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

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1,016 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A re-creation of an historic beer style originally made in Dortmund, Germany.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:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,016 | Ratings: 2,424
Photo of TimZebGir
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%

Bubbles creamy thick,
The darkness nearly complete,
Deep, smoky chocolate

A: (3/3) Clear but incredibly dark brown, almost black with thin foamy head
S: (9/12) Lightly sour woody smell with notes of chocolate and dark malt
T: (17/20) Delightfully woody chocolate with sweet
M: (5/5) Bubbly and creamy, but dry throughout
O: (8/10) Great dark bottle-conditioned beer. Surprisingly smooth at 10% and the alcohol is barely noticeable beneath the wood and chocolate.

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Photo of SteveB24
4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look- A very surprising three and a half fingers of off white head comprised of huge bubbles on the pour, excellent retention and massive lacing on the glass. color is a brown that is near black with no light shining through.
Smell-rich and sweet. Dates, figs, honey. looked for booze and found none.
Taste-like the smell, hearty fruity notes upfront. the dates and figs are complimented by malty, grainy notes reminiscent of graham crackers. no booze in the taste either.
feel- smooth and very creamy, very little bubbles but the thick foam lingers on the tongue.
Overall- a delicious beer, drinks dangerously smooth. tasty, complex, and satisfying but not overwhelming in any sense.

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Photo of yarnbomb
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Seriously happened to stumble on this one at the tap room, right as it was put on. We had no frickin clue about the brewery itself, let alone what this beer was all about. It was mindblowing. But it was also the top of the keg. I went back the next day and it was gone. They laughed when we were surprised.

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Photo of richj1970
4.19/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12 oz bottle into tulip. Batch 91.

A: Pours a dark brown with gigantic 3-4 finger off white head that lasts several minutes and leaving lots of sticky lacing.

S: Raisin, plum, and sweet malts. A bit of tobacco and leather and oak wood.

T: Sweet malts and subtle dark fruits. Raisins and an earthy touch that reminds me a bit of tobacco and smoked meats.

M: Full bodied and lots of carbonation. Finish is drier than I was expecting.

O: This is a unique strong ale, and very enjoyable. I look forward to my next HOTD brew!

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Photo of Cubatobaco
4.36/5  rDev +3.1%

Upon opening the bottle and pouring the first little bit, I was nervous as the carbonation was so thick and high that I thought I had gotten a bad bottle. After about 5 minutes the carb receded and lingered around the top like a crown. Dark in appearance and displayed a wonderful aroma of brown sugar, molasses, and raisins. This was very reminiscent of Sucre in it's body and flavors. At 10%, the alcohol was hidden very well. I need to grab a few more bottle of this on my next purchase. A wonderful Old Ale that is worth drinking over and over. And, if you've never had it, go and find it; I promise you will not be disappointed.

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Photo of Heretic42
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%

Appearance: Pours a murky, mostly opaque dark brown. Very little head that dissipates quite quickly.

Smell: Lots of tobacco and oak on the front, rolling into a raisin-esque sweetness. A slight tinge of alcohol sits beneath it all.

Mouthfeel: Quite low in carbonation and a little bit slick on the tongue. Finishes surprisingly dry for the ABV and the aroma.

Taste: There's a lot going on here. There's dark fruit sweetness, caramel, a bit of leather, and the tobacco that comes through on the nose is there too. I usually get vanilla from oak, but none here. The alcohol is certainly present, but doesn't detract much from the beer. The sweetness isn't cloying at all, but for some the tobacco/leather qualities might be.

Overall: Great beer overall; bold, flavorful, complex, and a tiny bit boozy. I wish the alcohol was hidden a bit better.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
3.89/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a teku, dark brown and murky, with no head. Smell up front is smoke, a dark fruits, raisins, figs a hint of cherry skin. Getting a lot of smoke in the taste. It's a subdued smoke, not like a rauch or anything, but it's definitely there. Was not expecting it and it overshadows some of the other flavors. No carb issue here. As it warms, some of the dark fruit, caramel, burnt sugar flavor is coming out. Super complex. This might have gone over my head. Worth a try for sure. I'll try some with some age on it, see how that compares.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.54/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - The beer poured a dark malty color with a very modest head, which is appropriate for the style.

Smell - The aroma is quite malty and perhaps borders on being syrupy.

Taste - My initial impression of the taste is the sweetness of this ale. There are notes of sweet malt, nuts, tobacco, and oak. The oak is remarkable as this is not a barrel aged variation. The beer is warming on the way down, but it is certainly not hot.

Mouthfeel - The ale is almost sticky, coating the tongue and mouth. It allows for this taste to linger.

