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

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

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by msubulldog25 on 01-27-2009

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Reviews: 238 | Ratings: 834
Photo of MCorrea
5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Special thanks to Johndoe08 for cracking open a bottle of my namesake beer.

A- Pours a nice uniform dark brown with minimal carbonation.

S- Has a bit of smoke and liquor on the nose, but the biggest note I get is apples. Turns out this beer is aged in apple brandy barrels. Well, that explains that.

T- Deliciously complex. Complexly delicious. Barrel, apples, smoke, leather, chocolate, love, beauty, happiness.

M- Perfect. Just enough to allow all the flavor to present itself without being too thick or overbearing, not too thin to dilute any of the complex flavors rocking your world. Hooray!

O- I am proud that a beer that carries my name does not suck, and is in fact... actually pretty awesome. I'm glad I have more bottles to open on a special occasion. Fantastic beer.

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Photo of northwestmark
5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Congratulations Alan, this is a top 10 beer in the world type beer! So complex. There is obviously a little more carbonation than the Matt X and I think in two years this beer will be perfect.

Appearance- Dark, sticky, slight bubbles around the edges.

Smell- Smoke, Caramel Apples, Bourbon, Vanilla, Chocolate.

Taste- So complex. Taking small sips and allowing the beer to warm brings out more and more flavors with each sip. We noted vanilla, brown sugar, both barrel flavors were evident, but bourbon more so, a sweet syrupy chocolate body and smokiness lingers on your tongue in the finish.

Mouthfeel- A slight bit thinner than the Matt X, but I'm guessing that a couple years of age will change that. Carbonation is a little better than the Matt X and I think this will be perfectly carbonated within one to two years. The current carbonation is actually acceptable for a beer of this viscousity.

Drinkability- Slightly hot right now. But still smooth enough to enjoy immediately.

In closing- If you can get this beer grab some and cellar it for the next few years to come. This beer beats the pants off of other big beers I've tried like Dark Lord, Darkness, Firestone 13 etc.

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.97/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Odiedog52 for sending this along. Bottle from batch 2. Poured into a wine glass.

Deep brown, bordering on black with only a slight layer of head that forms and dissipates quickly. The swirl produces no legs, but does provide spotty foam and oily resin that coats the glass.

The taste and aroma are phenomenal. Raisins soaked in brandy, vanilla, toffee, caramel, dates, plums, and some vinous notes as well. There is a hint of peaty smoke in the finish. This is like a nice glass of sherry. I don't know that I have ever had a barrel aged beer that was this well-balanced and complex so shortly after it was bottled.

Easy to sip. Smooth, creamy, and full-bodied. There is just enough carbonation to let the full battery of flavors open up on the palate. Just about perfect in every way.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.97/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2010 bottle (2 years old), tried at the Tasting Room in Portland, OR.

Pours an oily black colour, with a noticeably deep hazy that prevents the insertion of light. Insanely deep and thick body forms the most static carbonation I've ever seen. The only drawback is the head, which is a tiny ring of white bubbles around the edge. To be honest, it's understandable for the age of the beer.

Nose is insane. Big booziness comes through strongly, but everything is coupled with complex intense characters. Oak and bourbon provides the basis of the intensity, but smoother vanilla sweetness provides a basis. And it's gorgeous. Characters of red wine and applewood incense pop through as well, layering flavours atop flavours. Unbelievable stuff.

Palate is no less incredible: front betrays pepper and leather notes, before sweet port and oaken vanilla notes come through. The mid-palate shows a smooth complexity: more vanilla, darker notes and a hint more spice, before the finish comes rounding out. Here we get notes of sweet pepper, capsicum, red wine, pepper, berries and dust. Feel is rich, sweet and boozy. Incredible.

The aftertaste lingers for so long, so rich, and complex. I'm sure I'll still be tasting this on my grave.

This is an absolutely insanely good beer. The level of complexity is mind-boggling. It's almost overwhelming. Smooth, delectable and incredibly complex—genuinely one of the best beers I've ever had.

