International Arms Race
Flying Dog Brewery

International Arms RaceInternational Arms Race
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Style:
Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale
ABV:
7.5%
Score:
75
Avg:
3.18 | pDev: 22.96%
Reviews:
33
Ratings:
106
From:
Flying Dog Brewery
 
Maryland, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  6
Gots
  11
SCORE
75
Okay
International Arms RaceInternational Arms Race
Notes:
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Reviews: 33 | Ratings: 106
Reviews by SPRichard:
Photo of SPRichard
3.25/5  rDev +2.2%

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.2/5  rDev +0.6%

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #70 (November 2012):

Compared to BrewDog's version, this is a much less intricate and flavorful beer. As part of the challenge was to create an IPA-like experience using herbs and berries as bitterness, we would have loved to see more use of the core ingredients as there's no real recreation of hop bitterness going on here.

STYLE: Gruit
ABV: 7.5%
AVAILABILITY: Limited

LOOK: Hazy amber, thin, bubbly, dissipating lace

SMELL: Banana, spice, juniper

TASTE: Medium bodied, sweet, caramel, fruity, banana, esters, light juniper and mint, grainy finish

 587 characters

Photo of scraff
1.5/5  rDev -52.8%

Photo of bark
3.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The colour is gold with a tint of orange (15 EBC), the liquid is clear. The white foam disappears quickly leaving no traces on glas or liquid.

The smell is a bit spicy, but fresh cut wood dominates: Pine, oak and eucalyptus. Semi-sweet flowery flavours. Hints of orange peels and bay leaves.

Spices, some of them bitter, in the taste. Bay leaves reminds me of cooked meat dishes. Some orange peels and a pleasant bitterness. It is quite odd, but it is pretty close to a IPA experience. Light body. The aftertaste is somewhat perfumed with bay leaves, nutmeg and a touch of coriander. The finish is spicy and a bit dry with just a slight hint of mint.

The carbonation is medium strong with lots of small bubbles; the liquid is semi-smooth and a bit harsh.

I’m a bit surprised, in fact I kind of liked this beer. It is way better (and closer to an IPA) than the BrewDog version.

 884 characters

Photo of Kirk
1/5  rDev -68.6%

Photo of MaltRoomAssoc
4/5  rDev +25.8%

Photo of Redteketed
2.56/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Amber colored, cloudy, with a small head that quickly diminish.
The smell has lots of herbs and some orange. The herbs are familiar, but I can’t specify them.
The taste bring some grapefruit tones en again lots of herbs.
The mouth feel is a bit dry, quiet sparkling, the body is light, especially for a 7,5 % abv, not much of and aftertaste.
Overall: Not my cup of tea, but a daring experiment. By the way, didn’t like the Brewdog version either.

 450 characters

Photo of ROGUE16
3/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of bmwats
3.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of AnalogReigns
4.33/5  rDev +36.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A light colored beer, about that of a Bass ale. Aroma of cinnamon and perhaps juniper. Very nice tasting, subtle spicing--like all the better Christmas beers lately. While this isn't technically a Christmas or Winter beer, it should be judged as one--as it certainly isn't an IPA.

The Gruit leaves a lingering yet clean finish--and one can tell--if you think about it-- that there are no hops--even though it is decently bitter. If it were a hopped beer, it would probably rate 30 IBUs or lower...which to me, is quite pleasant for a Scots Ale, and appropriate for that style. This could be labeled a Scots-Christmas Ale, and no one would notice that it isn't very hoppy (but to me, that's a good thing!).

The brewers showed their skill by making a malty tasting beer--only the color of a pale ale, too--CLASSY!

I think this is an excellent beer--highly experimental, and very much a success...as it truly is delicious, especially on a cold winter night.

 959 characters

Photo of sneaks2210
2.75/5  rDev -13.5%

Photo of orangedive
3.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - burgundy, 80% opaque, very little head. Looks like i want to drink it, which I'm about to.

S - lots of spice...hard to distinguish between spices. Smells a lot like an octoberfest or pumpkin beer. Actually smells like the spice will be overwhelming rather than complementary. Faint hints of hazelnut I believe, which seems strange but not in a bad way.

T - reminds me of a barely wine with spices added. It's good but not spectacular. It feels like the spices were added to be different but not necessarily to make a better beer. For a beer with 7.5% abv, they did a nice job masking the alcohol. It is not overly present which is good.

M - the mouthfeel is good. Smooth and little chewy. Not thin. Very nice.

O - this isn't one of my favorites (especially from Flying Dog). It almost feels a little too gimmicky. But overall, it is a decent beer.

 857 characters

Photo of Jenray
2/5  rDev -37.1%

Photo of bacher468
3.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of imscotty
3.3/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle poured into a wine glass

A: Nice golden-brown color, well carbonated, strong head that lasted a while, some lacing.

