Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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.

351 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 351
Hads: 743
Avg: 3.32
pDev: 21.39%
Wants: 9
Gots: 77 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of K-9 Cruiser Winter Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 351 | Hads: 743
Photo of tdm168
3.51/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - dark amber with a thick, off white, brownish head that has good retention

S - a bit grainy, sweet, some faint caramel

T - bread, caramel, a rather bitter finish

M - warm, well carbonated, medium bodied

This is a rather simple beer. It is prominently caramel in flavor with very faint notes otherwise. The bitterness in the finish is more intense than it should be. There isn't much here to separate this beer from any other winter offering. I'm glad to have tried this once, but I won't be seeking it out again.

 519 characters

Photo of CHickman
3.05/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Pours a clear amber reddish color with bubbles racing up the middle, and huge 2 finger light tan head that had tons of little bubbles in it and faded very slowly, leaving decent excellent foamy lacing coating the sides and a layer on top.

Smells of yeast, medicine, grass, musty notes like a moldy basement, and sweet fruit like pear, apple and plum; it’s sweet and funky with some bready notes, with yeast coming on the strongest.

Tastes like it smells, with yeast, medicine, grass, sweet fruit like pear, apple and plum, funk, cardboard, biscuit, herbs, tea leaf and light spices or floral hops. The aftertaste has some allspice or cinnamon peek through, leaving a funky metal taste that seems mixed with vegetables. The ABV comes through, but not in a bad way.

Mouthfeel is creamy and mild, with light carbonation, a medium body and a funky aftertaste that is on the dry side. This was kind of blah, and overall on the dull side. Not a beer I’d seek out again, nor would I buy it if it weren’t in the mixed 12 pack.

 1,029 characters

Photo of 1Nrwyscotch
3.33/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass. K-9 Winter Ale, no Cruiser on my bottle.

A. A ncie amber color with a thick off white head that stays around and leaves a little lacing.

S. Some sweet malt aroma which quickly turns to some earthy wet grass.

T. It is not too complex a little caramel and I'm not getting any spicing but it finishes the lingering light bitterness of the hops followed by some warming from the alcohol.

M. It has a pretty light body.

O. It is a decent tasting beer just nothing to go out of your way for. It kinda reminds me of some wet hopped beers.

 569 characters

Photo of hosehead83
3.13/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

 365 characters

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.38/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle. No bottled on date. My bottle has omitted the word "Cruiser" from this beer's title, so perhaps Flying Dog changed it's name this year? I don't know. Mine says only K-9 Winter Ale.

A - Extremely dark copper penny color. No head to speak of.

S - Smells floral and spicy. Some strange musty hops buried in the end somewhere. A slight bubblegum creeps out as the beer warms.

T - Coppery, malty, slightly spicy, slightly floral. Definitely a more bitter, full-bodied beer than the Samuel Adams White Christmas I just drank.

M - Nice, pleasant sticky mouth.

Overall, glad I was able to pick this up, as yesterday was the first time I have seen this beer in my area. A decent seasonal from Flying Dog.

Flying Dog K-9 Winter Ale ---3.5/5.

 753 characters

Photo of BrownAleMale
3.06/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a Horny Goat pint glass

Appearance- A clear amber color with a small amount of off white head that sits on the surface and leaves minimal lacing.

Smell- Some ripe fruit with a little citrus and alcohol.

Taste- Follows the nose minus the citrus. A smokey alcohol finish isnt to plesant.

Mouthfeel- The light side of medium and a little lite on the carbonation.

Overall- Just an average winter warmer that uses unhidden ABV instead of a nice warming finish. Lazily made in my opinion.

 511 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.72/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark chestnut color with a good amount of clarity. While the offwhite colored head has a nice texture, it quickly fades into a very thin collar - and isn't impressive to start with at less than one finger. The body is pretty beautiful, at least.

S: Has a definite graham cracker and chocolate vibe to the aroma. When given the chance to warm up, it develops a prune-like character to it. There isn't much in the way of spicing other than a touch of cinnamon.