Overall - To this point, this is my favorite edition of the style. I like it a lot.

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Photo of kemoarps
4.14/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pretty sure this is a 2012. Batch 86. 12oz bottle poured into... a tulip-ish snifter-kind of thing (it's a modified former honey jar. I get srrious about my glassware...).
Pours a murky deep brown bordering on reddish (leaving the white and blue to my complexion, and... mousepad? I guess? Happy birthday America!), like cherry wood turned almost black. Almost no head to speak of, but the beer clearly likes the glass since it did put a ring on it.

The nose is primarily boozy dark fruits: plums figs, raisins, an almost dusty character. Almost woody? Like a snap I understand the appeal of Adam from the Wood and Cherry Adam from the Wood. Haven't had them, but they sound like they would blend with what Adam already is amazingly well. And besides, they're hardly ever made, so it's GOTTA be good, right?

The tongue takes the theme of dark fruits and booze and runs the gamut of dark flavours. The booze is present, especially when I look for it, and the fruits -- the figs and plums in particular -- can still be found, but they blend with said booziness to draw out flavours of (yes, I'm about to be that guy) spicy tobacco leaf (this would pair REALLY well with a cigar. In fact, I still have one Cuban left...), leather and a slightly woody note. These come together in an impressively intricately woven dance, like a well choreographed parade float where each character hits their queues and is individually impressive, but ultimately come together to be a moving work of art that is simultaneously blah blah blah...

While the 10% contributes its soft burn, it plays into the spices present in the body to lull you into a false sense that it can do you no harm. It's warm and that spice/alcohol pairs with light but sharp carbonation to not distract from the flavours weaving their way around your tongue.

I'd had Fred, and was a bit nonplussed. Likewise Blue Dot: thought it was OK, but nothing to write home about (unless you consider BA home, because I think I did write a review. But that's silly. Who would make that comparison?). Maybe the intervening years really have matured my palate. Maybe I'm just amped on America and puppies. Either way, Adam really stood out to me as an excellently crafted work of gustatory/zymurgical art, and I can fully understand the hype around AftW and CAftW (even though I haven't had and probably never will get to taste either). Since I've not had it FRESH, I can't speak to how it's changed over the years (this one's only about two years old), but rest assured after this bottle, I'll certainly be picking a couple more up when I see them to test that question. I suggest you do the same.

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Photo of bylerteck
3.72/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 2.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2010 bottle from pushkinwow. Thanks!

A - Black pour with barely any head. Very minimal carbonation. No retention and no lace. Expected for the ABV and age, but still unimpressive.

S - Huge aroma. Smoke, leather is definitely there, raisins, dark fruit and sugar. Cool aromas playing together.

T - Smoke, earth, dark fruit, lot's of brown sugar. More smoke than I typically like, but still decent. Rich malty flavours and some booze.

M - Almost no carbonation, full syrupy body, dry smokey finish.

O/D - Pretty hardcore. Age has probably mellowed this out a bit but the smoke is a touch too much for me. It's quite a complex adventure though, and quite rich. A decent example, but nothing too wild.

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Photo of Kuaff
4.51/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From bottle to tumbler, just chilled. I got batch 88.

Looks a murky reddish brown. Or burgundy. There's a half-finger tan head that dissipates to a sheet.

It smells like maple, molasses, chocolate-covered raisins, and cherries. And vanilla. I like this.

The flavor is like the smell, but with stout-like, roasty chocolate character. Also an almost smoky, leathury finish which reminds me of a lot of oak-aged ales.

The feel is medium to thick.

I really dig the bold and complimentary flavors in this one.

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Photo of GeezLynn
4.61/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

HOD Adam, batch 85 (02-07-12) into a wine glass. Loads of yeast/sediment in the bottle.

A: Murky dark brown, with a light white head that continues to ooze up well after the pour.
S: Aroma carries toasty brown malts and a good dose of floral and fruity esters.
T: Very nice deep collection of malt flavors. Slight roastiness, nutty, raisin bread, cola, brown sugar, concorde grape and a bit of smoke. Roast lingers on the finish with a light bitterness.
M: Medium to thick body, slightly chewy with plenty of carbonation.

Beautiful depth of flavors working cohesively here. I'm not a particularly slow drinker, but it was easy to enjoy this over several hours. Very nice sipper.

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep brown color, showing off a purplish hue. Tiny head with little retention.

Very earthy smell. Tobacco, leather, and cocoa.

The flavor punches through with a hefty dose of leather. Dark fruits, slightly smokey. Loads of earthy flavors.

Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Chewy.