S: Citrus, floral and herbs. Quit aromatic like a potpourri

T: Tastes like it smells, strong citrus and herbs flavor. Spicy. Nicely bitter aftertaste. Something tastes a little soapy to me, is that Cilantro?

M: The carbonation is a little course and the beer feels a little thin. Still, oily and resiny.

O: An interesting zero IBU beer and my first gruit. I would like to try more of this style to compare. This is not a beer I would seek out, but also not a beer I would refuse. I gained an appreciation for what hops mean to beer (clearly a lot), but I appreciated the layers of complexity that bittering herbs can bring to the table. Hops and spice would work better in concert.

 810 characters

Photo of Griffith
3.5/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of diddly
3.74/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Picked this one up because "0-IBU IPA" really catches the eye.

Deep amber/gold in color with a thin, white head, which doesn't stay long. No lacing to mention. Significant amount of flotsam and jetsam suspended in the beer at first, then settling to the bottom.

Smells of sweet fruits. Maybe a little bit of orange, but seems to be leaned towards more exotic stuff.

The flavor really surprised me; I didn't see how a 0-IBU IPA could be a thing, but it's surprisingly close. Obviously there's no hop-wallop, but there is a similar hit from the spices involved. After the initial flavor, though, it becomes clear that the culprit is spices, and the aftertaste is clearly a bit different. Still good, and certainly not a common flavor.

Mouthfeel is light on carbonation, which I attribute to the style, and a bit slick; definitely on the lighter side.

Overall, I probably wouldn't buy this again, although if it were brewed again I would try that version. A very interesting experiment, and glad I was able to try it.

 1,062 characters

Photo of huysmans
3.5/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of nmann08
3.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of beerthulhu
3.31/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

- Collabration with Brewdog.

A: Dense cadmium orange shows a heavy dose of protein haze. A khaki 1 inch head is short on the hold, offering no visual lace appeal. A layer of sediment collects on the bottom of the vessel, a turn off to some, but i like the extra junk in the glass.

S: Aroma was orange-yeasty. short and sweet but light.

T: Blood orange-yeasty flavor, spices of citronella, grains of paradise, with some honey. Some light cardamon, and ginger, fresh spruce and cinnamon. Sweet, honey ginger laced malting with a peppery leave. Strange, yet a bit intriquing, yeasty and bready.

M: Oily mouthful, malty, sweet and spicy.

O: Overall a strange yet intriquing flavor, spicy, sweet, definitly worthy a single try to figure out the layers of spiciness for oneself. hard to describe.

 800 characters

Photo of hdofu
3.4/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is my 411 review on this site, fitting it would be such a weird brew.
Usually when I look at IPAs, I'm going for higher ibu numbers, still the idea of trying an ipa with a no ibu number was irresistible in a sort of taste sadistic manner. Smell is kind of like some kind of fruit punch. Taste is medicinal , almost earthy with alot of spices. Color is sort of red. The big mystery of this is how they can call it an ipa at all, as it isn't pale, it isn't very hoppy. its has a finish almost like breakfast grapefruit. An interesting attempt but not quite my cup of tea, er brew of beer.

 591 characters

Photo of JAHMUR
2.75/5  rDev -13.5%

Photo of beer2day
3.89/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very hazy orange gold pour with 1/2 finger medium cream head. Not retention and no lace. Significant particulate matter suspended in the glass.

Initial nose is orange peel, and quite strong. Later in the glass I'm getting a lot of white pepper. Strong herb mix, so much so that it is difficult to tell what exactly is there. Smells a bit like some kitchen experiments I did as a kid, mixing herbs together to see what aroma combinations could be formed. Very earthy.

Flavor is very much the white pepper and orange zest. There is a light grapefruit presence and even a touch of mango - but both of these are achieved through an herbal balance. Interesting and not the least off-putting to my palate.

Feel is slightly chewy, a bit thicker than expected. Not syrupy at all. I think all those floaters add to the feel.

Overall, glad I tried it. Not an everyday drinker, but quite a nice experiment.

 899 characters

Photo of Smakawhat
3.51/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from the bottle into a Dogfish Head Ale glass.

A dull orange amber, a bit murky and a little brown also for the body. Makes a faint fleeting one finger tan head, but settles to a thin collar. Collar seems to have some staying power, but the top looks a bit filmy. Can't see much carbonation rising from this.

Nose is floral and full of honeysuckle sensations. Extremely spicy, sort of like cinnamon in a way, with lots hot dry powder burn. Quite a nice smelling brew actually.

Palate though just doesn't bring much depth. Brown spice rush of cinnamon, and nutmeg, but extremely fleeting, and stuck with a very dry and bitter feeling in the mid palate. Finishes wet but with no flavor on the aftertaste. Honey richness hinted on the nose is really missing.

Overall it's drinkable, and certainly doesn't feel boozy for 7.5, but this isn't one of the better Gruits I think I've had.

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International Arms Race from Flying Dog Brewery
Beer rating: 75 out of 100 with 106 ratings