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

Not Rated.
MattMatt

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

231 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 231
Hads: 789
Avg: 4.42
pDev: 21.04%
Wants: 1,435
Gots: 140 | FT: 14
Brewed by:
Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
Oregon, United States | website

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 231 | Hads: 789
Photo of jamescain
4.67/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a sniffer, thanks to Dajtai007 for bring this one too. I believe it was about 2 years old.

Appearance: Pours a clear deep mahogany-dark brown with a thin tan head that fades into a small ring round the side of the glass.

Aroma: Just a touch of apples, most of the apple aroma has faded by now sadly, bourbon and brandy, with roasted grain and a smokey characteristic.

Taste: Wonderfully complex! Brandy, bourbon, oak, vanilla, smokey, dark fruit, raisins, a touch of booze, and caramel.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth with medium body and low carbonation.

Overall: I could easily drink a few of these, but my liver probably would be upset. Incredibly complex, a real treat!

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Photo of TulipSnifter
4.67/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottleworks X

Appearance: This vintage is dark brown. There are larger bubbles around the rim. Bubbles dissipate. Looks pretty heavy.
Smell: The smell is sweet but not overpowering. There is a little bit of a bourbon smell but there is no alcohol burn.
Taste: A little smoke, some bourbon, and quite a bit of sweet caramel. Very smooth.
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, lightly carbonated, but very smooth.
Drinkability: Very nice and easy to drink.

2010 Matt

Appearance: Dark brown with a ring of tiny bubbles that stay intact.
Smell: Very vibrant. I smell some apple and a little more heat than the Bottleworks vintage, not bad though. I guess the alcohol smell has tamed with the age of the older vintage.
Taste: Absolutely wonderful. Apple, sweet with a little heat, and the perfect amount of smoke. There is a little bite but nothing time won't take care of.
Mouthfeel: Carbonated! Lighter, crisper, and very fun to drink. It seems to have a little more bite because it's still young but some aging will probably take care of that if you want it a little smoother.
Drinkability: Great! It doesn't feel so heavy right now at this stage. The lighter, thinner feel makes it easier to drink but you will probably be able to get more nuances once you let it settle for a while. Both are still wonderful. Matt is wonderful!

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Photo of zeledonia
4.69/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This has been one of my top wants for some time. My name's Matt, and I love barrel-aged barleywine-ish beers. So I chose to use this one to celebrate my birthday. 2010 vintage. Enjoyed 3 August 2012, reviewed from notes.

Pours a murky slightly-reddish dark brown. Thin layer of yellowish head. Not much lacing, but tons of bubbles sticking to the inside of the glass. Not winning on appearance, though.

I smell it, and I immediately know it's going to be good. Has a little bit of apple, but mostly it's that rich sweet bourbon barrel aroma. All the positive character of the barrel, without the alcohol bite. Dark fruits (plums and prunes), shaded with lighter pulpy fruit (apple).

Taste is heavy on the toffee. Rich mash of whiskey, some smoke, brown sugar accents. Rich, sweet, and oh so indescribably tasty. Reminds me a lot of a barrel-aged English barleywine, with the sweetness and barrel flavors. At times it's like drinking candy. Alcohol is very well masked - I could have believed this was around 7% ABV, not 11.5%.

Mouthfeel is heavy, chewy, and so sticky that I can still feel it on my lips well after finishing the glass. Carbonation is relatively low, but that's to be expected. Finish is long-lasting, with all those lovely flavors persisting and making me wish I had more.

Among the best beers I've had. Really really tasty stuff. If I could make a fruit-whiskey jolly rancher, this is what it would taste like. It pleases me greatly that my namesake beer is so damn good.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.69/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I still rate overall as drinkability, so bear that in mind.

A - Super dark cola, tan head stays for some time, some cling lace. Looks viscous and inviting.

S - WOW. A perfect blend of warm bread, booze, wood, cooked fruit and malt. I might cry.

T - All that and more. I am sobbing now.

M - Ok, almost perfect as well, but a little hot at the end. Hard to be that perfect :)

D - This is DRINKABILITY and not OVERALL. Overall I would have made it a 4.5, but as far as sessionability goes, way over the top and one is all I can handle.

This is now one of my ATF!

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Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.69/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

355ml bottle 11,5% Abv.
Served lightly chilled in an over sized wine glass.
Bottleworks X edition (2009)

Thanks to Lurchingbeast for this this one.