T: I'm surprised how bitter this is. There is almost no sweetness to the caramel and toasted malts - if there is, I sure as shit don't notice it. Normally, this is a good thing for me. But this bitterness works against everything else, ruining both the balance and potential subtleties the spicing could have provided. After a while of warming up, some Centennial hops seem to make an appearance after the midtaste, almost as if it's trying (and failing) to ape SN Celebration in a manner. Not horrible, but everything just seems out of whack, and without any distinctness to any of the flavor notes.

M: The finish is dry and astringent. The problem is, it's not in a balanced manner, increasing the harshness of it. Even worse is the general chalkiness of the feel, which I'm no fan of either. All it does is make the texture feel thicker without really feeling substantial.

O: ST's 2XMAS planted a seed of doubt toward my general dislike of winter warmers. Even if it's not a great example of the style, this makes me remember why I don't really care for the typical winter warmer. It feels off for some reason.

 1,621 characters

Photo of stephenjmoore
3.23/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark Amber colored body with an off white head that just leaves some bubbles.

S- Mostly caramel malt with some roasted malt.

T- Similar to the smell, just a malty beer without a whole lot going on.

M- Medium bodied, medium carbonation, pretty good.

O- Drinkable, but nothing mind blowing.

 295 characters

Photo of Morey
3.31/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2012 bottle into Tulip.

Appearance: Beautiful reddish-brown color with stunning clarity. Head was a cream color, and initially stood about one finger tall, but settled pretty fast. Some decent lacing being left behind on the sides of my glass.

Aroma: Very mild with suggestions of dark fruits and chocolate malts being the most dominant smells.

Taste: I get the malts right up front, along with a modest dose of hop bitterness. Not far behind, I get the dark fruits and some subtle spices as well. I can't help but be reminded of GL Christmas Ale, but less cinnamon & ginger....and well...it's not as good.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body with moderate carbonation. A thin layer of spicy film is left coating the pallet.

Morey's Bottom Line: It's not as bad as the score suggest, but it's not super memorable either. It's average and lost in a sea of winter warmers and Christmas ales.

 887 characters

Photo of Brenden
3.15/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

 1,520 characters

Photo of FickleBeast
3.13/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

 571 characters

Photo of ianjsullivan
3.03/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

 508 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.17/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

 511 characters

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.45/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Out of a bottle this beer was a perfectly clear, garnet color with one finger of khaki colored head. The retention was ok at first but it soon was little more than a needle-thin collar that left only a few small spots of lacing. The aroma was of caramel malt, toffee and a hint of floral hops. The flavors were of caramel malt, toffee, diacetyl, nuts, toasted malt, burnt toast and then a finish which was a bit to herbal/medicinal and didn’t quite balance out properly. Distinctly bitter on the finish but it wasn’t a ‘clean’ finish. The mouthfeel was frothy and slick, the body medium and the carbonation a bit high. Rather average overall but by no means unpleasant.

 677 characters

Photo of tone77
3.11/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

 252 characters

Photo of smakawhat
3.78/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It's still winter? Could have fooled me with this warmth! Let's see how this winter seasonal goes, poured into a nonic pint glass.

A nice off tan head, very large on the pour practically three fingers tall, but kind of foamy. However, the body color is a real nice copper red, clear and amber in appearance. Really like this body color.

Light hop, noticeable kind of dark fruit and malts. Brown sugar, coming off more as a strong ale than anything. However, it smells quite nice regardless.

A real nice sort of mushy malt on the palate. Chewy and dense. Dense malts mix with a strong ale feel, giving some rich body. Light hop on the finish with a nice blast on the malt. Some classic dark spices in there, but not the sort wintery warmy feeling. Smooth and almost velvety mouthfeel.

Overall I am thinking English sort of slight hoppy strong ale here, not so much a winter warmer. It's still very tasty though, so no worries there.

 935 characters

Photo of AdamBear
2.74/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-dark whiskey colored with a thick cream colored head

S-sweet barley. strong smell but it really smells off

T-comes in with a very adjunct taste of honey and barley. then comes a weird bitter taste. after-taste is matching. this really isn't too good.

