Adam - Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
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Ratings: 2,107 | Reviews: 975 | Display Reviews Only:
4.28/5 rDev +0.2%
A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a small tan head that faded to a thin layer of bubbles on the surface. A light amount of carbonation is visible from the bubbles rising near the edges of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of chocolates and dark fruits in the nose.
T: The taste is very rich, complex and malty. It starts with some initial sweetness and transitions over to a mild bitterness, containing flavors of bittersweet chocolate, brown sugar, raisins and smoke along with some hints of leather. The alcohol is well masked and doesn't detract from the overall taste.
M: It feels full-bodied and very smooth on the palate. There is definitely some warming from the alcohol.
D: The beer is very filling (almost a meal in itself) and a good one to sip given its high alcohol content and complex flavors. There's no way I could drink more than one of these in a sitting but this will certainly be a beer that I will try again, perhaps on a cold winter night.
Note: Batch #77
07-24-2010 14:48:12 | More by metter98
4.5/5 rDev +5.4%
Big thanks to jgasparine for this awesome extra! 12 ounce bottle, Batch #68. Served in a Sam Adams BL glass, the beer pours dark brown with an inch and a half tan head. Head retention is excellent, and there's a good amount of lacing as well. Aroma is molasses, dark fruit, wood, roasted malt, brown sugar, caramel and some smoke. Taste is the same as the aroma, it's a really good fruity, smoky and malty brew. Mouthfeel/body is full, it's creamy and velvety with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good, it's very smooth and easy to drink. I think this is a pretty good brew. I'm not sure exactly how old this is, but I do know it's aged pretty well! It's a great brew, if you have a new bottle I think you should definitely age it for a while before drinking it. It's one of the best brews I've had lately!
07-17-2010 00:51:42 | More by bluejacket74
3.38/5 rDev -20.8%
Sampled on 7-15-10
Pours an extremely deep brown color, almost black, with blood red around the very edges. A thin head quickly fades, leaving a slick single ring of lacing.
Smell is all boozy sweet malt. A little aged, a little funky, aromas of molasses and black licorice dominate. Strong, complex, and very daunting.
Taste is exactly like the smell. Hardcore malt and alcohol, and a medicinal edge that I can't place. I think it's an odd combination of the booze and hops, and its very off-putting. Complex, but hard to get down.
Mouthfeel is thick, slick, and creamy. It fits the extreme flavor.
Drinkability is poor, odd flavors and harshness are a fatal combo.
Overall, I expected better, but I guess I'm just spoiled.
07-16-2010 00:01:43 | More by BMoney575
4.28/5 rDev +0.2%
Adam Batch 78. Purchased at K&L in Redwood City. Chilled well.
A: Poured into a glass: dark brown/black color. Not totally opaque against the light. The bottle has been chilled continuously since inception, I imagine: I got it out of the cooler at K&L and left it in my fridge. A young beer like this means the bottle conditioning hasn't had time to work. There is a slow dissolution of bubbles when the beer is poured, but it never forms a head, collar, or lace. Sorry Alan: I understand what's going on but I can't just give you a pass.
S: This beer really shines. Tobacco, leather, and dark fruits (notably smoked prunes). Chocolate, raisins, caramel, some anise. I am thoroughly impressed. The tobacco and leather are an Adam signature, and I've noticed they become more pronounced as this beer ages. It's very remarkable that he gets the beer to feel so 'old' when young.
T: This is one beer that benefits heavily from warming up, and it only begins hitting its stride at 55 F. Out of the fridge it's just a pointless drink. It's defined by a melange of chocolate, caramel, and anise at first. Tobacco, leather, and smoke color the dark fruit (prunes, raisins) to produce an amazing finish. It's a little on the sweet side when young, but not unbearably so, and it dries out some as it ages.
M: Full-bodied, heavy. I suspect the low (nearly flat) carbonation contributes to this. It's a little boozy, but not as much as expected for a 10% brew. It obviously has a high gravity, though it's not dominated by tons of sugars. This is one beer where the low carbonation is at least passable, though not wonderful.
