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

Not Rated.
Cherry Adam From The WoodCherry Adam From The Wood

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

708 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 708
Reviews: 258
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 10.85%
Wants: 897
Gots: 152 | FT: 17
Brewed by:
Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  13.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Cherry Adam from the Wood is aged with locally grown black cherries in Bourbon and Sherry casks for 15 months.

First release - November 2008
Second release - November 2009
Third release - March 2011
Fourth release - November 2012

(Beer added by: SirChugsAlot on 11-16-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 708 | Reviews: 258 | Display Reviews Only:
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Photo of rye726
4.97/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

WOw, to quote my good friend, "I was just floored by this." One of the best barrel aged beer sI have ever had. Pours a rich mahogany with a thin tan head. Exceptional color. Notes of bourbon, oak, vanilla, cherries, plums, sherry, port, caramel and pecans. Such depth and complexity. Full, creamy body, great finish.

Photo of Arbitrator
4.95/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Re-review based on the 2011 vintage. A big thanks to ramnuts for this.

I've had this several times, but over the past 3-4 months, this beer has really started to shine. The tobacco is in balance with a great cherry sweetness, sherry and leather are suggestive of oxidation, and the bourbon barrels leave a great, lingering caramel residue.

The ONLY thing that this beer suffers from is somewhat thin mouthfeel (tending toward watery in the finish). But its carbonation, while low, is just perfect. The flavors and aromas are superlative. I think 2011 is hitting its peak.

I also want to add that I think the 2009 vintage has fallen off and continues to do so. I opened a magnum a few months ago and, while I enjoyed it, I found that the flavors were no longer as sharp or balanced as they once were. While Adam can age very well, I feel that this treatment, and Matt, do not have the same longevity (2 years at the outside).

~~~

Re-review of the 2009 vintage. I finally had a couple of bottles in a row that were less than outright amazing. This beer has been knocked off its perfect 5.0 pedestal, though it was perched there for a long time.

I had this next to Firestone 14 and Melange No. 3.

The main things that changed are the smell and taste. The beer is on the sweet sipper side of things now; less emphasis on tobacco, smoke, and leather. More emphasis on cherry, dark fruits (raisins), bourbon. It's oaky in the mid-taste, but there isn't much astringency in the finish. It's not bad, but that hearty balance I loved for over a year has tipped slightly toward a side that is less impressive.

I am confident that when it ages, it will improve. Adam tends to become more tobacco- and leather-oriented with age, and if those qualities are strengthened in this beer, it will recapture the balance that I loved before. I'm interested in seeing where the beer goes.

~~~

Original comments:

Out of 4 bottles, I've only had 1 bottle that was flat (not low carbonation -- flat). And I still enjoyed that enough to give it a 4.95. I am confident in giving this a perfect 5.0. I can't think of many other beers that I enjoy more and would rather have in my collection. Thanks to largadeer for #4 (though I guess I didn't really give him a choice).

A huge thanks to ramnuts for making so many bottles of this possible. You are way too generous, Frank.

A: Very dark, nearly opaque. Pours a murky, ruddy cola color with translucent honey edges. A short-lived tan cap is generated, but it dies almost instantly, leaving a scattered, broken film on the brew with a thin collar. Expected for an old ale of this ABV.

S: Sweet Jesus. So delicious. Cherry, oak. Tobacco, leather, smoke, chocolate. Plums and a general dark fruit character. Bourbon.

T: An amazingly balanced delivery of the aromas I picked up. Cherry is stronger than last year's, with a noticeable tartness that defines an undercurrent of flavor. Smoke is quite noticeable throughout, too; along with tobacco and leather, some of the best defining flavors of the base Adam. Bourbon and tannins are very light in the taste. There's a sweet, port-like grape/raisin and plum component that is especially strong near the end, where smoke bursts out again. The finish is dry.

