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

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

230 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 230
Hads: 779
Avg: 4.42
pDev: 21.04%
Wants: 1,436
Gots: 138 | FT: 14
Brewed by:
Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: msubulldog25 on 01-27-2009

Brewed using two Munich malts, two Smoked malts and two types of Belgian candy sugar. It was aged in 33 year old Bourbon barrels and Apple Eau de Vie barrels for about one year.

First release: February 2009 (a.k.a. 'Bottleworks X')
Second release: November 2010
Third release: October 2013
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 230 | Hads: 779
Photo of Axic10
4.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Long time want, thanks Barrythebear! 2010 Vintage (bottle) poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a flat-cola looking, dark brown/almost black with no head or noticeable carbonation at all.

Smell: Boozy apple, slight hint of smokiness, dark fruits, very malty aroma along with some leather and tobacco.

Taste: Not nearly as boozy as the nose would indicate. Hints of apple brandy, figs, sweet malts, caramel, and a nice smokey/peaty taste.

Feel: Very smooth, full body. The lack of carbonation actually helps this imo.

Overall: I've been wanting to try this beer for almost 5 years now and thankful I was able to thanks to a great friend. This is up there in my opinion with Adam from the Wood as my two favorites from HotD and I wish I had more than the one bottle of each that I've had. This is one of the best in the style of "American Strong Ale" that I've had in 10+ years of drinking craft beer.

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Photo of Devman171
4.49/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottle, Pour is murky brown with low carb. Aroma is big sweet figs, dark fruits, and light barrel. taste is similar, very rich and decadent. HOD homer

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Photo of WI-Beer-Man
4.47/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottle enjoyed from snifter.

Flat as usual with these HotD brews.

Great "Old Ale" smell and taste. Sweet, but not too much. No smoke as was referred to in other reviews - perhaps the 2013 bottles were different from other vintages.

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Photo of bcornwell74
3.18/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Perhaps this style isn't exactly my thing, or the bottle was off, but i did not enjoy this. Very strong and overly sweet. Molten malt body with very little hop presence. Barrel notes overpowering.

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Photo of Holland
3.48/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tastes smokey, very little barrel present. It's like a baltic porter mixed with an old ale. Sweet and smokey, interesting to the point that I have few words to describe it, but it's an assault on the palate in a bad way as much as it is in a good way. Would not buy again for a while.

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Photo of StrongRepublican
4.71/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2010 bottle poured into a HotD branded tulip.

A: Pours incredibly dense without a trace of head; viscous in appearance, thick and slightly oily; dark, burnt caramel color.
S: Deep sweetness, caramel/toffee, big malt, slight amount of peat, vanilla/charred oak, hints of alcohol.
T: Massive malty sweetness, lots of woodiness and vanilla, burnt sugar, molasses, dark candied fruits, subtle jam elements, hints of roasted nuts/peat.
M: Very light carbonation - surprising after four years in the bottle. Velvety smooth and slick, viscous and dense.
O: Another incredible offering from HotD, no one does high gravity beers that age as gracefully! I only wish I had another vintage bottle, but I'm excited to crack the 2013!

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Photo of timc100
4.8/5  rDev +8.6%

Absolutely stunning product.

Per most HotD BA releases there is very minimal carbonation, but there is a very slight, soft fiz that works very well. Pours out very dark brown. Has the appearance of a dark old ale.

Fantastic aroma. Apple brandy, bourbon, rich sweet smoke, dark malt, old ale musty quality - like an attic and leather. It is very rich and drier.

The palate follows suit and the finish is strong. Great balance of bitter and sweet. Get the nice apple brandy and bourbon whiskey booze. Has the great old ale quality, smoke, some dark wood and leather.

With adam from the wood as the best HotD beer I've had, and one of my favorites of all time. 94

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4.35/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is delightful. Good, mellow, caramel, touch of smoke.................................................................................................

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.9/5  rDev -11.8%

Pour is extremely dark brown, murky, tan head. Nose has olive, chocolate malt, some peat and a light smokiness to it. Hints of caramel and brown sugar with a tough of dates. Taste is much more smokey and peaty, almost scotch esq. meaty an salty in the flavor, hints of the rich chocolate malt. Some sweeter berry malt in back. Maybe some iodine in there. Body is full with soft carb and creamy feel.

