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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
97
world-class
237 Reviews
THE BROS
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MattMatt
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
237
Ratings:
814
Avg:
4.42
pDev:
11.31%
 
 
Wants:
1,442
Gots:
139
For Trade:
11
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 237 | Ratings: 814
Photo of Brandywine
4.48/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2013 poured into a tulip.

Appearance: Deep murky brown. No head. Thin lacing. Super sticky alcohol legs.

Smell: Fresh green apples, brown sugar, bourbon, oak. There an indescribable and very rich smell to this beer.

Taste: Smoke, bourbon, oak, dark fruit and rich apple brandy. The very end of the tongue merges from rich sweet notes into a subtle dark chocolate bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Full.

Overall: The smoke and the apple brandy are the stars here and they play off each other extremely well. A very decadent and unique beer.

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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 thebigredone
4.49/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to a couple buddies, was able to try the 2010 and 2013 side by side.

2013:
Pours black with a quickly fading pale tan head. Wonderful flavors of dark fruit, smoked malt, and smooth bourbon. Everything blends together to make an extremely smooth, thick brew. Fantastic.

2010:
Similar pour, but the flavors are quite different. Strange umami and sweet flavors cover up the delicious bourbon and dark fruit. Not nearly as enjoyable.

2013 was the clear winner, thanks again to Chris and Jeff for putting this pair together.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.65/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle pour at Woodshop 8 held at The Hermosillo in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a murky orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is malt, smoke, and fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with slightly sour caramel and fruit flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of woody bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a very earthy and woody set of aromas and flavors.

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Photo of brother_kenneth
4.56/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage. Pours a dark brown, almost black, with hardly any head at all. Doesn't look very carbonated, but there are a few bubbles on the side of the glass. Sweet, bourbon, candy-like aromas. Some woody and apple notes are noticeable as well. Lots of complexity here. Smells absolutely delicious. First taste is insane. Feels thin and basically flat. Some heat is obvious, along with delicious bourbon and apple brandy barrel flavors. The finish is wood and smoke, but somehow in an incredible way for me. This beer is really throwing me for a loop, as it is unlike anything I've had before. But I am really enjoying it. This was my only bottle, but I will have to get more. This would age VERY well. Overall, Hair of the Dog has blown my mind yet again, this time with the most recent release of Matt. Can't wait to try Otto. Cheers!

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Photo of artoolemomo
4.4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Guess what- no head. But this is no surprise. I don't really care if this is very carbonated; I simply hope there's a little bit. I'm guessing the head would have been a light beige but I really don't know. The body is an opaque dark chocolate black. There were a couple spots of lacing but not anymore.

Nose- Very complex and quite compelling. Got lots of apple when I first opened this beer but now I'm getting a bunch of smoke, chocolate, tobacco, leather, and figs. All signs of a rich and distinguished strong ale. Molasses, slight bourbon, and honey with slight but beneficial heat. Lots of maple syrup. I'm guessing this was aged on eau du vie barrels. Cherries as well.

Taste- Lush chocolate opens up the flavor profile and moves into apple which is ousted by rich cherry, raisin, and brown sugar with bits of tobacco and leather. This tastes sort of what I imagine Westy 12 would if it lived up to many of the descriptions. Heavy bourbon that doesn't rely on clunky oak notes. Reminds me a lot of the first time I had Parabola. However, this beer lacks the smoothness and fullness of that beer. The only real negative is the mouthfeel. Berries show up as well. Tons of complexity but nothing that dominates or isolates itself. The most notes tend to cycle through and repeat themselves making it a different experience with each sip. Candied fruits. Lots of brown sugar, some maple syrup.

Mouthfeel- Between medium and heavy bodied but I wish it were fuller. Carbonation is pretty light to almost nonexistent. Not entirely bad though. Some grit.

Drinkability- Extremely easygoing but also complex and rich enough to comple paced sipping. This packs a lot of punch. Pricey enough that this might be a one time thing.

Overall- Definitely lives up to the hype. A little disappointed that I couldn't get bottles but still happy to be drinking this. Definitely worth 15 bucks, maybe even 20.

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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 Brabander
4.49/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I git this botlle from James, cavemanlawyer. We met at Westvleteren a week ago and did a super trade. Also big thanks to to Don, Digita...

