Kathy and I took my Dad to Green Dragon last night for a beer before dinner since we were out and about and it was a little too early to eat yet. Green Dragon generally has a good list of beers on tap, but last night I just wasn’t finding anything that sounded great. There were several pale ales and IPAs, and a few stouts, but none of those sounded right. Then I found the Laughing Dog Cold Nose winter ale, which I’d never had before.
The color on the Cold Nose is like a brown ale — deep, rich, dark, but clear and not opaque. It had a decent head, a nice tan bit of foam that wasn’t too thick to get through for a first sip. The aroma was strongly of caramel and malt. Kathy said it reminded her of candied apples.
The flavor up front was rich and a little bit tangy, but the finish is smooth, malty, and strongly caramel. It almost reminded me of the Rogue Hazelnut Brown the way the finish was sweet and a touch nutty. I bet that comes from the roasted barley. There’s nothing hoppy about this beer, other than the mild tang on first tasting that balances the sweetness in the finish.
I’ll definitely go to Laughing Dog the next time I’m in Sandpoint, Idaho! We’ve got some friends who live there, so now we’ve got one more reason to head up for a visit.