1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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

MattMatt

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

556 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 556
Reviews: 218
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 10%


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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
Ratings: 556 | Reviews: 218 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of cosmicevan
cosmicevan

New York

4.78/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2012 01:41:14 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of Floydster
Floydster

California

4.72/5  rDev +4.9%
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

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2009 03:26:22 | More by Floydster
Photo of illidurit
illidurit

California

4.43/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle shared at the September 2012 Santa Cruz tasting. Pours deep brown with no head. Sweet spicy bourbon aroma, prunes, raisins, wine grapes. Brown sugar flavor with some campfire smokiness, mild soy, dark fruits. Sweet and strong and delicious.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2012 03:00:11 | More by illidurit
Photo of scottfrie
scottfrie

California

4.38/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2011 02:08:23 | More by scottfrie
Photo of msubulldog25
msubulldog25

Oregon

4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, one of a modest amount I picked up at the 'Earth Day' Dock Sale last April; it's held down the back corner of the fridge since then, patiently awaiting tonight. A nice day of late-summer warmth and office-sponsored golf (the par-3 course at Edgefield) ends in a snifter-sized pour of Matt as a nightcap.

A: Brackish ebony, a deep and dark murkiness that at first seems a bit lifeless, then magically springs to life with a roil of carbonation and a gauzy swirl of tan film. Creamy rim-hugging band and small flecks dot the glass. Held to light late in the pour, there's plenty of dusty detritus hanging around.

S: Aroma of cocoa and caramel-wrapped apples, a sweetness like maraschino cherry, with a hint of tartness (lime?). Dried tobacco amidst a bourbon char. Hops are there, but are hard to distinguish behind drippy malts. Full and fragrant, smell-able from 3 feet away.

T: In the same way the appearance was dull for the first few seconds, so the flavor was an abrupt turn-off. Then a creeping, coating chocolate, followed by molasses and a grape-like fruitiness. Barrel oak follows, a charred vanilla and a dose of herbal hops. Ends a little 'off' for me, an odd medicinal (cough syrup) backing.

M: Fantastic mouthfeel from the start: luscious, chewy, fully coating. Enough warmth, without bragging about its 11.5% alcohol too boisterously. Lip-smacking malts, carbonation is there - but where?

D: Tough call here: an amazing brew, replete with varied flavors and tantalizing aromas. Will I have this again? Fortunately, yes. Will I place this in my upper echelon of 'must trys'? Certainly. Is it 'drinkable'? Well, that's debatable; definitely a wonderful sipper, but a few ounces go a long way. Find a lover of fine beer and share a bottle...

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2009 04:03:05 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of Overlord
Overlord

California

3.95/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to a great trader!

Pours a thick, oily looking deep brown with some ruby amber tones to it when held close to a bright light source. I read that some other folks had heads on their beer. Mine had none. An increasingly aggressive pour produced some bubbling, but this is clearly a beer modeled after the Lost Abbey production line.

Smells like smoke, molasses, and ... apples! Wow, a boatload of apples in the smell.

Taste is more complex. The smoky, not-quite-roasted-malt characteristic carries over from the smell. The fruit component is really, really surprising. Not just apples, but some berries, some candied fruits ... and there's a ton of alcohol heat. Too much. It's distracting. Glad I have a few bottles to sit on for a few years. A bit of brown sugar/molasses to the flavor, and maybe the barest hint of a woodsy/tannin flavoring.

It's a complex beer, but I'd be lying if I said the dominant characteristic right now isn't an alcohol heat. The mouthfeel is nice and thick, but it ... needs ... carbonation. Drinkability suffers as a result.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2009 06:53:55 | More by Overlord
Photo of mdaschaf
mdaschaf

Washington

4.56/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2013 07:10:36 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of nickd717
nickd717

California

4.7/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle via trade from adamharbaugh on BA - thanks for this awesome beer! Shared at a tasting with some BAs and my girlfriend, who is becoming quite the beer enthusiast herself.

A - Dark brown with reddish hues and a small off-white head.

S - Caramel, dark fruits, bourbon, wood, smoke, and even a hint of tartness.

T - Malt-heavy with caramel, toffee, vanilla, prune, fig, black cherry, bourbon, roast/smoke, chocolate, apple, and some mildly tart barrel notes. Incredibly complex and tasty.

M - Medium-full and smooth with long-lasting flavor and some alcohol warmth.

D - Well, this is obviously meant to be a sipper, but drinkability is very high considering that because it's so damn good.

Overall, this is a phenomenal beer. Hope I get a chance to try it again.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2009 19:09:35 | More by nickd717
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

4.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. 2010 Vintage. Got this awhile ago in a trade but again, cannot remember whom; thank you whoever you were!