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Photo of rye726
4.97/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a rich mahogany with a silky tan head. Nose has an exceptional malt profile along with caramel, toffee, dates, figs, plums, cherries, cocoa, oak, bourbon and sherry. Taste is equally complex. Simply superb body. I need to find more of this. Possibly better than Cherry Adam FTW.

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Photo of Elendinn
4.94/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in a bottle and poured into a tulip snifter at the Hair of the Dog tasting room.

A - virtually black; when held up to the light, the edges appear a murky brown, like an old, leather chair.  No head or lacing to speak of.

S - smoke, bourbon, and apple are dominant -- a wonderful, liquor-like aroma.  Very enticing.

T - malt, molasses, and bourbon whiskey up front, with an apple finish that makes for a very smooth and balanced flavor. The bourbon becomes more prominent as the glass progresses, but never too boozey.

M - very little carbonation -- creamy and smooth.  Full-bodied, but not quite syrupy.  Pretty much perfect for the style.

D - not meant to be consumed in excess, this beer is exactly as drinkable as it ought to be -- sip, appreciate, and lose yourself in this masterfully-crafted brew.

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Photo of hopsbreath
4.92/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I first met ramnuts when I ordered a case of Sculpin and posted a thread in the North West forum inquiring "who in Portland wanted a couple bottles at cost". He was actually the first local BA to respond to the thread and the only one to give me his address to deliver the bottles. I showed up at his house with a couple bottles in hand and expected $20. He in turn gave me the $20 and a bottle each of '09 Doggie Claws and Bottleworks X Matt. My reaction was something to the tune of "no...don't...stop...murder", and proceeded to take both bottles home with me. My original plan was to review Matt as my 100th. The weekend after I hit my 99th review Cascade had Bourbonic Plague and Vlad the Imp Aler on tap. There went the whole 100th review reserved for Matt and I then planned on using it for my 200th review. Today while I was waiting in the line outside HotD for the release of the new vintage of Matt with ramnuts and my wife TulipSnifter, I decided to crack the different vintages side by side and tap out some reviews. So all back story aside, thanks Frank. Misty and I loved the hell out of our little vertical tasting tonight. On to some reviews!

Bottleworks X

A: Deep plum-brown with a small ring of sandstone froth and little bit of wispy bubbles across the cap greet me upon the pour. No lacing but none is expected. 4.5/5

S: My wife and I just went to Clear Creek Distillery yesterday and sampled their Eau de Vie which was one of the barrels Matt was aged in. I believe because of this, I can better pull out the essence of the fruit spirit. Its a rather sweet yet clean apple heat that really shines in this beer. Classic Bourbon is easily quaffable as well. Rich tobacco and leather are all over this. Fantastic. 5/5

T: Milk chocolate, more of the sweet apple heat, a lovely touch of campfire toasted marshmallow, and a hint of vanilla are all the flavors that I can easily identify coming through the rich, complex layers. The finish is long and sexy.! This is THE definition of catching lightning in a bottle. Exquisite. 5/5

M: We have a touch of carbonation which is just enough to prickle up this super silky liqueur like drink. Residual sugars make this a bit of a sticky finisher but I do not mind in the slightest. 4.5/5

D: Simply mind blowing how easy this is to drink. I have to make a concerted effort not to drink this too fast. Its really hard not to simply drink right through my six ounces and not bother with a review. This is without a doubt my favorite HotD beer to come out of a bottle to date. Brilliant. 5/5


A: This has the look of a muddied french pressed coffee with cantaloupe highlights. Those highlights extend to the thicker, darker, and denser "glass ring" of foam (when compared to the BWX) that sits above the body. Very good looking although different from its older vintaged patriarch. 4/5

S: There exists more of the aggressive bourbon essence in this beer. The leather is still there but the Apple Eau de Vie is so much harder to pick out. Still very nice. 4.5/5

