Friday, October 8, 2010

Flying Dog Kerberos Tripel Review

Brewery: Flying Dog Brewery | Beer: Kerberos Tripel
Style: Tripel | ABV: 8.5% | IBUs: 27
Serving Method: 12 oz. bottle poured into tulip glass

Flying Dog Kerberos TripelWhile there have been a few different Flying Dog beers here on Pintlog, I have yet to review one from their Canis Major series of big beers. We're starting the series off today with Kerberos, a Tripel with a mean bite.

Believe it or not, but this is actually the first Tripel that's made it on top PintLog, meaning we have to stop for a quick description of the style. One of the traditional Trappist style, the Tripel is stronger than Enkel (now generally known as "Blond") and Dubbel, but a little weaker than the Quadrupel.

Tripels are a little darker than a Strong Golden Ale with a fuller and maltier body to match. They typically have lots of peppery phenols, citrusy esters, sweet malt, and spicy hops. They're strong in alcohol content, but usually have a sneaky masked punch you have to watch out for.

This particular Tripel is named for the hound that guards the gates of Hades in Greek mythology and seems to slot right into the middle of the IBU and ABV range for Tripels. As for ingredients, the backbone is built from Pilsener and Aromatic malts and it's hopped with Golding and Saaz hops. It's bottle conditioned for authenticity, so this dog is still kicking when you bring it home.

Flying Dog are brief with their notes, noting only that it has a "dark golden color and a sweet flavor with a dry and spicy finish." Let's see if the beer speaks for itself.

Appearance: A slightly hazy golden-amber body with less than a finger of off-white head that burns out rapidly and leaves no lacing.

Aroma: A nicely complex combination of fruit (most notably orange), spices (clove and coriander), yeast, and some bare whiffs of alcohol. It certainly smells like a Tripel, that's for sure.

Taste: A mix similar to the nose: apple, orange, pepper, and yeast all over a mild malt backbone. Alcohol is more noticeable than in the nose, but still far from brash. The finish is peppery and citrusy.

Mouthfeel: A medium body with moderate carbonation and a drying finish. At times you can detect some slickness and mild burn from the alcohol.

Drinkability: Rather easily drinkable, but the alcohol content will slow you down eventually.

Verdict: Kerberos is a tasty brew, but falls short of brilliant. Certainly not a bad showing for an American brewery without a tradition of brewing Belgian style beers.

Grade: B

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