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

Not Rated.
MattMatt

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

649 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 649
Reviews: 221
rAvg: 4.48
pDev: 10.49%
Wants: 1,350
Gots: 130 | FT: 14
Brewed by:
Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Brewed using two Munich malts, two Smoked malts and two types of Belgian candy sugar. It was aged in 33 year old Bourbon barrels and Apple Eau de Vie barrels for about one year.

First release: February 2009 (a.k.a. 'Bottleworks X')
Second release: November 2010
Third release: October 2013

(Beer added by: msubulldog25 on 01-27-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 649 | Reviews: 221 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sweemzander
4.88/5  rDev +8.9%

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.

sweemzander, Jul 29, 2011
Photo of FosterJM
4.2/5  rDev -6.3%

674th Review on BA
Bottle to Flute
12 oz

Bottleworks X & 2nd batch

App- A very dark beer, browns and reds in the glass. No real head, just the normal HOTD bubbles around the edges, no lace, no cling

Smell- Big ol punch in the nose. Bourbon, fruits, sweet, malty. More of the dark fruits with a sugary note and a bit thick.

Taste- It's a very different taste for a strong ale. Its deeply thick with the bourbon and has a lot of darker fruits to lend a balance to it with some chocolate tinges and not sure what else is there but there is a lot of it.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated. Very thick on the mouth and very creamy.

Drink- To be able to try both at one time I was very happy. Thick, boozy, tastefully balanced and well done.

FosterJM, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of dogfishandi
4.45/5  rDev -0.7%

enjoyed this at an awesome bottle tasting with a few local BA's. 12oz bottle split 4-5 ways, poured into a snifter.

pours out a deep dark brownish slightly red color. almost no head, but nice color.

lots of aromas of dark fruits, raisons, figs, molasses, maybe a little apple and a hint of smoke.

wow, big flavors in the taste. what really stand out for me is maple and molasses. also lots of dark dried fruits, raisons, prunes, figs, maybe some apple and hints of bourbony alcohol and smoke. definatly on the sweeter side.

big, thick, chewy, meaty body, almost syrupy, but definatly in a good way. carbonation towards the lower side.

a great beer, so many complexities. i can only hope ill get the chance to drink this again.

dogfishandi, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of CuriousMonk
4.43/5  rDev -1.1%

Poured from 12oz bottle into tulip glass. Pours hazy brown, no head. Aroma is tremendously rich, intense ripe apple, hazelnut, maple syrup. Flavor starts with big sweet bourbon, molasses, brown sugar. Finish has pressed appls, essence of acidity. Lightens towards finish, lifts perception of weightiness. The palate is rich, thick, velvety, chewy, and caressing. Medium-bodied brew. Very nice strong ale from HOTD!

CuriousMonk, Jul 21, 2011
Photo of BlackWednesday
3.73/5  rDev -16.7%

Pours deep dark, muddy brown with a thin, creamy, yellowish rim of film. Aroma has a hell of a lot of character. Green apples, rubber, dark chocolate, plums, raisins, light tobacco. Low carbonation, fat and oily mouthfeel. Flavour is impressively complex. Rubber, dark chocolate, plums, raisins, oak, apples, roasted malts. A touch of smoke and thyme. Impressive viniousness. Long, lingering, warming aftertaste. Impressive.

BlackWednesday, Jul 16, 2011
Photo of afksports
4.18/5  rDev -6.7%

I'm sitting here with my woman, thinking, "What a strangely good beer this is." Matt, from Hair of the Dog brewery in Portland, Oregon is a special release that I got hooked up with at Bottleworks in Seattle. Thus review is drinking the 2010 vintage.

Boyo boy oh boy. It looks pretty normal pouring a deep brown with minimal head and lace, but wow! What a punch in the nose when you smell it. Bourbon meets Belgium meets fruit - apples and smoke. It's all there. The last time a beer smelled this complex was a while back. My only complaint is that I'm just hit a personal fan of smoke.

It's not overly smokey though, in smell or taste. It's more subtle. What comes through mostly is the candy sugar, the sweetness of bourbon in the back of the throat, and some apple fruit too. Almost like an aged barleywine. So much comes from the barrels, it's a generously smooth beer. Very very sweet an rich. Dessert in a glass, if you can handle it.

