K-9 Winter Ale | Flying Dog Brewery

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K-9 Winter AleK-9 Winter Ale
836 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 836 |  Reviews: 373
Photo of bsp77
3.18/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Note: I think the Winter Warmer category on here is ridiculous because it is a catch-all - it includes Spiced Christmas beers, Old Ales, big Brown Ales and the English Strong Ale. Most of the non-spiced so-called Winter Warmers in the US are really English Strong Ales - medium to full bodied malty English Ales that may have a good amount of English hop counterbalance. More than anything, they simply taste English and are relatively high in alcohol (but not a Barleywine).


Serving glass: Poured from bottle into tall glass.

Appearance: Somewhat dark reddish-amber with nice light tan head.

Smell: Mostly cherry and spicy & floral English hops. Some bread, tea and caramel. Smells English.

Taste: Sweet upfront before swiftly turning quite dry. Cherry and caramel come through at the forefront, along with some light biscuit & tea tones. End more peppery, spicy and floral rather than truly bitter. Unfortunately, there is a little bit of an astringent aftertaste.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, exceedingly dry finish.

Drinkability: My first thought was this was a fine English Strong Ale, and I wondered why it has a relatively meddling average. Then that astringent aftertaste began to gnaw at me. Ultimately, there are much better English Strong Ales out there, such as Odell Isolation, Deschutes Jubelale, Avery Old Jubilation and Full Sail Wassail.

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Photo of ocelot2500
3.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear bronze color with a rough, off-white head that leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Smells of toasted malts.

Tastes of the toasted malts with a hop kick. Malts offer some butterscotch and toffee notes. Hops give a decent citrus bite on the end. A little weak overall.

Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth amount of carbonation.

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Photo of BurpingtonDC
3.03/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Deep amber/copperish color. Slight head of creamy tan/white.

S - Malty, fruity and slightly boozy.

T - Bitter, coffee and chicory notes, maybe a little bit 'o grandma's fruit cake.

M - High level of fuzzy carbonation.

D - I like Flying Dog beers in general for all purpose drinking, but this is my least favorite.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.31/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a DFH curved glass late at night.

Kay-Nine pours out your standard bronze type color with some pumpkin orange to round it out. Get a not so tight, loose root beer type head that stays and goes just as fast. A semi cap afterwards with some spots atround the glass. This really smells like a beefed up marzen mixed with some amber base as well. Malty, caramel, grainy, rich, sweet, blech. Taste is what I expected, a sweet oktoberfest/marzen, some werthers qualities. Some spice in the finish but not enough to call this a WW. Some butterscotch, caramel, alot of grizanne, and toasted malt. Feel is medium above and elixer like. A small carbing(?), faint alcohol afterwards. Well, it looks like it's back to the drawing board for a new WW to scope out, this one does not cut the mustard. A underwhelming big winter ale that needs more spice, and pizazzz.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a snifter. Color is an amber-red with a tad bit of white head and a little bit of lacing. The nose is cherries, caramel malt, sweet bread, and some light yeast. The taste is mainly some moderately-sweet malt. Medium feel with some sweetness. Drinkability is alright; not the typical winter warmer, but not too much involved either.

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Photo of deskim
2.83/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Not overly impressive beer. Haven't had too many of this style, but this doesn't seem like anything special.

Appearance - dark ruby red, slight head with minimal retention

Smell - Malts and a slight booziness

Taste - fairly malty, "warming"

Mouthfeel - overly carbonated

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Photo of LairdChisholm
2.94/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a clear, deep copper color. There was a slightly less than one finger, tan colored head that had poor retention. There is no lacing. There are also a few bubbles heading to the surface.

S - I get some biscuit malts and alcohol. Nothing special.

T - There is some biscuit malts mixed with some slight cinnamon. There is a slight hop presence that attempts to balance things out. Alcohol is present towards the end. This could be a lot better. It's not awful though.

M - A tad too much carbonation. It holds back the flavor.

D - Doesn't taste the best. I could drink a few but it wouldn't be the most enjoyable experience.

