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.

694 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 694
Reviews: 349
rAvg: 3.34
pDev: 14.97%
Wants: 8
Gots: 48 | 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: 694 | Reviews: 349 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of srrn
3.3/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another brew from the recently pruchased pick your own six. It was a good looking deep amber with brownish tint and minimal head at the pour. Smell was faint but I detected some malts and maybe butter. Taste was decent, maybe a bit of raisins and chocolate in the aftertaste. Just a decent beer.

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.1/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass. The liquid is a very dark amber with good Carbonation. The head is 2 fingers thick, tan and leaves a whole lotta lace.

The smell is like a fresh spicy fruit cake.

The taste follows mild spice and a very fruity and bready malt main body that is mellow.

The mouthfeel is big, thick and sticky.

The drinkability is good a nice well rounded brew. MK

Photo of riversider76
3.58/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice copper, thin head, not much retention, but good lacing. Smell was on the weak side, malts and dark fruits mostlty. Body is medium, not much carbionation. Taste is sweet,and fruited. Has a nice rasin flavor edge. A hint of spice throughout make this a very nice beer!

Photo of stcules
2.63/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark hue, dark ruby red. Quite scarce foam. But a beautiful color.
A inviting smell, with malt, light caramel, but overall, fruit. Strawberry, berry fruit, orange, tropical fruit notes. Hints of grapefruit. Lightly spicy notes (pepper?). Flowers?
The taste is really fruity, with strawberry, blackberry. Behind that, some bitter herbs, tending to rhubarb, but more light.
Light and lively body.
A little too sweet aftertaste.
Anyway, interesting.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.8/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle Code 070A06, Sampled November 2006
Pours with a brilliantly clear, deep, dark ruby colored hue when held up to the light; otherwise it sits a brooding almost black color that has hints of red and brown to it. The head when poured briskly summons forth a frothy, meager fat finger in height and is a tan color. The aroma is definitely malt focused with notes of burnt caramel, raisins, cherry flavored roasted toffee, toasted biscuit-like malt. The aroma definitely has a sweet twang to it, but also has a hint of roasted malt character as well.

The beer has certain heft to it up front, perhaps not as much as I could wish for in a winter ale, but enough to stave off a light chill. Fairly drinkable, at least it is light enough for that, and it only coats the mouth lightly as it passes down my gullet. As the beer warms a bit a certain creaminess comes to the body of this beer. Sweet, richly caramelized malt notes lean towards fruity notes of raisins and even a touch of cherry, but both fruits have been lightly burnt and concentrated under a nice hot broiler. A touch of roasted grain character leaves a light burnt note that lingers on in the throat after the sip, yet still the concentrated sweet malt notes dominate the long finish. This certainly has some hop components to the flavor profile as well; notes of sweet tinged herbs intermingle with a light citrus character and a lingering bitterness. This is a nice beer, for some reason it reminds me of a slightly smaller version of Deschutes Jubelale, which seems to strike the winter warmer profile a bit better than this beer does.

Photo of Chaz
3.65/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown / cola in color, with a creamy tan head that dissipated fairly quickly. Nose is malt-dominated, with a nut brown tanginess and a hint of hop crispness. Definitely tangy on the tongue, even a bit tart/sour right away, but there's some rich, dark malt way out in left field keeping the whole act together. This is very smooth and easy drinking for a bigger beer (is it really 7.4%?), in fact I've enjoyed K-9 Cruiser on several occasions in the past but never realized it was this strong. In that sense (and maybe given the fact that I poured this at fridge temperature) it seems thin for the style, but it doesn't exhibit any lack of the character I'd expect from a robust winter seasonal apart from this perceived thin-ness. Really takes on another character as it warms up, revealing that rich malt character I mentioned earlier. I've enjoyed this beer in the past, and this time with some curried rice - the beer's residual sweetness complemented the spice/heat of the curry quite well. Gotta add a couple of last observations: great balance here between hops and malt, it's subtle here but far from uninspired, and the K-9 recipe has maintained a commendable degree of consistency in a climate favoring hopbombs and Imperial renditions of every style - kudos to Flying Dog on that!

