Hair Of The Dog Brewing Company / Brewery And Tasting Room

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Flanders Red Ale
Ranked #97
Ranked #25,789
3.8 | pDev: 15%
Hair Of The Dog Brewing Company / Brewery And Tasting Room
Oregon, United States
Very Good
Notes: Michael is a Flanders Red, made in memory of Michael Jackson. The Beer was Brewed in January of 2007, and aged in American oak and Sherry barrels since then. It is just over 6% alcohol, made with Organic Pilsner, Vienna and Munich malts and fermented with a variety of yeast and bacteria.

Released November 2009 & Fall 2012.
Reviews: 99 | Ratings: 267 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by kojevergas:
Photo of kojevergas
1.89/5  rDev -50.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with stylish label art and unbranded pry-off cap acquired at Sunset Beer Co in Silverlake and served into a flared stem-snifter/tulip hybrid glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. It was expensive as hell; I think somewhere in the $15-20 range. Reviewed as a Flanders Red because it identifies as such. "Barrel aged & bottle conditioned." 2012 vintage. 6.2% ABV confirmed.

Served cold - straight from me fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours no head whatsoever; all we get is a tiny beige floater ring that recedes within 15 seconds. Pathetic. Weak looking. Zero lacing.

Body colour is a dull murky caramel-brown. Dark, nontransparent, and only quasitranslucent towards the bottom of the glass. Not much to look at overall, but I'm optimistic. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Nice oak and red wine (sherry when I look for it). Some mild sourness; lactobacillus is indicated by the clean clinical feel of it - it's certainly not the spontaneous wild character of something like lambic yeast and there's no funkiness. Some tartness. Maybe some green apple fruit esters. Malt is generic; this is dominated by the yeast. But the sourness and tartness are still disappointing for a sour/flanders red. The oak is the highlight here. Some tannins. Cherry. No hop character or alcohol is detectable. A clean pleasant aroma of mild strength.

T: Strangely, there's some oak derived vanilla here, which doesn't fit in at all - and the overdone sweetness clashes with the light sour and tart notes. And light they are; it needs much more than that. Quite unevocative - even reticent. Green apple, licorice, cherry, raisin. Lacto yeast, sure, and some acetic character. Medicinal from the late second act through the finish; ugh. Even the oak isn't particularly enjoyable. Boy did I waste a lot of money on this one; this is one of the worst flavour profiles for a flanders red I've experienced in the last year or two. Vinegary. Malts are generic and add nothing of interest. Not gestalt - or even cohesive. This is an imbalanced mess with no subtlety whatsoever, nor any well-executed complexity. Poorly built for the style. Very disappointing.

Mf: All over the place. Texture coarsens and dries towards the finish, but is smoother and wetter up front. Thickness is a trainwreck, with a syrupy medicinal character throughout. Texture comes off artificial and doesn't feel good on the palate. Poor presence. Sticky. Undercarbonated; it might even approach watery. Not soft at all, but scratchy and also mushy like a wilted raisin. Strangely acidic for a beer which has such restrained sourness. Doesn't suit the style at all, nor does it complement the flavour profile well.

Dr: I got taken when I bought this; Hair of the Dog disappoints yet again. This is the worst value beer I've ever purchased; little quality for the buck. Just downright bad stuff. Even the mere 6.2% ABV is noticeable. Hard to drink. Definitely wouldn't touch this stuff again - even if it was free. I'm shocked at how poorly executed this is. Might well be the worst Flanders Red I've ever had the displeasure of drinking. Avoid.

Low D-

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Beersnake1
4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from fridge temp into a Hair of the Dog glass. No sound when cracking the cap - not a surprise given the brewery. Almost no head. Pours a gorgeous dark reddish/brown. The nose is incredible. Sour/tart cherries is dominant. Some funk, and a bit of leather is mixed in. Also picking up peaches, red grape skin, and wood. This is just a beer that I could sniff for an hour before taking a sip. The taste is not 100% what I was expecting from the nose, but equally awesome. Smooth, with a good amount of raisin, cherries, wood chips, leather, tree sap, and maybe a slight hint of tobacco. The complete lack of carbonation actually fits really nicely with the flavors. The aftertaste is slight bitter, but nice and fruity. The mouthfeel is slightly dry, but a really nice refreshing flavor coats the mouth. Overall, this is one of the more unique beers that I have tried, which isn't surprising since this is from HotD. Definitely an awesome experience.

