Counter Culture
Flying Dog Brewery

Counter CultureCounter Culture
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American Amber / Red Ale
Ranked #121
Ranked #25,653
3.8 | pDev: 8.42%
Flying Dog Brewery
Maryland, United States
Very Good
Counter CultureCounter Culture

SPECIALTY MALTS: Brown, Crisp 77, Chocolate, Bon Munich, Flaked Oats

HOPS: Citra

YEAST: American Ale
Reviews: 56 | Ratings: 206 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Lone_Freighter
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured into a nonic pint glass. The appearance was a dark hazy burnt amber to red color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated within about thirty seconds leaving some speckled lacing roaming around the glass. The smell started off with some sweet and roasty smooth caramel, toffee, coffee and cocoa flavors blending nicely. The taste was mainly sweet underscored with the roastiness rolling over a nice sweet malt body. A light sweet to roasty stickiness slides in on the aftertaste and leads into the finish. On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body. Yes, this one is a bit heavier on the body compare to other Ambers. Rich sweet toastiness runs over my tongue nicely. Overall, I liked this one for me, it’s a bit different than other Ambers, but this could be a highly recommended Amber for maltheads and those who like coffee and/or cocoa beers.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2015 vintage; drank 7/26/15 @ the Yarchives.

Semi-opaque ruby red appearance.

A rough pour yielded a khaki head; strong lace.

Strawberry, wheat, coffee & faint caramel notes in the nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Raspberry & coffee flavors up front; sweet caramel & faint hop bite on the finish. Unique & interesting; I hope to revisit this again.

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pint glass from a bottle. Pours semicloudy brown red with a tiny white head that dissipates very quickly. Smells of dark roasted malt, little bit of nuts. Tastes of sweet grain with nice notes of nuts, fruit, and just a hint of chocolate. Beer is light bodied and easy drinking, good carbonation. Overall, an above average beer.

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Photo of fscottkey
3.12/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A: [3.75] Beer has a bottle code for (05/03/2016). The bottle clearly lists the ABV (6.0%). The beer is a murky brown color with 1 finger of off white head. It has arcs of sticky lacing.

S: [3.50] Peat scent - like a wee heavy. Some brown bread and toffee.

T: [2.75] Brown bread, toffee, something medicinal and off-putting.

M: [3.00] The mouthfeel is a little thin and watery.

O: [3.25] The weird medicinal flavor is prominent in the mid-palate. It is not a good flavor but I can't put my finger on the exact flavor. The beer smells a bit like a wee heavy but the taste is all brown ale and not really amber/red. This is not a beer I would drink again.

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Photo of stevoj
3.34/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle from Hop and Vine. Murky amber pour, small soft off-white head. Aroma and taste lean towards the fruity side of the spectrum, light citrus notes. Light bodied, almost fizzy. Nice gateway ale that isn't too Happy.

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Photo of BeerBobCA
3.29/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First beer of the day, poured from 12oz bottle. Copper color, thin creamy head. Nice taste, malty, not much hop bitterness or smell. Enjoyable but not outstanding.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Tasted in a Rastal Teku glass from a 12 oz bottle on April 17, 2016. Look is murky dark amber with an off white head and some spotty lacing. Smell is nutty, fruity, a bit of smoke with toast and caramel malt aromas. Taste is nuts, juicy fruits some smoke balanced with sweet caramel malt flavors. Feel is medium in body with a smooth creamy finish.

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Photo of Raime
4.19/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Flying Dog Counter Culture

Another random on recommendation from one of my local shops. Flying Dog has really been smacking them outta the park lately and I'm hoping this one continues the streak. Only got about six brews to review tonight and only one is a heavy hitter so thing a shouldn't get too crazy ;)

Look -From the twelve ounce bottle hard poured into a pint glass. This brew pour a deep, almost murky amber with a finger and a half of off white head that eventually settles to a thick cap amongst the top of the swill with a strong ring around the edges. The carbonation appears to be on about moderate with this one. Particles of lace on the back end of a finished glass are all that remains

Smell - Right off the bat I can tell you the smell of this beer is almost on point with Bell's Amber. Toasted nutty levels with the proper amount of caramel malt and a distinct, although moderately light smokiness surrounding it. Some nice juicy hop levels as well but mostly true to a malt forward Amber.

Taste - Clean with a perfect balance. Caramel malts as you'd always come to expect, followed by that nut and smoke which really adds a solid middle ground to the flavor. Hop juice is readily apparent and really sits on the buds as you swallow. Alcohol is nowhere to be found.

Feel - Full bodied abd likely the boldest Amber ale I've ever come across. Carbonation is rather low but just enough for a light tickle upon the tongue. Flavors all retain much the same with more nut on the finish. Swallows easily with a medium creamy factor.

