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

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MattMatt

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BA SCORE
98
world-class

756 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 756
Reviews: 235
rAvg: 4.45
pDev: 11.01%
Wants: 1,404
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 756 | Reviews: 235
Photo of mgp2675
4.62/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My name is Matt, and I planned a while ago to crack one of these bottles of Matt open on my 26th birthday, which happens to be today. Shared in company of good friends. Served chilled, but not cold.

A- Pours dark brown, stout-like in color but not as thick. Pretty flat, minimal carbonation. The cap didn't even make a noise when I opened it. Looks a lot like King Henry to be honest, with a lot less carbonation.

S- Smells a lot like a barrel-aged barleywine because of the bourbon and vanilla characteristics, coupled with the hint of alcohol on the nose. Definitely some malt in there, very sweet smell. I'd say there's a hint of chocolate in the aroma, but mostly just that typical aroma from barrel-aging.

T- On the initial sip I got some normal tastes that I'd expect out of a stout...vanilla, bourbon, that good stuff. But there was a bit of a bite to it. This beer completely changed as it warmed up, for the better. There is definitely a chocolate taste to it at first, and lots of bourbon. Very sweet taste. But the aftertaste is the best part of this beer. There's a slight hint of apple from the sweetness which was really what I was looking for, but there's this big leathery, smokiness that lingers after you swallow that's just incredible. I hate smoky beers, but this isn't smoky like a smoked stout would be. It's much more of a leather kind of quality, almost like tobacco if that makes any sense.

M- This mouthfeel would be unimpressive in other beers but it was perfect in Matt. Thick enough but not chewy, and doesn't get in the way of the awesome flavors.

O- I waited a while to drink this and I'm happy I did. It was everything I expected it to be, and it's definitely the best HotD beer I've had so far...but I have yet to open my bottle of Adam FTW. Either way, I'm thrilled to have another bottle and to see what happens to this with some more age. Next time I'm drinking this cellar temp though, no reason at all to chill it. Great stuff by HotD, this is worth the hype.

Photo of ngeunit1
4.62/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark brown color with a hint of ruby and only a small ring of bubbles. The head fades very quickly leaving behind very little lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet caramel and smoked malts with dark fruit, candi sugar, vanilla, oak, Bourbon, apples, and some booze.

T - Starts off with toffee malts, candi sugars, and some dark fruits with some vanilla and apple. Through the middle, the oak and bourbon come through with some good smokiness and a touch of almost molasses. The finish is a mix of candi sugars, dark fruit, smoke, oak, vanilla Bourbon, apple, and a bit of booze.

M - Full bodied with mild carbonation. Feels smooth with a smokey, sweet, and warming finish.

D - Very drinkable. Really nicely balanced with lots of complex flavors coming together. The smoked malts are a nice touch.

Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.69/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

Thanks to Lurchingbeast for this this one.

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of tarheels86
4.52/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

355mL courtesy of SuzyGreenberg. Pours a flat, clear, deep brown with some faint bubbles (who cares though!). Aroma is big rum raisin, dark fruits, apple brandy/calvados, baked apples, coconut, milk chocolate. Taste is light calvados, rich and mellow dark fruits, smores, toffee. Very refined, complex. Yummy yum yum. 4/12/2010 9/4/9/5/18=4.5

Photo of illidurit
4.42/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of cosmicevan
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Photo of zeledonia
4.69/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of kevanb
4.57/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Chris for bringing this over! 2010, labeled Matt.

Pours a murky dark brown color, super opaque, no head, no lacing. The beer looks thick and syrupy in the glass, very inviting, but looks to be a sipper. The aroma is intriguing, bourbon, lots of smokey malt, tart apples, chocolate and some malty sweetness. The flavors are great, complex and hearty. Bourbon, smokiness, leather, tobacco and tart apples with other dark fruits and malty graininess with just a hint of astringent alcohol. The body is super thick and syrupy, almost no carbonation, but just enough to prop this beer up.

Verdict: Definitely a sipper, unique blend of flavors between the smokiness and fruitiness, bourbon and the malt. A great brew that everyone should get to try once.

