Dave - Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room

Not Rated.
DaveDave

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

42 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 42
Reviews: 26
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 10.32%
Wants: 352
Gots: 9 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  29.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

This beer was produced in 1994, and won first place at the 1998 Toronado Barley Wine Festival. The strength was achieved by taking 300 gallons of Adam and freezing it three times, leaving only 100 gallons.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-10-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 42 | Reviews: 26 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rbrefbeerman
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of Floydster
5/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Review #1200, 375 ml bottle with a screw off black top that appears to be similar to the one that carries Worchestire Sauce in your local grocery store, that makes this brew even cooler, shared this with Carlos, Ryan, Bob, Julian, Jason, and Brad at our 1st Annual SeaO'Floydster tasting and the next day with Patrick at The Bruery and at Beachwood BBQ with Gabe and Ivan, had been looking forward to this for a long time after fellow beer drinkers told me it would be right up my alley and let us just say that they were one hundred percent correct, poured into a snifter and it was still with no carbonation as expected from a beer a decade and a half old, no bubbles, no head but some massive legs were present, nothing else, plain and simple, how it would be a perfect appearance then you ask, well the body is glassy as can be, it is a beautiful ruby red and brown color, and it looks like a fine liquor, the smell consists of sweet vanilla, dates, port, oxidized malt, candy, caramel, lots of booze, sugar, oak, cocoa, sherry, light bourbon, and a plethora of dark fruits, flavor is very similar with a more obvious boozy presence, it is quite oxidized but it is not a bad thing at all, great brown sugar and sherry port tones, vanilla and booze in the finish, they are not overly hot like Utopias or Triple Bock were though, fantastic dates flavor with a warming finish when it really opened up, served at right about room temperature, this had a great toasted almond flavor in the aftertaste that topped the rest of its great qualities off, most beers of high alcohol content that do not taste as boozy as you would expect are because of an overwhelming sweetness but that is not the case here, it just balanced with not only sweet characteristics, but roastiness and toasted malts, the sweet vanilla finish was also a great component, mouthfeel was one of its strong point as well, rich, dark, burned, warming, and sweet, full bodied, no carbonation but this beer would have suffered if it did have it, perfect just the way it was, taste lingered longer than any beer I have tasted to date, could have probably drank this bottle even though it would have been bed time after that because of its strength, so smooth, this beer might taste fifteen percent but that could even be pushing it, for nearly 30% the alcohol is masked better than not only any beer I have ever had but any alcohol period, it might be a little warm on the tongue but its drinkability is astonishing, somehow smooth and inviting, well I knew this would be the one and only time I ever had it because of how old and obscure it is now, but damn I am glad I got to try it, Alan outdid himself with this beer that started out as an experiment, he turned an already great beer in Adam into something that will never be matched as far and unqiueness and quality, I am glad I ended up trading away so many great beers for it, it was worth each and every one of them, also cool to see all the faces of the guys when they first tasted it, most looked shocked in a very good way, this stuff was probably even better fresh somehow back in 1994 and the Toronado Barleywine Festival in 1998 but it is simply delicious at fifteen years old and do not see that changing in the upcoming years, can probably spend another decade in the cellar or more, I had my expectations which were very high but they were even blown away, there is a reason the hype on this beer is over the top, anybody who has had this and knows anything about beer will agree that this is one of the best and interesting brews ever created, I cannot recommend this enough, an old ale that will be remembered forever, my white whale was both pristine and nostalgic!

Photo of Ynot2
5/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of rallison
4.97/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Floydster. Damn. You are a truly great man. Thank you for a once in a lifetime opportunity.

The infamous Dave. The clear bottle with the twist off cap. The 29% monster. The 15 year old white whale. And so on..like any of this is news to anyone in the beer scene :p

Flat, oily, dark brown appearance. Super viscous. Huge legs (if we want to get into wine terms). This is beer? Just barely.

Sweet, candied caramel and drunken dates on the nose with a surprisingly restrained alcohol presence given the 29%. Very inviting, in a warming way.

Burnt sugar, rich dates, warming alcohol and a huge maple syrup presence in the taste (in the good way, not the Triple Bock way). Oak notes, light oxidation (of the complementary sort - think port or sherry sort of oxidation), awesome.

