K-9 Winter Ale | Flying Dog Brewery

367 Reviews
Read the review
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

Added by kbub6f on 10-30-2001

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 367 | Ratings: 807
Photo of santoslhalper
1.99/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Appearence: Pours a deep, dark copper with a thin tan head.

Smell: What? It smells like a goddamn hot dog!

Taste and Mouthfeel: Liquid hot dogs! I swear to got that is all I can taste. Well, malt covered hot dogs. And not the good ones, the cheap ones.

Drinkbaility and Overall: If the sound of hot dog flavored beer seems applealing to you, then by all means find this beer. If not, avoid it.

 403 characters

Photo of TastyTaste
2.7/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a nice dark clear mahogany color, with a 1/2" of off white head. Color is reminicent of a Barleywine. Smell is good enough, fairly hoppy, but the taste goes south quick. An unflattering woody/stale smoke flavor dominates this beer, with off-malt flavors. I don't even know what Flyng Dog was going for this, started good enough, but is not a good beer at all. Get the Horn Dog barley wine instead, trust me.

 413 characters

Photo of RedBaron
4.75/5  rDev +42.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Beguiling. Wow-wee. Defies the rules this one.

Appearance: Dark ruby-red. Poured with the thinnest of heads, but the remaining lacework sustained throughout, daring you to try...
Smell: Bready, woody, bulky and bold. Dry hopped, but detected only under subtle layers of complex malt accents.
Taste: Complex malts lend a nice, Belgian-like sugar mix in the foretaste, a balanced middle, and a dry finish. Goddamn.
Mouthfeel: Initially, sits lite on the tongue. But after swallowing, the cheeks and the upper palette beg for the experience of fireworks to explode once more.
Drinkability: A wonderful beer which can be truly appreciated in mid-winter's chilly grip. This beer is packed with complex malty sugars, but lets ya know that the hops won't be denied - they're just part of the colorful trees in this vast forest of wonder.

 837 characters

Photo of Shiredave
3.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours a deep, deep amber color with a whispy, clotted head and lots of specks of lace.
Aroma is husky and malty - sort of bocky (smells like munich to me)- lots of caramel/crystal malts, sweet and nutty, nice but one dimensional.
Medium bodied sweetness up front with some chewy grain flavors and firm hop bittering. Nice lingering bitter sweet aftertaste - like scorched caramel apples.... with hops.
I could drink 2 or 3 of these. Probobly better on tap.
Good ESB / Bock?

 491 characters

Photo of bashiba
2.57/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured a very cloudy brown with some ruby tones and just thin thinest line of head.

Smells of Dates, Raisons, and Cedar with an earthyness to it.

Wow the taste is so incredibly underwhelming. A slight Woodyness with a touch of earthy hops. Just not much there, like a light version of an Old Ale, very strange.

Mouthfeel is incredibly thin and watery for a beer this strong.

I could finish this one, but won't look to drink another anytime soon.

 458 characters

Photo of RushLimbmalt
4/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good winter brew. It is rich and flavorful and has enough body and alcohol to keep you warm. It pours a ruby red color and has a beige head that leaves a lot of sticky lace. It has a nice hoppy finish to follow up the complex malty flavors. There is a bit of coffee in the aroma as it warms up. I think it will make a decent winter brew alternative to mix things up every so often.

 391 characters

Photo of halo21
3.13/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours to a nice red. Thin tinted head, slight carbonation.
Smells like very malty. Taste that way as well. Reminds me of Killians Irish Red; which I enjoy. Feels good going down, but does leave ones mouth dry.
There is something in the after taste I still cant put my finder on, but it took a few to get used to. I am glad I didnt write the review after the 1st try. The drinkability went up after a few - not in a row so I was not getting drunk.

Will look forward to other beers by Flying Dog

 498 characters

Photo of JackStraw22
2.9/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Beer has a dark red body, small off white head. Not much retention, but good amount of lacing. Most dominant aroma is of chocolate malt. Not really any hop aroma, very malty. Light mouthfeel, very dry finish. Chocolate malt taste hits you upfront, with a little bit of bitterness. Somewhat of a metallic taste, though which I don't like. Certainly a drinkable beer, though higher in ABV. It really feels like it's drying out my throat though. I haven't had a beer do that this much before.

 489 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The malty, lightly toasted grain aroma of this beer is more impressive than the flavor found within. It's appearance is nice, however, with a clear, deep mahogany body with a ruby cast; and a short head of light tan foam that holds sufficiently well before dropping to an average collar. Some areas of thin, tiny-spotted lace appear on the glass with each sip, but never seem to be able to hold. The body is medium and its fine-bubbled and moderate carbonation leaves it lightly creamy and silky smooth. The flavor is similar to that of it's Munich malt like graininess with a dollop of caramel, but it's nowhere as rich as it suggests. It is balanced nicely, however, with a touch of yeasty fruitiness and some light, citrusy hops; all backed by a firm bitterness. It's alcohol is noticeable (and surprising at just 7.5%), but it's not overbearing. It finishes fairly short and dry with little fan-fare.