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Photo of tchenery
3.47/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice ruby color to the beer. It's very bright and very crisp looking. It has no head, but the tiny lacing is bone white.

Smells of dark malts and slight cherry scents.

Very rich and chewy beer. It is extremely malt forward and tastes like it has some amber, chocolate, maybe some maris otter, crystal, etc. There is a slight hop bitterness, but not much, this one's all malt.

Nice full bodied beer. It leaves you slightly dry, but not uncomfortably. It's fairly drinkable if you like the style.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
3.62/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: dark reddish brown; clear; carboatio o; thin head, little lacing
S: sweet carmel smell
T: sweet, malty, not very bitter; hints of root beer, cherry; it is an odd taste, and the suggestion of one reviewer, that it is a mix of a stout and an IPA sounds a bit right; FD is prone to such mixes
M: lively in the mouth

I might follow through and get a 6 pack, but prob only one this winter

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Photo of DeliciousSeeker
3.75/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark amber coloring, with dirty blonde highlights under some light. Not to much carbonation, and head a couple millimeters after a minute or two.

S- string hoppy smell, with hints of coffee and malts. It almost smells more like a porter, or at least it reminds me of one. Slight bit of a booze smell, but overall nice.

T- comes off more of a mix of an IPA and a porter. The hops flavor is there, and there's quite a good bit of it, but there's also this porter like taste that comes in. So, think about 70% IPA, 30% porter taste. It makes for an interesting beer. Slight coffee aftertaste, but only just. As far as winter beers go, this sticks out.

M- feels more like a very full IPA, or a slightly less full porter. Quite smooth, but with density.

D- This definitely was one of the more interesting beers I've had lately. It's a nice take on what a winter ale should be. I'm not sure this is a very drinkable beer though, with the unique taste and fairly high alcohol content for it's genre. Good to enjoy with those who are into different beer, not for those who like consistency of taste.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.15/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer review from BA Mag Dec 2007.

The self-described "psycho in the pack," this Winter Warmer is yet another addition to a style that American brewers have been taken by. Available until late March.

A hefty amount of foam from a medium pour, head retention is solid even when it dwindles down; the lace seems to want to stick everywhere. Dark brown tarnished penny color, clarity is great. The nose starts off with toasted grain, biscuity for the most part with mild chocolate and a faint citric hop in the back. Smooth and slick on the palate with a medium body. Heavy on the toasted malt flavor throughout with a quick glimpse of caramel and chocolate; the malt character feigns a bigger dryness than there actually is. Warming up the beer a little bit more draws out a bit more sweetness. The alcohol is a touch warming but never to the point of being dominant in any way. Hops are mellow with an even bitterness and a pop of spicy herbal flavor in the semidry malty finish.

Perhaps the driest Winter Warmer we've had this season, not a bad thing but certainly different from the rest of the pack. Regardless, this is a pretty inviting brew with winter knockin' on the door.

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Photo of jwinship83
2.51/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle drank from a standard pint glass. i was helping some friends clear out random beers that have began to pile up in their fridge. im such a nice guy.

A- this one pours out a clear reddish brown colored body with a full finger of eggshell colored head. the head lasts for a while and leaves behind random spots of lacing.

S- sweet toffee and caramel malts are the first things that i notice. after that comes some cherry scent that is faintly reminiscent of cough syrup. not the best thing to find in a beer.

T- the caramel and toffee malts start this one off. sweet, but not overly so. the robotussin like cherry that i could smell comes back in the taste. yuck. herbal and spicy hops can barely be detected at the end.

M- medium bodied and well carbonated.

D- the medicinal taste and smell that i picked up on is enough to make sure i steer clear of this one in the future.

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Photo of mklinger
3.1/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a New Glarus pint glass. It pours a pale brown -- not amber, orange or reddish which is what you might want for the darkness of this beer. Instead it is slightly brown. It's not an appetizing color. Inch thick head composed fairly large bubbles.

No real aroma coming off this beer at all, just nothing really there. Now, there's nothing bad about it but nothing really good either.