D: Delicious, but drinking a fresh bottle is missing the point, in my opinion. Hair of the Dog is one of those breweries that I generally buy, wax, and age without tasting. That's because as good as this young Adam is (A-), it gets even better after a few years (A+). Do yourself a favor and put some away.
07-14-2010 21:15:13 | More by Arbitrator
4.22/5 rDev -1.2%
Beers of this strength don't usually have such a resilient, hard-skinned head; not only won't this thing budge under pressure of high alcohol or lengthy aeration, but the imprints it leaves become permanently smudged over all parts of the glass. The colour is equally austere, an unyielding dark brown (essentially black) tone that allows NO light through.
The aroma, in sticking to theme, is also exacting and stiff, a yeasty perfume of dark bruised fruits and musty spices. It boasts an oak-laden persona with heavy notes of cigar smoke, dry cocoa and black licorice. It's not anything that fits neatly into any one style, that's for sure. The bouquet is impressively powerful, but also somewhat nauseating.
You want to know the flavours - how long do you have? My goodness, they seem to never end and warming only unleashes more: bittersweet chocolate, bananas and figs flambeed in rum and brown sugar, barbecued black currants and coffee-infused spiced plum pudding (!). The alcohol and sweetness combine to make a sherry-like finale.
That one-two combo of sweetness and alcohol might be overpowering if not for it having such a profound and overwhelming base of flavour; regardless of the conditions, you can't help yourself but to go back in for more. While the beer definitely lends itself to a snifter (and a long, well-paced evening), a 12 ounce bottle is not too much...
Nay, for a beer with this level of complexity you've just become introduced to the beer at ounce 12. And even then there's the factors of temperature (warming reveals a whole other side) and age - this particular sample (batch 67) is approximately 6 years old now and, while still recognizable as HOTD Adam, has evolved substantially in that time.
Most of this brewery's beers offer contemplation in place of mindless drinkability - Adam is a perfect case in point. This beer's complexity and uniqueness were, if not firsts in the American craft brewing Renaissance, certainly amongst the longest-running and leading examples. If you're sick of ordinary beer, this Hair of the Dog will do the trick!
07-09-2010 06:00:08 | More by biegaman
4.33/5 rDev +1.4%
Dark brown as it gets without being black. A light brown head settles and sits obediently like the dog on the label.
The smell is huge leather and tobacco--like a smoking jacket--and prunes and dried dates with some sweet honey. I sip and taste heavy tobacco and smoke, dark fruit--plums, now, mostly, slight alcohol burn of malt and maple sugar with some roasted bittersweet chocolate. There are some woody, cedar/oaky hints that tame it well. Mouthfeel is smooth and while the alcohol is present it is not overpowering--toffee and creamy with little carbonation, but still silky. Leather and tobacco are the most dominant though it is so balanced and tasty it's easy to take down. Batch #77. It's a good one.
07-03-2010 11:43:33 | More by ManVersusBeer
4.53/5 rDev +6.1%
This one pours a very deep, dark brown with dark amber edges when backlit. The head is a dark tan, bordering on light brown, and has pretty good retention. The smell couldn't get any better. Chocolate, oak, figs and other sweet dark fruits. A hint of alcohol that blends beautifully with the rest of the aroma. Some caramel and brown sugar.
The flavor matches the smell for the most part. There is a heavy sense of smokiness that wasn't expected. Some chocolate sweetness up front that give way to figs, plum, and overripe cherries. A hint of hops and alcohol in the finish with a smooth oaky vanilla. A very good beer overall.
Great mouthfeel. Amazingly thick and perfectly carbonated. The drinkability is limited only by thickness and abv, otherwise, I could drink this all the time.
07-01-2010 03:35:07 | More by jdklks
3.03/5 rDev -29%
At a tasting with jrallen34.
A - Pours a dark mohagany color with pretty much know head. Looks somewhat intimidating just sitting there with litle activity, but not a whole lot going on with it.
S - A sharp, lighter sweetness with the caramel malts. Dark fruit and a surprising hops bite on the end of this. Little bit of alcohol burn on there as well.
T - Not as good as it smells. A lot of licorice and some dark fruit. Very heavy malts and something that tastes burnt, like wood or maybe even barley? Touch of brown sugar, but it's overpoweringly burnt and fairly disappointing.