T: There's the sweet apple I was looking for! Along with the apple is the unmistakable heat from the bourbon barrel as well as the wood. Sweet chocolate and vanilla are almost cloyingly strong. Hopefully a little time will help sort out the flavors better similar to BWX because right now, they're not as distinct. Still quite good. 4/5

M: Moderate feel is not as heavy as expected. A surprising amount of carbonation livens this up on the palate. Again this is a slightly sticky beer...but again I'm not complaining! 4/5

D: What an insanely wonderful beer! I'm sitting on some more for a later date. If this turns into what the BWX vintage did, its an intoxicating treat to look forward too and watch progress! If you can get only one bottle of HotD beer, Matt is the one! Try it if you can. 5/5

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Photo of abuliarose
4.92/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter, revealing luscious ruby and chocolate brown body under a thin film, some lacing. Looks pretty good for a strong ale. Smells absolutely delicious with a strong bourbon, caramel and slight creamy chocolate presence. Some pecans, calvados and toasted coconut as well. Really nice smells that go very well together.

Tastes fruity, smoky and slightly toasted with a nice vanilla oak richness to the malt. Sweet up front with vanilla and cacao nib. Clean lingering finish of date molasses. Boy do I like the taste! Perfect as an after dinner sipper or something to enjoy by the fire after a romp in the snow. Nice warmth after a couple sips but the alcohol is not at all assaulting. Mouthfeel is smooth with just a kiss of dryness in the middle, medium bodied and not thin but not syrupy. Not really carbonated, drinks more like a sweet digestif.

Overall I really enjoy this one. Wish I had a whole bunch of them.

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Photo of Ohsaycanyoubeer
4.92/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle of the 2011 version of my namesake. Slight hint of apples on the aroma. Taste of smoke, oak, hides the alcohol remarkably well for 12.5%. This is delicious. Caramel, smoky, Apple, bourbon greatness. A sipper well worth the hype. Now if only I could find more of it...

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Photo of waltersrj
4.92/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

How is this beer not an A+ on here? That seems crazy to me.

Pours: Deep, dark brown with a slight red hue and a minimal tan head that quickly dissipates and leaves behind swirling tan legs.

Nose: Can you beat it? Tobacco, slight Apple Brandy (from the barrels), peat malt (smoke), slight cherry, chocolate, oak, leather, and dark fruits.

Taste: Same. A beautiful array of leather, chocolate, cherry, oak, vanilla, apples, and a lasting aftertaste of leather, smoke, tobacco, oak, and apple brandy.

Mouthfeel: Thick like Adam, not medicinal thick but enough to be appreciated as it coats the tongue.

Final thoughts: A beer to remember...expertly crafted by Alan Sprints. Better than Cherry Adam, I wish it was as readily available as Adam...I could drink it every day.

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Photo of anteater
4.92/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Matt 2013

12oz Tulip on tap at Hair of the Dog

A: Deep dark black with thin brown head

S: Bourbon, molasses, dark fruit and a slight hint of apple. Very rich.

T: You only need the smallest of sips to enjoy an absolute explosion of flavor from the beer. Huge bourbon, apple, sweet caramel and barrel backed by leather and smoke. It has that Hair of the Dog quality that most of their beers share, but Matt takes it to another level. One of, if not the best tasting beer I've ever had.

M: A crucial part to why I rate this beer so highly. This beer is very thick. It goes down incredibly smooth yet the carbonation gives it an interesting grittiness. Unbelievable.

O: This is a beer that I feel so incredibly fortunate to ever have to opportunity to drink. My highest rated beer thus far. It shares the amazing mellow, well balanced, alcohol hiding barrel aged qualities with the other heavy hitters such as BCBS but is far more flavorful, complex and unique in my opinion.

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Photo of treyrab
4.92/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Have had the privilege to drink this beer on multiple occasions. My first interaction with Matt was in 2009, when CoolJosh and I split a bottle of Bottleworks X Matt. I didn't appreciate that batch as much as I would my subsequent experiences. I next tried Matt (Batch 2) at Brouwer's in Seattle, and it was a life altering experience. I most recently tried Matt (Batch 2) thanks to Dan "NittanyBeerFan" while up visiting Penn State. That is the beer I am reviewing here.

