Adam | Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room

1,017 Reviews

Brewed by:
Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
Oregon, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A re-creation of an historic beer style originally made in Dortmund, Germany. Adam was the first beer produced by Hair of the Dog.

10% alcohol by volume
50 IBUs.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-12-2001

For Trade:
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Reviews: 1,017 | Ratings: 2,445
Photo of jgasparine
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Sampled- Batch #72

A- Poured carefully from bottle to yield a thin foamy tan head, which quickly gave way to some edge lacing. The body is a clear ruby/garnet color... but so dark it appears black. This beautiful red color can only be seen from certain angles when held to a light source. No carbonation was observed.

S- The nose on this beer is simple, yet elegant: big aromas of [slightly smoky] roasted malts with some restrained hops playing second fiddle. No fancy words to describe the nose... but it is truly wonderful.

T- Big flavors of caramel and roasted malts punch through on the first sip, accompannied by hints of vanilla and candy sugar. Some earthy hop dryness comes-in midway, in PERFECT balance with the big malt flavors (I hesitate to use the term "hop bitterness" as that doesn't accurately describe the hop flavors). The finish is very long and sweet. This may be one of the best beers I have ever tasted in my life.

M- BIG mouthfeel- textured with tons of unattenuated sugar and the perfect compliment of soft carbonation. Totally chewy. An absolute dream!

D- Wow. This is nearly perfection in a glass. I could sip this all night if it weren't for the 10% ABV. Not exactly the beer to reach for after mowing the lawn, but it works wonderfully spring, fall and winter. What a delight!!

Note: I also sampled a bottle of Batch #40 alongside this one... and I can attest that this beer ages EXTREMELY well, developing a significant madiera character with time!!

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Photo of black13
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch #76

Opened with a slight hiss. Poured into a HOTD tulip glass. Pours a dark honey color and creates a glorious mocha colored head that looks like mousse. After the foam parted, a modest lacing was left behind.
This was a beautiful pour.

S: Yummy. Dried fruit/fig, caramel, malts, and a roastiness are all present. This is a complex, yet wonderful olfactory sensation.

T: All of the above smells come to life with each drink. But just a touch of alcohol adds to the experience. It lends just the right amount of warmth. Speaking of warm. As this beer warms up, the flavors only get better.

M: Velvety smoothness! The perfect balance of malts, alcohol, carbonation, and dried fruits make this a lingering delight.

D: A 10% ABV beer that is incredibly smooth and enjoyablebto drink. This is my staple beer. I could easily drink this every night and never get tired of it. I have several vintages sitting in the cellar that I can't wait to try. If you see this beer, get it. If it's not in your neck of the woods, trade for it. You will not be disappointed.

Consumed on 09-15-2010

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Photo of Offa
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is an incredible beer, rich and complex, yet amazingly smooth and easy to drink.

Deep, deep red and basically black, it has a big tan head slowly shirnking and leaving a little bit of weak lace.

The aroma is rich dried figs, caramelised dark raisins, hints of chocolate and coffee, smoke, toffee.

The taste is rich but not to heavy, complex, highly balanced. It is faintly smokey, with dark caramelised fruits, hints of spices, hints of leather (as the bottle indicates- I didn't notice it at first but it comes on clearly after a few sips), light hints of bourbon, stronger near the finish. It tends slightly towards the sweetish side, but not cloyingly so, with a little faint bitterness, spice, and alcoholic warmth to help balance and carry it, however all of these are tame and the result is smooth. It is highly drinkable for the strength.

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Photo of jwolfie70
4.74/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is one of my favorite beers. It pours a very dark brown, with a small light brown head. The smell is encredibly complex, with dried fruits, roasted malt, coffee, and molasses all coming through. The taste is even more complex than the smeall. A fantastic beer, and one of my favorites.