M: It has low carbonation; it forms softly and slowly after the pour, and retains poorly. But it's there, and it adds just a touch of prickle to the semi-dry, supple body. It works very well with the tobacco flavors near the finish. There's a light, pleasant warmth, but pretty much no heat.

D: I have a hard time seeing how this beer can get any better. It's ready to drink now, and it's an outstanding experience. I had no trouble finishing a full 12oz bottle, and the price is a steal (to me). This might be my favorite beer.

Photo of garbercury
4.93/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Black13 for his generous trade, you the man Michael!

Been dying to try this one for a long time, poured into a snifter the day I got this one, could not wait, its just beer right?

A--Soy sauce-ish, some initial head, a little retention.

S--Love it, reminds me of Older Viscosity. Or, Bourbon aged Angels Share. Needless to say, that rocks. Got a sherry like quality to it.

T--Jesus. This is some damn tasty stuff. I get the cherry in this for sure, which really adds a great deal in comparison to the regular version. This is some really complex beer.

M--Good mouthfeel, a tad thin to get a five, but still a very silky smooth beer.

D--Wow, this is a terrific brew, definitely in my top ten easily. I love this beer and wish I had more, seek it out and enjoy it!

Photo of bitterbeerguy
4.93/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Special thanks to JohnGalt1 for this incredible brew as part of a truly outstanding trade! Vintage 2011.

Pours a color that looks like black cherry puree. Essentially no carbonation to this one. Just a little murky- almost has an eerie color to it in all honesty.

Nose is superb. WOW. Such delicate notes hidden beneath the main cherry smell. Hints of vanilla, toffee, bourbon, and oak aging. The cherry really reminded me of black cherry ice cream from when I was a kid.

Then came the flavor- where to begin. First off, this was served at about 45-50 degrees, which is the way to go. Second, served in a glass with some room for the flavors to show up- also the way to go. Black cherry with touches of oak and bourbon. Such a warming flavor. I was thinking I would be disappointed without the carbonation, but that had to be done on purpose because it let the flavors of the cherry shine through.

Seldom does a brew catch my attention like this. I want more, but we will see how that goes:)

Cheers!

Photo of Mauerhan
4.88/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

first off PDXhops i am your bitch. now and forever. you have introduced me to this wonderful beer.

pour is very similar to regular adam which makes me happy. seeing as i love regular adam. a nice one and a half finger light brown head emerges from this dark brown cloud of a beer. settles to a ring of perma-foam that stays till the bottom.

smell is great. cherry, oak, slight booze.

taste is great. a nice woody quality. subtle cherries with a nice boozy quality. i love me this beer

i am very happy i am cellaring a bottle

Photo of derftron
4.88/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Split a bottle with co-worker at the Taproom. Work right across the bridge from Hair of the Dog thankfully.

Pours a dark brown/black with a very small amount of foam. looks very thick and oily

smells very sweet and oaky. definitly can smell the cherries as well. had an Adam from the wood, a Panapooch, and a blue-dot IPA beforehand so having a sweet beer was a welcome change.

mouthfeel was very smooth and somewhat syrupy. not sure about the ABV discrepancy, but the one I tried was listed at 13.5%. for a beer that big, it was crazy drinkable. very mild carbonation, but obviously this beer is a sipper and should probably be shared.

overall: I have had many many HOD beers, and they are almost always fantastic. This beer completely blew me away. for some reason I was not expecting it to be this good and just wanted to try one of the many " wood" beers they had available. very happy this was the one we chose. the cherries and barrel aging come though perfectly and are so well balanced. I could have drank this beer all afternoon if it wouldnt put me on the pavement. luckily I work 5 minutes from the place and I plan to visit again this week.

Photo of boMD
4.88/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The more current batches are much more carbonated. Although Cherry Adam was a near perfect beer from batch one, it's has sublimely improved in the last couples. The Cherry flavors are much more vibrant, and the carbonation creates a lush palate to complement the boozy tones.
___

[Original notes from a Batch 1 Cherry Adam had on my birthday in early 2009] 12oz Bottle from Higgins... Poured an opaque black with a thin, bubbly, khaki head. The head faded quickly.

Aroma consisted of strong bourbon and fruit juice. A lot of dark malt notes in the initial flavors with a big alcohol punch. The cherries didn't show through until the finish as they were a sweet counterpart to the bitter alcohol.

Also a little bit of cocoa notes aided with masking the bitter bourbon-esq alcohol flavors. As it warmed the flavors had become a little more like red wine. An incredible beer.

Photo of alcstradamus
4.85/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

UPDATE 11/20: I opened my first bottle of the 2009 vintage tonight. I originally rated this beer a 4.55 A+ (you can find my original review text below). I must say, this beer is even better now than it was before and deserves a bump up in score even despite the already high score I gave it. It is quite apparent that Mr. Sprints took the word "cherry" much more seriously this time. In the 2008, I found that the cherry flavor disappeared over time. In this new batch, it is much more prominent and lasting. However, it is still present merely as a complexity and not as a focal point. There are plenty of standard barrel notes, plus the world class base beer underneath. I deducted points for the flatness before, but I "get it" now...while this vintage isn't completely flat, it still has very little carbonation but since there is not a lot of booziness it works very well. The flavors marinate on the tongue without the extra heat that ruins other flat barrel aged beers I've tried. Bravo to Hair of the Dog for this beer. World class for sure.

---

2008 Vintage

Only a small sliver of head forms on top of a near black body, even with a hard pour. The cherries are noticed immediately in the nose and are balanced very well with wood, chocolate, and pleasant bourbon notes. Fairly powerful and delightful smell.

The taste doesn't really come close to living up to the nose, although it is still nice. A shock of tart cherries hits first...this reminds me a lot of my first sip of Matt....the taste is odd and off putting the very first time it hits the tongue, but after that it just gets better and better with every sip. The tartness quickly dies down and chocolate and faint woody notes creep in. OK, I take back my comment about the taste not coming close to the nose. While it still doesn't quite match it, it sure as hell tries. Awesome barrel integration that doesn't overpower. The cherries begin to get less noticeable as it warms.

Mouthfeel is slightly fuller than medium and fairly flat. Not sure how much carbonation was intended here, but I could use a bit more.

Drinkability is high in regards to "desire" to drink, but I would be lying if I said my stomach wasn't rumbling after 6 oz. Perhaps its because I haven't ate enough today. This bottle is an awesome dessert or nightcap. Awesome beer...on par with both regular Adam and Matt. Seek this one out!

Photo of DefenCorps
4.85/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I managed to get a bottle of the 2009 vintage at Capone's (thanks again to John!). I tried this fairly fresh thanks to Devin, but this time, I have a chance to nurse it for an hour.

Sitting in my fridge for several months gave a chance for the yeast to really flocculate and this results in a clear but very dark brown pour. Beautiful, reddish brown highlights are present. This also has a rather low level of carbonation, there's barely any head present, and all I see is little streamers of bubbles running up the side of my snifter. Swirling the beer results in there being some legs running down my glass, indicative of the high ABV.

How it looks, however, is immaterial as this smells fucking unreal. Bursting with black cherries and bourbon, these characteristics are balanced at a level that most beers strive to reach. Couple that with the excellent base that Adam provides - a little leather, a little cocoa, a little tobacco, a little smoke - and this is a masterpiece. Along with the cherries, there's a little plums too. Moderate tannins are also present, with an oaky, a touch charred. Brilliant.

The palate opens moderately sweet, with bourbon, vanilla and cherry all very-balanced. The cherry character is both, mildly tart and moderately sweet (one has to remember this isn't a kriek or a sour beer, so the cherry sweetness *is* noticeable). The mid-palate is where the base beer shines. Caramel, leather, tobacco and just a whisper of smoke appear before a long-lasting finish that has bourbon, a little heat, cherry tartness with the fruity sweetness and barrel tannins playing off each other remarkably well. Alcohol appears on the end, lightening it up, leaving just the leather and cherries. Full in body with low carbonation, this is about as perfect as a beer like this can be. Despite its heft and price tag, this is a beer I will reach out to as often as I can. I would love, love, love to have a case of this. An exceptional beer, very very complex, brilliantly structured and executed. Alan really is one of the best brewers out there. As I keep drinking this, I realize that there's nothing I would change about how it tastes and am adjusting my scores accordingly.

**Original review for the 2008 vintage dated 08-18-2009 11:56:03**
3.5/4.5/4.5/4.5/4.5
Thanks to John for grabbing me a bottle, and Svejk for an extra. Split this with a few friends last night

Cherry AftW pours a dark brown with red highlights. No real head apart from a thin ring. On the nose, it's a gorgeous combination of mild cherry, vanilla, oak, bourbon and a hint of smoke. I really like the cherry character, being as mild as it is, it's perfect. On the palate, it opens up with bourbon and vanilla with a mild sour cherry character mid palate. The finish is a little tannic, showing a little dryness with some cherry and vanilla character. Carbonation is soft, and it works with the big barrel character on this beer. Thoroughly enjoyable, I look forward to drinking my other bottles.

**Edit 3/18/2013**

This is my third bottle of the 2012 release, and I must say it's not as mindbogglingly good as the 2009 was. A fantastic blend of cherries, leather, oak and bourbon, this pairs all the goodness of Adam with cherries and bourbon. Moreso than other batches, the cherry character is quite potent here, lending an earthy cherry skin tannin character that complements the bourbon and base beer. The palate has a moderate cherry sweetness that complements the bourbon, and is intriguing in conjunction with the base beer. Over-carbonated, this beer is medium in body and has a pleasant finish. I'm going to let this sit for a while.
4.5/4.25/4

Photo of brew3crew
4.85/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Small gathering at Cam's for goodies.2nd time I had it and it gets better each time

A-maroon almost with no head whatsoever

S-wood is definitely prominent and goes down so ssmooth

T-almost tastes like a port mixed with a beer. Maybe sherry?

M-medium body and crazy good

O-wow just wow. No more words

Photo of xnicknj
4.85/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into HotD tulip at the tasting room - 2012 bottle

Deep, dark viscous pour with a slight dark bing cherry hue. Thin bubbling of head comes up and fades out completely with little lacing or film. Decent legs as I swirl the beer around.

Incredibly potent and rich scents of toasted oak with a soft char and juicy cherries soaked in bourbon. Hints of smoke and leather with vanilla and continued warmth.

Truly luxurious right from the get-go with decadent bourbon barrel notes laced with cherries and dark fruit skin. Hints of burnt sugar and oak with complex layering of dark malts that envelop the tongue. My taste buds continue to soar with residual vanilla notes from the barrel and hints of smoke and leather from the base beer. Finishes with more syrupy cherry and alcohol warmth.

Fuller body, milder carbonation, creamy, velvety and soft on the tongue. I've been waiting about 3 years to try this and it completely lived up to (or blew away) my expectations. One of the best beers I've encountered to date.

Photo of Brandywine
4.83/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2012 Vintage.

Appearance: Black as night with a sheen of red around the rim. Half a finger of tan head that dissipated almost immediately. Nice alcohol legs and tons of lacing.

Smell: bourbon, brown sugar, brandy, cherry, cranberry, rich tart but sweet fruit.

Taste: tip of the tongue is bourbon soaked cherries drizzled with chocolate. Little bit of heat from the alcohol adds depth rather than detracting. Middle of the tongue is fruity desert white wine, Oaky finish from the barrels. Really fresh bourbon throughout.

Mouthfeel: On the full side of medium. Not unduly carbonated.

Overall: Would've liked some more complexity on the nose. However. the taste is awesome and highlights the bourbon and the cherry flawlessly.

Photo of sprucetip
4.83/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

From notes, and I don't recall what year it was from, but it wasn't fresh. Huge, foamy, frothy thanks to Adam (alcstradamus) for gifting this upon me.

Very dark with red wine highlights and good clarity revealed by backlight. No head or lacing.

The first few sniffs, I just enjoyed, powerfully rich and complex..Earthy leather/tobacco aroma is likely from the wood. Bitter chocolate and quite sweet malty influence add depth. The cuts sharply, but not in a dominating way, across the lot of it. SuperDeluxe!

Undeniably sweet, but no where near cloying. Chocolaty malty sweet and dark cherries present with prodigious profiles, and are joined by less assertive boozy and bourbon inputs. Perfectly balanced with the aforementioned flavors were the leather and tobacco Earthy characteristics. Amazingly smooth, balanced and complex. Perhaps this is perfection?

Low carbonation, moderate warming, full body and thick viscosity.

Are you kidding me? This beer is one of the best I have ever had the pleasure of lifting to my lips. Nothing short of amazing. Hope I get another go at this one someday.

Photo of waltersrj
4.83/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours: Deep and dark black, thick and sludgy with no head, even when poured straight into itself.

Nose: Bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, cherries, smoke, caramel, leather, and seductive oak. The nose was so good that I may never clean the glass!

Taste: A complex overload of dark fruits, bourbon soaked cherries, oak, vanilla, dark chocolate, smoke, leather, and charred oak.

Mouthfeel: Very thick, but the low carbonation gets this a 4.5 instead of a 5. I still love this beer with low carbonation. Amazing offering straight from Alan at the brewery...what a great guy.

Overall: You must seek this out. It's amazing and I'm glad I live only 2.5 hours away!

Photo of Airyk12
4.83/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful deep ruby brown with a thin brown head.

Smells of dried fruit and caramel, as well as some cherry and plenty of bourbon and oak.

Oh jeez. Crazy complex flavor; dried fruit, caramel, cherries, and bourbon. The alcohol brings plenty of heat, but not overwhelming.

Smooth as can be. Rich and creamy. A little bite from the alcohol, but never off-putting. A tiny bit of carbonation and lots of body.

Just a top notch beer. Really amazing. The flavors all compliment each other perfectly. Nothing overwhelms, only adds to the flavor. Hard to get, but worth the trip to the tasting room.

Photo of sweemzander
4.81/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

12oz. bottle poured into as snifter. 2011 Vintage. Huge thanks to hopsbreath for sending this my way!

(A)- Pours a fairly thick, almost plum colored cabernet wine-like inky color. Not much foam to speak of, but some transparent bubbles came up. The 2012 version of this was much more appealing considering a better carbonation level was present. A surprising amount of tan froth considering the style and ABV.

(S)- A ridiculously rich aroma. Awesome whiffs of oaky bourbon with sweet toffee and caramel with an even more glorious smell of cocoa covered dark cherries behind it. Its strong, but smells really stinking good. As it warmed, it began to show signs of tobacco and leather in the background as well.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. A rich and sweet profile with decadent cocoa covered dark cherries with a smooth caramel and oaky bourbon notes. As it began to warm up, you can really tell the base beer is still there with the subtle hints of tobacco and leather.

(M)- Flat as a pancake, however for the style, it isnt quite as bothersome as I was expecting it to be. If it had a bit of carbonation, this would be world class. Rich and sweet with those black cherries really providing nice flavors and texture. The 2012 vintage had a much much better feel to it due to a far better carbonation level. Smooth as can be even with a 10% ABV level.

(D)- A sipper for sure. Yes it would help this immensely if this was carbed better, but nonetheless, the smell and flavor of this is really quite unique and spot on for a fantastic old ale. I can see this being a great substitution for a ruby port.
This was a great beer even with quite the low carbonation level, but the 2012 vintage definitely has seemed to fix that. I look forward to seeing what some time does to the 2012's I have left, but this is a fantastic beer no matter the version you get.

Cherry Adam From The Wood from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
96 out of 100 based on 708 ratings.