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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: 11.54%
Wants: 1,434
Gots: 138 | FT: 13
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
Reviews by jdense:
Photo of jdense
4.39/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle enjoyed at HOTD Tasting Room, $15, 12.1.2010.

Dark brown not black body, flat as a pancake no visible carbonation, minimal lacing. Nose is very complex, apple, smoke, some barrel notes, caramel, burnt brown sugar, noble hops. Taste mirrors the nose, brown sugar, plums, prunes, candy sugar, good dose of smoke as it warmed, with the ripe apple from barrels constantly present and balancing the other 'deep' flavors. Mouthfeel is medium full, good effervescence despite lack of visible carbonation, not sticky. ABV well hidden, a sipper to be sure. A very complex beer to be savored. Highly recommended.

EDIT- Shared a 2009 vintage at HOTD compliments of Dr. Will, his Ohio guest and John Michaelsen, $25, 7.27.11. The barrel aging and bottle conditioning gave this world class beer a really sublime feel, the apples were mellowed and the brown sugar had subsided. My observation at the bottom of the glass, 'this is a beer worth waiting in line to buy' says it all. Awesome, upped overall score to 4.5 from 4.0 previous review.

 1,043 characters

More User Reviews:
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

 674 characters

Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.16/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at Apex in pdx with @montrealbcr and @rutager

53 characters

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.

 1,486 characters

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!

 721 characters

Photo of tectactoe
4.57/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Super-huge thanks to Jeff for opening this one; this has been a HUGE want of mine for a while now. 2010 vintage. Matt pours out of the bottle looking thick and viscous; a dark mix of brown and almost-black edges. Even a rough pour produces nearly no head, just a thin, tan ring that hugs the glass before vanishing forever, leaving the top of the brew bare.

I could smell Matt as soon as we cracked open the bottle. Once we finally poured it into our glasses, the aroma filled the room. You could smell it without even leaning in towards the beer. And warmth only aided in the robustness, drawing out even more flavors, more power, and more depth. It was absolutely incredible.

I'll try to do this beer justice by listing out some of the many things noted in the insanely complex aroma. Black cherries, figs, oak, vanilla, bourbon, tart apples, brown sugar, toffee, plums, tobacco, mild char and smoke, and some underlying sweetness throughout. Just amazing, seriously. Each successive whiff brings out new nuances you weren't getting before. One of the best things I've smelled in a while.

Like many Hair of the Dog brews, the taste contains a commanding alcohol warmth up front; just to let you know that it's not messing around here. Big, boozy apples up front with a compelling combo of boozy-warm and lightly-tart. The fruit character is actually pretty huge and contains more than just apple; cherry, grape, plum, and sugary dates also make an appearance.

The initial, mild tartness from the fruits quickly fades into the boozy abyss as the malts rumble in and unleash the sweetness. Toffee, caramel, brown sugar, heavy flavors of wood and dry oak, sherry, and Hair of the Dog's signature tobacco/leather finish. Make no mistake about it, this beer is HUGE. It's robust, commanding, and a slow sipper if there ever was one, even at "only" 11.5% ABV.

Matt's presence on my palate is also huge; thick, chewy, viscous, oily, and sticky, and you'll be tasting Matt long after you've swallowed. Left over oak, booze, and fading dark fruits will coat your mouth for days if you forget to brush. Just an incredible beer when all was said and done. I can't thank Jeff enough for cracking this one. If I ever had the chance, I'd buy as much of this as I could afford.

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Photo of Schlais
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a very deep dark brown color with a minimal head that doesn't leave any lace. Pours more like a wine or spirit than beer.

S - Hints of tobacco and old leather with sweet dark fruit, rich plum, and raisin. very deep and complex, loads of richness all over.

T - Some bourbon, dark fruits, getting a lot of raisins, caramel brown sugar. Some apple in the finish.

M - Medium light body with moderate carbonation. This is surprisingly light but still very, very good.

O - Glad I had the opportunity to try this rarity. This one lived up to the hype. Really great beer and another good one from Hair of the Dog. I was worried it would be past its prime but it's still drinking great. Hope they release this again.