Overall - A very well balanced, easily drinkable and even quaffable amber ale that stays true to the style without gluing overboard on the hops. Would make a perfect beer for the later weeks of the Fall season and I think that's when they should start dropping it instead of the dead of winter. Try it side by side with your favorite ambers and see what you think.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a finger and half of head on a hazy straw body.
The aroma is caramel and pine. Nice.
The taste is caramel sweetness with some pine and lemon bitterness. Good balance, malt forward.
The texture is softer

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Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 4/18/2016. Pours slightly hazy reddish copper color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of tangerine, pineapple, peach, apricot, mango, caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, light chocolate/coffee, and floral/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of citrus/tropical hops and moderate dark/bready malt notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, tangerine, pineapple, peach, apricot, mango, light chocolate/coffee, herbal, and floral/toasted earthiness. Light herbal/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, light chocolate/coffee, and floral/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt and moderate citrus/tropical hop flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready, and slightly sticky/chalky balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very good amber ale style. All around nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt and moderate citrus/tropical hop flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink. Very unique but well done for the style. Hop notes are more prominent in the aromas; malts dominate the flavors with the hops showing up near the finish. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Once again, the siren song of The Friendly Greek Bottle Shop caught me in its allure & I scored this as a single bottle on my most recent visit. I was intrigued by the label, which gives nothing away other than ABV. It could be any style! Maybe even a toy surprise inside!

I Pop!ped the cap, but nothing happened! No genie from within, no Kraken or Cthulhu-like tentacle snaking out to take me by the throat, nothing. I began with a gentle pour because some previous reviewers had mentioned cloudiness, but I was getting haze anyway, so I let fly after that. This resulted in two fingers of dense, rocky, tawny head with good retention. Color was a hazy Deep-Amber/Light-Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with amber highlights. Nose was as mysterious as the bottle in that there was a light cattiness along with banana and coconut odors as well as freshly-baked bread and toffee. Wow! I may deserve a prize after this. Mouthfeel was medium. The breadiness of the malt was immediately evident on the tongue. In fact, I will stick with that tropical fruit taste that I mentioned on the nose and mention banana bread. It was only slightly bitter and I was still getting a light cattiness. I am not sure that I would have been able to identify its style as an "American Amber/Red Ale", but not because I had any dislike for what I was drinking. I swear that the finish left me with a lot of banana flavor, almost to the point that I would have guessed Dunkelweizen. Am I nuts? And where is my prize?!?

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Photo of therica
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A = Tan head, modest, fading to modest but ongoing lacing on my pint glass.

S = Nice complex nose, hints of laundry starch, hint of occasional chocolate, slight hint of toffee, a whiff of fresh spring air from the hops.

T = Sweet yet slightly sour, with modest bitters, burnt toast but also dough, some occasional hints of chocolate. Light tangerine undertones.

F = Slightly astringent in the finish. Lingering evidence of all, above but the tangerine and bitterness come forward.

Overall, a very worthy beer. Would go well with a burger, but probably not seafood or steak.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - Hazy bright amber in color with a nice 1/2 inch of head that settles to an impressive lace ring.
S - Toasted bread, sugary malts, and a touch of hops.
T - Hops doing its job with balanced and bitter edges. Malts a bit weird maybe its the chocolate? Seems a bit out of place for a red ale.
M - A bit heavy medium in body kind of a chore to work through/

Overall not a bad ale just not my thing.

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Photo of BrokenEdge
3.66/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Solid beer. Looks like an average amber ale, dark amber color with a thin beige colored head. Smells like toasted bread, raisins, and biscuits. Taste is pretty similar, with a little hop bitterness and a coffee type aftertaste. A lot of roasted, almost burnt, flavors that I'm not used to in an amber ale. Overall, the taste was pretty balanced between malty sweetness and hop bitterness. Feel is about medium with a dry finish. Not my favorite amber ale, but one of the more unique takes on the style.

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Photo of AnalogReigns
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Decent red ale, I purchased just because of the compelling DaVinci's "Last Supper" art-label, with the title "Counter Culture." There's a terrific book by John R.W. Stott called "The Christian Counterculture" which described Jesus' "Sermon on the Mount" as a call to be a counter-culture to the evil current culture. label!

This is an easy-going but quality beer. If you're like me, and you're tired of the hoppy mess that so many craft breweries specialize in now.....and you like good, balanced, malty beers....this is for you. Super well balanced, crisp finish. Head goes away quickly but hey, this isn't a German beer. Very tasty. I recommend it.

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Photo of Sludgeman
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a shaker pint glass at the DC Craft Brew bar at Dulles Airport.

This beer is classified as an amber ale, which can be a catch all category, but to me the beer is more of a Vienna lager (regardless of the type of yeast that might have been used). 3.5

A – Pours a clear dark amber with an average head that dissapates to nothing. 3.5

S – Very little aroma, but what I could discern was just some malty biscutiness. 3.5

T – Malt, raisins, molasses, low bitterness. 3.5

MF – A smooth medium body with a semi dry finish. 3.75

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Photo of metter98
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is very dark amber in color (brown when viewed from afar). It poured with a quarter finger high dark beige head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface, a collar around the edge, and some lacing down the sides.
S: Light aromas of nutty malts and citrusy hops are present in the nose. The smell becomes stronger as the beer warms up and starts having some coffee-like aromas.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, having flavors of nutty malts and toffee along with notes of citrusy hops.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. No bitterness is perceptible, but there are enough underlying hops to mask any sweetness.
O: The combination of citrusy hops and nutty malts lends some interesting and unique flavors to this beer - it smells a little like unroasted coffee beans.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Kubishark
3.86/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the brewery.

