What’s in a name? Perhaps it’s an eye-catching title that makes that bottle of beer jump off the shelf at you, or maybe it’s something as which you refer to your ex. Yes, I said it, but you were already thinking it. In this case, however, we’re going to keep on the sudsy side and away from your broken relationship with this review of Raging Bitch by Maryland’s Flying Dog Brewery. Raging Bitch is an outstanding beer, being a well-conceived marriage between two of the most popular styles of brewing – the Belgian ale and the India Pale Ale (IPA).
Raging Bitch strikes a brilliant balance between these two styles, carrying the expected elements of both and still maintaining a complexity that belies the norm. The beer pours a dark orange color, and its considerable carbonation level leaves a continuous, albeit thin, head on top. I’ve made it no secret on “The Beer List” about how little I care about how much of a head is left on a beer after it is poured, but the long-lasting topcoat on Raging Bitch is noteworthy because it’s a good sign that the beer won’t quickly go flat.
The aroma released upon the pour is of tropical fruit, some malt, and a subtle hoppiness, all barely hinting at the strength that lies beneath. The flavor profile here is expansive – a considerable hoppiness expected from any IPA, the yeast and bready notes that are typical of Belgian ales, a bit of spice, and the fruity character that occurs often in both styles. According to the page for Raging Bitch on Flying Dog’s website, the beer is brewed with a caramel malt, which adds a noticeable sweetness, a trio of hops including Warrior, Columbus and Amarillo, and a yeast that goes by the name “El Diablo,” which is certainly fitting with the beer’s moniker.
If the name didn’t give anything away, this beer is nothing to take lightly. With an 8.3% alcohol-by-volume level, Raging Bitch was appropriately dubbed. Not necessarily “boozy,” but you can taste the alcohol. Available all year long, Raging Bitch is definitely a beer to find, one to explore, and one to respect. Its smell, taste and composure are all wild, varied and exciting, and that makes for one explosively good brew. Overall, there is a an honorable balance, but Raging Bitch may lean a bit more towards the IPA side than that of the Belgian ale. Either way, that’s left to interpretation and this beer is a knockout. Follow the link on Raging Bitch’s page above to find it near you! Cheers!
P.S. – I’m sorry for what I said about your ex. I’m sure she was lovely.