Thick, rich beer. And thick. And rich. No carbonation (did you expect or want any? No, I think not). Alcohol warmth, and then some, at the end. Alcohol burn is much more mellow than on Utopias (and, given that this is 29% vs the 25% or so of Utopias, quite impressive). Night cap? Yes, and an awesome one at that.

Drinkability? Are you going to have a full pint of this? Probably a bad idea. Of course, Kyle mentioned that, at one Toronado BW fest (late 90s I think), this was on tap for 6 ounce pours. Apparently there were a few more fights than usual that year. That said, for 29%, this drinks exceptionally well. There is alcohol warmth, and a slight alcohol burn, but, again, given the ABV, it is incredibly smooth and mellow.

Wow. Yes. This beer is that good.

Photo of emmasdad
4.97/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Another from the old notebooks. I just missed this one at the 1998 Toronado Barleywine Festival and thought I would never cross paths with it again. Much to my surprise, however, I was wrong. I was fortunate to finally get to try this one at the brewery 3 years later. After sampling a few beers with Alan, he pulled a bottle of this one out and poured us each a sample. Poured a beautiful brown color, with just a hint of light brown foam. Huge aromas here: bourbon, vanilla, oak, dark fruit (plums, raisins), port, sherry and alcohol. On the palate, especially as it warmed, the flavors came out nicely. Lots of bourbon, alcohol, dark brown sugar, sherry, oak and chocolate. Truly an amazing beer...the best I have ever had.
Postscript: At the time, Alan offered to sell me 12 oz. (plastic vinegar) bottles for $15 a piece. At the time (2001) this was beyond comprehension to me and I passed....still kicking myself today.

Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.95/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I enjoyed a two-ounce sample of this thanks to an auction for charity. As a group, we split a 375ml bottle. Pours a simply beautiful brown/copper color without a hint of carbonation. We sampled this along side a 2007 Utopias. Dave was mellow and welcoming, purring like a cat, a ton of complexity with raisins, caramel, toffee, and chocolate notes and a slight smoke presence. Simply delicious. The young un-behaved 2007 Utopias was still screaming and could use a good 8 to 10 years of time out. This is truly an amazing beer worthy of all the attention.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.83/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark brown body with no head, but check out the ooey, gooey legs.

Smell: Pure, top-dollar chocolate extract with a simmering pot of candied dark fruits, Grade-A maple syrup, brown sugar, and tawny port.

Taste: Luxurious blend of chocolate, caramel, brown sugar, and maple -- all very sweet. Tons of dark fruitiness crammed into every savored sip. A pinch of black Cavendish pipe ash. Some spice cake crumbs. Quite warming throughout, though never ever hot.

Mouthfeel: Thick-bodied. No carbonation.

Drinkability: Drinks rather well considering the purported ABV. It's definitely the feel-good hit of my summer! A very delicious creation, it was hard not to include the "f" word in my review.

Photo of HopHead84
4.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A beer I never expected to try, graciously poured for Largadeer and myself by Alan Sprints.

The bottle has a screw top and looks like one used for soy sauce or some other type of condiment. The all white label looks rather old school...all around fantastic.

The beer pours very dark brown, nearly ebony, with dark red highlights. It's still, with no carbonation. A swirl yields nice legs and almost a string of pearls. The beer clearly has some body.

The aroma is interesting, to say the least. Notes of leather and tobacco are present, with some caramel malt. Amazingly enough, the oxidation is quite low, imparting subtle notes of sherry and soy sauce. I expected more oxidization from a beer nearly 16 years old. Other aromas are of vanilla and dates. Alcohol is noticeable but doesn't hint at anything close to 29%.

The flavor is infinitely complex, and definitely blurs the line between beer and spirit. Notes of smoke and leather are immediately apparent, as well as dates, and a hint of vanilla. The malt is toasted and caramel. The oxidation imparts notes of soy sauce and a sherry character that seems to add rather than detract from the flavor. I'm amazed at the low level of alcohol in the flavor. I wouldn't estimate this beer at half its strength. The only indication of the strong ABV is the warming effect I feel after the swallow. The beer is slightly sweet, but not at all syrupy as I expected. The finish is complex, being the culmination of all the aforementioned flavors.