Appearance: Matt pours out a very dark brown, with a back light revealing a beautiful deep red along the edges. A rough pour yields a thin off-white head that lasts reasonably well and a swirl coats the glass in heavy alcohol legs.

Smell: Mmmmm, another delicious smelling beer from HotD and potentially the most complex to date. Big dark fruit notes (stewed plums, red grapes, raisins and fig jam) dominate the nose, with molasses, dark brown sugar and liquorice also well noted. Other notes include: Earthy tobacco, dark rum and a little campfire smoke. As the beer warms the apple eau de vie becomes apparent and the smokiness and fig character increase.

Taste: Interestingly there is a distinct bourbon character in the flavour, but the apple eau de vie from the nose is absent. Other notes include: Dark fruits (fig in particular), dark treacle, molasses, brown sugar, a touch of liquorice, a little chocolate, oak and an earthy quality. The finish displays a distinct smokey note and is quite dry.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and lightly sticky with a low (read perfect) level of super smooth carbonation.

Overall: Another winner from HotD - I have yet to have anything other than world class beers from this brewery! I will most certainly be getting some more bottles of Matt when a fresh batch is released.

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Photo of alleykatking
4.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split a bottle of this with Mothman at DLD. Oddly enough split another bottle later the next week with a buddy who brough it over. Review from notes....

A- Poured a black looking color. When held to the light you could see that it was a murky brown color. Little half finger light tan head pops up and dies just a quickly. Light light specks of lace on the sides of the glass.

S- This one has a huge apple almost brandy like aroma when it's popped. Light smokey malts in the backing mixes with a chocolate sweetness. Oak notes blend with a light bourbon burn in the nose. As this warms vanilla notes come out as well along with some sugared darker fruits.

T- This is a holy shit beer! A beer that you take a sip of and just say "holy shit!". Everything in the nose transfer to the palate perfect. Big brown sugary apple front on this. The middle of the beer dies down to oaky bourbon flavors with a hint of vanilla. The smokey ending on this mixing with some lighter darker fruits is a fantastic ending to this beer. Everything taste wise is just wow....amazing. It's hard to describe!

M- Medium heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation was a little lacking on the beer but still made it ok. Lighty chewy with some sips. It's kind of hard to describe the flaovrs left behind because everything is so well blended yet can be picked out. The alcohol warmed the throat and dryed the palate but in a clean way and not overly harsh.

D- This beer is great. Hair of the Dog knocks another one out of the park! This beer both times I have had it has been divine. It is a smooth sipper and I could drink on it all night like that.

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Photo of claaark13
4.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks jedwards. This is awesome. Poured cellar temp into a HF tulip.

A - Very dark brown, mahogany. Lacing slowly forms and lingers until the end.

S - Spices, roast, dark candied fruits, slight booze. Magic in a bottle.

T - Sweet dark malts, roast, candied dark fruits, slight heat yet mostly smooth, some dryness...almost like and apple. Some wood-like notes come through.

M - Medium body, heavier on the tongue.

O - Fantastic. Absolutely fantastic.

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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 DaveJanssen
4.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Split a 12 oz bottle 3 ways, poured into red wine glasses. The bottleworks X batch. Reviewed evening of 3/20/2011.

Ar: Smoky, but more pleasant than other smoky beers (significantly less meaty), rich and dark, roasted spicy wood, pine smoke qualities, apple sweetness, smoked evergreen

Ap: beautiful maroon/mahogany brown, low head, clear

T: Smoked wood, slightly more meaty than aroma but still less than any other smoky beer i've had, sweet rich apple, heavy dark sweetness, spicy wood, milder at first, becomes stronger/much better with warmth, very smooth bourbon, full, difficult to review, everything works very well together and individual characters are tough to pick apart, chocolate, heavy dark fruit sugar, long aftertaste, pine/smoke milder than in aroma, not caramelly, lingering apple liquor, smooth and not cloying, smoke helps the balance, very smooth charred wood

M: Full, low carbonation, clean long end, rich and very smooth, well balanced, a great sipping beer

O: Delicious, i like the aroma better than the taste, i really like the evergreen smoke notes

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Photo of djbreezy
4.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a tulip at Hair of the Dog in Portland, OR. BA user squaremile was kind enough to purchase a bottle and share it with me on my first visit to the brewery and tasting room.