A: Poured into the snifter a deep raisin mahogany. Imagine raisins and prunes blended to a liquid and poured (similar to prune juice I suppose) and that is what this beer looked like. Albeit it has some nice carbonation, but really it was on the softer side. Not much head to speak of, as it looked looked like a cloudy, rusty brandy after the head receded. Pretty much what I expected for this beer, especially after having various vintages and variations of Adam.

S: Mind-blowingly awesome. We poured at cellar temp, so the flavours immediately burst out of the glass. Rum-soaked raisins. Bourbon soaked prunes. Juicy dark fruits and figs. Vanilla/toffee/caramel/chocolate. Wood. The list is endless.

T: Just as good as the scent, the bourbon and brandy soaked dark fruits just explode through your taste buds. Sweetness from the bourbon, vanilla, and wood come into play next and balance out some bitter chocolate and minor hop presence. Just a cornucopia of flavours.

M: Creamy, thick, viscous. Light on the carbonation, but pretty much spot on for the style.

Overall, one of the top 10 best beer experiences I can remember.

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Photo of derftron
4.91/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had a 2010 bottle at the Brewery

poured into HOD tulip

smell - sweet boozy magic

color - amber/copper and almost no lacing as this beer was not very carbonated

mouthfeel - thick as can be. could still taste the beer 1/2 hour after I left. coats the tongue and throat

taste - holy cow. did not expect to enjoy it this much. I knew I would like it because 99% of the beer they make is fantastic, but this immediately vaulted into my top 5. maybe it was the 3 years of aging, but this was just a masterpiece of what a barrel aged strong ale can be. sweet but not too sweet. Boozy, but not over the top. almost tastes like some sort of sweet liqure blended with the malt and hops of a beer. just nothing like it. The Cherry Adam from the wood had similar qualities, but this beer did it without any added fruit. I now see why people were lined up to buy cases of the 2013 batch.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.87/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. 2010 Vintage. Got this awhile ago in a trade but again, cannot remember whom; thank you whoever you were!

(A)- Pours a thick near pitch black color. Produced a surprisingly good tan colored cap of froth that actually lingered for awhile.

(S)- Very deep and rich notes of mild booze soaked raisin/plum/prune. Bits of leather, applewood, cocoa, and maybe even a hint of licorice/smoke. Definitely not a heavy booze smell, but it is there. Extremely complex and inviting; my review most likely pales in comparison to everything going on in this.

(T)- Extremely similar to the smell if not exactly spot on. Some great bits of lightly smoked raisin and prune/plum. That applewood component from the smell definitely has carried over into the taste too, if not a tad more pronounced. Bits of leather, cocoa, and very mild licorice too. Very complex and rich, but also harmonious in its complex explosion of flavor with each sip. Just excellent. Again, my description fails in comparison to what is going on here.

(M)- A wonderfully mellow (though very much welcomed) carbonation level. I was afraid it would almost be non-existent, but the level is perfect for what is needed to fit this beer's profile. The balance is also just outstanding. Yes, the barrel aging is obvious, but absolutely expertly integrated into the overall profile of the beer instead of taking it over. At a relatively hefty 11.5%ABV, this honestly tastes and drinks like a 8%; incredibly smooth yet rich and decadent. Absolutely superb.

(D)- I am blown away by this beer. Expertly balanced without being overpowering while still remaining complex. Just expertly blended while still showcasing all its rich flavors. Its just that damn good!
It is still very much a sipper, but one that is quickly disappearing from my glass. Hair of the Dog has my attention already, but I think this is their best beer I have had so far. Easily my most favorite strong ale to date. Absolutely spectacular.

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Photo of gford217
4.87/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle courtesy of some very generous Pac NW traders. Poured into a snifter.

