Cookies and…Beer? Flying Dog Holiday Collection

image1 (3)What’s the best drink to have with cookies? BEER. Why not, people? The holidays are coming; we’re celebrating getting fat and doing it with our families and friends. To support our mission, Flying Dog created The Holiday Collection: Four Otterbein’s Cookie Inspired Craft Beers.  While I was hoping that the kit would come with Berger Cookies, the Otterbein’s cookies did not disappoint.  But what about having them with beer? Well, luckily I’m here to do the hard work of tasting and drinking each beer and cookie. After our DIY beer pairing, we continued on with dessert, complements of Flying Dog. We judged the beers, the cookies, and then the pairing. Here we go!

Imperial Hefeweizen with Sugar Cookies

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The Beer

7.8% ABV

Appearance: Hazy Orange color

Aroma: Banana comes through at the front, followed by a faint caramel sweetness

Taste: We all got a banana taste with a little bit of citrus, then the sweet malts come through that match the profile of a typical hefewizen. Light and refreshing

Mouthfeel: Clean, even a little crisp

Overall: The banana taste is definitely there, but it is well balanced with the hops chosen and the sweetness of the malts. It’s a light, refreshing brew that can be drank with dinner, as a snack, or even for dessert.

ES Rating: 3.75/5 Suds

The Cookie

The Otterbein’s cookies are crispy cookies. I like chewier cookies overall, but they are full of flavor. The sugar cookies were sweet and buttery; having two was satisfying enough. I think this was my favorite cookie – it practically melts in your mouth.

The Pairing

Very well balanced. The beer and the cookie complement each other well; we found that the sugar cookie really completes the drink and is very satisfying. The beer does not overpower the cookie, nor does the cookie take over the beer. This was our favorite pairing.

Roasted Peanut Brown Ale with Chocolate Chip Cookies

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The Beer

5% ABV

Appearance: Dark copper

Aroma: Smells like peanuts from the fair! Behind the roasted peanut smell is slight roasted coffee smell.

Taste: Definite sweet toast flavor followed by coffee. Slight nutty flavor complemented by the aroma of roasted peanuts.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth finish with slight aftertaste that leaves a craving for more.

Overall: A nice brown ale. Brown ales are often found to be dull and boring, but the Roasted Peanut Brown Ale offers a more complicated flavor profile that goes well together. The peanut aroma adds to the smooth and roasted coffee taste of the brew, making for a nice drink.

ES Rating: 4/5 Suds

The Cookie

Another good cookie. When I have a chocolate chip cookie, I’m looking for a nice and buttery dough with ample amounts of chocolate chips – there should be no bite without a chocolate chip, but not so much that all you are tasting is chocolate. Otterbein’s makes a good crispy chocolate chip cookie.

The Pairing

This was our second favorite pairing. The aroma and flavor of the beer went well with the chocolate chip cookie.

Oatmeal Raisin Stout with Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

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The Beer

6.6% ABV

Appearance: Solid Black

Aroma: Definite notes of coffee and cinnamon throughout

Taste: Coffee flavor hits first and carries through the sip, followed by a roasted flavor and some raisin (which comes from the Special B specialty malts and the raisins included in the brewing process).

Mouthfeel: Thicker, creamy beer but also very smooth – lingers.

Overall: This is a good oatmeal stout that I would purchase for the Christmas season. A good after dinner beer or a nice beer for a cold winter day or night. A solid oatmeal stout, but the special B malts and the raisin add a definite fruity and raisin flavor that make for a good Christmas brew. This was my favorite beer of the tasting

ES Rating: 4.25/5 Suds

The Cookie

Very good oatmeal raisin cookie, but I think oatmeal cookies should be soft. I had a little bit of a problem with a crispy oatmeal raisin cookie. But in all fairness, the chewy texture of the raisins did give a bit of a balance to the crispy texture of a cookie. While it wasn’t my favorite cookie, it was still tasty.

The Pairing

Very nice pairing and I really like the concept of making an oatmeal raisin beer and cookie. It isn’t often that you can line up a beer and a food that have the same namesake. My friend said that after drinking the beer with the cookie, he realized that he’d enjoy this beer just as much as having a coffee with the cookie.

Oak-Aged Hazelnut Scotch Ale with Ginger Cookies

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The Beer

7.4% ABV

Appearance: Dark walnut color

Aroma: Hazelnut scent comes through with subtle notes of vanilla and spice

Taste: Sweet drink with hazelnut coming first and staying throughout, then the sweetness of the scotch ale comes through that complements the hazelnut with a complicated vanilla/spice flavor. I got a little bit of the oak, but hazelnut is the front runner here.

Mouthfeel: Creamy drink but it finishes very crisp and dry.

Overall:  This is a very interesting scotch ale. I like the complexity of the beer and I think it makes for a very good Christmas Ale.

ES Rating: 3.75/5 Suds

The Cookie

The cookie was a good ginger cookie, but nothing stood out about it over any others that I’ve had.

The Pairing

This pairing was the most reminiscent of Christmas. The ginger cookie along with the hazelnut flavor of the beer paired very well given the holiday thing.

Final Thoughts

This pairing was one of the most fun pairings I’ve done. None of the beers were way off in complementing the cookie, or were the cookies off in complementing the beers. It is evident that a lot of time and thought was put into the flavors of the beers so that they go well with the cookies. We had a lot of fun with this.

Fiance, who usually likes wine, was skeptical of having BEER with cookies. Weird isn’t it? Doesn’t everyone like beer and cookies? Anyway, she was pleasantly surprised with how well the beer and cookies went together. In considering gifts for this winter’s season, the Flying Dog Holiday Collection and some Otterbein’s cookies would be a great gift set.

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