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

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853 Ratings
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BEER INFO

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

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
Ratings:
853
Reviews:
243
Avg:
4.42
pDev:
11.31%
 
 
Wants:
1,442
Gots:
144
For Trade:
11
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 853 |  Reviews: 243
Photo of scottiethebody
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of mdillon86
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of zeledonia
4.69/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This has been one of my top wants for some time. My name's Matt, and I love barrel-aged barleywine-ish beers. So I chose to use this one to celebrate my birthday. 2010 vintage. Enjoyed 3 August 2012, reviewed from notes.

Pours a murky slightly-reddish dark brown. Thin layer of yellowish head. Not much lacing, but tons of bubbles sticking to the inside of the glass. Not winning on appearance, though.

I smell it, and I immediately know it's going to be good. Has a little bit of apple, but mostly it's that rich sweet bourbon barrel aroma. All the positive character of the barrel, without the alcohol bite. Dark fruits (plums and prunes), shaded with lighter pulpy fruit (apple).

Taste is heavy on the toffee. Rich mash of whiskey, some smoke, brown sugar accents. Rich, sweet, and oh so indescribably tasty. Reminds me a lot of a barrel-aged English barleywine, with the sweetness and barrel flavors. At times it's like drinking candy. Alcohol is very well masked - I could have believed this was around 7% ABV, not 11.5%.

Mouthfeel is heavy, chewy, and so sticky that I can still feel it on my lips well after finishing the glass. Carbonation is relatively low, but that's to be expected. Finish is long-lasting, with all those lovely flavors persisting and making me wish I had more.

Among the best beers I've had. Really really tasty stuff. If I could make a fruit-whiskey jolly rancher, this is what it would taste like. It pleases me greatly that my namesake beer is so damn good.

 1,494 characters

Photo of WorldWideStout
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of chrisrose30
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of kevanb
4.57/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Chris for bringing this over! 2010, labeled Matt.

Pours a murky dark brown color, super opaque, no head, no lacing. The beer looks thick and syrupy in the glass, very inviting, but looks to be a sipper. The aroma is intriguing, bourbon, lots of smokey malt, tart apples, chocolate and some malty sweetness. The flavors are great, complex and hearty. Bourbon, smokiness, leather, tobacco and tart apples with other dark fruits and malty graininess with just a hint of astringent alcohol. The body is super thick and syrupy, almost no carbonation, but just enough to prop this beer up.

Verdict: Definitely a sipper, unique blend of flavors between the smokiness and fruitiness, bourbon and the malt. A great brew that everyone should get to try once.

 761 characters

Photo of Wowcoolman
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of brystmar
4.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottleworks X (2009) shared with friends at the brewpub. They all live in Portland but had never been to HotD before. How could I not right this wrong?

Leathery, boozy, tobacco-y, smokey malt aroma and flavors dance around my senses at every sip & whiff. Black licorice and molasses impart even more darkness as I swish in my mouth. Boozy warmth throughout, creating an intense, bold flavor profile. So creative, so complex. And not for the faint of heart :)

 459 characters

Photo of Chambic
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of pmarlowe
4.54/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

300th review. Tick!

2010 vintage. At the HotD pub. Tulip.

A: Pours a deep, reddish-tinted brown, largely opaque. No head or lacing but some miniscule bubbles peak up right after the pour.

S: Bourbon, oak, apple and dark fruit, some smoke. Great balance: nothing overpowers, and oak influence is restrained so that the base beer shows through.

T: Again, bourbon and oak, dark fruit and a dose of cocoa, apple peaks through towards the finish, which is slightly boozy. Slight sweetness but finishes mostly dry.

M: A syrupy, sticky full body with just a tinge of carbonation.

O: Delicious and wonderful balance between the elements. Definite sipper. Could use a tad more carbonation, which along with the booziness knocks this a few points, but delicious nonetheless.

 770 characters

Photo of leschkie
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of BobbysLiquors
5/5  rDev +13.1%

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.

 1,433 characters

Photo of Beerontwowheels
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of mdfb79
4.22/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 06/09/12 notes. Bottle is from November 2010, tried in the same tasting as Adam, Fed, and all their variations.

a - Pours a brown, almost black color, with less than one inch of tan head and low carbonation evident. Almost flat.

s - Smells of roasted malts, licorice, bourbon, sweet dark fruits, plums, figs, raisins, and oak. Very interesting, but very nice mix of bourbon and licorice.

t - Tastes of bourbon, licorice, roasted malts, bourbon, oak, and light smoke. Nice, though I like nose better.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, with a very smooth body.

o - Overall I liked this one a lot, though it is very different. I preferred Cherry AtfW, AftW, and FftW, but this is still a great beer I'd like to have again.

 732 characters

Photo of Auracom
4.76/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Yet another enormous thanks to Greg for this. 3 oz. poured into a FFF Teku on June 9th, 2012.

A - Pours quite flat ala cherry Adam FtW without the red hues, dark brown coloring is akin to regular Adam.

S - This is a bit mellow initially. Predominantly bourbon barrel in the nose, lesser dark fruit, a touch of brandy, candied sugar. After a strong swirl near room temp you can pull a bit of the sweet apple cider note and get a pretty unique mix.

T - Front to mid palate is old ale, Adam-like with roasted malt grains, light espresso, dark chocolate, and caramel. Mid to rear is rather amazing bourbon barrel toasted oak that transitions into an undeniable apple eu di vie barrel quality. The backend apple is more like a golden apple variant, it's more hearty and not really tart. The dark chocolate pushes through the full palate to a lingering bitter aftertaste.

