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

Not Rated.
MattMatt

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

230 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 230
Hads: 770
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: 4.99%
Wants: 1,422
Gots: 136 | 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: 770
Photo of Sammy
4.12/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hair of the Dog comes up with some great ales. Pours very dark with a small but significant off-white head, and there is lace down the glass. The aroma of classier bourbon wafts, and it is rich and strong, as is the mouthfeel. A great drinking ale, with good chocolate. Coconut and vanilla accumulates in the tastebuds. Bourbon and a tad of sugar in the aftertaste, that is somewhat drying. (390 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.65/5  rDev -17.2%
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. (612 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.22/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to younger35 for this bottle. Received from him in a trade at Dark Lord Day 2009.

G: Poured into an oversized snifter.

A: Cola brown coming out of the bottle, gathering into a near-black as it sits in the glass. Almost zero head. Faint swirls as the beer warms up and is swirled. This also creates mild lacing.

S: Caramel with lots of dark fruits and hints of green apple. Perhaps the tiniest bit of anise. Some hints of oak, as well as plenty of warming esters from the alcohol. Some yeasty sourness.

T: Smokiness is my initial impression. More of the tart green apple than was present in the nose. The same hints of oak are there as well. As it warms up, the apple brandy and oak tastes are coming out a bit more.

M: Medium bodied with very little carbonation. Not too many hints of alcohol.

D: A very nice sipper. Complexity increases as it warms up. An all-around very good brew. (900 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.64/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a clear dark brown color without much of a head; not much lacing, either

Smell: Caramel with dark fruit galore - figs, dates and prunes

Taste: All of the dark fruit from the aroma arrives up front, with a leafy bitterness developing by mid-palate; the bitterness increases after the swallow, but there is plenty of dark fruit flavor to match its intensity; tobacco flavors appear in the finish, as well

Mouthfeel: Full body with low carbonation

Drinkability: Really interesting flavor profile; very creative and certainly an exceptional beer; just wish there was a bit more carbonation (607 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.82/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery.

Appearance: Dark brown in the glass, semi-hazy and nearly black, with two fingers of lasting tan head.

Smell: Incredible apple brandy aroma with smatterings of bourbon, smoke, tobacco, vanilla and toast. Complex and utterly intoxicating, this has to be one of the best smelling beers I've come across.

Taste & mouthfeel: Big juicy apple flavor with bourbony vanilla and caramel right beside it. Flavors of maple syrup, smoke, caramelized sugar and tobacco appear mid-palate. Fairly hot, but pleasantly so, with a rich, full body. Smoky-sweet finish. Remarkable complexity on display here, and I'm amazed at how harmonious it tastes given the unusual blend of apple eau de vie and bourbon barrels with such a smoky base beer. My new favorite Hair of the Dog beer. (788 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.44/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Jason for this! Served around 50º in a Duvel tulip.

Deep mahogany brown, with a burgundy red glint when backlit. At first it looked like there was no carbonation, then larger bubbles formed, and a subsequent skim crept up along the rim. Clumps of larger bubbles hung to the edge, creating a ringed collar around the outside. Flecks of spotty snowflake lace were left, pretty nice considering the high abv.

Aroma was like an Oud Bruin at first, vinous, wet wood & funk, then a wave of fruit crept in... black cherry, currants, muted oak spice.

Flavors of cherry skins, bitter unsweetened dark chocolate, and raspberry truffle upfront. Grand marnier and cherry skin aftertaste, fading into leather and red wine traces. Feel is full and supple, not much tangible carbonation. Very rich and sippable, fairly hidden abv.

Overall this was really unique and impressive, with so much layered complexity. Here's to 10 more years... (946 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.72/5  rDev +7%
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. (1,343 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.29/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Paul (2010 release), appropriate Hair of the Dog tulip glass courtesy of Mihir.

A: The beer pours into the glass with an impenetrable darkness and a small khaki colored head.

S: A very sweet and complex nose here. Lots of caramel, toffee, dates, figs, raisins, and wood. There's a nice bourbon aroma along with lots of vanilla. Perhaps some black cherries, red apples, and even a bit of smoke/peat.

