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: 262
Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%
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 Metalmonk
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
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 SpeedwayJim
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into an Ithaca tulip. Straight out of the box and into tht glass. Thanks Brian!

A: Vigorous pour yields a 2 finger light brown, reddish coarse head with decent retention. Beer is a cloudy reddish clay. Lacing is spotty and pactchy in areas.

S: Nose is funky oak, ripe red fruit, maybe cherries. Tartness is apparent. A bit boozy in certain sections.

T: Earthy and spicy upfront, tartness follows soon after but yeasty spiciness is apparent throughout. Also a bit of woody bitterness at the middle that gets more intense as the beer lingers in my mouth. Finishes with the same bitterness that doesn't really ever go away.

M: Medium bodied, coarse and carbonated. This one is rather rough around the edges and a bit dry. Finish is messy and lingers a tart bitterness.

D: There's definitely a weird taste to this one which I'm not sure I like. Perhaps it needed a couple more years? However, the bitterness is noticeable upfront and doesn't really dissipate. Rather, it becomes more dominant at the finish. A bit dissapointing but I'd definitely like to try it again in a year or two.

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Photo of LilMatrix
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I was disappointed with this beer after having had one at the dock sale. It was uncarbed, thin, slightly too sweet and not much complexity. After 2 months in hiding, it's time to do a status check.

A: Opens with a slight psst! Pours with a nice red hue and a half inch of head... This is promising. Head doesn't stick around too long and leaves with little to light lacing

S: Phunky, viney, woody. I can smell it halfway across the room

T: Vinous and lightly sweet. Finishes with pleasant wood and hop character.

M: Lightly carbed, thin, slightly oily, tannic finish.

D: Overall it was a really nice flanders and enjoyed this 10 times more than I did the first time. I'm pleased with the progress this beer has made since November. Should only improve with more time!

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Photo of gford217
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Luke for sharing a bottle this with me.

After hearing all of the talk of flat bottles, I had pretty low expectations for this, but, starting with the pour, I was pleasantly surprised. It pours a murky reddish amber with a small, but fairly persistent beige head that hung around for a while.

The aroma is mostly tart cherries with a healthy dose of brown sugar. There is some bretty funk in the nose, though it's secondary to the tart/sweet cherry aroma. There is a light spicy oak character as well.

The taste is even sweeter than the aroma with the cherries taking on a sugar-dipped quality with the tartness being less prevalent. The oaky tannins are definitely in there, especially in the finish and the brett is very subtle in the taste.

The mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, but seems pretty close to where it should be. The body is fairly full-bodied and sugary sweet overall.

This probably isn't the best Flanders Red I've had, but I really liked this one, even in it's present state. I think with some age this one will be even better as the brett starts to work it's magic.

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Photo of younger35
3.42/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received this brew from the chewy man out in the great state of Oregon. Home of 2 of the greatest breweries in the world; HotD and Deschutes. Lucky bastard ;) Drank from my Stone India Pale Ale flute.

Appearance- Pours a semi dark reddish orange with almost no head what-so-ever. After a few seconds a bright white collar forms along with a thin weak cap and maybe a touch of lacing here and there.
Smell- Slightly sour and funky with not a whole of lot of barrel influence, but there are some. Notes of apple cider vinegar and soured cherries coupled with tart green apples and pears. Not necessarily super sour smelling, but all the keys are there. Slightly vinous and tannic as a bit of deep dark raisin shows from the Port barrels. Some light caramel tones hide in the background as well.
Taste- Wowsers, not what the nose leads you to believe. Before I hash into the details, this beer reminds me 100% of Brouwerij Verhaeghe Vichtenaar. Has that more sweet than sour aspects. Very earthy and malty as the Vienna malt really shows, especially in the aftertaste. Plenty of leather and dirt as the sweetness slowly works its way in. It's light but sweet. The barrel is more influential in the taste than the nose as it adds a bit of light vanilla and the deep tones of the Port. Definite pear and apple tones but the bits of sour just aren't here yet. The finish is earthy with hints of tobacco and more of that dank leather.
Mouthfeel- Medium to heavy feel with a bit of residual sweetness and almost no carbonation to speak of. Maybe a touch of warming in the finish as well.
Drinkability- This beer just isn't quite there yet. It needs some time to let everything sort of mellow and let the yeast/bacteria do its thing. It needs some of the sour and maybe once that happens this thing will perk up a bit. Not bad by any means, just needs time to tighten up a bit. Thanks much Jason!

