Ruth | 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 | website

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A light and refreshing American Ale, made with pale malt and crystal hops. She was inspired by my Mother's Mother, Granny Ruth because of her love and support. Don't be Ruthless. Have one on Granny.

40 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-12-2001

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Reviews: 350 | Ratings: 637
Photo of Sammy
3.43/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A reasonable head, a cheaqper beer but also C hop aroma. A oppy Golden, a bit of a funkiness there. Appropriate carbonation. Yeast in mouth lent it a medium-full mouthfeel. Decent better than average brew, which may be substandard for this great brewery. Volo's.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky and turbid yellow-brown with a 1/2 inch foamy bone colored head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt and some earthy and herbal hop aromas. Taste is of herbal hops up front with a malt finish and a slight alcohol kick. There is a very mild hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is drinkable but probably nothing I would actively seek out again.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.83/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a golden color with a good amount of fizzy head on top. The smell of this beer had a pretty decent citrus aroma to it. The taste of the beer was a little floral it almost gave off a bit of a Belgian flavor. The mouthfeel of the beer was bubbly and was pretty light. Overall this beer was pretty good, not my favorite from HotD but still not a bad brew.

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Photo of metter98
3.48/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: The beer is very hazy yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high off white head that quickly died down but left a thin layer of bubbles on the surface, a collar of large bubbles and lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are aromas of earthy yeast in the nose along with notes of citrusy and floral hops.
T: The overall taste is dominated by a moderate amount of bitterness and has flavors of citrus hops and earthy yeast. Some hints of alcohol are noticeable in the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and slightly crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is not one of the easiest to drink in the style, especially given its pronounced bitterness and hints of alcohol in the taste.

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Photo of largadeer
3.94/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Infected bottle. Pours an ultra-hazy blond with a solid one finger head. The nose is fairly mild, revealing a bit of citrus, green apple and floral hops. Nice balance of crisp American hops and citric sourness in the taste. A hint of oxidation/wet paper appears briefly before the finish, which is ultimately washed away by the mild but lingering sourness. The infection worked in this beer's favor. Light-bodied, crisp and drinkable. An odd case where infection improved the beer.

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Photo of brentk56
3.21/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy light honey color with a little, rocky head that doesn't do much by way of lacing

Smell: Peppery, with Belgian yeast funk; almost mildewy

Taste: Opens with a peppery, yeasty dough flavor that becomes harshly bitter, with a pithy tangerine and lemon zest aspect, by mid-palate; after the swallow, the tangerine pith dominates

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; a touch syrupy

Drinkability: If you are going to call it an APA, brew an APA; this hybrid beer misfires, to my palate

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.53/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a cloudy light yellow color ale with large pure white foamy head with perfect retention and excellent lacing. Aroma is a nice mix between some barley notes and well balanced citrus and grapefruit notes. Taste is very refreshing with loads of character without being too extreme. Body is full with limited filtration and perfect carbonation. I must admit to having been surprise by this one; I was expecting a easy drinking no character blond ale with found a well balance hops ale with a great malt backbone. I would definitely buy this more often it was available around town.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.47/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle.

This beer pours a cloudy pale golden yellow colour, with next to nothing in the way of head, and only some sparse, thinly streaked lace to show for the effort. It smells of herbal yeast, buttery malt, and flat citrusy hops. The taste is toasted butter malt up front, orchard fruit, eventually giving way to some citrus and herbal hops. The carbonation is quite low, the body medium weight, a little acidic, but generally smooth. It finishes off-dry, the toasted wine barrel character still holding tight.

I don't like buttery white wines, so perhaps that informs my opinion of this beer a little too much. Too fruity and toasty, when I'm looking for clean malts and restrained bitter hoppiness. Methinks this wasn't my best choice as an introduction to this brewer.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.8/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into an EKU 28 snifter in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are slightly above average.

A: Pours a half finger head of light cream, fair thickness, and good retention. Colour is a clear light gold.

