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Adam From The Wood - Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room

Not Rated.
Adam From The WoodAdam From The Wood

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148 Reviews
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Reviews: 148
Hads: 823
Avg: 4.49
pDev: 21.83%
Wants: 1,465
Gots: 146 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: freed on 01-04-2005

Our Adam aged in American Oak barrels. First released in 2000, and released again in November 2011 in 12oz bottles. This 12% beer has lots of the typical HOTD aromas: Caramel, brown sugar, tons of raisin and tobacco. Fig, date, and plum fruitiness in that order. This has a fairly strong earthy vinousness as well as oak vanilla.
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Reviews: 148 | Hads: 823
Photo of Sammy
4.49/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A most interesting aroma of peat, alcohol, scotch, port. Appearance was deceiving because of soap like bubbles, no head. Taste barley, bourbon, salty, barrel wood. Thanks to Woolfs at Doug Shoemaker tasting. The taste, the alcohol - must be sipped. Speed bumps slowing us all down.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.96/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to MrVonzipper for sharing this at DarthKostrizer's tasting.

2011 vintage.

Pours a murky dark brown with a tan head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, molasses, citrus zest, dark fruit, and bourbon. Taste is the same with some slight leather, tobacco, and ash flavors. This beer has a very low level of carbonation with an almost flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a very nice set of complex aromas.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.17/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of drabmuh. Served in a SAVOR wine glass.

Pours a very dark brown with a bit of a thin tan collar. The nose carries a good amount of musty oak and bourbon plus malt and some slight tobacco. Flavor has a bit more bourbon and isn't quite as integrated but is still quite nice. Medium body's with no alcohol and low carbonation. Standout stellar beer. Boom.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -10.9%

Bottle: Poured a murky dark brown color ale with zero carbonation. Aroma of tobacco, bourbon, light vanilla and molasses is quite singular. Taste is also dominated by tobacco with some molasses and bourbon notes clearly identifiable. Residual sugars are also easily identifiable with light warming alcohol. Body is quite full with almost zero carbonation. This is almost like drinking an old sherry or xeres and makes for a perfect nightcap.

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Photo of largadeer
4.72/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

'11 batch shared by beerdy last month. Pours a dark brown that borders on black, topped by a thin cap. The nose is rather decadent, showcasing a ton of bourbon and oak. The signature leather and tobacco aroma of Adam is still present, along with vanilla, light nuttiness, smoke and somewhat brash but not unwelcome alcohol. The palate is warming and sweet, bourbon at the forefront with plenty of oak, tannin, vanilla and caramel. Lightly oxidized, still surprisingly hot despite all the years in the barrel. The earthiness of Adam shines through past the big barrel flavors, contributing leather and tobacco, dark fruit, subtle smoke. The body is medium-full; it feels a bit more hefty than the non-barreled Adam. A fantastic beer overall, though it may benefit from some time in the bottle to tame the heat.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Stuffed Sandwich

A: The pour is a slightly muddled dark brown color with a few highlights of red.

S: The richness of the bourbon, vanilla, and chocolate is really impressive. A slight bit of alcohol heat, but it is quite smooth and pleasant.

T: A nice sweetness in the form of vanilla and chocolate. The wood is quite prominent and provides some nice tannins and even more vanilla. A bit of bourbon and warmth on the finish.

M: The body is full with a low, smooth carbonation and a nice warming feel on the tongue and all the way down.

D: A fairly high ABV beer, but very smooth and easy to drink. The bourbon presence might be a bit for some, but I found this on quite enjoyable.

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Photo of oline73
4.72/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A 2011 bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance: The beer pours an opaque mahogany color with a layer of off white head that goes away pretty quickly.

Smell: Very sweet with some dark fruit notes and bourbon heat. I'm getting some brown sugar and vanilla as well.

Taste: Wow is all I can say. Sweet and malty, I'm getting some vanilla and brown sugar with some bourbon heat. This beer tastes like liquid bourbon candy. Phenomenal.