appearance - dark and oily, not much head or lacing

smell - smoke, tobacco, apple, brandy

taste - hugely complex but carefully crafted, smooth notes of smoke, tobacco, apple, brandy, sugar and malts individually punch the senses

mouthfeel - thick and smooth, light carbonation (just right)

drinkability - what an amazing beer to try, complex, unimaginable, creative, one of the more memorable beers i've had

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Photo of cmadd
4.71/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The 2010 vintage pours with light carbonation into a murky deep coffee-brown body. There's very little head, but a pale ring of lacing. What is remarkable about this beer is how the elements of taste surge and fade like voices in counterpoint. Smells of sweet bourbon and light raisins greet the nose and they linger over dried apple and smoke. The taste comes and goes: a sharp dried apple sweetness, a slight alcoholic edge that pervades, a deeper sweetness of molasses and milk chocolate, smoke and charred oak, finishing on a quiet chocolate astringency. The body is medium to thick, the beer is sweet, not cloying, and in the delicate interplay of powerful flavours is one remarkable beer.

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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 mikesgroove
4.72/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big, big thanks to the kind BA who sent this one my way. I had been dying to get a hold of it and finally chose last night for the night to use it as a night cap. Served chilled down to cellar temp and poured into a pint glass, this gem was consumed on 05/31/2009.



The pour was near spot on for the style. Rich looking dark caramel brown with a light, modest looking layer of lace and foam on the top. Smooth, elegant streaks running down the side of the glass throughout the session really made it have a smooth, very nice look to it. Rich, perfect aroma of toffee and butterscotch. Smooth caramel notes and a light earthy grain. Just the right touch of a boozy note added on top of an otherwise flawless execution of the style. Wonderful notes of toffee and chewy candy like flavors just ripple across the tongue. Wonderful blend here of sweet malty flavors with an almost chewy flavor to it. Quite intense I have to say. Mellow, light carbonation but no where near flat, this is exactly how I want an old ale to be, and it showed. I could have sipped on this one all day as once it reached up to room temperature it was perfect.



Overall a big, big winner here. This was quite simply one of the best of the style I have ever had. Not even a touch hot either, this one will surely live up to the hype for anyone who can track it down.

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Photo of oregone
4.72/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally had to crack one open...
A: Deep mahogany with hints of murky red at edges. Decent head for HotD, settling into a haze of fine bubbles on the surface.
S: Complex. Ripe apple, smoke, bourbon and barrel notes, tobacco leaf, continually unfolding.
T: Rich barrel notes with the bourbon a mild component. Smoke and tobacco, raisin, dates, some faint dried apple, etc. Very complex and delicious.
M: Thick but not cloying. The light carbonation refreshes as it coats.
D: I would love the opportunity and excuse to crack a couple or few of these. Alas, far too limited.

A great brew. Worthy of the hype and the HotD label. Complex and certainly to be savored.

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Photo of brew3crew
4.72/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage year

A-brown body with no head whatsoever

S-sweet mixture of bourbon and brandy

T-nice. Can really taste the barrels. Distinct bourbon and brandy that does a dance on my tounge. A tango if you will.

M- medium body and smooth. So smooth

O- very, very good. I must have!

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Photo of Floydster
4.72/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle acquired in a trade with SuzyGreenberg, thanks again for sending me this one Ben, also had this on tap in May poured by Alan himself at the brewery, reviewed from notes, poured into my Dogfish Head snifter, color is a nice dark brown with some dark red around the edges, 1/2 inch creamy light tan head, sticks around for a few minutes, some lacing at first, aroma is amazing and consists of lots of oak, booze including both brandy and bourbon, green apples, roasted caramelized malts, vanilla, cream, bourbon, brown sugar, light cocoa, honey, and an unbelievable toffee scent, begins with a mellow boozy flavor mixed with smokiness and some candied fruits, mildly roasted malts in the middle with some of the apple flavor coming through, great brandy-like finish that is warm but not hot, lots of vanilla and chocolate following closely behind, aftertaste lingers with a great amount of oak, warms up with molasses and complexity with different fruits coming to the surface, love the finish on this beer, warming, slightly sweet, roasty, creamy, and malty mouthfeel, super complex, medium to full bodied, just the right amount of carbonation which was on the softer side, taste lingered for up to ten minutes at times, great aftertaste, drank this whole bottle quite easily but do not know how much more I could really do, alcohol is hidden very well considering what this is and the booze that are present are not super hot but more complimentary, very smooth, nice sipper and I cannot wait to have another next winter, this is one of the best Hair of the Dog beers yet and that is saying a lot, makes Adam even better than it already is, I look forward to seeing how this cellars, highly recommended

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Photo of Sarlacc83
4.72/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle purchased long ago in 2010. Reviewed from notes, consumed 12-17. 2010 vintage.