Sm: Malts and citrus ester hops. Orange and lemon. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Decently hoppy with clean malts. Simple and boring, even bland. There's not a lot going on. A bit one-note.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A bit too thin. Not horribly complementary of the style.

Dr: Drinkable but unremarkable. I wouldn't get it again. It's alright, but Hair of the Dog has better beers.

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Photo of zeff80
3.47/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Poured out a clear, fizzy, golden hue with a small, fizzy, white head. It left some soapy trails of lace.

S - Smelled very citrusy. Really very sweet. Also, some strong floral notes.

T - It tasted sweet and of grains. It had a mild grassy hop quality. It had a citrus kick, too.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A light-bodied beer.

D - Pilsner malt just is odd in an APA. I am not a fan. Maybe I need to have more to see if I like it.

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Photo of jlindros
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first HotD beer, thanks to mikereaser.

A: Light fluffy 1/2 finger head bleached white color. It tries to fade but is quickly re-enforced by the bubbles rising from the bottom of my SA pint glass. Brilliantly clear golden yellow color reveals these bubbles.

N: Some musty fresh hop oils and wet hop aromas really hit. Earthy, musty, spicy hops with a little juicy hop aroma as well. Don't get much else past that very musty wet hop aroma.

T: Starts with most of the musty fresh wet hops, and some hop oils. Earthy hops, a little piny, some juicy and chewy hops, slight malty sweetness, a little almost honey flavor. Reminds me a lot of Founders Harvest ale. Also, the musty flavor is somewhat unpleasant as it just overpowers everything. The slight malty sweetness seems to offset this slightly though.

M: Average body with decent carbonation.

F: Finishes pretty bitter as the bitterness builds a bit, but never really gets that bitter. A little but of that lingering unpleasant musty flavor that doesn't seem to want to fade. A little sweetness and honey lingering. This type of super fresh wet hop musty IPA does well for some people, just not my kinda beer.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.88/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Since this is my first Hair of the Dog beer, I decided to start with one of the simpler, more easily reviewed (by me) styles. I'm not too sure that giving your beer proper names is all that high on the coolness scale. Although as we all know, it's the actual beer that counts. Still, Ruth doesn't have quite the same panache as, say... Arrogant Bastard, now does it?

Lightly fogged, pale banana-amber, much lighter than the usual APA. The bone white head is massive, so much so that it nearly overflowed the glass. Even after several minutes it claims more of the glass than the actual beer, thanks to the insane amount of carbonation. The significantly rocky head looks like stiffly whipped egg whites and is beginning to leave chucks of lace on the glass.

Ruth is brewed with Crystal hops, but no one would confuse it with Brutal Bitter's little brother (er... sister). It smells quite a bit like a tripel to my nose. Belgian yeast funk, clove spice and pungent fruit are the main contributors to the aroma.

That's a pretty fair approximation of the flavor as well, but add unmasked alcohol to the mix. The flavor profile doesn't come close to any APA that I've ever had and doesn't really appeal to me. There's also a white pepper spiciness and a sweet slickness that doesn't belong in this style at all and that is limiting my ability to truly enjoy the beer.

I'm not sure what the brewers at Hair of the Dog were shooting for, but if they hit it, then it wasn't a target worth aiming at. Here's hoping that the rest of their lineup is more to my liking.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.27/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy, peachy-gold body topped with a bright white head that dies back readily, leaving only a thin collar and whispy foam across the top. The aroma is fairly bright with summer fruit, candy, a light yeastiness and some mild hop aroma. The body is medium-full, with a limited carbonation that makes for an astoundingly creamy, almost chewy, mouthfeel. The flavor grabs you with a jolt of hops up front, reveals a wide grainy maltiness and soft fruity yeatiness as it crosses the palate, then receeds with a sweet maltiness intertwined with hop bitterness. If you're not real familiar with crystal hops, some of that perceived "sweetness" is actually a hop flavor combined with the malt. As you progress through the glass, with the beer warming and your taste buds becoming "accustomed" to the hop, the malt character becomes more evident; and the finish takes on an almost licorice flavor of sticky malt sugars and very gentle hop spiciness. Definitely an unusual beer - one that grows on you throughout the glass. I've had beers that have tasted somewhat like this, but never one that was so well done. An enjoyable beer that is not really complex up front, but has a combination of malt, yeast and hop characteristics that makes it quite interesting. Surprisingly seductive.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.38/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy, pale orange body with a thin, bubbly, white head.

