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International Arms Race - Flying Dog Brewery

Not Rated.
International Arms RaceInternational Arms Race

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
73
okay

106 Ratings
THE BROS
74
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 106
Reviews: 33
rAvg: 3.12
pDev: 23.4%
Wants: 7
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Flying Dog Brewery visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jazzyjeff13 on 09-09-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 106 | Reviews: 33
Reviews by Arithmeticus:
Photo of Arithmeticus
2.59/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured chilled in ale glass

A: slightly cloudy copper orange; thin head; modest carb streams
S: very spiced--allspice, cinnamon, pumpkin, and mint; I dislike how intense the smell is--uninviting to me
T: weird, weird, weird; seltzer water meets a spiced ale; much like a stunted pumpkin ale
M: very thin-bodied, much like a soda

Meh. They shouldn't have started this cold war.

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.2/5  rDev +2.6%

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #70 (November 2012):

Compared to BrewDog's version, this is a much less intricate and flavorful beer. As part of the challenge was to create an IPA-like experience using herbs and berries as bitterness, we would have loved to see more use of the core ingredients as there's no real recreation of hop bitterness going on here.

STYLE: Gruit
ABV: 7.5%
AVAILABILITY: Limited

LOOK: Hazy amber, thin, bubbly, dissipating lace

SMELL: Banana, spice, juniper

TASTE: Medium bodied, sweet, caramel, fruity, banana, esters, light juniper and mint, grainy finish

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.09/5  rDev -1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A 355ml bottle with a BB of June 2013. Purchased recently from Trembling Madness in York. Described on the label as a 'zero-IBU IPA', a spiced ale brewed without hops. This is the result of a collaboration with Brewdog - both breweries vied to create a hopless IPA. I've already tried the Brewdog version, which was OK, so I'm looking forward to seeing how this one stands up.

Poured into a Delirium chalice. A hazy reddish-amber hue with strong carbonation. Lots of large floating chunks in the body of the beer; doesn't look like typical yeast to me. Perhaps coagulated protein? At any rate, not very nice. Forms a decent head of white foam which subsides and disappears almost immediately. An intensely herbal, spicy aroma with notes of bay leaves, juniper, orange peel and a hint of rosemary or thyme. Faint caramel malt lurks in the background, along with a stewed leaf character. Slightly sweet, with a quality almost like marmalade. Interesting though a bit harsh.

Tastes of bitter aromatic herbs with a dry, acrid finish. Notes of stewed herbs: bay leaves, juniper, rosemary, orange peel and maybe coriander. Hints of oily citrus peel and faint caramel in the background, along with a whisper of earthy yeast. A bone-dry bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is dry and highly astringent, with tingly carbonation and a spicy quality on the palate. Body is rather thin and insubstantial. Scours the inside of your mouth. Aftertaste of bitter aromatic herbs and orange peel.

Not a success - herbal overkill. Harsh and very bitter, with excessive dryness. The malt simply doesn't stand up to the amount of herbs that have been added, resulting in a highly unbalanced flavour and a thin, watery body. Not sure what's up with the floaties in this bottle, but they don't add any appeal either (bad handling/storage?). The aroma is the best feature - taken on its own it's quite nice. This beer certainly has character, but it would be improved immensely by boosting the malt and/or toning down the herbal additions. In my opinion this is worse than Brewdog's attempt, which was a bit insipid but more balanced and drinkable (ironically the bar competition they ran saw FD's version win out - perhaps it was better on tap). I'm not loving this; bring back the hops! Not recommended.

Photo of ianjsullivan
3.92/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

ST: 12oz poured into a pint glass.

A: It looks like dark, hazy cider. An orange tint is visible in light, as are the bubbles of gently rising carbonation.

S: Spicy spruce, heather, woody, earthy, and herbaceous, Arms has a fantastic aroma.