Pours dark mahogany out of the bottle and settles in almost completely black in the glass with hints of amber showing through the edges. An aggressive pour produces a small bubbly head that forms a solid ring and leaves good lacing.

The aroma takes some time to open up as it warms. It's generally sweet with the red apple peels being the dominant aroma initially but with some bourbon and vanilla as it warms. There is sweet caramel as well as hints of smoked malts and chocolate.

The taste is stunning. It's got so much going on and yet everything comes together in a perfectly balanced package. There is the initial sweetness of the apple brandy which gives way to the caramel malts of the backbone. The finish has a touch of sweetness but with a wonderful boozy, smoky finish that just clings to the palate.

The mouthfeel is near perfect. It's full bodied with minimal soft carbonation and just coats the palate completely. Absolutely decadent feel.

Well, when you take one of my favorite beers (Adam) and start playing around with it, you start to wonder if they should just not mess with a good thing. Well, in this case, the end product is a near-perfect beer that has a complexity that is unrivaled by almost anything else out there. World class.

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Photo of RedDiamond
4.87/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I'm glad I ordered Matt without asking how much it cost. Surely I enjoyed it more without knowing I was about to pay $18 for a single 12-oz. bottle.

But since Matt was brewed in honor of the two Matts who own Bottleworks and Brouwer's, it seemed appropriate to drink it at Brouwer's. And though I eventually endured some sticker shock, I have no regrets about drinking this beer. It's one of the best beers on the planet.

The smell alone is sublime, projecting notes of apple cured chewing tobacco, cherries, port wine and plum. The flavor blends notes of licorice, fig, vanilla, molasses, and woodsmoke while a distant glow of alcohol adds an ideal measure of heat. Just the thought of this exotic and seductive, motor oil-black ale has me drifting into a state of beer bliss. I can't imagine how high the gravity must have been to ferment out at 11.5% ABV while still retaining a plush body and considerable sweetness. But this is a rock solid beer that exceeds ordinary comparisons. It's pure magic.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.86/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to Beerzebub for the overwhelming generosity that he always shows me. 2010 bottle. The brew pours a near-still cola-brown hue; there is no head or bubbles but the liquid is viscous enough to leave slight legs upon the glass. The look is rustic and menacing. The nose is, on the contrary, the most absolutely inviting thing imaginable; the complexity is literally astounding. There is a plethora of sensory delights to behold within the flavor and aroma of Matt. Notes of charred brown sugar, toffee, raisin-dark fruit, cherries, hardwood smoke, tannic oak, buttery vanilla, booze, leather, and that familiar HotD twang - just to mention the most prominent associations - all make for a very familiar set of elements but they are combined here in an unusual and novel way. The feel is more lively than the look suggests, and is quite silky as well. Overall this is far and away the best HotD brew I've had (and that is saying something because I've had some great ones.) Lives up to any and all hype.

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Photo of ChrisPro
4.84/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle, Bottleworks X (2009) had at Brouwer's on 5/20/10.

Bottle pours super dark brown with very little head; a slight slick of oil floating on the surface. No head whatsoever.

Aroma was incredibley complex: Vanilla, slight smoke, cherry and dark grape, molasses and brandy.

Flavor was even better with a beautiful rich caramel molasses sweetness with some slightly tart fruit and a bitter smoky roasted finish.

Mouthfeel was a super thick oil with hardly any carbonation, but I prefer it this way. I could sip on this for hours.