Smell: Pretty simple aroma with sweetish pale malts and a light hop scents of flowers and spice.

Taste: Standard, sufficient pale malts with a hint of crumpled unsalted crackers and an overall medium-low sweetness. Spicy, floral hops with a clean, medium-high bitterness. A tad yeasty. Finishes dry with a persistent touch of bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-low carbonation.

Drinkability: A basic, but basically decent pale ale.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.88/5  rDev +37.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A – Ok now this was a serious looking brew. Poured a very hazy, so cloudy you could not even see through it, pale golden yellow. Tons and tons of sediment were apparent right from the beginning, swirling around in the glass and eventually coming to rest near the bottom. A large two inch head of sticky and foamy lace formed on the top and had great retention, lasting for almost a good few minutes before settling back down to earth and remaining at about a half an inch throughout the remainder of the session. A large amount of side glass lace was present and pretty much obscured the contents throughout. This was far and away the best looking pale ale I have ever seen. This just looked great in every way and earns a perfect 5 in look hands down.

S – The aroma was awesome. First thing I noticed was a sharp dose of citrus hops, however they were not so bitter, but rather sweet and floral with a very pleasing overall aura about it. Large amounts of yeast were also present and gave it a rather light, fruity feel. Small doeses of apples, appears and even some peaches were apparent as was a slightly fresh cut grass of sort. Very nice aroma and to be honest this just is not seeming like a pale ale to me.

T – Wow, what the crap is this. This is just fantastic. A huge full robust flavor just overwhelmed the taste buds from the first moment I sipped this. I was really blown away by the depth in the flavor here. Lots of floral hops, but not overbearing, kinda muted on the bitterness and replaced with more of a sugary sweetness. Lots of yeast in the flavor as well. Nice fruity flavors, but very light and full of apples and pears. A good backbone of light grain malts was present and really helped push everything else to the front. There was a touch of some lemon almost, something with a bit of a twang and very bright. That is the best way I can describe this one, very bright. It was honestly one of the best all around flavors I have ever had. Pretty much perfect.

M – Very full bodied. Lots of carbonation that hung around until the bitter end. This really helped to solidify the overall lively feeling of this. It had such a unique feel. On one had it was light in body, full of carbonation and had a nice crisp cut off, however it was still rather filling and had a definite presence to it. Very complex, but exceptionally good. I really cannot say anything bad here at all and yet another score of 5.

D – Now here, hands down this is a five. It was beyond sessionable. Truly a fantasic crafted brew. I could have had another and another and another. I just do not have words to accurately describe it. All of this packed into 4%abv? I just don’t see how. If I could I would buy a case and make sure it was in the fridge at all times, it was just that good.

Overall this has to be one of the best brews I have ever had. Just a complete package of sessionability and by far the best session ale I have ever had. I cannot compare it to anything else as it was just that good. I will be actively seeking out more of this, and that is something I very rarely do. I really have to have enough of this around for future enjoyment. Truly one of the best I have ever had.

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Photo of superspak
3.46/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle. Pours hazy amber-orange color with a 2 finger white head with very good retention and nice lacing. Aromas of citrus, floral, caramel, and spicy yeast. Taste of citrus, and floral with some spiciness, then a nice clean bitterness on the finish that lingers for a bit, but has good balance. A slight amount of alcohol warming noticed after the finish. Has a fairly light body feel with medium carbonation. Overall I would say this is a solid pale ale, with good mouthfeel and taste.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.56/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A hazy golden color with about one finger of white foam.