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Photo of Resuin
4.54/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a snifter. This is the latest release (2013). Reviewed from notes from a couple days ago.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with a slight orange-ish hue. Leaves a small off-white head.

Smell: Big smoked meats, sweet bourbon, oak, brandy, dark chocolate. Very interesting and different aroma.

Taste: Matches the aroma well, which is very nice: Bourbon, brandy, dark chocolate, cedar, nice smoky finish. Very well balanced flavors. Not overly sweet.

Mouth-feel: Low carbonation, but definitely enough. Full body.

Overall: This is a very tasty, and different beer. The interesting barrels have really put a twist on this and its really nice, smoky and sweet. Very well done brew.

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Photo of maximum12
4.04/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to nate321 for knocking the off my longest-running want, as well as sending an overall killer box. 12 oz. bottle, 2013 vintage, consumed while my wife is off watching comedy, or something.

The pour is on the left side of Hair: carbonation consists of a few startled bubbles that escaped the carbonation reaper, very dark brown. The nose is a screamer: like standing in the middle of a raw leather factory with bourbon nose plugs. Huge nose. There's brown sugar, molasses, underneath. One of the most aggressive aromas on a beer that I can recall & it's amazing.

Matt is the kryptonite of subtle. If possible, the brown leather comes on even stronger in the mouth than in the nose, dominating to the point of drowning some of the lovely subtleties that peek out of the aroma. After the cat-o-nine-tails to the taste buds, the barrel shoulder its way in: supremely sweet vanilla, slow burning bourbon. No wood to speak of, surprisingly. Heavy hand of sugar pushes this into sweetness overload, & the caramel that loads up the back end catapults it off the cliff. As with many HotD beers, could have used some carbonation to keep it a touch lighter; I'll enjoy my 12 oz. of table syrup, but I'd have enjoyed it a lot more if it weren't beginning to dry into a concrete block in my stomach.

So glad I got to try this. The lack of carbonation really hurts the last couple of categories, but you can't have everything. Especially with HotD, I suppose. Still a very good beer.

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Photo of drmcleod10
4.58/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2 oz pour roughly and generously shared at a small bottle share at TG on MD tapping day
Thanks to the fellow BA's for cracking this and several others

Reviewing from notes made in my head!

A - Pours clear dark brown color with minimal head and laving

S - Dark fruits is definitely something that came from the smell with some carmel notes

T - Taste is much the same on front end with dark fruits and a finish of carmel and tobacco
Figs and dates

M - Medium to full bodied and feels much like a stout

O - Overall I was very excited to try this and it is definitely the best HotD offering that I have had

Thanks again to the generous BA

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Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
4.66/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2008 vintage opened in 2015

Appearance – Pours a very dark brownish black color, with almost no head, except a light ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell – Bourbon, molasses, smoke, and apple.

Taste – A nice sweet bourbon flavor, with molasses and vanilla.

Mouthfeel – The alcohol was not hidden at all, so the 11.5%abv felt about right.

Drinkability – Overall, this was a really good beer.  Perhaps a little flat.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.49/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, 2013 vintage, poured into an unlabeled snifter glass today, 2/27/2014. Thanks Chad.

App- Looks pretty standard for a stout/darker old ale. Dark brown body, minimal head and retention.

Smell- Leather, dark fruits- such as figs, dates, raisins- caramel, toffee, smoke. Very complex. Lots of stuff going on. Don't get the apple that it says on the label.

Flavour- similar to the nose. More dark fruit forward, with a lot of sweet caramel and toffee. Oak barrels. Less smoke and leather than in the nose.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied, low carbonation that is still just about right, it would seem. Definitely a sipper; there is a lot going on in the palate and it's hard enough to split a 12oz bottle between 4 people.

Overall- Typical Hair of the Dog. Remarkably complex strong ale that gives you a lot to think about. Most certainly one of the better "strong ales" I've had.

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Photo of MattyFiyah
4.83/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2013 Release. Enjoyed my namesake beer for my birthday thanks to a good friend.

A - A deep mahogany with red hues when the light hits. Slight brown head that thins out quickly. Not any noticeable lacing or legs.

S - Lots of rich and complex scents here. Heavy bourbon, molasses, smoke, maple, dark fruit, brown sugar.