(A)- Pours a thick near pitch black color. Produced a surprisingly good tan colored cap of froth that actually lingered for awhile.

(S)- Very deep and rich notes of mild booze soaked raisin/plum/prune. Bits of leather, applewood, cocoa, and maybe even a hint of licorice/smoke. Definitely not a heavy booze smell, but it is there. Extremely complex and inviting; my review most likely pales in comparison to everything going on in this.

(T)- Extremely similar to the smell if not exactly spot on. Some great bits of lightly smoked raisin and prune/plum. That applewood component from the smell definitely has carried over into the taste too, if not a tad more pronounced. Bits of leather, cocoa, and very mild licorice too. Very complex and rich, but also harmonious in its complex explosion of flavor with each sip. Just excellent. Again, my description fails in comparison to what is going on here.

(M)- A wonderfully mellow (though very much welcomed) carbonation level. I was afraid it would almost be non-existent, but the level is perfect for what is needed to fit this beer's profile. The balance is also just outstanding. Yes, the barrel aging is obvious, but absolutely expertly integrated into the overall profile of the beer instead of taking it over. At a relatively hefty 11.5%ABV, this honestly tastes and drinks like a 8%; incredibly smooth yet rich and decadent. Absolutely superb.

(D)- I am blown away by this beer. Expertly balanced without being overpowering while still remaining complex. Just expertly blended while still showcasing all its rich flavors. Its just that damn good!
It is still very much a sipper, but one that is quickly disappearing from my glass. Hair of the Dog has my attention already, but I think this is their best beer I have had so far. Easily my most favorite strong ale to date. Absolutely spectacular.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2011 02:17:30 | More by sweemzander
Photo of Reagan1984
Reagan1984

Massachusetts

4.58/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Masterski for breaking out this bottle last night. This beer has been on my "want list" for quite some time and Alex was kind enough to break out this gem while we waited for his wife to return home.

Even after making a joke about an aggressive pour, Alex could not coax any sort of head on this beer. As close as he came is few wispy bubble on top of the pour. The beer was a dull brown color which did allow light in along the edges. Reminded me of a dark brown shoe leather. Certainly no lacing to be found.

Aroma was quite nice. Brown Sugar, vanilla and certainly a sense of the alcohol. In both the aroma and flavor there was quite a bit of fruit, but I'm not sure I would have picked out apple had I not known that this was aged in Calvados barrels. In either case, fruit was present and the aroma overall was excellent.

The flavor is a wonderful blend of the elements noted in the aroma plus a delicate smoked nature. The sense of smoke is not center stage and plays a role in adding to the complexity. However, this in no way tastes like a "smoked beer" The fruit, vanilla and brown sugar all meld to provide a wonderful flavor with a great deal of depth. Quite a bit going on here. While you can sense the abv, I would never guess this was as high as 11.5%. No heat from the alcohol.

Alex and I joked about the subtle carbonation. If there is a level just above "no carbonation" this is where this beer resides. A tiny pin prick. Medium bodied and definitely oily on the tongue.

I loved this beer and will have it remain on my want list. I'd love the chance to try this again. Excellent beer.

Thanks Alex.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2010 12:20:06 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of ktrillionaire
ktrillionaire

Florida

4.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to Beerzebub for the overwhelming generosity that he always shows me. 2010 bottle. The brew pours a near-still cola-brown hue; there is no head or bubbles but the liquid is viscous enough to leave slight legs upon the glass. The look is rustic and menacing. The nose is, on the contrary, the most absolutely inviting thing imaginable; the complexity is literally astounding. There is a plethora of sensory delights to behold within the flavor and aroma of Matt. Notes of charred brown sugar, toffee, raisin-dark fruit, cherries, hardwood smoke, tannic oak, buttery vanilla, booze, leather, and that familiar HotD twang - just to mention the most prominent associations - all make for a very familiar set of elements but they are combined here in an unusual and novel way. The feel is more lively than the look suggests, and is quite silky as well. Overall this is far and away the best HotD brew I've had (and that is saying something because I've had some great ones.) Lives up to any and all hype.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2011 02:18:10 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of Jeffo
Jeffo

Netherlands

4.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of boatshoes a while back. Thanks again for the trade man!

From a bottle into a snifter.
Vintage: 2010

APPEARANCE: Pours a small, medium looking, light tan head with good retention. Bistre brown in color with medium carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a wisp and solid ring, both of which remain for the whole ride but leave no lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Big bourbon nose off the pour. Bourbon, oak, vanilla and some smoked meat in there as well. Notes of roasted malts, coffee and chocolate notes, but the bourbon and smoked malts are more prominent. Complex stuff.

