K-9 Winter Ale | Flying Dog Brewery

366 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 366 | Ratings: 805
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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Zorro
3.08/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark brown clear brew, looks like a Bock beer.

Smell is sweet with a smell of dark fruits, with brown sugar and malts. Smells like a bock beer.

Taste is Very sweet with a bit of chocolate flavor with plum wine. This is a Bock beer, no matter what the bottle says. That or a really sorry Imperial Stout. It's an OK Bock, and a crappy Imperial Stout. I pick Bock and give it a 3.

Mouthfeel is OK for a Bock.

Not real drinkable, I can find better.

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Photo of jtfest
3.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a very clear dark coppery-reddish with a small tan head that disappeared altogether. Kind of a grassy, wet hay aroma with malt sweetness undertones. The mouthfeel was syrupy, somewhat flat, and a little thin. The taste was pleasant -- sweet, with a little clove-like spiciness with a bit of bitter in the aftertaste. Good, but I wouldn't drink more than one in a sitting.

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

Poured a dark brown with a medium head. Left a little edge around the glass. Hops aroma that quickly went away to malt. Not much aroma. Somewhat sweet, malty and dry. I did not notice the alcohol. I will have another of these to make a full assessment. Not good, not bad. Drinkable but a little weak for a strong winter ale. Taste is like some Scottish ales I have had.

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Photo of BigRedN
3.23/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Background: Picked up at local store in display stack with other winter seasonal beers. Put together with other singles as a mixed 6-pack.

Apperance: Dark amber in color, can just see through the glass. Thin head that disappeared quickly. Lace around glass to the end.
Smell: Slightly fruity, herbal aroma, with some maltiness to it.
Taste: Slightly fruity, sweet and malty. A touch of hop bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, lightly carbonated, crisp.
Drinkability: OK, but not fully what I expected for a winter beer.

Final Thoughts: An alright beer, I won't be likely to purchase a whole 6-pack of this but may purchase another single bottle on a whim. Just not what I expected for a winter beer, expected a heartier more robust product.

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Photo of ADR
3.46/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Amber color, clear and tending toward brownish. Head is decent, it slightly pale, creamy in texture. Lacing is nice, complicated webbing down a pint glass. Aroma is heavily malty, scant hops, pear fruit and butterscotch are the main characters. Mouthfeel is medium, but the flavor is a littlle much -- lots of sugary sweetness and diacetyl re-inforced by the aroma. Unidimensional to me, front to back, a big aftertaste continues to underscore the dominant notes of the flavor profile. While not sticky, the beer is border line cloying.

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

Poured out a deep amber color and was very clear. The head on this beer never even had a chance and was gone in a blink of an eye. Light carbonation. Could be a bit flat. Slightly sweet malt aroma with a dry fruitiness. The flavor has some fruity malt and is light to medium bodied. There really isn’t anything special here and seems to lack gusto. Not bad and somewhat unique tasting. Finishes with a dry touch of bitterness. Not sure what to make of this one.

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K-9 Winter Ale from Flying Dog Brewery
3.33 out of 5 based on 805 ratings.
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