M - Under carbonated, almost flat. Full bodied.
D - Hard to drink due to the pungent tastes and the high abv. Had trouble splitting the bottle.
06-26-2010 20:34:28 | More by AgentZero
2.45/5 rDev -42.6%
Tasting with AgentZero.
12oz bottle into my Rochefort glass.
Pours dark brown with almost no carbonation on the pour or when swirling...The aroma is very strong dark fruits, grain alcohol, wood. A little to strong of alcohol, not super, doesn't make you want to taste it...The taste is not good, super strong of wood, bitter alcohol, maybe licorice. The feel is super light, not very drinkable at all.
Overall, this is not a good beer, not one to search out.
06-26-2010 20:31:25 | More by jrallen34
4.4/5 rDev +3%
Batch #73 and review #350. A 12 oz bottle into my Founders snifter. Thanks for the birthday beer, Cameron, much appreciated buddy! This is my first HOTD!
Looks great in the snifter. Dark brown with some plum highlights. Small white head sticks around and looks lively. The only minor downside of the appearance is the murky brown cloudy mess I managed to avoid going into my snifter. I poured out the last ounce or so, but thank God those nasties didn't make it in. I know it's not truly "appearance" but if someone isn't careful it will be. Pour slowly!
Smell is really complex and threw me for a loop at first. I got some initial brown sugar and caramel, then was completely overtaken with some smoke and molasses. This is really complex. Dark fruit and chocolate are kissed by smoke, anise, and some soy sauce. But really interesting, just unlike any old ale I've had.
My mouth is watering. I need a sip already. WOW! Holy crap, this is stunning. Such levels of flavor and depth. This starts out with some very sweet cherry and then goes the way of the roast and rauch. Ends with some great molasses sweetness and bitterness. I love the three levels of flavor I get from this - fruity, chocolatey, smokey. Masterfully crafted and one of a kind.
Mouthfeel is medium to heavy. Nice level of carbonation makes it easy to drink. Not a beer I'd ever have more than one of in a session, but still very enjoyable as a special treat. I think this is a true beer geek's treasure. I've never had anything like this - thanks to HOTD for challenging me a bit for my 350th review and thanks so much for the bottle, Cameron!
06-25-2010 17:42:36 | More by jampics2
4.53/5 rDev +6.1%
12oz bottle poured into a dfh signature glass.
Pours a very deep dark mohagony brown with a small but very thick and creamy light brown head that instantly starts clinging to the side.
Taste is awesome on this, at 10% the alcohol is noticeable but that's to be expected. Otherwise this is one of the most complex beers I've ever had. It starts out sharp and sweet then the carbonation just explodes in your mouth. The caramel and toffee flavors come in an then on the finish gouged this crazy smokey/woody note that's just fantastic great beer!
06-25-2010 00:18:57 | More by kingcrowing
3.85/5 rDev -9.8%
Poured into a snifter. Pours almost opague with some ruby highlight's. Really no lacing or fluffy heading. Completely flat.
Smell is all malt at first. A bit more fruity in those that nanticipated. Some light fig notes and a subtle tart cherry aroma.
EEEK Gads there is absolutely not carbonation in this beer. Someone must have put this in a paint shaker. Anyway from what I can get it was all malt. Other subtle flavors of fig,smoke,and a bit of chocolate. Does seem very tasty but extremely flat.
Mouth is well did I mention FLAT. A full bodied beer and a definite sipper. Even flat you could easily have a couple of these though.
This seems to be a very good beer but it was a just flat. A bit disappointing. Glady I picked up two of these bad boys. Hopefully the next will not be like that.
06-24-2010 23:50:01 | More by TheFightfan1
4.5/5 rDev +5.4%
Pours a really dark reddish brown, but translucent held up to the light Nice ample tan head that lasts, leaving lots of lacing.
Aromas of malt, dark fruit, figs, smoke.
Tastes follow the nose, malty, smoke, sweet figs, dark cherries. Sweet and sour and smoky.
Body is medium, with crisp carbonation makes it real creamy.
The alcohol is hardly noticeable. This is one awesome beer. Why am I not drinking this regularly?
