1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

K-9 Cruiser Winter Ale - Flying Dog Brewery

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

695 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 695
Reviews: 350
rAvg: 3.33
pDev: 15.02%
Wants: 8
Gots: 50 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 10-30-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of K-9 Cruiser Winter Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 695 | Reviews: 350 | Display Reviews Only:
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 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 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.

Photo of FickleBeast
3.1/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a deep reddish amber with a faint ring of foam. Aroma is sweet, a bit boozy, cough syrup, cherry.

First sip has a quick rush of malty sweetness followed by a firm bitter finish, with an unsatisfying lack of aftertaste. It's like this beer falls off a cliff - it is thin, bland, and leaves no lasting impression. It is over-attenuated? It tastes so to me.

So I'm mostly getting an aspirin like bitterness from this beer, without much else to redeem it. Very little mouthfeel, very little flavor, just all around disappointing.

Photo of ngandhi
3.1/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A little bit of buttery diacetyl on the nose and actually quite distinguishable as an old ale. When I was drinking it, I didn't know what it was, but I thought it best resembled an old ale.

Not very malty, it's on the lighter side of the spectrum. The nose is wonderful, revealing a great rich complexity that the beer never provides. I can say the yeast is pretty good, producing wonderful aromas, but the recipe itself is weak.

The beer thins to ethanol with some malt and fruit-laden yeast poking through. The flavors are muddled and vacant.

Relax, relax.

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

This beer is a winter beer with a lot of spiciness, which I liked. However, I thought there was also a complexity of other rather strange flavor notes that I didn't much care for. My thought was that if the intentional spiciness were removed, the base beer flavors that remained would be odd-tasting and not very desirable. Nonetheless, this beer wasn't bad.

The appearance was very good - a deep rich red color that was clear and brilliant. There was lots of head composed of minuscule bubbles which towered over the rim of my glass. Aroma was a faint caramel smell, a copper smell (think a penny), and diacetyl. Flavor was holiday spiciness up front (think nutmeg, cinnamon, all-spice) followed by some hoppiness. I also got some isoamyl acetate (banana/circus peanuts) and vinous-ness as it warmed. These good and puzzling flavors were balanced a bit with some metallic copper maltiness. Mouthfeel was unremarkable.

Not bad...but hardly terrific. I'd weakly recommend this beer. I bought this bottle at 3 Cellars in Franklin, WI.

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

Poured a nice deep brown amber with a tan head. This is a bread and butter beer if there ever were one. Malty chew with butter hints. Hop balance is nicely done. Flyin Dog has made better brews. They should spend a little more time on this warmer. It needs some more attention.

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

Poured a clear medium amber, with a creamy tan head building about one finger high. Dissipates fast into good lacing.
The smell is rather disappointing, and I do not detect much but some faint malt.
The taste produced some earthy malt notes and some grassy hops. Not much else I detect.
Never the less it is a refreshing drinkable beer, but not what I expect of a Winterwarmer!

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

Aroma is crisp and malty, rather typical, but with an undertone of spice. It pours a nice clear coppery amber with a fairly thick off-white head. Flavor is more hoppy than malty, decent but seems to lack the spice I picked up in the aroma. Texture is fairly smooth and a little fizzy. Not Flying Dog's best, but still a good party beer.

Photo of StoutHunter
3.09/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I picked up a bottle of Flying Dog's K-9 Cruiser Winter Ale last week for $1.69 at The Lager Mill. It's been a while since I've had a beer from Flying Dog, but since I've never had this one before I thought i would pick up a bottle to try out, so lets see how it goes. No Visible bottling date. 2013 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks good, I like the drawing of the crazy looking snowboarding dog and in typical Flying Dog fashion I think it's pretty eye catching. It poured a pretty clear caramel amber color that took on more of a copper and ruby color when held to the light with two fingers worth of light tan head that died down to a thick ring that stayed till the end and it left some patchy lacing behind. This was a pretty nice looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness followed by loads of malts which impart some grainy, bready, sweet malt, and toasted malt aromas with a nice caramel malt aroma that seems to stick out the most and there's a slight nutty aroma in the background. Up next comes a pretty light amount of spices with no single spice seeming to stick out the most and it imparts a light generic spice aroma followed by a good amount of fruity yeast with some fruity and light dark fruit aromas showing up. This beer had a decent aroma, but it was pretty light on the spices for a Winter Warmer.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness followed by loads of malts being the first to show up and they impart lots of grainy, bready, sweet malts and toasted malts flavors with the caramel malt aspect still seeming to stick out the most. Up next comes a very light amount of spices that are almost undetectable and there's also a pretty light amount of that fruity yeast that just imparts a pretty light generic fruity flavor. On the finish there's some earthy and slightly herbal hop flavors with a slightly higher amount of medium bitterness with a very malty and grainy aftertaste. This beer tasted ok, it was fairly bland and it wasn't very Winter Warmer like.