Poured in my Struise glass the beer is not really inviting because of the lac of carbonation/head. Deep pitch dark fluid and a small ring of foam in the glass.

Supersmell, rich with dark chocolate, raisins and some bourbonlike smell.

Great and full taste wher the alcohol is noticable. Superbeer....

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Photo of joe1510
4.51/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12oz Bottle

My first sample of Matt comes courtesy of d0b, thanks Dave! Matt gurgles from the bottle like black coffee and looks no different when in the glass. A small, short lived beige head settles to a swirling a nice collar. Sticky sheet lacing gets left behind after each drink which is very impressive for such a big beer.

The nose is all kinds of deep and expressive. Molasses, apple brandy, bourbon barrel, and tendrils of dense smoke all float through the air. Richly caramelized sugar lays down a strong backbone. A thick roastiness and deep, dark chocolate make an appearance too. The aroma on this beer is so deep and complex my ramblings barely scratch the surface.

The flavor profile is also off the charts complex. All the complexities of the nose are present in the flavor but there's also a solid amount of roasty coffee bitterness and the smoke just coats my palate. The apple brandy aspect hits on the swallow and adds a crazy touch of sweetness. Black cherries hit on the backend too, damn, crazy. All I mentioned in the nose seems to really pop on the tongue. This beer reminds me a lot of Adam, which is one of my favorites, and actually improves upon it.

The mouthfeel is so velvety smooth it boggles my mind. The smokiness coats the tongue and the finish is never ending. The body is rich and heavy but in no way cloying and the carbonation is on the lighter side allowing this beast to work through on its own.

Matt is without a doubt a sipping beverage. There's a lot of huge flavor and it takes some time to pick out all the complexity. Take your time and sit down with this beer over an hour or so, you will be rewarded.

Hair of the Dog makes some great beer and this very well could be their best. It's so rich, fruity, smokey and delicious that I can't stop thinking about it. If you get any chance to give this beer a try, trade, steal, or cheat to get it. Thanks again, Dave!

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Photo of Smurf2055
4.6/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with no head. Very little carbonation.

Smell is pretty big bourbon and vanilla, some toffee . Some fruity notes like a barleywine.

Taste is very sweet, very complex, very little alcohol. Chocolate front, fruity middle, alcohol burn in the back, along with sugar, toffee, caramel and vanilla.

Amazingly drinkable for the abv.

Great, great beer

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Photo of warnerry
4.45/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle at HOTD

Pours deep brown with only a thin ring of beige head. Aroma has lots of caramel, brown sugar, cherries, green apple, vanilla, oak, some deep roast and some booze.

Taste is initially sweet and boozy, but the complexity eventually comes through. Lots of brown sugar, raisin and fig, cherries, tart apples, vanilla and oak. The bourbon presence is really complementary and doesn't dominate at all. A bit of noticeable alcohol, but relatively mild. A bit warming on the finish.

Very smooth mouthfeel, and somewhat sticky sweet. A little bit of bitterness on the finish prevents the sweetness from getting out of hand. A warm finish.

As far as big, sweeter boozy beers go, this is one of the best I've had. Very complex and enjoyable. As it warms, the apple really comes through.

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Photo of tectactoe
4.57/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Super-huge thanks to Jeff for opening this one; this has been a HUGE want of mine for a while now. 2010 vintage. Matt pours out of the bottle looking thick and viscous; a dark mix of brown and almost-black edges. Even a rough pour produces nearly no head, just a thin, tan ring that hugs the glass before vanishing forever, leaving the top of the brew bare.

I could smell Matt as soon as we cracked open the bottle. Once we finally poured it into our glasses, the aroma filled the room. You could smell it without even leaning in towards the beer. And warmth only aided in the robustness, drawing out even more flavors, more power, and more depth. It was absolutely incredible.

I'll try to do this beer justice by listing out some of the many things noted in the insanely complex aroma. Black cherries, figs, oak, vanilla, bourbon, tart apples, brown sugar, toffee, plums, tobacco, mild char and smoke, and some underlying sweetness throughout. Just amazing, seriously. Each successive whiff brings out new nuances you weren't getting before. One of the best things I've smelled in a while.

