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

Not Rated.
MattMatt

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

699 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 699
Reviews: 223
rAvg: 4.48
pDev: 10.71%
Wants: 1,365
Gots: 131 | 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:
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 added by: msubulldog25 on 01-27-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 699 | Reviews: 223 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sliks96
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of tom10101
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Dope
4.26/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

Photo of projectflam86
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to youradhere for throwing this in as an extra in our trade. You rock dude!

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. 2010 release.

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- I can tell just from the aroma that this is going to be a sipper. Bourbon is very prominent in the nose along with caramel malt and alcohol. Dark fruits, leather, tobacco, and oak round out the nose. Hoping it tastes as good as it smells...

T- The bourbon barrels definitely lead the way with some vanilla, oak, and brandied apples. As it warms the smoked malts become noticeable along with Belgian candy sugar, dark chocolate, red grapes, and raisins. The alcohol isn't exactly hidden, but I wouldn't have guessed it being 11.5% either.

M- Full bodied with very low carbonation. Thick and creamy with an almost syrupy feel that coats the mouth.

O- Just a touch more carbonation and I can't imagine it getting any better. Very glad I got a chance to try this one. Thanks Jim!

Photo of Jmoore50
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was consumed during Lakers-Celtics game 6 tasting. This beer flew under my radar on terms of hype and buzzworthy beers, but my buddy James got hold of one and shared it. Good beer, different and well crafted.

The bottle opens with no pop or fizz, just silence. It pours with some tan bubbles, but they leave fast. The beer is colored pretty dark, has a dark leather brown heart with lighter cocoa edges.

It smells of sweet apple, brown sugar, booze, oak.

The beer is perfectly carbonated for the tastes. It has a very low carbonation, but because of the strong liquor tastes it blends everything perfectly. Great base beer, with hints of brown sugar, alcoholic booze, strong notes of apple brandy and bourbon, oak and earth. The barrel is great, not too strong but still very much there. The apple brandy threw me for a little bit of a loop, it is obviously apple and it almost stands out like a sore thumb from the rest of the flavors. Great blending from the brewers though for it is balanced very well.

Mouthfeel for an Old Ale/Strong Ale is perfect. Little carbonation that lets the flavors blend well. Delicious sipper of a beer that should be enjoyed by whoever gets the chance.
J

Photo of ffejherb
4.28/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to KRAMER17081 for pulling out not one, but TWO of these at his holiday party on 12/26/09.

A - Poured a dark walnut brown body with slight reddish hues and a thin sliver of bubbly head on top.

S - Opens with a warm alcohol presence, burnt caramel malt and sugary character. Aroma is quite woody with lots of caramel/toffee notes, a hint of licorice and toasted coconut, the latter of which was a pleasant surprise.

T - Initial flavor is quite malty with caramel, marshmallow and butterscotch notes. Subtle boozy alcohol notes creep into the mix midway through, followed by a delicious tosted coconut character paired with chocolate notes in the backend. Finishes with plenty of earthy bitterness.

M - Medium to full-bodied with a thick, smooth and creamy texture and a slight oily feel. Moderate bitter notes encapsulate the tongue in the finish.

D - Matt's got a lot going on, including plenty of malt goodness and a pleasant toasted coconut character that took me by surprise. Good stuff fo' sho'.

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

Look: Pours a nice slightly darker shade of brown with about a 1/8 head that does not stick around very long

Smell: The smell of the beer is by far the winner. There are several layers to the nose that create a great amount of depth. Upfront is a nice note of bourbon, oak, and vanilla. And finishes of with a chocolate covered apple character very nice.

Taste: The taste starts out very similar to the nose with very light touches of bourbon and oak but for me the beer has more chocolate than anything else very rich dark chocolate character and finishes off nicely with just a touch of apple

Mouthfeel: Medium body with low carbonation

Overall: Very good beer. Very solid and highly recommended. I am becoming more and more impressed with HotD

Photo of surlytheduff
4.3/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle. A rough pour into my tulip resulted in just a smattering of bubbles around the rim of the glass. The beer was a rich, deep brown with red undertones. Although I wasn't expecting a big head/blatant signs of strong carbonation with this style of beer, I was a little worried that this first time trying Matt might end up like my experience with 2011 Cherry Adam - overly flat and syrupy.

The smell was full of complex aromas. Super sweet caramel toffee, prunes & figs, leather, alcohol, malty bourbon oak, apple and vanilla. The taste was as rich as the nose. Initially I was in a wash of sweet dark sugary ambrosia which was quickly balanced out by the sharp alcohol, dark fruit and lingering fruity vanilla finish. Mouthfeel was slick, low carb and full bodied. My fears of a 2011 CAftW-letdown were quickly quashed after a couple drinks. This was a real pleasure to drink and, having just finished my glass I'm sure I'm going to try to chase another one of these down in the future. Having had a couple vintages of CAftW and FFtW, this is the best HotD offering I've had the opportunity to drink.

