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 djbreezy
4.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a tulip at Hair of the Dog in Portland, OR. BA user squaremile was kind enough to purchase a bottle and share it with me on my first visit to the brewery and tasting room.

appearance - dark and oily, not much head or lacing

smell - smoke, tobacco, apple, brandy

taste - hugely complex but carefully crafted, smooth notes of smoke, tobacco, apple, brandy, sugar and malts individually punch the senses

mouthfeel - thick and smooth, light carbonation (just right)

drinkability - what an amazing beer to try, complex, unimaginable, creative, one of the more memorable beers i've had

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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.

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

I still rate overall as drinkability, so bear that in mind.

A - Super dark cola, tan head stays for some time, some cling lace. Looks viscous and inviting.

S - WOW. A perfect blend of warm bread, booze, wood, cooked fruit and malt. I might cry.

T - All that and more. I am sobbing now.

M - Ok, almost perfect as well, but a little hot at the end. Hard to be that perfect :)

D - This is DRINKABILITY and not OVERALL. Overall I would have made it a 4.5, but as far as sessionability goes, way over the top and one is all I can handle.

This is now one of my ATF!

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

355ml bottle 11,5% Abv.
Served lightly chilled in an over sized wine glass.
Bottleworks X edition (2009)

Thanks to Lurchingbeast for this this one.

Appearance: Matt pours out a very dark brown, with a back light revealing a beautiful deep red along the edges. A rough pour yields a thin off-white head that lasts reasonably well and a swirl coats the glass in heavy alcohol legs.

Smell: Mmmmm, another delicious smelling beer from HotD and potentially the most complex to date. Big dark fruit notes (stewed plums, red grapes, raisins and fig jam) dominate the nose, with molasses, dark brown sugar and liquorice also well noted. Other notes include: Earthy tobacco, dark rum and a little campfire smoke. As the beer warms the apple eau de vie becomes apparent and the smokiness and fig character increase.

Taste: Interestingly there is a distinct bourbon character in the flavour, but the apple eau de vie from the nose is absent. Other notes include: Dark fruits (fig in particular), dark treacle, molasses, brown sugar, a touch of liquorice, a little chocolate, oak and an earthy quality. The finish displays a distinct smokey note and is quite dry.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and lightly sticky with a low (read perfect) level of super smooth carbonation.

Overall: Another winner from HotD - I have yet to have anything other than world class beers from this brewery! I will most certainly be getting some more bottles of Matt when a fresh batch is released.

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Photo of rabbott2
4.68/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 vintage drank in a snifter 4/12/2016

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of Lochnessmonster
4.68/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

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

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Photo of nickd717
4.67/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle via trade from adamharbaugh on BA - thanks for this awesome beer! Shared at a tasting with some BAs and my girlfriend, who is becoming quite the beer enthusiast herself.

A - Dark brown with reddish hues and a small off-white head.

S - Caramel, dark fruits, bourbon, wood, smoke, and even a hint of tartness.

T - Malt-heavy with caramel, toffee, vanilla, prune, fig, black cherry, bourbon, roast/smoke, chocolate, apple, and some mildly tart barrel notes. Incredibly complex and tasty.

M - Medium-full and smooth with long-lasting flavor and some alcohol warmth.

D - Well, this is obviously meant to be a sipper, but drinkability is very high considering that because it's so damn good.

Overall, this is a phenomenal beer. Hope I get a chance to try it again.

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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 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 Wasatch
4.67/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to msubulldog25 for this brew.

My 1900th Review

Poured into my Westy chalice a thick black color, some carbonation, really no head, but there is some oil slicks left behind. The nose is malty, with lots of bourbon/whiskey notes, some chocolate as well. The taste is malty, sweet, lots of bourbon/whiskey notes, and a nice touch of chocolate, a slight tartness/sour note. Full body, the second I opened the bottle I got a good whiff of the bourbon/whiskey, ABV is there, but not to up front. Very drinkable, this one is definitely a sipper, does go down smoothly. Thanks Brian!

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Photo of mothman
4.67/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Original Bottleworks X Bottle

Huge thanks for Josh (alleykatking) for sharing this long time want with me at DLD. Review from voice recorder.

Poured into Duck Rabbit snifter.

Pours very little head. What is there is a light tan. Color is a deep robust mahogany brown with a ruby hue to it. Very nice looking beer.