T: Not quite as impressive as the nose, but still damn good. Lots of caramel, bourbon, oak, and apple. There's a definite smoke flavor along with some mildly tart raisins and cherries. The alcohol is more pronounced here which is really the main pitfall.

M: The body is about as full as you can get with a fairly low, but smooth carbonation.

D: A bottle of this is plenty, but a real pleasure to drink. Sort of wish I would have traded for more than one. (877 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4.14/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 bottle purchased and consumed @ the Hair of the Dog Brewery and Tasting Room (Portland, OR) on 9/3/11. Served in a tulip glass.

Pours a flat black in the glass, with literally no head to speak of. Maybe just the tiniest bit of retention hangs on the edges, with vigorous swirling getting a very light cascade of spotty lace. The aroma smells of cocoa, molasses, vanilla, and pithy darker fruit. Bourbon heat singes the edges of this, while some softer oak character is standing out as well, and I’m definitely getting a nice smoky roastiness across the back of the nostrils.

The taste is thick with notes of chocolate, caramel, and ripe dark fruit character, while a gentle roasted smokiness spreads out across the back. Bourbon and alcohol gives this some real zip on the edges of the profile, mingling with notes of vanilla and oak, before pulling in the finish with a good bit of dryness and warmth. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with some alcohol heft and a soft carbonation combining to give this a heady feeling chewiness in the mouth. Speaking of the ABV, it’s actually fairly well kept in check, with any hotness to this appearing to mostly come from the bourbon flavors.

This was certainly flavorful and complex but still had a bit of rawness to it from the barrel that held this back a bit for me. I’d love to try this with a bit more age on it, as I’ll bet this one soothes out nicely. It was still really awesome that I was able to buy this here at the brewery. (1,491 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
4.62/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2010 bottle, consumed in Jan. '12, brought to share with Matt Capone at Capone's, Norristown, PA.

Poured from the bottle into a few taster glasses. Color was the darkest of browns, maroon around the edges, opaque, no head to speak of, although light swirling produced a tiny bit of unexpected lacing. Nice aroma, indicative of the complexity that I'd soon be tasting: dark fruits and lots of them, booze, wood, esters, thick dark malts. Lots of sumptuous dark fruit in the taste--raisins, prunes, figs--no disguising the booze, smooth chocolate (lingered into the aftertaste), with hints of smoke and herbal hops. All things considered, the mouthfeel was amazingly smooth and velvety; obviously you want to let this one sit on the palate and get the full gambit of flavors from it. Very nice, and very savorable. I have a couple extra bottles of this that I'm going to let age for a while. Should be interesting to see how they taste in a few years, but they're obviously ready for consumption now. (999 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.56/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to tthomas for sending this to me many moons ago. I've had sips of this one a few different times, but it was time to crack my own bottle with Reagan1984 in town visiting. Served in a Darkness snifter.

A - Pours, with no visible carbonation. Somehow even avoids the big bubbles you get with other still beers like Bon-Chien Grand Cru or Lambicus Dexterius. However, after a little bit a few spots of lace appear on the sides of the glass and a faint wisp appears on the surface of the beer. Perhaps there is a hint of carbonation after all. The color is a dark woody brown color, but shows transparency when held to the light.

S - The initial smell is quite sweet and fruity, filled with sugar and apple brandy. There are also notes of smoked malt, and slight sherry-like oxidation. Bourbon adds a hint of vanilla, but is otherwise quite understated.

T - Taste is similarly excellent, with initial brown sugar and apple sweetness mixed with sweet liquors that slowly dissolve into light smoke and barrel tannins. Wonderfully integrated, without any dissonant juxtaposition between the many flavors. Flavor profile is reminiscent some of better Kuhnhenn brews. Surprisingly mellow for Hair of the Dog. Both taste and smell were closer to 4.75 for me so I bumped up feel and smell a notch each to make it work out.

M - There is slight carbonation - take note Tomme Arthur. This is about as low as it can be before it is still, but that slight bit makes all the difference. Thick oily body, with surprisingly little heat.