TASTE: Bourbon up front, with oak and vanilla notes, as well as some roasted and smoky notes from the base beer. Some bitter chocolate, coffee, and some smoked meat accompany the barrel at the swallow, with touches of sweet apple coming through at the finish. Bold and lingering aftertaste of barrel flavors, bitter chocolate and hints of smoked meat. This is phenomenal. Very complex, tasty, and the barrel adds to the brew as opposed to dominating it. Just awesome.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate, goes down fine and finishes somewhat mouth-coating. Some heat lingers as well. Solid.

OVERALL: This is a great of example of barrel aging done right! The base beer is complex and interesting, and the barrel aging is done just long enough to add complexity to the base beer instead of dominating it. Phenomenally complex and enjoyable; I hope to run into it again. Along with Adam and Fred, this one is another stellar brew from Hair of the Dog. A limited release definitely worth tracking down. Thanks again for the trade boatshoes. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2012 13:43:42 | More by Jeffo
Photo of mcallister
mcallister

Ohio

4.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Amazing beer to say the least. Pours a very deep chestnut with some red bricking around the edges. Hard pour yeilded a small white head. A five otherwise. Opaque and endless.

Apple, oak, bourbon, red currants, date and caramel, smokey with other dried pitted fruit aromas. Amazingly complex and arousing.

One of the better beers I've every tried. What i really like is just the style with the barrel aging and the complexity and depth of the beer. The apple comes throgh with some berry type flavors a lingering smokiness and chewy caramel date nougat on the forever finish. Hints of milk chocolate, red currant, pitted fruits and a bit of toffee. Thick and creamy and oh so delicious.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2009 20:01:25 | More by mcallister
Photo of rye726
rye726

Colorado

4.97/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a rich mahogany with a silky tan head. Nose has an exceptional malt profile along with caramel, toffee, dates, figs, plums, cherries, cocoa, oak, bourbon and sherry. Taste is equally complex. Simply superb body. I need to find more of this. Possibly better than Cherry Adam FTW.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2011 23:36:57 | More by rye726
Photo of Sean9689
Sean9689

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2009 20:44:43 | More by Sean9689
Photo of Arbitrator
Arbitrator

California

4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. A very generous gift from the ever-awesome ramnuts. Thanks so much, Frank.

A: Pours an oily, impenetrable black in the glass, although lightening at the edges shows that it's a translucent mahogany-chestnut color. Great shade. It has low carbonation, with just a half-finger of light brown head and milky swirls adorning the brew. No lace; none really expected.

S: Green apple, tobacco, leather, smoke -- it's even peaty. Rum-soaked raisins, oak, earth, and a touch of chocolate.

T: Apple, from the brandy barrels; lots of tobacco, leather, and smoke up front. Peat-like, giving an overall impression of scotch. Rummy raisins, oak, vanilla, bourbon/caramel (relatively restrained against the apple brandy). Reminds me of cognac in parts. The finish is lightly hot with the spirit components really coming out in an apple-bourbon-brown sugar blend. Breathing out afterward is all tobacco and leather -- again, peat comes to mind.

M: Massively full-bodied. Tough to swirl around in the mouth, it's so thick. Carbonation is quite low, but it accentuates the flavors. It's a bit underattenuated, or at least it seems to taste sweeter than Cherry Adam. Still, excellent.

D: This is a perfect special occasion beer. I slightly prefer Cherry Adam to this one, but Matt is definitely up there.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2010 18:51:54 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of Dope
Dope

Massachusetts

4.26/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2013 05:37:06 | More by Dope
Photo of CrellMoset
CrellMoset

Virginia

4.43/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle courtesy of uhwutur8, picked up at the original release, poured in to a tulip.

Appearance: Pours a smoky, woody charcoal, opaque to even direct light save for around the edges, where it's reduced to a vaguely translucent cherry copper amber. An aggressive pour became more aggressive when the head seemed slow to form, though even that didn't coax more than half an inch out. It seemed for a time that there would be no head, before a sudden late surge of effervescence burst forth from the depths, though it didn't rise with enough quickness to actually result in the formation of any crown. It instead rose at approximately the same level at which it dissipated at the surface, resulting in a thin, delicate collar, breath of snow on the surface, and nothing of note on the side of the tulip. Subsequent sips, however, do save this one's score by leaving nice dashes and patches of snow dripping and dotting up and down along the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Can I get this in an air freshener please? Easily this beer's best attribute, the nose is absolutely brimming with aromatic barrel notes and spices and ripe with sweet fruits. From a base of mellow and mature smoky malts mingling with cocoa, toast, and molasses, this one evolves in to a symphony of fruity and spirit-like overtones, from the obvious influences of the Apple Eau de Vie (or, more properly, Eau de Vie de Pomme) barrels - contributing pure cider tones as well as a nice sherry-like liquor tone - and the bourbon, the latter of which is remarkably mature and sublime, its faint spicyness and refined profile interacting beautifully with the barrel sugars and lighter malt sugars of the base beer. Just fantastic.