Aroma: Rich and sweet. Some booze off the top with brandy showing, but hotd makes a person enjoy it since it isn't so hot. Lots of dark dried fruits here. Plums, raisins, and black cherries present. A decent amount of oak showing well. Has some sweet malts that bring a caramel flavor to the table. I am really enjoying this one.

Taste: In the taste I get some chocolate that I didn't pick up as much in the nose. The wood and brandy flavors show predominately but well done. Again, lots of dark dried fruits here. A lot more the plums showing for me. Sweet and malty with caramel. Finally, as it warms I get some tobacco flavors that add yet another layer to this beer.

Mouthfeel: Very warming and smooth. I enjoy how HotD makes beers of this style that the abv shows, but in a good way. Medium to full bodied with a lower amount of carbonation.

Overall, this was a definite treat to have. Lots of great flavors here and they all worked well with each other. The barrels that were used were awesome, but really didn't detect very much of the apple flavors. Thanks Josh for sharing this one! It was very drinkable!

Update: 2013 bottle notes 4.45 score

Oak, molasses, smokey, apples, chocolate, vanilla, toffee, caramel. An old ale at it's finest.

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Photo of jamescain
4.67/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a sniffer, thanks to Dajtai007 for bring this one too. I believe it was about 2 years old.

Appearance: Pours a clear deep mahogany-dark brown with a thin tan head that fades into a small ring round the side of the glass.

Aroma: Just a touch of apples, most of the apple aroma has faded by now sadly, bourbon and brandy, with roasted grain and a smokey characteristic.

Taste: Wonderfully complex! Brandy, bourbon, oak, vanilla, smokey, dark fruit, raisins, a touch of booze, and caramel.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth with medium body and low carbonation.

Overall: I could easily drink a few of these, but my liver probably would be upset. Incredibly complex, a real treat!

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Photo of TulipSnifter
4.67/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottleworks X

Appearance: This vintage is dark brown. There are larger bubbles around the rim. Bubbles dissipate. Looks pretty heavy.
Smell: The smell is sweet but not overpowering. There is a little bit of a bourbon smell but there is no alcohol burn.
Taste: A little smoke, some bourbon, and quite a bit of sweet caramel. Very smooth.
Mouthfeel: Heavy body, lightly carbonated, but very smooth.
Drinkability: Very nice and easy to drink.

2010 Matt

Appearance: Dark brown with a ring of tiny bubbles that stay intact.
Smell: Very vibrant. I smell some apple and a little more heat than the Bottleworks vintage, not bad though. I guess the alcohol smell has tamed with the age of the older vintage.
Taste: Absolutely wonderful. Apple, sweet with a little heat, and the perfect amount of smoke. There is a little bite but nothing time won't take care of.
Mouthfeel: Carbonated! Lighter, crisper, and very fun to drink. It seems to have a little more bite because it's still young but some aging will probably take care of that if you want it a little smoother.
Drinkability: Great! It doesn't feel so heavy right now at this stage. The lighter, thinner feel makes it easier to drink but you will probably be able to get more nuances once you let it settle for a while. Both are still wonderful. Matt is wonderful!

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Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
4.66/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2008 vintage opened in 2015

Appearance – Pours a very dark brownish black color, with almost no head, except a light ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell – Bourbon, molasses, smoke, and apple.

Taste – A nice sweet bourbon flavor, with molasses and vanilla.

Mouthfeel – The alcohol was not hidden at all, so the 11.5%abv felt about right.

Drinkability – Overall, this was a really good beer.  Perhaps a little flat.

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Photo of s1ckboy
4.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 Bottle. About a year of age on it.

A - Extremely dark, a bit of red around the edges. Small tan head with tight bubbles.

S - Bourbon, figs, raisins, other dark fruit, caramel. Very sweet smelling.

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

M - Thicker side of medium. Slightly sticky.

An amazing beer. Much better than I thought it would be.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.64/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Always a special occasion when opening any Hair Of The Dog beer, especially when it's one brewed for a special occasion--this time the 10th anniversary of Seattle beer store Bottleworks. This is from the B'works website: "When in doubt, always remember our Mission Statement: It's not about drinking to get drunk; it's about drinking fine, imported beers to get drunk!" I don't know if that's good beer advocacy or not, but it sounds good to me.

Pours a super-dark brown, bordering on black, with zero head. I imagine this is due to the aging and high alcohol content. Just a few bubbles cling to the glass here and there. Knowing this brewery, I'm going to assume this doesn't taste as unremarkable as it looks.

