hrking (140) - Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - JUN 30, 2009
had this at the ACBF in Boston as a share from someone cool after the event let out. Wish I could remember who shared it but thanks. Nice flavor and was to be expected from HOTD . nice smoke malt presence and flavors from Belgian yeast coming through. Malty and sweet and a dangerous 11.5% ALC. Some slight apple flavor coming through with a candi sugar sweetness on a malty base. Good stuff. GodOfThunder (1249) - Orlando, Florida, USA - JUN 25, 2009
Special thanks to Hoppymeal for getting me some of this for rate #666. Pours a nice and cloudy dark brown with a chocolate milk colored head. Aromas of bourbon, chocolate, vanilla and roast. Flavors are equally complex, with the bourbon being at the forefront, but not overpowering. Just enough of cocoa, vanilla and roasted flavors peek through. Very well balanced. Great beer. JAXSON (605) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 20, 2009
Bottle, thanks to Brendan. Beautiful pour of really, really dark brown and a creamy mocha head. Smoke and malt dominate the nose. Refined and understated. Hair of the Dog always has this great smoked malt thing going on with their darker beers. Some sweet, salty bacon is in the nose too, but is weaved in nicely. Really sweet and creamy in the mouth. Smoke picks up the back end nicely. There are dark, deep choclate elements working here, wrapped in smoke, and lighter, higher notes of light apples. This is really interesting. A bit sweeter than I would like., but man, that is a beautiful interplay of flavors. A bit thinner than I would like, which does not help this beer. This is very good and is worth seeking out. beernbourbon (1592) - Iowa City, Iowa, USA - JUN 19, 2009
Rating Number 100!!. Bottle, with big thanks to NYbeer. Pour is deep rich-looking brown with hints of red. Pretty much no head, just a few bubbles around the perimeter. The moment I opened the bottle I could smell stone fruit and wood in the room. The aroma is also caramel malt, red and green apple, rock sugar, faint background smoke, and the earthiness and oak tones of pinot noir. It smells rich. Flavor is huge up front. Lots of caramel malt, apple, plum, and date to start. Then rock sugar kicks in, some raisin in there too. Finish is continued sweetness with woody notes and a lingering sweet apple flavor. The bourbon is certainly a background flavor initially, but really intensifies as the beer warms. Also a hint of smoke and vanilla/bourbon in finish. Alcohol is very well hidden. This is a sweet beer, it tastes like it has 5 years of age on it already. I have no idea what a few more years would do, but Im glad I drank it now. Certainly a rare treat, Im glad I got to try it! nhorween (645) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUN 16, 2009
Bottle, thanks to zeswaft for bringing this in from the west coast - and congrats to sersdf, who is now... dr. sersdf. dark plummy pour, lots of sweetness and wood, earthy, peaty, lightly musty, bourbon, apple cider. sweet booziness pervades. a pleasure to drink, like a big and earthy barley wine but much more complicated than that. bananas foster? really an excellent brew, thanks for sharing.
MrChopin (4304) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - JUN 14, 2009
Bottle thanks to trevor211!boFNjackson (4201) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JUN 14, 2009
Murky brown, no head. Nose is very sweet, lots of apple and bourbon without the alcohol, also some plum and chocolate, faint leather. Not much smoke to speak of. Arguably complex, but the parts are by themselves, the integration being rather poor. Very thin body, more apple and chocolate, also some bourbon, and this time, the alcohol is definitely noticeable. Maple and burnt brown sugar in the finish. Overly sweet and syrupy, there is little nuance or delicacy. Another in a long line of boozy aged sugar bombs, saved only by the grace that HotD always brings.
UPDATED: AUG 8, 2011 Bottle... Poured black with no head. I’m sure over time the bottle fermentation will naturally carbonate it better. Otherwise, the beer doesn’t really need a whole lot of carbonation. Smelled of booze and smoked grains. Soft, low profile palate. Smokey and robust with a red meat character. Dark fruits and big cherry and caramel apple notes. Low bitterness but with noticeable alcohol flavors similar to port wine. Like a rich, dense cake that’s been soaking up Apple Brandy. Finished spicy with a smoked liqueur flavor. GAManiac (1944) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - JUN 13, 2009
12oz bottle courtesy of some very generous Pac NW traders. Poured into a snifter.
Pours dark mahogany out of the bottle and settles in almost completely black in the glass with hints of amber showing through the edges. An aggressive pour produces a small bubbly head that forms a solid ring and leaves good lacing.
The aroma takes some time to open up as it warms. It’s generally sweet with the red apple peels being the dominant aroma initially but with some bourbon and vanilla as it warms. There is sweet caramel as well as hints of smoked malts and chocolate.
The taste is stunning. It’s got so much going on and yet everything comes together in a perfectly balanced package. There is the initial sweetness of the apple brandy which gives way to the caramel malts of the backbone. The finish has a touch of sweetness but with a wonderful boozy, smoky finish that just clings to the palate.
The mouthfeel is near perfect. It’s full bodied with minimal soft carbonation and just coats the palate completely. Absolutely decadent feel.
Well, when you take one of my favorite beers (Adam) and start playing around with it, you start to wonder if they should just not mess with a good thing. Well, in this case, the end product is a near-perfect beer that has a complexity that is unrivaled by almost anything else out there. World class. masonjer (609) - Holt, Michigan, USA - JUN 11, 2009
Huge thanks to Hoppymeal for giving me a chance to try this. In an unbelievable act of generosity. Poured opaque black with no head. Aroma was vanilla, chocolate smoke and a bit tart. Taste was so interesting, chocolate and roast, then a bit of apple, then some nice full smoke with a caramel apple finish. Nice lingering smoke on the end. Never quite had a beer like this one. Really creative. Thanks derek, thanks alan. michael-pollack (4959) - King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 7, 2009
12oz. Bottle: Thanks to glkaiser for this rare bottle! Complex aroma of wood, dark ripe fruits, cherries, slight funk, light bourbon, slight vanilla, slight chocolate, slight caramel, slight tobacco, and light dark malts. Poured dark brown in color with a tiny, light brown head that lasted around the edges. Cloudy. Not sparkling. Full of small particles throughout. Complex flavor is lightly sweet. Tastes of malts, wood, smoke, light tobacco, light smoked meat, light cherry, light bourbon, slight vanilla, slight tobacco, slight caramel, and a hint of red wine. Full body. Smooth, viscous texture turns slightly chalky. Soft carbonation. Woody, malty, slight bourbon, slight tobacco, slight smoke, slight smoked meat finish is slightly chalky. 11.5%ABV is totally hidden.