Mouthfeel: The body is thicker than medium with smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a fantastic beer. The difference between this and the regular version is huge. I would love to have more of this beer.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First had: rather large sample from a bottle at HotD's brewpub, graciously shared by johnmichaelsen, who recognized me and MsRif without ever even meeting us! Thanks!

I found this to be pretty similar to the regular Adam in most ways (which is good), other than perhaps more of a boozy quality, naturally, from the barrel aging. Maybe more aging would accent that trait a bit more. But otherwise, the beer came to me in a HotD sampler glass (love those things), dark cola brown with a lasting, creamy tan head. Aroma of burnt caramel, semi-sweet chocolate (really like this aspect of the beer), dark fruit notes, and bourbon-soaked oak. The barrel has not detracted from the smoothness of the beer for sure; tastes of chocolate, vanilla bean, molasses, some dark fruit, licorice, and a hint of bourbony oak. Very nice. Smooth, full-bodied, and very drinkable.

I have a few bottles of Cherry Adam that I'm looking forward to trying soon.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 06/09/12 notes. Tried this side by side with 2 vintages of Adam and Cherry Adam from the Wood. I ranked them Cherry AtfW, 4 year old Adam, this, than fresh Adam, though all were good/great.

a - Pours a very dark brown, almost black color, with one inch of bright white head and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells of clay, fruity malts, figs, plums, oak, light booze. Nice and sweet, but a little old/clay smell to it.

t - Tastes of dark fruits, sweet caramel malts, cedar, toasted malts, plums, figs, raisins, and light clay. MUCH better than the nose; very sweet, but very good.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, very smooth and creamy body to it. Not hot at all in the mouthfeel.

o - Overall I thought this was a really nice beer. The nose was a little old and boozy, but that booze didn't come through much in the taste. It is a sweet beer but a good one. Would like to have it again.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.41/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jason - after a mildly amusing practical joke earlier this year you actually made this one happen. 2000 vintage, aged in oak for 7(!) years?! Served in an Alvinne snifter.

A - Pretty much still. Murky ruby-brown body, with some cherry wood highlights. Definitely looks "olde".

S - Oaky vanilla, dark fruits, pleasant oxidation, chocolate, spicy wood, roasted grains, more chocolate. Really nice stuff, and exceptionally mellow.

T - Taste is heavy on raisins and prunes, with light oak, and a nice combination of brown sugar and chocolate. Again, exceptionally mellow, with minimal alcohol.

M - Very low carbonation, no heat, medium-full body, chewy, viscous, and moderately tannic.

D - Delicious stuff that has aged extremely well. I'm curious how the new batch compares, seeing as it was only aged for roughly half as long. In any case, this was a real treat. A sipper, with it's rich flavor and deceptive alcohol.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.54/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

At the time of this review, this is the #2 Old Ale on the beeradvocate.com "Top Beers - Old Ale" list as well as the #28 beer on the "Top Beers - Popular" list. Served in a Stone IRS snifter. Shared with a few others at a tasting.

Served with Matt, Adam, Cherry Adam from the Wood, Fred, Bourbon Fred, Doggie Claws '05.

First off, this beer's aroma is the first thing I noticed, before the appearance. This beer is heavy with bourbon and booze, Adam is one of my favorite beers under certain cirumstances, and this is like Adam on crack and whiskey, serious. Wow.

Beer is brown, mildly hazy, sweet, lots of bourbon, lots of malt, the liquor wins out there with me.

Beer is medium in body, a little thinner than expected, a little stronger than I expected, very oaky, very vanilla and bourbony, strong throughout. Very good, an interesting variant on Adam. Adam still is awesome but this beer is slightly more awesomer.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.59/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes. 12oz bottle.

A: Pours a very dark brown, slight burgundy tint, with a small off-white head on top with minimal retention. Not much lacing to speak off.

S: Fantastic aroma, lots of bourbon and vanilla. There is a little bit of alcohol, some plums, and other dark fruit, leather, and a bit smoke.