Photo of scruffwhor
4.15/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A brown blood, yet clear ale hue greats my eyes along with a a sprse head with no retention or foam with this beer. The aroma amkes up for the look of this beer. Great malts presence brinbgs out lots of dark fruits and hintys of cocoa. The taste is like a bunch of malty prunes. With a dash of Ovaltene. Very smooth for such a fruity tasting ale. Very sessionable if teh abv wasn't so high.

Photo of JohnnyM2002
3.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass right out of the fridge. A reddish-brown with a foamy head that quickly receded.

S - Roasted malt with kind of a hot-cocoa aroma. Maybe cinnamon hiding in there, too.

T - Ginger is the first flavor I picked up before the roasted malt kicked in. Only a slight detection of alcohol.

M - Went down fairly smooth with a medium body. Warming sensation briefly pops up.

D - A nice, crisp winter ale. One of the more drinkable Flying Dog offerings.

Photo of kimcgolf
3.33/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured to a brownish re, with medium off-white head that dissiopated fairly quickly, to a little lacing. Initial aroma was dark fruit, mostly plums and raisins. Flavor at first was more of the malty dark fruit. As bottle warmed, the alcohol, though only 6.2%, became more evident in both the aroma and taste. This beer was a little like a Braleywine, but not quite there. This was not one of my favorite beers from Flying Dog.

Photo of MmmIPA
4.47/5  rDev +33.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Let me first say that the art work on this bottle is pheonominal.

A-Semi big head about 1 in..Dark amber in color.

T-Malty,Carmel? almost "Stout" tasting.

S-Flowery,I really cant tell ya what kind of flowers are in it.

D-Very refreshing,I wanted more.I would have bought a 6er of this.I bought a 12 oz bottle of it for 2 bucks.I thought it was well worth it

M-Great taste.

Photo of wl0307
3.6/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at the UTOBEER stall in the Borough Market, S. London. Costing me 2.4 quid, it's one of the most expensive in the shop. The bottle states that it's 6.4%abv., quite different from that reported on this page. BB Nov. 2006, served cool in a large Burgundy bulb wine glass.

A: dark copper in colour, coming with a restrained off-white beer head settling fast to a rimmed foam; moderate fizziness.
S: quite flowery, lychee-ish and honeyish hoppy scent upfront, reminiscent of classic American hops, backed by a deep aroma of brown sugary dark malts, plenty of preserved dark fruits (dried longan-fruits, raisins, etc.) and a touch of sulphur in the background. Overall the fruitiness and malts are mixed skilfully, but not terribly complex and slightly sweeter than I'd prefer.
T: tasting exactly like Chinese longan-fruit tea--longan-fruits and lychees' sweetness sitting on top of a black-tea-ish texture, aided with a brown sugary hint; quietly proceeding to a soothingly herbal and licorice-like bitter-sweetness, leaving a pleasant dryish touch of hops in the end. Alas, the aftertaste is thin and faint, not quite enough to hook up one's palate.
M&D: the mouthfeel is light and softly-fizzy, quite healthy but lacking a depth that is desirable for the slightly thin-ish body. Not bad overall, it's just that the filtering process may have killed off the goodies of the original brew.

Photo of hammer09
1.83/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I received this beer as part of a Flying Dog Mixed Pack that I bought back in April. And yes, although this is a winter ale, I drank it in June.

I was very impressed with the appearance of this beer, and unfortunately that's also the point at which I stopped being impressed. Flying Dog's K-9 Cruiser poured a very deep brown with verly little carbonation and no head. Overall, the beer appeared flat, similar to a stout by Boddington's or Murphy's, but without the creamy head.

As for smell, this beer exhibited a malty but very cidery/sour note. I don't know if I waited too long to drink this, but I'm hoping that this was a fluke and not typical of this beer.

Taste was also very cidery/sour with a slight malt flavor.

