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

Not Rated.

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2,222 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,222
Reviews: 986
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 10.09%
Wants: 582
Gots: 463 | FT: 39
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-12-2001

A re-creation of an historic beer style originally made in Dortmund, Germany.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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,222 | Reviews: 986 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Goliath
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown, almost black with ruby hues in the light. A large inch and ahalf light brown head forms on top with excellent retention and some lace.

Aroma is great. Raisins and mollases, caramel, and a hop spiciness.

Taste is great. Bitter chocolate, figs, and a little smokey. Alcohol is very well hidden.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and finely carbonated.

Drinkability is moderate. High alcohol and heavy flavors limit consumption, but everything is right about this beer making it very easy to consume.

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

Batch 70

a - pours deep dark brown with burgundy highlights, HUGE cappuccino colored head with awesome retention and lacing, a truly awesome looking beer

s - kind of weird, but this smells exactly like the pit-smoked beef brisket I had last weekend, lots of smoke, hints of port wine and figs as well

t - a lot like the nose, smoked beef brisket up front and on the midpalate, stronger notes of port wine and caramel, some fig and tobacco, lingering smoke and woodiness on the finish

m - fairly full-bodied, moderate carbonation, pretty well balanced finish, alcohol warming effect

d - definitely a sipper, the taste is intense and not condusive to quick drinking

Really unique beer all around. A lot smokier than I expected, and quite port-like. I honestly would have guessed this was oak-aged. A great nightcap sipper.

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

A : Pours a nice dark brown with a good tan head that fades away quickly.

S : Roasted malts and an array of dark fruits

T : Has a good smokiness and roasted malt flavor. Finishes with an amazingly strong dark fruit flavor. Incredible.

M : Chewy, Thick, Creamy

D : This is one that has to be tried. I plan on getting plenty more of this and trying it again and again.

Photo of peabody
3.61/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a chocolate dark brown concotion with two fingers of tans suds and some lacing.
Smell is chocolate and malt. Sugar and a little alcohol are present in the nose.
Taste is chocolate and malt with a hop finish. The flavor doesn't match the aroma or appearance.
Mouthfeel is a bit oily but drys out with the phenol cleansing.
This is not the best offering from HotD.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz brought back to Boise by inflatablechair... Sam picked this up at the Earth Day sale.. and it is truly appreciated. Poured into my New Belgium snifter.... batch 71.

Obvious lack of carbonation.. only 2-3 bubbles break the surface every second.. no head .. the brew is very dark brown.. deep walnut.

Aroma is very complex .. vinous.. dark dried fruits.. fruity esters.. reminiscent of an older tawny port.

Flavor is much again much like a tawny port.. sorta leathery with touches of cigar tobacco.. big and malty with a complexity that will defy my tongue.. rummy figs.. a little bit of plum and prune.. not getting any hoppiness.. a smoky chocolate as it warms.. Woody (is Adam wood aged???) .. mouthfeel is thick and smooth.. like velvet.. drinkablility is fairly good.. I don't know how to describe it.. if I didn't pour it myself, I wouldn't guess this was a beer.. a tawny port would be my immediate guess... the only other beer that is really striking the memory cords is my bottle of Sonoran 100.. which Adam is a close relative without any of the big alcohol associated with the Sonoran.

I can't even call it a complaint, because I don't know if Alan wanted it this way.. but the lack of carbonation is something to note.

I still have half a bottle... and it is going to take me a while to finish it.. not because it is bad .. but because.. My mind and palate need more time come to terms with all the complex nuances in this one... I REALLY wish HotD was still available in Boise... I have a few labels from (my guess) back in '03-'-04 maybe earlier.. and then the supply dried up... now I have to beg friends to pick them up for me when they go to Oregon... Sam is that friend... much appreciated.

Photo of jjayjaye
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 67. Thanks going out to grumpy for the opportunity to consider this one.