Taste is better than I thought it would be. Some caramel sweetness followed by more hop bitterness than I thought there could be. I can't quite figure out from the taste what makes this a Winter Warmer compared to any other bitter amber-type ale. Seems like it could be called an Americanized Old Ale more than anything else. I guess that's maybe OK for a winter warmer.

Carbonation and mouthfeel are fuller than I thought they might be too. It's got some better than expected characteristics and some that are merely OK. Reasonable but not a favorite beer.

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Photo of sbw138
2.7/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Picked up a bottle of this from The Foodery, and poured it into a pint glass.

Appearance - It's mostly translucent, a nice red/amber color. Small creamy head that leaves a decent lacing.

Smell - Sweet caramel at first, then just begins to smell not that pleasant, I can't really put my finger on it. Regardless, I am not overly excited to drink the beer.

Taste - Combination of caramel, molasses, citrus, fruit, raisins. Just overdoing it. Doesn't like a very quality beer. Almost taste like they just use artificial syrup for the flavoring.

Mouthfeel - Medium body with a greasy oily mouthfeel.

Not one of the best winter warmers, in fact, not very good at all. Would not try again. This beer has cause be to have an aversion to Flying Dog beers.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.15/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a BBC pint glass.

A: Pours a medium, copper amber color with a thin head of butterscotch colored foam which dissipates quickly and leaves a thin coating of bubbly lace. Carbonation is moderate and ring of carbonation sudsy.

S: Smells slightly sweet and fruity with bits of apple and plum as well as citrusy, probably picking up on the bitter herbal hop aroma.

T: There are a lot of rough alcohol flavors in this brew. It starts off with a quick flash of buttery, roasted caramel malts but quickly bitters up with a rush of herbal and citrusy hops. The burn subsides to a more mellow, slightly spicy fruity ale flavor which comprises raisin and pear with hints of citrus fruits. The finish is lingering, oily and pine-laden hop residue.

M: Full bodied brew made fairly astringent by the ABV and level of carbonation, perhaps.

D: Sort of a weird brew and not really in a good way. The 6.4% ABV would suggest this is a strong ale, but it's almost like they went for a winter warm but missed the mark and wound up with an unbalanced IPA. The malts and not nearly as sweet or rich as expected and the hops seem misused and deter from drinkability along with the clear alcohol flavor. Sort of a black eye for Flying Dog, IMO.

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Photo of goblet
3.55/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

pick up a six pack of flying dogs winter ale and poured one out into a glass .

it's clear, well filtered and fairly dark reddish copper color with a off white creamy looking head that fades to a spoty coating.

a sweet carmal malt and citrus hops aroma ,a bit of fruits like plums and peaches along with some grainy scent in the background.

deep blend of carmel malts and citrus like grapefruit flavors rule over all other tastes, tastes like grains and banana peals .

a meduim to light body with a mild bitter and oil hops feel at the end.

a decent winter ale ,goes down relatively smooth ,but it's nothing to brag about to a friend .cheers..

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Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Sunswick in Astoria, NY.

Pours a slightly hazy dark copper color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of citrus and pine hops with a rustic caramel malt backbone.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Grainy caramel malt flavors up front are joined quickly by loads of pine and citrus hops, more pine than citrus. The hops carry through to a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I didn't think this was a winter warmer but I can't penalize it for that - it's labelled as a "winter ale" which in my opinion is undefined (see Bell's Winter White). I found this to be a nice hoppy ESB, worth a shot.

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Photo of WakeandBake
3.49/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A clear ruby brown color pour with a small light tan head , quickly fading to a ring leaving some nice lacing medium carbonation. Aroma is of sweet caramel and toffee , slightly spicy with some breayd notes. Flavor is malty and spicy with lots of caramel and toffee ,hints of chocolate and a bit of spicy hops, medium bitterness, light body for the style , slick mouthfeel , this is very drinkable . Way more aroma than flavor but still a good brew.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.11/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Aroma is crisp and malty, rather typical, but with an undertone of spice. It pours a nice clear coppery amber with a fairly thick off-white head. Flavor is more hoppy than malty, decent but seems to lack the spice I picked up in the aroma. Texture is fairly smooth and a little fizzy. Not Flying Dog's best, but still a good party beer.

