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

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2,192 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,192
Reviews: 980
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 10.09%
Wants: 570
Gots: 451 | FT: 33
Brewed by:
Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
A re-creation of an historic beer style originally made in Dortmund, Germany. Adam was the first beer produced by Hair of the Dog.

10% alcohol by volume
50 IBUs.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-12-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,192 | Reviews: 980 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DaveHS
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch #62.

A-Pours mahogany, with 1/4 inch of dark khaki head.

S-Figs, plums, mince pie spices, apple sauce.

T/M-Smoky notes of old leather, peated malt, fruitcake, earthy hops.

D-Really spectacular. Not sure how old this is, but drinking well right now.

Photo of SneezyAchew
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Scottfrie for this one, and the many other incredible beers he's sent me over a handfull of trades. Poured into my Stone IRS Snifter.

A: A slow pour brought about no carbonation whatsoever. The beer itself is so black I can see my (somewhat distorted) reflection pretty clearly.
S: Full of raisins, and a palpable smoked malt smell. The 10% abv is certainly noticeable.
T: Really virtually no carbonation at all with this one. And it actually does taste rather flat but it's so strong that it doesn't matter much. The complexities are there. The smoky, malty flavors are reminiscent of a barleywine to me. The booze doesn't really hit me at all, so it's plenty drinkable.
M: A nice silky smooth medium body on this one.
D: Turns out, as I make my way through my glass, it's greater than I first thought. Wouldn't necessarily go for a second glass (if that were an option) but it goes down easy. I wish the carbonation was stronger. I look forward to more brews from Hair of the Dog. This is my second beer from them.

I haven't had a whole lot of old ales. Coton was the last one and I probably wouldn't spend the money on that a second time. This didn't really blow me away more than a lot of barleywines, but I did enjoy it and want to continue to explore the style.

Photo of hopsbreath
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this beer more than a few times before but just now am getting around to reviewing it. I've had as old as a batch 74 a few months ago but this review is for a batch 76. From what I can figure out, this is about a year old or so. I use a tulip that is identical, albeit unbranded, to the tasting rooms for all my HotD beers to get the full affect intended. $4.49 for a 12 ounce bottle.

A: Although very dark, this beer is not opaque. I did get a little yeast in my glass due to imperfect decanting but after I let it settle out, the clarity was not hampered. Deep ruby brown in color, a half finger of tight mauve hued head forms and retains a full cap over the 40 minutes it takes me to drink the beer. A decent amount of lacing forms and looks pretty nice. We've got a pretty good looking beer here. 4/5

S: Deeply ingrained dark fruits, red wine, and a touch of smoke are the easily picked out scents. Upon closer examination, more rustic aromas of earth and fine Virginia tobacco are detectable. Not only are the described aromatics discernable, they're also quite pungent. 4.5/5

T: Here on the taste buds is where the dirtier (in a good way) characteristics of Adam come out and make for a unique and interesting beer. Mexican chocolate coated grapefruit rind are balanced on a piece of leathery jerky low on the mesquite. Fermented prunes come to mind as an ethereal like characteristic. At this stage in the beers life, some of the sweeter floral hops are still detectable. It is however not overly strong. As it gets older I expect those flavors to diminish and allow the darker characteristics to shine more... Darkly. Can I taste double digit alcohol? Yes. Do I care? Not in the slightest! Its well integrated into the palates profile. 4/5

M: With a big beer of this caliber I tend to expect a fuller body. I'd call this on the thin side of moderate. The carbonation is fine and spritzy on the tongue. Its actually semi-palate cleansing ironically enough. 4/5

D: At this stage in Adam's life, its just starting to get interesting. Given some more time in the bottle and we have a truly mind blowing experience. I paired this with some 2 year old Tillamook sharp cheddar and Triscuits and found it to be simply irresistible! Try this world class example of brewing ingenuity if you can and be glad you did. 5/5

Edit: After posting my review I read some of the other reviews. Comments on the batch 76 were that there was minimal to no head/carbonation. I got a ton of bubbles in my beer. I guess its safe to say that there's not just a batch to batch variability, but also bottle to bottle.

