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

Not Rated.
MichaelMichael

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BA SCORE
85
very good

237 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 237
Reviews: 94
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 15.73%
Wants: 227
Gots: 55 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Michael is a Flanders Red, made in memory of Michael Jackson. The Beer was Brewed in January of 2007, and aged in American oak and Sherry barrels since then. It is just over 6% alcohol, made with Organic Pilsner, Vienna and Munich malts and fermented with a variety of yeast and bacteria.

Released November 2009 & Fall 2012.

(Beer added by: msubulldog25 on 10-17-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 237 | Reviews: 94 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by coldmeat23:
Photo of coldmeat23
4.43/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

GLASS: Lindemans Flute
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 55 degrees
VINTAGE: 2009
Super thanks to chewy for this hook-up!

This is a clear copper colored liquid with very light hints of crimson. The small head of foam has a light tint of tan. The retention is actually pretty good, which was unexpected, and the lacing is fairly thick and lightly sticky.

The nose has a nice tartness to it, along with alot of oak notes. Lots of cherries/berries. A light presence of barnyard funk with a light showing of yeastiness.
The smell is actually very good, I think.

This is not nearly as tart as the nose prepped me for. It still has a very nice tartness to it though, don't get me wrong. The barnyard funk/yeastiness is a little more forward which gives a nice balance to the tartness. The oak notes meld very nicely. There is a good deal of berry/cherry presence, mostly tart, but some sweet hints are also spotted. A light spiciness hits about mid-palate. Alcohol is not tasted, but this has a sherry-like warming effect to it. The finish is very dry and almost completely disappears from your palate, in seconds.

This has a medium body with a mild level of carbonation. It is smooth and tasty, even though it has a slight puckering effect to it.

I find this to be very drinkable and quite enjoyable. I also think that it will benefit from some more cellar time, perhaps another 3-5 years. I wish I had more of it to test that theory with. Sadly, this is my only bottle.

More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Murky copper color on the pour, not as much red as I would have guessed; only a mild translucency at the very edges. A small, grey-tinted head bubbles up and quickly settles to a ring around the glass.

Aroma contains a touch of sourness; tart cherry, sour apple, lactic, acidic and very vinegar-like with very, very mild vinous notes in the end - juicy grapes and mild alcoholic character. Oak notes are pretty heavy in this one, too. I'm sensing a bit of funk, but I'm not sure if there's actually brett in this, or if my mind is just playing tricks on me. But seriously, there's a very mild funk in here somewhere, I can smell it, dammit! The tartness leads into a finishing, fruity sweetness.

Michael isn't as sour on the palate as it was on the nose, but it still delivers a handful of fruity goodness; apples, cherries, grapes. Lots of vinous notes popping out now with a mellow booziness that remains smooth and laid back throughout the duration of the sip. Pretty creamy on the mouth, which I definitely wasn't expecting. The wine notes get stronger as this one goes on; the oak booms halfway in and leads strong into the aftertaste; lots of wet wood and a mild funk that makes its way back again. The finish is vinous with sweet grapes and cherries, a touch of alcohol, and lots of oak barrel. Medium carbonation, thin-medium body with a lightly creamy mouth feel.

It would've been a little better had it been slightly more tart, but it was still pretty damn good. Easily drinkable and refreshing, I'm not sure how old this one was, but I think it had some age on it. Nice wine-like characteristics and a big contribution from the oak barrel.

Photo of joel66
3/5  rDev -20%

Photo of NWer
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of bishopdc0
2.35/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Shared a bottle with my wife, the beer is red but very cloudy. The nose is Brett funk seems somewhat unrefined. The beers tastes is unrefined, sweet malt with Brett funk, a very odd finish almost alcohol with a strange bitterness. This tastes like the first time I used Brett in a homebrew, a complete mess. Very unimpressed.

Photo of boatshoes
4.38/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received this as one of several astounding extras in a trade with Pawel awhile back. He really blew my socks off in that one and I owe him still!

Appearance- I have to say, I was not expecting a beer of this style to be a gusher, but as soon as I popped the cap, I had beer gushing out of the 12oz bottle. My luck hasn't been too great with gushers lately and this is the second one I've had it a week. That being said, after it died down (I probably lost three or four ounces unfortunately), it poured a very nice shade of murky chestnut with about a finger of slightly off white head sitting on top. Surprisingly good head retention for a Flanders red and it stuck around for a bit before dying back to a ring around the edge and some patches. A fair amount of beading carbonation as well.

