than I thought they might be too. It's got some better than expected characteristics and some that are merely OK. Reasonable but not a favorite beer.

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

This brew is a dark maroon amber colour with no head to speak of. The lacing is OK, but does not hold up too well. The aromas are pretty subdued, but I can smell some roasted caramel malts, and some very, very faint, old hops (perhaps cascade?). This kind of reminds me of a very weak tasting scotch ale, or kind of like Otter Creek's A winter's ale. The mouthfeel was a bit light for a winter ale, and the drinkability was just OK. Decent.

Photo of webbcreative
3.15/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a copper color. nice head from this one, frothy that sticks around. smell malt. taste more hops then i expected. bit more bitter then i prefer from a winter warmer. not bad, but i want more from a winter time ale. waould prefer a bit more sweetness.

Photo of jjboesen
3.15/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted a four ounce pour at the recent Mid-Atlantic Holiday Beer Tasting at Brewer's Art in Baltimore; this was not the best one of the event.

The head was weak and the lacing was minimal. Nice copper clarity, though. Despite the brewery's hound dog imagery, the nose was nil - could'nt detect any smell at all. K-9 did posses a nutmeg sweetness with a good support from the hops.

It was nicely balanced, offering a finely structured body of well-balanced malts and hop. All in all, I would drink one if offered, but not necessarily as a "winter" ale.

NOTE: I beleive Flying Dog now brews in Maryland, which will make it more accessible for us in the East. Woof!

Photo of Brenden
3.13/5  rDev -6%
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.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.13/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dark ruby red with light orange hues and an off-white head.

S: really sweet malt, citrus with some xmas spicing (cinnamon) and light cloves.

T: The initial flavor was dark caramel malt, some dried woodiness and a dry fruitiness from the yeast.

M: creamy and sweet.

D: Good hearted winter beer without an overabundent amount of spices. Subtle alcohol warming finish with a ok drinkability.

Photo of halo21
3.13/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours to a nice red. Thin tinted head, slight carbonation.
Smells like very malty. Taste that way as well. Reminds me of Killians Irish Red; which I enjoy. Feels good going down, but does leave ones mouth dry.
There is something in the after taste I still cant put my finder on, but it took a few to get used to. I am glad I didnt write the review after the 1st try. The drinkability went up after a few - not in a row so I was not getting drunk.

Will look forward to other beers by Flying Dog

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.13/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Flying Dog's K-9 Cruiser, poured on tap into a pint glass. A rich brown in color with a decent head and some lace.

Aroma is primarily malty with a hint of some fruit.

Flavor follows the nose with a very malty brew. Hops are there adding an earthy bitterness. Grapefruit and citrus flavors actually overpower the malt. Buttery diacetyl riddles the brew.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and fairly smooth.

A drinkable winter warmer without a whole lot of frills or complexity.

Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.13/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a BBC pint glass.

A: Pours a medium, copper amber color with a thin head of butterscotch colored foam which dissipates quickly and leaves a thin coating of bubbly lace. Carbonation is moderate and ring of carbonation sudsy.

S: Smells slightly sweet and fruity with bits of apple and plum as well as citrusy, probably picking up on the bitter herbal hop aroma.

T: There are a lot of rough alcohol flavors in this brew. It starts off with a quick flash of buttery, roasted caramel malts but quickly bitters up with a rush of herbal and citrusy hops. The burn subsides to a more mellow, slightly spicy fruity ale flavor which comprises raisin and pear with hints of citrus fruits. The finish is lingering, oily and pine-laden hop residue.

M: Full bodied brew made fairly astringent by the ABV and level of carbonation, perhaps.

D: Sort of a weird brew and not really in a good way. The 6.4% ABV would suggest this is a strong ale, but it's almost like they went for a winter warm but missed the mark and wound up with an unbalanced IPA. The malts and not nearly as sweet or rich as expected and the hops seem misused and deter from drinkability along with the clear alcohol flavor. Sort of a black eye for Flying Dog, IMO.

Photo of Morris729
3.13/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brownish copper color with a very thin tan colored head that vanishes almost immediately. Aroma and taste are a fruity and malty sweetness with a faint trace of floral bitter hops. Seems a bit thin and watery in the mouth. Nothing special about this brew.

Photo of hosehead83
3.13/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Clear copper hue, with a big, two-inch head of off-white foam.
Aroma-Faint caramel.
Taste-Toasted malt, faint cinnamon. Nothing really jumps out at you in this brew. Tastes o.k. but everything is kind of muted and laid back. A middle-of-the-road offering from a brewery that has a lot of better beers to offer.

Photo of harrisjohnson
3.11/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of tone77
3.1/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. has a deep copper color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, a touch of malts. Taste is also on the mild side, some malts, lightly hopped, kind of weak. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a mediocre beer.

Photo of BierFan
3.1/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: 1 finger of tan foam sitting on top of a dark reddish orange body. The lacing was pretty good.

Smell: Malty with some faded hop aroma.

Taste: Malty with diacetyl giving a little bit of a butter flavor. Has a little bit of a bitter hop bite on the finish.

Photo of Nctide
3.1/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Photo of robbyc1
3.1/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is a kind of strange Winter warmer, look is reddish/brown, a mix of a brown ale and a red ale, decent head.

Malty and hoppy too, with a bitter finish, hard to finish this one, it does have a nice malt taste, a bit of chocolate there, but the hops are biting, makes it hard to like it. I will stop buying this one for winter tries, too many other good ones out there unless they change the recipe.

K-9 Cruiser Winter Ale from Flying Dog Brewery
76 out of 100 based on 716 ratings.