Photo of brystmar
4.3/5  rDev -3.4%
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 pmarlowe
4.54/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

300th review. Tick!

2010 vintage. At the HotD pub. Tulip.

A: Pours a deep, reddish-tinted brown, largely opaque. No head or lacing but some miniscule bubbles peak up right after the pour.

S: Bourbon, oak, apple and dark fruit, some smoke. Great balance: nothing overpowers, and oak influence is restrained so that the base beer shows through.

T: Again, bourbon and oak, dark fruit and a dose of cocoa, apple peaks through towards the finish, which is slightly boozy. Slight sweetness but finishes mostly dry.

M: A syrupy, sticky full body with just a tinge of carbonation.

O: Delicious and wonderful balance between the elements. Definite sipper. Could use a tad more carbonation, which along with the booziness knocks this a few points, but delicious nonetheless.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.97/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

Photo of mdfb79
4.22/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

Photo of Auracom
4.76/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of claaark13
4.7/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

M - Medium body, heavier on the tongue.

O - Fantastic. Absolutely fantastic.

Photo of aasher
4.42/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Courtesy of claaark13, first bottling. Thanks Sean!

Matt pours a medium bodied, sticky dark dark molasses brown in color with no head, just light beige bubbles. The nose on this one is complex and smells like something I've had before but can't out my finger on. It features sweet malt, molasses, maple syrup, leather, tobacco, figs, oak, and light smoke. The flavors are almost identical. It's slightly dry so I get plenty of spicy tobacco and oak up front. It's followed by figs, plum, and raisin. It just has this earthiness about it. I really dig it. It drinks like an old ale and doesn't feature any alcohol at all. It drinks medium in body and coats your palate. It's really enjoyable. This beer is great so I hope it isn't too difficult to chase down.

Photo of Mahlik
4.42/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a Deschutes snifter. 2010 vintage.

A- Pours a deep, dark brown with no head, even after an aggressive pour. Some stray bubbles float around the edge of the glass but that's it. Nothing really in terms of lacing.

S- Where do I begin? Notes of molasses, leather and tobacco, which I would expect since the base beer is Adam. The aroma begins to become a little sweet from the apple brandy, candied sugar and honey. But everything is balanced out by the big smoky backbone. I also detect notes of dark fruits and oak. I'm a little disappointed that I'm not picking up much of the bourbon.

T- Big smokiness hits the palate. It's like a smoked meat kind of smokiness. Leather, roasted malts, dark fruits, apple and just the slightest bit of vanilla. Again, it starts to become too sweet but the smokiness does not let it become so. Velvety chocolate coats the back of my throat and lingers just for a second or two. Still not much bourbon. Based on the reviews, the bourbon should be more than noticeable.

M- Full, rich body with only trace amounts of carbonation. Somewhat creamy. The beer coats my entire mouth but falls just short of being syrupy. You can feel the alcohol's presence but it's not overwhelming.

O- Really a standout beer. Complex, layered and blended nicely. I would have given it a higher rating if there was a little more carbonation. I was a little disappointed with the lack of bourbon I was able to pull out of this beer. Overall though, a definite must try.

Photo of siege06nd
4.59/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Massive appreciation to IrishColonial for cracking this little treat with me. Thanks, Eric!

A. Deep, dark tobacco juice brown. Very loose, faint ring of cream colored bubbles around the neck and that's about it. Some extremely light lacing, but decent oily legs.

S. My goodness, there's a lot going on here. Molasses, rotten fruit, bootstrap leather, tobacco, baking chocolate, honey, hints of smoke, vanilla, plum. One of the most complex bouquets I have experienced. Definitely in the Old Ale/Strong Ale vein, with lots of overripe fruit and malt notes. This is excellent.

T. Brown sugar, molasses, some earthy hop notes, chocolate, vanilla, caramel, tobacco, leather. Follows the nose almost exactly. Has a very nutty flavor overall, with thick, cloying sweetness and a coffee-tobacco finish. I'm not sure I've ever had anything quite like it. It's extreme in the sense that there is so much going on here, but everytime I feel like this is about to go off a cliff, it surprises me by reeling it back in and finding a nice balance. It's decadent, lighly hoppy, extremely malty, and very sweet. The finish is almost like a good cigar. Wow.