T - Massive bourbon and smoke flavor. Then in comes smooth vanilla and rich, dark fruits. Rich chocolate tastes sweeps in as well. So rich and delicious.

M - Not much carbonation. Full body. Thick mouthfeel. Very rich and smooth.

O - So lucky I had a chance to enjoy this. Amazing beer that is exactly what I love in a beer. Rich and flavorful (vanilla, rich dark fruit, bourbon, brown sugar). Highlights the flavor of a bourbon-barrel aged beer without being harsh. One of my favorites so far on my journey of good beer.

Serving: Bottle

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Photo of chinchill
3.46/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hair of the dog Matt at RBWG-2014

Intimidating strong aroma suggests boozy syrup over dark bread with a touch of smoke.

Flavor largely follows. It is strong, sweet and syrupy.

Interesting for sure, but too extreme. More cordial than ale.
Worth re-visiting.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-Like a deep black in the glass, clear deep mahogany, not much carbonation, one finger off whtie head with some lacing.

S-Bourbon, oak, caramel, chocolate, brown sugar, dark fruits and smoke.

T-Starts with oak, and bourbon. Then caramel, chocolate and sugar. Ends with smoke and dark fruits.

M-Medium to heavy in body, not much carbonation, very smooth.

O-A really good beer. Extremely complex, balance was good. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of Dope
4.27/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 batch, just released.

A: Pours a very dark brown with a little red highlight. Small light brown head, even with an aggressive pour. Surprisingly decent retention, despite the miniscule head. Just the smallest specks of lacing.

S: Whoa. Lots of barrel aging. Bourbon is strong in this one. Loaded with caramel and brown sugar. Quite a bit of smoke tries to compete with the bourbon too but compliments instead of overpowers. Sweet malts underneath further add to the decadence. Not overly boozy despite the 11.5% ABV and barrel aging. Very unique, strong and complex aroma.

T: Very strong and bold barrel flavors up front. I have to stop and carefully examine the flavors, this is so complex. There is heavy and smooth caramel and toasted sugars. Sweet dark fruits, raisin for sure but also quite a bit of apple - like apple brandy. Almost a caramel apple flavor at points. Lots of smoked malt too, not very acrid due to all the sweetness but it's more of a umami type flavor. Like burnt BBQ'd meat. Not overpowering but prominent and a key factor to balancing all of the sweetness. Belly warming from the alcohol but no stinging alcohol taste. A little charred oak in the aftertaste with light hints of smoke floating around between sips. Big syrupy caramel coats the mouth forever.

M: Heavy, thick, sweet, borderline cloying.

O: Pretty serious brew. Super complex but nothing is overpowering. Garnering balance with this high ABV and multiple barrel agings is a rare thing but they pull it off pretty well. I'm not a fan of smoky beers but the huge sweetness and barrel aging has tempered the smoked malts quite well. Don't get me wrong, it's still smoky and meaty but it's tolerable for me. This one is very sweet, syrupy sweet and heavy. A sipper for sure. Dessert beer. Very unique.

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Photo of Brandywine
4.48/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2013 poured into a tulip.

Appearance: Deep murky brown. No head. Thin lacing. Super sticky alcohol legs.

Smell: Fresh green apples, brown sugar, bourbon, oak. There an indescribable and very rich smell to this beer.

Taste: Smoke, bourbon, oak, dark fruit and rich apple brandy. The very end of the tongue merges from rich sweet notes into a subtle dark chocolate bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Full.

Overall: The smoke and the apple brandy are the stars here and they play off each other extremely well. A very decadent and unique beer.

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Photo of anteater
4.86/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Matt 2013

12oz Tulip on tap at Hair of the Dog

A: Deep dark black with thin brown head

S: Bourbon, molasses, dark fruit and a slight hint of apple. Very rich.

T: You only need the smallest of sips to enjoy an absolute explosion of flavor from the beer. Huge bourbon, apple, sweet caramel and barrel backed by leather and smoke. It has that Hair of the Dog quality that most of their beers share, but Matt takes it to another level. One of, if not the best tasting beer I've ever had.

M: A crucial part to why I rate this beer so highly. This beer is very thick. It goes down incredibly smooth yet the carbonation gives it an interesting grittiness. Unbelievable.