Like many Hair of the Dog brews, the taste contains a commanding alcohol warmth up front; just to let you know that it's not messing around here. Big, boozy apples up front with a compelling combo of boozy-warm and lightly-tart. The fruit character is actually pretty huge and contains more than just apple; cherry, grape, plum, and sugary dates also make an appearance.

The initial, mild tartness from the fruits quickly fades into the boozy abyss as the malts rumble in and unleash the sweetness. Toffee, caramel, brown sugar, heavy flavors of wood and dry oak, sherry, and Hair of the Dog's signature tobacco/leather finish. Make no mistake about it, this beer is HUGE. It's robust, commanding, and a slow sipper if there ever was one, even at "only" 11.5% ABV.

Matt's presence on my palate is also huge; thick, chewy, viscous, oily, and sticky, and you'll be tasting Matt long after you've swallowed. Left over oak, booze, and fading dark fruits will coat your mouth for days if you forget to brush. Just an incredible beer when all was said and done. I can't thank Jeff enough for cracking this one. If I ever had the chance, I'd buy as much of this as I could afford.

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Photo of blackie
4.67/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

bottle courtesy of my man lou into branded tulips at brewery taproom

a: served in a sweet branded tulip, the beer is a deep, murky plum-brown in appearance, only a wisp of head on the surface

s: a stunning condensed nose of complex fruits and liquor - plum and fig, apple jam, sweet woody bourbon, vanilla, brown sugars, integrated smoke, quick brushes of cocoa, sweet tobacco, intense

m: syrupy, full tongue-coating mouthfeel, carbonation light and delicate

t: as incredible as the nose would indicate - a rich stew of sticky dried fruits - plum, raisin, cherry, apple; brown sugars and a dusting of cocoa, vanilla and sweet, smooth bourbon, pipe tobacco, toffee

o: not many beverages out there can take this one in terms of complexity, worth seeking out and worth the cost

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Photo of MasterCraft
4.76/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2010 bottle, reviewed from notes

Pours black with ruby highlights and a very thin brown head

Smell is out of this world. Powerful notes of molasses, vanilla, soy, bourbon, brown sugar, faint smoke, cola, dark fruit, sweet liqueur.

Taste is right on par with the smell. More brown sugar, rum soaked raisins, licorice, bourbon, char, oak. Very sweet but still balanced. No alcohol evident.

Mouthfeel is sticky and viscous without being creamy, lower carb. Just where you'd want it for this beer.

Perhaps the most complex beer I've ever tasted, and absolutely one of the best.

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Photo of AlexFields
3.75/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Opened at TN whales tasting 3/16/2013. We had both the original Bottleworks 10 bottling (which was pretty obviously past its prime) and a bottling from November 2010 which was better. Ratings are from the latter, but I'm posting both reviews here.

11/2010 Matt

Dark raisiny brown, only light carbonation visible. 6/10

Smells of sweet and slightly smoky malt, hints of chocolate and caramel. 7/10

Taste is sweet sugar and vanilla up front, some light sweet chocolate, mild smokiness, decent amount of booze, very tasty. 8/10

Carbonation is pretty good, nice thick semi-syrupy body, solid mouthfeel for the style. 7.5/10

This is a really solid, fairly interesting strong ale, but a little disappointing given the generally high regard for this beer. Maybe I would think more highly of a fresh bottle. 7.5/10

7.8/10

Bottleworks 10 Matt

Looks basically same as 2010. 6/10

Smell is sugary sweet vanilla, caramel and raisins. 8.5/10

Taste is woody, sugary sweet, vanilla, a bit smoky, still fairly boozy actually. Tastes pretty old but still good. 7.5/10

Mouthfeel is pretty flat and feels oxidized. Not great. 5/10

Still pretty durn tasty, but clearly past its prime. Smells considerably better than the more recent bottle, but definitely not as good overall.

7.2/10

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Photo of Beerandboards
4.36/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2010 vintage

A - No head. None. Pours dark purple/black. Pretty much opaque. No lacing. I can't quite decide whether it looks terrible or strangely great. I'll hedge it towards great.

S - wow... Interesting. There is a lot of booze, the apple brandy barrel is there with lots of wood and apple sauce. There is some smokiness in the background. A bunch of stuff that I can't really describe.

