Endless Beer: Flying Dog Secret Stash Harvest Ale

ABV: 5.5%

Yes, kind of a mouthful. Flying Dog sent their most recent production of their secret stash: the Harvest Ale. For a limited time, Flying Dog is offering a “local brew” for the harvest. The beer is a wheat saison brewed with local hops and malts. Flying Dog held their first annual Mid-Atlantic Hop Selection at the brewery with hopes of exposing local breweries to the best hops of the mid-atlantic region. Typically, the Flying Dog brewmaster will take part in the Yakima Valley hop selection to pick the best hops offered. However, this brew is made with local cascade hops to create a bit of a kick paired with the spices of the saison yeast.

Picture sitting around a large kitchen table as the farmers come in from a day of bailing hay ready for a nice warm supper. What do you want to drink? You want something that is going to give you a nice relaxing feeling, with some spices in the mix – a farmhouse ale. Many know farmhouse ales as Saisons. Saison is the yeast strain that provides the spicy notes we’ve all known to love in the farmhouse ales. Anywho, enough of the boring (yet impressive that I know of course) stuff…on to the tasting:

Flying Dog Secret Stash Harvest Ale Flavor Profile

  • Appearance: Light copper color consistent with the color of a wheat beer
  • Aroma: Very light aroma of citrus and slight earthy spices of the Saison yeast
  • Taste: Surprisingly hoppy on the front end with the sweet wheat malts coming through. Something about it (possibly the Saison yeast…possibly the locally grown malts with the cascade hops) gives a taste reminiscent of straw or grass. Earthy spices come through from beginning to end, but don’t overtake any of the other flavors.
  • Mouthfeel: Another light aspect of the beer. Moutfheel is crisp and clean. Could be a little drier/crispier.
  • Overall: A nice variation of the farmhouse ale. This offers more of an earthy flavor and a pleasant amount of hops that don’t take over the flavor, but complement the selection of malts and yeast. I’d get a six pack of this easily to bring to Thanksgiving Dinner.

Overall ES Score: 3.5/5 suds  (Yes – we just added our own damn rating system. And YES, follow it as you would the letter of the law.)

Endless Pairings:

  • Entrees: Roasted Turkey or Cornish Hen with autumn squash and roasted red potatoes
  • Cheese: Aged Gruyere and Creamy Nocturne with crackers, grapes, and marinated olives
  • Dessert: Pumpkin loaf with walnuts, Maple Walnut Stout Cake
  • Cigars: Cohiba Black, Rocky Patel Edge Toro Maduro

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