Dave - Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
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Ratings: 42 | Reviews: 26 | Display Reviews Only:
4.7/5 rDev +8%
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.
09-29-2010 11:20:55 | More by tpd975
3.9/5 rDev -10.3%
Usually I don't review small samples of beer but considering the insane rarity of this beer I made an exception. I never imagined I would get a chance to try this beer.
This was served as the last beer in a set of HOTD beers during a special tasting in the world famous Ebanezer's pub cellar. Alan was in town discussing his beers and Chris was generous enough to pop his personal bottle of Dave for us to try. It goes with out saying but... Thanks Chris.
less than a one oz pour into a small tasting glass.
no carbination at all. totally flat. dark brown maple syrup colored. quite a bit of alcohol on the nose but actually suprisingly smooth on the pallet. extremely sweet and syrupy mouthfeel. dried fruits (raisins apples figs) were present in the taste. Not particularly drinkable due to the syrupy nature. I don't know if I would want more than 3-4 oz of this one.
Pretty good stuff but considering the fact that this is probably the most hyped/rare beer in the world it did not blow my doors off. Simular to the the SA Utopia's that I have tried minus the heavy wood character that they typically have. Maybe a bit smoother too.
Overall I am glad I got a chance to try this especially with Alan there talking in depth about the beer. Would I spend 1000$ for a bottle?? Not so much.
09-10-2010 21:05:30 | More by tendermorsel
4.97/5 rDev +14.3%
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.
07-22-2010 04:07:51 | More by emmasdad
4.65/5 rDev +6.9%
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.
07-14-2010 02:46:50 | More by Maltzilla
3.98/5 rDev -8.5%
Chilled bottle into a tasting snifter, shared by the ever-generous ramnuts.
A: Pours a nearly opaque mahogany color with a ruby tint at the edges. No carbonation -- expected in a 15-year-old beer with such high ABV, so I'm gonna give this a 4.5 anyway; its body is a stunning color.
S: Has a strong port or brandy-like aroma to it that breaks down into grape and fig burn. Tobacco, leather, smoke. A light caramel. Noticeable booze, but not as much as I expected for the ABV.
T: A lot going on here. This is really more of a spirit at this point. Smoke, tobacco, leather are strongest on the tongue. Progresses into a boozy port-like grape and fig flavor. Some caramel sweetness and a little anise/licorice. The finish is again tobacco, with a spicy / smoked pepper burn to it and a little soy sauce (oxidation). Huge burn again in the aftertaste (again, hearkening back to the spirit comparison). ramnuts joked that this still tastes too young...
M: Totally flat, but still chewy and viscous. Still kind of boozy, though.
D: I appreciate that this is something that pushes the boundaries of fermentation. I'd certainly try this again. In retrospect, $80 for this beer is totally worth it. It's like Utopias but less refined.
05-31-2009 23:25:11 | More by Arbitrator
4.48/5 rDev +3%
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.
05-19-2009 18:02:00 | More by largadeer
4.8/5 rDev +10.3%
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.
05-13-2009 06:20:20 | More by HopHead84
4.7/5 rDev +8%
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.
04-01-2009 05:14:52 | More by SacoDeToro
5/5 rDev +14.9%
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!
03-31-2009 01:58:11 | More by Floydster
4.55/5 rDev +4.6%
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!
03-30-2009 19:44:56 | More by hrking
4.5/5 rDev +3.4%
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.
03-30-2009 19:28:00 | More by seaoflament
4.97/5 rDev +14.3%
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.
03-30-2009 03:52:53 | More by rallison
3.6/5 rDev -17.2%
Rating #800!!! Bottle thanks to my lil sweetheart fredandboboflo. Pours black with absolutely no head. Aroma is quite pungent. Lots of booze with a slight hint of chocolate. This is very reminiscent of Triple Bock (except that this smells good at a distance). Flavor is initially very strong with bourbon and oaky notes with a finish of vanilla, oak, and lots of chocolate truffles. Very warming with an alcohol burn in the swallow. This is the best example of a rare breed (ie a high-alcohol beer) but at the same time, it is not really my thing. Still, I'm glad to have gotten a chance to try this one.
01-09-2009 16:33:41 | More by LilBeerDoctor
4.95/5 rDev +13.8%
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.
09-21-2008 15:27:08 | More by ATLbeerDog
4.7/5 rDev +8%
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.
06-24-2008 00:39:03 | More by hoppymeal
4.83/5 rDev +11%
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.
06-15-2008 04:23:09 | More by ChainGangGuy
Dave from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
94 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.