Pours a clear opaque darkness with a full finger light tan head that fades slowly. Spotty patterns of lacing generated. The smell is an aggressive fig & currant dark fruit medley. Adequately carbonated, the mouth feel is equally rich and full bodied. Full flavored, the berry currant taste is assertive and the mild chocolate and smoky characteristic lingers significantly. A bit of a sipper, the 10% ABV is present in the mouth and amplified by the sharp tart characteristic of the currant. Scoring points for imagination and passion. There are some serious ingredients involved with this one. Recommend giving this one a spin around the block.

Photo of rudylaw
3.82/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle of batch #70.

It pours a murky, dark brown, with ruby highlights with no head at all.

It smelled of burning wood, dark malts, caramel, maple and raisins. It tastes really good despite my thinking that I had a flat beer in front of me. I get roasted malts right away, with dark fruits.

It still drinks flat, but it's not a bad thing. Very hard for me to describe as I know I need another sample seeing as some reviews are similar to mine, but many more describe something different. I need more.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 66. Murky black walnut with no hint of lightening at the edges. The upper portion of the snifter is filled with coffee mousse colored foam that is creamy and supremely silky. It melts in fantastic fashion and leaves an abundance of lattice-like lace on the glass. Adam looks great!

The nose is akin to a huge Baltic porter or a barleywine chock full of roasted malt. Since old ale is such a broad style, it works as well. Each sniff delivers loads of black malt, dark fruit macerated in dark rum, anise seed... and all manner of other things that should be more identifiable on the palate.

Adam is unlike any beer that has ever entered my glass. It's similar to an Imperial stout, but is much deeper and more multi-faceted. I'm reminded of an RIS brewed by a world class Belgian brasserie. It's delicious right now and should be even more compulsively drinkable as it continues to warm.

Another comparison that keeps coming to mind is an American barleywine with more black and roasted malt than any American barleywine on the planet. Could the yeast strain be responsible for the mindblowing flavors that greet each sip, or have the brewers added some secret ingredient?

The flavor profile includes the finest quality bittersweet chocolate, blackstrap molasses, black currants and figs soaked in Jamaican dark rum, coffee bean-flecked plum pudding and black licorice. In addition, my taste buds register a lingering smokiness that puts a rauchbier-like finale on the whole shootin' match. This stuff is amazing!

Although I was unable to determine the bottling date for this batch, it has to be at least a few years old. That was time enough, apparently, for the flavors to meld completely and for the alcohol to soften into velvety smoothness. It still contributes a minor tongue numbing and a great deal of belly warming.

A louder than expected 'pffft' on crown cracking (and a bit too much fizziness in the upper portion of the bottle) had me concerned. All is fine now, though. The beer is medium-full, with a chewiness and a mouthcoating that is immensely enjoyable. A fraction more heft and a 25% reduction in carbonation would have garnered the next highest score with ease. Note: it finally gets there in the end.

I was going to say that Adam is my favorite HOTD beer when I glanced at my reviews for the others. Fred, Rose Cassis and Blue Dot Imperial IPA scored almost this high. These guys should be commended for pushing the boundaries of what constitutes outstanding craft beer and for delivering incredibly delicious, infinitely cellarable ale much more often that not. Do yourself a favor and buy Adam by the case whenever you run across it. I know I will.

Photo of kasper
3.73/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Batch #68 purchased for $4.99 a 12oz.

A: Pours darkest of browns, with a nice frothy two-finger tan head with good retention and nice patches of lacing on the glass.

S: Aromas of dark ripe fruits, in particular plums and prunes. There's some leather there too. But as it warms, a notable candied smell...sweet. Not much chocolate in the nose.

T: However, there's an intense rush of smooth creamy chocolate in the taste followed by a slightly bitter and boozy dark fruit finish. It tastes like a chocolate covered raisin! Little dry on the finish, though with a punch of some kind of really ripe reddish fruit I can't exactly pinpoint. Raspberries?

M: This a thick -- but not overly thick -- creamy, full bodied brew with considerable carbonation, which I think really helps it along. Not its strongest point.

D: Overall, this is a tasty brew akin to an fruity imperial stout. It's somewhat boozy so you are aware of the 10%ABV. Wouldn't really want to drink more than one of these in a setting.

