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Michael | 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: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by msubulldog25 on 10-17-2009

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Reviews: 97 | Ratings: 261
Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.24/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a medium amber with just a ring of head. Really, there is very little carbonation here.

S: Sour cherries, light acetic acid, plum, brown sugar, and caramel. This is very complex and nicely balanced.

T: Balanced sweetness and sourness. I get a nice brown sugar, plum, and prune sweetness along with a sour cherry, slightly acetic sourness. This beer is perfectly balanced and nicely complex.

M: Medium to thick mouthfeel with low carbonation.

O: The balance is key here - I cannot stand when this style is overly acetic or overly sweet. Rarely do I find one this well balanced. I'm very impressed - this is much better than past vintages I've had.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.71/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Big thanks to Aaron for this one. Served in a Hair of the Dog tulip. Nose is pretty nice with a good level of acidity plus some baking oak and a fruit component. There’s some cherry along with mild dark fruits. Flavor ha the acidity and fruit down, but there’s way too much barrel character, as the tannins are nearly overpowering. Light-medium body.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle opned on 11.25.12

2012 Version

A - Pours a medium brown with an orange tint. A few light tan bubbles, then gone.

S - Tart dark fruits, oranges, cherries and some oak.

T - Very woody and tart, some fruit, mostly cherry.

D - Low carbonation with a medium body. Woody finish.

O - Oaky and dark fruit. Light body and cherry-citrus.

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Photo of Sarlacc83
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle at the brewery. 2012 vintage.

A: orange tinted red. No lacing. Acceptable.

N: Tons of oak and cherries. Some vinegar and a biscuity note.

T: Dried cherries and loads of tannins. Very oaky. Lots of leather and earth. Very much like a pinot noir. Red wine grape.

M: Medium mouthfeel. Noticeable alcohol, but not distracting.

O: This spent awhile in the barrels and it shows. Nose and taste are very different, but harmonious.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.33/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from 8/24

Thanks to hannont for hooking this one up...shared with the local group in a HotD horizontal. poured into a HotD taster.
2009 vintage

a - pours a maroon orange with proportional creamy head that hung out. murkly. looks nice. the bottle was a bit of a gusher.

s - smells great. as soon as the bottle opened, i could smell the flandery goodness. upon closer inspection it was actually SUPER oaky. the oakiness is rather intense and is a bit odd. from a distance this one smelled great, but up close not as wonderful.

t - again, a bit odd. super funky. don't really love it. not awful, but not great. just funky and acidic. spontaneously fermented funk.

m - oaky on top of flandedrs. fizzy and carbonated.

o - overall interesting. glad to taste it but won't be seeking it out. the oak dominates bringing a big vanilla on the flanders. might be a better beer if not put in the barrel.

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Photo of claaark13
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 bottle sent courtesy of jedwards! Served at cellar temp in a Hill Farmstead tulip.

A - Reddish-orange pour with a thick white head. More frothy than creamy. Looks pretty good. Great retention and a thick lacing remains.

S - Sweet cherry juice, leather, cranberries, slightly tartness and vinegar. Really pleasant.

T - Leather comes and goes throughout. Cherries show up after the initial leather, subside, and then cranberries present themselves towards the finish. The light sweetness balances against the tart fruit. Oak shows in the finish. There is also a slight amount of vinegar coming through in the middle, but it is really subdued for the style.

M - Lighter body, but alright for the style.

O - A nice representation of the style. The fruit shows well with some decent tartness. The vinegar in the bottle I had wasn't dominating. It seems there is some bottle variation with this beer and I couldn't be happier to get a great one! Great US representation.

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Photo of hopsbreath
4.45/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sneak peak of the 2012 batch on-tap at HotD. A 12oz tulip full will run you $8.50 but it's worth it. I've previously tried the previous batch of Michael and did not care for it. When approaching Flanders Red's I ask myself if I enjoy it significantly more than a $10 750ml of Rodenbach Grand Cru. The answer was no for the '09 batch. This go around is a different story though.

Michael pours rusty/murky brown and was placed on the bar in front of me with a full half finger of butterscotch head, good lacing was left. Great intense nose reveals vinegar high on the acidity with cherry notes that are well developed and distinct. Tasting leads with the acidic vinegar but plays very closely with heavy bleu cheese funk. Very little residual sweetness left after the barrel aging. Appropriately carbonated which is no surprise on-tap; I'm really hoping this translates to the bottled batch. Probably the driest finish I've ever had on a Flanders Red.

The ’09 batch was a little muddled, but this one is both heavier on the funk and sour with brighter more intense cherry and vinegar to boot. A candidate for most improved beer of the year. I'll be buying a full allotment for sure.

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Photo of billab914
3.89/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage. As soon as I popped the cap it started gushing uncontrollably. Unfortunately I lost about half of the beer. Once it settled down a bit it had a brown/orange color to it with a thick, fluffy head. A little murky with some floaties.

The aroma is sour, funky and moderately acidic with some notes of sour cherries and musty fruit. There is a sweeter, almost sugary malt presence to it as well, helping cut through the tart funkiness. I thought it had a great aroma to it for the style, lots of depth and complexity to it.