Smell- A lot of barrel comes through on the nose. I get smells of wood and vanilla mixed with some not too tart fruits as well. Maybe some pear and sweet cherries. Barrel is foremost for me here though and it smells quite nice.

Taste- Interesting take on a Flanders. Again, I get the barrel flavors of wood and even some vanilla first. This is followed again by sweeter cherries and pear/apple fruit flavors. Finishes on a very mild lactic note. I actually really liked the way in which the barrel blended with the fruit flavors; however, the tartness was minimal for the style.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is quite substantial and well carbonated for the style but in no way overdone. Drinkability was great on this and I'm really sorry I lost the ounces that I did to the gushing, could have easily polished off a couple of these.

Overall, not the most traditional take on a Flanders red but very well done. Closest I could come to approximating it would probably be to compare it to Reinart Wild Ale, but I much preferred this. Unfortunate that it was a gusher, and I hope to try more of this in the future.

Photo of TKEbeerman
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Reino
4.28/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

*Flanders Red is one of my favorite styles, with Rodenbach Grand Cru being the pinnacle example in my book. I probably should wait a month or three to review this, but what the hell.

Appearance- Poured recklessly into my Duchesse glass, Michael is a beautiful color. Tough to describe, but I'll go with ruby-red. Like most freshly bottled HotD brews, Michael has no head except for watery bubbles that emerge from my vigorous pour, and head straight to the side of my glass.

Smell- Very nice, tart fruit aromas of orange, dark cherry, and green grapes. I also get some soft chocolate notes in the background along with a nice amount of oak. Not sure if it's the mix of all these complex aromas, but I get a tiny bit of alcohol heat, which is surprising at 6.2%, but compliments everything quite well. The more I dig my nose in, the more I think it might be a pine smell instead of alcohol. Enjoyable either way.

Taste- My tongue is greeted with a nice tartness and the complex fruits from the nose. Also like the smell, I'm picking up oak and pine. Some tannins are definitely lending some astringency along with the sourness. The finish is a lingering blend of dark cherries, sour apple and chocolate with a tiny bit of vanilla. Quite interesting and complex mix of flavors going on. I feel like Flanders Red is one of the toughest styles to pin down the flavors of, especially when someone like Alan is putting his own take on it.

MF- Medium bodied that probably feels heavier than it is due to the lack of carbonation. The acid helps make up for the missing bubbles, and a Flanders shouldn't be highly carbonated anyways. The mouthfeel is much like an acid forward red wine, which I'm cool with. I'm sure some carbonation and more sourness will come with time, bumping up this score.

Drinkability- A complex, slow sipper that would go great with the right meal and is very good on it's own like I'm enjoying it now. Again, I think more time giving the beer more carbonation would bump up this score. The rest of mine will be sitting in the cellar for awhile.

Photo of pwoods
4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Unclejedi for sharing this bottle!

12oz. brown bottle poured into a taster glass.

A: Pours a pink tinted ruby with a nice bit spritzy pink tinted head. Some decent retention and ok lacing.

S: Nice tartness with some tart light fruits coming out. Some indistinguished citrus/acid. A decent amount of funkiness but lacking that lactic edge, which is definitely ok by me.

T/M: The funk isn't nearly as big as the nose. Much more subtle but with an inviting fruity tartness. The standard green apples and grapes but with a tart black cherry and acidic ruby red grapefruit punch. Body is medium light with good carbonation.

D: Pretty damn drinkable

Photo of mdaschaf
3.38/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes. Thanks to FalconA for sharing! 2012 release.

A: Pours a reddish/brown/orange color with a few bubbles forming initially, but are gone very quickly. No real head or lacing.

S: A little bit of dark fruit, some cherry, and oak.

T: The oak was rather prominent, a bit of vanilla mixed in with the tart fruits. Slight musty flavor and a bit of caramel.

M: Extremely low carbonation, bordering on flat.

O: A bit of a letdown. Flavor was ok, not as assertive or tart as I was hoping. The lack of carbonation was what really killed it for me though.

Photo of seanthornton152
5/5  rDev +33.3%

Photo of Metalmonk
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brewed exactly two years ago, released two months ago, made in tribute to a great man and, speaking of great men, thank you msubulldog25 for looking out for this big HOTD/Alan Sprints fan. I bought the hoodie!

So...it pours a small-ish head and turns to a wispy crown quickly. Color is a winner though--a rusty red with a slight haze and bubbles moving up the stuff at radically different speeds. Cool! (I am using a glass with one of those fancy "nucleation sites.)

Aroma is very much wood-centric, which has an olden vibe, something moldy and ancient...and is consequently a bit musky smelling. A thread of tobacco leaf in there, sour berries, and a funky yeast jab.