Wood, mint and tobacco roar up from the liquid into the nose. Something fruity arrives, as does a smack of anise, lending another exotic layer to an already interesting and enticing aroma. Just a slight hint of alcohol warmth too, although very much secondary to the prime aromas.

One single sip and this is right up there fighting for the #1 spot with a couple other HOTD favorites. Where to begin on the flavor impressions...a grapey/vinous flavor wraps its considerable presence around chocolate, wood, smoke, sherry, various tart fruits and black currant. Clings to the mouth nicely, and finishes with an amalgam of all the detected flavors. Smooth, rich, full of flavor, vibrant yet utterly well-balanced.

Because the flavor is enormous, it's probably good this isn't the thickest, chewiest beer on the planet. Its slickness and glide work well in delivering the flavors right up front and also keeping it incredibly drinkable. Slightly sticky but not at all syrupy--a rare beer of this size and flavor stature that doesn't seem at all filling or insanely rich.

Matt is an absolute mindblower, especially if you're into big American strong ales. ***Thanks to my main HOTD hookup msubulldog25 for looking out for me yet again. Cheers, Brian!***

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.64/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Been wanting to crack this bottle for a long time.
Pours a very dark brown in color. A very vigorous pour gives some bubbling and a slight reverse cascading head as well. The vigorous pour releases an absolutely wonderful bouquet of a nose.
Smell is malty. Plenty of oak, brandy, dark fruit and heaven in the nose.
Taste is more of the same. Plenty of barrel aged goodness. Lots of brandy, oak, some slight vanilla and charred flavors as well. There's a bit of fruit coming through as well.
I was worried about the lack of carbonation that appeared on the pour, but it's perfect for this beer. It's there and it's just enough. Super viscosity and thickness that coats the side of the glass. Very full and smooth in the mouthfeel as well. I could drink this everyday. Must seek out more bottles of this, it's that good.
If you have the chance, it's worth the effort of tracking this one down.

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Photo of boMD
4.64/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

To start, YIKES! This beer is just so, oh so good. I have had the 2009 vintage three times. Unfortunately I had missed it on tap during Zwickelmania of 2009. But I had it the first time just a couple months after the initial bottle release. Again at the 16th anniversary dock sale, and just recently a third time.

After about a year and a half, the carbonation has subtly taking affect, and the brandy barrel aged qualities have created a nice dominance.

A near black pour with a thin khaki head. Smelled of booze and smoked grains. Soft, low bodied palate. Smokey and robust with a red meat character. Dark fruits and big cherry and caramel apple notes. Low bitterness but with noticeable alcohol flavors similar to port wine. Finished spicy with a smoked liqueur flavor.

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Photo of brentk56
4.64/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a clear dark brown color without much of a head; not much lacing, either

Smell: Caramel with dark fruit galore - figs, dates and prunes

Taste: All of the dark fruit from the aroma arrives up front, with a leafy bitterness developing by mid-palate; the bitterness increases after the swallow, but there is plenty of dark fruit flavor to match its intensity; tobacco flavors appear in the finish, as well

Mouthfeel: Full body with low carbonation

Drinkability: Really interesting flavor profile; very creative and certainly an exceptional beer; just wish there was a bit more carbonation

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Photo of sisuspeed
4.64/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to glazeman and jamdugan for the bottles!

Poured into a Portsmouth tulip glass. Very excited to try this one. Body is a dark, murky, red-hued brown with a few patches of thin foam that float across the top. Still leaves some nice lacing on the glass.

Apple, caramel, sweet bourbon and vanilla on the nose. Oaky and chocolaty. A touch of smoke, leather and a little bit of booze. This is exceptional. An amazing aroma! Complex an decadent.

Chocolate, fudge, sweet bourbon booze and oaky vanilla on the tongue. Green apple and red grapes with just a touch of smokiness. Delicious.

Mouthfeel is rich, smooth and creamy. Perfect carbonation. Alcohol is warming, but not overdone. Body is thick without being too heavy. Perfect.

Drinkability is very good. Definitely a big beer, but I could sip on this all night. I'm amazed at how well it is already drinking. Not sure how long I'll be able to keep my other bottle in the cellar. A perfect beer for a cold winter's night. HotD has created a masterpiece. If you like stong ales, old ales, barleywines etc., this beer is a must.

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Photo of photomike
4.64/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big ups to Vorlagen for trading me this one.

Pours a very deep but clear brown with no head whatsoever. Very small patch of bubbles. Nice legs. Note that this was poured much colder than it should have been.