T: Spruce, heather, biscuit, sour, spicy, earthy, woody finish. This beer is like drinking a forest. It has some things in common with some Christmas seasonals, but it is different enough that it cannot be shoved into that generic category.

M: Medium and sweet

O: This is a beer that everyone should at least try once. It has an interesting aroma and taste profile. If you are not into woody, earthy, herbaceous beers, you will not like Arms. If you would like an example of what older beers most likely tasted like, try this beer. The finish is sour and spicy in a very different way from hops. If you want a beer that produces IPA bitterness using other ingredients, you will not find that here.

Photo of zaphodchak
4.17/5  rDev +33.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A finger of whitish head that recedes into some decent surface retention. Color is a hazy amber (I agitated the sediment deliberately, so sue me). Only a bit of lace, and I've been trying to make sure my glasses are extra-clean lately.

Nose brings the German prefix "kräuter-" to mind; closest translation is "herbal". Kinda like a Ricola but less sweet, if that helps. Definitely a positive.

Dang, this is pretty darn good. Not overwhelming, but a great balanced herbal palate that again, is kinda reminiscent of Ricola in the best possible way. Not particularly bitter, but the aftertaste is slightly leafy and mentholic. I wouldn't guess it was 7.5%, and I could definitely drink several of these; I'm regretting having bought only one (seemed like a gimmick and I don't usually care for IPAs anyway).

Good feel if a bit coarse, but no complaints.

Well this is neat, and I like it a lot, but the BA style categorization is correct (gruit) rather than any kind of IPA. And if you're still reading this, I recommend agitating the sediment before pouring.

Photo of hdofu
3.4/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is my 411 review on this site, fitting it would be such a weird brew.
Usually when I look at IPAs, I'm going for higher ibu numbers, still the idea of trying an ipa with a no ibu number was irresistible in a sort of taste sadistic manner. Smell is kind of like some kind of fruit punch. Taste is medicinal , almost earthy with alot of spices. Color is sort of red. The big mystery of this is how they can call it an ipa at all, as it isn't pale, it isn't very hoppy. its has a finish almost like breakfast grapefruit. An interesting attempt but not quite my cup of tea, er brew of beer.

Photo of jtierney89
1.65/5  rDev -47.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Hazy bronze color. Sweet scent, caramel, with a bit of popuri. Fairly light body with a sweet malt profile, honey and caramel with a spicy finish. Cinnamon is definitely there.
Light sweet with funky belgian-like flavors. Sweetness lingers and kinda covers up the spicy finish that hits the back end of the tongue. Piney earthy and flowery but only for a moment.

In no way did the beer remind me of an IPA at all and even as a scottish gruit it didnt have the balance that a good one should have in the form of the herb and malt mixture. Not a fan. Drinkable but thats about it.

Photo of JoshatTownHall
3.44/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

From the bottle from a $13.99 6 pack from Oakdale Wine & Spirits in Catonsville, Md. Overall the beer is interesting and worth the price to try once. I never had a genuine Medieval ale brewed in this style prior to this. The take on this style from both Flying Dog and Brewdog from Edinburgh is very cool. I don't know if I would try this specific beer again from Flying Dog but I think this is why Flying Dog has staying power in the craft beer market because they experiment with a variety of styles.

Photo of Samp01
3.38/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours an orange amber with a small quickly fading white head. Aroma and Taste of spicy herbs, vegetables, some citrus fruity notes and bitter hops. Palate is medium body, smooth mouth feel with moderate carbonation. Finishes with sweet spices, herbs, and vegetable notes mild citrus fruity favors ending with a lingering slightly dry bitterness. Overall I felt it was a pretty interesting and good brew.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.31/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

- Collabration with Brewdog.

A: Dense cadmium orange shows a heavy dose of protein haze. A khaki 1 inch head is short on the hold, offering no visual lace appeal. A layer of sediment collects on the bottom of the vessel, a turn off to some, but i like the extra junk in the glass.