D - I was very tempted to drink Bryna's 4oz before she got home. This is one of the few Hair of the Dog beers where I actually could down a whole bottle on my own. The year has done wonders to take the boozy edge of this, and none of the potentially overbearing flavors get out of control. Highly recommended. (1,840 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.22/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 06/09/12 notes. Bottle is from November 2010, tried in the same tasting as Adam, Fed, and all their variations.

a - Pours a brown, almost black color, with less than one inch of tan head and low carbonation evident. Almost flat.

s - Smells of roasted malts, licorice, bourbon, sweet dark fruits, plums, figs, raisins, and oak. Very interesting, but very nice mix of bourbon and licorice.

t - Tastes of bourbon, licorice, roasted malts, bourbon, oak, and light smoke. Nice, though I like nose better.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, with a very smooth body.

o - Overall I liked this one a lot, though it is very different. I preferred Cherry AtfW, AftW, and FftW, but this is still a great beer I'd like to have again. (732 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.46/5  rDev -21.5%
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. (259 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.34/5  rDev -1.6%
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. (825 characters)

Photo of mothman
4.67/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Original Bottleworks X Bottle

Huge thanks for Josh (alleykatking) for sharing this long time want with me at DLD. Review from voice recorder.

Poured into Duck Rabbit snifter.

Pours very little head. What is there is a light tan. Color is a deep robust mahogany brown with a ruby hue to it. Very nice looking beer.

Aroma: Rich and sweet. Some booze off the top with brandy showing, but hotd makes a person enjoy it since it isn't so hot. Lots of dark dried fruits here. Plums, raisins, and black cherries present. A decent amount of oak showing well. Has some sweet malts that bring a caramel flavor to the table. I am really enjoying this one.

Taste: In the taste I get some chocolate that I didn't pick up as much in the nose. The wood and brandy flavors show predominately but well done. Again, lots of dark dried fruits here. A lot more the plums showing for me. Sweet and malty with caramel. Finally, as it warms I get some tobacco flavors that add yet another layer to this beer.

Mouthfeel: Very warming and smooth. I enjoy how HotD makes beers of this style that the abv shows, but in a good way. Medium to full bodied with a lower amount of carbonation.

Overall, this was a definite treat to have. Lots of great flavors here and they all worked well with each other. The barrels that were used were awesome, but really didn't detect very much of the apple flavors. Thanks Josh for sharing this one! It was very drinkable!

Update: 2013 bottle notes 4.45 score

Oak, molasses, smokey, apples, chocolate, vanilla, toffee, caramel. An old ale at it's finest. (1,571 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
4.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes. Bottle from 2010.

A: Pours a hazy dark brown color with a small tan head on top that leaves minimal lacing. Not much to look at.

S: A rather different aroma from most beers I have had. Upfront there is some brandy, apples, and chocolate. Underneath is some roasted malt, brown sugar, caramel, and vanilla.

T: The taste followed the aroma rather closely, lots of brandy/bourbon flavor, some caramel, vanilla, more apple flavor. Also some nice oak and chocolate flavors.

M: Full bodied with low carbonation, slight hint of alcohol, but otherwise well hidden.

O: A beer i had been wanting to try for a very long time, glad I was finally able to do so. An amazing beer, which along with AftW live up to their reputation. (745 characters)

Photo of stakem
4.32/5  rDev -2%
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. (2,053 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.47/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by drabmuh. Thanks Matt.

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

The beer appears nearly still and a dark brown color. The aroma is nice, with a lot of booze, pepper, spice, fruit, barrels. Smooth on the palate. Low carbonation with less booze in the flavor than was present in the aroma. Complex and delicious, this one is a slow sipper. Great blend of bourbon and fruit flavors, with light spice. Overall, a terrific beer. Glad to have finally tried it. It is my name, after all. (560 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.18/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served lightly chilled around 55ºF / 13ºC
A vigorous pour into my 25cl tulip glass just produces a fat-one-finger thick, nicely browned, dark tan colored head. The beer is quite dark, almost black really with perhaps a touch of brown to it. When held up to the light the beer shows brilliantly clear, deep, dark ruby highlights. The aroma is quite smoky, phenolic even; the smoke character doesn't have the richness that I associate with beech-wood (Rauchbier) or alder-wood (Alaskan Smoked Porter) smoked beers, instead it is a little thin, though really this might be because the smoke is not nearly at the same level as those other smoked beers. The smoke here combines with a distinct fruitiness that reminds me of raisins, prunes and even some brandy like notes along with a touch of warming alcohol. At times the alcohol can be quite noticeable in the aroma, especially after I have started to drink the beer. The fruit character becomes very rich and interesting if you concentrate on the nose for a bit. There is also a touch of roast malt character noticeable after a bit as well. Not a bad nose, but the up front smoke character is a little thin and sharp at times, though it does have a nice underlying richness.