This beer is full bodied with no carbonation. Knowing the high ABV, I was expecting Dave to be much, much sweeter than this. This is not a super dry beer, but it definitely leans toward the dry end of the spectrum. The mouthfeel is that of a fine brandy or port.

Alan said this took a few years to be drinkable, which I can believe, but I'm surprised how well this beer has held up over the long span of time since then. Dave is a remarkable beer and I count myself lucky to have tried it. This was a very memorable experience.

Photo of pester
4.75/5  rDev +8.9%

Photo of tpd975
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Glad to be part of a group willing to go after this one. Thanks to Diego for the leg work.

A: Pours out mostly flat looking a few bubbles manage to rise to the top from the depths of the glass. The color is brown with ruby tones when held up to the light.

S: Wonderful sweet malty aromas. Tons of brown sugar, toffee, and caramel. Gooey over rip raisins with hints of candied dates. There is an earthy smoke that builds with tones of tobacco, and booze.

T: There is some oxidation but nothing too bad. It does not really hurt the taste of this one. Lots of the candy malt sweetness with strong oven darkened brown sugar noted. The dark fruit is big with raisin leading the way. The booze builds from the middle with a bit of burn in the finish. There is a nice smokey quality to this one, the type you find in the finest of spirits. Subtle dark cherry and a touch of soy round things out.

M: Bold, thich, rich, and boozy. Still as hell it just lays on the tongue and coats the mouth.

D: Rather good but at this price nothing is really that drinkable. It is a real treat one I sipped on for quite a bit. A real world class brew, one I am honored to have tried.

Photo of SacoDeToro
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very special thanks and shoutout to Floydster for generously sharing this beer and making it the focus of a recent tasting - Cheers, Kyle!

The beer poured a dark chesnut with ruby highlights. The beer was completely still with no carbonation, head, lace or otherwise.

The aromas of the beer were delightfully strong. I was greeted with a bold and deep maltiness that was slightly oxidized and notably accented with alcohol. Notes of vanilla, port wine, toffee, and tobacco rounded things out. Some dark fruits were present as well. There were no detectable hops in the aroma.

The flavor of the beer began with multiple layers of chewey caramel malts. This was followed by dark fruits, vanilla, and what tasted like toasted oak. Flavors reminiscent of cherry cavendish tobacco pulled through in the finish. After it went down, a pleasant warmth coated my throat, like a fine brandy.

The mouthfeel of the beer was full as was the body. The level of alcohol was rediculously well hidden and only helped the drinkability of this marvelous creation. I probably could've finished a bottle by myself... or at least tried ;)

I'm not sure that many out there are familiar with Christmas pudding aka figgy pudding aka plum pudding, but the aromas and flavors of this beer reminded me of my mother's finest example. A rich, bold, and rare treat for sure. A very unique beer that borders on malt spirit. A strong rival to Utopias to say the least.

Dave is worth seeking out for many reasons, but primarily this: it transcends being a beer and becomes an experience, especially when enjoyed amongst friends.

Photo of hoppymeal
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours dark brown to black in color, I expected a completely still beer, but a small skirmish of tan foam gathered and then quickly dissipated. Nice long syrupy legs hug the glass leaving a trail behind them as I drink it. Aroma is an amazing blend of dark fruits, prunes and raisins, as well as some aged malt characteristics of soy, salty meatiness, leather and wood. Big alcohol in the aroma as well as a whiff of delicious, sweet brown sugariness. Taste follows the aroma well, sweet pruney malts, brown sugar up front before a big woodiness leads into a big alcohol bite and then back for a somewhat drying woody finish. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, low level of carbonation adds to the syrupy feel, but the body is not overly heavy or cloying, probably thinned with age and cut strongley by the warmth and bite of the alcohol strength. Amazing beer, definitely quite large, alcohol is very large and in the face and yet is balanced and pleasing in this sweet aged treat. Extremely drinkable for its abv, more please. Would have loved to try it earlier in its life though this sample was incredibly good.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.69/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Review #2000

Served in a Hair of the Dog snifter.

Acquired via large trade with Mike. A lot of generosity in the beer community.