An excellent beer that deserves the legendary status.

Batch 90.

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Photo of hopsputin
4.59/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Batch 85. Drank 4/25/14

a: its a deep, dark brown color - almost black. looks viscous, with a (surprising) 1.5 finger off white pretty solid head thats a little frothy up top

s: so incredible. dark wood, caramel, black licorice, brown sugar, caramel, dates, plums, figs, clean leather, hint of sweet berries, toffee, ends with a deep sweet malt

t: this follows this nose. caramel, toffee, leather, a dank woody and earthiness, smokey (tobacco?), sweet cherry, brown sugar, dark chocolate, really nice blend of sweet fruit like in the nose - dates, plums, figs, and some raisins. there is an ever so faint bitterness that i think comes from either some kind of toasty malt flavor or earthy tea leaf (i'm leaning towards the second). i can't really describe how complex this is, yet perfectly harmonized

m: this is on the heavier side - its syrup-like and sticky, lots of sugar

o: overall is that this beer is INCREDIBLY complex, yet not overwhelming to your taste because it is so well harmonized. so well crafted. this is a beer you just need to try

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Photo of highTempo
3.46/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I live in Portland and am only now getting around to trying this!

This is batch 92, which is maybe a little new. I gave it a good, not particularly gentle pour from the bottle into a traditional pint glass, and it has absolutely no head. The color is very dark brown, almost black. It's essentially opaque even when held to the light. The lack of head is odd.

I'll continue for those of you who haven't already moved on after reading that I poured it into a pint glass.

The smell is full, dark, 'round' - which matches the color well. I get the heavy malty qualities. Leather, soil, and chocolate seem reasonable. I also taste some raisin or prune and maybe root beer.

The flavor is similar. It really hits the back of the mouth with the malt and bitterness. There's a bit of ash in the flavor that I don't notice in the smell. Alcohol is forward and it is a bit… astringent, or pungent, maybe. There's a lot of sweet malt.

The carbonation is present but subtile. I think there's something not quite right about this batch considering that and the other reviews I've read for Adam. It's not bad at all but it's not as outstanding as I'd hoped. It feels flat and thin for a beer with this much flavor.

I might need to go down to the brewery and try this one on tap. It's worth another chance. It's solidly good but not my favorite. I've had other HOTD beers that I've liked better than this one. It would be improved with a little less forward alcohol, astringency, and a little more character in the body.

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Photo of Benish
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into snifter glass. No bottled date known.

Appearance: light tan head built up to three inches thick while pouring. Had to wait for to settle to finish pouring. Color of beer was dark murky brown.

Smell: instantly picked up aroma of chocolate and dark fruit. Maybe a little similar to a Tripel or Quad but the chocolate is more upfront than the dark fruits. There's also something about the chocolate that makes it seem so earthy.

Taste: sweetness starts but then quickly it becomes bitter and very earthy. It has that kind of woodsy taste that hits you and sticks around after the finish. Also noted smoke that becomes more prominent at the finish. Plus the heat became more prominent at the finish as the beer warmed up.

Mouthfeel: full bodied; silky and velvety

Overall: was expecting more of a similarity to a barley wine since it was labeled as Old Ale. I found it to be more similar to a Tripel or Quad (which I am not a big fan of). Still the aroma's and flavors are easy to pick out which makes it enjoyable.

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Photo of mabermud
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Lovely beer. This beer is very drinkable and it is made with love. It has a good, soft bite and a fair amount of character. I enjoy the story each of these beers has on their label. Much thought has been put into each brew.

The beer is attractive.
The smell is enticing.
The taste is definitely of quality.
The mouthfeel is desirable.

Overall, this is a nice beer. I actually purchased a couple of more to drink in the near future.

I love dogs.

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Photo of stdaniel
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown, minimal head of caramel color that recedes fairly quickly.

S: Roasted, not charred malt, caramel

T: Roasted malt, sweet caramel, slight booziness on the back of the palate.

M: Deep, rich, elegant even.

O: One of the best in class. Enjoyable throughout the temperature range. Makes me want to try the barrel aged version.

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Photo of auee92
3.41/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: Boozy fruit, and lightly sweet
Appearance: No head ?!? Darkbrown, cloudy on the pour
Taste: heavy cloying sweetness, lightly bitter
Palate: light body, thin oily slick mouthfeel, flat, astringent, finish
Overall: An odd, off-beat beer. The lack of head on a vigorous pour hints that something was not quite right with my sample. The aroma and taste was unique and sweet, indeed a desert beer if there ever was one!