S: Citrus hops, mostly orange and some mild grapefruit initially (and very quickly). Malt dominates the rest of the way through.

T: Also disappointing, not much in the way of hop bitterness. Sweet orange, and then malty sweetness.

M: Medium body, not much carbonation.

D: Good drinkability, as you expect from a pale ale. I was hoping for a lot more from HotD, though.

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Photo of russpowell
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one as an extra from RoryGilmore, cheers Rick!

Pours a hazed straw/a gold color with 2 fingers of fluffy ivory colored head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Citrus hops & not much else

T: Grapefruit hops, some breadyness. honey malt & lemon hops up front. Some apple skin, grapefruit hops & a touch of grainyness as this warms. Finishes crisp with light honey & fruit notes

MF: Medium bodied, low carbonation, good balance, skews west coast hoppy

Drinks pretty easy, I could do a few pints before moving on. Nice solid APA, probably the most mellow Hair of the Dog product I've tried, but still nice

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Photo of Jason
2.82/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown short twist off with no freshness date. Quick blurbs about the brewery and the beer on the label. Layer of sediment is very noticeable at the bottom.

Appearance: Fast frothing white head sadly dissipates to a thin ring of lace, even with careful pouring a substantial amount of yeast made it into the glass causing the brew to look very hazed with a pale yellowish golden hue.

Smell: Yeasty with a lemony herbal hop aroma with a touch of honey like malt in the nose as well.

Taste: Carbonation is low leaving a slickly creamy mouth feel. Very yeasty on the palate with a bite towards the back, hints of hop and malt are there but the blanket of yeast is so thick it clouds them. Touch of astringency comes from the malt that same time as the hops hit for a bite the pushes the yeast to the top. Finishes a touch dry with yeasty overtones.

Notes: Give this brew some better flocculating yeast and a bit more carbonation to bring some crispness to the table and you might have a good beer. Unfortunately this brew does not come close to fulfilling my needs and was a chore to drink.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.63/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a rather cloudy bright golden yellow to golden orange in color with some light amounts of visible carbonation near the surface of the beer. The beer has a quarter finger tall white head that reduces rather quickly to a thin film covering the entire surface of the beer with a small slightly thicker patch and a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light aromas of pale malts with some hints of lemon/citrus and hay. There are some earthy, grassy, and herbal hops with some notes of black pepper.

T: The flavors are very similar to the smell for this beer. There is an underlying earthiness with pale malt flavors. Moderate flavors of lemon/citrus and black pepper yeastiness. Light to moderate amounts of bitterness are present.

M: Slightly heavier than light bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly chewy with light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: The unfiltered American Pale Ale is a very interesting style (or hybrid style). I found the beer to not be the easiest to drink but is very enjoyable - while the ABV is not too high this feels like more of a sipping beer.

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Photo of billab914
3.41/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Sam Adams pint glass. Poured a pale golden color with a steady stream of carbonation bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass. The top of the beer was covered with a frothy white one finger white head. It had some pretty good head retention and left moderate lacing on the glass.

The aroma has a peppery, earthy spice to it with a little fruity yeast flavors coming through. it also has a pretty decent amount of floral citrusy hop flavors as well. The aroma reminds me a little bit of a hoppy Belgian type of beer.

The taste has a good amount of citrusy hoppiness to it and is low on the bitterness. It finishes with a little malty and caramel sweetness along with a little spicy/fruity Belgian yeastiness to it.

Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied and carbonation is moderate to above average. Drinkability is decent, it had some pretty nice flavors to it. That said rating it to style I'm not sure how much I enjoyed the Belgian yeast flavors in an American Pale Ale. It was a pretty decent beer but probably wouldn't be one of my top choices when looking for an APA.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.54/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at HotD. Review from notes.

A: Pours a clear straw/yellow color with a small off-white head on top. Minimal retention, thin lacing down the glass.

