Dallas has few diversions other than eating, drinking and shopping.....and shopping does not interest us.
So we spend our time hopping from restaurant to restaurant and to every pub that we can find in search of the perfect meal and the perfect beer.

We randomly review restaurants and bars, dishes and beers at whim and give our brutally honest opinions of our findings. And while we concentrate on Dallas, we travel far and wide to sample cuisine from all regions of the country and beyond.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Beer Review - Flying Saucer Addison's 15th Anniversary

The Flying Saucer in Addison

I love beer.  I love beer festivals.  I love any occasion where I can taste lots of different beers that I have never tried.  Thus, I loved the 15th anniversary celebration at the Flying Saucer in Addison.  10 different "very rare" beers were tapped at the rate of 2 per hour and since most of them were high octane beers I had to be judicious in which I tried.  So here are my musings, as best as I recall.

Avery Brewing Company Mephistopheles Stout - 16.8% - ABV
16.8%?  Jesus, why don't they just start with a glass of lighter fluid?  The Avery website describes the brew as a "bouquet of vine-ripened grapes, anise and chocolate covered cherries with flavors of rum-soaked caramelized dark fruits and a double espresso finish".  I am afraid that I was unable to detect those complex flavors as I spent 3 minutes gasping and coughing after my first sip  You know what I tasted?  I tasted and alcohol.  I have had coffee liquors that burned less than this stout.  Complex?  You are darned right, black, thick, rich and very complex, and potent, perhaps a bit too much for all but the most discerning palate.  Interesting note, there was also a fine glaze left on the glass after it was finished that really looked as if you had filled it with motor oil. 

Stone Brewing Company Vertical Epic Ale - 9.5% ABV
Stone is known for their 'in your face" beers that take hold of you taste buds and make you their bitch, but this one was the biggest and most pleasant surprise of the day.  I really did not know what to expect from what is described as a "Belgian Pale Ale" brewed using pale malt and triticale (a cross of wheat and rye) with chamomile and German Perle hops added.  Saisonish?  Interesting.  But then, they add muscat, gewurztraminer and sauvignon blanc grape juices for the second fermentation.  "Do what now?  They put grape juice in mah beer?  What the hell are they trying to do, make another Purple Haze crap beer like those Abita fellers"?  No Bubba, just read along and try not to move your lips.  Vertical Epic pours a hazy orange color and has a cream colored head that leaves very little lacing and yes, you can smell the grapes, but also a citrusy background.  It is very light and very clean with a smooth, cloying texture that would make it dandy for food pairings.  It tastes kind of sour, kind of yeasty and kind of fruity with the hop finish you expect from a Stone product and very little evidence of the alcohol that you would normally get from a beer with this high of an ABV.  All in all it is really, really complex and way more interesting than I anticipated.  Kudos to the Stone guys for this one.

Real Ale Brewing Company 14th Anniversary Ale - 8.5% ABV
Texas breweries are crippled by the archaic beer laws that force all breweries to go through a distributor to get their beer to market.  This forces them to produce beers that are highly palatable to a rather unsophisticated clientele.  It would not be in their best interest for them to produce a beer that most of the beer drinkers in Texas would not appreciate, right?  Thankfully, no.  Real Ale in Blanco Texas has produced an American Strong Ale that can compete in any market, even those used to complex ales.  The ale is brewed with 2 pounds of hops per barrel and then dry hopped using Sincoe hops (which have a slightly pineapple essence) to give it a 75 IBU rating.  Not a lot of hops by west coast standards but considerably more than the typical Texas brew.  It pours cloudy, goldenish with a tan head.  Nice floral nose and moderate carbonnation.  Citrus, pine and pineapple tastes are all there and well balanced with the malts.  Very drinkable and very pleasant.  Keep it up Real Ale and I will just have to drink more of your offerings, darn it.

Brooklyn Brewery Monster Ale - 10.8% ABV
This English Style Barleywine was the preferred drink of the English aristocracy and the American elite in the earliest days of the settlement of the Americas.  Brooklyn uses the mashes from 3 British malts along with 3 American hops to create a very traditional, very drinkable ale.  The clear, rusty-red brew smelled  like a typical ale with the citrus from the hops, the dark fruits from the malts and the ethers of the alcohol sneaking in.  The tastes of dark fruits, brown sugar and bready yeasts followed by a bit of hoppy bite.  All in all a very balanced ale with a bit of warming from the high alcohol content.  It seemed more like a strong ale and not so much like a barleywine, but very drinkable nontheless.

As I sat trying to focus on the menu for the next round of tappings and slowly realizing that focusing was a problem and that sitting upright was becoming an issue also, I decided to call it a night.  Hopefully we will find an opportunity to try the Dogfish Midas Touch or the Sierra Nevada Oak Aged Reserve, but for now the liver must rest.  Happy Birthday Flying Saucer, see you Wednesday.

The Flying Saucer
14999 Montfort Drive
Addison, TX 75254


  1. You were collecting signatures to help pass a law bill allowing Texas brewers the right to sell in state stores. If we missed the signing last Sunday, are you still accepting signatures and how?


  2. Please go to:
    and sign away.
    Thank you for your help.

  3. Cool – thanks for including us!

    Cheers, and thanks for your support.

    Real Ale Brewing Company
    Handcrafted Ales from the Texas Hill Country

    PO Box 1445
    Blanco, TX 78606
    830.833.2534 p
    830.833.0594 f

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