Overall, this was an incredibly complex beer with so much going on. At the same time, it is a single cohesive brew that is the epitome of barrel aging and blending. This is easily one of the best beers I have ever had and is worth the hype. I will for sure have another the next time I'm in Seattle.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.84/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

What a fucking incredible beer. Alan%2C you're a genius%2C and John%2C thanks for splitting this.%0A%0AA%3A Dark reddish brown with a thin beige head that disappears before you can say Jack Robinson. It looks almost like a liqueur.%0A%0AS%3A Holy fuck. The combination of brown sugar%2C honey%2C smoke%2C apples%2C bourbon and vanilla just smells decadent. Incredibly rich with toffee. Alcohol and a little oak appear as it warms up. Despite being restrained%2C the apple eau de vie just adds so much! The mellow bourbon character is gorgeous. Rich%2C with a little milk chocolate%2C creamy in character. After a while%2C rum soaked fruits and fruit cake appear. Just incredible.%0A%0AT%3A Rather difficult to describe because it's so wonderfully integrated. Everything that I described on the nose is replicated%2C opening up with brown sugar and candied apples%2C moving onto a smooth bourbon and vanilla mid palate. Mildly smoky that adds a lot of complexity and depth%2C especially the way it interacts with the vanilla. Rich%2C rich RICH! Fruit cake%2C cognac and brandy cross the mind. Long lasting finish with a mild heat%2C along with flavors of apple eau de vie%2C vanilla and bourbon. The complexity is off the charts and the beer is so well done%2C you're not left admiring it for it's components%2C but how the whole is so much better than the sum of its parts%0A%0AM%3A Incredible. Rich%2C creamy and decadent with all the flavors integrating really well. Soft%2C moderately viscous%2C full and rich. A true treat.%0A%0AD%3A As rich and complex as this is%2C it is something I could drink an awful lot of. I could nurse a 12oz bottle over a few hours and not feel the need for anything else. An incredible beer.%0A%0ANotes%3A This is a cogent%2C evolved beer. I remember in my early days of being a BA%2C I'd get excited about big beers with big flavors%2C usually unbalanced. Now%2C when I find beers that are find the ability to be delicate while massive and nuanced while complex%2C rich and over the top%2C I but shed a tear of joy. An exceptional beer in every way.%0A%0A**Edit 12 Jan 2013**%0A%0AThanks to Brian and GT%2C I have a couple of bottles. This batch is incredible. After a little time left open to breathe%2C it comes alive%2C with smoke%2C bourbon%2C apple eau de vie%2C toffee%2C leather and a vague hoppiness. The smoke is a bready%2C wet grass smoke character%2C smoldering%2C if you will. The palate is on the sweeter side%2C but damn%2C is this perfect. As much as I love this out of the bottle%2C it's a whole another beast on tap. Exceptional. Original scores stand. %0A

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Photo of OldPenguinHunter
4.84/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this with a good friend on my patio before and while smoking a good Oliva Master Blends 3 cigar (not to name drop...yes, yes it was to name drop, boom). The beer let out very little gas when I popped the bottle. I have had this before at the brewery, and I remember it being somewhat flat, but I didn't remember it being this flat, oh well. Poured into large bowl snifters.

A: Brown/aged tawny red, very syrupy looking oily almost.
S: Smokey, fruity, oaky, hints of tobacco, leather, candied orange rind...super complex, I could keep going; should I? Ok, maybe I will...there is also a hint of nuttyness, hazelnuts?, sweet mead, roasted apples, a bit of tar, and a dash of awesome.
T: Same as above, but with more oomph.
M: Slightly hot, but with the cigar it cuts right through the smoke and suppliments it in a very nice way.
O: Worth every penny.

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Photo of MattyFiyah
4.83/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2013 Release. Enjoyed my namesake beer for my birthday thanks to a good friend.

A - A deep mahogany with red hues when the light hits. Slight brown head that thins out quickly. Not any noticeable lacing or legs.

S - Lots of rich and complex scents here. Heavy bourbon, molasses, smoke, maple, dark fruit, brown sugar.

T - Massive bourbon and smoke flavor. Then in comes smooth vanilla and rich, dark fruits. Rich chocolate tastes sweeps in as well. So rich and delicious.

M - Not much carbonation. Full body. Thick mouthfeel. Very rich and smooth.