 904 characters

Photo of ppoitras
3/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12ozer bottle purchased as a single from, well, somewhere...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" beige head above the clear, dark copper brew. Head fades quickly to a layer of bubbles, and lacing is average. Aroma is malty, with evidence of alcohol apparent. Taste is lightly of grains, lightly of alcohol, pretty much lightly of everything. Lacking. Mouthfeel is slippery, kind of slithers off the tongue, down the throat as fast as possible, and drinkability is of the "why bother?" level. Won't bother with this one again.

 542 characters

Photo of BeerFink
3.06/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This poured a deep dark cherry red color, with a thin off white head. The color is very nice, I had to admire it for a second longer. The smell is a little weak, but you can detect the malty presence, as well as some fruit. The taste was malty smooth with some nice roasted flavors. Pleasant hop finish, not too bitter - just enought to counter the malt. Unfortunately, there is not enough of this taste. There are no off flavors or anything disagreeable, but there just isn't the big flavor I'm used to in a strong ale. It goes down smooth and is pretty drinkable, though.

 573 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark reddish bronze. The sand colored cap is good-sized after a vigorous pour and is now beginning to deposit nearly complete sheets of lace on the upper portion of the glass. There's a whole lot of nothin' wrong with the appearance to my eyes.

The nose is pretty decent as well and there's enough power that I don't have to take a chance on getting my nose wet each time I give it a whiff. The Flying Dog website describes this beer as much more malty than hoppy, but it's a virtual dead heat as far as I'm concerned. In addition to being dark malty, it's also butterscotchy.

K-9 may be an American strong ale, but it's a relatively tame one. There's nothing at all wrong with that because it's such good beer. The generously toasted malt backbone contains flavor elements of dark caramel, dark brown sugar and, less so, cocoa.

Citric hops enter at the midway point of each mouthful and become more prominent through the finish. The body is solidly medium (probably closer to light-medium if style is taken into consideration) and is smooth and pleasantly slippery on the swallow. Although flavor fades a bit too quickly on the finish, a light hop scum is left on the tongue until the next mouthful.

K-9 Cruiser is unlikely to make anyone forget the best that this style has to offer, but it's a fine effort all the same and would make a good training wheels strong ale for those who might otherwise be intimidated. This is definitely one of Flying Dog's better efforts.

 1,484 characters

Photo of woemad
2.9/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle from a mixed FD 12-pk purchased at a nearby Rosauer's for $13.99. Cool/spooky Ralph Steadman illustration on label.

This had a moderate tan head (despite a vigorous pour) that left lots of lace behind. The beer itself was a kind of nondescript cola color.

This smelled promising, in a strange way.There's a floral hop scent, coupled with mildly sweet malts and a big wineish alcohol smell. Odd smelling, but you get the impression that this is a beer with a personality.

Sadly, that impression would be wrong. While thta big winey, boozy flavor is in the forefront, it is succeeded by...total blandness. The only thing that follows is a vague hoppy dryness. A total letdown. This beer is a big tease, flavor-wise.

This seems like it's missing something, like it was unfinished when bottled. There definitely needs to be more body to this.

An unimpressive winter warmer. While it is drinkable, there's no need to go out of your way for this. There are MUCH better micros out there.

 1,007 characters

Photo of Tballz420
3.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This brew is a clear, dark-brown/cola colored beverage. Topping it off is a small khaki head. There is a chocolate scent, with a hint of alcohol. Chocolate malt front, some bittering hops, alcohol hidden. The mouth is much too thin and watery for this beer, and this ruins what otherwise may have been interesting.

 314 characters

Photo of alexgash
2.98/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Man, I just hate the Flying Dog labels. The names kind of suck too. Regardless. Bronzed, dark amber body with a small, guaze-y, light brown head. Lean to very-lean cookie malt sweetness set against a bed of funky-citrus (almost sour) hop aroma. Weird. Weak toffee and cookie malt up front. Malty sweetness flashes early but quickly gives way to lemony-pine hop burn. Kind of astringent and raw; definitely bitter. Cookie malt barely resurfaces into the finish along with the astringent bitterness and alcohol. Not as full-bodied as it should be; rather thin and watery for the style. Not terrible, just not very good.

 617 characters

Photo of rowew
2.66/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz long neck with a nice Ralph Steadman label. Freshness code on label.

Appearance: Poured a dark reddish mahogany color with a nice tan colored head. Head dissapated quickly but left decent lacing.

Smell: Earthy, malty aroma with hints of something else .. not quite right.

Taste: Oily mouth feel with medium carbonation. Tastes like yeasty by-products with some grassy flavors. Not bad, but certainly not all that good either.