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Photo of superspak
4.74/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 ounce bottle into snifter; Batch 77, bottled 8/13/2009. Pours cloudy almost opaque dark reddish brown color with a small light khaki head with poor retention, that reduces to a thin lacing cap that lasts. Minimal spotty lacing, and some nice alcohol legs as well. Aromas of huge raisin, prune, fig, molasses, toffee, caramel, chocolate, toast, dark bread, leather, tobacco, earth, wood, and herbal earthiness. Insanely complex and balanced aromas with big strength; Wow. Taste of big raisin, fig, molasses, toast, toffee, prune, leather, tobacco, chocolate, roasted malt, dark bread, light char, earth, wood, and herbal earthiness. No bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark fruits, molasses, toast, toffee, caramel, chocolate, dark bread, leather, tobacco, earth, wood, light char, and herbal earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible flavor balance with huge complexity of malty notes; with zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Light carbonation and very full bodied; with a very slick, creamy, and lightly syrupy mouthfeel that is incredible. Alcohol is insanely well hidden with almost zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a world class old ale! Huge complexity and balance of malty flavors; and dangerously smooth to sip on. This blew me away, wow.

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Photo of brureview
4.74/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Update 2/24/15: batch 87 brewed 12/12.
Cellared: exceptionally balanced with different flavors: oak, smoke, cherry, chocolate, and vanilla. Served in a trulip at cellar temp. The alchocolic finish is sharper. I need to get my California friends to buy me more bottles to cellar. Outstanding beer.

The beer poured a dark chocolate brown with a 2.5 finger head in a snifter.

The aroma intensifies with warming. At first , fruit- cherries.
Then as the beer warmed up, figs, nuts, vanilla, and chocolate.

The mouth feel was pleasantly carbonated.
There was mild bitterness, which enhances the style and the overall character of the beer.

The complex taste increases with warming. Cherries, smoke, fruit chocolate, and a pleasing alcoholic finish. The chocolate deepens with warming, along with the smoke. The alcohol intensifies with warming.

Overall, an amazingly complex beer, singular, and very different than the beer we brew in New England. This is West Coast. Approachable complexity!
Certainly a sipper- not only due to high ABV, but more importantly, time brings out new complexity in the beer.

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Photo of patm1986
4.74/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Batch 19

A-Still, little carbonation(centimeter-sized bubbles), dark amber. looks nothing like my experiences with other(fresher) bottles of adam. some head would've been nice(heh), but for a 17 year old beer, it was impressive.

S-leather, mild smoke(like burnt, wet wood), cherry, plum, burgandy wine.

T-surprisingly(very) sour--this might've been a contrast from the cigar I was smoking, but it was, nonetheless, funky and sour. the dominant flavor was plum, over-ripened plum; flavors had vinous qualities. big, rich progression that stopped somewhere between smokey and oat-y. outstanding.

M-thicker than i'd have thought, it had a lactic richness that was comforting. lasting finish that lingered longly.

this was an exceptional experience. the beer changed so mightily that imo, it did not resemble the instance in which i had first tried it. the most impressive quality of this beast was the fact that it did not oxidize after opening. i've tried beers its age and younger than have needed stop-plugs and re-capping to keep the beer from essentially disintegrating. it was a long, soothing drink. damn cool.

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Photo of Firebelly
4.73/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served from a bottle into an imperial pint glass. Not sure what glass would be optimal for this style, but this glass was clean and available.

A- This beer was very dark brown, almost black, and appeared very viscous during the pour. Dense, tan head formed from very gentle pour and stuck around.

S- Smelled very malty and roasty to me. Just a touch of something yeasty? I can't put my finger on it. Overall very pleasant.

T- Extremely heavy malt and roast flavors. Also some smoke but it was less prevalent. This beer has a very rich, complex taste. I have to say it's one of the best I've tried in recent memory. Very reminiscent of some big imperial stouts, but very easy to drink.

M- Very thick, smooth mouthfeel. Exactly what I enjoy.

O- This beer is excellent. I traveled some distance to buy beer, and I feel very lucky I randomly grabbed this. Wish I had more. Instantly jumped to my top 5 beers ever tasted. Great combination of taste, complexity, and smoothness.

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Photo of stumac
4.73/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a chocolate color with a nice big, tan head. the nose is dark molasses, caramel, subtle cherries, roasted malts. Wow! the taste! subtle cherries, great multiple hops, leather, dark chocolate, coffee. full bodied! intense! very smoothe! Deelish!

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Photo of Reaper16
4.73/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle -- Batch 74 (Fall 2009) -- served into a tulip glass

Pours a a very dark chestnut brown. There's some lighter brown at the very top of the beer, when held to direct light, but for the most part it is very dark. This is a big beer with nearly three years on it, so there isn't much head. What's there is a sort of dirty beige color. Actually, a more aggressive pour yields a full finger or more of a proper khaki color. Nice stuff.