06-20-2010 04:09:38 | More by Beerenauslese
3.9/5 rDev -8.7%
Overall grade reflects of best attributes of vintages I've reviewed below:
12oz bottle into snifter. Batch 77. Reviewed 06/18/2010
A: Pours a flat hazy dark purple with absolutely no head. Some small bubbles formed a weak collar around the glass after a moment.
S: Smells of blueberry concentrate, figs, raisins, blackberries, dark chocolate and alcohol vapor. Has a vinous quality to it.
T: Dark chocolate, dark fruits, prunes, figs, blueberries and dark malt. Aftertaste is spicy, slightly bitter, and has a smoky flavor to it. This beer has fruit juice qualities to it as well.
M: Medium-heavy body with a nice weight to it. There is almost no carbonation, but there is some light bubbling on your palate. Alcohol is rich and warms the throat after you swallow.
D: This beer is very similar to wine. This isn't the first bottle of HOTD beer I've opened that was almost flat (Fred). I'll have to try another bottle (from another store) and update my review. HOTD makes great beer however, and while this one wasn't my favorite offering, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Goes well after dinner.
EDIT: Batch 35 consumed 01/17/2011, bottled 01/06/1999. Huge thanks to colonelforbin for sharing this gem!
Appearance is still as flat as my pervious review but this one at least has a thin head of bubbles. The taste is crazy mellow with soft flavors and a smidge of oxidation. Not as similar to wine as my above review suggested. There is absolutely zero alcohol warmth to this, and overall it is still a touch sweet. Overall, this beer was still very very drinkable if not better after 11 years!
EDIT: Batch 6 (what!?) consumed 8/2012. Label reads "Adambier" and not Adam. Super old, thanks Mike.
Deep raisin brown with more carbonation than the above vintages (interesting). Muddy smelling and def not as sweet. Caramel and raisins are muted, still some notes of figs and sweet fruits. This actually drinks really well but it's obviously a shell of itself and muddled. No oxidization though, very impressive. Tastes better than some old ales after only a year or two of age.
06-18-2010 04:23:57 | More by scottfrie
3.9/5 rDev -8.7%
12oz bottle, batch 72. Pours a ruddy dark brown with hints of copper, a finger of off white head adorns it.
Aroma is molasses, figs, and leather. Flavor follows suit but adds a slight metallic note, lots of layers, dark fruits, leather, burnt brown sugar, not much hop presence just a light drying in the finish, hint of smoke, cocoa powder, spicy rum. Some sweetness, on par bulky mouthfeel for style, low carbonation, silky. Certainly unique and I kinda dig it, no problems finishing a bottle.
06-17-2010 16:01:37 | More by ritzkiss
3.1/5 rDev -27.4%
Bottle shared by Eric - cheers fella!
Rich brown pour with just under a finger of off-white head. Some lace spots as it drops to a film. Nice aroma combines brown sugar, earth, alcohol, dates and a hint of leather. Real nice and intriguing. Flavour not so much. Smoke, leather and ink make for an interesting beer, but do nothing for me, and I find the taste slightly unpleasant, which is surprising as I usually dig old ales. The elements I do like are present (Dark fruits, brown sugar, warming alcohol), but they're interrupted to often to gain any traction. Certainly the most leathery tasting beer I've had, and maybe I just don't get it. Body and mouthfeel is more or less where it should be for the style, with a heavy weight and restrained carbonation.
I've not had much success with Hair of the Dog, and I struggle to see the basis for their great reputation. This made for an interesting beer, but interesting isn't always good.
06-17-2010 13:35:21 | More by bobsy
4.35/5 rDev +1.9%
Thanks to cbutova for splitting this, been looking forward to trying some HotD. Batch 74, I believe this is from sometime in 08-09.
Pours dark brown, almost purple looking from the top. Off-white head retains nicely and leaves some lacing.
Very good smell. Lots of caramel, dark fruit and leather.
Lots of smoke comes out in the taste, probably the highlight of this beer and compliments the other flavors excellently. Figs and dark fruit are also very prevalent. Caramel, vanilla. The booze shows itself only in a nice rum flavor. Some hops. Great, complex stuff.
