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A re-creation of an historic beer style originally made in Dortmund, Germany.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: 2,443
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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Photo of hooliganlife
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

batch 77

poured into HOTD tulip at 55 degrees

pours a dark cola brown. little to no head.

rich caramel and toffee, light vanilla. very sweet and heavy

similar to nose, with the addition of light bourbon and sweet toffee. some biscuit and bread with a faint light toasted flavor.

very smooth and velvety. mild carbonation.

pretty great stuff, would looove the "from the wood" version

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Photo of rudzud
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Received as an extra in a trade. Batch # 85 (roughly 2 years old now).

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a nice dark dark chestnut hue with a nice creamy one finger tannish mocha head that fades to leave a thin blanket and nice light lacing.

S - Aromas of alcohol, light caramel, vanilla, slight dark fruits, light nuttiness.

T - Taste is darker fruits, darker malts, light sweetness. Caramel and some toffee, molasses, brown sugar, raisins. Alcohol is hidden nicely.

M - Mouthfeel is brightly carbonated, rather shocked at this. Was expecting something smooth and creamy, not nearly crisp. Slightly syrupy, alcohol hidden well.

O - Overall, a tasty old ale. Mouthfeel was a bit distracting though, which is too bad.

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Photo of 01001111
3.77/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Chestnut with a thin tan lacing.

S: Alcohol, hazelnuts, dates, with a hint of wood and vanilla.

T: Quite boozy up front. Mellows a bit as the malt becomes dominant with flavors of oak and nuts. The hops come through in the aftertaste like a wash of medicinal bitterness.

M: Thin and drying with a slight syrupy edge if you roll it around in your mouth for a but.

O: Perhaps not as exemplary as I had anticipated but good nonetheless. The flavor and, in particular, the aroma get better as the liquid warms.

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Consumed 1/24/13

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for giving me a bottle of this (I think it was for my birthday)

Appearance: Deep brown with some clarity around the edges - pours with a medium-sized, creamy, tan head - fades to a wispy cap - leaves some nice lacing

Smell: Dark malts, with dark fruit, and some decidedly "old ale" aromas - cooked and caramelized malts - toffee, molasses, and overcooked biscuits - some oxidation - lots of dark fruits, including raisins, figs, and berry skins - chocolate, tobacco, and booze

Taste: Dark malts, dark fruits, and alcohol - definitely tastes like and old ale, with some oxidation that mostly works with the other flavors - dark malts, dark caramel, molasses, brown sugar, toffee, and biscuits - more oxidation and some tannins - dark chocolate - alcohol is particularly obvious, but it works - raisins, figs, and some sweetness

Mouthfeel: More or less a full body, nice carbonation, very smooth, a nice sipper

Overall: Sometimes old is good

I've typically complained about old ales, which I will admit is unfair to the style. Or perhaps not... because I don't dislike this. It definitely tastes old, but there is a lot going on here. It's a nice sipper, with some interesting dark malts, dark fruit, and booze.

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Photo of minterro
4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been trying to get my hands on a bottle of this (not actively but still) for a while now, so I hope it lives up to the hype I have put on it. Got as part of a beer trade. Batch 87, which I think is a little over a year old at this point.

A&S: Aroma is power, but not super intense and consisting of tobacco, molasses, hints of marshmallows, very sweet sugars. Undertones of the aroma is earthy dirt, Initially head looks fizzy and weak, but upon the second pour the head is pretty creamy and retains way better than initially. Globs of lacing are left behind. Lots of caked on sediment at the bottom, even when swirled it doesn't detach. The beer is a very dark brown.

T&M: Upfront some chocolate (not as much as I expected), Chewing tobacco smokiness and raisins tones in the finish. Mild bitterness in the finish. Alcohol is very subdued (maybe due to the aging), but you for sure get a feel for it cause it warms as it goes down. Carbonation is on the high side of medium, but the body is still quite thick.

Overall: Great beer, if for sure lived up to the hype. If I didn't have to wake up early I would consider doing this side by side with the 4D I have in the fridge, o well. I will be out in Portland in a few months, hope I can find a few to bring back home and see how it does with some more aging and to have a fresh go at it.

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Photo of BuzzLitebier
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sample this on 12/26/13 with Arithmeticus.

We poured this 12 oz bottle of batch 89 in to two pint glasses. The appearance was very dark in color- almost cola-like with a thick, tan head and decent lacing. We found the malty aroma inviting, despite having very little hops or yeast. We could detect figs and chocolate, and it smelled very sweet and slightly boozy. The taste was amazingly complex- with smoke, leather, and dark fruit. The nose definitely belied the taste. The mouthfeel medium with decent carbonation. This is one of the best beers I have had in a while, so would I (we) have it again?? HELL YES!

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Photo of BierJager89
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Black with an off white head.

S: Vanilla, caramel, bourbon in the nose. Typical staleness of an old ale.

T: Sweet roasted malt, bourbon and honey flavors, surprising as this is not the barrel aged version. Also some stale yeast or malt or whatever that typical old ale taste/flavor is.

M: Medium bodied and smooth.

O: Recommended, but perhaps a bit overrated. I'd love to try Adam from the Wood.

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Photo of spoony
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap into a tulip at the brewery.

A-The brew is dark brown, nearly black. The head is mocha in color and maybe a finger tall. The head is dense and creamy, which is surprising given the ABV. It leaves a wisp or two of lacing on the glass.

S-The aroma has fruity alcohol esters, dark caramel, molasses, and a bourbon-like vanilla. It is very smooth and creamy smelling. Nice.

T-The taste, like the smell, is sweet but smooth. I get some creamy cocoa, light roasted flavors, molasses, caramel, dark cherry, and just a slight twang of hoppy bit on the finish. Alcohol is well integrated and gently warming.

M-The feel is medium to light for the style, which makes this brew dangerously easy to drink. The carbonation is fine and subtle.

O-This is a nice beer. The flavors are complex and intense. While this is certainly a sweet, big beer, unlike many beers of this style and ABV, Adam never veers into syrupy or sticky. I especially enjoy the cherry fruit flavors and light bitter twang on the finish.

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Photo of JohnG190
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown%2C almost black with a thick%2C copper colored head. Nice lacing. The aroma is complex - lots of dark roast malt%2C chocolate%2C with a hint of smoke. Maltiness on the front of the tongue%2C followed by chocolate and smoke. There's enough bitterness to balance out that malt backbone. Full bodied with lively carbonation. Overall%2C this is an outstanding sipper to enjoy on a cold winters night.

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Adam from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
4.23 out of 5 based on 2,443 ratings.
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