T - most interesting and assertive beer I've ever tasted. Super aggressive flavor of oak, and the apple brandy. Almost peaty smoke element is there throughout and really hangs on in the aftertaste. There is some sweet molasses flavor on the edge. A sort of an indescribable overtone that I can best describe as the taste equivalent of the way an expensive dark cigar smells. It's not easy drinking, but its very good.

M - rich medium feel and low carb.

O - This definitely holds the spot as most complex and interesting beer I've had. Would want to drink it all the often, but would certainly have it again. HotD talks about making old styles of ales and this one exemplifies that. Matt really does taste like an antique beer. Amazing work of creating complexity and depth in a beer.

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Photo of standardcherry
4.73/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle of the 2010 vintage. Thanks for this one Andy!

A: This is a nice one. A black/slightly purple-ish body with a tiny light brown head.
S: Big sweetness. Maple syrup/brown sugar. Apple, vanilla, oaky tones and chocolate. A bit of roastiness and bourbon.
T: Wow. So much going on in here. Apple brandy flavors, caramel, vanilla, raisin. A tiny bit of soy sauce. Notes of oak and chocolate. Finishes with a savory/sweet smoked ham flavor. This is weird but so damn good. Tiny amount of boozy hotness in the finish, but overall the alcohol is extremely well hidden.
M: Full bodied with light carbonation. A tiny bit of burn.
O: This is one of my favorite beers. So complex, so much going on. Alan Sprints needs to make this one again soon.

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Photo of jegross2
4.67/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Reviewing Matt from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company out of Portland, Oregon.

Score: 97

2010 vintage bottle served in an Upland snifter glass and enjoyed on 05/10/13.

Appearance: Pours an ink black color with minimal light khaki head that settles to a ring-around-the-glass. Not much head off the pour at all, but the ring-around-the-glass lacing does not dissipate. Below average lacing, but good retention of what little lacing is left behind. 4.25/5

Smell: Molasses/syrup, tobacco and faint smoke. Decadent dark chocolate notes behind the syrup. Some dark fruit and a hint of jammy cherry. There's a similar aroma quality that I liken to the Cigar City Imperial Sweet Stout as well that I cannot quite describe. Vanilla, oak and a hint of soy sauce round out the nose. Incredible complex. 4.75/5

Taste: Syrup, fig, raisin, vanilla and charred chocolate all wildly hit the palate at first sip. There's a ton going on at once, and it's all well integrated. A subtle and complementary smokiness is present, akin to the smokiness present in Hair of the Dog's Adam; it is not at all a "forward" quality on the palate. Tobacco, brown sugar, plum spirit, bourbon and vanilla in the finish. As it warms up and layers, there's a cherry comes out in the finish too. There's a nice alcohol warmth, but this is not a boozy beer. Burnt brown sugar, licorice and tobacco linger in the aftertaste. There's a touch of soy too, but it works well with the flavor profile of the beer. The flavors here are big, bold and balanced; each sip layering in complexity and accentuating different qualities. 4.75/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, syrupy. Very low carbonation -- almost undercarbonated, but not quite. Slightly sweet overall. 4.25/5

Overall: This is one of the absolute best strong ales that I have ever enjoyed. It is a monster beer that is jam packed with bold, complex flavors. I love the mix of tobacco, smoke, syrup and dark fruit in this brew. I cannot wait for Hair of the Dog to re-release this one; I'll need a case!

Cost: $15 for a 12 oz bottle.

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Photo of mattsander
4.34/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2010 Vintage

A: Deepest ruby, dark brown in the center. Syrupy, big body, low/no carbonation, good clarity.

S: Rich dark fruity malts, baked apples, brown sugar and molasses, pervasive but delicate smokiness.

T: The smokiness perfectly balances considerable sweetness. Huge dark fruits, burnt dark sugar, smooth smokiness. A beautiful beer, with a slight phenolic acridity on the finish.

M: Syrupy, wet, decadent.

Unique and awesome beer, though not my favorite from HOTD.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to Adam and Chris for this one.
2010 Vintage poured in to tulip.

A - Poured dark black with a thin layer of light brown head that immediately receded to a ring around the glass.