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Photo of pwoods
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Unclejedi for sharing this bottle!

12oz. brown bottle poured into a taster glass.

A: Pours a pink tinted ruby with a nice bit spritzy pink tinted head. Some decent retention and ok lacing.

S: Nice tartness with some tart light fruits coming out. Some indistinguished citrus/acid. A decent amount of funkiness but lacking that lactic edge, which is definitely ok by me.

T/M: The funk isn't nearly as big as the nose. Much more subtle but with an inviting fruity tartness. The standard green apples and grapes but with a tart black cherry and acidic ruby red grapefruit punch. Body is medium light with good carbonation.

D: Pretty damn drinkable

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Photo of corby112
3.94/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle received in a recent trade with Beerzebub. Thanks again man!

Pours a deep dark blood ruby red/amber with very dark mahogany edges when held to a light source and a half finger off white head that quickly settles into a thin ring. No lacing.

Sweet vinous aroma that is very vinegary with touches of earthy oak tannis, tart dark fruit and subtle bretty barnyard funk. Subtle hints of vanilla and lots of sour dark cherry along with some raisin and plum.

Soft carbonation up front with an oily, vinegary body which is surprisingly malty. Very sweet and vinous with some tart vinegary sweet, dry bretty funk and a lot of dark fruit character. Lots of tart dark cherry, plum, raisin, grape and fig smoothed out by some vanilla oaky tannis. Sweet alcohol flavor but no heat/warmth to speak of. A bit too sweet and not as tart/puckering as I would like but still very flavorful and quaffable.

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Photo of miketd
3.28/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle in a trade at Ratebeer. Pours a nice dark red... almost brown, with a small beige head. Aroma is fruity and tart with barrel, vinegar and spice. Flavor was a little off - Fruity and slightly sour, but had a buttery quality that reminded me of Gargamel. This one might need to sit awhile. Palate was ok, but a little thin. Not a bad beer and I might give it another go soon.

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Photo of John_M
4/5  rDev +7%
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 t4h2c0
2.95/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

slight sour nose with a little sherry and oak, pours ruby in color with minimal head, slightly carbonated. Slight sour in initial taste with big oak flavors. There is a slight sherry flavor to the beer but it is abrasive to the palate. Very light and watered down. Any good flavors fade out quick and leave a tea-like taste in your mouth which equals a bad aftertaste. Hopefully some time in the bottle will improve this beer but unfortunately it doesn't seem like there is much room for improvement. If this beer was sour all the way through I would like it a lot better.

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Photo of jrallen34
2.57/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I drank this from a 12oz bottle into a Rochefort glass.

The beer pours a murky ugly brownish water downed coca cola color that doesn't inspire much confidence that is futher let down by a non showing of a head or lacing.

The aroma appears to be in the right direction but just not there yet. There is a hint of sourness but it is somewhat spoiled by the creeping in of a piney alcohol.

The taste continues to disappoint. It is not sour in taste and just "off" in taste, I can't really describe it. There is a weird bitterness and tea like quality.

Michael Jackson is such a man to be honored but sadly this beer does not even come close to doing it. It should be avoided if you are a flanders fan and others should be sought out.

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Photo of koopa
3.87/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz 2009 bottle received as an extra in a trade with inflatablechair. Thank you so much Sam!

Appearance: Pours a fairly soft red (not quite an orange tinge, but kind of like the color of the label!) with just about zero head and zero retention. A few swirls of off white lace show themselves.

Smell: Nice vinegar notes coupled with some pepper and funk...classic sweet and sour smell. Nothing amazing but solid.

Taste: Touch of sweetness up front but followed up with a sherry like wave with minor notes of barnyard, wood, tannins, grape skins and pepper. Not bad but not exactly what I was hoping for.

Mouthfeel: Fairly thin with just barely enough carbonation.

Drinkability: Flavor profile is the only thing holding this one back.

Flanders Red is a style where I usually want a CLASSIC approach/flavor profile and I'm not getting that here. HOTD has created a brew that tastes a bit unorthodox for the style and not in a good way for me. Again not a bad brew and I'm glad I got to try it. But I must admit that Ommegang Rouge and New Belgium La Folie are much better Flanders Reds made by American breweries if you ask me. I do wonder if some time would help this one.

A swing and a pop fly caught in deep right center. I hope Michael Jackson isn't rolling around in his grave :p

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.23/5  rDev -13.6%
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 alcstradamus
3.99/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a murky brown with no head. Smell is tart grapes and apple skin, hints of woodiness, some tropical fruits, musty crayon, and caramel. Very nice.

