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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hair of the Dog Brewery (Portland, OR)

Hair of the Dog Brewery, across the river in East Portland-

Little Dog, a small beer from second runs of their normal line, was amazingly deep and flavorful for 3.5%. Toasty malt and a nice herbal hop balance without the bitterness made this a dream beer after a hot day of walking.

Ruth was dry but had a creamy mouth feel and appropriate hop bitterness. There was a subtle floral note to it that worked quite well.

Blue Dot falls into the “Pliny-like” category as an imperial IPA, with sweet mango and stone fruit dominating.  There was almost no bitterness to the ale, and the malt was well balanced to enhance the psychedelic amount of hops used.  A must try.

I’ve reviewed Fred before, but gave this golden strong ale a second chance.  After a stellar start to the tasting, I still have to say Fred is overwhelmed by Belgian candi sugar and a slight medicinal taste. 

Hair of the Dog’s first beer, Adam is essentially a barleywine, thick and a little sweet.  While not as intensely sweet as Fred, it didn’t pass muster with this lover of barley wines.

Doggie Claws is Hair of the Dog’s official Barleywine entry, made with honey.  The ale pulls no punches with a huge, sweet malt body, and mead like crispness.  Of the “big beer” offerings from Hair of the Dog, this was my favorite.

Fred from the Woods is a 2009 vintage of Fred aged for 2 years in American oak.  It comes across much more mellow and integrated than Fred, still sweet, but much less cloying.

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