S: Light citrus with some graham cracker malt and a little bit of caramel.

T: Similar to the aroma, light citrus, mostly lemon and lemon rind, with some grainy malt.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: A decent APA, doesn't really hold a candle to the other beers from HotD.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.68/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a fully fogged in orange gold with a nice sized off white head. Nose is sugar and funk. Fruit skins are there as well. Flavor is very hoppy, but kind of inky as well a bit? There is a real interesting edge to this one. Lots of funk. That yeast seems to be killing it a bit though. Interesting, but too much so for it's own good. There is a fairly high carbonation coming here and the big bubbles just attack the tongue. The liquid feel is kind of odd with a weird coating of the mouth, like I just took a mouthful of liquid medicine. Overall this one is okay. I don't think it is bad, but it's balance is very unusual. You will either love this beer, hate it, or be dead center about it, I think. For me, I am dead center. Nice to try. Nice to be moving on.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.44/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a bottle of this in my cellar that got overlooked for too long and was undrinkable when I finally opened it. I was happy to find a replacement during my most recent visit to 'Nokes.

From the bottle: "Ruth is a light and refreshing Pale Ale. Made with Organic Pilsner malt and whole Northwest hop flowers. She was inspired by my mother's mother, granny Ruth, because of her love and support. Don't be ruthless, have one for granny. Alan Sprints: Brewmaster"; "Hair of the Dog is dedicated to providing the beer lover with new and unusual beers styles. To learn more about Hair of the Dog Brewing Company and our beer styles, please visit us at [website]"; "Unfiltered Made in USA"; "Brave, Mazel, Lovable, Vibrant". Hey, how clever - "Alcohol Content 4.5% by Weight". Who measures ABW for public consumption? Pheh!

My mother's mother would NOT have been supportive of my drinking habits. My father's mother was less critical, however, and they are both gone now, so Kampai! to them. I could see a layer of lees at the bottom of the bottle, so I went with a gentle pour which yielded only wisps for head. Color was still an oh-so-slightly hazy orangish-yellow. Nose was filled with resinous citrus hops. It was like biting into an orange! Mouthfeel was medium and the taste was of fresh-squeezed orange juice. Holy ...! What hops were used for this beer?!? This was an APA? It would satisfy my hops jones even on those days when my monkey was chattering at his loudest (and there have been plenty of those). Finish was dry, hoppy, citrusy and very tasty. I may have to reload on this beer on my next trip.

Second pour: Going with the lees this time in the interest of Waste Not, Want Not.

On a side note, if you are ever having digestive difficulties, drink some lees - they will act like RotoRooter in your pesky digestive tract and clear out anything that may be left from that red meat bonanza you ate last week. Jaime Lee Curtis and her yogurt have nothing on beer lees!

Now, I had just under a finger of soapy, off-white head with good retention. Color was that of fresh-squeezed apple cider and it was just as murky. The nose was still orange-citrus, but now it had a mustiness to go along with it. Mouthfeel was slightly fuller, but the taste of orange was not diminished and perhaps even a little stronger. Finish was stunning in its dry intensity. I felt like the air had sucked out of my lungs and out of the room for a moment. It was like Paul Hogan's assessment of a knife - Whatever APA you may have had, THIS was an APA! Phew.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. Screw top?! What the hell, HotD!

Appearance - Clear orange until the sediment flows in. Then its hazy and chunky. Small white head that only leaves some wisps and nice lacing.

Smell - Not what I expected. Mild hop aroma. Kinda floral. More impressed by the fruit character it has. Like pineapple. Smells kinda like a light tripel.

Taste - Again with the fruits. Banana comes through here. Some clove. A little bit of citrus. A little bit of graininess. Bitterness is pretty strong. Has a slight Belgian character here too.

Mouthfeel - Light and drinkable. Pretty bitter, but I don't mind it. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Interesting take that I rather enjoyed. Nothing like a standard pale ale.

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Ruth from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
81 out of 100 based on 350 ratings.
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