Hair of the Dog Adam

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Hearty old world ale.  Four words that immediately conger up images of a Churchill-like English man in an underlit bar making small talk with a well dressed bartender.  Something about this brew takes me back to takes me back to the old school.  It doesn’t hurt that adorned on the label is a past prime bulldog begrudgingly puffing on a cigar.  The fact that Hair of the Dog, based out of the recyclinIMG_7496g loving city of Portland, Oregon, chose to call this brew a, “Hearty ale,” is something that I love.  Everybody has a stout, nobody a Hearty Old World Ale.  Will the uniqueness go beyond the label?  Time to run them numbers…

Appearance:  Black, not at all translucent, towards the mouth of the tulip glass (which was so generously donated by miKro in Hamden), it turns into a murky red/brown color.  Absolutely no head on this beer (10% ABV).

Smell:  Molasses, stale coffee, dates, alcohol, and chocolate.  Smells yummy and sweet.  Maybe too sweet…

IMG_7511Taste:  Molasses, chocolate, bread, smokey.  Starts off pretty sweet up front with a lot of molasses and chocolate flavors coming into the picture.  Midway through it transitions into more of a bready character while still keeping some of those sweet molasses notes through it.  After you swallow, a smokey cloud rains all over your tongue which welcomes you back for another sip.  After each sip, your mouth is painted with a brush of grain and intense malt flavors.  The mouthfeel on this guy is so incredibly silky and slowly it leaves more and more of an alcohol lingering.  The carbonation is so subtle, it makes me wonder if I aged this too long (only a year).  Not a lot of knocks against this brew, however if your not a fan of the sweet/dark fruit brews, you may want to pass on this one.

IMG_7516This ale is one that is fairly complex, but a bit unbalanced on the sweet side for my liking.  More roasted malts is what this brew needs to be a little more balanced in my opinion, however a big reason as to why those flavors might be lacking is because of the 10% ABV.  In high gravity beers, it’s harder to get that roasty flavor into the brew, but in fairness, this isn’t a stout, but a hearty old world ale.

Overall:  I like what Hair of the Dog did here, but for being so hard to find on the east coast, it doesn’t live up to trouble.  I’ll give it a grade of a B.  It leaves you with an oily grain coating in your mouth once you’re done which is really not all that pleasant and is a bit on the sweet side.  Who’d have thought this fedora wearing dog would be too sweet?

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