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A re-creation of an historic beer style originally made in Dortmund, Germany.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

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Reviews: 1,017 | Ratings: 2,446
Photo of dleigh
4.88/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Dark brown with minimal head. Smells of plums and toffee, with hints of roasty smoke. Tastes roasty with leather and tobacco notes, with plenty of the aforementioned plum-toffee sweetness. Nice hop balance, which is, I think, where, at least in part, I'm getting the leather and tobacco notes. Coats the mouth without feeling syrupy. A classic beer. One of my all time favorites.

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Photo of ThickNStout
4.56/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from LambicPentameter (thank you!). Batch 92, bottled 4/4/14. Served in a Clown Shoes snifter.

Pours a dark, opaque chestnut brown with a healthy two finger cap of shadowy sand hued head. Great retention with a sheet of froth that remains across the top and a huge wall of lace. Gorgeous.

Aromas of dark fruit, toffee, chocolate, bread and sugar. Smells great.

As good as it smells, this tastes even better. Plums, leather, chocolate, toffee, figs, caramel, char/ smoke, raisin bread, burnt sugar, tobacco, fruit skins, mild earthiness and a fitting blanket of alcohol. A fantastic blend of flavors that work well and serve to hide the booze very well. Delicious.

Creamy, medium full feel with soft, supple carbonation. Stone fruit, chocolate and leather play into the finish.

My first date with Adam showed me exactly why this beer has such respect. This is one of the best non barrel aged old ales I've tried. I definitely plan to acquire more.

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Photo of Moose90
3.96/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, batch #93

A — Pours a very dark almost black color, very very deep and dark brown. There is a think mocha colored head, fades quite quickly and sits atop the glass. Nice lacing.

S — Smells of chocolates and bitter coffee, lots of leather and oak. Big dark fruit tones here too, lots of plum, fig, raisin, little bit of orange. Toffee, caramel, nutty almond. Complex.

T — Rich, deep, dark, sweet. Very complex. Lots of leather and bitterness. Quite earthy and rich. Some dark fruit character as well, a true malt bounty. Plum, raisin, coffee, dark chocolate, lightly woodsy and earthy. Little bit sweet.

M — Little to no carbonation, sweet and lingering.

O — Great, just a ton of complex flavors, very very heavy, sweet, and rich though.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a gorgeous, completely opaque, almost pitch-black color with two fingers of white-colored head that slowly dissolved away into a lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Wow! Very aromatic, with tons of bready, toasted malt and stone fruit up front, imparting notes of freshly toasted sweet bread, and raisins, apricots, currents, figs and prunes. I also get tons of toffee and brown sugar, as well as spices of clove, cinnamon, all-spice and black pepper. Very complex, rich, and inviting.

Taste: Delicious! There’s tons of bready, toasted malt and stone fruit up front, imparting flavors of freshly toasted sweet bread, and raisins, apricots, currents, figs and prunes. I also get tons of toffee and brown sugar-like sweetness, as well as spices of clove, cinnamon, all-spice and black pepper. Very complex, rich, and inviting. Outstanding!

Mouthfeel: Chewy, smooth and creamy as there is very little in the way of carbonation. With an ABV of 10.0%, there is very little in the way of alcohol on the palate, which is surprising. There’s much less than I was expecting with that high of an ABV. It’s extremely well masked.

Overall: This is a delicious beer! Amazing aromas, and flavor to match! I see why it is so highly regarded! It’s absolutely outstanding!

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Photo of Hop_God
3.64/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This review is from March 2014 tasting notes. Will revisit soon as i have a few bottles i recently acquired. Maybe just had a bad bottle? Was truly underwhelmed.

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Photo of BenwayPHD
4.81/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

It pours a dark, dark brown with a very thin, white head. It smells fantastic. It smells like it was bourbon barrel aged, although it wasn't. Bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, leather, tobacco, figs. It tastes more chocolaty than it smells. It has a molasses feel and flavor. It is sweetness upfront, but that is very nicely balanced with a good amount of bitterness.

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Photo of pat61
4.78/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

L: This pours chestnut with a 3” tan head that perches up above the glass rim and hugs the side of the glass.
S: Malt, roast, and dark fruit on the nose.
T: Starts with very lightly sweetened chocolate and develops more coffee flavors as it moves through the mouth culminating in lingering dark bitter chocolate and dark coffee aftertastes.
F: Chewy and soft in the mouth with average carbonation.
O: This is an excellent, very well made beer.

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Photo of jellikit
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dr. Pepper. Dark ruby-red. Clear. Off-white-totan, thin head.
Smell: fig. Date. Tobacco.
Taste: Same as smell with a little plum and cherry.
Mouthfeel: medium-low carbonation. Big body. Slightly sweet.
Overall. Big and well balanced. Tasty. Will buy again.