O: This is a beer that I feel so incredibly fortunate to ever have to opportunity to drink. My highest rated beer thus far. It shares the amazing mellow, well balanced, alcohol hiding barrel aged qualities with the other heavy hitters such as BCBS but is far more flavorful, complex and unique in my opinion.

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Photo of thebigredone
4.49/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to a couple buddies, was able to try the 2010 and 2013 side by side.

Pours black with a quickly fading pale tan head. Wonderful flavors of dark fruit, smoked malt, and smooth bourbon. Everything blends together to make an extremely smooth, thick brew. Fantastic.

Similar pour, but the flavors are quite different. Strange umami and sweet flavors cover up the delicious bourbon and dark fruit. Not nearly as enjoyable.

2013 was the clear winner, thanks again to Chris and Jeff for putting this pair together.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.65/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle pour at Woodshop 8 held at The Hermosillo in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a murky orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is malt, smoke, and fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with slightly sour caramel and fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of woody bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a very earthy and woody set of aromas and flavors.

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Photo of brother_kenneth
4.56/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage. Pours a dark brown, almost black, with hardly any head at all. Doesn't look very carbonated, but there are a few bubbles on the side of the glass. Sweet, bourbon, candy-like aromas. Some woody and apple notes are noticeable as well. Lots of complexity here. Smells absolutely delicious. First taste is insane. Feels thin and basically flat. Some heat is obvious, along with delicious bourbon and apple brandy barrel flavors. The finish is wood and smoke, but somehow in an incredible way for me. This beer is really throwing me for a loop, as it is unlike anything I've had before. But I am really enjoying it. This was my only bottle, but I will have to get more. This would age VERY well. Overall, Hair of the Dog has blown my mind yet again, this time with the most recent release of Matt. Can't wait to try Otto. Cheers!

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Photo of artoolemomo
4.4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Guess what- no head. But this is no surprise. I don't really care if this is very carbonated; I simply hope there's a little bit. I'm guessing the head would have been a light beige but I really don't know. The body is an opaque dark chocolate black. There were a couple spots of lacing but not anymore.

Nose- Very complex and quite compelling. Got lots of apple when I first opened this beer but now I'm getting a bunch of smoke, chocolate, tobacco, leather, and figs. All signs of a rich and distinguished strong ale. Molasses, slight bourbon, and honey with slight but beneficial heat. Lots of maple syrup. I'm guessing this was aged on eau du vie barrels. Cherries as well.

Taste- Lush chocolate opens up the flavor profile and moves into apple which is ousted by rich cherry, raisin, and brown sugar with bits of tobacco and leather. This tastes sort of what I imagine Westy 12 would if it lived up to many of the descriptions. Heavy bourbon that doesn't rely on clunky oak notes. Reminds me a lot of the first time I had Parabola. However, this beer lacks the smoothness and fullness of that beer. The only real negative is the mouthfeel. Berries show up as well. Tons of complexity but nothing that dominates or isolates itself. The most notes tend to cycle through and repeat themselves making it a different experience with each sip. Candied fruits. Lots of brown sugar, some maple syrup.

Mouthfeel- Between medium and heavy bodied but I wish it were fuller. Carbonation is pretty light to almost nonexistent. Not entirely bad though. Some grit.

Drinkability- Extremely easygoing but also complex and rich enough to comple paced sipping. This packs a lot of punch. Pricey enough that this might be a one time thing.

Overall- Definitely lives up to the hype. A little disappointed that I couldn't get bottles but still happy to be drinking this. Definitely worth 15 bucks, maybe even 20.

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Photo of derftron
4.91/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had a 2010 bottle at the Brewery

poured into HOD tulip

smell - sweet boozy magic

color - amber/copper and almost no lacing as this beer was not very carbonated

mouthfeel - thick as can be. could still taste the beer 1/2 hour after I left. coats the tongue and throat

taste - holy cow. did not expect to enjoy it this much. I knew I would like it because 99% of the beer they make is fantastic, but this immediately vaulted into my top 5. maybe it was the 3 years of aging, but this was just a masterpiece of what a barrel aged strong ale can be. sweet but not too sweet. Boozy, but not over the top. almost tastes like some sort of sweet liqure blended with the malt and hops of a beer. just nothing like it. The Cherry Adam from the wood had similar qualities, but this beer did it without any added fruit. I now see why people were lined up to buy cases of the 2013 batch.

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Matt from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
97 out of 100 based on 230 ratings.