A Flying Dog for the fast lane
Posted on 9/10/2011 (1106 days ago, 79 of 262 reviews)
8/10 Appearance | 9/10 Aroma | 8/10 Mouthfeel | 9/10 Flavor
Imperial IPAs are one of those special breeds of beer that demand your attention from beginning to end. Much like a high end sports car on the Autobahn after a good rain, the minute you lose focus with one is the minute your experience with it can become a disaster. However, if you are respectful and attentive, it can be one of the most enjoyable things you have ever had the pleasure to partake in. Speaking personally, I have been on both sides of the Imperial IPA fence, and take my word for it, you want to be on the respectful side. That being said, let's all fasten our bar stool belts, and take the Centennial Single Hop Imperial IPA from Flying Dog Brewing for a spin.
Upon pouring it, you know you're in for an IPA experience that is reserved only for the daring. The look alone is enough to get you excited. A golden honey brown coloration with a bright white and fluffy head just sit there taunting you. The smell of those Centennial hops just reach out of the glass at you. They are both floral and full of citrus punch. The grapefruit aromas that you have come to expect from a good IPA are there, along with some nice pine notes, and even a few hints of pepper. The hops are what this nose is all about. There is a brief glimpse of some caramel in the malt department, but again the hops pretty much smother it out as soon as it is detected. Other than that, the only other notable smell was the alcohol. The Centennial IPA comes in at 10% ABV, and you have no problem finding proof of it.
Flying Dog says right on the bottle that the Centennial hops are a triple threat, and they weren't kidding. Not only are they big in the aroma department, but they also shine with great flavors, and come through with a big hops bite of bitterness as well. If the nose didn't convince you that this one is a true Imperial IPA, the first taste will. Your tongue is almost overwhelmed as it has to take on the citrus punch from the big grapefruit flavor, while at the same time being blasted with hops bites galore. It really takes some concentrating to get past the initial onslaught, but once you do, you can pick out some light peach and mango notes, and even some of the pepper that was detected earlier. The malt is really muted, but if you look really hard you can taste it in a very faint caramel layer. The alcohol does make itself known, but more so in flavor rather than burn. This could simply be due to the hops bite being continual from start to finish. In any event, this one is quite the palate tester.
Flying Dog is known for making exceptional brews, and the Centennial Single Hop Imperial IPA is yet another example of their excellence. For the veteran drinkers out there, and more specifically the hop-heads, this one should be added to your list of ''must haves'' immediately. It is big, bold, and delicious. Now as much as it is a ''must have'' for the more experienced drinkers, the novices should steer completely clear of it. This beer is a palate wrecker as far as you are concerned. Your taste buds are not trained to take on this flavor bomb. You need to be far removed from your learner beer days before you take this one for a spin. So be patient and keep to the right. Leave this one for us fast lane drinkers.