A: Black like charred ash. A thin creme lacing and sticky, sticky legs.

N: Deep inhalations of smoke and apple brandy. Chocolate and leather drift in and out between the charred oak. There's deep vanilla here and caramel. Rich and inviting.

T: Smoke, candi sugar, and malt. Bourbon and oak notes overlap with the apple brandy depth. A second layer of chocolate and leather. This is absolutely superb.

M: A hefty body with a completely shocking lack of alcohol. This is carbonated, if barely. Lingers.

O: A complete tour de force. The 2010 is the superior vintage, by far, in my estimation, and this is drinking quite well at 2 years old. Glad I have more.

Edit: After having this one on tap for the 2013 vintage, I have come to the conclusion that this is my favorite beer right now and deserves a bump accordingly.

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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 ccrida
4.74/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On draught at Brower's for their 10th anny, this was by far my favorite beer of the night, and I just gave the New Beligum anny an A+ (reviews are from copious notes at the bar)! Served in a Leffe goblet, Matt is a dark ruby brown with a quickly dissipating, big bubbled tan head that leaves very light lace.

Smell is strong and bright, with a big blast of apple brandy and sweet, rich malts. The warmer this got, the more depth it picked up, and the better it got.

Taste is fantastic, and even more robust then the nose. Really nice smokiness, more sweet dark malts and apple brandy, with a slight touch of coconut. Surprisingly smooth, the time in the barrels really helped this round out nicely, and will make it hard for me to hold out on my paltry 2 bottles. Tons of complexity, this is my favorite HOTD of all time, and he has really put out some great beers.

Mouthfeel is very smooth, with an oily slickness and surprisingly lighter body.

Drinkability is very high, as it's a fantastic beer. In spite of it being a rare, expensive one off, it goes down very easy, and if I lived by Brower's I'd be drinking it until it was gone. Wow.

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

Thanks to Adam and Chris for this one.
2010 Vintage poured in to tulip.

A - Poured dark black with a thin layer of light brown head that immediately receded to a ring around the glass.

S - A big sweetness up front with chocolate, vanilla, woody notes and roast. There are some lighter bourbon and vanilla notes present as well.

T - A massively bold palate that features cocoa, roast, smoke and toasted woodiness. There is a big overall sweetness that is nicely cut by a warming alcohol presence. Secondary flavours include dark fruit, molasses, apple and pear. As the beer warms up the dark fruit becomes more prominent, creating a chocolate covered cherry flavour.

M - Medium, almost full body. Some stickiness. Light carbonation.

O - This was an absolutely amazing beer and another home run from HOTD.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Notes from 8/24

Thanks to canjeeps for hooking this one up...shared with the local group in a HotD horizontal. poured into a HotD taster.
2010 vintage

a - looks pretty bada$$...dark purple with a thin creamy head.

s - super smokey. some raisin and bourbony wood. apples and dark fruit.

t - raisin, dark fruit, some soy sauce. lots of heat from the bourbon. some smoke, not as much as the nose suggested. really tasty...great fruity presence.

m - has a bit of a burn. some good heat. strong ale indeed. full bodied and thick, but oh so enjoyable.

o - REALLY awesome. I dig this A LOT. probably my favorite of the night. smoke is really present in the nose, but that's it...a bit in the taste, but it works well. it is part of the barrel. would definitely have this again and seek it out.

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Photo of Auracom
4.76/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Yet another enormous thanks to Greg for this. 3 oz. poured into a FFF Teku on June 9th, 2012.

A - Pours quite flat ala cherry Adam FtW without the red hues, dark brown coloring is akin to regular Adam.

S - This is a bit mellow initially. Predominantly bourbon barrel in the nose, lesser dark fruit, a touch of brandy, candied sugar. After a strong swirl near room temp you can pull a bit of the sweet apple cider note and get a pretty unique mix.

T - Front to mid palate is old ale, Adam-like with roasted malt grains, light espresso, dark chocolate, and caramel. Mid to rear is rather amazing bourbon barrel toasted oak that transitions into an undeniable apple eu di vie barrel quality. The backend apple is more like a golden apple variant, it's more hearty and not really tart. The dark chocolate pushes through the full palate to a lingering bitter aftertaste.