S: Aroma was orange-yeasty. short and sweet but light.

T: Blood orange-yeasty flavor, spices of citronella, grains of paradise, with some honey. Some light cardamon, and ginger, fresh spruce and cinnamon. Sweet, honey ginger laced malting with a peppery leave. Strange, yet a bit intriquing, yeasty and bready.

M: Oily mouthful, malty, sweet and spicy.

O: Overall a strange yet intriquing flavor, spicy, sweet, definitly worthy a single try to figure out the layers of spiciness for oneself. hard to describe.

Photo of CraftBeerTastic
3.97/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ba Review #230
Served On: 10/19/2012
Glassware: Duvel Glass
Labeled ABV: 7.5%
Date/ Code: 016A13

This was from Evergreen Liquors in Frederick, MD for $12.99 a 6-pack.

Look: Poured a hazy orangish color with some golden tinges along the edges. The head was a mere coating of film with some tiny speckles of head lacing. Carbonation level seemed very low.

Smell: Mainly earthy spice with a bouquet of dried flowers and hay. This aroma also reminded me of a pumpkin ale with some occasional hints of bland pumpkin meat.

Taste: First off were strong notes of spice - coriander and some clove. The spice subsided towards the middle and then that pumpkin ale character hit. The finish was some residual spice that slowly faded into a faint bitterness.

I was satisfied with the brew – but it was rather pricey for what it was. I plan on seeking out its BrewDog counterpart for sure.

Photo of smakawhat
3.51/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from the bottle into a Dogfish Head Ale glass.

A dull orange amber, a bit murky and a little brown also for the body. Makes a faint fleeting one finger tan head, but settles to a thin collar. Collar seems to have some staying power, but the top looks a bit filmy. Can't see much carbonation rising from this.

Nose is floral and full of honeysuckle sensations. Extremely spicy, sort of like cinnamon in a way, with lots hot dry powder burn. Quite a nice smelling brew actually.

Palate though just doesn't bring much depth. Brown spice rush of cinnamon, and nutmeg, but extremely fleeting, and stuck with a very dry and bitter feeling in the mid palate. Finishes wet but with no flavor on the aftertaste. Honey richness hinted on the nose is really missing.

Overall it's drinkable, and certainly doesn't feel boozy for 7.5, but this isn't one of the better Gruits I think I've had.

Photo of oline73
3.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: The beer pours a cloudy amber color with just a hint of orange to it. There is a small layer of off white head that fades to a thin ring around the pour.

Smell: Lots of herbs and spices. I'm getting some coriander and ginger. Reminds me a bit of herbal tea. There might be some pepper as well.

Taste: They're marketing this as a zero ibu IPA, it's full of herbs and spices, but not bitter at all. I'm picking up some pepper and coriander. I'm sure there are more herbs and spices that I'm missing. There is a malt sweetness behind the spices. A bit weird.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with lots of tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: Not a terrible beer. I give them props for trying something weird like this. I enjoyed the spices, but everything fell a bit flat for me. I don't need any more.

Photo of Redteketed
2.56/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Amber colored, cloudy, with a small head that quickly diminish.
The smell has lots of herbs and some orange. The herbs are familiar, but I can’t specify them.
The taste bring some grapefruit tones en again lots of herbs.
The mouth feel is a bit dry, quiet sparkling, the body is light, especially for a 7,5 % abv, not much of and aftertaste.
Overall: Not my cup of tea, but a daring experiment. By the way, didn’t like the Brewdog version either.

Photo of MisledTitan
3.3/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Second review,
Appearance: Golden body with reddish hues, light white head, Cloudy with what appears to be yeast sediment churning about.
Smell: Slight orange note, Citrusy, not much else there.
Taste: Grapefruit citrusy taste a sweet finish maybe a touch of lemon in there as well.
Mouthfeel: Light body with a bit of a carbonation bite.
Overall: Defiantly not an IPA. A decent spiced beer at best. looking at the ingredients listed not much comes threw on the spices side maybe more test batches were needed. Out of the two International arms races I prefer the brew dog version hands down.