The taste loses some of the funky, mustiness that I really liked in the aroma. I get a little more sweeter, sugary malts and tart fruits to it. The finish shows a decent amount of the sourness to it though. Notes of tart cherries and a little caramel malts stand out in it. Pretty good flavors, but lacking a little of the depth the aroma had.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style with carbonation being high. Overall it was a pretty solid sour beer. I really liked the funky, musty flavors in the aroma. The taste showed a little too much sweetness up front that seemed to overshadow some of the funky character. Very good overall though, I wish I didn't lose half of it upon opening.

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Photo of raveskdr
3.42/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big big thanks to Jon for this one. He is crazy generous with pulling out monster bottles.

A - Wispy head that dissipates very quickly. Being in the bottle 3 years (and being from hotd), no shocker there.

S - Great smell. Sour, vinegar, and dried fruits dominate.

T - Oh boy. Very, very vinegary. Just a really lackluster shot at making this style sour.

M - Feels fine in the mouth, but the vinegar taste makes it tough to drink too much of this one.

O - Nice to be able to try, but the people have spoken on this one. Even Michael (God rest his soul) would have thought this was average.

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Photo of starrdogg
3.45/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Jon for sharing this one. Review #100!

Beer pours a hazy reddish brown with a nice white head. Smell is nice, mix of vinegar, sour and acidic. Taste comes up way short, however. The flavor has an interesting flanders red type taste up front, but it finishes very bland. It is not very sour at all, has a little vinegar up front, but nothing to follow it up. Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with high carbonation. Overall this is a decent beer, but falls short of expectations.

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Photo of waltersrj
4.17/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pour: Golfen orange, yellow with a small white frothy head.

Nose: Cherry, traditional Flanders red malt and some sour funk.

Taste: Ruch decadent soured brown/red malt, tart cherry, slight lemon, lactic acidity and smooth oak.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth, perfect.

Overall: Fantastic work Alan. Once again a treasure.

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Photo of andrewinski1
2.77/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks for this one, Derek! Poured into a small chalice. The color is dark murky amber. There is a large white head that settles nicely into a thin layer.

The aroma is tart candy.

The taste is sweet and malty, with a dose of dirt and funk in the finish. This is just a bit too sweet and the tartness isn't quite there. Instead there is just a dirty aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is average with sharp carbonation.

This just misses for me. It's a bit too sweet and I don't care for the aftertaste, but for some It will be just fine.

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Photo of claspada
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of kscaldef. Don't remember the year or bottle number; poor job by me.

Pours a rusty reddish color with some slight haze and a small quickly dissipating head; slight bubbles and lacing but nothing too dramatic.

Aromas of (surprisingly) dark chocolate and booze initially. After re-examining I get more of the sour berries and tobacco and mustiness that I expect in this style.

The taste is pretty intense with again some tobacco, light chocolate and a little smoke (which I usually distaste but don't mind here). I get a little more booze as it warms with some lactic berries and tart apple vinegar in the finish.

The mouthfeel is pretty sweet and slick with lower carbonation. Drinks a little light but it is only around 6%ABV.

This was definitely an experience. Not what I expected at all from a Flanders Red style beer but Hair of the Dog really doesn't make anything "normal" per-say do they. A little too boozy for such a light ABV beer but still pretty good regardless. Don't break you back to find this as it was fairly unremarkable overall.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.9/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

much thanks to michael for sending me this namesake beer, i mean a michael sends a michael a michael, love it.

very nice. Rich looking light amber in color and a nice head of white across the top. Really quite well done I have to admit. The smell was huge, seriously this was a monster sour. Lots of apple vinegar and tart notes, hints of fruit ripping through the air and that deep funk that only comes from the best. As I take the first taste, my lips pucker and that rich sour flavor takes over everything .Really just well done here as a light try finish and a note of tart cherries rounded it out very, very well.

Overall a very solid beer

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Photo of JAXSON
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear copper/orange pour, bottle was a gusher. Nose is bright, lactic acid, salt, red berries, metallic. Decent amount of sugars. Flavor is metallic and lightly sour, light red fruits. Light and bright compared to many beers of this style, but too many off flavors to really enjoy. This is typically not a style American brewers do well, possibly overall one of the least enjoyable styles out there because there are so many huge misses. This wasn't a huge miss, just mediocre.

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Photo of Phelps
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle split with tlay 10 and poured into a tulip. Thanks go out to gford217 for providing this longtime want.

Shimmering, shifting caramel-orange. A creamy one-finger head of off-white quickly pops away to a big, frothy ring.

Beautiful blend of tart, sweet and floral aromas. Brown sugar, roses, balsamic vinegar and orange peel appear in front of a subdued sourness.

A nice touch of acidity blends with sweet notes in the flavor. Hints of oak blend with orange juice, sweet caramel, earthy bitterness and smooth sour stuff. The initial flavor falls off quickly, leaving heavy caramel and lots of floral potpourri lingering on the tongue.