Mouthfeel was good overall, maybe a bit overcarbonated for my tastes.
12oz wouldn't be a difficult task by any means, but I was pretty satisfied after my 6oz serving. This was much better than I expected, I'd love to try it again.
**4/1/11 - more notes, no scores changed**
Some notes from a Batch 76 bottle I picked up a while back in Philly, a little over a year old at this point I believe. Smell and taste are excellent, with rich flavors of caramel, dark fruit, leather and tobacco shining in all their glory and lingering forever. Unfortunately I could tell from the pour that this was just about flat and I was correct. Mouthfeel is watery and pretty much flat but the flavors are so good it makes up for it for the most part. Like I kinda noted in my original review, 6oz goes down easily, 12oz is a bit more tolling because of the richness. I also had a flat Cherry Adam a couple months ago, so I'm a bit weary of HotD's beers in fear of carbonation issues, but in regular Adam's case to me it's a small chink in the armor of awesomeness.
06-16-2010 15:46:18 | More by Chico1985
4.65/5 rDev +8.9%
Reviewed from notes at an awesome mini-tasting. What a crazy beer to flagship with. Style taken into account fairly heavily in this review. Batch 74.
A- Very dark brown with a small dark tan cap that leaves a nice cloud atop the beer's center. The random patterns are nice and the cloud re-appears after every sip. A good ring leaves some spotty lace and very sticky suds.
S- Smoke and cocoa are very nice up front. Roasty malt notes as well with a some caramel. Dark raisiny fruit, slight alcohol with vanilla end a balanced aroma of good strength. Burnt sugar.
T- Damn, lots of flavors blended into smoke that reminds of chipotles. It is like taking the smoke out of chipotles. The cocoa mixes with the smoke amazing. Dark fruit, grapes, raisins and alcohol also work into the flavor. The hops are still there in a bottle that might be fairly old, they are mostly earthy. Caramel is there but not overbearing like in many Old Ales. Love, love, love the smoke and new-old take on the style.
MF- Moderate body and carbonation. Nice and creamy. Smoke coats the palate with a decent amount of heat from the alcohol.
DB- Love the big smoke flavors. The big surprise of the night for both Chico and I. Expensive but it is definitely a one bottle thing or a dessert beer like they suggest. Awesome.
06-11-2010 18:00:45 | More by cbutova
4.38/5 rDev +2.6%
Label reads 'Batch 78'
Appearance -- Pours a deep, dark brown, nearly black, totally opaque. A good two fingers of creamy khaki head that slowly dissipates but never completely disappears.
Smell -- Toffee, caramel, dates and figs, hops, some minty/herbal notes, and a little bit of smoke. Overall: sweet and earthy.
Taste -- Molasses, highly caramelized malts, dates, leather, charcoal, herbal/bitter hops. Finish is molasses, leather, and mint. Alcohol presence is felt, but somehow not a hindrance.
Mouthfeel -- Full-bodied, creamy carbonation, coats the mouth.
Drinkability -- Decadent, earthy, and incredibly drinkable for the body and abv. The dark roast and the heavy hop addition lend a really deep, earthy flavor that prevents this beer from becoming too sweet and cloying. Can't wait to drink this again!
06-10-2010 02:25:11 | More by yeahnatenelson
4.33/5 rDev +1.4%
Poured this beer into a nonic at 51 degrees.
Appearance: A light cream ring around the glass with some foam on the top. I think that the head is non existent because of the alcohol content. The color of the beer is dark brown oil color. The clarity is opaque. There is some effervescence on the sides of the glass.
Nose: A rich malty aroma, toffee, chocolate, dark cherries, molasses, a nuttiness, and solvents. There are notes of phenols, port, and a fruity ester.
Taste: A very rich thick and chewy malty beer. There are flavors of bittersweet chocolate, dark dried cherries, molasses, solvents, nuttiness, and toffee. There are notes of phenols, fruity esters, and wood.
The mouth feel is rich, chewy, and filling.
Overall: The body of the beer is thick and full. The finish is complete and full. This beer has a lot of complex flavors and layers. There is a nice flavor in the beer and is very easy to drink. I am very glad that I got to drink it.