Almost like a sherry, Matt goes down very easy, and you don't see the alcohol at 11.5% at all. In fact, it's so well composed that you could drink it for a while if you can deal with the caloric intake.

Simply put, Matt is one bad dog. Not bad meaning bad, but bad meaning good.

afksports, Jul 15, 2011
Photo of rye726
4.97/5  rDev +10.9%

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.

rye726, Jul 11, 2011
Photo of Phelps
4.35/5  rDev -2.9%

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.

Phelps, Jun 29, 2011
Photo of moz9
4.58/5  rDev +2.2%

The term "unique" doesn't even begin to describe this beer. It's unique in so many ways, and exceptional in all of them. Beer pours a very dark brown with a minimal head and is somewhat viscous. The smell of this beer is amazing. Apples, bourbon, leather, a little tobacco.

None of them, except maybe the apples are overpowering, but the balance is outstanding. It's a boquet that's honestly quite unique. The taste and mouthfeel follow perfectly. There is a burst of so many complex flavors and then the very smooth finish at the end.

This beer really does not disappoint. It's one of the best that I've had in a long time and it was worth the wait.

moz9, Jun 26, 2011
Photo of surlytheduff
4.3/5  rDev -4%

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

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

surlytheduff, Jun 24, 2011
Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.13/5  rDev -30.1%

Saved this one for my 200th review.

2009 Bottleworks X bottle.

12oz bottle poured into my Hair of the Dog Tulip.

A - Dark brown, with reddish edges, only a few large dark tan bubbles form on one side.

S - Old fruit, and burnt sugar.

T - Bitter fruit, bad candy, and old leather.

D - No carbonation at all, totally flat.

O - I love HotD, but I was let down with this one.

HuskyinPDX, Jun 15, 2011
Photo of DavoleBomb
3.73/5  rDev -16.7%

Poured into a snifter. 2010 vintage. Big thanks to piclee for this.

2.0 A: Deep brown almost black color. Minimally carbonated and did not form a head.

4.0 S: Leathery bourbon and slightly boozy apple brandy are most noticeable. Bourbon adds tobacco and peat elements. Underneath there is fig, raisin, smoke, prune, and hints of chocolate. Caramel galore. The barrels give a subtle vanilla and a slightly more aggressive oak. Pretty good here, but a little subdued overall. Some more carbonation certainly would have helped.

3.5 T: The taste is much unlike the nose in that the flavors are INTENSE! Again, bourbon and apple brandy strike first, but this is definitely not a bourbon bomb (which I always appreciate since I'm one of a few people on here that like beer more than bourbon). Bourbon and brandy give leather, peat, tobacco, plenty of sweet but earthy apple, a pleasant vanilla, and moderate amounts of oak. Fairly boozy as the full 11.50% is realized. Again there's plenty of dark fruit: fig, plum, prune, raisin, and a bit of black currant. Ridiculously complex with tons of caramel. However, this beer has one fatal flaw that dropped the taste score quite a bit. It's distractingly sweet. The first sip almost knocked me on my ass. Toward the end of the glass, I'm starting to get used to it, but I'd rather really enjoy 12 oz instead of 3 or 4. I'm pretty sure this would still be a bit too sweet if it had carbonated the whole way, but who knows.

4.5 M: Full body. Even in spite of the lacking carbonation (there is a little bit), this is wonderful on the tongue. Rich and velvety, which is just what I what for a beer of this nature. Just the slightest bit chewy and fairly smooth given the booziness.

4.0 D: Good beer that could have been great. Great balance between the barrel components and the beer itself. While this wasn't totally flat, the lack of proper carbonation made the nose less impressive, the taste too sweet, and prevented the mouthfeel from being a perfect 5.0. I would easily want to drink this again with a hope of better carbonation.

DavoleBomb, Jun 10, 2011
Photo of MCorrea
5/5  rDev +11.6%

Special thanks to Johndoe08 for cracking open a bottle of my namesake beer.

A- Pours a nice uniform dark brown with minimal carbonation.

