K-9 Winter Ale | Flying Dog Brewery

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K-9 Winter AleK-9 Winter Ale
K-9 Winter AleK-9 Winter Ale

Brewed by:
Flying Dog Brewery
Maryland, United States

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.40%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly K-9 Cruiser Winter Ale

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 379 | Ratings: 849
Photo of Buckeye55
3/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a bourbon color with minimal head.
Smells kinda sweet.
Taste starts out solid, then starts burning like a motherlover, cardoman?
This overwhelms the mouthfeel and aftertaste.
This is ok, nothing special

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Photo of MikeWard
3.57/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

on draft at Sabatinins in Exeter pa this lunchtime.

Nice pour, deep reddish amber body with a solid off white head leaving nice lacing.

slightly sweet aroma

initially tastes like your average solid winter warmer. Though I don't get the cardoman, vanilla, and cocoa mentioned, it's still an okay drink...until the end, when a wave of bitterness comes in. Not what I want in a winter warmer.

Mouth around medium. finish slightly sweet until that annoying bitterness comes in.

Overall, starts off well, finishes poorly.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.92/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the 12 oz bottle in a snifter. This decent winter warmer pours a
dark cola tinged mahogany with a nice head of off white foam that
settles to a thin ring, thin light layer, and shows some nice sudsy lacing.
Nose of light toffee, chocolate malts, subtle fruit notes, and touches of
herbal hops. Flavors exceed the nose with cocoa, subtle coffee, subtle
toffee, a touch of dates, cola notes, and moderate zesty hop notes with
hints of some pine and subtle warming alcohol. Nice mouth feel; medium
body, smooth, medium light carbonation that is lively, and a moderately
sweet and balanced bitter hop finish.

Overall, a SOLID warmer that is nothing at all to shy from.


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Photo of Djoneil
3.52/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brace of draught pints at the City Cafe in Baltimore. Dark brown with a nice khaki head, leaving a bit of lace. Lots of malty goodness on the nose & tongue.

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Photo of dacrza1
3.37/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

DATE: December 7, 2018... OCCASION: the eve of our first Quiz Bowl competition, watching the Great Christmas Light Fight... GLASSWARE: Affligem chalice... pours a dark purple body, opaque and cloudy with a small off-white ring of head that bands the glass... thick wafts of grapefruit, hazelnut, grape/merlot, thick caramel, candied sugars, toffee and cola... its aroma is a staunch harbinger of what's to come... this sips much more appreciably than its 7.4% ABV would have one expect, as a cola mouthfeel brings a mellow appreciation, medium-bodied but more than drinkable... its finish is sweet, lasting, and yes, a bit warming... caramel, molasses, toffee, slight nuttiness, orange citrus blanketed under bread malts, grapes, and grapefruit at the finish--quite a cornucopia of flavor for a beer whose purpose is often to provide a monolithic experience... this is warming indeed, strong and agreeable...one of Flying Dog's consistent offerings...

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Photo of Fatheroftoomany
3/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a nice deep dark brown color. Had no odor to my nose, maybe a few hints of the cardamom. Taste is decent but it burns afterwards. Way too much power of cardamom as it burns your mouth afterwards. Not recommended, better options available.

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Photo of tillmac62
3.07/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

BBD 4/23/18 - now called K-9 Winter Warmer. Pours a deep brown that turns a dark ruby red in bright light. Quite outstanding head volume, world class lacing and retention.

The nose is extremely weak, a real disappointment for a beautiful looking beer. Even allowing it to warm and tasting it doesn't help. Just mere hints of malt and a bitter spice.

Solid medium body that has a bit of creaminess over a smooth textured body. The carbonation / body balance is outstanding. The middle is subtly effervescent while providing a tickle. The finish is finely bubbled and prickly.

The flavor profile is good. Like the nose, there is no real flavor separation. You can find a bit of cardamom and cocoa is there (provided you know it before hand and search for it). Consequently, you get a blended flavor experience that is good. Bitterness is extremely mild yet the malts never really deliver a sweet contrast. The finish gives a hint of vanilla and lingers with a bit of uncovered alcohol.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
4.15/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a chalice: color is dark brown, head is light tan and presents 1 inch thick and then dissipates to a solid top.