Had I been drinking a stout, mouthfeel would have been acceptable, but its flat character left much to be desired.

Call it a long shot, but immediately after drinking this, I opened the second, and last, K-9 Cruiser that had been included in the Mixed Pack, hoping that my review would be different. Unfortunately, the second beer was just as sour as the first, although by that time, my palate was slightly more immune to the off-flavors. Based on this experience, I rate the drinkability fairly low.

I don't think I'll be picking this up if I see it in a sixer at my local store. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of Flying Dog, liking their IPA, Wheat, Amber, and Barleywine styles . However, the sourness of this beer really ruined the experience. But this doesn't mean that I will not try K-9 Cruiser again. I'll definitely give it a shot if I find it available on tap. If it happens to appear in another Mixed Pack, I'll be sure to drink it first, just in case this turns out to be a beer that doesn't age well.

Photo of cameraman
3.35/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass, with a brown/reddish color. A slight head forms with little or no retention, and disappated quickly. Strong malt aromas, very sweet, dominate every scent. The malt is also the most distinct flavor, then about halfway across the palate some hops kick in for some bitterness. In the mouth it comes across thin at first, then at some point, it begins to get some weight to it, that lasts till the end. You can also feel the alchol at the end of each taste. This is a good beer for Febuary, not for June. The sweet malt and high alchol make it a solid beer for those winter months.

Photo of cjgator3
3.65/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark amber with a one finger head. Smell is fruity sweet malts, caramel and a bit of alcohol. Taste begins with fruity notes and sweet malt that are followed by the hops to balance this brew out. I think this beer does a good job of hiding it's high alcohol content. Overall a better beer than I was expecting but it still was not overly impressive.

Photo of plaid75
3/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a dark amber/ruby hue with a half finger foamy head. There was poor retention and lacing.

The smell was sweet molasses/dark corn syrup.

The flavor was upfront heavy sweetness but dissipated into a slight hop bite at the finish.

The mouthfeel was average. Started off full but finished on the light side.

A tasty ale, however it lacks the spice I look for in a winter offering. Just the right level ABV.

Photo of joeskirkie
3.05/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark cola looking color. Practically nothing to the head.

Smells sweet and doughy, kinda choclately. Nice.

A Taste with hints of caramel, no real bitterness. Theres an aftertaste thats subtle and fruity. I wanna say raisons. It's only after several mouthfulls that I begin to sense some carbonation and alcohol, but not strong. The other flavors pick up too. It's easy to drink. I would want to have more of these, but I'd probably end up on the floor.

Photo of NClifestyle
3.95/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Flying Dog calls this a winter ale, but it's in the category of American strong ale. Hmmmm...
Pours up extremely dark amber, medium off-white creamy head, some of which stays with the beer throughout.
Smells of sweet malt, bread, not bad at all.
Tastes similar to smell, sweet malt and caramel start, segues into a piny/sharp hop bite before a malt/hop aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is creamy and pretty smooth, some carbonation, medium, but pretty damn good.
I like this beer, moreso as a winter ale with the strong malt influence, moderate hop presence, and will buy it again.


Photo of iron78
3.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured with little and quick fading head to light lacing.
was a dark mahogany, very vibrant dark color letting light through.
noise picks up some malt. kind of tough with a winter cold hitting me.
taste of raisin and a crisper fruit, malt.
agree with other reviews, a little more thin than what i was expecting.
is easy drinking and enjoyable.

Photo of mynie
3.6/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark burgundy with a small white head. Nothing special.

Smells very light and fruity, belaying no hint whatsoever of the high alcohol content. Smells like a crisp pils only with a more subtle, toasted malt.

Strange taste. Very harsh fruit malt up front. Refreshing. Followed by a long node of water down cheap wine. Ends with a fairly harsh zip of alcohol and a very slight hop.

Overall, kind of bland. I was expecting a lot more. What's there is pretty good, though. I really have no idea what Flying Dog was trying to do here.