Taste: A fantastic flavor profile on this one, though not quite up to par with the nose. The base beer is sweet, though not by any means cloying - there's enough toast, dark toffee, molasses, earth, and fat, thick, dark smoke to counteract the brighter caramel, honey-like Candi sugar notes, and bready Munich malts, not to mention the slew of fruit sugars concentrated in this one. While we're on the topic, the array of fruits represented here is remarkable - from the obligatory apple to, in order: pears, apricots, peaches, lychee fruit, cherries, dates, figs, and white raisins. The whole thing is amplified by the "cane syrup" factor, or that which naturally accompanies all canned fruits from my childhood. The barrel notes - a faint amount of wood, though plenty of vanilla and less coconut - mingle with an impressively faded quantity of alcohol, all the more impressive given the 11.5% as well as the harsh overtones associated with the spirits here generally.

Mouthfeel: Very low, almost non-existent carbonation doesn't too much for a beer that's already quite sweet. Honey-like in its thickness, this one is marginally cloying at points, like a liqueur, though the alcohol spice and barrel notes keep it interesting enough that it's not a sugary mess.

Drinkability: Maybe I'm just growing curmudgeonly in my old beer age. This beer straddles a very interesting divide, showcasing both deep, smoky, dark toastiness as well as bright, green, fruity overtones. As a genre-blending experiment, it succeeds - I've never had a beer quite like this, to be sure. And not to sell it short - it succeeds on several other levels too, least of which is the divine nose and the masterful blending and complexity of the mouth. But I still require lift, head, lace, et al - this one had its procedural defects, and though they're not glaring, they do take their toll; it was a little difficult to finish those essentially flat final few sips. Of course, all that being said, this was still a pretty damn awesome beer - it's not every day you're going to get this many flavors and aromas out of a single 12 oz. bottle. Here's (three years late) to Bottleworks 10th Anniversary and to HotD for a great brew.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2011 22:18:55 | More by CrellMoset
Photo of yourefragile
yourefragile

District of Columbia

4.53/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2011 00:35:29 | More by yourefragile
Photo of rlee1390
rlee1390

Indiana

4.41/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2014 16:37:51 | More by rlee1390
Photo of alleykatking
alleykatking

Indiana

4.72/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2010 17:22:32 | More by alleykatking
Photo of Phelps
Phelps

Arizona

4.35/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2011 21:59:36 | More by Phelps
Photo of brewandbbq
brewandbbq

New Hampshire

4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle at 55 degrees.

Pours dark mahogany, with translucent edging, and a reluctant ascention of the tiniest bubbles ever seen in a beer. Very nitrogen-like in appearance, with a quarter inch head of biege that finally revealed itself after an exagerated pour. A partial skim coat remained for the duration as well as smeary lacing.

Aromatics lead off with fudge-smeared leather, burnt tobacco, dark chocolate, bourbon, and Kahlua-soaked figs. Shades of dark rum, toasted raisin, apple skins, and brandy follow through.

Full bodied with a slick, oily mouthfeel. An oil spill on crushed velvet.

The palate is lush, decadent, rich, and complex. A melange of chocolate syrup, brandy, char, old leather, bourbon, smoke, and rum-soaked figs.

Finishes with lingering burnt caramel, boozy undertones, and fudge bits.

Quite a beer. Definately in my top 5 strong ale/Barleywines.
Sweetish, boozy, and strong. A real sipper.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2009 01:06:58 | More by brewandbbq
Photo of orbitalr0x
orbitalr0x

Illinois

4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2009 21:38:15 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of Rutager
Rutager

British Columbia (Canada)

4.49/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle at the tasting room. $20

Appearance. Pours a very dark brown with a half finger of light khaki head.

Smell. Bourbon, caramel, vanilla and chocolate with just a bit of licorice.

Taste. Sweet and smokey dark malts, raisins and vanilla, sweet caramel and tannic wood.

Mouthfeel. Full body, maybe slightly less. Low+ carbonation and some nice boozy warmth.

Overall. A fantastic and very original beer. Haven't had aything like it before and would definitely like to have it again one day. Between this and the AftW I just had, I think these guys have redeemed themselves after my flat Doggie Claws ;-)

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2013 01:15:11 | More by Rutager
Matt from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
99 out of 100 based on 556 ratings.