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

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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
Reviews:
238
Ratings:
826
Avg:
4.42
pDev:
11.09%
 
 
Wants:
1,442
Gots:
138
For Trade:
11
User Reviews
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Reviews: 238 | Ratings: 826
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 Dan3279
4.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a special one for me. I have to thank my buddy Aaron for hooking me up with this bottle. I am enjoying this bottle on my son Matt's first birthday. I started looking for this bottle in October and Aaron came through big time. I poured the 12oz bottle into my DFH snifter to find a nice dark, deep, brown body. I had no head and no carbonation.

The aroma was complex, the dried fruits really stood out on this one, also with some bourbon, vanilla, caramel, and plums. A great smelling beer.

The taste was as complex as the nose, and was just exceptional. The great thing about this beer is the balance. With so much going on one flavor doesn't dominate the rest, you can really taste the bourbon, dried fruits, caramel, vanilla, etc.

This was a smooth, smooth beer to drink. The carbonation was extremely light. This one is defiantly one to take on slowly and enjoy sip by sip.

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Photo of portia99
3.16/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle (2010 release) poured into a Brooklyn snifter.

A - Bottle opens with a very mild pop...pours into the glass a rather dark brown color with traces of amber when held to the light. Looks to be nearly still in the glass...not a trace of head forms...appears on the thick and syrupy side.

S - Quite sweet on the nose, syrupy and buttery toffee, caramel and molasses, marshmallows...big shot of straight booze, sweet vanilla, dark fruits, brandy.

T - Yep, super sweet almost coating the lips in various sugars - honey, toffee, caramel, simple syrup. Smokey malt creeps in to the sweetness giving a little bit of balance to this. Lightly hoppy bittered but doesn't really stand up to the sugars in here. There is a mild touch of alcohol warmth that doesn't match the intensity found in the aroma. For 11.5% it is hidden quite well. The sweetness is unstoppable...this really is a bit much for me. I've had some unfermented worts that weren't this sweet.

M - Pretty much completely still. Thinner than I would expect, but manages to be about medium in body. Mt teeth hurt from the intense sugars here. Smokey aspects round out the finish behind all of the big malty sweet flavors, but really come far from what I'd call balance.

O - Well, I know I'm really supposed to like this beer a lot, but it just doesn't work for me. This is as slow a sipper as there can be. This would work much better in a small, small serving. It is fairly complex with a host of sugary sweet flavors to it, but it is just too overpowering for its own good. I'm getting thru the bottle but it is slow going. I would not call this one of my favorite American Strong Ales.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.62/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2010 bottle, consumed in Jan. '12, brought to share with Matt Capone at Capone's, Norristown, PA.

Poured from the bottle into a few taster glasses. Color was the darkest of browns, maroon around the edges, opaque, no head to speak of, although light swirling produced a tiny bit of unexpected lacing. Nice aroma, indicative of the complexity that I'd soon be tasting: dark fruits and lots of them, booze, wood, esters, thick dark malts. Lots of sumptuous dark fruit in the taste--raisins, prunes, figs--no disguising the booze, smooth chocolate (lingered into the aftertaste), with hints of smoke and herbal hops. All things considered, the mouthfeel was amazingly smooth and velvety; obviously you want to let this one sit on the palate and get the full gambit of flavors from it. Very nice, and very savorable. I have a couple extra bottles of this that I'm going to let age for a while. Should be interesting to see how they taste in a few years, but they're obviously ready for consumption now.

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Photo of hansgruber
4/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into New Belgium globe

Small bit of foam with a small collar. 
Very dark body with a slight bit of deep dark red showing around the edges. A wee bit of lacing. 

Smells of apples, oak barrel, chocolate and a touch of smoke. 

Chocolate first and foremost with some smoke and oak barrel. Apple isn't too noticeable on palate like it was in the nose. 
Very little bitterness. Real smooth. No sign at all of the 11.5%. 

Slick mouthfeel. Could use a touch more carbonation. Full bodied. Zero burn from alcohol. 

Flavors are a bit muted so I suspect this is a bit past it's prime. Would love to get a bottle from the newer batch to compare. 

