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Flying Dog Kujo

January 18, 2013

Flying Dog to me is a pretty interesting brewery. And it’s not just that their origin involves mountaineering and getting drunk in a Muslim nation, but the location of their actual brewery. Originally, Flying Dog got their start in Aspen before moving to Denver. Then within the past five years they moved their whole operation to Maryland, which made me very happy as a student in Virginia and a young beer drinker in D.C.

They produce a lot of great beers, several of which they’re well known for. Perhaps one of their best known beers is their Gonzo Imperial Porter. While truly a most delicious beer, it’s a shame because the Gonzo can sometimes overshadow their other interesting brews. Such as the Kujo, a beautiful stout.

The Kujo pours that wonderful stout black from which no light is escaping, all topped by a pleasant fluffy brown head. What I found most surprising about the beer, especially given its complex flavor profile, was that the scent was very simple. All that was present was a very light scent of chocolate, alluring but not overpowering. Also surprising, it might have been caused by the nitro pour rather than the beer itself, was the fact that it had a very light body and was very smooth going down. Even before I was really tasting this beer, it was already great.

The first thing that hit my tong was a strong sweetness from a creamy chocolate flavor. This flavor was then touched upon by a mixture of licorice and sweet coffee (think something with condensed milk in it). The beer ends with a strong crisp finish, provided by a small collection of spicy hops. However, the finish isn’t just bitter hoppiness, it gets balanced out by the coffee and chocolate flavors. It ends up leaving the beer with a distinct ending while cleansing the palette instead of brutalizing it. Like I said at the beginning, the Gonzo’s great and no one should ever deny that but don’t let it distract you from brews like the Kujo.

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