The beer is dark brown with a few random brown bubbles. There was actually a hiss upon wrestling off the screw top. The aroma is fabulous. Molasses and caramel, booze and candy, a touch of sweetness but by no means cloying. Fabulous flavor. Hype aside this beer is actually delicious. 29% abv is masked extremely well. Of course, this beer is 19 years old. So mellow and smooth. No carbonation. Like a fine after dinner cordial. Chocolate and port wine with rich molasses. Similar in some regards to Samuel Adams MMM. World class. What an experience.

Photo of Maltzilla
4.65/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The Whale of Whales! Pours out flat, syrupy and dark reddish brown . . . like blood draining away from the site of a sacrifice. :-P The nose had some strong sherry and boozy tones, it definitely lets you know this is not a beer to be taken lightly. The palate reveals further alcohol heat in a brief punch, followed by phenomenal combinations of old port-like flavors: dark fruit, caramel, vanilla. Oak and tobacco follow in the back palate. Strong mouthfeel and its definitely a "sipper" as far as drinkability goes.

Photo of hrking
4.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Floydster for this share at the Belgianfest at the Carlsbad Pizza Port. I had a generous 3oz pour. This beer was another one i've been wanting to taste for awhile and it was way cool. Strong alcohol nose so I let it air out a little. First sip was an experience and the vanilla jumped right out with a strong alcohol burn that quickly diminished with another sip.So if you took a creamy vanilla flavor and added some cocoa and some oxidation with and alcohol burn of 29% you get the picture. Most like a Utopia. Thanks again to Kyle AKA Floydster for this generous share. Also seaoflament and rallison who were there as well! Awesome Thanx! Ha I remember posting on here for this and people said I would never get to even taste it...FACE....Thanks Kyle!

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.53/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

It took 3.5 years and 840 reviews to get here but I'm finally at the top of the mountain. A HUGE thanks to Mike for providing this one. A beer that I truly never thought I'd see, much less taste. My gratitude to you knows no bounds and I'm very honored to get the chance to try this beer. Again, I can't thank you enough for the opportunity.

12oz screw top bottle. 2oz. pour appropriately into a Hair of the Dog taster.

Pours flat. Pitch black with no head but huge, thick, oily legs. No lace either. Average given the style and age.

Nose is astoundingly aromatic. I can smell it as I'm pouring the godly liquid into the glass. Notes of sweet soy sauce, chocolate, molasses, fudge, dark fruit, and a mild booziness that washes over the senses. I'm shocked at how good this is.

Opens sweet and fudgey. Bitter and dark chocolate, dark plum, sweet soy sauce and big, bolod booziness that makes its presence felt but isn't overwhelming at the same time. Booze and molasses on the finish with a sweet, syrup and fudge aftertaste. Incredible complexity and the heat has really mellowed with age, allowing all the different characteristics to reveal itself in this beer.

Full bodied with no carbonation. Oily, slick, and one of the richest beers I've ever known. Boozy and smooth going down with a slightly hot finish and a sticky, syrupy aftertaste. This tastes like it could be 15-16%. Again, I'm shocked by how smooth and utterly drinkable this is.

A part of me didn't want to like this beer given the likelihood that I'd never get the chance to try it again. However, in all honesty, Dave is the most coveted beer for a reason. Incredibly complex and rich but with the body to show it all off. The booziness is present but only serves to enhance the flavors rather than cover them. A sipper for sure but one I could happily sip on all night long. Amazing.

Photo of cosmicevan
4.53/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

big thanks goes out to GrumpyOldTroll, jbuddle, Sean9689, SpeedwayJim, AgentZero, dtmets84 for sharing in the greatest day of beer that i have ever been a part of. huge thanks to mike for providing this bit of unobtainium.

notes from 1/12/2013

consumed from a hair of the dog walk the dog taster glass.

a - the bottle itself is somewhat of a site. clear glass with a screw top...like a bottle of worcester sauce. the label is a rather simple black and white with the logo pictured and this text:

Dave was produced in 1994 as an experimental high alcohol Beer. Time has smoothed out the flavor and created a mellow blend of malt and alcohol. Enjoy this testament to the Brewers Art as you would a fine Spirit and think about good things. - Alan Sprints - Brewmaster.

the other side of the label says:

Hair of the Dog Brewing Company is dedicated to providing the Beer lover with new and unusual Beer styles. To learn more about Hair of the Dog Brewing Company and our Beer styles please visit us at www.hairofthedog.com

the beer poured still into the glass. deep purple with some maroon highlights when held to the minimum light available in the room. wasn't expecting much in the looks department for a beer this big and this old.