An amber, dark orange color. Smells malty with some citrus notes. Tastes nutty with a bit of toastiness. Very crisp and medium bodied, simultaneously refreshing and hearty.

A nice, easygoing and mild flavored beer to kick back with and relax.

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Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
4.07/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This was poured into a pint glass.
The appearance was a muddy brown color with amber hues along the sides of the glass. Strings of lace slide into the beer after the head dissipated at a nice pace.
The smell started off with a sweet cocoa bean, a light coffee, caramel and toffee malts and then a light nuttiness rounding it all out.
The taste was mostly sweet with a nice rich nutty flavor that leads the charge in the aftertaste and on into the finish.
The mouthfeel was about a light to medium in body with a sly sessionably sweet clingy-ness yielding to a decent slick edge at the end.
Overall, Amber or Brown ale? Hmmm....almost a blend of the two and on top of it one of those "new-age brown ales with the coffee/cocoa" thing going on. I'm thinking this is Flying Dog's way of saying - let's take a style that everyone hates and make it our way - hence "Counter Culture." I dig it, guys, good job, I'd have this one again.

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Photo of Kendo
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from the bottle into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass. Body is hazy dark amber with a half-finger of ivory head on top. Body appears more orangey-amber, with reddish hues, when backlit.

S: Hazelnut coffee, caramel and bready malt. Toast. Hint of citrusy/lemony hops. Smells like a slightly hoppy Brown Ale.

T: Nutty, caramel malt foundation. Yeasty fruit - overripe apples come to mind - and brown bread. Finishes with a fairly clean lemony bitterness. Is there Citra in this one? Wouldn't surprise me, and that relatively lighter hop profile goes nicely with the malt that's featured here.

M: Light-to-medium in heft, carbonation is modest.

O: I'd call this one an American Brown Ale rather than an Amber/Red, but whatever - it's a solid beer that fits well with the season.

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Photo of tillmac62
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

BBD 027/16. Pours a clear medium amber that becomes a light garnet under intense light. Outstanding head volume, world class lacing and retention.

Light nose of semi-sweet citrus (orange) over a toasty biscuit.

Medium body with smooth texture. Normal carbonation level with just a hint of effervescence in the middle a fairly prickly finish.

The flavor profile is very good. It is basically toffee, a touch of caramel, light orange from the hops and toasted biscuit. These flavors exist mostly as a blend, but seek them out and they are found. The middle has a tease of bitterness and a nutty undertone is present. The finish has the strongest hop flavor component as the orange slowly fades against a toasted nutty background.

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Photo of dank203
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

pours a murky amber brown. head is light white and foamy. aroma has a little roast and a hint of citrusy sweetness. flavor matches the aroma, with a little spice added. definitely some bitterness. coats the palate with a medium to light mouth feel. overall, this beer was really easy drinking and the flavors were unique

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Photo of stakem
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Kegatron for gifting me with a bottle of this. Standard 12oz bottle appears a hazy amber color with a khaki head that easily revives to a finger with a swirl.

It smells great with coffee leading the way before toasty bready grain also becomes evident.

The taste has mild fruity hops/alcohol with very lowkey bitterness. Some caramel/toffee/bready malt and strong indications of coffee.

This is medium in body and modestly carbonated. A great beer with such unique combination of malt/coffee that i was not expecting. Halfway through the glass, the alcohol becomes increasingly warming.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.52/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy orange-brown with a jaundiced head. Smells like toasty malt, with faint hop acidity behind it. Taste is not just toasty but outright toast, good mix of malt. Very classic 'beer' taste. The noticeable hop acidity and bitterness elevate it just beyond an average beer, especially when the whole thing is pretty subdued. Mouthfeel is course but crisp.
Understated is an appropriate word here.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, coded bottled on date 303A15. Acquired a single bottle as part of a mixed six pack at the local Binny's. A new one to me from Flying Dog. Appealing label art as always.

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - Pours a hazed reddish-caramel body. A finger of frothy off-white tan head that leaves good sticky spotty lacing. Standard appearance, but looks good per the style.

S - Subtle, but pleasing aroma. The brown & chocolate malts are apparent with a bit of toasty / nutty robustness added. Herbal fruity hop bitterness - slight notes of citrus, pine

T - Taste follows the nose - toasty & nutty malts, a bit of herbal tea leaves, and some subtle citrus hops. Well balanced and well rounded flavor. Notes of chocolate & coffee.

M - Crisp, smooth, & easy-drinking. Slightly resinous finish.

Overall, a standard Amber ale with some brown ale characteristics. Well-crafted and easy-drinking stuff, but probably not one I'd seek out often.

Flying Dog Counter Culture Ale -----3.5/5

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Counter Culture from Flying Dog Brewery
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 206 ratings