IPA + Chocolate + Pumpkin

I can be flexible at times. Case in point pumpkin beer. If you are a seasonal creeper, I ain’t got time for you. If it is after September 15th (preferably later) and you aren’t just doing some pie spice seasonal, then I will listen.

Toss in a high quality chocolate bar version of the beer and send me both and I will perk my ears up. Salazon Chocolate teamed with Flying Dog Brewery to do just that.

Here is the review: let’s start with the chocolate. Damn this has a lot going on. There is a rich dark chocolate base, salt kicks in as you as does a green hop bitterness that I had a hard time separating from the chocolate. But the subtle shades of each do show when you focus on it. I can’t pick up pumpkin notes but that is because the one-two bitter punch is just too strong. The beer has no pumpkin problem. I get more gourd than pie spice from the dark amber Maryland brew and it surprisingly works with the restrained hops that are used. The balance is quite well done. It’s not just a pumpkin ale with some hops added in.

I came in thinking that ate least the chocolate would be good but the beer is excellent. I don’t know if I would recommend sampling both together because the dark chocolate is just too bitter and rich. My palate needed water before I could fully enjoy the beer. Which I did.

Holiday Brewery Tour – Figs # 3

To end our month of fig related beers.  What with the recently completed holiday that has a song about figgy pudding, which I don’t think has figs in it,* we head out to a daring brewing first then one with a Steadman-esque approach to beer…

Shorts Brewing – Fig Lebowski

“Fig Lebowski is a big bodied Winter Warmer brewed with figs, honey, cinnamon, and orange zest.  With a coffee color and a creamy tan lace, sweet scents of plum and molasses rise from this alluring ale.  As rich as a liqueur, flavors of dark brown sugar, honey and figs leave a layering of sweetness across the palate with a hint of spice.”

photo from GardeningKnowHow.com
photo from GardeningKnowHow.com

Flying Dog – Fig & Fennel

“Malt beverage brewed with figs, fennel and natural flavors. Pairs with oatmeal raisin cookies. Creamy licorice and brown fruit are in perfect harmony with oats, raisins and cinnamon. No pudding required.”


*According to Wikipedia, figs are one way to make a traditional Figgy Pudding.

Holiday Ale # 21 – Naughty

We have had a Nice lager and now a Naughty Belgian Dark from Flying Dog. The tagline for the beer seems bent on earning that moniker.

“Brewed with habanero peppers and orange peel, Naughty packs heat and subtle citrus sweetness. Aunt Judy’s fruitcake will never taste the same.”