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Photo of Jeffo
4.51/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of boatshoes a while back. Thanks again for the trade man!

From a bottle into a snifter.
Vintage: 2010

APPEARANCE: Pours a small, medium looking, light tan head with good retention. Bistre brown in color with medium carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a wisp and solid ring, both of which remain for the whole ride but leave no lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Big bourbon nose off the pour. Bourbon, oak, vanilla and some smoked meat in there as well. Notes of roasted malts, coffee and chocolate notes, but the bourbon and smoked malts are more prominent. Complex stuff.

TASTE: Bourbon up front, with oak and vanilla notes, as well as some roasted and smoky notes from the base beer. Some bitter chocolate, coffee, and some smoked meat accompany the barrel at the swallow, with touches of sweet apple coming through at the finish. Bold and lingering aftertaste of barrel flavors, bitter chocolate and hints of smoked meat. This is phenomenal. Very complex, tasty, and the barrel adds to the brew as opposed to dominating it. Just awesome.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Creamy enough on the palate, goes down fine and finishes somewhat mouth-coating. Some heat lingers as well. Solid.

OVERALL: This is a great of example of barrel aging done right! The base beer is complex and interesting, and the barrel aging is done just long enough to add complexity to the base beer instead of dominating it. Phenomenally complex and enjoyable; I hope to run into it again. Along with Adam and Fred, this one is another stellar brew from Hair of the Dog. A limited release definitely worth tracking down. Thanks again for the trade boatshoes. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.39/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle thanks to starrdogg, that's Matt for this Matt!

The beer pours at dark brown hue with very little head or lacing evidence. Really no lacing at all on the glass even with a swirl, appears more like a spirit than anything else.

The aroma is huge, it has lots of bourbon and brandy notes but also a roasted character like a stout also with some chocolate and a touch of dark fruit and alcohol ethanol sweetness. This reminds a lot of parabola in the nose, it has a bacon like tinged roast stout with bourbon feel to it. Wow it's huge and hopefully is a prelude to a great taste to come.

The taste also has plenty of prune and smoke in the taste, lots of candied dark fruit and then a little touch of spirit as well. Surprisingly, it's not hot and feels smooth though pretty complex over the palate. Really it seems like maybe they had aged this in a single malt barrel with all the peat notes in the beer, it has a nice earthiness to it too though I guess it makes sense with the smoked malts. Some caramel definitely comes through as well.

Overall this beer and parabola really remind me of each other. Both great, lots of smoky notes and some kings of spirits but not too much. Nice stuff.

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

Huge thanks to ithinkimasofa for sending this one out to me. 2010 vintage.

Pours a cloudy dark brown with a minimal white head. Smell is a fantastic mix of bourbon, brandy and chocolate with hints of alcohol and dark fruits. Taste follows the smell - the brandy and bourbon come together perfectly and combines with a bit of roasted malt and a bit of smoke. It's sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with minimal carbonation. Overall, this is really a great beer that doesn't really taste like anything else out there. Probably my favorite HOTD beer thus far.

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

12oz single, bottleworks.

2010 vintage.

appearance: served in an oversized snifter, pretty lifeless pour - some light bubbling but no retention. Well, its as-advertised at least.

smell: heavy aroma - leather, tobacco, tart apple, oak, brandy, cherry

taste: decadent and rich - apple brandy, oak, rich chocolate covered cherry, tart apple, leather, tobacco, caramel, smoke. A truly remarkable strong ale - not too many in this league.

mouthfeel: rich and full bodied, sparse carbonation

overall: exceptional

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Photo of tjkinate
4.36/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this brew with my buddy Jimmy2282. Thanks again buddy.

A: Well, not really a looker. Am extremely thin head formed, but dissipated almost immediately atop this reddish brown brew. Yup, that about covers it.

S: Loads of dark fruit mix beautifully with the oak and bourbon notes from the aging. Malty backbone presents itself and is accompanied with a warm boozy scent. My mouth is watering.

