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Hair of the Dog Adam

June 7, 2011

Hair of the Dog brewing is based in Portland, Oregon, which immediately tells you they’re probably one of the older craft breweries on the market. Their website, and the way it looks, helps to confirm this, as they were founded in 1993. The Adam was their first beer, inspired by a lecture on extinct beer styles namely, as should come as no surprise, the Adambier of Dortmund, Germany. This was once the flagship beer of the region, but it eventually gave way to Munich Darks and Pilsners before Dortmunders came up with their own Pale Lager that displaced the Adambier. Luckily though, the recipes and brewing methods of this once-extinct style do still exist, and the gentlemen over at Hair of the Dog certainly show they know what they’re doing with it. Also, I won’t lie about my excitement when I heard that Barcade was receiving a keg of this, since I am a fan of German-style beers.

I was somewhat surprised when I discovered this was a ten-ounce pour due to its 10% ABV, since I have normally found most traditional German beers to be lighter in alcohol content but perhaps, I have just been drinking the wrong German beers. The beer had the color of a very dark altbier, an extremely dark brown that was nearly black along with a very light milk chocolate-colored head. The scent was one that reminded me of fresh fruit ready for the picking, fine wooden barrels (presumably oak), along with some nice boozy hints woven throughout.

The mouthfeel was nice and rich but not velvety or creamy like a stout, merely full-bodied. This full-bodied quality was good as it required you to sip the beer, and taste it very carefully before swallowing. The taste itself was as rewarding and complex as the scent. The foremost tastes were of ripened fruit and sweet malt, mixed in with this were tastes of dark chocolate, a small hint of woody flavor, and a slight bitterness that I would attribute to either the chocolate flavor or a very faint smokiness. While the bitterness provided the finish, there was a sort of under-taste that occurred along with it of fresh fruit. This taste was the kind of juicy flavor that lingers on your lips after biting into certain berries, and was a refreshing pair to the bitterness. My application of the nose-trick made the beer possess a somewhat fresher finish, while accentuating the fruit and chocolate. I would say that this is one of the beers you need to try, at least for its novelty, and definitely for its taste.

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