Photo of m1ked
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up on a norcal trip, had an awesome time in SF.

A- Dark, dark with reddish caramel glints when held up to the light. Once again a mega foamey tan head that is fluffy with pock marks. If you look close, you'll see tiny white streamers in the darkness. Incredible lacing.

S- Sweet caramelly alcohol. Etoh a little more subtle than Fred. like a rum mollases cookie.

T- Starts with a smokiness that fades to a choclatey dark frutiness, with toasted marshmallow sugariness, and some leather.

M- Thick, chewy with ample carbonation.

D- great beer, with unique flavors but couldn't drink more than one at a time.

Photo of Brianmerrilyn
3.45/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sample at David Copperfields in Manhattan NY from owner, fellow Bronxite.

A: Red & black, not sure about head and lacing as small sample.

S-Sweet candies, unable to discern which however.

T- Malt first followed by hops. High ABV noticable very quickly but too strong, it is 10% after all. Not sure of the brew date but nothing like a Old Ale i've tasted prior.

M- Medium with heavy carbonation.

D-A good desset wine but not my style.

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

Thanks to SuzyGreenberg for the trade.

Pours a thick dark black with ruby around the edges. Nearly impenetrable. a vigorous pour produces a small head, but it retains well. Nose is of dark fruit, raisin, fig, rum, alcohol. Taste follows with dark fruit and rum soaked raisin or plum. Slight cherry. Some leathery taste with a little bit of boggy smoke. Alcohol is very apparent on the finish, and hops are much more noticeable on the finish than one would expect. Alcohol soaked dark malt and fruit remains on the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is on the thin side for the style, but still quite viscous. Drinkability is excellent for the style and the abv. Overall a great brew from HOTD, would love to try it from the wood, even though this one almost tastes like it already is! Seems to be an excellent cellar candidate, for a good couple years. Great beer.

Photo of DefenCorps
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Adam batch # 68 received from largadeer. Poured into my brand new snifter.

A: Brownish black with almost no light penetrating. Bubbly two-finger brown head with excellent retention

S: Caramel malts, raisins, plums in rum, christmas spices.

T: Malty and complex with sweeter malts and a lot of fruity complexity. Plums, raisins and alcohol heat. It's perfect for this cold spring night and i warm myself before i sleep. Reminds me of an old ale.

M: Full bodied with a moderate carbonation. Sweet on the finish with a hint of the X-mas cake spices

D: Pour this in a snifter and enjoy.

Batch 55, consumed 27 July 2013.

While dulled with age, this is an incredible beer. Sherry toffee leather, earth honey tobacco and a pleasant oxidation are present. The Palate is similar and less assertive than younger versions. More oxidation with sherry Earth and tobacco. Very nice 4.5/4/4.5

Photo of gford217
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, courtesy of throwitallaway, poured into a snifter. Batch #70.

A: Wowzers! This guy just exploded out of the bottle with a 3+ finger off white head that threatened to overflow the snifter. The head literally stayed nearly one finger thick the entirety of the session and left some serious lacing. Pours black with only the slightest hint of deep mahogany tints around the edges. Beautiful if not slightly out of control.

S: Big whiffs of dark sweet malts with caramel, toffee and chocolate scents. Dark fruits in there as well, figs, plums and raisins maybe. Slight smoky smell throughout.

T: Massive and complex with a whole lot going on. First taste of dark malts, molasses, chocolate and dark fruits. Caramel and toffee flavors are also evident but all the sweetness is balanced by the strong hop profile, mainly piney, resinous hops. There is also the smoky backbone that weaves itself in and out of the taste. Borders on taste bud overload. Like the appearance...tasty if not slightly out of control.

M: Thick, creamy mouthfeel coats the mouth but lingers with a slight hop bitterness and the stinging of the alcohol.

D: Wow, I'm not sure I could have more than a couple of these in a week or so. Massive beer all the way around and the sensory assault just slightly takes away from the drinkability. Despite that, I will actively seek out other HoD brews after this baptism by fire.