T: Tons of dark fruit upfront, plum, fig, and cherry. Some caramel and brown sugar mixed with chocolate, oak, and caramel at the end. Fantastic.

M: Full bodied with medium carbonation. Extremely smooth and surprisingly easy drinking.

O: Fantastic. Tremendous flavor profile and incredibly drinkable, especially for 12%. Would love to sip this one over an evening.

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Photo of mothman
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2015 bottle.

Murky brown color. No head.

Flavors: old ale flavors all around. Caramel and toffee. Dark cherries. Figs. Tobacco flavors. Molasses. Bourbon is fairly noticeable but very oaky.

Low carbonation but I like it. Clean and smooth. Chewy.

Very incredible. Easy to drink. So complex.

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Photo of stakem
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, 2011 offering care of Joe. Big thanks man! Poured into a matching Hotd tulip, this brew appears a very dark brown with a finger of tan head. The cap dissolves leaving a thin layering pattern across the top. When held to the light, it displays some lighter shades of brown and red coloration when tilted. A light swirl brings forth a finger of tan head and produces some spots of lacing on the glass.

The smell of this brew is crazy. It carries a very familiar aspect of the base beer but with a pleasant freshness and brighter smoked quality that is very well integrated with barrel characteristics. The first thoughts that come forth are smoked chocolates mixed with raisins, tobacco and leather. There is a woodsy quality present mixed with a tangy incorporation of alcohol that is very pleasing throughout. As it warms up, a faint amount of caramel sweetness to toffee/vanilla inclusion come forward.

The taste is bitter chocolate mixed with a solid smoked flavoring. Toasty oak character is present which really ties together the taste of bitter chocolate and smoked grain. There is a mild fruity alcohol inclusion tasting of burnt raisins which creeps down the back of the throat with some solid warmth. The aftertaste is a combination of earthy tobacco, leather, oak, bitter chocolate, smoke and a hint of fruity alcohol. Very deep and enjoyable brew that makes for quite a sipper.

This is a full bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. While the individual ingredients and flavoring of this can be picked apart as drastically unique in their own right, they really blend and tie together very well in this. This is a fantastic sipper of a brew with a great depth of character. I know it is already so many years in the making but honestly I am curious what more aging would do to this already fine example.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by drabmuh. Thanks Matt.

Served with Matt, Adam, Cherry Adam from the Wood, Fred, Bourbon Fred, Doggie Claws '05.

The beer is dark brown with a thin beige cap. The aroma offers bourbon, oak - very enticing, but lacks the complexity of regular Adam. Bourbon overpowers some if the more subtle aspects of the beer. Great flavor. Melts in your mouth smooth feel with alcohol heat masterfully contained. Lingering bourbon in the aftertaste, though exceptionally soft on the palate. Overall, outstanding.

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Photo of billab914
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2011 vintage poured from a 12oz bottle into my CBS snifter. It poured dark brown in color with thin, creamy, tan lacing concentrating around the edges of the glass.

The aroma has a bourbon soaked dark fruit quality to it. I get some raisin, plum and caramel mixing with brown sugar, vanilla and oak. The bourbon barrel really compliments very well. Great aroma to it, things really come together well in it.

The taste has a great mix ox bourbon and sweet maltiness to it. The dark fruits, caramel and toffee of Adam really come through, but the bourbon really shines for me. I get some really nice brown sugar and vanilla flavors coming out of the super smooth bourbon. Again, It's really well balanced between the barrel character and the maltiness of the base beer. The flavors really come together well and compliment each other perfectly.

The mouthfeel leans a little towards the heavier side with carbonation being moderate. Overall, I thought it was a fantastic beer. The bold mlatiness of Adam is perfectly complimented by the smooth bourbon. It really comes together well and they balanced the barrel and beer flavors perfectly. it was incredibly smooth for 12% as well.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.13/5  rDev -8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle thanks to hopsbreath. Poured into a Kate the Great snifter. 2011 bottle.