Photo of spuntyb
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Exceptional, smoky, dark color pours smooth into any glass and produces a rich, creamy head, not too thick, but not wanting in depth. Not quite see-through, not inky - just between. The color alone speaks to craftsmanship and quality.

The first smell foreshadows the taste. Fresh raisins, toffee, caramel, and earthy, campfire smoke. A bit of something floral (the hops?) lingers, tempts and teases the first sip.

Speaking of which, the first sip has a coating but not cloying mouthfeel that warms and satisfies like a wood-smoked meat on a cold day. The first real flavor to hit is raisin-currant with mid-taste hints of hops and a very mild touch of coriander and possibly some citrus.

It's an overall bold and relatively big-bodied work of beercraft that is very drinkable and a delight to savor.

Photo of corby112
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes:

Pours a very dark brown, almost black color with a Massive foamy light tan head that has decent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting ring. Sporadic chunks of soapy lacing left behind.

Smokey roasted malt aroma with hints of leather, dark fruit, chocolate, coffee bean, licorice and sweet alcohol.

Medium bodied and excellently balanced with nice roasted chocolate maltiness, sweet alcohol, candy sugar and sligh dark fruit. Hints of raisin, fig, plum and dark cherry with a slightly bitter, war finish. Although their is some heat the high ABV is excellently masked, making this beer extremely quaffable. Very complex and delicious. Highly recommended!

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

Pours very dark brown, almost black with ruby highlights. Head is initially thick and creamy, slowly becoming a soapy sheen that leaves slight lacing.

Aroma is smokey, salty, charred molasses that reminds me of treacle.

Taste is more of the smokey treacle from the nose, and date, raisin, and plum. Then a nutty, dry cedar woody quality makes an appearance. Finishes with more dark fruit, brown sugar, and burnt molasses.

Mouthfeel is medium-full.

Overall a very unique and interesting Ole Ale. This is a must try.

Photo of bashiba
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep dark brown with a soap ring of tan head.

The smell has a meaty bacon like quality to it with a bit of treacle.

The flavor is very mild yet complex after the huge smokey nose, but has a nice bit of mild smoke, earthy cedar, and dark chocolate flavors. A long lingering bitterness takes over to even it out nicely.

The mouthfeel is thick and oily and leaves a nice long lasting sticky coating of flavor.

Exactly what I think of when I think old ale. Hair of the Dog Nailed it

Photo of Wisconsinality
3.63/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to kk73 and July2Nov for this beer.

Batch 78 poured into Delerium Tremens tulip.

A- Pours a deep molasses brown with a small head, only a quarter of a finger. Nothing really to recede but leaves some decent lacing.

S- Deep rich malts, caramel and some black licorice. There is actually a pretty good hop presence. As it warms a bit more, the alcohol peaks out as well.

T- Big roasty malts with some bitter coffee and dark chocolate. There seems to be some black licorice and what seems to be a little like soy sauce. The alcohol is pretty subdued but still present.

M- Gets better every time I take a sip. Full bodied that just feels good. Coats the mouth and warms the throat down to the stomach.

D- The high abv is pretty noticeable but this is meant to be a sipper. The mouthfeel of this beer is one of the best I have ever had. That alone is worth drinking this beer. Putting a few of these in the cellar to see how they turn out.

Photo of haazer
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Batch number 76.

A- Poured absolutely no head at all? Suprised at that. Brew is a very dark violet color with red wine highlights on the edges. Carbonation is there but you have to look for it.

S- Good aromas here. Can detect strong hints of caramel, cherries, malt and complex yeast. Chocolate and honey round out the nose. Slightest hint of alcohol but its very well hidden.

T- A lot in the aroma's. Cherry flavor dipped in caramel. Good smokey flavor that hangs in the aftertaste. A grape taste hits as the last distinct flavor. Lingering in the background is the malts, with a chocolate variety to them. Alcohol is well hidden.

