Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Hair of the Dog Brewing Company - Adam

A few months ago, I sent out a message to my Hood to Coast team asking them if any of them had any good beers to try. One of the guys from Portland, Alan, sent me a pretty solid list back in return. There was just one problem: many of them are near impossible to find here. After about a week of looking, I tracked down Ninkasi's Tricerahops, which turned out to be fantastic. Despite looking around though, I couldn't locate a few of the other breweries on the list, including Hair of the Dog, a brewery located in Portland. I was especially bummed about this one because most of the reviews of their beers were extremely favorable. It seemed like things just weren't meant to be between Hair of the Dog and I, so I made a mental note to visit them the next time I was in Portland and moved on. Then, I was in a liquor store the other day and sure enough, they had Hair of the Dog! The first one I wanted to try was a beer called Adam.

Adam is another beer done in the Old Ale style. For some reason, I keep stumbling across this style and for the most part, that's been a very good thing. I have yet to try an Old Ale I didn't like. Coton was the first, followed by Deschutes' Jubel and these were both fantastic. Now, it was time for Adam.

Adam pours an extremely dark brown (and maybe closer to black) color with a very thin mocha head that settles quickly. One of the things I like most about Old Ales is how intimidating they look and this one's no different. It's just a mass of thick, dark liquid in front of you daring you to take a sip. The aromas coming off of it were intense: heavy raisin and molasses notes with some dark chocolate, smoke, licorice and a lot of fig as the beer warms. When I first uncapped the bottle, I smelled some hops, but these are all but gone in the glass.

The taste is everything the smell promised and more. There is a lot of sweetness upfront and then a hint of smokiness with a long and lingering finish that brings a pleasant warmness on the swallow. It was really pretty incredible how long the taste lingered, changing as it went. I read one review of the beer in which the reviewer said he didn't get the finish until thirty seconds after taking a sip. I'm not sure if the finish took that long for me, but it was definitely a long time before you got that final taste that stayed with you until the next sip. This beer reminded me a lot of Coton flavor-wise, but this feels like it hasn't been aged as long. This one is "only" 10% while Coton boasts a whopping 14.5%. In a way, I think I liked Adam better though. It definitely didn't feel as untamed as Coton. It's definitely worth a try if you can find it.

Final Grade: A+

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