Effervescent. A nice medium-light body pops softly in fizz with intermediate bubbles. The acidity never gets too overbearing.

A complex ale. It’s not the greatest Flanders ever, but it is interesting.

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Photo of psiweaver
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this last night at Brouwer's, it wasn't as sour or funky as I was hoping for. It poured a somewhat reddish golden color. There was a lot of yeast still in it so certainly this beer has the potential to get better, but I really wasn't blown away with the flavor. It was sour stone fruit focused and you could taste the sherry barrel a little bit, but this beer didn't blow me away or play at the same level that the other HoTD beers usually are at. I enjoyed getting to have it though and while certainly not amazing it wasn't bad either.

Updated as I just re had this beer and its getting better and better.

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Photo of vkv822
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into tulip snifter.

Pours a cloudy golden hued brown with slow rising carbonation and a thin cream colored head.

The aroma is of tart apples and some grassy/hay notes as well.

The taste follows the nose, with tart cherry and apple fruit notes followed by some faint vinegar notes. There are less grassy and hay notes than in the nose, though I was still able to pick them up occasionally. The fruit goes from tart to a very nice sweet finish.

It has a slightly light body with pleasant, active carbonation.

It has a nice complexity of flavors. The age has definitely helped it out. I wish I had more of this to see how it continues to progress.

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Photo of zhanson88
3.46/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks go out to JohnGalt1 for including this one in a trade. Thanks Toby! Poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: As I popped the cap on this beer it came out a gusher. Luckily I was prepared and had a glass in hand. This beer is a hazy, bottle conditioned looking, deep burnt caramel color with 3 fingers of off-white head. Head retention is ridiculous and lacing is very nice.

Smell: Very interesting. I get some funk, acidity, and oak up front. Lighter notes of fruit, mainly tart cherries. After reading some previous reviews of this, I think the fruitiness has faded quite a bit in the last year. I mainly just get funk and vinegar character.

Taste: Tart up front with funk and slight vinegar notes. Lightly acidic. It turns a touch sweeter with tart cherries and oak on the back end. In my opinion the barrel aging muddled this beer a bit, because I can't really pick out a defining quality. Not to say that this beer is bad, because it isn't.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Light bodied, and pretty nice carbonation that isn't over abundant despite the fact that it was a gusher. Still this is an interesting, unique beer that I am happy to have tried. Overall pretty good, as is expected from HotD.

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Photo of rye726
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A tribute to the beer hunter. Heard this one was a gusher, and they were right. I'm usually pretty good at not missing my glass, but not so moose face. Pours a hazy reddish color with a thin beige head. Nice barrel presence. Not much in the nose or flavor. Good example of the style, but no defining qualities. Thin finish, lacks complexity.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. 2009 vintage. Bottle opens with a pretty loud "pop" and pretty much started gushing right away. Poured into a NB tulip glass a murky brown red color with a big fluffy tan head that slowly recedes, leaving some lace. The oak is pretty evident in the nose right away along with a cider apple/fruit type note. Light mouthfeel with less carbonation than I thought given the gushing of the bottle. Slightly sweet and sour flavor gives way to a bitter oaky flavor that lingers on a bit. In all honesty, I'm not totally in love with this beer and expected more.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 3/13/2010. Bottle thanks to scrizzz. Pours a semi-hazy dirty brown with basically no head just bubbles. Aroma of lots of oak, brett/acidic notes, light sweet malts. The aroma reminds me a lot of Fred from the Wood. Flavor is more sweet, just a touch acidic with light sour notes. This isn't like other Flanders red ales that I've had -- more like an oaky, bretty, sherry-ish beer. Anyway, it was pretty tasty, well done!

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Photo of yourefragile
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Thanks to MSUBulldog25 and black13 for hooking me up! Poured into a tulip.

About two seconds after popping the cap a slow gush falls out of the bottle into a waiting glass. Obviously plenty of carbonation as a bubbly, dense egg-white head forms and has long lasting retention and thick, foamy clumps of lacing. Color is a murky, muddy rose amber. A small layer of sediment settles at the bottom of the glass. Aroma is strong blend of fruit, oak and vinegar. Alternatingly sour and tart with cherry, cranberry, sherry, and vanilla. Taste is at first abrupt and sharp, with the acidity of the vinegar notes taken the forefront. As the beer warms, the front of the palate starts with oak and vanilla spirit sweetness. Subtly the flavors shift to tart fruit and acidic vinegar. Finish is dry, acidic, mildly metallic and extremely long lasting. Smooth body with light carbonation this overall has a very sharp, strong and potentially off putting combination of flavors, but all things considered is very balanced. Very interesting and aging nicely I assume, I look forward to having this again.

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Photo of oregone
4.47/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I would obviously rate this higher than most.

Sourness is in check with wood and funk aromas and fruit hints both on palate and on the nose. Some amount of balancing sweetness, but certainly not sweet. Goes down way too easy for $12 a 12ouncer. Could drink this happily all night, many nights.

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.96/5  rDev +5.9%
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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Michael from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
3.74 out of 5 based on 261 ratings.
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