Photo of diddly
3.74/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Picked this one up because "0-IBU IPA" really catches the eye.

Deep amber/gold in color with a thin, white head, which doesn't stay long. No lacing to mention. Significant amount of flotsam and jetsam suspended in the beer at first, then settling to the bottom.

Smells of sweet fruits. Maybe a little bit of orange, but seems to be leaned towards more exotic stuff.

The flavor really surprised me; I didn't see how a 0-IBU IPA could be a thing, but it's surprisingly close. Obviously there's no hop-wallop, but there is a similar hit from the spices involved. After the initial flavor, though, it becomes clear that the culprit is spices, and the aftertaste is clearly a bit different. Still good, and certainly not a common flavor.

Mouthfeel is light on carbonation, which I attribute to the style, and a bit slick; definitely on the lighter side.

Overall, I probably wouldn't buy this again, although if it were brewed again I would try that version. A very interesting experiment, and glad I was able to try it.

Photo of bark
3.42/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The colour is gold with a tint of orange (15 EBC), the liquid is clear. The white foam disappears quickly leaving no traces on glas or liquid.

The smell is a bit spicy, but fresh cut wood dominates: Pine, oak and eucalyptus. Semi-sweet flowery flavours. Hints of orange peels and bay leaves.

Spices, some of them bitter, in the taste. Bay leaves reminds me of cooked meat dishes. Some orange peels and a pleasant bitterness. It is quite odd, but it is pretty close to a IPA experience. Light body. The aftertaste is somewhat perfumed with bay leaves, nutmeg and a touch of coriander. The finish is spicy and a bit dry with just a slight hint of mint.

The carbonation is medium strong with lots of small bubbles; the liquid is semi-smooth and a bit harsh.

I’m a bit surprised, in fact I kind of liked this beer. It is way better (and closer to an IPA) than the BrewDog version.

Photo of orangedive
3.08/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - burgundy, 80% opaque, very little head. Looks like i want to drink it, which I'm about to.

S - lots of spice...hard to distinguish between spices. Smells a lot like an octoberfest or pumpkin beer. Actually smells like the spice will be overwhelming rather than complementary. Faint hints of hazelnut I believe, which seems strange but not in a bad way.

T - reminds me of a barely wine with spices added. It's good but not spectacular. It feels like the spices were added to be different but not necessarily to make a better beer. For a beer with 7.5% abv, they did a nice job masking the alcohol. It is not overly present which is good.

M - the mouthfeel is good. Smooth and little chewy. Not thin. Very nice.

O - this isn't one of my favorites (especially from Flying Dog). It almost feels a little too gimmicky. But overall, it is a decent beer.

Photo of offEND
4.06/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The owner of my local bevvy mart said that this is a limited run--being a huge fan of flying dog beers, I thought I'd give it a go.

Appearance-wise, It looks dark golden brown and pours an average-ish head with minimal lacing. Nothing special to see here. Besides, you don't stare at beer, you drink it.

Smell-wise, it's very floral. Like a garden. It reminds me of stepping into a greenhouse and taking in a whiff of sweet, fresh smelling compost. It's very pleasant.

Taste-wise, it has nothing in common with an IPA, despite it's zero IBU IPA claim. However, you can certainly tell what they were trying to achieve. This beer is pretty complex. The weird blend of herbs and spices creates multiple layers of flavor profiles that produce a sense of bitteriness, but underneath those sensations I can make out a malty seasonal Oktoberfest/Maerzen style beer. Very satisfying actually.

Mouthfeel, very clean and refreshing, maybe some stickiness.