The beer is creamy and viscous feeling with only a faint carbonation that supplies a very soft prickle. The beer is fairly sweet, which accentuates a dark, concentrated fruitiness, but both of these are offset somewhat by a sharp malt influence. Roast grain notes provide a burnt-bitterness to the finish, perhaps a touch of acrid notes as well as a touch of burnt acidity. The smoked malt is a bit fainter than it even was in the nose, but it does provide a subtle smokiness that provides some richness to the beer as well as a hint of sharp smoke phenolics that is just noticeable at times. The rich fruitiness is the most noticeable part of the flavor; notes of prunes, raisins and roasted berry notes are all quite noticeable. Subtler fruit notes of caramelized apples, a touch of dates as well as some not so subtle rich, Brandy-like fruitiness. Alcohol is evident, but donesn't get past supplying a nice warmth and a bit of spiciness. While rich feeling on the tongue, the beer isn't overly heavy and in fact is a bit more drinkable than might be safe.

For a beer that has a fairly middling aroma to it, the flavor has turned out to be quite nice. This is definitely a sipping brew and I am really enjoying the rich, concentrated fruitiness here that is just supported by roast malt notes and a hint of smokiness. After a slow start, this ends up being quite an enjoyable brew. (2,611 characters)

Photo of billab914
4.44/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage poured from a 12oz bottle into my CBS snifter. It poured dark brown, almost black in color with the only traces of carbonation being a few bubbles forming at the edges of the glass.

The aroma shows some dark fruits to it with notes of raisin and cherries coming out. The candi sugar is pretty noticeable as well with a sugary, almost candy like presence to it. From the barrel aging I get more of a brown sugar flavor with some slight bourbon and vanilla notes. I get a little bit of a leathery, slight tobacco like flavor to it as well. Lots of flavors going on in it. It was pretty good, but felt a little overly sweet with the candi sugar and dark fruit maltiness combination at times. I really liked the depth to it though and as it warmed I get less candi sugar and more bourbon to it, which bumped it up from a 4 to a 4.5 for me.

The taste shows a lot of the sweeter, dark fruit flavors up front. Cherry, raisin and fig flavors really stand out in it. Towards the finish I get a hint of the smoked malt mixing with some very good brown sugar and smooth bourbon flavors. I get some bitterness in the finish as well that really helps balance out all the sweet maltiness.

The mouthfeel is a little above medium bodied, but lighter then it looked. Carbonation is low. Overall it was a really good beer. It felt a little overly sweet with the candi sugar at first, as it warmed though things really started coming together. The finish is where things really stood out for me in it, the barrel aging, slight smoked malt and balancing bitterness really worked together well. (1,591 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
4.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz 2010 bottle, shared by Jeff and split in snifters

Pours a thick, still syrupy looking dark chocolate brown with almost non-existent head or lacing. Aroma is an intoxicating blend of brandy soaked apples, vanilla, molasses, brown sugar, light smoke, etc. Very complex and strong; I've never smelled a beer quite like this in depth of aroma and nuance.

Flavor is extremely sweet and fruity with a stronger smoke presence than the aroma which gives the finish a light spiciness. Mouthfeel is very lightly carbonated with a thick, velvety lush mouthfeel bordering on syrup like. Vanilla and brandy dominate the sweetness in the front of the palate and the freshness of this bottle is apparent in the finish in it's booziness. Give this another year and it'll be perfect. (774 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.65/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a Hunahpu snifter.

Appearance - Dark brown murky pour with no head. Not even a stray bubble. Flat as hell. Lots of gross looking sediment at the bottom of the bottle.

Smell - Wow, it's out there. Chocolate, apple, leather that all combines to smell like bourbon-barrel Coca-Cola. Sweet aroma. Boozy, too. Fascinating and very nice.