M-creamy medium carbonation with a dry finish

O-if i didn't know better, i would say this is a boozey BMC version of a winter warmer...except the only BMC winter warmer i've had (winter's boubon cask ale) was a lot better than this. its just harsh. i tried it because i've been seeing it everywhere i go, but now i can't understand why any bar would want this.

 617 characters

Photo of WMEugene
3.61/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a rich, clear amber color with a thick, slightly off-white head and fairly nice lacing.

S - Malts, caramel, spices and some dark fruits. Some sweetness as well from some form of sugar.

T - Sweet malts and dark fruits. Spices are present as well (appropriate for a winter ale). I also pick up a slight butterscotch flavor which may be from some diacetyl (but it's not that strong).

M - Medium bodied, sweet and smooth, ok carbonation and rather drinkable.

O - Flying Dog's K-9 cruiser is an enjoyable winter beer. It's sweet and with nice seasonal spices. A solid seasonal offering.

 595 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
3.6/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Trying the Flying Dog K-9 Cruiser this cold Chicago winter's night. The beer pours clear amber with thin almost non-exsistent white head. The smell is mostly caramel type malt with undertones of spice. The taste is good combo of spice and caramel malt. The mouthfeel is a nice medium body with so so carbonation. Overall it is a decent winter ale.

 347 characters

Photo of therica
3.97/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A decent warmer, better than the various ones I tried this season (including my longtime favorite Old Fezziwig which Sam Adams ruined this year).

A= copper, with modest off-white head, modest carbonation, some nice rimming and lacing.

S= nice mix of candied fruits, noteably dark cherry and plum. Nice roasted sweet malts and floral hops.

T= much like the nose yet apricot becomes noticeable; a very nicely balanced mix, modest carbonation, adequate bitterness. Slight sourness but taken in stride given the beer style.

M= slight syrup sweetness on the tongue along with the mixed fruits and bitterness.

O= a very worthy offering that I'll look forward to finding next holiday season as well.

 697 characters

Photo of csrbv
4.35/5  rDev +31%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ran across a 6-pack of this at Wegmans.

Look: Poured a rich copper. Carbonation seemed a little low. Head was a thin kaki color; about 1 finger was left after things calmed down from the pour.

Smell: The aroma was robust with spicy malts and some dark pit fruits. There were also some faint hints of molasses and brown sugar. Basically all the spicy and sweet notes I usually expect in a top notch winter warmer. No booziness was noticeable in the nose.

Taste: Good – the taste was right on with the aroma. First was the spicy roasted malts followed by the sweeter dark fruits. The finish had smooth sugary notes with a hop bite right at the end. Aftertaste was an enjoyable earthy spice that lasted for a while.

This brew is reminiscent of a couple Christmas Ales that I have had, this is a very enjoyable winter beer.

 827 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap at winghearts burger joint in downtown pittsburgh. pours a slightly cloudy cherrywood red color with a dying head. smells fairly basic, malty and seasonal, a little sharp from the alcohol. flavor is slightly spiced, malt driven, and subtly hopped. its very dumbed down for a winter warmer, nothing over the top, which makes is very drinkable i suppose. overall it was a well made beer but fairly unremarkable in terms of excitement.

 439 characters

Photo of beerme626
3.18/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

 639 characters

Photo of Teddbeer
3.96/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I tried this beer in a restaurant that I had been looking forward to trying for some time. The barmaid was having a bit of a time getting a good pour(turned out it was her first night on the job) We were patient, and our patience was, eventually rewarded.

I thought this beer was very good. Most reviews don't seem to agree so I'm guessing that the fact that my beers were drawn from the tap makes all the difference.

 419 characters

Photo of micromaniac129
3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A deep amber color, clear, Not much foamy head and even less carbonation.
I'm not picking up in the nose mostly malts.
Taste is fairly sweet with hints of spices and nuts. Medium body and smooth.
Overall there was nothing really bad about the beer, nothing good either. Could use some retention and attenuation and a flavor boost.

 330 characters

K-9 Cruiser Winter Ale from Flying Dog Brewery
76 out of 100 based on 351 ratings.