This bottle of Adam smells like a properly-aged beer in all of the right ways. There's plenty of sherry-like notes from the oxidation, along with deep fig and prune and fruitcake.There's a bit of bakers' chocolate and some... mint? Yeah, mint. Just like in my favorite Old Ale, Straight to Ale Unobtanium. There's even some smoke, which when taken in with the mint gives off a sort of menthol cigarette sort of vibe. It's not perfect, but there's a lot of complexity here. Perhaps some barrel character would take this aroma over the top.

Some barrel character might improve the flavor too, but this beer is close enough to perfection as is that I'm not left wanting for anything. This is a fantastic beer. Dark fruits for days, especially a strong fig presence, but like dusted with some decent chocolate. There's flavorful alcohols and oxidized sherryish notes. Some toffee, for sure. Some smoky character. The sharpness of the aged character paves the way for the figgy, chocolaty finish. Every complex flavor is in some impeccable balance here.

This aged beer isn't thick in terms of mouthfeel, but there's a very appropriate and pleasant syrupy quality.

Overall, this beer is astonishing. I just reviewed a beer last week -- Straight to Ale Unobtanium -- that I said was the best Old Ale I'd ever had. Hair of the Dog Adam is better. At least as good, at the very least. Or, this aged bottle is, anyway. I am blown away by this Old Ale. I wish I had more. ISO: Adam from the Wood. ISO: more straight-up Adam. Amazing.

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Photo of xhuskr
4.73/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Batch did I hold on to this one for a bit...but well worth i; Sweet Black Cherry flavor Dark and sweet to look at..not too cloying of a lace Inviting aroma...saying...come check me out Palate...smooth..and nice...seems to be near the point of oxidation (bad celleraing???) Overall...wish I had more...everyone who share it at Beachwood 1...loved it..including me

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Photo of dngilb
4.73/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: black, big tab head, highly retained lacing.

Taste: chocolate, toffee, butterscotch, leather, grapefruit, apple, hazelnut, smoke.

Mouthfeel: full bodied... Surprisingly effervescent for such a full body. Thankfully so... It's big.

It's a big delicious desert! Thank you Adam.

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Photo of emyers
4.73/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Batch #77. 12 ox. bottle poured into a Great Lakes snifter.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy dark brown. Not really any head at all, just a very thin lacing.

Smell: Dark chocolate, peat smoked malt, leather. Some oak, toffee, strong molasses aroma on the tail end, hints of licorice. Very complex yet integrated extremely well. Quite a bit of depth in the aroma.

Taste: Incredible depth. Big blast of raisin and fig up front followed by peat smoked malt, multiple layers of rich caramel malt, molasses, wood, and leather. Finish is fairly sweet although the smoke keeps it in check nicely - not in the least bit cloying. No real alcohol heat. Ridiculous complexity.

Mouthfeel: Very full-bodied, low carbonation, incredibly smooth. Velvety feel on the palate.

Overall: Certainly one of the most unique beers on the market, and in terms of sheer complexity this is absolutely top of the line. Everything is integrated perfectly. Make no mistake, this is a sipper - perfect for an evening by the fireplace. As a side note, definitely improves with a few years of age on it.

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Photo of joe1510
4.73/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

12oz Bottle
Liquid Solutions

Batch #67

Adam pours the darkest of browns with only tiny hard to spot mahogany highlights when held direcly to the light. A big 2+ finger head of the utmost creaminess formed on the pour and just stayed put. Leaves moderate lacing after each sip. The creamiest head on a beer I can remember.

Lots of heavy, deep, dark aromas. First thing that hits the nose is a roasted malty goodness quickly followed by a solid campfire smokiness. When I smell deeper I pick up cream and some dark fruits including figs and raisins. Smells utterly unique and exceptional.

The flavor is so complex and dark that I cant even begin to describe the complexity. I will try and give a description in simplified form though. Roasted malts give a nice bitterness upfront followed by a shot of cream and a quick gulp of campfire smoke. Toward the finish there's a very welcomed berry sweetness including blackberries, some bing cherries, and (although not a berry) fig. Mild hop bitterness on the tongue that intensifies as the bottle disappears.

