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

1,010 Reviews
For Trade:

Brewed by:
Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
Oregon, United States | website

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

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A re-creation of an historic beer style originally made in Dortmund, Germany.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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-12-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,010 | Ratings: 2,376
Photo of stdaniel
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown, minimal head of caramel color that recedes fairly quickly.

S: Roasted, not charred malt, caramel

T: Roasted malt, sweet caramel, slight booziness on the back of the palate.

M: Deep, rich, elegant even.

O: One of the best in class. Enjoyable throughout the temperature range. Makes me want to try the barrel aged version.

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Photo of auee92
3.41/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: Boozy fruit, and lightly sweet
Appearance: No head ?!? Darkbrown, cloudy on the pour
Taste: heavy cloying sweetness, lightly bitter
Palate: light body, thin oily slick mouthfeel, flat, astringent, finish
Overall: An odd, off-beat beer. The lack of head on a vigorous pour hints that something was not quite right with my sample. The aroma and taste was unique and sweet, indeed a desert beer if there ever was one!

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Photo of SHODriver
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from batch 85

A: poured into a snifter to a nice deep brown with a small dense tan head that is slow to fade to a collar around the edge of the glass and leaves minimal lacing
S: smells of molasses, toasted malt, raisins and caramel
T: taste is intensely malty and toasty with a bit of dark fruits, caramel, toffee and slight bitterness. swallow is a bit of alcohol mixed with roasty bitterness and chocolate
M: big and sticky in the mouth with good carbonation and a drying finish
O: This beer is big, smooth and complex. It's really good as well and I'm sure this after some time in a barrel is like heaven.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: mahogany color. almost black. hazy and opaque. about half a finger of the most stubborn creamy, tan head, sticks around the entire time with a sticky lacing left of the sides.

Smell: some malty sweetness strikes first, followed by a mixture of leather and dark dried fruits. a little bit chocolatey but not overly powerful. strongest notes are leathery and vinous. a little on the weak side

Taste: opens up with some a complex maltiness. middle is full of oxidized and leather notes, balanced out by a fruitiness, consisting of prunes and raisins. rounded out with chocolate and just a little bit or a roasted malts. some flaked barley throughout. alcohol sometimes makes itself present but not a dominant force in the taste

Mouthfeel: heavy a little chewy. slick and oxidized feel. alcohol warmth and bitterness

Overall: this has been a beer I have been wanting for a long time and was happy to receive one as an extra. certainly lived up to what I had made it out to be in my mind. great example of a stale-ish and leathery old ale.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.31/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, Batch 90- fairly recent. Poured into a Surly Darkness goblet today, 3/30/2014.

App- Very dark brown cola colour, but the brown colour is only evident in the right lighting. Otherwise in normal lighting it looks like a pitch black stout. A vertical pour yields a one finger off-white head with minimal retention. Not much lacing at all.

Smell- Sweet charred malts, dark fruits, smoke, brown sugar. Some wet oaky flavours that in the past, I have found in bourbon barrel aged stouts. Nose is on the sweeter side, not that much smoke in comparison to how it tastes on the palate.

Flavour- Tastes much better than it smells. Smoke, leather, plums, blackberries, brown sugar, oak. Charred dark malt sweetness (much like a Russian Imperial Stout) with some sweet candi sugar. Very complex beer that somehow works well. I can't say one way or another whether this is sweet or smoky or bitter. It is all 3 and whatever else I'm missing here.

Mouthfeel- Medium-thick bodied, low carbonation that is somehow just right for this kind of beer. Drinks very smoothly and is more resinous and sticky than it is dry despite the sweetness. Smoky sweet aftertaste, as if I smoked plums over a fire and covered it in volcanic ash. Despite how gross that sounds, it's very good. For a 11% ABV beer, I taste zero alcohol here even as it warms up.

Overall- Very impressive strong ale. Very complex with a pleasing mixture of flavours that on their own, would not be particularly appealing but this mishmash of flavours comes together to create a mix of stout-like, smoked porter-like and English old ale-like characteristics all in one 12oz bottle. Very good beer that I highly recommend for a late winter/early spring evening.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

on tap at the brewery, Portland

Oily chocolate-black with beige ring.
Blackberry, black tea, and a bit of ash on the nose.
Black bread, black currant and plum jam, big brown sugar/candy middle, a bit of wood and some sherry.
Musty barrel finish and hot whiskey linger.
Medium to full, round, chewy, a bit of heat.