06-10-2010 02:24:14 | More by colts9016
4.15/5 rDev -2.8%
This beer pours a dark and thick brown, almost black. There is no head.
It is a bit cold at the moment and the aromas are quite subtle. I get dark fruit (fig) leather and some dark roasted malts. As it warms I pick up sweet malt and molasses as well.
First sip is very good, rich and dark. I get a wonderful tawny port taste as well as dark malts and some dark, ripe fruit. There is a noticeable alcohol presence as well. This beer has a very mellow carbonation, I think I would like it with a bit more. This beer coats the tongue with a sweet fig and dark fruit that transitions into the dark, tawny port flavor with a bit of roasted malt and a nice hop bitterness to balance out the finish.
Mouthfeel is thick with low carbonation.
This is a very intense and flavorful beer with an overall sweet taste and a nice balance of dark fruit, malt and hops. Quite unique and interesting, my only qualm is the low carbonation which could be just this bottle due to the carbonation being formed by bottle conditioning.
06-04-2010 05:44:09 | More by trevorjn06
4.4/5 rDev +3%
This was the first Old Ale I liked, and has made me a convert. Pours a dark brown/gray/black with a small head (some times there is less carb, on tap there was a bit more). The aroma is complex: dark fruits, dust, caramel, earth. Taste is more of the same with the dark fruits up front with caramel and some tamed sweetness, the dusty smokey flavors in act two, and some sweetness mixed with dirt at the end with a mild alcohol warming. Mouthfeel is medium heavy and very pleasant. Quite drinkable for what it is, and feels like a true 10% on the brain.
05-31-2010 17:10:28 | More by squaremile
4.45/5 rDev +4.2%
A: Opaque Dark chocolate colored with a thick tan head. Nice lacing.
S: Chocolate, caramel, brown sugar, ripe fruit.
T: Complex flavors. Sweet upfront, mild chocolate, roasted malts, ripe fruits. Hops lend a pleasent spiciness. Bitterness is present, but well balanced with the sweet.
M: Excellent. Creamy texture, with nice mild carbonation. Flavors hang on the tongue for a long time. Alcohol warmth in there as well.
D: Even though this is full of big flavors, it is smooth and well balanced. I found this to be a very nice beer and look foreward to another.
05-30-2010 02:46:10 | More by Japerrault
4.22/5 rDev -1.2%
Dark brown. Has a large, creamy looking tan head, with large bubbles off a gentle pour. Smells of sweet caramel malt, raisins, figs, currants, alcohol, and black licorice.
The taste is exactly what I expected from the aroma. Very sweet, somewhat boozy, and has the taste of caramel malt, raisins, figs, currants, alcohol, and black licorice.
Full bodied, nice carbonation, smooth, and creamy. This is a nice drinkable beer, which I will need to buy again online, when I get a chance. I only wish this beer was somewhat less sweet.
05-23-2010 03:56:11 | More by hardy008
4.61/5 rDev +8%
Batch 77: Poured a smooth cola-tinged black into a tulip with no head, just a thin ring of bubbles along the outside edge. Slightly sweet aroma of toffee, cocoa, leather, smoke, and boozy warmth.
Very low carbonation and a smooth, syrupy mouthfeel. Sweet up front with hints of dark fruit, raisin, molasses, smoke, and a nice kick of mildly spicy hops on the lingering, smoky, and slightly metallic finish. Alcohol is definitely present but complements rather than overwhelms the flavors.
I've revised my original review of this brew several times. At first I found the mouthfeel to be both syrupy and somewhat thin, and thought the overall malt profile was too sweet. However, something about this beer kept me thinking about it and I revisited it several times before coming to the conclusion that it's actually one of my favorites. Unique, complex, and flavorful...I'll sacrifice a little carbonation and mouthfeel for the great favors and aromas it provide (and the wallop it packs ain't bad, either).
Update two: having tried several batches since 77, I've found that most are much more carbonated and improve the feel quite a bit. Now this is hands-down one of my favorite beers.
05-22-2010 19:06:19 | More by grittybrews
Adam from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
95 out of 100 based on 2,107 ratings.