s - the nose is intense and matured over the extended time that this beer sat in my glass. dark fruits, licorice, nuts, prunes, alcoholic heat, nutmeg, brown sugar.

t - the taste was similar to the nose...i was rather surprised to still get so much heat considering the age...but did not feel like a 29% beer. surprisingly drinkable. dark fruit crossed with nuts and a big helping of brown sugar. feels like a strong ale, actually reminds me of batch 9k a bit but hotter.

m - like liquor...leaves a tingle in my mouth. extremely drinkable, especially at 29%. it was pretty amazing and rather warming. feel is so smooth and the booziness is nice.

o - overall, wow...where does one begin? for what this is, the insanity that surrounds it and the incredible desirability, it is the king of beers (sorry bud) to try for the ticker...and in the world of ticking and "whales" many will tell you honestly that very rarely is something of this stature worth what you have to give up to get it...but you can't really know until you go for it and in the world of beers that get hunted, this was surprisingly drinkable and tasty and a hell of an experience compared to the many disappointments. this is a case where the inability to get this beer boosts it up to even more legendary levels, but the core reason that everyone seems to want to try this is very evident when experiencing the beer...and it's just that...trying dave is an experience unto itself. dave is like nothing else. an almost 10 year old beer that drinks like liquor and has crazy complexities and yet it is still considered a beer. trying this is akin to sampling utopias...a unique experience like no other and one that can be polarizing depending on what you like. i have the empty bottle that has a few eye droppings of dave left in it and in the week since i've tried the beer i regularly unscrew the cap and sniff the bottle with the remnants and it takes me back to this crazy experience and the day that followed.

Photo of cbutova
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of SlghtlyBzzd
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of Chico1985
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of spycow
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of seaoflament
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, the only way I can properly start this review is to thank my buddy Kyle for sharing this extremely rare and unique beer at the SeaofFloydster Tasting, March 28th. This was one of those beers I never thought I would get to try, just like a few others, and somehow I guess I'm at the right place, time, and know the right people.

Poured a dark, yet clear, brandy color with caramel hues around the edges. No bubbles, looks pretty flat but that is expected from this type of beer.

Interesting aroma which chocolate and roasted malts, slight smokiness, and maple syrup. A galore of dark fruits, raisins, and prunes, a nice mixture but can't say they overwhelm or explode out of the glass. There also a nice port or sherry like oxidation in the background that ads some complexity to the beer, I was afraid this beer might be too oxidized for some reason, but that was not the case. Smells like a mellow cognac.

Loads of brown sugar initially with some raisins, toasted almonds, charred oak, and maple syrup in the finish. Not too much alcohol in the first sip but the next couple of sips had a nice warming effect in the back of the throat and all the way down to the pit of the stomach. The alcohol worked well to warm you up without it being hot or fusel-like, I remember the first sip I had from Utopias gave me heartburn but Dave was different, it tastes boozy without actually being hot.

The mouthfeel was not what I expected either, I thought it was going to be too syrupy but it was very decent and drinkable. I didn't really detect any carbonation but it probably wouldn't work for this beer. For drinkability, you're not going to sit down and drink a pint of this but the high score is based more on how smooth this beer was.

Photo of largadeer
4.48/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Alan.

Appearance: Turbid dark brown, no carbonation, no head. Looks oily and viscous.

Smell: Woody and earthy. Leather, tobacco, almost spirituous. Raisins and light soy sauce. Oxidation has treated this one kindly. It has a quality not far from a dry sherry.

Taste & mouthfeel: On the palate, Dave shows much of the same character that it does in aroma; prominent tobacco and leather, dried fruit and woody tannins. Rich and full-bodied. Sweetness is surprisingly restrained for such a massive beer; it hints at caramel, but ends on a semi-dry note. Beyond a slight warming in the stomach, there's no trace of the 29% ABV; over a decade of age has tamed this one to the point where the 10% ABV beers I tried beside it tasted hotter. Remarkable stuff, completely unique in the craft beer scene at the moment, and surprisingly very mellow and drinkable.

Photo of dtmets84
4.25/5  rDev -2.5%

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Dave from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
94 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.