S - A big sweetness up front with chocolate, vanilla, woody notes and roast. There are some lighter bourbon and vanilla notes present as well.

T - A massively bold palate that features cocoa, roast, smoke and toasted woodiness. There is a big overall sweetness that is nicely cut by a warming alcohol presence. Secondary flavours include dark fruit, molasses, apple and pear. As the beer warms up the dark fruit becomes more prominent, creating a chocolate covered cherry flavour.

M - Medium, almost full body. Some stickiness. Light carbonation.

O - This was an absolutely amazing beer and another home run from HOTD.

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Photo of Rutager
4.49/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle at the tasting room. $20

Appearance. Pours a very dark brown with a half finger of light khaki head.

Smell. Bourbon, caramel, vanilla and chocolate with just a bit of licorice.

Taste. Sweet and smokey dark malts, raisins and vanilla, sweet caramel and tannic wood.

Mouthfeel. Full body, maybe slightly less. Low+ carbonation and some nice boozy warmth.

Overall. A fantastic and very original beer. Haven't had aything like it before and would definitely like to have it again one day. Between this and the AftW I just had, I think these guys have redeemed themselves after my flat Doggie Claws ;-)

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes. Bottle from 2010.

A: Pours a hazy dark brown color with a small tan head on top that leaves minimal lacing. Not much to look at.

S: A rather different aroma from most beers I have had. Upfront there is some brandy, apples, and chocolate. Underneath is some roasted malt, brown sugar, caramel, and vanilla.

T: The taste followed the aroma rather closely, lots of brandy/bourbon flavor, some caramel, vanilla, more apple flavor. Also some nice oak and chocolate flavors.

M: Full bodied with low carbonation, slight hint of alcohol, but otherwise well hidden.

O: A beer i had been wanting to try for a very long time, glad I was finally able to do so. An amazing beer, which along with AftW live up to their reputation.

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Photo of iadler
4.41/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to olympuszymurgus for opening this at a recent tasting. '10 bottle.

A- Pours a murky brown with a thin off white head that leaving minimal lacing. Like most HotD brews, this isn't the prettiest girl at the ball.

S- Amazingly complex with notes of dark chocolate, camp fire, slightly unripened apples, roasted malt, peat, caramel, burnt sugar, bourbon and a hint of soy.

T- The taste follows the aroma with a great deal of complexity without any flavor being dominant. Plenty of earthiness with smoke, wood and peat followed by burnt sugar, apples, leather, roasted malt, bourbon, caramel, soy sauce, and some booze.

M- Light carbonation with a thick and full mouthfeel. Some heat at the finish.

O- One of the best I've had from HotD. An incredible beer to sip and savor.

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Photo of Sarlacc83
4.72/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle purchased long ago in 2010. Reviewed from notes, consumed 12-17. 2010 vintage.

A: Black like charred ash. A thin creme lacing and sticky, sticky legs.

N: Deep inhalations of smoke and apple brandy. Chocolate and leather drift in and out between the charred oak. There's deep vanilla here and caramel. Rich and inviting.

T: Smoke, candi sugar, and malt. Bourbon and oak notes overlap with the apple brandy depth. A second layer of chocolate and leather. This is absolutely superb.

M: A hefty body with a completely shocking lack of alcohol. This is carbonated, if barely. Lingers.

O: A complete tour de force. The 2010 is the superior vintage, by far, in my estimation, and this is drinking quite well at 2 years old. Glad I have more.

Edit: After having this one on tap for the 2013 vintage, I have come to the conclusion that this is my favorite beer right now and deserves a bump accordingly.

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Photo of cmadd
4.71/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The 2010 vintage pours with light carbonation into a murky deep coffee-brown body. There's very little head, but a pale ring of lacing. What is remarkable about this beer is how the elements of taste surge and fade like voices in counterpoint. Smells of sweet bourbon and light raisins greet the nose and they linger over dried apple and smoke. The taste comes and goes: a sharp dried apple sweetness, a slight alcoholic edge that pervades, a deeper sweetness of molasses and milk chocolate, smoke and charred oak, finishing on a quiet chocolate astringency. The body is medium to thick, the beer is sweet, not cloying, and in the delicate interplay of powerful flavours is one remarkable beer.

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Matt from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
97 out of 100 based on 237 ratings.
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