Smell is lightly sweet malt, hints of chocolate, caramel, roast, coffee are notable.

Taste is similar with more notable spices, but very good: lightly sweeter malt, toast, chocolate, caramel, roast, coffee, then some light vanilla, i'm not finding caradamom outright but the lighter profile of malt lets the malt be the center of attention.

Mouthfeel is is moderate with crisp carbonation and light toast.

Overall a good winter warmer with light spice, I'lll get more of this.

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
3.83/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Look is black with very little highlights and an off white head.

Definitely has that malt old ale aroma. Not much in the spicing though.

Spicing comes in more in the taste. The spicing and malty seem maybe a little discordant in that it’s very sweet. But overall very good.

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Photo of BJB13
3.37/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a tumbler style pint glass.

A fat beige cola like head sits over a body that is clear and dark cherry red when held to the light. The rocky foam leaves sticky lacing.

The nose is weak with only a hint of cola caramel and something approaching cough syrup.

Flavors of nut and spice open but it moves fast into astringent, medicine like alcohol. An aftertaste of equal parts spice and cherry cough syrup leave a chalky coating behind. I can't taste the cocoa or vanilla.

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Photo of teromous
2.64/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From the lower right-side of the bottle: "FOR OPTIMAL FRESHNESS ENJOY BY 04.11.18"
The beer I have is titled "K-9 WINTER WARMER" with a red label, rather than the white one labeled "WINTER ALE" here. The website for Flying Dog has "winter-ale" in the URL but "WINTER WARMER" in the title so it looks like these are the same beer.

Appearance: The body of the beer is black with dark brown only showing where light hits it. It has a light khaki colored head that is short with good retention and spotty lacing.

Aroma: The beer has a bit of a toasted nut aroma.

Taste: The beer has a bit of a light toasted nut flavor with a bit of a biscuit taste. There is a touch of alcohol in there as well.

Mouthfeel: It is a medium bodied beer with a slightly dry finish. It has a light carbon bitterness in the aftertaste.

Overall: The label says this is an "ALE BREWED WITH CARDAMOM, VANILLA BEAN AND COCOA" but really it just tastes a bit like an average porter. There aren't any flavors that are advertised on the label. I really wouldn't recommend it as a Winter Warmer because it doesn't provide anything over a standard beer. I wouldn't buy it again.

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Photo of 88caprice
3.52/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark ruby brown. Smells of astringent alcohol, dark caramel, leather, rum, and raisins. Taste is similar with a cardamom like spice. Falls a little flat for me, but still good and a little warming. Low carbonation in the feel.

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Photo of MurphyMacManus
4.4/5  rDev +31%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. brown bottle into oversized wine glass.

Look: mahogany brown with an off-white head that fades to a thin layer of lace. To be fair, though, I gave it a gentle pour and the "optimal freshness" date was 2 weeks ago.

Smell: Dark fruit up front. Dried apricots, dates, and a bit of an alcohol note. Like the fruit you soak in booze before putting it into your Christmas fruitcake. There's a bit of a toffee/sticky pudding note underneath the fruit and booze, as well.

Taste: Given the sugary aroma, surprisingly not sweet. There's a solid malty backbone, with a little bit of sweetness and some toasted notes, but there are enough hops in the finish to prevent it from being cloying. Hops are present, but not dominant. Hop bitterness is earthy and blends into an unsweetened cocoa note in the finish. As it warms, there's a little spice up front with the sweetness.

Feel: My only complaint about the K-9 is that it feels a little thin. With an aroma and flavor profile like this, I expect a chewier, stickier beer. I want the texture to complement the richness of the flavors and the aroma, but it doesn't quite get there.

Overall: This is a well executed take on a winter warmer. It takes on the flavors and aromas of Christmas puddings, balanced with just enough hop and cocoa bitterness to avoid being cloying. Using it as a session beer might be a bad idea because of the alcohol content, but that may also prove useful at a holiday dinner with unpleasant family members.

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pint glass from a bottle. Pours reddish black with a small white head and some floating yeast. Smells of dark grain with some chocolate and fruitiness. Tastes of slight chocolate and fruit, but the weak grain backbone stands out. Beer is medium bodied and while not quite a sipper, isn't a easy drinker, good carbonation. Overall, an above average beer.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.67/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, into mug

dark brown in color, with off-white head that fades to a thin ring. Aroma is quite herbal - the cardamom is pungent. taste is bready and caramel malts with the spicy earthy flavors. medium bodied.