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Photo of SHODriver
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from batch 85

A: poured into a snifter to a nice deep brown with a small dense tan head that is slow to fade to a collar around the edge of the glass and leaves minimal lacing
S: smells of molasses, toasted malt, raisins and caramel
T: taste is intensely malty and toasty with a bit of dark fruits, caramel, toffee and slight bitterness. swallow is a bit of alcohol mixed with roasty bitterness and chocolate
M: big and sticky in the mouth with good carbonation and a drying finish
O: This beer is big, smooth and complex. It's really good as well and I'm sure this after some time in a barrel is like heaven.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: mahogany color. almost black. hazy and opaque. about half a finger of the most stubborn creamy, tan head, sticks around the entire time with a sticky lacing left of the sides.

Smell: some malty sweetness strikes first, followed by a mixture of leather and dark dried fruits. a little bit chocolatey but not overly powerful. strongest notes are leathery and vinous. a little on the weak side

Taste: opens up with some a complex maltiness. middle is full of oxidized and leather notes, balanced out by a fruitiness, consisting of prunes and raisins. rounded out with chocolate and just a little bit or a roasted malts. some flaked barley throughout. alcohol sometimes makes itself present but not a dominant force in the taste

Mouthfeel: heavy a little chewy. slick and oxidized feel. alcohol warmth and bitterness

Overall: this has been a beer I have been wanting for a long time and was happy to receive one as an extra. certainly lived up to what I had made it out to be in my mind. great example of a stale-ish and leathery old ale.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.31/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, Batch 90- fairly recent. Poured into a Surly Darkness goblet today, 3/30/2014.

App- Very dark brown cola colour, but the brown colour is only evident in the right lighting. Otherwise in normal lighting it looks like a pitch black stout. A vertical pour yields a one finger off-white head with minimal retention. Not much lacing at all.

Smell- Sweet charred malts, dark fruits, smoke, brown sugar. Some wet oaky flavours that in the past, I have found in bourbon barrel aged stouts. Nose is on the sweeter side, not that much smoke in comparison to how it tastes on the palate.

Flavour- Tastes much better than it smells. Smoke, leather, plums, blackberries, brown sugar, oak. Charred dark malt sweetness (much like a Russian Imperial Stout) with some sweet candi sugar. Very complex beer that somehow works well. I can't say one way or another whether this is sweet or smoky or bitter. It is all 3 and whatever else I'm missing here.

Mouthfeel- Medium-thick bodied, low carbonation that is somehow just right for this kind of beer. Drinks very smoothly and is more resinous and sticky than it is dry despite the sweetness. Smoky sweet aftertaste, as if I smoked plums over a fire and covered it in volcanic ash. Despite how gross that sounds, it's very good. For a 11% ABV beer, I taste zero alcohol here even as it warms up.

Overall- Very impressive strong ale. Very complex with a pleasing mixture of flavours that on their own, would not be particularly appealing but this mishmash of flavours comes together to create a mix of stout-like, smoked porter-like and English old ale-like characteristics all in one 12oz bottle. Very good beer that I highly recommend for a late winter/early spring evening.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

on tap at the brewery, Portland

Oily chocolate-black with beige ring.
Blackberry, black tea, and a bit of ash on the nose.
Black bread, black currant and plum jam, big brown sugar/candy middle, a bit of wood and some sherry.
Musty barrel finish and hot whiskey linger.
Medium to full, round, chewy, a bit of heat.

Lots of depth, though some oxidation notes, too. Plenty of sweetness, though not so much on the leather notes. I don’t know enough about dark Dortmunders to say if this comes close, but it’s a solid dark ale with some Belgian characteristics.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.14/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep brown to nearly black in color. A faint bit of khaki colored head rests on top. Brussels lacing is evident. I get a strong aroma of plums and figs along with with alcohol. The mouth is sticky warm due to the alcohol. The taste is strong with a bit of a vinous note and loads of dark malt. The finish is on the sweeter side due to the heavy amount of dark malt.

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Photo of jbaker67
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep a dark brown, bordering on black. Good frothy, mocha colored head dies down to a fine lacing. Aromas of dark chocolate, herbaceous hops, liquorice, raisin, dates, figs, sweet malt with a hint of smoke & leather. Flavor follows the aroma, medium sweet to begin with; molasses, sweet dark fruits, malt loaf etc and a dark chocolate bittersweet flows before the spicy hop bitterness hits, giving a nice savory kick. Medium bodied, with a sticky texture. Good, pleasant, soft natural carbonation helps to coat the tongue, leading to a very satisfying, bitter sweet, sticky long finish.

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Adam from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
4.23 out of 5 based on 2,424 ratings.
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