M - Medium body, low carbonation almost identical to Adam FtW, great finish of brandy barrel and oak tannins.

D - Stellar stuff, one of the greatest back palate finishes I can remember. Great barrel combination that makes this memorable and worthwhile.

Edit - I was fortunate enough to revisit this in the form of the new 2013 release. I must applaud Allan, this is absolutely the same stellar brew and merits a slight increase in the ratings for consistency.

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Photo of MasterCraft
4.76/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2010 bottle, reviewed from notes

Pours black with ruby highlights and a very thin brown head

Smell is out of this world. Powerful notes of molasses, vanilla, soy, bourbon, brown sugar, faint smoke, cola, dark fruit, sweet liqueur.

Taste is right on par with the smell. More brown sugar, rum soaked raisins, licorice, bourbon, char, oak. Very sweet but still balanced. No alcohol evident.

Mouthfeel is sticky and viscous without being creamy, lower carb. Just where you'd want it for this beer.

Perhaps the most complex beer I've ever tasted, and absolutely one of the best.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.77/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Having a glass of wine and figured I could enter in some old reviews... I've had this a bunch of times with the Boise peeps and tonight realized I never reviewed it. Reviewed from a mash-up of 3x okay paper reviews.

Dark tan head... murky deep walnut brew... not really cloudy, but very dark brown. okay retention with pretty descent lacing.

Nose is very complex... light smoke.. barrel presence is nice and adds tons to the overall product.. dark fruits, bing cherry essence and raisins.. really appreciate the mild yet inviting apple brandy component.

WOW!! Flavor is massive.. dark fruits come in waves.. cherries... prunes.. golden raisins.. then dark malts are medium mainly comprised of some chocolate... a bit of sweetness seems to carry the entire palate... vanilla and good bourbon... again, the apple essence is there and adds a bunch to the complexity... smoke is present for sure from front to back, but is far enough in the background to again just add a fantastic layer ... sorta leathery ..

Great medium/full body with a lite but certainly present carbonation...

Jesus... reading/writing this review makes me want to go grab another bottle.... but this is a work of art that deserves to be shared... I haven't clicked "review" yet, but this is going to be one of my top beers probably... I think this has aging potential pushing a decade.

4/4.5/5/4.5/5

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Photo of Freethyhops
4.77/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I didn't think I'd ever try this one, so thanks Steve. selfishly I'm keeping this specialty to myself. I'm not even wasting the time chilling this one. Served at around room temp.

A- pours extremely dark. it seemed like a murky brown while pouring but in the glass it just looks black. when held to light it shows some nice burgandy like colours around the edges. the little bit of sand colored head reduced to a thin collar quite quickly. it's expected with a beer at this strength, especially after spending a while in barrels

S- the barrels are play a huge role in this one. the apple brandy really shines through the most though. there is so much going on in this beer but it's not a "mess" as a lot of beers with this much going on end up being. apple brandy and bourbon, woody and earthiness, the sweetness mixes with the lingering apple and almost smells a bit tart. there is also some light smokiness and chocolate. seriously probably one of the most complex aromas from a beer I've experienced.

T- the chocolate really got masked by the barrels in the nose too much, as it seems almost center stage at the front of this beer. it quickly melds into a load of different flavors. some sweet vinous flavors mix with the chocolate and finally some of that apple brandy that was so prevalent in the nose. the barrels really do most the work in the finish. woody, apple brandy and bourbon mix, and a substantial smokiness that mixes very well with the spirits. it seems like none of the flavors completely fade away and at the end it's just a fantastic mix of everything. and while staying on the sweet side throughout it's nowhere near cloying and has more bitterness than I expected. this stuff is so seriously good.

m- maybe the only non standout part of the beer. the viscosity is substantial though. the carbonation is borderline low but I think if it was much higher it likely wouldn't feel "right"

d- I will finish this 12oz serving in a very timely manner. it's a sipper, but it's so good that the sips are frequent and consistent. the big flavors didn't weigh on me as much as I thought they would, either.

after reading some of the earlier reviews, I think the year in the bottle has really done good for the "hotness" of this one. while their was a good amount of boozy flavors from the bourbon and apple brandy it didn't come off as just alcohol. the spirits seemed well defined, flavorful and were very enjoyable

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Matt from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
97 out of 100 based on 231 ratings.