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One unfortunate reality of the holiday season is that it often a stressful time of year that involves drama, particularly within families.  I can think of no one better to depict this than Ralph Steadman, frequent Hunter S. Thompson collaborator and creator of the label art for Flying Dog.  Since I happily don’t have any drama of my own to share, I asked my wife to help fill in the Mad Lib on the bottle. Since this is a beer review I am going to assume we’re all adults here (you’ve been warned):

Aunt George showing pictures of her pretty cats.  Uncle John singing songs about his merry divorce.  Cousin Eric bragging about foot.  And you can’t leave.  It’s another Christmas cock for the whole family.  So, come on. One more. It’s a celebration.

Beer Name: Family Drama

Brewery: Flying Dog Brewery (Frederick, MD)

Style: Imperial Pilsner

ABV: 8.4%

Description: I couldn’t find out too much too much about this one, only that it’s an oversized seasonal pilsner.

Appearance: Poured a slightly cloudy golden-yellow body.  There was a lot of lively carbonation running up from the bottom of glass that kind of looked like an upside down snow storm.

Smell: Light pilsner malt with a slightly floral presence on the end.

Taste: A mix of bready, creamy, and sweet malts most of the way through.  The ending brought on floral notes and the distinct presence of booze, especially after sitting the glass for a few minutes.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with above average carbonation.

Hype: As much as the brewery’s label art always catches my eye, I’ve always kind of thought of it as gimmicky.

Overall: I’ll admit I was confused by the idea of an imperial pilsner but it almost worked.  I really enjoyed the first three-quarters of the sip, but I ultimately found the yeasty, floral finish, in combination with the booziness, overpowering and a little bit off-putting during the middle portion of the glass.  It wasn’t as noticeable at the beginning and end.