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Photo of cultclassic89
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Bitterbill
3.23/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle.

A small hiss when I popped the cap, it pours a very hazy dark reddish brown with a very fine layer of foam that shrinks quickly to an island in the middle and a ring around the glass. Ha, that little bit of foam is sure sticking around so I'm kind of impressed.

Lots of sourness greets my nosebuds with grapes leading the way along with some dark cherries. Now there's an oaky aroma that brings some notes of vanilla and a very light hint or 2 of some funk. An interesting and good nose.

The taste is weird. I don't know of another way to put it.

I taste the grape tartness and a very sherry like flavour, a medium amount of "funkiness", light malt sweetness, and then...a strange spicy, like in hot, taste. It isn't overly present, thank goodness, but it is something I'm tasting that doesn't work for me at all.

Fairly light bodied with very light carbonation and it finishes tart but not really very tart, more like tart and then it turns very bitter.

Drinkability? This drinks much stronger than I thought would be the case for a 6.2%abv brew and darn it, the flavours just don't work for me. This isn't a brew that I'd seek out again but it is worth a go if you have the chance.

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Photo of atrocity
2/5  rDev -47.4%

Photo of uturn
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of dleiner
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of ellswrth
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of kamikazeokami
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of John_M
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My meager contribution to the tasting at Dyan's place the other night.

The beer pours a reddish, amber brown color with OK head retention and lacing. The nose is pretty interesiting, with considerable sour cherry and funk. It's not over done, and there's a hint of sweetness to keep the sour funk in check, but this beer is definitely on the sour side. Flavors replicate the nose pretty closely, though there's a bit more of a vinegar sour component then I was expecting from the nose. There's also a hint of bitterness and fruit skin in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and the finish is fairly long. Drinkability is pretty good, though the amount of sour wears me out just a bit. Alcohol is well disguised, but the sour and funk would always keep me from drinking more then just a little bit.

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Photo of CSO
2.75/5  rDev -27.6%

Photo of Seantronz3030
5/5  rDev +31.6%

Photo of M_chav
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of jh1982
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of rhynosorus
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Another bottle split courtesy of Unclejedi. This guy always floors me.
Pours a very murky, reddish brown in color. Actually looks like a little bit like rusty water. Not too appealing visually to be truthful with you.
Smell is tart and a bit floral. There's more of the tart character in the flavor. This is very smooth in regards to mouthfeel. There's a strong oak flavor in the finish of the beer. It's a decent beer, but I honestly had higher expectations for this beer.

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Photo of suckaj
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of dirtylou
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz singler, from brewery


I'll reiterate that this beer is horribly overpriced, though I was kind of forced into purchasing it via the anniversary pack. It's not particularly offensive, but its very weak for a flanders red. My bottle was actually nicely carbonated and had a lovely garnet body. Woody, muted tart cherry, vanilla, oak. Not something I would pony up for in the future.

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Photo of Pete_IV
3.72/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Metalmonk
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brewed exactly two years ago, released two months ago, made in tribute to a great man and, speaking of great men, thank you msubulldog25 for looking out for this big HOTD/Alan Sprints fan. I bought the hoodie!

So...it pours a small-ish head and turns to a wispy crown quickly. Color is a winner though--a rusty red with a slight haze and bubbles moving up the stuff at radically different speeds. Cool! (I am using a glass with one of those fancy "nucleation sites.)

Aroma is very much wood-centric, which has an olden vibe, something moldy and ancient...and is consequently a bit musky smelling. A thread of tobacco leaf in there, sour berries, and a funky yeast jab.

Weird flavor, but good-weird. More wood on the tongue, seeming a bit younger than in the nose; healthy leather smack; alcohol leans toward the medicinal, but at 6.2% isn't intrusive; tart fruitiness, but what kind of fruit I couldn't say (but my thoughts keep going back to "cherry, cherry, cherry"); musty, even musky; rhubarb; light snap of apple cider vinegar. This weird flavor is just wonderful if you're into such things, but it dies off too soon...partly due to its dryness, but maybe partly something else, like a general lack of staying power. The thin, almost limp body doesn't help, and the carbonation can't quite save it. Unsurprisingly, this beer makes the mouth pucker considerably.