Weird flavor, but good-weird. More wood on the tongue, seeming a bit younger than in the nose; healthy leather smack; alcohol leans toward the medicinal, but at 6.2% isn't intrusive; tart fruitiness, but what kind of fruit I couldn't say (but my thoughts keep going back to "cherry, cherry, cherry"); musty, even musky; rhubarb; light snap of apple cider vinegar. This weird flavor is just wonderful if you're into such things, but it dies off too soon...partly due to its dryness, but maybe partly something else, like a general lack of staying power. The thin, almost limp body doesn't help, and the carbonation can't quite save it. Unsurprisingly, this beer makes the mouth pucker considerably.

Michael is texturally disappointing, but I like the originality and exotica elsewhere. HOTD have set the bar so high, not everything they do will be a mindblower. But I liked this just fine and was really, really thankful for the chance to try it. Thanks again, Brian.

Photo of jh1982
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into an Ithaca tulip. Straight out of the box and into tht glass. Thanks Brian!

A: Vigorous pour yields a 2 finger light brown, reddish coarse head with decent retention. Beer is a cloudy reddish clay. Lacing is spotty and pactchy in areas.

S: Nose is funky oak, ripe red fruit, maybe cherries. Tartness is apparent. A bit boozy in certain sections.

T: Earthy and spicy upfront, tartness follows soon after but yeasty spiciness is apparent throughout. Also a bit of woody bitterness at the middle that gets more intense as the beer lingers in my mouth. Finishes with the same bitterness that doesn't really ever go away.

M: Medium bodied, coarse and carbonated. This one is rather rough around the edges and a bit dry. Finish is messy and lingers a tart bitterness.

D: There's definitely a weird taste to this one which I'm not sure I like. Perhaps it needed a couple more years? However, the bitterness is noticeable upfront and doesn't really dissipate. Rather, it becomes more dominant at the finish. A bit dissapointing but I'd definitely like to try it again in a year or two.

Photo of dirtylou
3.54/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz singler, from brewery

2012

I'll reiterate that this beer is horribly overpriced, though I was kind of forced into purchasing it via the anniversary pack. It's not particularly offensive, but its very weak for a flanders red. My bottle was actually nicely carbonated and had a lovely garnet body. Woody, muted tart cherry, vanilla, oak. Not something I would pony up for in the future.

Photo of Photekut
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of emilylee
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of huskermike12
3/5  rDev -20%

Photo of PretzelCity
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of miketd
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle in a trade at Ratebeer. Pours a nice dark red... almost brown, with a small beige head. Aroma is fruity and tart with barrel, vinegar and spice. Flavor was a little off - Fruity and slightly sour, but had a buttery quality that reminded me of Gargamel. This one might need to sit awhile. Palate was ok, but a little thin. Not a bad beer and I might give it another go soon.

Photo of nickd717
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at DLD 2010.

Pours a deep crimson color with a nicely formed off-white head.

Aroma is great - sour red berries and cherries with red wine and oak.

Flavor is also very good. Tart raspberry, cherry, and other fruit notes along with vinous flavors, vinegar, oak and sherry. Complex, and not too sour.

Dry and mildly acidic on the palate with medium body.

Overall an excellent Flemish red ale. About on par with The Bruery's Oude Tart.

Photo of FalconA
3/5  rDev -20%

Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of hopsbreath
4.45/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sneak peak of the 2012 batch on-tap at HotD. A 12oz tulip full will run you $8.50 but it's worth it. I've previously tried the previous batch of Michael and did not care for it. When approaching Flanders Red's I ask myself if I enjoy it significantly more than a $10 750ml of Rodenbach Grand Cru. The answer was no for the '09 batch. This go around is a different story though.

Michael pours rusty/murky brown and was placed on the bar in front of me with a full half finger of butterscotch head, good lacing was left. Great intense nose reveals vinegar high on the acidity with cherry notes that are well developed and distinct. Tasting leads with the acidic vinegar but plays very closely with heavy bleu cheese funk. Very little residual sweetness left after the barrel aging. Appropriately carbonated which is no surprise on-tap; I'm really hoping this translates to the bottled batch. Probably the driest finish I've ever had on a Flanders Red.

The ’09 batch was a little muddled, but this one is both heavier on the funk and sour with brighter more intense cherry and vinegar to boot. A candidate for most improved beer of the year. I'll be buying a full allotment for sure.

Photo of jason_nwx
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

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Michael from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
85 out of 100 based on 237 ratings.