Overall, this was a pretty neat experiment. I thought it tasted great. If they had not tried to market it as a zero IBU IPA it would probably get better reviews. I could see how the label would attract serious hop-heads and then let them down. Standing on it's own, it's nice, and if you can find a batch near you, please give it a shot and write up a review here.

Photo of Big-Frog
3.85/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I hope this seasonal comes back around next year. Its definitely a different experience. Your taste buds experience a labyrinth of different ingredients, but most importantly, it goes down smooth and pairs well with steak or fish. That multifarious selection of ingredients I mentioned? Well there is a citrus taste, followed by a slightly hoppy taste, followed by a carbonated cinnamon experience. Its awesome, and I pray it comes back as a proven perennial favorite.

Photo of larryi86
3.97/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- A very hazy orange/copper with a very small white head.

S- Grapefruit, grapefruit rinds, earthy spices, herbal, nice malt backbone.

T- Very herbal, floral, earthy spices, grapefruit rind, some caramel malts, really nice bitterness, and slight tea like taste.

M- Smooth, medium body.

O- A tasty beer and has some surprising hop like flavors for having on hops. I will pick this up again!

Photo of MadMac
2.09/5  rDev -33%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

A: Orange, cloudy haze with small head that quickly disappears.

S: Strong smell of spruce pine, with some grapefruit notes

T: Wow! Don't like the taste at all. Love Flying Dog beers, but this one does not do it for me. Tastes like I am drinking a big spruce pine, with some caramel and grapefruit offset. It is interesting from a beer nut's perspective to taste a beer with zero IBUs. Helps me better understand the balance needed for a good beer, and I appreciate Flying Dog's cutting edge attitude.

M: Some nice sparkle on the tongue.

O: Good for beer education and insight, but not my cup of tea.

Photo of imscotty
3.3/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle poured into a wine glass

A: Nice golden-brown color, well carbonated, strong head that lasted a while, some lacing.

S: Citrus, floral and herbs. Quit aromatic like a potpourri

T: Tastes like it smells, strong citrus and herbs flavor. Spicy. Nicely bitter aftertaste. Something tastes a little soapy to me, is that Cilantro?

M: The carbonation is a little course and the beer feels a little thin. Still, oily and resiny.

O: An interesting zero IBU beer and my first gruit. I would like to try more of this style to compare. This is not a beer I would seek out, but also not a beer I would refuse. I gained an appreciation for what hops mean to beer (clearly a lot), but I appreciated the layers of complexity that bittering herbs can bring to the table. Hops and spice would work better in concert.

Photo of AdamBear
3.6/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-amber wih a thin white head.

S-sweet caramel, cinnamon, maybe some peppercorn. Smells like a hippy candle. I happen to like hippy candles. Strong scent.

T-comes in tasting like a hippy candle as well, much like insence. Cinnamon and herbs. It has a good amount of bitterness to it, for being a zero ibu ipa. It's a unique beer. The after-taste is matching but weak.

M-medium dry carbonation with a dry finish

O-this is an odd beer. It's really not sitting that well with me either. The flavors are decent and unique but it doesn't make a good drinker.

Photo of flyingpig
3.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

An orange amber colour with a thin, half centimetre tall and slightly off white head that disappears after about thirty seconds.

Herbal and quite spicy with a strong, sweet aroma mixed with some caramel and honey. There is some orange zest in the aroma too along with some mild pine and citrus notes, rounded off with some grapefruit as well.

Herbs upfront and a good caramel base and plenty of spice. There is a floral flavour coming through and some bitterness despite the zero IBU's and strange, sort of elderflower and perfume aftertaste.

Medium bodied, fairly smooth and with mild carbonation and plenty of spice and a touch of sweetness plus the aforementioned bitterness.

I preferred this one slightly more than the Brewdog version, with both being rather disappointing. This one had a very good aroma but the taste was lacking some and the rest was pretty average so it's not one I would recommend.

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International Arms Race from Flying Dog Brewery
73 out of 100 based on 106 ratings.