M. Full bodied, sticky sweet, and very lightly carbonated. Suits the style.

O. A fascinating beer and one-of-a-kind experience. It's quite likely I'll never quite find a beer like it. The number of flavors this thing presents is incredible, and it strikes a surprisingly impressive balance between all of them. Hop, malt, booze all get their turn here, and all add up to a very impressive concoction. Definitely over-the-top sticky and cloying, so beware of that, but the sheer breadth of diversity in the flavor profile in this is awesome. Not a perfect beer, but extremely daring and the results speak for themselves. Great job, HotD!

Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.32/5  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 Alieniloquium
3.65/5  rDev -18%
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.

Photo of CruisaC
4.39/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage poured into glass. Ticking a longtime major want, thanks Kundog.

Color is dark cola with a thin ring of tan head. More than I was expecting based on other reviews I read.

Smells of raisins, apples and molasses. Brandy is the prominent spirit, and I don't get much bourbon.

Sweet raisins up front with some apple on the finish. Ends with some booziness but no burn.

Thick, smooth mouthfeel, and again some heat on the end

Overall, another solid effort from HOTD; they tend to produce beers over and over right up my alley. Looking forward to my Adam from the Wood patiently tucked away in my cellar.

Photo of billab914
4.44/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Photo of Ohsaycanyoubeer
4.92/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle of the 2011 version of my namesake. Slight hint of apples on the aroma. Taste of smoke, oak, hides the alcohol remarkably well for 12.5%. This is delicious. Caramel, smoky, Apple, bourbon greatness. A sipper well worth the hype. Now if only I could find more of it...

Photo of Dan3279
4.42/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a special one for me. I have to thank my buddy Aaron for hooking me up with this bottle. I am enjoying this bottle on my son Matt's first birthday. I started looking for this bottle in October and Aaron came through big time. I poured the 12oz bottle into my DFH snifter to find a nice dark, deep, brown body. I had no head and no carbonation.

The aroma was complex, the dried fruits really stood out on this one, also with some bourbon, vanilla, caramel, and plums. A great smelling beer.

The taste was as complex as the nose, and was just exceptional. The great thing about this beer is the balance. With so much going on one flavor doesn't dominate the rest, you can really taste the bourbon, dried fruits, caramel, vanilla, etc.

This was a smooth, smooth beer to drink. The carbonation was extremely light. This one is defiantly one to take on slowly and enjoy sip by sip.

Photo of portia99
3.16/5  rDev -29%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle (2010 release) poured into a Brooklyn snifter.

A - Bottle opens with a very mild pop...pours into the glass a rather dark brown color with traces of amber when held to the light. Looks to be nearly still in the glass...not a trace of head forms...appears on the thick and syrupy side.

S - Quite sweet on the nose, syrupy and buttery toffee, caramel and molasses, marshmallows...big shot of straight booze, sweet vanilla, dark fruits, brandy.

T - Yep, super sweet almost coating the lips in various sugars - honey, toffee, caramel, simple syrup. Smokey malt creeps in to the sweetness giving a little bit of balance to this. Lightly hoppy bittered but doesn't really stand up to the sugars in here. There is a mild touch of alcohol warmth that doesn't match the intensity found in the aroma. For 11.5% it is hidden quite well. The sweetness is unstoppable...this really is a bit much for me. I've had some unfermented worts that weren't this sweet.

M - Pretty much completely still. Thinner than I would expect, but manages to be about medium in body. Mt teeth hurt from the intense sugars here. Smokey aspects round out the finish behind all of the big malty sweet flavors, but really come far from what I'd call balance.

O - Well, I know I'm really supposed to like this beer a lot, but it just doesn't work for me. This is as slow a sipper as there can be. This would work much better in a small, small serving. It is fairly complex with a host of sugary sweet flavors to it, but it is just too overpowering for its own good. I'm getting thru the bottle but it is slow going. I would not call this one of my favorite American Strong Ales.

Matt from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
98 out of 100 based on 756 ratings.