The second leg of Friday’s beer run, once again, was pointed to the real estate of the Four Seasons beer store. And once again, I was pleasantly surprised at the new selections of beer which took up space in random spots across the shelf. Stuff I never heard of. Right off the bat, I saw four different brews that I wanted to try and share in text.
I went down the length of the shelf and stopped periodically to check with the RateBeer app on the iPod. Nothing of note. Finally, back at the beginning, I settled in to looking at some new entries in the Flying Dog section.
Bingo! There was a Flying Dog beer that I heard about and heavily coveted. It was right up my alley. The beer in question was Kerberos Tripel. All other new beers be damned, this was the one. Alas, the beer only came in a 4-pack, but a quick check of the label settled my mind with an ABV rating of 8.5%. At ten bucks for the quartet, I acquiesced and grabbed it without batting an eyelash.
Saturday broke with warm, 75° weather and afforded me an opportunity to purge the patio of the piles of decomposed leaves, an old radiator, and other forgotten surprises. A shovel, rake, garden hose and patience, and a couple of large trash bags got the job done while in t-shirt and jeans.
The night’s intended brew review was somewhat stifled by #1 son spending the weekend with the old man and #2 batchin’ it as well. His wife and son were spending time at the Dells in Wisconsin. After pizza and chit-chat, the three of us retired to the Manly Garage with a fresh supply of newly purchased brewskis.
To be perfectly honest, this review, however honest and pure as I intended it be, was interrupted at numerous times with stories and tales and memories. The two of my sons and I, in the Manly Garage, all drinking beer. Together. At the same time. Simultaneously. Some Hacker-Pschorr, Sam Adams Imperial stout and my own Flying Dog Kerberos Tripel. It was a time of bonding. A great time to be a Dad.
As we settled into our respective positions, I grabbed the first bottle of Kerberos and popped the cap. No twist-off on this one. The conversations started and continued throughout this ordeal while I dipped in and out to type up this review.
The beer poured with a cloudy finish and a nice orange tint. The head was almost nonexistent, but the carbonation was pretty vigorous with a mixture of different sized bubbles. The aroma conducted a nice light malty scent to the nares and I wondered if I could surmise what this beer would taste like based on sight and smell.
The first sip was intense. There was a sweetness at the front and a huge middle light malt taste with a surprise at the end. Even my throat realized that this was special company. The ensuing sips revealed that Belgian characteristic taste that sets the Belgians apart from other brewers.
There was a very slight tartness or sourness along the sides but that blended in nicely with the overall taste. The overall ingredients left a little bit of a cack in the back of the throat. The up front sweetness remained taunting as the middle malts played tuba all along the middle of each sip.
Halfway through the first glass I realized why I liked this style of beer. I savored each sip while trying to identify the individual ingredients. I no longer cared that I was drinking beer out a vessel referred to as a chalice. Drinking this beer out of a used juice box. would be just as tasty. Thoughts of sophistication drifted into my head. I felt honored in my lowly stature to be drinking this regal beverage. I now understand the IPA fanatics.
Not necessarily a “big beer” by whatever definition, the taste itself would put this beer into a class all its own. The absolute Belgi-anity of this beer is reason enough to choose this one over most other tripels or dubbels that populate the craft beer shelves. Don’t let the 4-pack nature of this choice put you off. The 8.5% ABV and the extraordinary taste of this beer is reason enough to choose Kerberos over the others.
I highly recommend that you dive into the wonderful world of the Belgian tripel style of beer and Kerberos could highly qualify as the quintessential tripel. Keep an eyeball peeled for it. Just look for the bizarre three-headed dog picture designed by Ralph Steadman. And have that rolled up sawbuck ready. You will not regret the purchase.
The SixPackTech ratings for Flying Dog Kerberos Tripel are:
Taste: A+ > A glimpse of heaven through translucent glass.
Smoothness: A > Freshly sanded Belgian mahogany (if there is such a thing.)
Drinkability: B > The four of them will make you happy from top to bottom.
Bang for the buck: B > Think of it as an investment in taste.
Wife’s all-encompassing opinion: (Away again tending to Mother.)
Flying Dog Brewery