Counter Culture | Flying Dog Brewery

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Counter CultureCounter Culture
Very Good
206 Ratings
Counter CultureCounter Culture

Brewed by:
Flying Dog Brewery
Maryland, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:

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

HOPS: Citra

YEAST: American Ale

Added by ThatsThatDude on 05-28-2015

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 206 |  Reviews: 56
Reviews by Navalartichoke:
Photo of Navalartichoke
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

More User Reviews:
Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a dark copper color. The head is a finger high, and off-white in shade. Retention is average for the style, but look at the thick ring of lacing stuck to the glass! (3.75)

Smell: This definitely seems like a hoppy brown ale, or a malty pale ale - take your pick. Since I don't pick up much caramel malt, I'll call it the former. I pick up plenty of roasted nut, faint cocoa powder, brown sugar, pumpernickel bread, and even a bit of coffee (?!). Its hop profile is pretty much as advertised - stone fruits like apricot and peach pop thoroughly. Having said that, this is malt-forward brew first and foremost. (3.75)

Taste: Wow, the maltiness is really unusual here - first and foremost, it tastes like a coffee-infused brown ale. But oh ho, there's no coffee in this brew. The coffee will fade a little bit, revealing notes of brown sugar, nuts, molasses, bread...and yes, some caramel. Hops here serve as a balancing bitterness, though they do bring some nice apricot and melon notes near the back end. I'm not even mad the Citra notes are subdued here - the malt backbone this beer provides is impressive enough as is. (3.75)

Mouthfeel: The oats give it a soft creaminess, while the hoppiness cleans the finish nicely. There's still a bit of lingering astringency, so the mouthfeel isn't perfect by any means. Carbonation is fairly subdued. Ergo, it's more of a sipper than a chugger. (3.5)

Overall: Flying Dog is frustratingly hit-and-miss at times - their hoppy beers are genuinely great (when fresh), Gonzo is always a good fallback option, yet stuff like their Hefeweizen, K-9, and some of their Brewhouse Rarities make me shake my damn head. This,'s weird, but I like it! The maltiness works, and the way the Citra hops embellish said maltiness gives it great balance. I think it's well worth purchasing again. (3.75)

3.73/5: Go go gadget malt backbone

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Photo of bubseymour
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Light brown/dark orange with a perfect sized 3 finger head and nice carbonation. Smell is of very mild citrus hops but extremely subtle and light on smell. Taste is exceptional on this one. Leaning more towards a brown ale but there is a nice light citrus hop balancing act with the faint caramel sweetness. Like the nose, all flavoring is more subtle balanced than extreme. Body is a tad light and watery but not offputting at all.

This is one of their hits for sure.

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Photo of Raime
4.19/5  rDev +10.6%
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 woodychandler
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
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 stakem
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
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 hopphead31415
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I grabbed this one without realizing it was Flying Dog, because of the ‘Last Supper’ by Da Vinci front label. Not sure why they thought that was relevant, the dirty bastards, but let’s review this 6.0% ABV (and 25 IBUs) beer anyway.

Look-It pours a clear liquid that is a dark amber color that looks like red oak and cedar. It glints with an orange copper hue in the light. The head diminishes down to a thin layer and leaves bubbly sticky and moist lacing on the glass.

Smell-I smell caramel malts with orange and hints of spices. The toasted malts are rarely flecked by any noticeable hops.

Taste-I taste figs, nutty spices, cardamom, nutmeg, toasty malts and milk chocolate. This beer has 5 varieties of malts (Brown, Crisp 77, Chocolate, Bon Munich, Flaked Oats) and only one weak hop variety (Citra) which is why the hops are not very noticeable in this beer. The bitterness is almost nonexistent and I taste a hop presence, but it is a distinction that you need to make before trying this beer. I also taste the yeast component at the end which is a nice complement to the milk chocolate and is a flavor combination that I have not explicitly tried before.

Mouthfeel-It has a medium-bodied sweet feel to it, but it isn’t overly sweet or syrupy. The carbonation is mild and tampered along with the alcohol. I get a coating on the tongue that is primarily nutty oats, chocolate, and a tinge of the orange zest.

Overall-I did not expect anything from this beer and I must say that I did enjoy it a lot, but I wished that there were a bit more hops in it. The brewers could easily introduce a bit more hop complexity without changing the bitterness units. Just something to think about, but this variety was nice as is.

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Photo of Herze
3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of dandaugherty1221
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of petewheeler
3.79/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Jason
3.84/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

STYLE American Red Ale | ABV 6.0% | AVAILABILITY Year-round

Toffee, Bready, Toasty, Citrus

While I would not go so far as to call Counter Culture a malt bomb, this brew does have a firm focus on its layers of toffee, toasted bread and nuttiness. Oats yield a lush smoothness and hint of citrus from the Citra hops create layers that open up after a few sips. It’s nice to see something completely different and unexpected from Flying Dog and something very well done, too.

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine issue #103 (AUG 2015)

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Photo of Billolick
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of tylerbrowe
3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Nfiorini513
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of acurtis
3.59/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a pretty, almost completely opaque, deep, dark mahogany color, speckled with hints of orange, and a half of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Strong aromas of bready, earthy, toasted malt, as well as strong aromas of floral, grassy, citrusy, piney hops. There are also aromas of caramel, black pepper, honey, honey-suckle, heather and clover. Quite a nice, inviting, aroma

Taste: Delicious flavors of toasted malt up front, followed by lots of caramel-like sweetness, black pepper, clover and finished by lots of beautifully balanced, citrusy, grassy, piney hops. Quite delicious!

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and very, very effervescent and crisp, as there is a lot of carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 6.0%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a very good American Amber beer. Lots of bready, earthy, toasted malt, caramel-like sweetness and beautifully balanced, citrusy, grassy, piney hops. A delicious beer.

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Photo of alcohline_trip
3.81/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of wander4
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of kgammell1
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Loveyourbeer
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of whatname
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of tdm168
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.16/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Flying Dog Brewery "Counter Culture"
12 oz. brown glass bottle, coded but without freshness dating - it appears to be a Julian date but I can't tell if it's beginning or ending.

Appearance: Slightly hazy very deep copper/light russet brown body. Rocky yellowish head. The lacing could certainly be better.

Aroma: Malty/grainy with distinct caramel and chocolate notes. Fruity/hoppy/lightly citrusy.

Flavor: As the aroma suggests. Also bready/toasty, and a bit leafy/grassy/spicy. Some apple and red berry-like yeasty notes. Chocolatey like light milk chocolate, or perhaps a chocolate cookie. A touch nutty as well. The malt is quite solid but the hops are able to cut through. Nicely balanced, leaning towards the malty side but certainly not sweet, or even sweetish (the darker malts see to that). It finishes drying as the maltiness fades and the fruitiness becomes a bit more apparent.

Mouthfeel: Medium to medium-full bodied. Creamy and smooth with a fine bubbled moderate carbonation that allows the malt to really become the focus.

Overall: Without any descriptor on the label, and without really looking anyway, I wasn't sure what to expect but I'd probably label it an American brown ale given the chocolatey/caramel/nutty malt, and its 6.0% abv. In many ways it's kind of an amped up northern English brown ale. Really nicely balanced and rounded (I'm not sure you can even do it any better). Certainly worth trying unless brown ales and malty beers are just not your thing. Perfect for sitting on the porch in fall when there's just a slight chill in the air as the night sky rises and the stars come out.

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Photo of cubbyZilla
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of Fatehunter
3.6/5  rDev -5%
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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Counter Culture from Flying Dog Brewery
Beer rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 206 ratings