Photo of Bcant
3/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle, paper label with dog themed art typical of the brewery.

Color: deep brown with hues of red. One finger of off-white head made of tiny bubbles; some lacing.

Smell: decent bouquet with vanilla and white chocolate notes, delicate and inviting.

Taste: not exceptionally deep or complex, some vanilla, chocolate, and light coffee flavors; slightly metallic and sour.

Mouth: while this beer is well carbonated the mouthfeel is sharp and unpleasant on the palate.

Drinkabililty: sour/metallic aftertaste along with very parching effect compromise the drinkability of this beer.

Photo of heyitsbyron
2.7/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a single from Woodman's in Madison ($1.25) into a pint glass.

No appreciable head, perhaps a half cm at most that disappeared within a few seconds. Also, the bubbles were coarse-- a rather ominous sign.

Smell was more reassuring. Smelled a bit like a winter warmer (it does say "winter ale" on the bottle), spicey and all that. Maybe a bit sweet and choclately, also yeasty.

Taste was pretty bad.It was so unremarkable, all I can really say is "it tasted like ale". Maybe burnt ale. But really washed out and watery, nothing at all like it smells. I tasted over and over, even after rinsing my mouth, and I get nothing. Just generic weak hops and malts. Not that great. I've never given a 2.0 for flavor for a micro brew.

Coarse bubbles and a very unpleasant feeling on the top of my mouth-- that's how it felt.

I could drink a lot of these, but why? I suppose it's a good way to get booze into the system, but it doesn't taste good at all. If this were cheaper, college kids would love to slam it. I'll be staying away from this one in the future. Blech.

Photo of neonbrown82
4.13/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

This is a good winter release from Flying Dog. Pours to a nearly opaque brown with a maroon hue. The head is thin and wispy, receding to a ring and a film in a matter of seconds. Lacing is washy and subsequently very spotty.

The smell is nice. Smells rich and chocolatey with hints of caramel, like a mild porter or bock with some good holiday spices, like juniper and allspice. The taste is a beautiful extention of the nose. Sweet with all the above flavors and a nice dry gently roasty finish.

The mouthfeel is very thin and kind of disappointing for a high-ish gravity beer. Furthermore, it seems to be damn near flat. The result is a very watery "beer juice," but it is actually quite an enjoyable product despite the weak body. Surely doesn't seem like a 7.5% beer.

Photo of hero27
2.98/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle...with the always funky Flying Dog label art.

Clear dark ruby color. Head is somewhat oily but leaves some lace. Musty roasted malt aroma..flavors are a dominant roasted malt character & decent hop bitterness. Some dark fruits (plums, raisins, figs, etc.) come out as it warms.. Mouthfeel is a bit thin for a 7.5% winter seasonal. This brew really doesn't have any standout qualities or memorable characteristics, so there's not too much here to get excited about. Go with Flying Dog's Horn Dog if you want to try a winter seasonal from this brewery. That's worth a purchase, this one isn't.

Photo of Gavage
3.68/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear burgandy in color with a 1" head that sports large bubbles. No lacing develops.

Smell: the nose picks up some caramel, roasted malt, and a hint of pepper.

Taste: the flavor consists of roasted malt, caramel, hints of chocolate, prunes, and some mild bitterness. Alcohol level is well hidden.

Mouthfeel: smooth at the start and finish, with a short malty aftertaste. Medium-heavy in body.

Drinkability: Pretty easy drinking beer.

Photo of jmz62565
3.45/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pours a very dark red with a nice 2 finger head,but the head doesn't last long.The smell is a faint maltness with some alcohol.The taste has a roasty maltness with some winter spices along with a metalic flavor.The spices are much more subtle than other winters. The m/f is light and well balanced.This is a pretty good beer that is very drinkable. The taste is lighter than other winters and more drinkable. Still, this is thinner and weaker than others too. It's not bad,but other Winters are better.

K-9 Cruiser Winter Ale from Flying Dog Brewery
77 out of 100 based on 694 ratings.