Photo of jjdc
4.3/5  rDev -4%

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.33/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Big thanks go's out to JohnGalt1 for the bottle. You rock tobes!

Pours a deep blackish brown with some ruby highlights, but cannot see through it. A light tan watery head is produced by a vigorous pour and retains for a couple minutes leaving minute lacing.

Nose is very complex. Huge bourbon barrely notes, some apple, and an almost flemish tartness come out in the nose.

Wow. A very tasty beer. Big chew malty sweetness. Great bourbony alcohol and huge vanilla oak notes. Not catching alot of the apple, but it is there. A uniquely dry finish for a beer of this magnitude and style. There is a noticeable hop bitterness on the finish, and any hop flavor actually shows up the most in the aftertaste. Flavors linger FOREVER after each sip. Magnificent barrel aging.

Mouthfeel is FANTASTIC on this beer. A nice creamy chew viscous feel REALLY strikes the right chord with this brew. Excellent. Carbonation seems odd, and typical of previous HOTD issues on the poor, BUT a head does rise if it is summoned hard enough, and on the palate the carbo is right where it should be for this beer.

Drinkability is pretty solid. The abv shows up, and is complimented well by alcohol and oak flavors, but still doesn't seem as high as 11%. By the styles standards, quite drinkable.

Overall a very impressive and unique beer from HOTD. A very tasty barrel aged concoction. Love the barrel profiles and the mouthfeel is just incredible. I really would love to have a few more of these, but one cellared bottle will have to suffice for now. I think this one definitely has great aging potential. If you have the opportunity to get your hands on some of this beer, get a few. Excellent beer.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.33/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500th review. Big thanks to ipa247 (Jeff) for this one. 2010 2nd release version. Poured into a Darkness snifter. Shared with schen9303.

A: Standard pour yields a .5 finger off-white fine head with moderate retention that dissipates into a thick ring around the glass. Beer is an opaque dark brown. Lacing is spotty and patchy with moderate cling and nice legs. An attractive beer overall.

S: Nose is apple puree and brandy. Nutty backdrop. Caramel, toffee, and brown sugar. Aromatic, sweet and very complex.

T: Opens sweet apple brandy and brown sugar. Spicy cinnamon and nutty notes towards the middle with a moderate helping of booziness. Caramel and toffee come in towards the middle and end, further sweetening things. End is sweet brown sugar and some dark over-ripe fruit. Finish is spicy with a sweet, nutty, aftertaste. Very impressive. An oustandingly tasty beer.

M: Medium to full bodied and moderately carbonated. Slightly pricky and spicy in the mouth but goes down warm and smooth. Finish is sticky and messy with an aftertaste that lingers. Pleasant and spot on for its style.

O: Probably the best HotD beer that I've had to date, Matt is really impressive. Incredible taste and solid in every other aspect, this one is definitely worth seeking out.

Photo of AgentZero
4.33/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Nate for sharing this.

A - Brown colored beer, looks a bit like a cola. Not a ton of head on this one, beige colored, left some stick on the side of the glass.

S - Nice oak and dark fruit. Bit of caramel, toffee, vanilla. Really just a tone of nice stuff going on with some lighter fruits as well.

T - Really nice beer. Some bourbon, wood, caramel, toffee, dark fruit, sweetness, vanilla. Very complex, and defined enough you can pick everything out. Like what happened with this.

M - Pretty full bodied with soft carbonation.

O - Like this beer a lot, would love to drink it regularly when I'm in the mood for a strong ale that's been put in bourbon. Well done.

Photo of brystmar
4.33/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottleworks X (2009) shared with friends at the brewpub. They all live in Portland but had never been to HotD before. How could I not right this wrong?

Leathery, boozy, tobacco-y, smokey malt aroma and flavors dance around my senses at every sip & whiff. Black licorice and molasses impart even more darkness as I swish in my mouth. Boozy warmth throughout, creating an intense, bold flavor profile. So creative, so complex. And not for the faint of heart :)

Photo of stakem
4.33/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Trying desperately to get caught up on all my hand written reviews, I found this little gem scribbled on a folded up piece of paper in my desk.

Making a somewhat random comment here but it applies to the appearance even though it plays no part in my scoring of this review. This beer was stored upside-down and on it's side during it's travels to me. When it arrived it was placed in my cellar for a couple months. When I finally opened the brew to share with some friends, stuck under the cap had a thick layering of yeast that looked exactly like mud. That was a first for me.