Taste isn't quite as tart as I was anticipating. There is an odd but pleasant sweetness upon first sip, a bit of sour tartness only in the finish. Lots of crayon and tropical fruit. Very unique, even for the style. Caramel and faint woody notes. Highly complex, but probably more impressive than enjoyable. I will say though, it improved with every sip. Seemed to really need to open up a bit and also get closer to room temperature before the nice clean tart citrus flavors shined.

Like too many HOTD beers, this one is basically flat and could benefit from some carbonation. I will be interested in seeing how some time in the bottle changes this one. At first I thought about rating this lower, but I enjoyed the last 1/3 of the bottle so much that I had to bump it up.

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Photo of northwestmark
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

short review since my 16 day old daughter is in hand.
carbonation is a little too low
flavor is fantastic, grapefruit, oranges, tons of sherry, oak.
easy drinker, not too acidic, not too funky.
usually this style isn't my fave, hotd though always makes everything taste wonderful.
i'd give it an A- and if carbonation and funk increases in the future an A.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 batch served at 55 degrees. Consumed on 11/21/2009 and poured into a stemmed snifter. A hard pour yields a half inch of off white bubbles that finish popping in half a minute. The beer is hazy and deep red with an amber tinge.

The aroma reveals a bready malt base with a
unique flowery perfume quality. It bears similarities to a light bodied red wine. It's only a slight resemblance, but I think it's there. Cherries are present but not dominant, and they're slightly tart. A slight swirl of the glass brings the cherry notes to life and they mingle with the floral notes. Oak and light vanilla are evident, and acetic character is at a low level. There's a low level of moderate sweetness in the nose. Light alcohol is evident, and as the beer warms past room temperature the cherry becomes more pronounced.

The flavor opens with bready malt and a tart cherry character that becomes stronger midpalate. Lactic and acetic notes are at a low level. The sour element is clean and at a low level. Oak is subtle, and a moderate tannic quality is evident near the sweet and tart cherry and sherry-like finish. Sweetness is moderate throughout.

The beer is medium bodied with an all too low level of carbonation for the style I hope this beer shows more carbonation in the future. Overall, an enjoyable beer that I hope to see improve with age. I think an increase in carbonation and acetic character will do this beer well. At this point, 12oz is more than enough.

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Photo of jdense
4.42/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle obtained at HOTD Dock Sale after 550am arrival, sharing world class beers with hannont, akfaust, Kilt Man and the rest of the daredevils who make this one of the world's great early morning beer tastings. Poured into glass provided by The Beer Goddess so I can properly appreciate odor and color.

Copper reddish body ( a bit of chill haze to start) semi-opaque (yeasty) body, and as with all HOTD beers except Blue Dot, minimally carbonated. However, there was a significant amount of carbonation clinging to sides of glass. Tart funky nose representative of the best of the style, cherries (Rainier, Lapin?) in the nose, medium bodied, not much hops to speak about. Tart lip-smacking finish. Though it will certainly benefit from a bit of aging, it taste pretty damn good right now.Not willing to push the envelope on drinkability right now, but this beer taste damn good, very tasty Given the fact it was just bottled about a month ago, I suspect the carbonation and funky edge will pick up a bit over time. Glad I have a slew of this stashed for my BA brothers smart enough to recognize that Alan Sprints (and his SoCal soul brother, Patirck Rue- now that's a collaboration I'd like to see!!) are on the cutting edge of West Coast Brewing. Very good now, and I suspect with a bit of patience, something to pull out and share with very very special friends. No doubt, The Beer Hunter is very pleased.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Devin was kind enough to share a bottle of this last night. While a solid beer, I found the homebrewed flanders red that preceded this beer vastly superior in every aspect.

The pour is hazy, murky and flat, reddish copper in color. A few bubbles surface, but for the most part, this is rather still. The nose is interesting. It's rich and delicate with a combination of mild sweetness, some fruit, a definite vinous character (White grapes) and a mild tartness. It'd be a stretch to call this sour, there's no appreciable acetic character. What's surprising is that despite the low ABV, alcohol is present on the nose. The palate is similar, but not as well integrated. Oak and vanilla are present, and there's a good bit of sweetness that while complex, is also an unexpected surprise. Mildly bready, my biggest criticism of this beer is that there's not enough sourness. Maybe mildly tart, but there's none of the acetic character that I love in a good Flanders red. Mildly buttery and mildly grapey with some cherry character, this comes across more as a beer-wine hybrid. Mildly sweet on the finish with a little tartness, this medium-bodied beer with low carbonation is quite enjoyable. While I had no problem drinking my share, it's not something I'd go crazy over.