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Photo of newk340
5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.49/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep dark brown pour without much head and dark garnet highlights. Just a few bubbles on top. Aromas of dark malts, apple and a nice smoke character with chocolate accents. A lovely melange of scents coming off of this one...rich, great depth, awesome.

First sip brings rich dark malts with smoke flavors. Chocolate and dark fruits abound and intertwine with each subsequent sip. Caramel and licorice accents. A bit of an oaky barrel on the way down. Immensely tasty.

Smooth, medium body that's not overly heavy. Just an incredibly tasty brew that is a great treat and thanks to Scott for graciously sharing this one at a tasting at my house. Would love to have it again someday.

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Photo of bulldogg915
5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of oddlandf
4.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of gregmoscetti
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of NWer
5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of warnerry
4.45/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle at HOTD

Pours deep brown with only a thin ring of beige head. Aroma has lots of caramel, brown sugar, cherries, green apple, vanilla, oak, some deep roast and some booze.

Taste is initially sweet and boozy, but the complexity eventually comes through. Lots of brown sugar, raisin and fig, cherries, tart apples, vanilla and oak. The bourbon presence is really complementary and doesn't dominate at all. A bit of noticeable alcohol, but relatively mild. A bit warming on the finish.

Very smooth mouthfeel, and somewhat sticky sweet. A little bit of bitterness on the finish prevents the sweetness from getting out of hand. A warm finish.

As far as big, sweeter boozy beers go, this is one of the best I've had. Very complex and enjoyable. As it warms, the apple really comes through.

 798 characters

Photo of Callmecoon
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of tjthresh
3.84/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle in a snifter. Pour is dark opaque brown with zero head. The liquid is viscous enough to cling nicely to the sides of my glass though. The noise features quite a bit of smoke. In the background I can pick out some oak, tobacco, and a bit of the apple brandy. The flavor is pretty complex, and I can easily say that I've never tasted anything quite like it. You get plenty of smoke, smooth oaky vanilla, and wonderful apple brandy. The mouthfeel is full and viscus, but for the most part flat. Matt is great, but I really with he was carbonated.

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Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of chossboss
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Prospero
5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of standardcherry
4.73/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle of the 2010 vintage. Thanks for this one Andy!

A: This is a nice one. A black/slightly purple-ish body with a tiny light brown head.
S: Big sweetness. Maple syrup/brown sugar. Apple, vanilla, oaky tones and chocolate. A bit of roastiness and bourbon.
T: Wow. So much going on in here. Apple brandy flavors, caramel, vanilla, raisin. A tiny bit of soy sauce. Notes of oak and chocolate. Finishes with a savory/sweet smoked ham flavor. This is weird but so damn good. Tiny amount of boozy hotness in the finish, but overall the alcohol is extremely well hidden.
M: Full bodied with light carbonation. A tiny bit of burn.
O: This is one of my favorite beers. So complex, so much going on. Alan Sprints needs to make this one again soon.

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

12oz bottle poured into an acbf tasting glass.

Pours a very dark brown with a small and thin light brown head. Nose is sharp, boozy and sweet.

Taste is very sharp an pretty boozy, with a sweet finish. Mouthfeel is creamy and syrupy, quite tasty and drinkable though!

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Photo of dogfishandi
4.44/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

enjoyed this at an awesome bottle tasting with a few local BA's. 12oz bottle split 4-5 ways, poured into a snifter.

pours out a deep dark brownish slightly red color. almost no head, but nice color.

lots of aromas of dark fruits, raisons, figs, molasses, maybe a little apple and a hint of smoke.

wow, big flavors in the taste. what really stand out for me is maple and molasses. also lots of dark dried fruits, raisons, prunes, figs, maybe some apple and hints of bourbony alcohol and smoke. definatly on the sweeter side.

big, thick, chewy, meaty body, almost syrupy, but definatly in a good way. carbonation towards the lower side.

a great beer, so many complexities. i can only hope ill get the chance to drink this again.

 731 characters

Photo of obiwan_k3n00bi
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Cynic-ale
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

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