One of my biggest literary influences is Hunter S. Thompson. Progenitor of Gonzo journalism, unapologetic gun nut, and political raconteur, Doctor Thompson was a true American original. Flying Dog Brewery, originally of Aspen, CO, but now located in Frederick, MD, was started by Thompson’s friend and neighbor George Stranahan, and has distinguished itself as a brewer of Adult Beverages that exemplify a particularly Gonzo attitude. Plus, Thompson’s illustrator, British cartoonist Ralph Steadman, does their labels. Tonight, I’m trying a Flying Dog Double Dog Double Pale Ale, which even quotes Thompson on its label: “Good people drink good beer.” Double Dog promises “to finish you off with a well-balanced, rich and full body, complete with a hint of sweetness.” You don’t need to double dog dare me to see how this one stacks up…

Double Dog pours a dark, robust orange with a thick, foamy white head like a whipped dessert topping. There’s nothing pale about this ale. Great retention, with ghostly tendrils of lacing. Boozy on the nose–not unexpected with an 11.53% ABV–with sweet malt and citrus hops. Complex on the tongue: malt sugar, bitter piney hops, burnt caramel, and warm alcohol. Bitter and sweet dominate the experience, with a heavy mouthfeel and slight carbonation. Dry finish, hints of grapefruit, with long-lingering bitterness. Unique, with a lot of attitude and plenty of personality. Dangerously drinkable.

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