O - So lucky I had a chance to enjoy this. Amazing beer that is exactly what I love in a beer. Rich and flavorful (vanilla, rich dark fruit, bourbon, brown sugar). Highlights the flavor of a bourbon-barrel aged beer without being harsh. One of my favorites so far on my journey of good beer.

Serving: Bottle

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Photo of cannabanaceae
4.82/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured bottle into snifter and the smell of darkness came to mind. Very dark black, some highlights when held to light. Frothy mini head.

Smell was boozy, bourbon, apple wood, licorice, burnt sugar. A delightful smell to say the least.

Mouth-fell was thick and creamy coating the entire mouth. Notes of oak, dark figs, a little hot alcohol, chocolate notes. I just smoked a chicken with apple wood and I am getting similar taste from this brew as the smoke on the meat. No joke.

Overall , WOW what a brew! It was easy for me to drink despite being young with a high ABV%. Had to pick up two more of these after having tried one. Its worth the price and the effort. With age it will be a masterpiece. Bravo.

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Photo of largadeer
4.82/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery.

Appearance: Dark brown in the glass, semi-hazy and nearly black, with two fingers of lasting tan head.

Smell: Incredible apple brandy aroma with smatterings of bourbon, smoke, tobacco, vanilla and toast. Complex and utterly intoxicating, this has to be one of the best smelling beers I've come across.

Taste & mouthfeel: Big juicy apple flavor with bourbony vanilla and caramel right beside it. Flavors of maple syrup, smoke, caramelized sugar and tobacco appear mid-palate. Fairly hot, but pleasantly so, with a rich, full body. Smoky-sweet finish. Remarkable complexity on display here, and I'm amazed at how harmonious it tastes given the unusual blend of apple eau de vie and bourbon barrels with such a smoky base beer. My new favorite Hair of the Dog beer.

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Photo of mcallister
4.82/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Amazing beer to say the least. Pours a very deep chestnut with some red bricking around the edges. Hard pour yeilded a small white head. A five otherwise. Opaque and endless.

Apple, oak, bourbon, red currants, date and caramel, smokey with other dried pitted fruit aromas. Amazingly complex and arousing.

One of the better beers I've every tried. What i really like is just the style with the barrel aging and the complexity and depth of the beer. The apple comes throgh with some berry type flavors a lingering smokiness and chewy caramel date nougat on the forever finish. Hints of milk chocolate, red currant, pitted fruits and a bit of toffee. Thick and creamy and oh so delicious.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.82/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a large creamy light brown head that takes a very long time to recede. When it finally recedes it leaves a generous amount of lacing on the glass.

Lots of apple brandy, smoke, and peat. There's a nice level of apple brandy character from the barrels. Belgian candied sugar is prominent, as well as tobacco and leather. I'm not a smoker, yet I feel like I should be holding a fine cigar.

The alcohol heat is prominent but really complements the complexities of Matt. Peat, smoke, apple brandy, and tobacco combine for a stellar sensory sensation. Subtle oak notes and chocolate round out the complex flavor, as well as sweet Belgian candied sugar. The booziness is more apparent in the finish, but not as prominent as in the bottled version. Notes of apple, smoke, chocolate, and peat linger on my palate for a very long time, as well as some sweetness.

Full bodied with a medium level of carbonation. The beer has a low level of carbonation.

Simply amazing. Undoubtedly my favorite Hair of the Dog beer.

Another bottled consumed on 11/6/2009 with dyan and largadeer and poured into a snifter:

The beer has shown a drastic increase in carbonation. It's at a perfect upper low level of carbonation and I couldn't ask for more from the style. The increased carbonation makes for an improved head and presentation. Booziness has died down to a perfect level. I can't imagine this beer getting better. It's wonderful right now.
Appearance +.5
Taste +.5
Mouthfeel +.5

Bottle consumed 6/30/2010

This has been aging at 55 degrees since the release and it continues to improve, displaying a beautiful balance of apple brandy, leather, smoke, chocolate, and tobacco. This is aging wonderfully.

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Matt from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
4.42 out of 5 based on 834 ratings.
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