**Edit 28 Dec 2012*

Split a bottle of the 2012 release with my dad.

Nose is solidly vinous, quite oaky and tannic with dried cherries mulled in red wine with a light spice note. Alcohol is noticeable, but complementary. Sourness is moderate but appropriate with a blend of bright acetic and moderate lactic notes. The palate is quite sour with a blend of Brett-derived clove and plastic phenols, berry-like acetic characters and a moderately yogurt-like lactic sourness. This is followed by the (very) vinous mid-palate where the oak, red wine and berries blend together before some alcohol appears to lighten the palate and accentuate the tannins. Medium in body, particularly due to the oak tannins, this beer is an intense sipper. Better than the first batch but I still hesitate to think it's work the coin. Recommended, nonetheless

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Photo of Reino
4.27/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

*Flanders Red is one of my favorite styles, with Rodenbach Grand Cru being the pinnacle example in my book. I probably should wait a month or three to review this, but what the hell.

Appearance- Poured recklessly into my Duchesse glass, Michael is a beautiful color. Tough to describe, but I'll go with ruby-red. Like most freshly bottled HotD brews, Michael has no head except for watery bubbles that emerge from my vigorous pour, and head straight to the side of my glass.

Smell- Very nice, tart fruit aromas of orange, dark cherry, and green grapes. I also get some soft chocolate notes in the background along with a nice amount of oak. Not sure if it's the mix of all these complex aromas, but I get a tiny bit of alcohol heat, which is surprising at 6.2%, but compliments everything quite well. The more I dig my nose in, the more I think it might be a pine smell instead of alcohol. Enjoyable either way.

Taste- My tongue is greeted with a nice tartness and the complex fruits from the nose. Also like the smell, I'm picking up oak and pine. Some tannins are definitely lending some astringency along with the sourness. The finish is a lingering blend of dark cherries, sour apple and chocolate with a tiny bit of vanilla. Quite interesting and complex mix of flavors going on. I feel like Flanders Red is one of the toughest styles to pin down the flavors of, especially when someone like Alan is putting his own take on it.

MF- Medium bodied that probably feels heavier than it is due to the lack of carbonation. The acid helps make up for the missing bubbles, and a Flanders shouldn't be highly carbonated anyways. The mouthfeel is much like an acid forward red wine, which I'm cool with. I'm sure some carbonation and more sourness will come with time, bumping up this score.

Drinkability- A complex, slow sipper that would go great with the right meal and is very good on it's own like I'm enjoying it now. Again, I think more time giving the beer more carbonation would bump up this score. The rest of mine will be sitting in the cellar for awhile.

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Photo of HairOfTh3Dog
4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bought from the hair of the dog anniversary sale on Nov 14. Happy birthday Hotd.

Michael looks a bit like a DIPA with a little more orange hue. Only a small amount of bubbles are effervescing to the top.

The first smell of Michael is that classic hair of the dog oak barrel. Its smells a bit vinous, probably due to the sherry barrels.

The oak comes on fairly strong in the beginning, and fades into a bit of lacto sourness on the front of the tongue. There is a good malt presence, that lends a bit of an apple flavor, maybe even a tiny bit cider like, love it.

The mouth is a tiny bit like flat soda which was the only off-putting part of this beer. As with a few of Alan's beers I'm betting with a couple of weeks in the cellar this beer will pick up the carbonation quickly.

Overall the oak, wine, apple and sour mingle together very well. As the glass empties, this is quickly becoming a Hotd brew I will not soon forget.

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Photo of nupoile
3.74/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Alan's first Flanders Red, purchased this morning at the 2009 Hair of the Dog's anual dock sale, I brought this fine beer home to try it out.

This dark golden brown ale has a complex apple cider aroma but no head, and only a faint amount of carbonation to note. The flavor can be a little sour at first, with a strong malty base. I detect a hint of orange amongst a wine like background.

After a few mouthfuls the flavor begins to smooth out however I detect a certain metallic copper aftertaste which distracts.

On a closing thought I would like mention that this has been a side-by-side comparison with Brouwerij Verhaeghe's Duchesse De Bourgogne. I must concede that the Duchesse won me over this round.

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Michael from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
3.74 out of 5 based on 262 ratings.
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