2010 year, 12oz bottle poured into a mini snifter. The brew appears strikingly dark, almost pitch black in color with a thin penline of head. A swirl stirs up bubbles which bunch up and collect around the rim of the glass. When held to the light, it shows some brown clarity around the edges.

The smell of this brew includes a pleasant smoked character, not quite pete'd but very enjoyable in a campfire sort of way. More smells reveal grainy sweetness like chocolate and fruity alcohol esters like plum and raisin with a touch of something apple-like. It includes a big booze factor with a light tangy to it.

The taste of this brew is big and boozy. There is a pleasant bitterness which seemingly comes more from the roasted quality of the grain instead of the hops. The pleasant smoked character found upfront in the nose makes it's way through the taste mid-palate. There is a contrasting flavor contradiction of residual sugary sweetness (which is faint) verse a fruited tangy booze aspect. The aftertaste includes notes of coffee and earthy qualities with a lasting bitterness.

This is a full bodied brew with a light, enjoyable level of carbonation. Big abv factor that does not attempt to be hidden. I forsee this brew becoming increasingly enjoyable as time passes. The alcohol at this point is very warming, fusel and seemingly evaporative on the tongue yet it is quite enjoyable. This brew was not at all what I expected but it was very enjoyable nonethelss.

Photo of Sean9689
4.33/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

**I was able to taste a more recent batch of Matt (2010 release), which I enjoyed quite a bit more then the first batch (Bottleworks X release). Firstly, there was perfect carbonation (compared to the X release, which was flat). The booze was there, but not quite as up-front as the previous version. Just a couple of small observations and overall, a better beer.

Poured from 12oz bottle into Duvel tulip.

A - Brown in color with very little head present. There is some lacing though, once you tilt the glass from side to side. The brown is clear though, as you can see a small amount through the glass. Small bubbles are visible along the edge of the glass, but really nothing much to note.

S - Lots of sweetness going on here. Some fruits, sugars, malts all hitting your nose all at once. A big whiff puts the smell in your nostrils for a good amount of time even while the glass is away from your nose. There is some alcohol burn but really not a lot considering the ABV on this beer.

T - Apples, bourbon, oak, sweet sugars and vanilla. Very little alcohol detected here, which is impressive. A full-creamy finish, very rich. Lack of carbonation takes away from the taste.

M - Medium bodied. Very rich. Pretty much flat, which is disappointing for me.

D - A sipper for sure, but I do like this one. I don't know if I'll try to score another through trades, because I'm disappointed that it's basically flat.

Photo of teamizm
4.33/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Roodie for sharing this as well to Brian at Blue Palms for allowing us to crack this one open in the bar.

Poured into a goblet and allowed to warm up for about 10 minutes.

A - Dark, mahogany brown, almost espresso like with less than a finger head that disappears.

S - Amazing. Chocolate, maple syrup, tobacco, coffee, brandy. Just super complex and really the most amazing part of this beer.

T - Smoky, maple syrup with toffee and chocolate notes. Sweet red apples and some brandy notes as well. It taste amazing, but it smells just a tad better than it tastes.

M - so carbonation, very smooth.

D - Not too much of an alcohol burn on this one despite the 11.5% on this one. Excellent rainy day beer (exactly when I tried it - on a pouring Saturday evening in LA).

Love it fresh and can't wait to try to aged.

Photo of inthebeeraisle
4.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage served at Hair of the Dog Tasting Room. Poured into a Hair of the Dog tulip.

A: I've had some HotDog gushers before, but this beer was totally flat. A very dark color.

S: Definately a strong alcohol aroma. Not much else.

T: Simply put this is one of the most complex tasting flavorful beers that I have ever had. Caramel, Chocolate, Apples, Smoke. Incredible.

M: Not as hot as you might think, and not as thick either. Great mouthfeel.

O: I don't know how many of these you could drink or afford to drink. Totally worth seeking though. Quite unique.

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from 12/2010 notes. Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours dark brown, almost black. No carbonation at all. Aroma of dark dried fruit, bourbon with hints of vanilla and caramel. Rich, complex flavor dominated by dark fruit, dark malts, chocolate and caramel sweetness. Finishes sweet with some wood overtones. A bit sweet. Would have scored a 10 with some carbonation. I'll age one.

Photo of mattsander
4.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2010 Vintage

A: Deepest ruby, dark brown in the center. Syrupy, big body, low/no carbonation, good clarity.

S: Rich dark fruity malts, baked apples, brown sugar and molasses, pervasive but delicate smokiness.

