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

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

723 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 723
Reviews: 227
rAvg: 4.46
pDev: 10.76%
Wants: 1,391
Gots: 132 | 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:
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: 723 | Reviews: 227 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jh1982
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of Urbancaver
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of TurdFurgison
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of bsuedekum
4/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of Bobbydigi
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.34/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

Mouthfeel: Medium body with low carbonation

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

Photo of brew3crew
4.72/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage year

A-brown body with no head whatsoever

S-sweet mixture of bourbon and brandy

T-nice. Can really taste the barrels. Distinct bourbon and brandy that does a dance on my tounge. A tango if you will.

M- medium body and smooth. So smooth

O- very, very good. I must have!

Photo of ColdPoncho
4.51/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Chris for this

A - medium brOwn with a small foam

S - chocolate and dark fruits and apple, leather and smoked meats. Beautiful nose

T - great complex flavor comPrising smoked meats, dark fruits and aPples and various barrels. Real tasty

M - smooth and thick. A nice thing.

O - a really great and complex but excellently balanced beer. Staying on my wants

Photo of Bendurgin
3.65/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Huge thanks to Andy for sharing this one. He' just a stand up guy! Poured into a tulip. Pours completely flat looking. No head, not hiss as the bottle is popped. Nothing. Sits dark brown in the glass.

Rich and deliciou in the aroma with aroma of mollasses, licorice, dark cherries and hints of chocoloate. A big rich malty profile here that smells great. Rich on the pallet with caramel and mollasses with hints of dark fruit and kind of a soy sace finish. Pretty tasty.

The body is full but it's flat. We really need some carbonation to pull this together. Overall this taste great and smells great. It just needs some carbonation. This is my fourth HotD beer and the second that has been flat. That simply dissapoints.

Photo of andrewinski1
3.9/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. No fizz when opening this one. Pours completely flat. The color is amber-brown.

The aroma is full of fruity grape-skin with a touch of leather and chocolate. There are subtle notes of vanilla.

The taste starts out with a ton of leather and smoke, finishing with fruity grape. This has just enough sweetness in the finish.

This is medium bodied with zero carbonation.

I like this a lot. The lacking carbonation might be very off putting to many, I don't seem to mind it here.

Photo of s1ckboy
4.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 Bottle. About a year of age on it.

A - Extremely dark, a bit of red around the edges. Small tan head with tight bubbles.

S - Bourbon, figs, raisins, other dark fruit, caramel. Very sweet smelling.

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

M - Thicker side of medium. Slightly sticky.

An amazing beer. Much better than I thought it would be.

Photo of dgilks
4.62/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 Release: Bottleworks X enjoyed at the tasting room in Portland.

Very dark brown colour with a miniature light tan head. Good head retention given the tiny head that was there to start with.

Bourbon and chocolate dominate the aroma with some very light apple brandy notes. Sweet caramel and some oaky vanilla round out the aroma.

Sweet malt flows into a spicy apple brandy and very light bourbon flavour. Well rounded with some light spiciness. The lush malt and ester profile has great length. Very interesting.

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

A great beer. Stunning aroma and flavour combine to provide a wonderful dessert beer. Well done Alan.

Photo of 7ways
3.32/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 2 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I forgot about this one for a while.

Pours sludgy and brown without a single damn bubble. This beer has serious legs.

Smells incredible, so rich and deep. Oakey apple brandy, burnt sugar, vanilla, raisin, tobacco, leather. The taste is the same, but just too damn much of everything, including alcohol. Not overpowering, but just a bit much. There seems to be a competition to see which flavor can sting my tongue the most. Definitely a sipping beer, as even a small gulp burns my throat and numbs my lips.

Carbonation probably would have done this beer wonders, but it is just barely there. And that is why I wish I hadn't traded something awesome for it.

Now I'm going to drink a Cigar City BA Milk Porter by myself and forget about it. Literally.

Photo of tewaris
4.44/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle from 2010 poured into a snifter. Thanks Kan. Since I am on a Strong Ale/Old Ale/Barleywine kick for the past few months and this is the coldest day this far into Fall, it's the perfect occasion to drink the only bottle I have. Matt pours dark brown and looks almost black; the looks are in the Imperial Stout territory. There's no head whatsoever but there is a tiny ring holding promise of carbonation. I hear it's a crap shoot with HotD, and I think I am lucky.

Matt boasts a very complex aroma, with distinct notes of roast, smoke, dark fruit, port, caramel/toffee and dark liqueur. And ripe apples! I can't wait to taste it, but I can't stop smelling it either.

The base beer for Matt is Adam, which was a disappointment to me. However, the barrels have changed the beer massively, into something much better. My complaint against Adam was too much roast and too much bitterness. The roast is mellow in Matt, and the bitterness very restrained, along with the added sweetness and complexity.

Sticky caramel sweetness, accompanied by still bold, roasty and chocolaty bitterness leading towards a slightly astringent finish. There is a lot of fruity-vinous character and ripe, sweet apple notes from eau-de-vie de pomme. I am loving it so much! This beer is one of the testimonials to the fact that American brewing today can stand up to Europe. Reminiscent of two of my favorite beers, Cuvee Van de Keizer Blauw and JW, and yet so different. And what restrained use of barrels, that have added so much character without the typical booze.