Appearance - Pours a murky brown with no head. No bubbles. Nothing. Looks quite dead in the glass. A bit chunky with sediment at the end of the bottle.

Smell - Vanilla and oak barrel character. Nice. Sweet malts. A little bit of cola in the aroma. It has a really nice deep malt aroma like a sweet scotch. Touch of peat and leather. Awesome.

Taste - Less complex and a little bit more muddled from sweetness. Bourbon makes its first appearance here, though. Sweet caramel and lots of it. More cola flavors and a slight earthy flavor in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Tingly warm alcohol sensation and it's nearly flat. No real carbonation. Not as thick as I'd think or perhaps like.

Overall - It's an impressive beer with impressive flavors. Too sweet, which is strange, because Adam is hardly sweet. I'm also surprised it isn't as dominated by Bourbon. Three years is a long time.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.62/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle shared by drabmuh. Thanks bro.

Pours a clear, dark mahogany with a light tan head. Fades to a thin film with little lacing. Very smooth, balanced aroma of bourbon, vanilla, butterscotch, tobacco, cherry, wet dog and must.

Very sweet and smooth body with light carbonation. Barrel is much more well integrated than Bourbon Fred. Bourbon, cherry, plum, tobacco, oak and brown sugar carry the flavor. Rich and sweet, but more enjoyable than Matt, bourbon Fred or Cherry Adam. Alcohol is present throughout but not off putting. Amazing.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.92/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


2011 batch opened at 55 degrees. Snifter.

A: The bottle opens with a much welcome sinister sibilance that signals carbonation. This is a good thing. The body is a brown so dark it borders on black with a finger of light brown foam that slowly dissipates.

S: The aroma is great initially, but it really opens up after 10 minutes. Coconut melds with plum and a light nuttiness, perhaps macadamia. Oak is strong and bourbon is pronounced. Caramelized sugar accompanies apple and toffee. Vanilla is pervasive. I get a trace of smoke, as well as tobacco, earth, and a little leather. The aroma is so many things at once. At times it reminds me of a fine port. Oxidation is pleasant and complimentary, imparting light soy notes.

T: Light alcohol warmth up front with a strong combination of wood and bourbon. Vanilla blends with coconut and a light leather note. Tobacco is evident, and I get notes of plum and fig with a dash of chocolate. Graceful oxidation is reminiscent of sherry with a little soy sauce. I get traces of ripe apple and tannins. Alcohol is present in the finish, but it's is not at all inappropriate for the beer's ABV. This is stunning.

M: Medium in body with upper moderate carbonation, which seems a little high for this beer but that's a very picky thing to complain about as it's easy to swirl out. There is a lot of alcohol warming on the palate, as well as stickiness.

Overall: This beer is quite an experience. It's among the best I've ever had. Highly recommended.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage, tasted at the Tasting Room in Portland in July 2012.

Pours a deep black, heavy and oily at the edges that seems opaque, although whether from haze, or just the depth of colour, no-one will ever know. Head is a slightly yellow white that forms a filmy fine ring around the edge. Doesn't leave much lacing, but the body leaves legs as it's tilted. Looks remarkable.

Big, big aroma: booze, coconut and vanilla, and tonnes of straight, spiritous bourbon. Sharp, brusque and powerful. The oak character gives a hint of wine as well, which is a pleasant counterpoint to the big, boozy sweetness. Amazing stuff.

Light burn on the front of the palate, with a sharp hit of spirits. This melds later into smoother notes: chocolate, oak, port and a brusque earthiness that becomes dominant later, leaving a hint of oxidation and wet cardboard. Some cream characters bring up the rear. Aftertaste is very hot.

Feel is surprisingly light: certainly lighter than you expect for all the richness on the palate. But it maintains that burn from the booze meaning however the texture, you feel this beer all the way down.