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Photo of RickS95
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's an amazing looking beer, especially after the ugliness of Fred last night. Thick, very dark brown pour. Extreme carbonation fills whatever glass you've got with bubbles. Lots and lots of thick bubbles. Tan colored bubbles of all sizes. Eons of retention and a glass scraping amount of lace.

All malt. Mostly chocolate nose with scents of leather and tobacco evolving as the beer warms. Only a slight alcohol smell and any hops smell of the Noble type.

Taste mirrors the smell, only the smoke and tobacco flavors are stronger. Old Ales are kind of difficult to describe other than to say when you've had a good one you know it, and this tastes like I would imagine it's supposed to. Leather is a strange 'taste' to define, but again, you know it when you've had it and it's prevalent here.

Smooth and creamy, but with bold aggressive ingredients. A bit smoky, yet sweet AND savory at the same time. There's a lot going on. High ABV and very full bodied. Very complex. Each sip leaves a lingering heat.

Overall, it's a world-class beer. It's not something to drink a six pack of, maybe not even a second bottle, but each single is an amazing rendition of the style.

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Photo of PSU_Mike
4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Not really a fair rating since this bottle was a 1995. But the sum of the parts still could not equal the beer as a whole. An absolutely incredible experience.

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Photo of maxcoinage
4.11/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

batch 83 (9/2011) bottle to snifter. huge creamy head, dark brown

charred oak, leather,tobacco,

smokey sweetness, dark fruits.

lots of carb, creamy body. heavier

well done brew. unique. lots of complexity

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Photo of SierraFlight
4.02/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured gently into hotel cup. Cola brown body with no head and great tan lacing. Aroma is caramel, nuts, molasses, dark fruits like plum and fig, anise, a touch of bakers chocolate. Taste initially borders on strong sweetness with chocolate, brown sugar, raisin, and maple syrup flavors. Light bitterness comes on the swallow with nutty and tobacco notes. Some smoke and band-aid flavors come late. Medium-full body, thick syrupy texture, virtually no carbonation, boozy sweet and tongue-coating finish.

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Photo of 1424IpA
3.59/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2002 batch 55. 1st time with adam...kinda wierd I know but that's the way the cookie crumbled. To me this dude is all about smokey leather, sandlewood with hints of other spices. I do get some raisin flavors but all and all its a pretty clean beer for being a teenager....

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.62/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle from trade. Big thanks on this one, as it is a long time want. Finally! Batch Number 82 (whatever that means) poured 1/31/15. Pours hearty and thick dark brown, looking almost black as it settles in the glass, with a bit creamy khaki brown head. Aroma of brown sugar, some spicy hops, sweet molasses and caramel, toffee, whoah. Smells rich and sweet. Flavor is chocolatey breadyness, peated malts (was not expecting that!), smokey mess mixed with sweet molasses and caramel. Lots going on here, but balanced nicely by the hops and finishes with a light crisp bitterness and light lingering sweetness. Rich body with plus carbonation, lively, yum. Lived up to expectations and included some unexpected flavors win the smokiness/peatyness.

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Photo of portia99
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle (batch 73) poured into a snifter. This is a weekend of vintage beers for me...compared to the '02 Old Horizontal, this is pretty young, but HotD's website says this was bottled on 8/3/08 so still pretty old (coincidentally this was my 10th wedding anniversary day)

A - Pours with a very faint carbonation...looks almost still on the pour with some tiny, fine bubbles barely making a collar. Body is near black with maybe a faint purpleish tint to it.

S - Cola, licorice, prunes, alcohol, caramel, some roast, and chocolate.

T - A bit roasty with some burnt malts and faint acrid, dark roast coffee-ish flavor up front. Lots of dark fruit, plums, prunes, figs, a bit of dark cherries. I get a faint red wine like fruity/tannic character also. Still getting a bit of cola, some sugary sweetness, notes of chocolate, and some complementary alcohol. The underlying roasty/acrid bitterness really brings everything together here keeping the beer from becoming cloying in sweetness - the bitter brings everything back to balance - starts sweet and then is cut off and brought back by the roast...really nice.

M - Near still, but still showing enough carbonation to keep things alive. Body is medium. Sticky with sugars that are left on the lips after each sip allowing you to get a second taste of the caramelly, burnt sugar character after each sip. Shows a good balance of dark fruits, various sugars, chocolate, alcohol and roast.

O - Adam certainly deserves its high ratings. Even after 7ish years in the bottle it holds up and maybe has improved since being fresh. Great complexity and balance along with a scary drinkability for a 10% beer. This ranks right up there as one of my favorite strong ales. Great stuff...glad I have more of this batch to savor in the future.

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

12 oz bottle (batch 84; 2011) poured dark reddish-brown with a good head.

Wonderful aroma. Given the aroma, the flavor is initially disappointing but it finishes strong and leaves a great aftertaste. Good complexity. ABV partially hidden.

Smooth, medium-full body.

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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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Adam from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
4.23 out of 5 based on 2,446 ratings.
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