Hair Of The Dog Brewing Company / Brewery And Tasting Room

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Strong Ale - American
Ranked #3
Ranked #192
4.5 | pDev: 10.67%
Hair Of The Dog Brewing Company / Brewery And Tasting Room
Oregon, United States
Notes: Brewed using two Munich malts, two Smoked malts and two types of Belgian candy sugar. It was aged in 33 year old Bourbon barrels and Apple Eau de Vie barrels for about one year.

First release: February 2009 (a.k.a. 'Bottleworks X')
Second release: November 2010
Third release: October 2013
Fourth release: 2016
Fifth release: 2019
Reviews: 255 | Ratings: 916 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of unclekeith
unclekeith from Alaska

4.38/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2019 bottle into a Hair of the Dog tasting glass.

Muddy water, minimal carb but smells and tastes much better than the appearance. Figs, dark fruit, caramel. Smoke and bourbon barrel. Vanilla. A bit hot but pleasantly so. Thin for style. Overall very enjoyable.

Apr 26, 2021
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elNopalero from California

4.69/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a dark amber black. Minimal foam. Incredible aroma, cherry and campfire smoke go together. Incredibly smooth with a long finish. This beer was made to be sipped.

Jun 28, 2020
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Roguer from Connecticut

4.48/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Essentially no head production on the pour, although there is the slightest amount of build up - perhaps 1/16" at best - as the carbonation rises to the surface. Deep, purplish-brown body.

Incredibly boozy on the nose; tons of liquor, in particular bourbon and apple brandy, but also a port/sherry-like mild oxidation. Loads of dark fruit, nearly juicy in their expression, including dates and prunes, along with raisins and red grapes. Waves of brown sugar, caramel, chocolate, molasses, and licorice.

Incredibly potent on the palate, a melange of dark fruit, bread, bourbon, oak, molasses, smoke, and oxidation. Without question a sipping beer; not something you can really dig into quickly. It doesn't just reward patience; it demands it.

Thick and syrupy. Undeniably boozy, but not hot or painful. Very little carbonation.

Apr 05, 2020
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cjgiant from District of Columbia

4.58/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Bottle, 2019 release:
These still HotD offerings have trouble looking overly enticing through no fault of their own. A darker than medium brown, it appears somewhat opaque. As stated no head, so no lacing.

Nose has the aromas of a dry after dinner wine without the acidity. The base earthy wooden notes gets a little accent of fig and date. There’s a bit of smoke as well, but more like what would be in the air after a night’s rain dampened the previous evening’s bonfire.

Taste also starts with a slightly tannic dry wine, but the fig comes it quickly to turn this towards its true beer nature. A little sweetness comes next, followed by a growing smoke and a brief interlude of a bold red wine and leather. The smoke comes in as if the dark fruits spent a little time in the smoker.

The ending is moderately dry, with a little bit of stickiness allowing the last flavors to linger into the aftertaste. The lack of carbonation is almost not missed, though I think I’d rather have this still than with even moderate carbonation.

A true treat where the smoke gets integrated so well into the flavors of the beer to lift it from really good to great.

Dec 24, 2019
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stevoj from Idaho

4.01/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle from Jeremy. Ruddy brown pour, soft bubbly head. Woody, malty aroma. Taste also leans on the malt, woody, earthy notes. Finishes Dry. Excellent. update: 2013 vintage bottle thanks to Buckeyeboy. Dark brown and relatively flat. Swwet dark malts, pit fruit, woody, smoky. Taste is rich, sweet and boozy, slippery, and very tasty.

Nov 02, 2019
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Lingenbrau from Oregon

4.77/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2013 version on tap at the 25th anniversary party.

Not the prettiest beer. Flavor and texture are indescribably amazing.

(Review under construction).


2019 version, from a 12 oz bottle.

Once again, and as expected from HotD lately, this bottle pours completely still. Flat as can be. Beautiful nonetheless. The deepest shade of brown, slightly muddled and has a reddish tint to it that reminds me of dried blood. Obviously, there is no head to speak of and likewise no lacing.

And there it is. That glorious HotD signature aroma. Much like Adam with notes of tobacco, leather, and jammy fig, but there's the unique and subtle addition of smoke that's perfectly incorporated.

This is just an incredible explosion of flavors that are hard to disect. Fig, raisins, and apples give wonderful, sweet, fruity elements. Smoke, char, and wood balance them out, and leather and sopping tobacco leaves tie the whole experience together. You could almost cut and paste Adam's flavor descriptors and there in the smoke and apple, and that should just about sum it up.

No carbonation leads to a very smooth, silky, and rich feel. Sweet and savory and surprisingly, the alcohol is almost completely hidden. Hard to believe being 11.5%!

Matt is just one of a kind. Absolutely friggin glorious and I'm so glad to have been able to experience this beer time and again both on draft and from the bottle, aged and fresh. No matter how you have it, Matt is one hell of an experience. Cheers.