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Photo of josanguapo
3.57/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From Labirratoriun. In Teku glass. Playing Day of the Tentacle Remastered. The cardamom is pretty notorius but not overwhelming. Very christmasty. Good texture. Drinks well but dont enthusiams.

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Photo of wingman14
3.79/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice dark brown with a minimal head. Smells of spice and sweet malt, nothing huge. Taste is sweet, reminds me of a malty brown ale with some spice overtones. A medium mouthfeel, nothing out of the ordinary. Overall a bit different, but a decent winter ale.

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Photo of Lilbeck23
4.66/5  rDev +38.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The smell is a deep but light strong ale smell. The color and look is a deep brown or dark Amber appearance. Overall tast is amazing. It hits a barley and malt flavor but inviting with a sweet mellow bourbon; with a hint of fig. Like a fig Newton without the cookie but sweetened. Not as sweet as sweetened dates. However, a fig with a sweet hint of licorice. Overall, "mind blowing"!!

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light brown to the middle with reddish appearance on the outside. Mild head of 1/5", off white. Aroma was a little malty, barely hoppy, average stuff.

Taste was a little more bitter than desired, nothing too far off the beaten path, caramel, warming alcohol, sturdy caramel, thick.

Its a bigger beer, but ultimately plays it close to the vest and keeps it safe all around. Average all around really.

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Photo of AlarmClock314
2.82/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

12oz bottle, no date. Pours clear light amber with a large off-white head. Faint smell of pine and citrus hops with some bready malt. The taste also has a weak intensity; some malts, hops, and dark fruit with maybe a hint of spice. Lots of sourness and some bitterness in the finish. Thin body and high carbonation. Overall, this is a pretty bad beer. It's devoid of flavor and smell and hardly fits the style; buy a different Winter Warmer.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.63/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

(12 oz bottle, poured into a teku)

L: dark, cherry-red liquid, with fair clarity, topped by some loose tan suds... no lacing

S: dense caramel malt, taffy, plum, bit of spicy booze... perhaps a hint of mint, perhaps a light grassy hop aroma... potency overall not strong and clarity a bit fuzzy

T: the alcohol flares up, bites a bit which, coupled with an herbal (and toast) bitterness, gives a snappy shock to the tongue... fairly thick, rich malt core, slightly vinous fruitiness... pop of spice in the finish, as well as a little cocoa and perhaps smoke in the aftertaste

F: medium-full bodied, a bit plush and slick in its viscosity, yet light enough in the finish... only a thin residual film left... rather light considering the extra body

O: definitely a winter warmer... one really has to dig big malty beers like this, beers that also aren't up above 9-10%... they did a decent job, it just has nothing distinctive about it - no need to buy it again

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Photo of UPMD_Bill
3.29/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours medium reddish brown with a big head and good retention. Not much smell. Taste is a little roast malt followed by slight bitter grapefruit. Carbonation is thin with some carbonic acid bite. Overall, not bad, not great, sort of one-dimensional.

Updated for 2017. Tried it again, liked it more. Same overall idea but I picked up more spice this time.

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Photo of WesMantooth
3.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Looks nice. Very dark reddish color with a big fluffy tan head.

Smells and tastes like dark, sour fruits and bitter licorice, with some cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Fairly malty, but a little over carbed.

A little too bitter in the finish, and I swear there is chocolate?

Drinkable. I have had worse. I have also had many better.

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Photo of NilocRellim
3.86/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy red/dark and colour. Sweet malts and dark fruits (figs, prunes, etc.) aromas. Sweet dark fruits, maple syrup, barleywine-esque taste. Cloyingly sweet.

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Photo of janubio
2.87/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Dark brown colour, medium head thas does not hold for too long, leaving a tiny lace. Smell of aniseed, clove and some caramel, in a confusing mix. Medium body, good carbonation. Taste of dark fruits, clove, aniseed, everything confusing too. Not the best Chrismast beer at all. Bitter finish.

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K-9 Winter Ale from Flying Dog Brewery
Beer rating: 3.36 out of 5 with 849 ratings