The mouthfeel of this beer is absolutely sublime. I can't pick out one thing even remotely wrong with this mouthfeel. Thick and lush describe it perfectly. Oh, and velvety, smooth and creamy. I guess there is no end to the positive adjectives that could be used to describe the body of this brew.

Everything about this beer is so big and enjoyable that it would be tough to drink more than a couple. I'd hate to drink more than one, actually, for the simple fact I would feel like I'm disrespecting such a fine brew.

This is a World class old ale from Hair of the Dog. Actually this is a world class ale of any sorts. If this was available in my area I would order it by the truckload. Anxious to try other batches.

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Photo of geexploitation
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to jgaston for this bottle. Pours jet black with a substantial taupe head. Dusty roasted malts vie with espresso notes on the nose. Slight ripe figs, vanilla spice and fresh yeast aromas as well. On tasting, creamy mocha, slight dark fruit tartness and treacle sweetness are present. Quite a bit of hop bitterness at the mid-palate gives way to an alcohol burn on the finish. The finish is remarkable in that all the different flavors established already linger on the tongue at once, with no single one dominating. Big, chewy mouthfeel that makes for a meal of a beer. Great beer here, loads of interesting stuff going on, all of it good.

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Photo of Reidrover
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch# 68 Deep dark brown ale with a monstrous l brown bubbly head. Aroma of prunes, figs, blackberries ,aniseen and liquorice, brandy like alcohol whiffs detetcted. Sweet deeply malted taste, first noticed then a busrst of fruity goodness, followed by strong liquorice notes and even notes of apricot. Very smooth and silky on the palatre, then a nice lingering bitter aftertatse and warming alcohol. An excellent beer. I have no idea why I waited so long for this classic. Great beer

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Photo of keithmurray
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle says "Batch #76"

Appearance - Deep eggplant, nearly black color, pour produced a creamy tan head

Smell - Dark fruits, plums, raisins, currants, toffee, rum

taste - flavors are really bold here - toffee, currants, figs, raisins, plums, oak, black licorice, really complex

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, medium carbonation, slightly sweet, a little bitterness, finish is smoky/woodsy, but not in an overwhelming fashion, but good balance to this beverage

drinkability - a really good beer, complex flavors, a lot going on here, if you are a fan of this style, its a must try

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Photo of stonelis
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a dark brown with a thin head which lingered through the end. had an aroma of a touch of fruit wine with toasted malt. Taste of
Sweet, rich, malty, chocolate, mild smoke. I really enjoyed this one. Strong alcohol presence has that warming feeling. This was batch 76. I would love to get some more and cellar a few for a couple of years.

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Photo of nickfl
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Two fingers of deep tan head on an opaque, black body. The foam settles slowly and leaves thick, sticky lace.

S - Fruity with deep, dark malt. Figs, smoke and leather/ sandalwood with spicy hops hiding in the background. This could be a good aroma for aftershave or incense.

T - Thick, rich malt with oat and dark, bittersweet chocolate flavor. Spicy hops and big, fruity yeast. Notes of dates, cedar smoke, aromatic wood, allspice, and lots of leather. Chocolate and moderate malt bitterness in the finish with a lingering hoppy bite.

M - Very thick, oily body, moderately low carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - Wow. Drinkability isn't even a factor here, it is huge and complex; it's like asking if 40 year old port is sessionable. The complexity is immense and while I would guess that it would age well, this one was great already. This beer, more than any other I have ever had, reminds me of tobacco; not a cigar, but really good pipe tobacco. This is an excellent beer and it stands up with the likes of vintage J.W. Lees as one of the world's great sipping beers.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.71/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Batch number 79 brewed on 11/17/09, bottled on 1/28/10, and consumed on 4/4/13. Poured from a bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter.

The pour is extremely dark mahogany with some reddish highlights (beautiful color). The head is fine and frothy khaki-colored. On the nose I get lots of toffee, oatmeal raisin cookies, oak, ginger, molasses, rum, and a hint of smoke. There's a lot here and I'd hate to waste precious moments nosing. Three or four whiffs and I just have to know what this tastes like.