T: The smokiness perfectly balances considerable sweetness. Huge dark fruits, burnt dark sugar, smooth smokiness. A beautiful beer, with a slight phenolic acridity on the finish.

M: Syrupy, wet, decadent.

Unique and awesome beer, though not my favorite from HOTD.

Photo of emmasdad
4.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A most generous gift from inflateablechair. This one poured a murky, reddish-brown color with just a suggestion of bubbles on top. Aromas of red apples, bourbon, plums, dates and molasses. On the palate, this one was rich, full bodied and very nearly still, with flavors of bourbon, oak, dried fruits, leather and chocolate. An extremely complex and delicious beer.

Photo of Phelps
4.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2010 bottle split with tlay 10 and poured into a tulip. Big thanks to gford217 for providing this longtime want.

Dark chocolate brown blending into matte black. A dense half-finger head of light tan quickly becomes a thin ring.

Lots of barrel character in the nose. Very buttery, with bourbon, vanilla, dark sweet cherries and toasted coconut. It’s good, but I wish there was more of the underlying beer.

Ooh. Speaking of the underlying beer. The flavor begins like the nose, with the initial hit of barrel character in the form of vanilla extract, butterscotch and cherry. After the swallow, smokiness steps in, reminding of bacon or pork. The barrel character itself isn’t incredible, but when the smoke rolls in, it's absolutely incredible. It’s like sipping bourbon in front of a campfire, and I like it more with each sip.

The creamy, buttery feel is like velvet on the tongue, so smooth and substantial. The carbonation lightly massaging my tongue is perfect here. Alcohol is noticeable as a tongue-numbing sensation, but it’s otherwise impressively blended.

Incredible. I don’t believe I’ve ever had a barrel-aged smoked beer before, but I love it. The smoke is perfect and smooth, like the aroma left in your clothes after a good cigar. Looks like I’m going to have to get some more Matt.

Photo of drabmuh
4.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

After several failed attempts at landing this beer I finally found someone that would throw me one. Thanks. Shared with others, this beer is still.

At the time of this review, this is the #1 beer on the "Top Beers - American Strong Ale" list on beeradvocate.com

Served with Adam, Adam from the Wood, Cherry Adam from the Wood, Fred, Bourbon Fred, Doggie Claws '05.

Beer is completely flat, brown, sweet aroma, dark, legs on the glass which is a Stone IRS glass for those keeping score.

Aroma is malt, bourbon, apples, sweet, oak.

Beer is medium in body, really sweet, strong, very dry, a little too dry for me, but the more I drink the more I like it. Strong, sweet, nice liquor backbone, leading up to a bitterness-less finish that leave the mouth dry. I would have liked a less dry finish but ultimately this was good.

Photo of Lothore
4.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a dark brown hue with little to no head.

S- Prune, chocolate, caramel, hints of sour cherry.

T- Hints of anise up front, sweet brown sugar notes, lots of raisin and prune, sour cherries fade to a faint coffee finish.

M- Thick with medium-low carbonation.

D- An intensely interesting beer that leads to a deeply visceral experience. At first I wasn't quite sure the flavors meshed well for me but after sifting through layer after layer and enjoying it as it warms I have to say it's up there with some of the most interesting beers I have had the chance to taste.

Photo of roodie
4.38/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage, received in a trade from jamdugan. thanks! shared with teamizm and Brian from Blue Palms.

A: pours a dark brown, almost black with scant tan head. head disperses quickly. no visible carbonation.

S: wow, this beer has a lot going on. plums and figs, maple syrup, and some dark chocolate.

T: taste is even more complex. besides the dark fruits and the maple syrup, hints of graham crackers and some spiciness, somewhat like a ramen noodle spice packet. hint of carbonation on the tongue.

M: syrupy, lingers on the palate. chewy. no heat experienced here

D: this is certainly a sipper and having split it with 2 others was perfect. would I drink another? yes, but on a different night. planning on aging one for a year or 2.

Photo of scottfrie
4.38/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into snifter. 2010 edition. Thanks a ton for opening this one, Mike.

A: Pours a woody dark brown with a thin white collar of a head.
S: Rich notes of bourbon, warm alcohol, raisins and other dark fruits. The nose on this isn’t super potent but what is there smells wonderful.
T: Crazy smooth flavors of raisins, dark fruits, smoke, vanilla, bourbon and oak. I get some tobacco in the finish, and some lighter sweeter apples or berry-like fruits in the aftertaste.
M: This is one creamy and smooth beer. The carbonation is low and soft, and the body is rich and full.
O: A wonderful beer that is very smooth and a pleasure to drink. I wish I had a whole bottle to spoil myself with. Thanks for sharing, Mike.

Matt from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
99 out of 100 based on 699 ratings.