Nov 17, 2018
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mschrei from Illinois

4.56/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Gifted from @lingenbrau. I thought it lost carbonation, but he told me their stuff is normally under carbed. Either way, it's a winner. Dark muddy brown color. Smell is boozy, oaky, apply. Taste is the old ale style, malty, strong booze, sweet, smoky, woody barrel and apple notes. Smooth, mild burn, trying not to hold the lack of carb against it as I'm not sure if that was how it was intended. Very good.

Oct 08, 2018
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gcamparone from Rhode Island

3.72/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2016 bottle poured into a snifter glass.

Extremely Peaty, earthy, Smokey, boozy, chocolate liquor, applewood, smoked malt, peaty, caramel, bittersweet chocolate, syrupy, very sweet, dark fruits.

No carbonation, medium-heavy body. An interesting, unique beer. Not sure I was a huge fan of the flavor profile, mainly due to the overly peaty / earthy flavors.

May 21, 2018
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siskiyoucellar from Oregon

4.37/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Another unique and wonderful brew from HOTD. I’d call it somewhere between an American Strong and an Old Ale, but that doesn’t matter because it’s just delicious. After a couple years in my cellar the carbonation has suffered a bit, but many of HOTD’s offerings start out that way, so it doesn’t seem a problem. Nose and taste are both truly world class, so complex and so well integrated that I can’t begin to describe them - you just have to be here!

Mar 18, 2018
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GreesyFizeek from New York

3.56/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a very dead looking and murky purplish brown, with no head and no lacing.

This smells very much like apple brandy, with boozy fruit, caramel, and more booze.

This is absolutely hindered by the complete and total lack of carbonation- I guess I'm not sophisticated enough to appreciate something like that. It's got some interesting flavors- like smoke, prunes, chocolate, tobacco and tons of apple brandy. It's super flabby however, and just feels unfinished- I can't get fully behind it. It feels so thin and flat.

The mouthfeel is obviously a weak point here- even just a little bit of carbonation would be so helpful.

This is very intriguing but I just simply didn't enjoy it.

Aug 15, 2017
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Shogun250 from Vermont

4.26/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Hardly zero head or carbonation in a 2013. Taste was bourbon soaked raisans. Sweet but quite pleasant. It didn't look great and it was prob a little thin for the abv and the barrel, but defintely respect the old ale style and would not turn it down again.

Aug 07, 2017
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Radcpa from Washington

4.19/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2016 ventage. Dark appearance with no head. Aroma is nutty. Taste is also nutty bourbon with a fairly strong sharp alcohol bite. This should be aged longer to eliminate the alcohol taste.

Jul 12, 2017
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yesterdayfaraway from Missouri

3.53/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

L: pours thick brown with no head at all. No hiss when I opened the cap...still
But I don't think this was intentional, kind of worried
S: huge bourbon...seriously reminds me of anabasis almost to a t in the nose
T: there is something wrong here....there is a nasty tabacco flavor

Jun 27, 2017
Photo of Adamdc
Adamdc from Massachusetts

4.35/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Had been sitting on this for a long time. Wow! Absolutely delicious. A little on the sweet side but very tasty. Soy sauce, tobacco, cocoa, definitely a sipper.

Apr 29, 2017
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YodersBeerEmporium from Iowa

4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was lucky enough to finally track down a bottle of Matt and enjoy it with a friend. Strong caramel flavors in this Old Ale. Very tasty but absolutely a sipper as this was strong and boozy. Solid but wouldn't probably track it down again.

Aug 16, 2016
Photo of BBThunderbolt
BBThunderbolt from Kiribati

3.91/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2016 vintage. Poured a fully opaque dark brown color with just the very fewest bubbles an aggressive pour could achieve. No head, thus no retention or lacing. Lots of sludge left in the bottom the bottle as well.

Lots of dark fruit and malt scents in the nose, reminds me of a Belgian Quad.

Very similar on the tongue, with some noticeable alcohol heat.

The body was smooth, even, and had a sweet finish, but the lack of carbonation was an issue.

Drinkability was OK, but, some carb would have made it great-to-excellent.

Overall, another great beer from HotD, but, please y'all, put some bubbles in.

Jul 01, 2016
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Lochnessmonster from Florida

4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

While I wasn't blown away by AFTW, this beer rocked my world! I love the flavor complexities, and enjoyed sipping on this for quite a while. I know it's on the top 250 but I never see anyone talking about it. And they should be.