M- Mouthfeel is like velvet and milk. Nice and creamy. Medium to full bodied mouthfeel. The alcohol is slightly warming.

D- A real good brew with a lot of complexity. Lots of different flavors that blend together and transition through the palatte perfectly. Not overdone. I'm beginning to like this style. I'm giving this a nice drinkability rating because the booze is so well masked, but this would classify as a "sit in" beer. Definitely want to try others from this brewery.

Photo of garbercury
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Who parties? I do. Poured into a snifter...

A--No head or real carbonation. Deep dark ruby....

S--Smells like a quality english barleywine.

T--Taste is very much like and english barleyewine...

M--Smooth with a silky mouthfeel

D--This will knock you on your ass. Enjoyed a great deal though, highly recommended.

Photo of andrewinski1
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. Batch 76. Nice very dark brown color that almost appears black. Despite my aggressive pour, only a very thin layer of tan colored head forms.

Very nice aroma of sweet something. I want to say a bit of toffee, caramel, and definitely dried fruit like raisins. A very pleasing aroma.

Wow, I just love the taste of this one. The beer begins and finishes sweet. This is a malt bomb, but there is a slight hop finish that adds a nice layer of complexity. A hint of smokiness is detected as well.

I really like the mouthfeel on this one (as I did Fred); works nicely with the sweetness. A very drinkable option for a desert sipper.

Photo of mtstatebeer
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, batch 74. Pours an opaque cola color with a decent, frothy light-brown head, lacing throughout. Aroma is roasted malts, coffee, a bit of smoke, a hint of floral hops, and dark fruits (raisin/plum). Flavor is molasses, peated malt, dark chocolate, raisins, spicy, and roasted malt. Mouthfeel is full-bodied, syrupy, very rich, warming and bitter. Good beer, very complex, lots of flavor.

Photo of oregone
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Such an amazing brew that I so easily take for granted.
Batch 74
A: Excellent carbonation for HotD. Pours a hefty two finger head from a mildly aggresive pour. Deep Brown fading into black. Leaves a fine scaling of head on the side of the glass as the head recedes to a 1/2 inch meniscus.
S: Smoked malts prominant. Woodsy aromas and some faint fruit. Complex and dark.
T: Intense. A wide array of everything from smoke and peaty to dates and dried figs. Some rich grain and wood tones. Very complex and unfolding.
M: Thick and chewy. The above average (for HotD) carb makes this a slightly more refreshing drink. Mouthcoating, but in a great way.
D: It's an experience, but a bottle of this is really sufficient. Granted, that bottle can be enjoyed in it's unfolding complexity for a long time. And really, this isn't shooting for session. For what it is, it's great.

HotD has yet to let me down. Always an interesting experience, and usually intensely amazing. They get their cred for a reason.

Photo of beerhan
3.45/5  rDev -19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz into a anifter. slight tan head that fades fast. Smells very floral and chocolatey. Tastes like pork, one of my least favorite flavors. Also a lot of chocolate. Drinks real well and moderately drinkable but that pork flavor stays. Unique but not amazing. Fred is exponentially better.

Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into my dogfish snifter with almost nonexistent head. its a very nice black chocolate color with ruby laced throughout.
smels again of chocolate with a bit of smoke coming through. wether is black cherry, or some other kind of dark fruit, its got a nice sweetness to it that makes it a pleasure to sniff.
the more this beer warms up, the more the flavor shines, and the more drawn out the finish. this is when i actually pick up some
leather characteristics, but moreso in the mouthfeel and the way it almost sticks to your tongue. the sweetness i pick up does fairly resemble fig and raisins, its delicious. im glad i took the time
to sip this beer because it just totally transforms the more it opens up. ill have to see out a few more to store away, id love to see what a little time will do for it.

Photo of jlandis
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rich beautiful black with deep brown around the edges. The thick rich tan head is sticky and grips the side of the glass.

Tobacco, rich roasted chocolate, fig, and sweet dark fruits. There is also an element of smoke and charred oak.