Lots of depth, though some oxidation notes, too. Plenty of sweetness, though not so much on the leather notes. I don’t know enough about dark Dortmunders to say if this comes close, but it’s a solid dark ale with some Belgian characteristics.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.14/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep brown to nearly black in color. A faint bit of khaki colored head rests on top. Brussels lacing is evident. I get a strong aroma of plums and figs along with with alcohol. The mouth is sticky warm due to the alcohol. The taste is strong with a bit of a vinous note and loads of dark malt. The finish is on the sweeter side due to the heavy amount of dark malt.

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Photo of jbaker67
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep a dark brown, bordering on black. Good frothy, mocha colored head dies down to a fine lacing. Aromas of dark chocolate, herbaceous hops, liquorice, raisin, dates, figs, sweet malt with a hint of smoke & leather. Flavor follows the aroma, medium sweet to begin with; molasses, sweet dark fruits, malt loaf etc and a dark chocolate bittersweet flows before the spicy hop bitterness hits, giving a nice savory kick. Medium bodied, with a sticky texture. Good, pleasant, soft natural carbonation helps to coat the tongue, leading to a very satisfying, bitter sweet, sticky long finish.

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Photo of hooliganlife
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

batch 77

poured into HOTD tulip at 55 degrees

pours a dark cola brown. little to no head.

rich caramel and toffee, light vanilla. very sweet and heavy

similar to nose, with the addition of light bourbon and sweet toffee. some biscuit and bread with a faint light toasted flavor.

very smooth and velvety. mild carbonation.

pretty great stuff, would looove the "from the wood" version

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Photo of rudzud
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Received as an extra in a trade. Batch # 85 (roughly 2 years old now).

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a nice dark dark chestnut hue with a nice creamy one finger tannish mocha head that fades to leave a thin blanket and nice light lacing.

S - Aromas of alcohol, light caramel, vanilla, slight dark fruits, light nuttiness.

T - Taste is darker fruits, darker malts, light sweetness. Caramel and some toffee, molasses, brown sugar, raisins. Alcohol is hidden nicely.

M - Mouthfeel is brightly carbonated, rather shocked at this. Was expecting something smooth and creamy, not nearly crisp. Slightly syrupy, alcohol hidden well.

O - Overall, a tasty old ale. Mouthfeel was a bit distracting though, which is too bad.

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Photo of 01001111
3.77/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Chestnut with a thin tan lacing.

S: Alcohol, hazelnuts, dates, with a hint of wood and vanilla.

T: Quite boozy up front. Mellows a bit as the malt becomes dominant with flavors of oak and nuts. The hops come through in the aftertaste like a wash of medicinal bitterness.

M: Thin and drying with a slight syrupy edge if you roll it around in your mouth for a but.

O: Perhaps not as exemplary as I had anticipated but good nonetheless. The flavor and, in particular, the aroma get better as the liquid warms.

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Consumed 1/24/13

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for giving me a bottle of this (I think it was for my birthday)

Appearance: Deep brown with some clarity around the edges - pours with a medium-sized, creamy, tan head - fades to a wispy cap - leaves some nice lacing

Smell: Dark malts, with dark fruit, and some decidedly "old ale" aromas - cooked and caramelized malts - toffee, molasses, and overcooked biscuits - some oxidation - lots of dark fruits, including raisins, figs, and berry skins - chocolate, tobacco, and booze

Taste: Dark malts, dark fruits, and alcohol - definitely tastes like and old ale, with some oxidation that mostly works with the other flavors - dark malts, dark caramel, molasses, brown sugar, toffee, and biscuits - more oxidation and some tannins - dark chocolate - alcohol is particularly obvious, but it works - raisins, figs, and some sweetness

Mouthfeel: More or less a full body, nice carbonation, very smooth, a nice sipper

Overall: Sometimes old is good

I've typically complained about old ales, which I will admit is unfair to the style. Or perhaps not... because I don't dislike this. It definitely tastes old, but there is a lot going on here. It's a nice sipper, with some interesting dark malts, dark fruit, and booze.

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Photo of minterro
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been trying to get my hands on a bottle of this (not actively but still) for a while now, so I hope it lives up to the hype I have put on it. Got as part of a beer trade. Batch 87, which I think is a little over a year old at this point.

A&S: Aroma is power, but not super intense and consisting of tobacco, molasses, hints of marshmallows, very sweet sugars. Undertones of the aroma is earthy dirt, Initially head looks fizzy and weak, but upon the second pour the head is pretty creamy and retains way better than initially. Globs of lacing are left behind. Lots of caked on sediment at the bottom, even when swirled it doesn't detach. The beer is a very dark brown.