Taste - Sweet caramel, apple, and again coca-cola. Leathery, but not enough to balance out the sweetness. Licorice. I get a lot of the Eau de Vie, but not a lot of the bourbon barrel in the taste. Very sweet.

Mouthfeel - Flat as hell, which I already said. Thick and syrupy. Sweet. Everything that makes it tough to drink.

Overall - It's a fascinating beer. I honestly don't know how much I like it. The flavors are amazing, although I don't know how well they go together. Unique enough to really impress me, though. (880 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
4.82/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a large creamy light brown head that takes a very long time to recede. When it finally recedes it leaves a generous amount of lacing on the glass.

Lots of apple brandy, smoke, and peat. There's a nice level of apple brandy character from the barrels. Belgian candied sugar is prominent, as well as tobacco and leather. I'm not a smoker, yet I feel like I should be holding a fine cigar.

The alcohol heat is prominent but really complements the complexities of Matt. Peat, smoke, apple brandy, and tobacco combine for a stellar sensory sensation. Subtle oak notes and chocolate round out the complex flavor, as well as sweet Belgian candied sugar. The booziness is more apparent in the finish, but not as prominent as in the bottled version. Notes of apple, smoke, chocolate, and peat linger on my palate for a very long time, as well as some sweetness.

Full bodied with a medium level of carbonation. The beer has a low level of carbonation.

Simply amazing. Undoubtedly my favorite Hair of the Dog beer.

Another bottled consumed on 11/6/2009 with dyan and largadeer and poured into a snifter:

The beer has shown a drastic increase in carbonation. It's at a perfect upper low level of carbonation and I couldn't ask for more from the style. The increased carbonation makes for an improved head and presentation. Booziness has died down to a perfect level. I can't imagine this beer getting better. It's wonderful right now.
Changes:
Appearance +.5
Taste +.5
Mouthfeel +.5

Bottle consumed 6/30/2010

This has been aging at 55 degrees since the release and it continues to improve, displaying a beautiful balance of apple brandy, leather, smoke, chocolate, and tobacco. This is aging wonderfully. (1,717 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.97/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2010 bottle (2 years old), tried at the Tasting Room in Portland, OR.

Pours an oily black colour, with a noticeably deep hazy that prevents the insertion of light. Insanely deep and thick body forms the most static carbonation I've ever seen. The only drawback is the head, which is a tiny ring of white bubbles around the edge. To be honest, it's understandable for the age of the beer.

Nose is insane. Big booziness comes through strongly, but everything is coupled with complex intense characters. Oak and bourbon provides the basis of the intensity, but smoother vanilla sweetness provides a basis. And it's gorgeous. Characters of red wine and applewood incense pop through as well, layering flavours atop flavours. Unbelievable stuff.

Palate is no less incredible: front betrays pepper and leather notes, before sweet port and oaken vanilla notes come through. The mid-palate shows a smooth complexity: more vanilla, darker notes and a hint more spice, before the finish comes rounding out. Here we get notes of sweet pepper, capsicum, red wine, pepper, berries and dust. Feel is rich, sweet and boozy. Incredible.

The aftertaste lingers for so long, so rich, and complex. I'm sure I'll still be tasting this on my grave.

This is an absolutely insanely good beer. The level of complexity is mind-boggling. It's almost overwhelming. Smooth, delectable and incredibly complex—genuinely one of the best beers I've ever had. (1,433 characters)

Photo of John_M
4.52/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap during the big wood festival at brouwers.

The beer pours the expected dark brown color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is as intense on tap as it was out of the bottle, with prunes, apple brandy, licorice, chocolate and coffee. As the beer warmed (I really think they were serving this beer too cold at Brouwers) I got additional chocolate, as well as some more apple and vanilla. Flavors replicate the nose, except this beer really smoothed out and became very creamy after it warmed a bit. I actually found it a bit astringent and angular initially, but with time and warming, the beer dramatically improved. As with the bottle version, the mouthfeel is very rich and full, and was just exceptional once it warmed a bit. Drinkability is pretty good, though the alcohol and sweetmess really make this a sipper. Also, after having this both in bottle and on tap, I really think this beer needs time to show it's very best. It's delicious now, but I think in a year or two, will turn into a real gem. Regardless, this is a very impressive beer from HOTD. (1,075 characters)

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