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Photo of kiddynamite920
2.83/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A light copper pour, head is big and bubbly. Whenever I see loosely packed bubbles like this I am cautious. Not too impressive looking. Has a funky adjunct aroma, that I can only link to Leinenkugel's beers. I smell alcohol and hops. No malt presence in this warmer. Bit of an upset. Flavor is all over the place, not sure what FD was going for here. A big hit of booze right up front, next is hops, and finally a very faint spice flavor. Almost has an effect of eating dry nutmeg, and then taking a shot of cheap whiskey. My experiences with Flying Dog have been very good prior to this. Very disappointing. Tastes like Leinenkugel's beers, just cheap and fake. Thin and fizzy. So much for mouthfeel. Feel like I downgraded after tasting so many good beers. First time I ever saw it on the shelves and usually FD delivers good beers. Yowzas.

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Photo of cosmicevan
2.36/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 12oz bottle

A - Poured a clear reddish amber. Not much head and light carbonation.

S - Didn't smell too hot if at all.

T - Tastes mostly like alcohol and hops. Doesn't stand out as good or horrible. I'd expect a bit more from flying dog.

M - Bubbly with a bittery after-taste.

D - Not really my thing. I'm usually a big fan of Flying Dog, but this tastes a lot like what you'd find in a keg at a party when you aren't totally sure what's in the keg.

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Photo of beer2day
3.87/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep copper with strong orange hues. 1-finger head, thin retention, no lacing.

Aroma is very faint. Malty sweetnees is all I'm getting.

Hits sweet and grows to a weak plum-raisin flavor. Caramel malt behind the fruit and a very slight roast presence. Finishes bitter and dry.

The feel is very, very good. Just thick enough to match the flavor profile.

Very nice effort from FD.

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Photo of Katahdin
2.36/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours average, a bit carmel in color and the aroma does not set you up for the disapointment to follow. Heavy maltiness with earthen tastes make it seem stronger than it is. Kind of beats you up a bit going down and a strong bitter after taste lingers on the tongue. Not a real great interpretation of the style.

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Photo of philbe311
2.73/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - A little bit of a gusher with a very thick and fluffy ever so slightly tan head... A medium brown color with a faint orangish amber hue... 100% Translucent... Still with with virtually no carbonation, just a stray bubble ever now and again...

S - Caramel... Bready malts... A mix of holiday spices... A minor pine aroma... Green tea... Wet dog... Slightly grainy...

T - Caramel and toffee appear first and quickly disappear... Slightly medicinal and solventy finish and aftertaste...

M - Medium bodied... Smooth... Dry... Slightly bitter, in a non-hoppy sort of manner...

D - Not a terrible brew, but average at best... Seems to really struggle in relation to style guidlines... Seems to be in a muddled territory between ESB and very weak Pale Ale... Wouldn't recommend and may actually turn down if offered another...

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Photo of farrago
2.42/5  rDev -28%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Don't pour too aggressively or foam might fill half the glass, otherwise it's a good 2-3 fingers high of delicate bubbles and foam, starts to dimple across the surface, not much lacing but very good retention. Crystal clear brown to red brick or dirt color, more of a metallic orange at the rims, despite clarity few bubbles visible. Reticent nose, offers meager portions of toffee, malts, orange infused chocolate and then some hop spice, maybe some leafiness like lettuce or cabbage. Light to medium-bodied, the carbonation swirls through the attack and momentarily distracts from the lack of flavor. Ginger spice, dried cocoa, malts and orange/lemon citrus try to dance with peat moss, pepper, straw and a nondescript bitter edge. Maybe pear or apple fruit. Consistent quality-wise with most products of this brewery.

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K-9 Winter Ale from Flying Dog Brewery
Beer rating: 3.36 out of 5 with 836 ratings