MarkR (68) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - OCT 29, 2003
Deep, dark brown with plum highlights under a huge grayish-tan head, barely controlled by an extremely careful and slow pour. Phenomenal head retention for such a strong brew! Stunningly complex aroma of treacle, dark fruits, mesquite wood, caramel, and spice under a heavy blanket of smoke. Astonishingly aromatic and rich. The flavor is like nothing I’ve encountered. Dark fruits (plums, prunes, raisons, red grapes, figs), cedar and mesquite wood, chocolate, roasted malts, and caramel weave in and out under a thick layer of smoke. Begins slightly sweet and fruity, then turns spicy on the finish. Little-to-no hop presence. Smallest hint of alcohol on the finish, as the 10% is really well hidden. The mouthfeel is medium in thickness, with a smooth roundness. A unique and singular brew, I’ve love to try some well-aged vintages. I could spend an entire day analyzing this beer. Wow…just wow. cquiroga (371) - Tujunga, California, USA - OCT 29, 2003
Poured out of 12 oz. bottle, bought at Stuffed Sandwich in San Gabriel, CA 9/9/03. Batch #34. Pours with very little, slate-gray head that disappears completely very quickly. Slight action of carbonation, and even a little bit of lacing for awhile, but this stuff looks thick and oily. Very dark brown, almost black, with lots of sediment. Smell is amazing, fruity and sweet (plum?) with a literally intoxicating maltiness. Smells slightly acidic, like grape juice. Hints of chocolate, lots of berry. I only wish there were a head to give up a little more of this amazing aroma. Body is incredibly full-- even puts the World Wide to shame-- creamy and, again, oily. Taste is immediately malty, very sharply fruity on the edges and back of the mouth, and subtly dark roasted with a hint of bitterness. Time, air, and new sips reveal new olfactory and taste experiences, like I felt once that I was drinking a liquefied chocolate truffle. Delicious flavors, all. Still plum, berry, and now dark malt and something reminiscent of ash with a tiny hint of smokiness. Feel the alcohol immediately-- not only is it warming in the throat and belly, but it also made me gasp once or twice. Perfectly smooth finish, very long but mellowing and subtle with the malts, smokiness, and oiliness hanging around most prominently. Increasing bitterness through the bottle, and this stuff sucks all of the moisture off of your tongue as it takes over your taste buds. Gotta keep the tongue moist by taking in and savoring another swig! This stuff is fantastic right now (after years of aging), and although I haven't tried other batches, I don't think this beer can get any better. kyzr (1607) - Montana, USA - OCT 23, 2003
Deep dark brown with big alive light brown head. Dried fruit aroma with a touch of molasses. Flavor is smoked with hints of fruit and roasted espresso. Nice long lasting finish. unclebleen (620) - California, USA - OCT 23, 2003
Very dark brown with some red/ruby hues if held to a very bright light. Excellent tan head with super lacing. The smell...oh the smell. What an experience the first sniff is! Amazing complex dark fruit aroma. Smells like a wonderful dinner wine. The flavor is very good. You are hit with dark fruit and a smokey malt sweetness. Nice light bitterness on the swallow. Rich creamy body with a surprising dry finish. Truely a world-class brew. harlequinn (2744) - Tacoma, Washington, USA - OCT 23, 2003
There is so much to this one that you could literally write an entire page about all the complexities and subtelties that this ale possesses. The appearance is something to behold, it looks like a jewel poured into a glass, the presentation in the glass is entertaining and lively. The aroma is not as complex as the flavor, but comes across as very winey, and very much like a port in appearance, aroma and taste. Lots of fruit flavors at first, with some overtones that are slightly coffee like and then the aftertaste is roasted, like it had been made with chicory. The mouthfeel is very dry, but luscious, but extremely balanced. Finish has an aftertaste that has to be experienced and enjoyed, before it can be described. A must try.
Rastacouere (6177) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - OCT 21, 2003
UPDATED: FEB 2, 2010 Apperance is a dark brown with ruby reflects. Generous beige head that sticks to the glass like glue, every bubble is ultra-small and identical to its neighbor. Complex aroma reminiscent of port wine, grapes,licorice, plums, alcohol. Mouthfeel is creamy with a medium to full body. Very complex. There’s just a little bit of everything in that beer it seems. Plenty of malty fruitiness with figs, plums, raspberries without neglecting brown sugar, smokey chocolate, nuts, spices. I hate to say it, but Et Cetera... That’s very big and deep stuff, but anyone would like it I believe. A lot of fresh hops character contributes to the intensity. The aftertaste is great, delicate, hoppy, but almost not bitter, superbly warming and pleasant. Out of this world balance considering the enormous quantities of malt and hops. MartinT had warned me this was religious stuff-> RIGHT ON! Probably the best beer to ever cross my glass. I bet this ages well too. At 4.12, this is almost under-rated. If I have the chance to taste something better than this, I don’t mind going to hell. I owe you one Jazz88! adrenalin112 (57) - Lake Forest, California, USA - OCT 17, 2003
This beer has shown very variable over the last few samples, but when it’s on and pours with a huge head, you’ll know it was worth the 2 or 3 bottles you bought that were *only* worthy high 3s or low 4s.
Bought 5 cases of this from a distributor about 6 months ago (it wasnt available anywhere in my area for quantities of more than 4 -5 bottles at a time). Each month it has gotten better. All my friends & their relatives have been trying to take mine. I am almost
This beer is very rich, with loads of roasted flavors. Smokey, spicy, mild sweet are a few ways to characterize this beer. It has so many levels. So different from the fred, yet any true beerian will enjoy this brew. xsketchyx (184) - Oregon, USA - OCT 14, 2003
UPDATED: FEB 24, 2004 Pours black with a big head. Smells like cinnamons and raisins, awesome... lots of spices, plums and licorice, finishes with some smoke flavors. Close to flawless, and it's not by accident. Hair of the Dog knows what they're doing... BBB63 (6567) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - OCT 12, 2003
Batch 56: Murky dark brown hue with a large initial tan head which never goes completely away and produced good lace. The aroma hints of tropical fruit as well as apricot and cherry. Additional aromas detected on the nose were caramel, pine, twangy yeast and a touch of wood. A large sweet and spicy taste took center stage with a twangy fruit and moderate bitter character playing supporting roles. The alcohol presence is noticeable but not overpowering, does a good job a cleaning the palate. Dry woody and nutty finish. The mouthfeel is lively yet also lush. Nicely complex brew with the ability to gracefully age another year or more. Recommended. redlem (1306) - Ohio, USA - OCT 6, 2003
UPDATED: MAR 15, 2009 Batch 57.
An earthy dark brown color with a large caramel colored creamy head. The carbonation is hypnotizing as many evenly sized bubbles keep going up the side of my tulip shaped glass, leaving a one inch wide band of these bubbles that look like droplets of oil, exquisite. Quality vinous aroma with alcohol, bitter chocolate, and a sticky sweetness. Taste of alcohol, licorice, and sweet bourbon. A silky mouth feel with a sweet aftertaste. Almost makes me want to believe the whole Creationism theory, nah, that would be stupid.