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Hair of the Dog Dave

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RATINGS: 116   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.26/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 870   ABV: 29%
Dave is an English Barley Wine. This beer was produced in 1994, and won first place at the 1998 Toronado Barley Wine Festival. The strength was achieved by taking 300 gallons of Adam and freezing it three times, leaving only 100 gallons. Always used as a teaching aid, it was produced to show people that Beer could be more than what they had experienced, and continues to do that today.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
JoeMcPhee (9267) - Toronto, ON, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 31, 2008
I really can’t believe that I got a chance to try this. Many, many thanks to fredandboboflo. Deep amber brown beer with no head at all. Aroma is very rich and sweet. There is a lot going on in here... cocoa, tobacco, wood and bourbon. Cherry, molasses and a lot of sweet dried fruit. Pomegranate and date molasses wrapped around sweet honey hazelnuts and almonds. Finishes quite sweet and cocoaish with lingering date and a savoury licorice/soy character. Fairly boozy retronasally, but this isn’t really noticible in the mouth. Sort of like a rich mix of tawny port, bourbon, and barleywine. It’s hard to believe that this works nearly as well as it does. Again, many thanks for sharing such a gem of a beer.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
beerbill (3605) - Laurel, New York, USA - NOV 29, 2008
We were at a get-together celebrating the return of the prodigal son (beastiefan2k) at John Harvards, and fredandboboflo asked if we thought if it was ok if he brought out a beer for tasting. Thanks to the crappy service, we all agreed it was no problem. Adam took out a box of Southern Tier Cuvée Series 1 and laughingly said not to worry, that wasn’t what he brought. He then slides out the bottle, and I kiddingly said, "Oh look, its a bottle of Dave." What followed was one of those holy sh#t moments, when I realized it WAS a bottle of Dave. I never thought I would get to try this beer, and I want to thank Adam and Margaret up front for their generosity in sharing this gem with us. Pours a very deep ruby red and deep brown with no head. This beer does, however, leave lovely legs on the glass when swirled. The aroma is superb with lots of dates, brown sugar, oak, tawny port, and alcohol. The flavor is an ever-so-slight step back with a bit more influence from the alcohol, but still loaded with dates, oak, and brown sugar. The finish reminded me very much of a fine cognac, very well rounded, warming and soothing, with the vapors still filling the nose throughout the experience. A rare and real treat I will not soon forget!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
notalush (5728) - Denver, Colorado, USA - NOV 28, 2008
First of all, huge thanks for fredandboboflo and lilbeerdoctor for sharing this - I never thought I’d ever get to try this - shared with a table of ratebeerians at John Harvards - pours a thick, viscous ruby liquid - aroma of spiced rum, chocolate, brown sugar, port wine, bourbon-soaked cherries - zero carbonation - thick, slick mouthfeel - warming flavor, but not at all boozy - a lot of cherry, brown sugar, spices - oaky, vinous, a lot of port flavors - probably the most balanced beer of such strength I’ve ever had - this is the best beer I’ve ever had at John Harvards!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
beastiefan2k (3547) - HdG (past: NYC, KS, Rain City), Maryland, USA - NOV 28, 2008
Out of nowhere a surprise from fredandboboflo and LilBeerDoc, thanks a lot got. Pours, as expected, lifeless with no head and, well... you can see the exact color of the beer in the picture here. Aroma is lightly boozy and very chocolate-y. But its not as alcoholic on the nose as I expected, smells very delicious, vinous, sweet, non-sweet oak, and lots of malty heft. Taste is a little thinner and alcohol comes through a bit more. Comes off as licorice with lots of vanilla oak. Finishes strong and sweet. Obviously, thick and viscous going down, coats the throat. A lot more drinkable that I expected and I am really glad I got to try this treat, thanks again guys. After drinking this I think it probably no more than 15% in real life.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
AgentSteve (1647) - SF Bay Area, California, USA - NOV 27, 2008
Wasn’t sure I’d ever get to try this one, bottle shared with Joet. Pours like maple syrup in color with no head. Huge nose of dried fruits, dark sugars and alcohol. The flavor was big leather and earth influences along with the fruit and sugars, and, of course, alcohol. Not the 29% that it was, but more like around 15%. Great sipper!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
bradlyc77 (226) - Sebastopol, California, USA - NOV 20, 2008
UPDATED: JAN 7, 2009 Ratebeer election party. Beautiful amber/brown color, no carbonation/head. Strong flavors of bourbon, raisin, and leather balanced perfectly with hop bitterness and aroma. Visible legs on the glass. A sipper for sure. Truly a once in a lifetime treat. Thanks Joet.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
ATLBeerDog (280) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - SEP 21, 2008
UPDATED: OCT 12, 2008 I enjoyed a two-ounce sample of this thanks to an auction for charity. As a group, we split a 375ml bottle. Pours a simply beautiful brown/copper color without a hint of carbonation. We sampled this along side a 2007 Utopias. Dave was mellow and welcoming, purring like a cat, a ton of complexity with raisins, caramel, toffee, chocolate notes and a slight smoke presence. Simply delicious. The young un-behaved 2007 Utopias was still screaming and could use a good 8 to 10 years of time out. This is truly an amazing beer worthy of all the attention.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 20/20
NoiZe (2323) - Zeist, NETHERLANDS - AUG 14, 2008
Tasted @ Hair of the Dog Brewing Company in Portland.
Big thanks to Alan for letting me get some of these. There’s still some left in the barrel!
Ow what a special and very smooth brew this is. Brown, copper colored brew. Aroma is sweet, caramel, dark fruits. And alcoholic, the cognac kinda way. Dark fruits and licorice, dark chocolate in the flavor. It’s very, very smooth and silky. Complex and balanced at the same time. Perfect combination of everything. Highly enjoyable, enjoy every sip. Really special.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Jeppe (2631) - Brooklyn, Alabama, USA - AUG 4, 2008
Tasted at Kans place brought by Jason - thanks my friend! A deep brown beer with no head. Vinous aroma with plenty of caramel, mocha, dark malt and a nice alcohol sensation. Like a good dessert wine, strong and powerfull yet balanced. Flavor is dominated by cocoa with a dry mouthfeel like cocoa powder. Strong and vinous and rather sweet of course but not over the top. Like a good liquor, extremely smooth. I sense some apricot and a salty hint in there as well. No doubt an insane beer and if it is 29% or not I don’t know, but it feels at least as heavy as Utopias. A great experience!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Ofortuna (322) - Grafton, Wisconsin, USA - JUL 29, 2008
Many, many thanks to Jason for allowing me to sample this rare treat! Pours a thick vein of charred goodness with zero carbonation. The most fantastic legs I’ve ever seen on a beer cling to the glass enticing me to partake of this eau de vie. Tremendous amount of kettle caramelization in the flavour. Definitely a pronounced amount of alcohol, but it has been nicely muted over the years. Huge notes of grape, cognac and vanilla. Reminds me of a fine cognac. Deeper into the experience, molasses and light soy work their way in. Although, I must say not even on the same level as Avery’s Mephistopheles. In the way of technical expertise that was involved, a masterpiece. Unbelievable how they managed to not only produce the world’s highest alcohol beer, but also made it taste absolutely wonderful.

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