S- Has a bit of smoke and liquor on the nose, but the biggest note I get is apples. Turns out this beer is aged in apple brandy barrels. Well, that explains that.

T- Deliciously complex. Complexly delicious. Barrel, apples, smoke, leather, chocolate, love, beauty, happiness.

M- Perfect. Just enough to allow all the flavor to present itself without being too thick or overbearing, not too thin to dilute any of the complex flavors rocking your world. Hooray!

O- I am proud that a beer that carries my name does not suck, and is in fact... actually pretty awesome. I'm glad I have more bottles to open on a special occasion. Fantastic beer.

MCorrea, Jun 05, 2011
Photo of BarrytheBear
4.45/5  rDev -0.7%

Bottle shared by a local yokel. Thanks Kyle for hitting a major want! 2010 edition.

Pours a flat crimson with some firey red highlights. Flacid looking evil.

Sweet and sugary apple brandy, rich dark fruits, figs, prunes, dates, and a smattering of nuttiness. Walnuts? Really complex and inviting. There's so much happening on the nose.

Flavor is quite luxurious as well. Apple brandy is front a center. Ice creamy booziness. Bourbon is tempered but present. Charred paper and smoke linger along the periphery and the dark fruits take a firm grip upon the proceedings. A big, rich, complex beer that I found myself greatly immersed in. Lack of any real heat makes this a stunner.

Mouthfeel is full, thick, supple, and decadent with little carbonation.

Overall: Hair of the Dog is a personal favorite and this does not disappoint. Given the price tag and relative rarity of this, I'd reach for Adam more frequently (my God I love that beer), but this is a real treat.

BarrytheBear, Jun 04, 2011
Photo of inthebeeraisle
4.35/5  rDev -2.9%

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

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

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

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

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

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

inthebeeraisle, May 23, 2011
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.15/5  rDev -29.7%

2009 Bottle

A: Poured a deep brown with very light carbonation, small dirty white cap with some bubbles

S: Dark fruits, toffee, caramel, chocolate, booze, Earth and wood

T: Had some dark fruits, booze, chocolate, sweetness, caramel, candy even, heavy smoke and faded bourbon

M: A full body beer that was flat as can be

O: Meh

barleywinefiend, May 16, 2011
Photo of black13
4.55/5  rDev +1.6%

Now that I've had three of these I feel it's time to review it. All three have been almost the same experience.

Giving a vigorous pour into my HotD tulip only rustles up a whiff of bubbles that quickly fade to nothing. Leaving me with a obsidian dark liquid that refuse to allow light to pass even when held up to the light.

I can't get over the amazing aroma of this beer. Bourbon, caramel, vanilla, dried fruit and a wonderful smokiness all come across in a wonderful balance. I find myself sniffing this thing three times for each drink.

The bourbon and dried fruits are the first flavors to meet your palate and boy are they glorious. Next up is the caramel and vanilla which are nicely balanced and not overpowering. The final flavors to approach the palate are a bit of chocolate and some smokiness. Amazing is all that can be said. Wonderful flavors that take their turn on the the stage to put on a perfect performance.

I would say this is medium to full bodied with just the right amount of carbonation. If there were more carbonation you just might call the finish to this beer hot. But as it stands, the finish stings a bit but feels great.

Aside from maybe wanting a bit of a head on my beer, I find no real faults here. I would give this beer a perfect 5, but then Alan would have nothing to improve on. This beers lives up to it's hype and is well worth the effort to get ahold of.

Consumed on 03-17-2011

black13, May 14, 2011
Photo of stakem
4.33/5  rDev -3.3%

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.

stakem, May 12, 2011
Photo of champ103
4.53/5  rDev +1.1%

A huge thanks to Dajtai007 for sharing the bottle. This is at least the second time I have had this, I think both times are because of Daniel.

A: Pours a dark brown color. Almost opaque with a bit of ruby around the edges. A small beige head forms, and recedes in a second to nothing.
S: Huge malty aromas. Toasted caramel, light coffee and smoke as the base. A great apple and wood combo comes in next from the barrel. I love it.
T: Follows the nose with a great toasted malt flavor. A large sweetness, but balanced well with the wood flavors. Oak, and fruits. Apples, raisins, and cherries. Very much like sherry. Excellent.
M/D: A full body that is low on the carbonation. So smooth, velvety, and creamy. This is one of the easiest sippers that I have had in a long time. Just a treat.