Despite the temperature, the room filled with the scent of boozy apple brandy as soon as the cap was popped. As it warmed, scents of vanilla, oak, butter, brown sugar and tobacco came out. Wonderful stuff.

Flavor is complex and amazingly tasty. Lots of apple and vanilla flavors. Slightly buttery and woody with some tobacco and wet leaf flavors. All kinds of character from the barrels is present, with bourbon taking the back seat to the apple eau de vie. Why isn't more stuff aged in apple brandy/eau de vie barrels?? Very smooth with a nice heat to it. I get the feeling that this is going to peak in the next 3-6 months or so. Incredibly tasty.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Slick and oily without being overly full-bodied with light effervescent carbonation. Viscous but not chewy.

I never wanted this beer to end. Astounding stuff. One of my all time favorites.

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

OK, I finally decided to crack open my last bottle of this now that it is nearing 2 years of age. I reviewed this over a year ago (original review text and update below), and I felt that it was a beer that was on the verge of greatness but didn't quite get there because of a watery flatness. Upon pouring my latest bottle, I was still greeted with no head and it appeared that not much had changed. However, once it hit my palate the SLIGHTEST bit of carbonation was present, and boy did it make a world of difference. This beer is now exactly what I thought it could be. A world class barrel treatment on an already world class beer. I don't think there is much room for improvement now either, as the alcohol heat is warming but not distracting and the flavors mesh extremely well. If you are still holding onto a bottle, drink it now and be in for a treat.

Original review text from August 2009:

Can't believe I got this as an extra....thanks Derek!

Pours near black in color, I gave it a pretty hard pour and didn't really even manage to get the slightest of heads, although a collar of bubbles did rise eventually.

Apples are the first thing that comes out in the smell, with a wave of oak/bourbon rushing in behind it. Massive, boozy nose on this one, but luckily no rubbing alcohol heat to go with it. The slightest hint of fudge and caramel in the background.

Very odd and unique flavor here, a product of the unique barrel aging used to make it I'm sure. Complex as hell....with chocolate, apple skin, bourbon, oak, vanilla, and alcohol heat being the most recognizable (not in that order though...this one is pretty hot). I think this one would benefit from a bit more carbonation, it is amazing but doesn't quite mesh together enough to get a 5.

Mouthfeel is fairly flat and medium bodied. More carbonation could make this one of the best beers I've ever had.

At this high of alcohol content and having this much booziness, drinkability is fairly low in terms of volume of beer...but this is just so complex and challenging that I can't put the glass down and I am seeing it disappear before my eyes.

Update 8/31: I have not stopped thinking about this beer since I drank it. Originally, I submitted a 4.2 A- rating (changed the drinkability to a 5 on this update), but I want to stress that the ONLY reason this didn't get an A+ was the lack of carbonation. The flatness played a factor in every characteristic of the beer....but what I drank unquestionably had the potential to be one of the best beers ever to grace my lips. I now have a couple more bottles that I will crack down the line....and I am holding out hope that one of them has even a smidgen of carbonation so I can experience the true beauty of this beer.

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

thanks to beavers for splitting this one.

thin off-white head with some collections of big, solid bubbles lay on top of a dark brown body. head turns to a marbled paper look after a few minutes.
["oh! i had a good bubble pop!"]

smell immediately reminds me of the coffee roast / chocolate / barrel-ness of kbs. the coffee component is sweet. vanilla, lightly smoky, lots of thin-skinned fruits picked out here--cherries, apples, grapes. there are aspects of both artificial and natural cherry flavors.

taste is super smoky, super vinous. cherry tartness. flavors of both fermented and fresh grapes. sweet, vanilla, woody. the sweetness hangs on for dear life on the tongue and builds up til the last drop. quite evident but there is too much battling the sweetness for it to be cloying.

mouthfeel is super smooth, slightly acidic and drying. pleasant.


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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 vkv822
4.62/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into snifter.
2010 vintage.

Pours a dark brown almost black, with a thin toffee color head that quickly dissipates to leave a very thin ring of bubbles around the glass.

The aroma is bourbon upfront with apple and dark fruit, and a faint tobacco.

The bourbon is a bit more blended with dark fruit and apple notes. There is subtle toffee and caramel, though a leathery tobacco profile keeps it from becoming too sweet. It also has some pleasant chocolate notes towards the finish.

Has smooth medium body with fairly low, but very appropriate carbonation. The body could be a bit more thick, though it still fits quite well.

What to say about this beer? It has reminded me why I love Hair of the Dog so much. Just a very complex and well done beer that I wish I had a lot more of.

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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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