M - Medium body, low carbonation almost identical to Adam FtW, great finish of brandy barrel and oak tannins.

D - Stellar stuff, one of the greatest back palate finishes I can remember. Great barrel combination that makes this memorable and worthwhile.

Edit - I was fortunate enough to revisit this in the form of the new 2013 release. I must applaud Allan, this is absolutely the same stellar brew and merits a slight increase in the ratings for consistency.

 1,333 characters

Photo of CNR76
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of nmann08
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of claaark13
4.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks jedwards. This is awesome. Poured cellar temp into a HF tulip.

A - Very dark brown, mahogany. Lacing slowly forms and lingers until the end.

S - Spices, roast, dark candied fruits, slight booze. Magic in a bottle.

T - Sweet dark malts, roast, candied dark fruits, slight heat yet mostly smooth, some dryness...almost like and apple. Some wood-like notes come through.

M - Medium body, heavier on the tongue.

O - Fantastic. Absolutely fantastic.

 456 characters

Photo of aasher
4.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Courtesy of claaark13, first bottling. Thanks Sean!

Matt pours a medium bodied, sticky dark dark molasses brown in color with no head, just light beige bubbles. The nose on this one is complex and smells like something I've had before but can't out my finger on. It features sweet malt, molasses, maple syrup, leather, tobacco, figs, oak, and light smoke. The flavors are almost identical. It's slightly dry so I get plenty of spicy tobacco and oak up front. It's followed by figs, plum, and raisin. It just has this earthiness about it. I really dig it. It drinks like an old ale and doesn't feature any alcohol at all. It drinks medium in body and coats your palate. It's really enjoyable. This beer is great so I hope it isn't too difficult to chase down.

 759 characters

Photo of DJButters
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of Mahlik
4.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a Deschutes snifter. 2010 vintage.

A- Pours a deep, dark brown with no head, even after an aggressive pour. Some stray bubbles float around the edge of the glass but that's it. Nothing really in terms of lacing.

S- Where do I begin? Notes of molasses, leather and tobacco, which I would expect since the base beer is Adam. The aroma begins to become a little sweet from the apple brandy, candied sugar and honey. But everything is balanced out by the big smoky backbone. I also detect notes of dark fruits and oak. I'm a little disappointed that I'm not picking up much of the bourbon.

T- Big smokiness hits the palate. It's like a smoked meat kind of smokiness. Leather, roasted malts, dark fruits, apple and just the slightest bit of vanilla. Again, it starts to become too sweet but the smokiness does not let it become so. Velvety chocolate coats the back of my throat and lingers just for a second or two. Still not much bourbon. Based on the reviews, the bourbon should be more than noticeable.

M- Full, rich body with only trace amounts of carbonation. Somewhat creamy. The beer coats my entire mouth but falls just short of being syrupy. You can feel the alcohol's presence but it's not overwhelming.

O- Really a standout beer. Complex, layered and blended nicely. I would have given it a higher rating if there was a little more carbonation. I was a little disappointed with the lack of bourbon I was able to pull out of this beer. Overall though, a definite must try.

 1,508 characters

Photo of siege06nd
4.59/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Massive appreciation to IrishColonial for cracking this little treat with me. Thanks, Eric!

A. Deep, dark tobacco juice brown. Very loose, faint ring of cream colored bubbles around the neck and that's about it. Some extremely light lacing, but decent oily legs.

S. My goodness, there's a lot going on here. Molasses, rotten fruit, bootstrap leather, tobacco, baking chocolate, honey, hints of smoke, vanilla, plum. One of the most complex bouquets I have experienced. Definitely in the Old Ale/Strong Ale vein, with lots of overripe fruit and malt notes. This is excellent.

T. Brown sugar, molasses, some earthy hop notes, chocolate, vanilla, caramel, tobacco, leather. Follows the nose almost exactly. Has a very nutty flavor overall, with thick, cloying sweetness and a coffee-tobacco finish. I'm not sure I've ever had anything quite like it. It's extreme in the sense that there is so much going on here, but everytime I feel like this is about to go off a cliff, it surprises me by reeling it back in and finding a nice balance. It's decadent, lighly hoppy, extremely malty, and very sweet. The finish is almost like a good cigar. Wow.

M. Full bodied, sticky sweet, and very lightly carbonated. Suits the style.

O. A fascinating beer and one-of-a-kind experience. It's quite likely I'll never quite find a beer like it. The number of flavors this thing presents is incredible, and it strikes a surprisingly impressive balance between all of them. Hop, malt, booze all get their turn here, and all add up to a very impressive concoction. Definitely over-the-top sticky and cloying, so beware of that, but the sheer breadth of diversity in the flavor profile in this is awesome. Not a perfect beer, but extremely daring and the results speak for themselves. Great job, HotD!

 1,784 characters

Photo of imperialking
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a very deep dark brown color with a minimal head that doesn't leave any lace. Pours more like a wine or spirit than beer.

S - Hints of tobacco and old leather with sweet dark fruit, rich plum, and raisin. very deep and complex, loads of richness all over.

T - Some bourbon, dark fruits, getting a lot of raisins, caramel brown sugar. Some apple in the finish.

M - Medium light body with moderate carbonation. This is surprisingly light but still very, very good.

O - Glad I had the opportunity to try this rarity. This one lived up to the hype. Really great beer and another good one from Hair of the Dog. I was worried it would be past its prime but it's still drinking great. Hope they release this again.

 722 characters

Matt from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
4.42 out of 5 based on 853 ratings.
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