Rich roasted chocolate malt and smoke right up front. Then after that subsides you're hit with tobacco and dark sweet fruit. There is a strong alcohol bit and then finishes with a lingering charred oak.

Thick and rich with solid carbonation.

This is a very interesting beer, and my second experience with an old ale. Founders Old Curmudgeon is the only other reference I have to this style and that was before I really took notes. This is definitely a slow sipper, but each flavor is rich and robust. I should have saved this for a cold winter night, because the smoke and tobacco flavors would be perfect.

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 75. Not sure of the vintage. The HOD site is quite outdated. Picked this up from Liquid Solutions (RIP) last year. It's been in the beer fridge since.
appearance: Beautiful dark mahogany with a big fat creamy tan head that lasts a while.
smell: Yum. Dark roasted malt, buttery overtones. Dark fruits and spices.
taste: Not quite up to the standard the nose predicts but still tasty. Nice sweet start with finish that can't be described as dry but certainly drier than the start.
mouthfeel: medium light carbonation profile.
drinkability: A fine beer. Still have 2 from Batch 75. Let's see what more age does to these.

Photo of codewarrior
4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz From batch 76 Poured into a Snifter

I have wanted to try this guy for a long, long time, finally picked up in a trade with ShadesOfGray.

L: Pours a Gauloises bruin deep brown, with nearly no head. After 30s or so, froth start to appear from beneath. This beer is thick.

S: Shallow extreme sweetness, fading into ... where to begin? Smoke, cranberries, your favorite (slightly funky) childhood blankey., and on, and on ...

T: Hits like a sweetish barleywine up front, but the depth makes the beer. Clocking this ... the finish hits about 30s after the front. Sweetness into an earthy subterranean middle, with funky fruit and smokey bacon notes. Lingering caramel berries in the finish.

F: Delightfully thick, syrupy. Carbonation is higher than it looks, and sneaks up on you in the middle.

D: For the ABV and style ... this is dangerously drinkable. Adam is in the top 5 reasons to move to Portland ... no joke. This beer is legit.

Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Served in a snifter. The initial pour is quite dark. A nice deepened shade of mahogany with a thin tan head and not too much lacing. Maybe a few legs here and there when held up to the light. The nose is very complex with some roast, tobacco, smoke, dark fruits, a bit of booze, and some nice malt.

The taste is not quite as complex and leans a bit too heavily on the tobacco and earth notes, but it's still quite nice. Really good flavors accompanying what was found in the nose plus a bit of brown sugar and dark molasses. Nice feel with a bit of booze. Good body and carbonation. The drinkability is affected by the fact that I think there's a bit too much tobacco character, but overall this is a really nice beer.

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Sampled head-to-head with Cherry Adam 2009

A - It pours a very dark chestnut-coffee hue, capped with a small tan head that recedes to wispy froth.

S - The nose is replete with big juicy vinous notes, and a ton of seeming woody flavor impartation. Cinnamon, tobacco, vanilla and exotically spicy impressions are available as I delve deeper. The nose is fantastic and totally distinct.

T - I actually like this one better than Cherry Adam FTW. It is hugely complex, full of notes vinous, savory, woody, malty-spicy, impressions of tanned leather, and a lot of smokiness on the finish. The flavor is really not suited to transcription, but it is delicious. Also, it is worth noting that in addition to tasting excellent, this is a phenomenal example of the Old Ale style.

M - Velvety and rich, softly carbonated, very nice.

D - This is a phenomenal brew, worth seeking out, aging, etc.

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

12 oz bottle poured into a duvel tulip.

Batch number 79.

A: Deep/super dark brown with red hues. 2 fingers worth of a off white fluffy head that had good retention all the way down the glass. Nice lacing as well. This is my second HOTD beer and I will have to say, they make beautiful looking beers.

S: Has a sweet smell to it. Dark fruits instantly come to mind; figs, rasions, plums. It has a roasted character to it along with a semi-smokiness/tobacco. Small hints of chocolate.

T: Roasted quality to it, dark fruit comes right along with the smell. Excellant ! It has like a smokiness meets fruit thing going on that is actually pretty interesting. It also has hints of brown sugar and molasses.