While I am convinced that this beer will only improve with age, it hardly tastes young. In fact, had I not known the age, I would place it at 3 years, at least. A great beer, and perfect for this moment. It's beers like this that make trading worthwhile. I don't think I have anything in my stash that can excel Matt significantly. I won't be drinking anything else tonight.

3, 4, 5, 4, 4.5

Photo of emmasdad
4.34/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of Kegatron
4.14/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

Photo of jamescain
4.67/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a sniffer, thanks to Dajtai007 for bring this one too. I believe it was about 2 years old.

Appearance: Pours a clear deep mahogany-dark brown with a thin tan head that fades into a small ring round the side of the glass.

Aroma: Just a touch of apples, most of the apple aroma has faded by now sadly, bourbon and brandy, with roasted grain and a smokey characteristic.

Taste: Wonderfully complex! Brandy, bourbon, oak, vanilla, smokey, dark fruit, raisins, a touch of booze, and caramel.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth with medium body and low carbonation.

Overall: I could easily drink a few of these, but my liver probably would be upset. Incredibly complex, a real treat!

Photo of jale
4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to my great friend Eric(turdfurgison) for this.

A: Pours dark brown with two quarters of tan head.

S: Wow! Roasted malt, bourbon and a hint of apple. I really get the brandy like aromas.

S: Sweet roasted malt, bourbon and smoked malt hit almost simultaneously followed closely by the apple brandy flavors. The finish is burnt sugar and raisin. And yea it's boozy, but I like the alcohol heat in this beer. As it warms the chocolate flavors really come out.

M: Thick body that is slick on the tongue. Lower then average carbonation.

O: I'm a wine guy as well, so I love a beer that reminds me of a fine port or brandy. Love this beer. A sipper for sure. Thanks again Eric!

Photo of OldPenguinHunter
4.84/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this with a good friend on my patio before and while smoking a good Oliva Master Blends 3 cigar (not to name drop...yes, yes it was to name drop, boom). The beer let out very little gas when I popped the bottle. I have had this before at the brewery, and I remember it being somewhat flat, but I didn't remember it being this flat, oh well. Poured into large bowl snifters.

A: Brown/aged tawny red, very syrupy looking oily almost.
S: Smokey, fruity, oaky, hints of tobacco, leather, candied orange rind...super complex, I could keep going; should I? Ok, maybe I will...there is also a hint of nuttyness, hazelnuts?, sweet mead, roasted apples, a bit of tar, and a dash of awesome.
T: Same as above, but with more oomph.
M: Slightly hot, but with the cigar it cuts right through the smoke and suppliments it in a very nice way.
O: Worth every penny.

Photo of readbaron
3.61/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to KickInTheChalice for sharing this one. 2010 version.

Pours a deep, nearly soy sauce brown with no head despite a vigorous pour.

Nose is overwhelmed by apple brandy. A bit of sweet caramel malt underneath. Possibly a hint of smoke - but not prominant.

Taste is interesting - definitely get a lot of wood - however the taste reminds me of spruce or possibly pine. Adding to the palate are rich malty caramel sugars and dark fruits. Finish is just a bit boozy. The lack of carbonation hurts the flavor - it's still interesting and subtle, but would be vastly improved with some creamy carbonation.

Moutfeel is dissapointing. A bit thin and completely flat.

Overall - wish I had had this on draft. It's pretty tasty, but not as good as I'd expected.

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.81/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: No carbonation in this beer means there is no head sitting on top of a dark brown beer with a cherry tint.

Smell: Lots of apple brandy, which by itself provides a lot of complexity. Some brown sugar and caramel malt join in the background.

Taste: Caramel malt with some brown sugar up front, some figs, raisins, and a touch of sweet cherries next, then a good dash of apple brandy. A bit of alcohol bite, a touch of what I can best describe as spruce, and some general spiciness close out the flavor. It has a relatively clean finish.

Mouthfeel: The complete lack of carbonation reduces my enjoyment of the beer and is fairly noticeable throughout each sip. Other than that, it has a full body, some stickiness, and some slight alcohol burn in the back of the throat.

Overall: Proper carbonation would make this better and really send it into a different category. As is, the flavor is pretty good, but it just does not have all the pieces.

Photo of richalexander78
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this in a bottle at the brewery. 2010 vintage. very dark with no head. His was very nutty and caramely. It was worth the wait and the money to sample. Maybe my favorite hair of the dog. This beer would be a great way to relax and unwind on a cold night.

Photo of Luk13
4.39/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle, with a big high five to pantanap, thanks dude. Pour is very dark, opaque, brown, no head except for a few bubbles, looks like a very old spirit. Ugly but cute at the same time, I like it Aroma is definately on the spirit/oak side of things, strong notes of molasses and vanilla. Taste is very, very sweet. I was afraid a little by the aroma, I thought we were on our way to a boozy mess, but the taste is so boldly sweet, with no off flavors at all, just a warm, sweet, monster sipper. Lots of calvados flavour, toffee, caramel. Palate is completely flat, good alcohol warmth, so long and silky in the mouth. I guess this is perfect for a cold winter evening, but it worked well for us on a hot july afternoon. While it was excellent, I found it very hard to drink hence the lower overall rating

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.86/5  rDev +9%
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.

Photo of sweemzander
4.87/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

Matt from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
99 out of 100 based on 723 ratings.