David Brockington Review

David Brockington is a beer fan that exemplifies the classic sense of amateur. His online guide to beer and brewing is a valuable resource for the online community. The link above goes to the index of his reviews. This is what he had to say about Adam aged in burboun casks. You might also want to see the original.

Bourbon Aged Adam



Product Reviewed:   Hair of the Dog Adam (bourbon aged)
Brewed By:   Hair of the Dog Brewing Co.; Portland, Oregon
Form Reviewed:   Draft at the brewery
Style:   Adambier
Originally posted to Usenet:   January 29, 2001
Added to the Tasting Notebook:   January 28, 2001


Hair of the Dog was established in 1994 by two former homebrewers of great reputation. Their original mission was to brew stong, bottle conditioned beers replicating lost styles. From the perspective of a beer geek, stylistic convention did not rate high in importance for Alan and Doug. This is seen in there several initial offerings, which included the Adambier (the first batch of which I reviewed here in November 1994), ostensibly an homage to a long-lost predeccesor to Dusseldorf Altbier; Golden Rose, inspired by Belgian Tripel but a bit long in the hop; and Fred, which stands on its own. While not replications of generally available styles, these unique beers remain inspired creations without equal in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.

If not obvious, Hair of the Dog is one of my favorites. In addition to regular status in my beer fridge when I lived in Seattle, I have had several opportunities to sample these beers at the brewery. Such visits have been impressive, from the legendary Batch #29 of the Adam to various incarnations of Fred, Dave, and the new Ruth. This review is based on notes taken on one such visit to the brewery on July 24. 1998 of a special version of the Adam. This review is one of many that I wrote or outlined, but failed to post to the newsgroup or publish to the Tasting Notebook. As I have time on my hands these days, I hope to work through this backlog as well as take notes on the beers from my new home region.

Initial Impressions:

This batch of Adam was aged for 14 months in a bourbon cask. The color is a very deep garnet in the glass, with no carbonation to speak of, resulting in no head.

Nose:

This beer has a rare depth of aroma. A deep maltiness combines grapes, rainsins, and hints of vanilla. I can not exaggerate the depth of the maltiness; my original notes on the beer claim that the aroma is 'as deep as it gets'.

Flavor:

The maltiness promised by the aroma comes through big in the flavor profile. A huge, deep maltiness infused with caramel notes opens the flavor, followed by woodiness, raisin, vanilla, and back to the malt. My words do not do justice to the almost overwhelming malt complexity of this beer. While profound, the malt and other complimentary flavors hide neither the stong alcoholic warmth of this beer nor the hint of balancing bitterness that barely manages to poke through.

Final Analysis:

Simply put, amazing. I hope I am not growing softer as I age, as this is the fourth or fifth five-star rating I have awarded since I started writing reviews in 1994. But, this beer deserves such accolades.

Rating:

***** (Classic on my 5-star scale)

     
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