M: Full bodied beer with good amounts of carbonation. Alcohol well hidden.

D: Very drinkable ale that i can imagine myself drinks lots of. Hard one to put down.

Photo of davod23
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 79 poured from the bottle into my Bruery tulip.

Deep brown with crimson highlights. A tan head forms, with vestiges of it remaining long after the pour. Very nice - the last bottle of Adam I had was dead flat (though still a great beer). A nontrivial amount of lacing.

Smell is amazingly complex. Pipe tobacco, smoke, dark fruit, molasses, and apple skin. Great.

The taste is very good. On the sweeter side, with the tobacco and smoky flavors coming through strongly. I don't like the flavor of this batch as much as I've liked others in the past, as the smoke quality is much stronger here than I remember. Backdrop of molasses and dark caramel.

Mouthfeel is superb. Enough carbonation to lighten the body a bit, but this is still quite a viscous and sticky brew.

Drinkability takes a slight hit because the smoke becomes a tiny bit tiresome. That said, this beer is still phenomenal. I have a few that I will sit on for a while, as in my experience this beer ages like a champ.

Highly recommended.

Photo of nkersten
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 75 poured into new belgium snifter. A normal pour yields a huge three finger creamy mocha head with a slightly murky dark brown/black liquid. Great lacing and head retention for the abv. Smell is milk chocolate, dark fruits, peat, roasted dark Vienna malts, smoke and a it of an alcohol bite. Smoke and peat smell are a bit too much at first but mellow out as it warms. Taste is smokey up front followed by a hint of peated malts and bitter hops. The smoked flavors overpower at first but then are balanced out by the resinous fruit flavors - fig, raisins, sweet black cherries. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a light to medium carbonation. I would have expected this to be near flat, and i am glad it is not - the carbonation helps the finish a lot. A bit of alcohol heat as it goes down. Drinkability is very good for an old ale - this is one of the best of the style, very unique and balanced.

Photo of gtn80
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 74 poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance is a dark, dark brown, that almost sucks light into it's darkness. Nice mocha head, two fingers at the pour, dissipated down to a thin layer that lasted the entire glass.

Smell is tremendous, molasses, dark fruits, tons of malt, a touch of oxidation, a bit of smoke.

Taste is intriguing, complex. Lots of malt, sweet at the outset, rummy, smoky, black licorice. Bit of hot alcohol on the finish that lasts and warms the belly.

Mouthfeel is great, thick, viscous. Lots of carbonation, big mouthfeel.

Drinkability is dangerously good at 10% abv.

Photo of Ryan011235
4.97/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter on 10/25/10

Batch 74

With much appreciation to PDXHops

Dark cola brown color that settles near black. Basically no light can get through. The head started off as a loose patch of bubbles which was filled out by smooth foam, about one finger's worth. While retention thins, there's an impressive amount left considering the abv. Same goes for lacing.

The aroma is incredibly smooth with many layers of complexity. Dark fruits - raisins, figs & maybe a hint of prune; deep-seated dark cocoa; near-burnt sugars; vague notion of molasses; overtones of tobacco. Basically, all things deep & ominous. Something of a boozy swoon, as well.

A slew of burnt & roasted flavors greet the tongue immediately. Tobacco is the most potent flavor, begrudgingly sharing territory with notions of dark chocolate, raisins, figs & molasses. Indeed there is a smokiness, especially noticeable as the beer warms. Hints of toffee. The balance between burnt & sweet is ideal, in my opinion with the scale tipping in favor of the former.

Full bodied & plenty viscous for the style. Carbonation seems appropriate. The alcohol is warming but it isn't overly hot; certainly not cloying. The finish is somewhat gritty with a slight nod to bygone hops. Residuals of tobacco, dark fruit overtones & smoked malts linger.

Adam is a perfect convergence of flavor, complexity & structure. I do believe this is the cigar beer I've been searching for. Highly Recommended.

Adam from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
95 out of 100 based on 2,192 ratings.