Photo of joepais
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to goryshkewych for this great extra
12 oz bottle batch 67 bottle poured into my sniffer produced a finger worth of off white head on top of a black body the head turns to a light lace

Aromas of leather, smoke, oak and sweat malts fill your nose. This brew is really complex

Flavors of great malts, scotch like in a lot of ways dark fruits and alcohol. Good balance of sweetness and alcohol warmth

Full body creamy mouthfeel rich is a good word

Sippability is great wouldn't mind having a few of these for special occasions

Photo of Benway
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle labeled Batch 68.

This has been a favorite of mine for a few years now and I think I'm close to finally brewing something myself that comes even close.

A. Pretty close to opaque with a light brown head that remained consistent at about a quarter of an inch.

S. Slight alcohol, leather (pretty common description but apt is apt), overall very balanced and unique. You know what you are in for and it's great.

T. Fantastic. Spice charactheristics aren't so complex, rather full and again balanced. Burnt caramel, leather, leaves your tongue coated with almost a coffee feel. I'm not good enough to praise this beer.

M. Excellent. Well rounded with no particular hop or malt bomb. That the 'leatherness' can take over so completely and not be a put off is remarkable.

D. Way far from a session beer. Pairing it with food may not be such a great idea as it stands so well on it's own. Maybe keep the food pairing somewhat hearty but neutral (German) in terms of spice. A cigar would probably be ideal.

Photo of throwitallaway
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at South Bay Liquor. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass. Dark with a thick off-white head that sticks around. Aroma of plum, berries, malt, and a touch of smoke and hops. Tastes of sweet malt, smoke, berries, and a slight amount of alcohol. Aftertaste is bittersweet. Medium-bodied. Probably couldn't drink a lot of these, but one is very nice.

Photo of warmstorage
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, acquired in a great trade with ccrida. Thanks!

Bottle cap has a $4.50 sticker from John's Marketplace, (presumably Portland, OR.) Bottle states batch #70, no other dating.

Appearance: deep brown, opaque, almost brown-black. Light brown head is dense but limited, leaves limited, light lacing.

Aroma: chocolate cherries prunes raisins yum!

Taste: leather chocolate cherries, stonefruit -- especially prunes, raisins, plums, with a distinct smokiness. It's complex, and hard to tease out all the flavors, but they're all delicious in combination. Might be that if it were a tiny bit less muddled, I might be able to give it a five for flavor: it's that damn delicious.

Mouth: moderately to fairly thick, fairly bright carbonation for such a high gravity beer, tingly warmth in the throat on the finish probably due to the alcohol. Nice.

Overall: A damned delicious beer. I love HOTD, and this is no exception. It's an outstanding, careful, exciting, innovative, interesting beer that is intensely drinkable. $4.50 for a 12 ounce bottle is steep, but I'd pay it again and again.

Photo of srandycarter
3.76/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 70
Bottling Date: mid-to-late 2007?

A- beautiful brown black, thick well retaining head, chunky klunky lacing.

S - Dark meaty malt, tobacco, nuts and stone fruit.

T - Dark fruits and bitter, bitter finish. Something a little ashen in the finish that I did not care for.

M - Thick, viscous, coating, good carb.

D - Can't do more than one.

Photo of largadeer
4.41/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Dark brown with nice clarity as it thins. This bottle poured with an utterly enormous frothy head, 4 fingers at first, which took several minutes to settle down. Excellent head retention after that.

Smell - Very earthy, not very beer-like in aroma. It reminds me of leather, soap, figs and dirt, with just a touch of caramelly malts.

Taste & mouthfeel - Roasty and moderately sweet. Toffee-like flavors mingle with more unusual notes of smoke, figs, leather and tobacco. This is pretty full-bodied stuff - definitely a sipper. Carbonation is soft and mellow despite the initial massive blast of foam.

Notes - Excellent; really unique and interesting stuff.

Photo of Bierguy5
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, 10% ABV. Very cloudy chestnut, chocolate color. Really muddy and murky looking. Thin tan head trickles to a thin layer quickly.

Aroma is smoky, chocolate, fig and dark fruit. Lots of stuff going on here. Almost a meaty smell.