Overall Impression: Not a horrible winter beer, but certainly not one I'll be seeking out in the future.

 564 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
2.98/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

My first bottle of this in years, trying to remember if I liked it or not...let's try one and see...
Appearance: clear, dark caramel coloring, very full, cream-colored head, a whipped, eggnog-y chunk of froth, resting triumphantly on top.
Nose, sweet and sharp, cherries and brandy, very winey, as well. Naked alcohol speaks up just behind the fruit.
Taste: very bright fruity flavor charges on the palate, then thins out. Raw strength, though a mere 7.5% shows it's teeth early, for the body is a low medium, and there isn't sufficient ballast. More malt, please, or something, in any order. Mouthfeel becomes slick with each sip, nearly stings, slips on the tongue and leaves an oily air of Luden's mixed with cabernet sauvignon.
Needless to say, I'm not finding it overly enjoyable. Missing many important elements, without which one cannot find pleasure in an ale.
I was glad to find this on sale, but not so happy that I have five bottles left. They'll be saved for when I'm already 3 1/2 sheets to the wind, and don't care what goes in me next.

 1,056 characters

Photo of winomark
2.63/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a nice deep copper with some maroon hues. Small, light brown head. Roasted sweet malt controls the nose. No hop aroma. Malty palate, but not much else. Sweetness, with a dry, short finish. Unimpressive. Light, slightly metallic mouthfeel. Disappointing. Another mediocore brew from this brewery. No need to try this one.

 326 characters

Photo of clvand0
3.26/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a dark brown color with a small head that quickly dies off and doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. The aroma is sweet and fruity with some grassy smells. Dark fruits. The flavor is thin and reminds me of a bock beer. Not too sure what I think about it being an American Strong Ale. Fruity and crisp with a grassy flavor. Just ok. Probably won't have it again.

 378 characters

Photo of Gusler
3.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer evacuates the 12-ounce brown bottle a deep brown color with a modest semi-creamy light tan head that evaporates rather quickly leaving a thin but sealing sheet of lace. Nose is sweet malt, light hint of hops and caramel, fresh and crisp to the senses, start is sweet with a fair grain profile, the top is light to moderate in feel. Finish is briskly acidic, the hops sufficient in their spiciness, a drinkable beer.

 424 characters

Photo of WesWes
4.17/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark amber/brown color with a thin off-white lace head. The aroma is good. It has a rich malty scent along with a warm molasses type aroma. The taste is good. It has a smooth, rich, malty flavor that has some dark malt qualities. It goes down really easy and finishes with a buttery molasess aftertaste. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a really smooth old ale. It has an elevated abv. , but you would never know it. This beer drinks very well.

 511 characters

Photo of budgood1
2.6/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

pours out an chestnut/auburn colour with a fine fading off white head. minimal lace. fruity estery aroma...lots of dark ripened fruit and other yeast induced flavours. sweet flavours abound, but there seems to be no malt backbone to beef up this style of beer. the mouthfeel comes off as slick and buttery...then weak and watery, therefore causing the whole beer to suffer. very mild bitter finish. high ABV well hidden. too sweet for the body; to weak for the style. i'd drink a few, but i don't think i'd spend any more $$$ to sample this again.

 547 characters

Photo of DPMomutant
3.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Finger-thick head fades quickly on this one. Body is dark brown but kind of thin for the style.

A decent little fruity aroma going on here. Sweet but not as strong as one would think.

Not as much taste as I'd expect from a strong beer. A bit sweet with some alcohol at the beginning with some bitterness at the end. Not bad but not as much going on as I'd like.

This beer feels a bit to thin for me. Maybe with a little less water that taste would come out more.

Obviously with the higher ABV you don't want too many of these. While not great, this would be good enough to have a couple. It has potential but isn't quite there.

 639 characters

Photo of far333
2.95/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a dark brown color, and tops itself with a beige, thin and low head that disappears too quickly. Aroma is sweet malt, and that's about it. Flavor is sweet and syrupy. The ABV doesn't interfere with the flavor, but maybe something should. This one is cloying to me, and the body is thin. I wouldn't be able to guess the style if I didn't know.

 348 characters

Photo of ngandhi
3.17/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A little bit of buttery diacetyl on the nose and actually quite distinguishable as an old ale. When I was drinking it, I didn't know what it was, but I thought it best resembled an old ale.

Not very malty, it's on the lighter side of the spectrum. The nose is wonderful, revealing a great rich complexity that the beer never provides. I can say the yeast is pretty good, producing wonderful aromas, but the recipe itself is weak.

The beer thins to ethanol with some malt and fruit-laden yeast poking through. The flavors are muddled and vacant.

Relax, relax.

 573 characters

K-9 Winter Ale from Flying Dog Brewery
3.33 out of 5 based on 807 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.