M- Fairly smooth, a little rich, a little sticky, fairly crisp, on the thicker side of being medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel was ok, but I could have gone without the stickyness and richness.

Overall I wasn't a big fan of this beer and I didn't think it was a good example of a Winter Warmer, it wasn't a bad beer, but it was pretty bland and it wasn't very Winter Warmer like with such a low amount of spices, it was more similar to a Amber Ale or a Bock. This beer had ok drinkability, it was fairly smooth, a little rich, a little filling, and the taste didn't do a good job of holding my attention and I quickly got bored with it, so one is enough for me, I have no urge to drink another one in a row. What I liked the most about this beer was the appearance, it was nice and it was the aspect with the least amount of things wrong with it. What I liked the least about this beer was how it isn't true to style, I haven't had a Winter Warmer that tasted this bland. I wouldn't buy this beer again, it's not very hard to find a much better Winter Warmer and I wouldn't recommend this beer to any of my friends. All in all this beer just wasn't for me, it didn't really live up to being called a Winter Warmer. This one is up there as one of me least favorite Flying Dog beers, better luck next time guys, this one needs some major work.

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

Appearance - Dark purple/brown color with 1 finger head that quickly disappears. Looks really boozy in appearance if appearance could appear to be boozy.

Smell - malty...like Flying Dog's lager style

Taste - Doesn't really work too well here. Some bitterness and some "off" flavorings and some spice. Not much worthwhile in this beer.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied and ok.

Overall - Very mediocre to not-very-good beer. Not highly recommended and barely drinkable.

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

K-9 suggests to drink this in your dog's honor during a day a skiing. Okay....I haven't been skiing since I was in kindergarten, and I haven't had a dog in the family since I was ten. Is it okay to drink it on a Sunday evening while I wait for the cats to come inside? While I wait for a response, let's go on to the beer:

If you love a big head on a beer, this is not one to get. Its head is quite small and is quick to drop to a chunky lace. The color is chocolate brown with hues of burnt orange. And the nose...it holds promise, but it is tough to sniff what's really going on down there. There's a note that's like a Tootsie Roll, a few hops are turning in there, and a vague spice. It's make or break time...

At first, it looks like this is going to be exciting. It's big bodied, malty, has a hoppysweet flavor. Yet from there it doesn't build up. A portion of the taste is stuck in AWOL. Among the specifics, dry toffee, hop leaves, and a hint of orange paint the flavor profile. It could be so much more.

Something isn't being worked in this beer. Or maybe this is a sign that I really need to visit the slopes and adopt a dog.

Photo of Jason
3.05/5  rDev -8.4%
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 jazzyjeff13
3.05/5  rDev -8.4%
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 zimm421
3.05/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a shaped pint glass. Appears a dark amber to brown. Very clear with a tan head. Great lacing.

Nose is sweet with caramel and has a slight spiciness on the end. Taste is much more sweet and not balanced by any means. There's some nutiness here, and the spices come through in the end.

Mouthfeel is pretty light, and the carbonation almost seems to be missing. Overall, not too impressed. Had much better winters and won't be going back to this one again.

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

Pours a dark brown clear brew, looks like a Bock beer.

Smell is sweet with a smell of dark fruits, with brown sugar and malts. Smells like a bock beer.

Taste is Very sweet with a bit of chocolate flavor with plum wine. This is a Bock beer, no matter what the bottle says. That or a really sorry Imperial Stout. It's an OK Bock, and a crappy Imperial Stout. I pick Bock and give it a 3.

Mouthfeel is OK for a Bock.

Not real drinkable, I can find better.

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

Got this in a case swap with some friends.

Poured into a pint glass a clear copper with lots of bubbliness, a half-finger of off-white head, cavernous lacing.

Smell is lightly fruity, some sweetly floral hops, toasty malt, a little flinty, a little mineral. I'm a novice with rye, but I smell what I associate with rye. It actually smells a lot like the Scottish ale I just brewed, not that that has significance to anyone but myself.

Starts with a cross of fruity & biscuity flavors, quickly turns pretty bitter & dries out, turns piney, woody. A teeny bit of honey & cherry flavor remain in the aftertaste. Further into the beer a kind of peppermint emerges very subtly -- it's like the malt & hops bump into each other & every once in a while create peppermint. Interesting, but I'm really not a fan of that huge dryness in the middle.

The mouthfeel starts smooth, then becomes sharp as the hops gain momentum, then flattens out & kind of deadens the tastebuds.

Drinkability = eh. Can't say I was real into it, the hops didn't add so much as flatten everything. Much better winter warmers out there.

K-9 Cruiser Winter Ale from Flying Dog Brewery
77 out of 100 based on 695 ratings.