T: Very similar to the smell although I was able to detect more caramel and toffee along with those dark fruits. Bourbon flavors with vanilla are present, but by no mean overwhelm the other flavors.

M: Mild carbonation in the medium/heavy brew, slight burning as the brew passes down your throat. Becomes more prominent as the beer warms.

O: One fantastic brew that I wish came in a bigger bottle. Hint, Hint!

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Photo of draheim
4.35/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz (2010) bottle into a snifter. Pours completely flat, deep cola brown. Not a single bubble; completely still. For that reason alone, I can't give it more than a 2.5 for appearance.

Aroma is rum-soaked tobacco, leather (I believe the first time I've ever used this descriptor), dark fruit, and vanilla.

Taste is even more impressive than the nose. Toffee, vanilla, pipe tobacco, oak. Complex caramel and booze; smoky, rich.

Mouthfeel is smooth, velvety, coating. Lack of carbonation is sincerely disappointing, though, and I have to dock points both on appearance and mouthfeel for it.

Overall a mixed bag. Aroma and taste are really complex and surprising, but the beer's flatness leaves me wishing for so much more. Next time I'll do a side/side between Matt and Adam, the similarities are pretty obvious.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.34/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

After several failed attempts at landing this beer I finally found someone that would throw me one. Thanks. Shared with others, this beer is still.

At the time of this review, this is the #1 beer on the "Top Beers - American Strong Ale" list on beeradvocate.com

Served with Adam, Adam from the Wood, Cherry Adam from the Wood, Fred, Bourbon Fred, Doggie Claws '05.

Beer is completely flat, brown, sweet aroma, dark, legs on the glass which is a Stone IRS glass for those keeping score.

Aroma is malt, bourbon, apples, sweet, oak.

Beer is medium in body, really sweet, strong, very dry, a little too dry for me, but the more I drink the more I like it. Strong, sweet, nice liquor backbone, leading up to a bitterness-less finish that leave the mouth dry. I would have liked a less dry finish but ultimately this was good.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.47/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by drabmuh. Thanks Matt.

Served with Adam, Adam from the Wood, Cherry Adam from the Wood, Fred, Bourbon Fred, Doggie Claws '05.

The beer appears nearly still and a dark brown color. The aroma is nice, with a lot of booze, pepper, spice, fruit, barrels. Smooth on the palate. Low carbonation with less booze in the flavor than was present in the aroma. Complex and delicious, this one is a slow sipper. Great blend of bourbon and fruit flavors, with light spice. Overall, a terrific beer. Glad to have finally tried it. It is my name, after all.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.35/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into snifter. 2010 edition. Thanks a ton for opening this one, Mike.

A: Pours a woody dark brown with a thin white collar of a head.
S: Rich notes of bourbon, warm alcohol, raisins and other dark fruits. The nose on this isn’t super potent but what is there smells wonderful.
T: Crazy smooth flavors of raisins, dark fruits, smoke, vanilla, bourbon and oak. I get some tobacco in the finish, and some lighter sweeter apples or berry-like fruits in the aftertaste.
M: This is one creamy and smooth beer. The carbonation is low and soft, and the body is rich and full.
O: A wonderful beer that is very smooth and a pleasure to drink. I wish I had a whole bottle to spoil myself with. Thanks for sharing, Mike.

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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 AgentZero
4.32/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Nate for sharing this.

A - Brown colored beer, looks a bit like a cola. Not a ton of head on this one, beige colored, left some stick on the side of the glass.

S - Nice oak and dark fruit. Bit of caramel, toffee, vanilla. Really just a tone of nice stuff going on with some lighter fruits as well.

T - Really nice beer. Some bourbon, wood, caramel, toffee, dark fruit, sweetness, vanilla. Very complex, and defined enough you can pick everything out. Like what happened with this.

M - Pretty full bodied with soft carbonation.

O - Like this beer a lot, would love to drink it regularly when I'm in the mood for a strong ale that's been put in bourbon. Well done.

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Photo of sendsilk
3.88/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle graciously brought down from Michigan from Scott while vacationing here in Florida.

