Flying Dog Brewery and SmokeBeerMinistry go waaaaay back. All the way back to the first SmokeBeerMinistry tasting ever. Dog Schwarz was a smoked double lager that wowed the congregation almost a decade ago, and has since been fresh in the minds of ministers in attendance on that first day. And on this day (spring 2018), more firsts. This is the first review to be held at The Bistro, and this is the first communal smokebeer tasting held in Illinois. So it seems fitting to begin laying the groundwork for ordaining new ministers. Mr. Ben, co-proprietor of The Bistro (Champaign, IL) may have had first day jitters when he assigned extremely high scores in categories across the board. Fortunately, we run a quasi-democratic rare beer drinking cult, that regulates such outbursts by closing the garage door and switching Mr. Ben to light beer (without sedatives), and also by changing his scores.
The Flying Dog beer we reviewed on this brisk spring night, Sweet & Smoky Stout, came off as a smooth, moderately smoky, moderately malty, pleasant beer. Sweet & Smoky Stout is a great beer for a company that wants to produce a good smokebeer for the masses, which I presume is the point behind offering a small quantity of a fringe style of beer before sinking ones teeth into full scale coast to coast production. Seemingly modest with ingredients, keeping the abv up, and encouraging pairing it with a bowl of chili is the right way to prime the audience. One funny thing about this beer is that no one mentioned the word sweet when describing it. Adding sweetness will help. Adding Mr. Ben to The Ministry… it remains to be seen.
|Beer Name||Sweet & Smoky Stout|
|Brewer’s Description||With its blend of sweet and oatmeal stout profiles and touch of smoky complexity, get down with this guy and your favorite game day chili.|
|Brewery Location||Fredrick, MD|
|Alcohol content by volume||7.1%|
|IBU (International Bitterness Units)||45|
|Beer opacity rate 1 – 7 (light – dark)||4|
|Smell smoke? 1 – 7 (No – George Burns)||5|
|Smokepower taste: 1 – 7 Smokestacks||4.5|
|Sausage detection? Y or N||Y… Barely|
|Beer thickness 1-7 (water – used motor oil)||4|
|Overall Happiness: 1 – 7 (sad – happy)||5|
They got a good website too: