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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

262 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 262
Hads: 775
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.85%
Wants: 913
Gots: 166 | FT: 18
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:
Beer added by: SirChugsAlot on 11-16-2008

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 262 | Hads: 775
Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark black with some red and purple mixed in and a thin bubbly layer of purplish head. The head fades very quickly leaving behind just a touch of lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet caramelized malts, vanilla, oak, bourbon, black cherries, dark fruit, a hint of chocolate, and some booze.

T - Starts off with a mix of black cherries with some caramelized malts, vanilla, and other dark fruits. Through the middle, the oak and Bourbon come through with some more caramelized and residual sugars and a touch of chocolate. The finish is a mix of black cherries, vanilla, oak, Bourbon, caramelized sugars, a bit of brown sugar and other dark fruits, and some booze.

M - Full bodied with mild carbonation. Feels smooth and a bit syrupy with a warming and sweet finish.

D - Very drinkable. The barrel aging and the cherries really add some great complexity and depth to the beer. (887 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
4.95/5  rDev +16.7%
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. (3,785 characters)

Photo of SpdKilz
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have been sitting on this beer for quite some time and have recently gotten to the “why not open up ‘special’ stuff in the cellar” point. A big thanks to Greg (googzoid10) for this beer.

2011 Vintage.

Appearance – Pours completely flat into a CBS snifter with a few bubbles due to my pouring it as hard as I could (knowing it was perhaps without carbonation). Dark brown color, though there is a nice deep ruby red hue around the edges (and when I was pouring it).

Smell – Wow. The aroma is intoxicating. Dark fruits up front, most prevalent ripe dark cherries. Lots of oak, vanilla, brown sugar, milk chocolate, and booze. As it finishes the other dark fruits such as plums and raisins, make their appearance. An overall hint of tartness and oakiness throughout the sip.

Taste – A mixture of bourbon and tart yet sweet cherries up front. This fades to decadent chocolate flavors mixed with oak and creamy vanilla.

Mouthfeel – Despite being void of carbonation, a wonderful mouthfeel. Extremely syrupy, chewy, and sticky.

Overall – Oh how I wish this had at least just a *hint* of carbonation. That would make this beer almost perfect for me. A nice alcohol warmth, flawlessly integrated flavors (I can’t get over the cherry, vanilla, and oak flavors – they are so REAL and balanced together), and a nice thick mouthfeel. This is a perfect beer tonight on this 60’s almost fall night on the porch. Extremely impressed. (1,453 characters)

Photo of joefuzz
3.56/5  rDev -16%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Enjoyed this last night during a HotD horizontal tasting

09 bottle

pours like a flat regular adam...deep brown almost still looking liquid

smells like figs mostly and sort of like a campfire (next to adam and adamFtw this is was most smokey)

The cherries have pretty much all faded on the taste but it was still quite enjoyable. Great vanilla notes with some figs, wood, tobacco and leather...slight alcohol heat.

mothfeel was pretty on par with where adam is but the carbonation on the other hand was pretty much non existent

Overall I am very glad I finally got to try this one but I dont think I would be actively seeking this out when I can just run to the store and get regular adam. (695 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.88/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours out a very dark brown body (though some reddish hints at the far edges) with a few bubbles that never quite form a head.

Smell: Earthy-scented, oxidized, and boozy are my main impressions joined by empty, lacking notes of spiced, brown sugar mixed cherries and soiled, more-than-musty wood.

Taste: Starts sweet, then traipses off towards a muddied earthiness, a dash of soy atop crushed sourish, tangy black cherries, and some solvent alcoholic heat. Oxidized malts. Rank wood. Modest phenolic smokiness. Near-flat, sweet, cherryish finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Very little carbonation present.

Overall: I'm sorely disappointed here. I was really expecting quite a bit more, instead, it's muddled, lacking, and rather non-cohesive. (762 characters)

Photo of Beerzebub
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle, moderately cooled, in a Bruery glass.

Smells like black cherry and old barrels in perfect harmony, complex and good. Delicious, good intensity, full bodied, big malt and fruit, almost syrupy but not overly sweet, well balanced by dark caramel and some fruit juice type tartness. Complex, earthy and savory. Long finish. Nice! (339 characters)

Photo of jmarsh123
3.3/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours dark brown with a reddish hue. Absolute lack of carbonation or any head as is typical with some HOTD stuff.

A lot of the leather and tobacco that are prominent on the base beer come through on this. Heavy doses of bourbon and an almost port wine like smell. Maybe a bit of cherries, but the booze still smells hot on this one.

Not as hot as the nose would indicate. A little bit of sweet cherry leads off and after the initial sip I was afraid it would be way too sweet. While it is sweet, the bourbon then comes in to cut a little of the sweetness. Dark fruits, leather and tobacco as well.

Absolutely no carbonation, even by HOTD standards and the mouthfeel is a bit lighter than I'd expect from something like this. It's a shame because the flavors are there.

Good flavors, but complete lack of carbonation dooms this one. I like my old ales and stouts on the lowly carbonated side, but this is just ridiculous. It ruins a potentially great beer. (959 characters)

Photo of Mahlik
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Deschutes snifter. 2009 vintage.

A - pours a deep brown with a touch of ruby/mahogany. No head what so ever. Like a number of HotD beers, an almost complete lack of carbonation.

S - Sweet and boozy. The aroma is quite potent. The bourbon and sherry blends with the leather and tobacco notes. The cherries leave a touch of sourness. I also detect some oxidation.

T - Luckily the taste is not as sweet as the aroma would suggest. The usual bourbon, tobacco and leather bottles. A very port like flavor. A touch of smoke on the background. The cherries do add a sweet yet sour component to the beer but really doesn't make anything pop.

M - slick, oily mouthfeel with almost no carbonation. Slight sting from the alcohol.

O - One of my least favorite limited releases from HotD. I love Adam from the Wood so I figured the addition of the cherries would make this beer even more fantastic. However, that is not the case. I feel the cherries really didn't bring a whole lot too the table. Three lack of carbonation doesn't help but I should be used to it with HotD beers by now. Also, this was in someone else's possession between 2009-2011. So I'm not exactly sure how it was stored prior to my possession. (1,221 characters)

Photo of brystmar
4.59/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2011 bottle.

Ugly looking pour for a beer. Honestly looks exactly like red wine: deep, dark purple with red hues. Mild amounts of tiny wine-like bubbles up top. Leaves fingers of lace, not beads.

Super malty aroma infused with cherries and brandy. Not too intense, but it's interesting.

Cherry-soaked malts meet brandy. Big, chewy mouthfeel. Boozy, leathery, caramel, tons of cherries. So much going on here.

A unique and awesome example of American creativity in brewing. One of my absolute favorite beers. (511 characters)

Photo of Gushue3
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

09 Vintage

A Pours dark bown/red and has zero head and lacing. Completely opaque in the glass and zero carbonation in the glass. I love the color but no head and carbo hurts the look.

S I can smell it from the pour. Alcohol and tart cherry acidity are in your face upfront. Some musty leather and tobacco are in there as well but tart rules the nose. Very interesting.

T Not nearly as intense as the nose, much more old ale. Sweet malts, sweet cherry,, chocolate, light alcohol kick, molasses, and leather. Theres a TON going on in here. The barrel is there but definitely nicely integrated.

M Heavier side of medium feel on the tongue with no carbonation at all but feels pretty nice. A tiny carbonation would help this but I'm not going to complain much

O Really interesting beer. Lots going on in the nose and taste that makes it one of a kind. The cherries are just enough to add an awesome layer of complexity. Thank you Alan! (938 characters)

Photo of tewaris
4.04/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Ron!

Had right after AFTW. The expectations from this one were lowered so it came as a nice surprise.

Pinkish brown colored, you can tell there's cherries in it. Vanilla, kriek in the aroma. Very inviting.

Medium cherry notes in the taste but what makes it is the intense and awesome dessert wine character... sweet but relatively clean and very decadent. Dark fruit and chocolate. The almost non-existent carbonation works for this beer.

Not quite the same level as Matt but close. Bonus was Ryan's share that I got to drink because he couldn't stand it!

3, 4, 4, 4, 4.5 (583 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011)

Thanks for opening this with me, baybassboy!

(Aged for 1 year)

Dark ruby in color, nearly brown, with very little visible carbonation. This leaves dots and thin sheets of lacing down the glass.

Complex aroma, though not quite as complex as Adam from the Wood's surprisingly--though just as good. The oak and dark fruits are present again, along with loads of vibrant, sweet, crushed cherry aroma. Bold and expressive.

The flavor is quite nice, and the added cherries really transform this beer even further. Lots of chocolate, oak, and earth flavors present, along with lots of cherry flavor. My only complaint would be that the cherry flavor seems to add a touch of an acidic quality to the overall drinking experience, though this is still quite delicious.

Medium bodied with very low carbonation.

Very nice, though I significantly preferred Adam from the Wood. (884 characters)

Photo of Auracom
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Great share by Jeff, who brought this specifically so we could fill out our Adam horizontal of side-by-side-by-side Adam, Adam FtW, and Cherry Adam FtW. 4 oz. poured into a FFF Teku on June 9th, 2012.

A - Pours a very flat, deep-brown with a definite touch of ruby red, Cabernet-looking hue. No head, retention, or lacing. Wine- like alcohol legs.

S - Definitely let this breath to really pull out the port and black cherry notes. Underlying barrel notes of charred oak, roasted grains, and slight bourbon. No significant heat.

T - The cherries are stronger here. Good underlying winter fruit, roasted grains, cocoa, toffee, and espresso.

M - Mightily dry finish, almost no carbonation (needs a bit more). Medium body.

D - It's very unique, the carbonation is really too low here and makes it drink more like a red wine blend. The closest thing I can think of is Arctic Devil, but with the stronger cherry note here I think this stands out a bit. As my good friend Dan says, "you gotta pop that cherry hard." (1,015 characters)

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle thanks to Mac, thanks man.

The look is nice, it's a very dark brown look, brown highlights on the edges, very little lacing.

A hefty dose of black cherries, smokey malts and licorice, blackberries some more cotton candy on top in the nose.

The taste follows the smell, plenty of smoky malts (amazing) and great cherry edge. Seem very nice vinous tastes almost like a big cab to me. Toasted marshmallow, Lots of nice malt.

It feels like a big dark red wine to me, big Cabernet. Very nice.

Overall a very nice brew, the most like a dark red wine I've had to date. (577 characters)

Photo of Steasy66
2.83/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

3oz pour from bottle into a snifter.
A- Dark brown with purple hues, no head.
S- Bourbon, sweet, boozy.
T- Vicks cough syrup, not my thing
M- Thick, not carbonated
O- Just not my thing, wouldn't drink again. I'm sure its fine if you are into cherries, but I don't care for it. (276 characters)

Photo of pmarlowe
4.26/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage. Tulip glass. I've had this a few times now, finally getting around to reviewing a bottle.

A: Pours essentially flat, even after a vigorous pour. A few fizzly bubbles that soon make their way to heaven. Looks purply black. No head, no lacing.

S: Cherry, oak, decadent dark chocolate, a little alcohol.

T: Sweetish black cherry, plum, dark chocolate. Mouthcoating, which makes the finish extremely long. More or less a dessert beer.

M: Thick, syrupy, and mouthcoating with really, really light touch of carbonation. Toeing the line of flat, but enough to salvage what could have been much worse.

O: Really delicious, but unfortunately another HotD beer that could be elevated to phenomenal with just a little carbonation. (738 characters)

Photo of oline73
3.84/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This was a 2009 bottle poured into my Hunahpu's snifter.

Appearance: The beer pours an opaque mahogany with hardly any head at all. The carbonation that was there initially goes away very quickly. This is a flat beer.

Smell: Sweet and malty with some bourbon heat. I'm definitely getting some cherry along with some caramel and vanilla notes.

Taste: Sweet malt, sweeter than the base beer. Some cherry with some other dark fruit notes as well. Some bourbon, but not much heat at all. Vanilla notes in the background.

Mouthfeel: The body is just on the thick side of medium. The beer is flat with a dry finish.

Overall: I thought this beer was good, but I enjoyed the base beer and the regular wood version more. I would have another though. (746 characters)

Photo of Reagan1984
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Madhombrewer for sending this along in our Opening Day trade. Always a treat to try some special Hair of the Dog. Drinking this one out of my New Belgium tulip glass.

No head at all. If this said Lost Abbey on the label there would be a revolt. You can plainly see there is virtually no carbonation. Looks dark brown and is very glossy.

A touch musty, sweet, boozey. Rum soaked raisins.

Man, this is one sweet beer. I am not sure that I would say cherry right away if I didn’t know. But thinking about it, there is a flavor of the cherry vanilla Dr. Pepper here. The bourbon notes are very soft and rouned. Yeah, the more I make my way through the glass I get it. Black Cherry it is. A perfect after dinner drink. Sit and slowly enjoy. What’s so interesting is that for a brief moment, now and again, I get cocoa. Very subtle, but there. The wood provides a depth here but nothing in your face.

Indeed, this beer has one or two bubbles of carbonation… and that might be exaggerating. Lays heavy on your tongue and is slick. The sweetness is accentuated by the lack of bubbles.

So this beer says a great deal about the hype and screaming on BA. This is no more flat than a couple of the big Lost Abbey beers, but nobody mentions this as an issue. Frankly for some of their beers and this one I don’t mind at all. This is a great beer and one to savor. Thanks MadHombrewer. (1,395 characters)

Photo of claaark13
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Jedwards nails it again. Poured at cellar temp into a HF tulip. 2011 vintage.

A - Dark brown with a noticeable red hue. No head. Slight amount of bubbles around the side. Sticks well to the glass.

S - Cherries, slight oak and some caramel. Slight amount of booze come through. The aroma makes me think more of a brandy barrel than a bourbon barrel.

M - Cherries, chocolate, toffee, slight sweetness, slight heat in the far finish. The chocolate and cherries really come through strong after the first sip. Hints of raisins. The barrel is present, but I still would believe it is a brandy instead of a bourbon barrel.

M - Thickerside of medium. Feels good, but there is no carbonation. The style is the only reason I'll rate this as highly. Like Bourbon Fred, I think the lack of carbonation makes this beer better.

O - Great beer. Fantastic tasting sipper. The flavors on this are so good. Almost....almost too good. (921 characters)

Photo of afksports
4.77/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Thomas for opening this 2011 bottle about a year after it was released.

The appearance is thick and sticky. Murky deep reddish purple. It smells of cherries and alcohol, but also dark fruit, sugar, and caramel.

It tastesround, sweet, but balanced and clean. Sugar with a extremely good malt character, and enough alcohol presence to match the style (Old Ale) and alcohol (10% by volume). Dark fruits, plums, and sugar candy with raisins. Truly a fantastic drinker, and this bottle sadly kicked almost as soon as it was poured.

Said shortly, it was devoured. Overall an awesome beer. Cherry Adam from the Wood: you have redeemed my faith in Hair of the Dog! (671 characters)

Photo of pigc
4.07/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks Bgramer for this extra...

A - Pours pitch black with very little or no head. Minimal carbonation bubbles around edge of glass.

S - Bourbon, black licorice, molasses, dark brown sugar.

T - Starts out with a smooth bourbon flavor followed by a faint hint of cherries, molasses and brown sugar. Very smooth finish.

M - Surprisingly thin for a 10% abv beer. Seems to be lacking in carbonation.

O - Glad I got a chance to try this one. I had pretty high expectations that may have been let down a bit although this is a very good beer. The cherries seem to keep this beer from being overly sweet and cloying. Could use a bit more carbonation as this is borderline flat. (677 characters)

Photo of bitterbeerguy
4.92/5  rDev +16%
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! (1,005 characters)

Photo of iadler
4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Big thanks to googzoid10 for a couple bottles. 2011 vintage.

A- Pours a murky dark brown with dark red highlights. A few bubbles pop up, but it's clear this has no carbonation.

S- The aroma upfront is similar to red wine with dark berries including cherries, blackberries as well as red grapes, plumb and raisins. Wet leather, wood, toffee, Vanilla and coconut follow after which reminds me of sherry, though the bottle doesn't state it was aged in sherry casks? Very complex and inviting aroma nonetheless.

T- Cherry is much more upfront in the taste with plenty of dark berries that is similar to a fruit forward vinaigrette with a sweet and slightly tart taste with notes of blueberry, raspberry and cherries. Toffee and coconut are present with and a hint of roasted malt and bourbon heat at the finish.

M- No carbonation and a syrupy body that finishes a bit sweet. The lack of carbonation doesn't hurt the beer too much and works for the style, though it makes me feel like I'm drinking wine more than beer.

O- This beer is extremely complex and really well balanced. The cherry presence works very well with the base beer. No carbonation, but still a truly unique beer. (1,183 characters)

Photo of CrellMoset
4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A second release bottle, if I'm not mistaken, 12 oz., poured in to a tulip. Only the faintest hiss upon the loosening of the cap.

Appearance: A little disappointing, but perhaps not unexpected with the minimum of fanfare that accompanied the opening of the cap on this one. A relatively rapid pour yields naught in suds and less in terms of a collar or surface lace, and subsequent swirls and dips yield legs more fitting to a glass of wine than a beer. That being said, I'm aware that what's in my glass is a 10% abv old ale aged with fruit in barrels that's been sitting in my cellar for over two years. Did I expect two inches of billowing, cloud-like wonder? No, but something a little more vivacious than this would have been nice.

Aroma: Now that's more like it. A very mellow, lightly fruity aroma that doesn't quite jump out at your right away but instead sits right at the edge of your nose, teasing, tingling, dancing right out of reach. As it warms, it gets a little friendlier, more sweet and less fruity, showcasing some glorious barrel sugar notes, toasted coconut and a lot of vanilla, and some dark toffee and cocoa. Bourbon dances just out of reach of the whole thing, almost filling in the blanks at times, never really showcasing more than an ankle. Never harsh, estery, or hot, this is one very well-rounded nose.

Taste: Phenomenal, and a step up over the nose. What a smooth, robust, varied, flavorful sensory experience. Sweetness and fruit at the tip of the tongue - dates, plums, raisins, the obvious cherries, as well as toffee, sweet chocolate, caramel, and molasses - give way to a slew of other notes, ranging from potent vanilla to chalky hints of wood. The bourbon here is a little more prominent, but it's a relative prominence - it's still mild, sweet, earthy, and almost lacking entirely in spice. It is lacking entirely in heat and abrasiveness, though not in pungency and power, which keeps it from becoming cloying (normally the problem when there isn't a balancing spice/bitterness to a sweet body).

The cherries are interesting. I can't really tell black cherries from any other type of cherry, and the depth and "darkness" of the fruit notes here isn't likely due to the type of cherry and instead due to the malts inherent in Adam (a great beer, for the record) and the age on the bottle. All that said, the cherries certainly add to it - there's a refreshing, bright(er, again, relatively) tart note both at the tip and at the finish of every sip. And with regard to that finish, it's fantastic - lingering, and replete with mildly snappy cherry, chocolate, mellow bourbon warmth, and dark toffee. Simply delightful.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, slick, slippery, and working surprisingly well with the flavor components here. The carbonation is almost nil, but what is here keeps the thick base beer from becoming too fat and heavy, though I imagine a little bit more (and maybe it had that little bit a year or two ago) would have emphasized the brightness and tartness of the cherries a little more.

Drinkability: Why were there only 12 oz. of this? I've heard there are problems with the 2011 batch that the 2009 batch didn't experience, and I'm grateful that I was able to experience this one as it was intended. The 10% is felt but not sensed (also perhaps the result of an empty stomach), which definitely contributes to the drinkability of this one. I'd certainly like to try this one alongside regular Adam from the Wood (though I understand it that that one spends significantly more time barrel-side) to see what influence the cherries have on this one, though I'm happy to read in to their influence wherever I can here. (3,672 characters)

Photo of PlinyTheKid
4.07/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark burgundy. Absolutely no head, no lacong.... No carbonation either. I can literally count the number of bubbles in the glass. I believe the 2011 batch must be flat. Has strong cherry and oak notes on the nose. Only a very tiny amount of carbonation on the mouth. Beyond sweet. Strong cherry flavor is present. Oaky after taste and a malty finish. I don't know what to expect to age the 2011 but I'm sure it will need more time for this to settle. Nonetheless, this is a nice beer. (492 characters)

Cherry Adam From The Wood from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
94 out of 100 based on 262 ratings.