T&M: Upfront some chocolate (not as much as I expected), Chewing tobacco smokiness and raisins tones in the finish. Mild bitterness in the finish. Alcohol is very subdued (maybe due to the aging), but you for sure get a feel for it cause it warms as it goes down. Carbonation is on the high side of medium, but the body is still quite thick.

Overall: Great beer, if for sure lived up to the hype. If I didn't have to wake up early I would consider doing this side by side with the 4D I have in the fridge, o well. I will be out in Portland in a few months, hope I can find a few to bring back home and see how it does with some more aging and to have a fresh go at it.

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Photo of BuzzLitebier
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sample this on 12/26/13 with Arithmeticus.

We poured this 12 oz bottle of batch 89 in to two pint glasses. The appearance was very dark in color- almost cola-like with a thick, tan head and decent lacing. We found the malty aroma inviting, despite having very little hops or yeast. We could detect figs and chocolate, and it smelled very sweet and slightly boozy. The taste was amazingly complex- with smoke, leather, and dark fruit. The nose definitely belied the taste. The mouthfeel medium with decent carbonation. This is one of the best beers I have had in a while, so would I (we) have it again?? HELL YES!

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Photo of BierJager89
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Black with an off white head.

S: Vanilla, caramel, bourbon in the nose. Typical staleness of an old ale.

T: Sweet roasted malt, bourbon and honey flavors, surprising as this is not the barrel aged version. Also some stale yeast or malt or whatever that typical old ale taste/flavor is.

M: Medium bodied and smooth.

O: Recommended, but perhaps a bit overrated. I'd love to try Adam from the Wood.

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Photo of spoony
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap into a tulip at the brewery.

A-The brew is dark brown, nearly black. The head is mocha in color and maybe a finger tall. The head is dense and creamy, which is surprising given the ABV. It leaves a wisp or two of lacing on the glass.

S-The aroma has fruity alcohol esters, dark caramel, molasses, and a bourbon-like vanilla. It is very smooth and creamy smelling. Nice.

T-The taste, like the smell, is sweet but smooth. I get some creamy cocoa, light roasted flavors, molasses, caramel, dark cherry, and just a slight twang of hoppy bit on the finish. Alcohol is well integrated and gently warming.

M-The feel is medium to light for the style, which makes this brew dangerously easy to drink. The carbonation is fine and subtle.

O-This is a nice beer. The flavors are complex and intense. While this is certainly a sweet, big beer, unlike many beers of this style and ABV, Adam never veers into syrupy or sticky. I especially enjoy the cherry fruit flavors and light bitter twang on the finish.

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Photo of JohnG190
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown%2C almost black with a thick%2C copper colored head. Nice lacing. The aroma is complex - lots of dark roast malt%2C chocolate%2C with a hint of smoke. Maltiness on the front of the tongue%2C followed by chocolate and smoke. There's enough bitterness to balance out that malt backbone. Full bodied with lively carbonation. Overall%2C this is an outstanding sipper to enjoy on a cold winters night.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.32/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. 1/3/14

Pours dark brown, almost black. Thick heavy white foam. Snowy. Musty damp smell. Woodsy. Smoky. Hints if leather, peat, dirt. Earthy, grainy taste with a harsh hop that interjects halfway through. Potent bitter. A tough pint for sure. Need to really enjoy Old Ales to get the most from this one.

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Photo of MDDMD
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-deep brown color with hints of red, nice light tan head with decent lacing

S-dark fruit, brown sugar, nutmeg, chocolate, oaky, roasted malt,caramel

T-roasted malt, raisins, figs, chocolate, toffee, cinnamon, vanilla, little oak, mild bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth, some alcohol comes through

O-very complex and tasty ale, love to sip this on a cold winter day

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Photo of PicoPapa
4.14/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Orthodoxkardia for this beer.

12oz bottle. Batch 87. Pours a dark dark brownish black color with ruby hues and a 1/4 inch of light brown head. Moderate amount of lacing. Aromas of dark fruits, earth, chocolate, espresso and tobacco. The taste is tobacco and earth upfront with some dark fruits and chocolate. Espresso and warming alcohol. Hints of cola. Chocolate and tobacco at the finish. Heavy mouthfeel with lots of carbonation. Very earthy brew with lots of tobacco flavor. Overall, a solid slow drinker.

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Photo of draheim
4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle (Batch 84) poured into a snifter. Pours a deep chocolate brown with a huge fluffy mocha head that leaves behind nice sticky clumps of lace.

