I was never a big fan of Flying Dog Brewery's beers when they were in Colorado, and I became even less of a fan after they picked up and moved to Maryland in 2008.
But my friend Dave recently forced me to imbibe a bottle of Raging Bitch Belgian-style IPA, which the brewery released late last year to celebrate its twentieth anniversary, and wow.
A truly unusual beer, Raging Bitch pours a rich, copper color and hits the taste buds with both a powerful dry hoppiness and a sweet, citrusy flavor.
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It is confusing and exhilarating at the same time. The IPA-style bitterness comes from American hops, which are grafted onto Belgian yeasts, according to Flying Dog, giving this style its unusual characteristics. It's a mix of two awesome beer styles.
A higher alcohol content - it's 8.3 percent alcohol by volume - give the beer a sweetness that is characteristic of some Belgian beers as well.
"Bitches come in a variety of forms, but there's never been something as sassy as Flying Dog's Raging Bitch Belgian IPA," the company says. "An American IPA augmented with Belgian yeast, our 20th anniversary beer jumps out of the glass and nips at your taste buds with its delicate hop bitterness. At 8.3% ABV, this bitch is dangerously drinkable."
I'm not sure what all of that means exactly, but the beer is awesome.