I had this side-by-side with the Matt, and this was clearly the lesser of the two (although that's comparing something to near-perfection). This was sharper, crisper and harsher. But there's no doubting the complexity and scope of both these beers. They are truly impressive examples of the craft.

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Photo of John_M
4.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Sampled at the HOTD tasting room.

The beer pours a fairly dark brown color with good head retention and fairly decent lacing. The nose is attractive, showcasing considerable bourbon, along with chocolate and brown sugar. The flavor profile replicates the nose in this fairly sweet beer, but is dominated by chocolate, vanilla and even some light coconut. There's still considerable booze as well, but it's not as pronounced as I was expecting, given the aroma profile. Mouthfeel is excellent, and I just love the long, soft, almost creamy aspect to this beer. The beer finishes well, and once again I'm amazed by how well integrated the alcohol is in the flavor profile.

Very interesting to sample the new bottled version, after having had the 2008 draft version on tap last summer. IMHO, the extended aging definitely improved this beer, as I did not find the bottled version nearly as good as the draft version. That may well change with a couple of years in bottle, but right now I would probably hold off drinking any bottles of the new AFTW, if I happened to own any (which I don't).

Edit from 3/14. Lucky for me, I now live near the HOTD tasting room again, and so get to taste this beer from time to time. As expected, time has been this beer's friend, and bottles of this now taste incredible. I have modified my ratings and score accordingly.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a murky brown color with good carbonation and a tan cap leaving behind some bubbles and light lacing

S: Wood, bourbon, vanilla, chocolate and some Earthiness. Nice and strong!

T: Main notes up front were bourbon, vanilla, caramel, oak, and chocolate. It still had a small presence of what Adam is..a hearty old world ale with a bit of smoke, hints of leather. Finish is dry, creamy with bourbon lingering start to finish.

M: Well carbonated, full, big body.

O: Exceptional!

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Photo of kscaldef
4.97/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From the HotD tasting room, 12oz pour

A: Deep, deep brown with a 1 finger mocha head. Pretty decent retention for a strong barrel-aged beer.

S: Really heady chocolate and coffee aromas. Lighter notes of bourbon and oak.

T: Rich chocolate, a little alcohol heat and a bit of wood in the finish. Surprisingly restrained for having spent 3 years in the barrels. As it get up to room temperature at the end of the glass, the alcohol gets a bit more upfront, but never overwhelming.

M: Rich and heavy, but not at all sticky or cloying; hits the perfect balance for a sipper. Light carbonation.

O: This is a spectacular beer, utterly delicious and perfectly balanced. A benchmark for barrel-aged beers. I'll be at the tasting room any time Alan puts this on.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

draft @ HotD. big beer, though not hot. bourbon really changes the base beer, tobacco and smoke are gone, not huge on bourbon flavor tho.. it just smoothes everything out. Terrific

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.65/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From 12oz bottle to snifter on 1/6/12
*From notes

Vintage 2011

-- Thanks, Johnny --

A: Pretty enough. It's a bit darker then expected, though it's also a bit cleaner too. A good, firm pour yields a mere .25 finger head that fades quickly. No lacing or collar.

S: Herbal and a bit minty. Not nearly the bourbon bomb on the bouquet one would expect. The alcohol is well masked, but in the end it comes off a bit one note.

T: Pleasant up front, yet it's a bit stunted. It really takes a minute to open up, where the residual sugar kicks into gear on the mid. The finish showcases toasty oak, vanilla, booze and a kiss of char and bourbon.

M: The barrel really did a number on this bad boy. It's thinner then I'd like, and comes off with a real "cask" vibe. To call the mouthfeel disspointing would be accurate.

O: HotD's Adam from the Wood is a nice beer. A good beer in fact. It also screams "overhyped". Limit production, get the proverbial word out and watch the hype train roll.

Look, I liked this a lot and would without question drink it again. But when asked what my favorite barrel aged Old Ale is, I can assure you that Señor Adam de la Wood won't be topping my list.

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Adam From The Wood from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
98 out of 100 based on 148 ratings.