Michael is texturally disappointing, but I like the originality and exotica elsewhere. HOTD have set the bar so high, not everything they do will be a mindblower. But I liked this just fine and was really, really thankful for the chance to try it. Thanks again, Brian.

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Photo of Skellbop
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of msubulldog25
3.96/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 12 oz. bottle, purchased at what may be HotD's final 'Dock Sale', November 2009. Poured on a gorgeous October 2010 afternoon, post-yardwork, to a portly Great Divide snifter.

A: Despite early reports of a flat/un-carbonated disappointment, the patient person is rewarded with a bounty of thick eggshell foam, almost two-fingers (and almost gushing forth from the bottle, just after uncapping, if not for a watchful/lucky eye).The pour is murky and chestnut/sienna, impenetrable and burdened by (even with a very careful pour) a fine layer of bottom-resting silt. Head is 2-fingers (at least) of Immaculate, creamy and mounded at its core. Excellent lace, a top-to-bottom dappling of seafoam stickiness.

S: Smells a touch oxidized, a papery/dry hopleaf mustiness. Nose-tickling tartness, holds both citric and lactic sourness; musty apple and grassy/tangy bread dough.

T: Apple vinegar and tart cherry/berry give plenty of fruitiness. A bit of a surprising booziness, sweet and woody. Grassy, dry hay and a little buttery pie crust. Love the balanced tang, balanced with a touch of brown sugared-sweetness.

M: Perhaps a little thin/light, but oh-so smooth and creamy. Drippy mouthfeel; the tartness wrings my salivary gland to near dryness. A brassy, mineral dryness follows.

D: Very easy to drink, a real pleasure after being a little immature last fall (if I recall correctly, and if I'm reading early reviews accurately). I only got to try this as a quick sip or two at the Dock Sale, but never ventured to try one of my cellared bottles before today. Glad I waited - a tasty Flanders Red now and one that might develop even further (toward deliciousness) over time. Well played, Mr. Sprints, well played...a fitting tribute to The Beer Hunter.

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Photo of Geoffq
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of sholland119
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to unclejedi for the opportunity to share two bottles. Had this one on 7/4/10.

A-One bottle was moderately carbonated. One bottle was dead flat. So we mixed the two. Pour is a clear amber with a tinge of rust. As expected from the carbonation issue, a few bubbles but no head at all.

S-Nicely oaky with a fair amount of sour notes. Sour cherry is predominant with some oak and some mustiness.

T-Tasty. Medium sour with lots of red fruit notes. Cherry with some raspberry as well, maybe a hint of green apple. I prefer this style to be a few shades closer to vinegar but still some good tartness.

M-Suffers from undercarbonation. Quite the opposite of the experience of others.

D-Quite pleasant to drink. I'd love to try another one.

We were very excited to get to try this one. It was still in the barrels when we did the HotD "tour" a couple of years back. QC issues are not unexpected with this brewery, much as we love the beers. So no surprise one was flat.


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Photo of wagenvolks
3.74/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to midaszero for the share on his recent visit to Austin.

Michael pours with a murky, iced tea hue that turns a rusted auburn color at the core. Big, soapy bubbles collect at the edge of the glass, while a wispy head is slow to form in the center. Very good nose, with lots of vanilla, wood, and sour apple esters coming through. Bits of caramel in the background add a hint of sweetness.

The flavor has a slightly funky tartness in the beginning that fades to a semi-oxidized finish of wet paper and mineral water. A pleasant cherry-like fruitiness hits in the middle, but the finish is just odd...borders on sweaty gym socks, but doesn't quite offend the palate to that extent. Mouthfeel is thin and juicy with a metallic-medicinal twang and low carbonation level. All in all, an interesting beer that I'm glad I got to try (thanks again Josh!), but not something I would seek out.

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Michael from Hair Of The Dog Brewing Company / Brewery And Tasting Room
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 267 ratings