Aroma is rich and complex: figs, toffee, pipe tobacco, dark sugary plums, candi sugar. A quick swirl of the snifter brings up more elusive nuances, but they're elusive.

Taste is also deep and complex. Dark fruits, rum-soaked tobacco, plump raisins. Bitter hops keep this malty beast in check, but only just.

Sticky mouthfeel is velvety smooth, luxurious and rich, especially with a good swirl which briefly brings up a light tan layer of foam.

Overall a rock-solid Old Ale, sets the standard for the style as far as I'm concerned.

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Photo of South2NW
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: dark, dark brown, with minimal tan head. Not much lacing. Didn't hard pour.

S: Dark fruits covered in dark chocolate. Really pleasing.

T: smokey is the taste I initially get. Followed by some chocolate and a bit of booze on the back end.

M: fairly heavy body, with a moderate amount of carbonation. No booze burn.

O: friggin delicious. So smooth for 10%, could easily drink several in a row.

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Photo of pkalix
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

bag ripped at the handle and it bounced off my kitchen tiled floor. a week ago, still some large bubbles on the top at the neck of the bottle and i'm wondering if it'll affect the flavor any?
pours very dark brown with the edge showing some translucence. smell is strong on the figs, and a little rubbery, Band-Aid smell. funny I saw someone else refer to the Band-Aid smell. mine is from sucking on my injured finger some 30 years when they made 'em out of that rubbery stuff and the taste was very distinctive. I've gotten it most in stone's vanilla and chipotle porters. but anyway . . . . . . the taste has a little of the Belgian yeast and lots of the band-aid... twisty, funky bitterness. I truly am surprised by the super high ratings as I do not feel it merits them and, hence, the wonder if bouncing it off the tile hampered it any. seems to have a lot of alcohol presence which, at 10%, is deservedly so. to a certain degree. I suppose i'm just a little disappointed reading all the high reviews, finally finding one of these guys, and not being very impressed with it. it's not bad. and it's very decent, considering the high abv, but I probably was expecting too much.

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Photo of Siriusfisherman
4.61/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: Pretty much black, and it seems hazy which makes it even more opaque. Beautiful fluffy mocha head on top and some decent lacing, especially considering the abv.

A: Big dark fruit, burnt sugar and chocolate notes, some earthy leathery character, as well as some apricot and big spicy boozy notes. It all backed by a lush, rich maltiness that saturates your nostrils.

T/M: A smooth bitterness starts off that is met by big fruity burnt sugar, dark/milk chocolate, pit fruit, and a big, sweet malty backbone. The bitterness peaks mid sip and falls off into a huge viscous mouthfeel and rich flavors. The finish reveals some smoky complexities, as well as some tingle on the tongue from the alcohol.

Overall, a stunning ale that pushes the boundaries of the craft. For such a sweet beer it is unbelievably drinkable, dangerously so. Hair of the Dog has officially blown my mind.

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Original review - 8/17/12 - 12 oz bottle poured into pint glass. Batch 84.

A = Like Hair of the Dog Fred, pour carefully, as high carbonation means head explodes and lasts for a long time. Leaves pretty thick lacing. Beer is a dark brown with maybe a burgundyish tint to it. Rated 3.5.

S = definite smoke tones, some chocolate, some alcohol

T = smoke dominates, reminds me as much of a smoked porter than the old ale it is. Can barely pick up the figs, maybe something leathery. Not quite as together as it should be. You pick up the alcohol burn at the end

M = pretty thick, definitely carbonated and alcoholic

Good, not great. Definitely prefer Fred to Adam; am going to age a bottle and check back in a year and see if that helps.


And here we are, 11/15/13, with a bottle of Batch 84 aged in my wine refrigerator. Poured into Belgian ale glass this time.

A: Still a slow pour and absolutely ridiculous head. Heavy lacing, strong retention. Beer appears darker than the above and my memory recall. Changing 3.5 to 4.

S: Still catching the smoke, but more muted. More fig scent, chocolate, less evidence of alcohol. More pleasant. Changing 3.5 to 4.

T: Not too much change. Less smoke, more malt, about the same fig/dried fruit and leather. A bit more composed, still some alcohol burn. Leaving at 4, probably should have graded 3.75 last time.

M: Remains thick, less carbonation, still quite alcoholic. As this suits me, I'm changing 4 to 4.25.

O: Leaving at 4. Overall I sensed an amount of improvement in the nose and cohesiveness of flavor. Still packs quite a punch.

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Adam from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
94 out of 100 based on 1,010 ratings.