Looks good, pretty much appears similar to Adam. Very nice scent emanating from this beer. Bourbon and vanilla notes definitely come into play on the nose.

Taste is extremely good. A bit of bourbon taste pops from the cherry/vanilla/chocolate old ale flavor.

O- Glad to have tried this and would gladly have another. Thanks so much Scott!

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Photo of projectflam86
4.26/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to youradhere for throwing this in as an extra in our trade. You rock dude!

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. 2010 release.

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- I can tell just from the aroma that this is going to be a sipper. Bourbon is very prominent in the nose along with caramel malt and alcohol. Dark fruits, leather, tobacco, and oak round out the nose. Hoping it tastes as good as it smells...

T- The bourbon barrels definitely lead the way with some vanilla, oak, and brandied apples. As it warms the smoked malts become noticeable along with Belgian candy sugar, dark chocolate, red grapes, and raisins. The alcohol isn't exactly hidden, but I wouldn't have guessed it being 11.5% either.

M- Full bodied with very low carbonation. Thick and creamy with an almost syrupy feel that coats the mouth.

O- Just a touch more carbonation and I can't imagine it getting any better. Very glad I got a chance to try this one. Thanks Jim!

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

big thanks to ericstl6 for bringing this

pours a dark murky brown with a bit of light head.

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

very similar to the nose. vibrant and deep. dark sweet fruit, old tobacco, leather, and barrel aging notes. did not know this was barrel aged until now, but it makes perfect sense. given the flavors and aromas.

smooth as can be. mild carbonation.

this was delicious, wish i had some more.

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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 DarthKostrizer
4.34/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look: Pours a nice slightly darker shade of brown with about a 1/8 head that does not stick around very long

Smell: The smell of the beer is by far the winner. There are several layers to the nose that create a great amount of depth. Upfront is a nice note of bourbon, oak, and vanilla. And finishes of with a chocolate covered apple character very nice.

Taste: The taste starts out very similar to the nose with very light touches of bourbon and oak but for me the beer has more chocolate than anything else very rich dark chocolate character and finishes off nicely with just a touch of apple

Mouthfeel: Medium body with low carbonation

Overall: Very good beer. Very solid and highly recommended. I am becoming more and more impressed with HotD

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Photo of brew3crew
4.72/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage year

A-brown body with no head whatsoever

S-sweet mixture of bourbon and brandy

T-nice. Can really taste the barrels. Distinct bourbon and brandy that does a dance on my tounge. A tango if you will.

M- medium body and smooth. So smooth

O- very, very good. I must have!

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Photo of ColdPoncho
4.51/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Chris for this
2010

A - medium brOwn with a small foam

S - chocolate and dark fruits and apple, leather and smoked meats. Beautiful nose

T - great complex flavor comPrising smoked meats, dark fruits and aPples and various barrels. Real tasty

M - smooth and thick. A nice thing.

O - a really great and complex but excellently balanced beer. Staying on my wants

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.65/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Huge thanks to Andy for sharing this one. He' just a stand up guy! Poured into a tulip. Pours completely flat looking. No head, not hiss as the bottle is popped. Nothing. Sits dark brown in the glass.

Rich and deliciou in the aroma with aroma of mollasses, licorice, dark cherries and hints of chocoloate. A big rich malty profile here that smells great. Rich on the pallet with caramel and mollasses with hints of dark fruit and kind of a soy sace finish. Pretty tasty.

The body is full but it's flat. We really need some carbonation to pull this together. Overall this taste great and smells great. It just needs some carbonation. This is my fourth HotD beer and the second that has been flat. That simply dissapoints.

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Photo of andrewinski1
3.9/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. No fizz when opening this one. Pours completely flat. The color is amber-brown.

The aroma is full of fruity grape-skin with a touch of leather and chocolate. There are subtle notes of vanilla.

The taste starts out with a ton of leather and smoke, finishing with fruity grape. This has just enough sweetness in the finish.

This is medium bodied with zero carbonation.

I like this a lot. The lacking carbonation might be very off putting to many, I don't seem to mind it here.

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Matt from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
4.42 out of 5 based on 826 ratings.
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