This is a bit of an odd beer review for me for a couple of reasons. One, I had this beer yesterday so its by memory (and my memory aint so good sometimes!) and two, this is my first Flying Dog beer.
Doing a little after-action research, I’ve found that the Flying Dog In-Heat Wheat is a 4.75ABV German-style Hefeweizen. This beer has recently won bronze and silver medals at the 2003 and 2006 Great American Beer Festival for said German-style Hefeweizen. OK, so this beer has some street cred!
I also admit to having the In-Heat Wheat with a burger, outdoors, and among the wafting aroma of the neighbor’s citronella candles and my deet-infused mosquito spray! Such an unsterile tasting environment! It worked for me!
The Flying Dog In-Heat Wheat created a smallish foamy white head as one might expect from a wheat beer, but it was on the small side. The beer was somewhat hazy – I’m almost certain it’s unfiltered as the straw colored beer was not clear. (that rhymed!) There was some smell of spices, and according to the Flying Dog website, they have a proprietary yeast (mmmm proprietary yeast) that gives you a flavor of banana and clove. OK. I’m not sure I got that when I drank it, but thinking back, I could definitely see there being some clove in the taste and smell, banana not so much, I got more of a lemon or citrus thing from it. Also, how does that compare to open-source yeast? (Get it?)
The cloves and banana thing is apparently a common characteristic for Hefeweizen beers, or at certainly was with the recently reviewed Brooklyn Brewery Hefeweizen which had similar flavors and smells. So far, I’m liking these domestic hefes!
I’ll also say I had this one cold. Like right out of the fridge cold. Usually I let my beer breathe in the glass for a few minutes, but not this one! Down the hatch! I remember thinking it tasted a lot like Hoegaarten, but now that I’ve also had the Brooklyn Brewery version, I’m seeing the difference between Belgian Whites and hefeweizens. The In Heat Wheat is maybe a little more ‘in your face’ and a little less refined, but if you like Hoegaarten, I think you’ll like the Flying Dog In-Heat Wheat!
So, there ya go! Not a really great review I know, but they all can’t be masterpieces! (yeah right) I did like the Flying Dog Hefeweizen, and I thought it was perfect to accompany me and my mosquito friends over a burger out on patio on a warm Summer night!