Jun 06, 2016
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.38/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

all of the beers we had at hair of the dog were highlights, so its hard to single out this 2008 matt as the standout, but it was pretty darn impressive. no idea what it tasted like fresh, but some time in the bottle has really done it well. one of the few beers i can think of that could stand up over time like this, not a lick of oxidation or staleness in here at all, just a smooth mellow well integrated brew all the way around. rich syrupy viscous dark dark brown pour, still with a little bubbling head on it. notes of campfire, black licorice, cigar, brandy, raisin, and dark chocolate all waft out from the glass slowly and patiently, weaving a complex aromatic tapestry that is entirely unique. burnt leather and bourbon come through the dark english or german malts, rauch type smoke has mellowed some, sticky bread pudding, root beer, then they apple grappa stuff in the finish. man is this layered! it doesnt quite have that roasted barley stout quality to it, it doesnt go that deep, but in its bitter absence, there arises this space for other flavors usually lost to it, and i think this lands perfectly in the middle of all of them. i am amazed how this has done over time, i expected more of a novelty at this age, but that wasnt the case at all. rich and velvety on the palate, the warming alcohol seems necessary too. brilliant beer, what a treat!

Jun 06, 2016
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rabbott2 from Illinois

4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 vintage drank in a snifter 4/12/2016

L-rich and dark, dark brown with a minimal head and thick lacing

S-scotch, caramel, and a little sweet booze. The Belgian candy sugar is noticeable here for sure.

T-this is where it becomes exceptional. super complex. this mainly is the rating at about room temperature because it kept getting so much better as it warmed that i saved most of it after about sitting 45 minutes. Smooth apple brandy mixed with rich caramel, bourbon, oak, some fig and other dark fruits as well.

F-smooth, no heat, minimal booze. goes down really nice. the richness doesn't make it super drinkable but i wouldn't want that in this type either. really enjoyable

O-a highly unique and complex beer that is done about as well as I could imagine. Really exceptional. The apple brandy barrel does overpower the bourbon barrel but who doesn't love apple brandy?! Not as much smoke as expected but that's nitpicking. This is exactly what I want in a barrel aged strong ale.

Apr 13, 2016
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HomerSwim from Virginia

4.09/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I'm not sure what's so special about this beer. Matt? Do you know how many people I know in this world named Matt? I mean, Matheus, now there's a beer. This one is aptly named as it seems pretty common to me.

Apr 08, 2016
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Fireman_RK from North Carolina

4.57/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottle poured into a teku.

L: Dark brown and caramel hues with an exceedingly thin sandy head and minimal retention
S: Scotch, dark fruits, tobacco, and hints of leather-bound books
T: Oddly complex and varied taste profile that ranges from granny smith apples to mocha coffee to toasted walnuts and butterscotch
F: Thick and full mouthfeel with minimal carbonation
O: This was an exceptional strong ale with an interesting flavor profile with incredible complexity. Honestly this is a phenomenal beer to pour, kickback and then ruminate while reflecting on life - excellent sipper here.

Apr 08, 2016
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Dactrius from Wisconsin

4.49/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottle at the brewery. Delicious with tons of awesome dark fruit flavors and just a bit of apple. Extremely drinkable, and carbed which helps matters significantly. Just a bit of smoke which is pretty much the perfect amount in this case. My liver and wallet are very thankful I don't live close to HotD.

Mar 03, 2016
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Beersnake1 from California

4.35/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from fridge temp. Pours a murky brown. Nose is smoky malts, dark fruit (cherries, raspberries), and barrel. Taste follows the nose. Huge smoke presence on the taste. Very unexpected based on nose. Smoke dominates throughout. Get a coffee, vanilla, and bitter aftertaste. However, I taste smoke! Mouthfeel is good - I would characterize it as medium bodied.

Jan 07, 2016
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Hootie159 from Massachusetts

4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Deep caramel brown with no head. Maintains an oily film on top. Deep smell. Bourbon oak, tobacco, stone fruit. A very intense apple. Bourbon flambé. Some smokey fig. Candi sugar sweet. Smooth and tart. Some resiny stick. Just a great sipping beer.

Dec 12, 2015
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Axic10 from New Jersey

4.7/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Long time want, thanks Barrythebear! 2010 Vintage (bottle) poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a flat-cola looking, dark brown/almost black with no head or noticeable carbonation at all.

Smell: Boozy apple, slight hint of smokiness, dark fruits, very malty aroma along with some leather and tobacco.

Taste: Not nearly as boozy as the nose would indicate. Hints of apple brandy, figs, sweet malts, caramel, and a nice smokey/peaty taste.

Feel: Very smooth, full body. The lack of carbonation actually helps this imo.

Overall: I've been wanting to try this beer for almost 5 years now and thankful I was able to thanks to a great friend. This is up there in my opinion with Adam from the Wood as my two favorites from HotD and I wish I had more than the one bottle of each that I've had. This is one of the best in the style of "American Strong Ale" that I've had in 10+ years of drinking craft beer.

Aug 24, 2015
Matt from Hair Of The Dog Brewing Company / Brewery And Tasting Room
Beer rating: 99 out of 100 with 916 ratings