Adam from the motherfucking Wood. Not regular Adam. Not Cherry Adam, just gangster ass AftW. This is one of those long standing top 100 beers than I had been meaning to trade for off and on for over 9 months, but now shit is getting real and it is time to see if this little 12 ounce heater from Oregon is going to bring the pain in today’s review.
Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
Oregon, United States
Old Ale | 12.00% ABV
This is Adam aged in American Oak barrels. First released in 2000, and released again in November 2011 in 12oz bottles. This 12% beer has lots of the typical HOTD aromas: Caramel, brown sugar, tons of raisin and tobacco. Fig, date, and plum fruitiness in that order. This has a fairly strong earthy vinousness as well as oak vanilla. Alcohol: 12% by volume.
A: This is not a particularly beautiful beer; let’s just get that out of the way right from the top. I mean look at it. It is murky like melted fudge, there’s hardly any carbonation and the sheeting just coats like sticky caramel. I remember when I opened Matt and I was like “wait. What is hapen.” This is the same thing here. I can safely say that Hair of the Dog has slayed beer nerds on the quality of the aroma and taste of their beers, engaging in the Kuhnhenn style of guerilla warfare with regards to appearance. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
S: This is incredible and the olfactory is pumping out siege tanks. This beer opens up with caramel, marshmallow, Zero bar, light chocolate, a lil campfire roastiness in there and closes with a HUGE bourbon kick like kisses from your aunt on Flag day.
T: This is incredibly complex and changes from one beer to a completely different beer as it warms. I feel redundant listing all the terms that HotD themselves listed but, for reals, you get dark fruits like an imperial quad, dates, plums, just fucking read up there. I will add that the oak and bourbon is overwhelming, like Donkey Kong smashing you in the head with a barrel. Kong so hard.
M: This is both hugely sticky like a foam party and incredibly boozy, like a foam party. I enjoy this beer at almost room temperature because it suddenly imparts this complex bouquet like a caramel liqueur. You ever get a girl’s number and then there’s a lingering sense of guilt because you know that you aren’t attracted to Albanian women at all? Well that is how this beer operates, you get that bourbon and then it just overstays its welcome, eating up all your Bugles, changing your DVR settings and shit.
D: This is not drinkable. I will just say it. I will not say that this is not something i did not enjoy, read above, I really liked it. I don’t think Hair of the Dog will get their jimmies rustled when I say that I don’t need any larger formats of this beer. I get it. This isn’t some Ayn Rand novel where you need the notes drilled at you over and over in larger than life representations. Caramel, figs, plums, sleep. That’s how Adam rolls when he is swinging wood.
Narrative: “we should do this more ofTEN!” you open up your posture and lean hesitantly back “oh yeah…i know why dont we, yeah we should!” a slight wavering in your voice. This was all going so well, but God does she grate on your nerves relentlessly. “I’ve got this thing next month and you know, the week is always hectic” you look down at your shoes, the lies in the air palpable in a thick mist that she seems impervious to. The bourbon smells impart a cloud like a Eugene O’Neill novel. “well totally, I will work around you, I will call you tomorrow ok? 2 pm?” You can’t believe you are still standing in the entryway of this apartment complex, this could not end soon enough, yet it started so pleasantly. Maybe it was the way she smacked her food, told the same story 6 times with slight variations, smacked her gum, or asked you prying personal questions. “Yeah no 2pm is rough, pretty much all times are tough, so hey I gotta do this thing but…keep in touch k?…” You lick your gumline and taste her caramel lip gloss. What a strange choice. You rock back on your heels and slink towards your car. “Sure, well I will touch back and we’ll work something out” For all your will, for all her shortcomings, you know in 6 months, your curiousity will return and you will inevitably come back to her. The exotic sweetness, with all its lack of grace, beckons.