The beer has a really full body and an amazing velvety feel. The complexity is mind-boggling. It's interesting to note that the booziness in this beer all seems to hit you up front, but it's not a bit unpleasant. With all the wonderful flavors that complement it, it's reminiscent of fruitcake. There are notes of black bread, dried figs, holiday spices, molasses, smoke, and oak. Every sip brings something new. The finish is smooth and sustained, leaving traces of almonds and cloves swimming in rum behind. Stunning.

A unique beer that seems to bring together all of the best qualities of an old ale and a quad. I'd buy this frequently if it was available where I lived. It's truly epic. Unmatched complexity. Not for newbies. I have one other bottle and I'm going to let it go longer than this one.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.71/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I had this at a recent tasting enjoyed chilled from the bottle.
I have tried this in the past, but the freshness of this must have resulted in the elevated score since I previously gave this a 4 out of 5.
The color is dark brown with light tan head with fine bead. The smell has a dark caramel aroma with lots of dried fruit -malt forward as expected yet a mild yeast support. The feel is rich with moderately sweet yet not cloying texture with toastiness and semi-dry finish.

The taste is wonderful with layered smooth malt with toasted caramel and slight woody quality with malty and vanilla-like smoothness with semi-dry mid palate with slight mineral notes toward the finish. Overall I loved this and wanted more -wonderful with world class quality example of the style for me I would drink this anytime it is available.

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Photo of numenor1
4.71/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 63

Pours a deep garnet brown with a towering fluffy head that eventually subsides, though never completely. Smells of brown sugar, molasses, plums, spicy alcohol. Huge flavor all swirling around estery fruits, molasses, plums, oak, roast, raisins and just a lot of stuff. Starts off quite sweet but the mountain of earthy hops ends it quickly, ends surprisingly very very dry with a ton of earthy dirty hops and lingering vanilla. Smoke becomes more apparent as it warms, as does peppery spicy alcohol. Very belgian in style, similar to a quad, absolutely terrific. Body is medium with a lot of carbonation for the style, fluffy, creamy, a tad abrasive. Too drinkable for safety. Kicks ass.

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Photo of pschul4
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle #3 from Libbey, this is what I've been waiting for!

A- Pours a medium brown with a 1.5 finger head

S- Lots of smoke in the nose with some malts in the background and very faint hops

T- Wow! Tons of layers here. First the malts hit you followed by smoke then leather than a little bit of hops in the end. It's a big beast of a beer thats for sure

M- Super creamy which is PERFECT for what it is

O- Love LOve LOVE this beer! Simply world claas!

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Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to FosterJM for this one!

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass at cellar temperature.

L – Ruby-brown color with an immense 5-finger tan head that does not go away. Not much lacing, though.

S – Lots of aromas in this one – rich nutty and toasted malts, toffee, molasses, chocolate, vanilla, leather, plums, and dark cherries. Very complex. I can’t wait to see what this tastes like.

T – Follows the aroma plus more. Starts off sweet with hearty nutty and toasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, molasses, and rich dark fruits like plums, cherries, and figs. Finishes with earthy, leathery, and smoky flavors, along with a subtle earthy and floral hop bitterness. Tastes phenomenal.

F – Medium-to-full-bodied with not much carbonation, a sticky and chewy mouthfeel, and a smoothly bitter and dry finish. Earthiness and bitterness lingers for a great amount of time and complements the throat-warming alcohol sensation.

O – All too often, beers smell complex and leave me asking for more in the taste. Not this time. This is one of the few beers that I’ve had in which the flavor offers even more complexity than the aroma. This was delicious and insanely drinkable for a beer or its style. Great, great offering from HOTD. I’m so glad I got to try this. Thanks James!

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Photo of korguy123
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Adam Batch 82

A- Pitch black pour with a creamy two finger light tan head. Lacing is just glued to the glass.

S- Dark fruits, slight alcohol, chocolate and coffee. Subtle leather and cherries. Very complex, everything melds together.

T- Definite stone fruits, than a quick booze taste that evolves to brown sugar, vanilla and coffee ending with a slight bitter finish.

M- Thin to medium bodied, slightly creamy and subtle carbonation.

O- Second chance at Adam and it's even better than I remembered it.

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Adam from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
4.23 out of 5 based on 2,445 ratings.
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