Mouth is full of chocolate, fig and dark fruit. Smoke adds a nice touch without being overwhelming. Not much bitterness but not overly sweet either.

Some warming alcohol, but hidden rather well overall. Full body. Such a complex treat. I could sit and sniff this all day. Very enjoyable.

Photo of Dukeofearl
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle from hi Time Wine in Costa Mesa, CA., purchased in February 2008; consumed in March of that year. Price not receorded.

Pours a deep mahogany with a creamy tan white head. A small amount of protein/yeast(?) was left in the bottle.

Aroma is of a very rich beer. Deep dark fruits (raisins, dates, figs, black cherries, and probably others) and a touch of nuttiness surround a slightly boozy German black bread. Excellent.

Flavor- wow, this one huge, complex beer. One that honestly is hard to describe for its complexity. But here goes- Woody, rich, alcoholic, deep dark rich fruitcake, with an astringent end. Roasty, caramel, bitter chocolate, leather, and I'm sure a dozen other things swirl and collide as it dances on the tongue. I like this stuff.

I have 2 quibbles with this beer. The first is the alcohol burn. I've had 10, 11, even 12% beers where the alcohol burn is no where to be found. Here it's everywhere. Secondly, the beer has so much going on, that I actually found I had severe tongue fatigue before I finished 1/2 of the beer. I wanted to stop drinking, and go brush my teeth.

Even so, a very good beer, in fact, one of the better beers out there.

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

Pours with a dark brown body and a very nice creamy and beige head. There are fine lacing too. Nose primary of hops and malt. Sweet flavour of burned malt, dried fruit, raisins, mild coffee and liquorice. Ends up more dry with some alcohol. A very enjoyable brew.

Photo of kleffman
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Alesmith Tulip with a two finger head that wouldn't go away. Such incredible retention I could barely drink the beer itself (and I poured extremely carefully). Murky dark brown with a tan head. Fairly bubbly carbonation.

Aroma is similar to what the bottle describes - dark chocolate, figs, smoke, hints of leather and meat. Malty character dominates.

Tastes similar to the smell with large amounts of dark malt character, leather (seriously), and cocoa powder. Extremely complex. Gaining in flavors as it warms.

The mouthfeel is full, riding on a generous carbonation. Smooth drinking and very coating. It's a great sipper, you really need only a small bit to get a full array of flavors.

Overall, this is a fantastic beer. I nursed this thing for over an hour and it was sad to see it go. A bit pricey for bottles from this brewery, but totally worth it. Will be seeking out their other ales for sure.

Photo of Maudite
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've got to give this one an A+. I've never had my heart melted by a beer like this before. My first real old ale experience, but I am hooked. I find myself thinking about this beer every second, now.

A- Dark, mahogany, the color of a stained wood bureau, old loafers... slight ruby hue in light. Beautiful dark tan head, thick as hell, rich, heavy. I wasn't sure if the head would hold it was so thick, but it stayed to the last drop, great lacing, thick pieces stayed all along the sides of the snifter.

S- Like no beer I've had before. Dense, murky aroma. Very pungent and earthy, like the black soil under a rotting log. Scents of leather, bread, musty clothes. I know these sound awful, but when you smell them in this malty context, your nose is alive and dancing with such complexity.

T- A definite leather onset, followed closely by a dark raisiny taste. Some rich , unsweet (not sour or tangy) cherry, maybe fruit-cake-like flavor deep in the body. Big diacetyl, dark rye/pumpernickle flavors. A definite malty sweetness. By the time it had warmed and I was nearing the end, I had forgotten I was drinking a beer, and thought I had a glass of brandy or 20 year scotch. All-in-all, it tasted like a brandy or a very, very old scotch.

M- Big, thick, acidic. Didn't coat the way I would have hoped with that head, but it was still a big beer.

D- Definitely an after dinner, winding down with a cigar type of drink, though sharing one with my wife while watching a movie as pretty great, too.

This is a beer I can't stop talking about, and am recommending to everyone. Go get one.

Adam from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
95 out of 100 based on 2,222 ratings.