An amazing beer. A great sipper, and so complex. Like a fine wine/sherry. I am so glad I got to try this again. Highly recommended.

champ103, May 09, 2011
Photo of vkv822
4.65/5  rDev +3.8%

12oz bottle into snifter.
2010 vintage.

Pours a dark brown almost black, with a thin toffee color head that quickly dissipates to leave a very thin ring of bubbles around the glass.

The aroma is bourbon upfront with apple and dark fruit, and a faint tobacco.

The bourbon is a bit more blended with dark fruit and apple notes. There is subtle toffee and caramel, though a leathery tobacco profile keeps it from becoming too sweet. It also has some pleasant chocolate notes towards the finish.

Has smooth medium body with fairly low, but very appropriate carbonation. The body could be a bit more thick, though it still fits quite well.

What to say about this beer? It has reminded me why I love Hair of the Dog so much. Just a very complex and well done beer that I wish I had a lot more of.

vkv822, May 08, 2011
Photo of callmemickey
4.43/5  rDev -1.1%

2009 Bottle

A: Deep brown, with hints of cherry wood red. Moderate dirty tan head.

S: Bourbon, apple brandy, vanilla, chocolate, oak, dark fruits. A bit subdued though.

T: All of the notes from the nose but with the intensity of a top notch brew.

M: Medium full bodied. Smooth with appropriate carbonation. Just the slightest bit of heat in the finish.

O: An interesting and complex brew with the double barrel treatment. I think its probably best fresh though.

callmemickey, Apr 30, 2011
Photo of srandycarter
4.7/5  rDev +4.9%

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is now one of my ATF!

srandycarter, Apr 16, 2011
Photo of Azurescens
4.8/5  rDev +7.1%

12oz bottle, 2010 batch poured into snifter at Brouwer's on 4/14/11

A: Pours a very dark brown with no visible carbonation or head. Looks nice and thick with some dark red hues through the edges when swirled in my glass.

S: Big sweet bourbony and malty aromas, some apple and dark fruit as well, perhaps dates and some alcohol.

T: This is absolutely fantastic. Incredibly smooth, a hint of smokiness with smooth bourbon, dark fruit and sweet apple from the Eau de Vie barrels. Very little heat is detectable for an 11.5% barrel aged strong ale. The flavors combine ridiculously well with each other, this is a true masterpiece of a brew. Definitely way up there, one of my all time favorites.

M: Amazingly creamy and smooth. A slight tingle on my tongue from the little bit of carbonation that is in here. The slightly syrupy mouthfeel coats my entire mouth with tons of great flavors that linger for a very long time. Near perfect.

O: Incredible, so many great distinct flavors that combine in total harmony with one another. Every little sip goes a very long way, packing gobs of delicious flavors. Great warming feel in my stomach as I savor each sip. I love this beer. I would definitely drink a glass of this before going to sleep every night if I could. This is heaven in a glass, what more can be said? Please keep brewing this Alan, I want more!

Azurescens, Apr 16, 2011
Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.33/5  rDev -3.3%

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

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

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

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

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

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

SpeedwayJim, Apr 09, 2011
Photo of airohead2001
4.05/5  rDev -9.6%

Waiting a long time to try this one. I have pretty high expectations.

In terms of appearance, this beer looks disgusting. No head, no lacing, no legs. Just dark brown oily grossness - distinctly reminiscent of the stuff that comes up in a nasogastric tube lavage during a small bowel obstruction.

Smell is good - booze, vanilla, oak, and nuttiness.

Taste is outstanding - sugar, vanilla, chocolate, and mild roasts. Good stuff.

Mouthfeel is very oily. Sort of weird.

The taste and smell were outstanding, but the appearance and mouthfeel were pretty poor. Overall, a good beer, but not something I would go crazy looking for in the future.

airohead2001, Apr 05, 2011
Matt from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
99 out of 100 based on 649 ratings.