Bottleworks X and 2010 batch done side-by-side. Review taken from notes dated November 20, 2010. score taken from the slightly higher scoring (at the time) BX vintage.
A: Deep plum-brown with a small ring of sandstone froth and little bit of wispy bubbles across the cap greet me upon the pour. No lacing but none is expected.
S: My wife and I just went to Clear Creek Distillery yesterday and sampled their Eau de Vie which was one of the barrels Matt was aged in. I believe because of this, I can better pull out the essence of the fruit spirit. Its a rather sweet yet clean apple heat that really shines in this beer. Classic Bourbon is easily quaffable as well. Rich tobacco and leather are all over this. Fantastic.
T: Milk chocolate, more of the sweet apple heat, a lovely touch of campfire toasted marshmallow, and a hint of vanilla are all the flavors that I can easily identify coming through the rich, complex layers. The finish is long and sexy. Wow...oh...wow! This is THE definition of catching lightning in a bottle. Exquisite.
M: We have a touch of carbonation which is just enough to prickle up this super silky liqueur like drink. Residual sugars make this a bit of a sticky finisher but I do not mind in the slightest.
D: Simply mind blowing how easy this is to drink. I have to make a concerted effort not to drink this too fast. Its really hard not to simply drink right through my six ounces and not bother with a review. This is without a doubt my favorite HotD beer to come out of a bottle to date. Brilliant.
A: This has the look of a muddied french pressed coffee with cantaloupe highlights. Those highlights extend to the thicker, darker, and denser "glass ring" of foam (when compared to the BWX) that sits above the body. Very good looking although different from its older vintaged patriarch.
S: There exists more of the aggressive bourbon essence in this beer. The leather is still there but the Apple Eau de Vie is so much harder to pick out. Still very nice.
T: There's the sweet apple I was looking for! Along with the apple is the unmistakable heat from the bourbon barrel as well as the wood. Sweet chocolate and vanilla are almost cloyingly strong. Hopefully a little time will help sort out the flavors better similar to BWX because right now, they're not as distinct. Still quite good.
M: Moderate feel is not as heavy as expected. A surprising amount of carbonation livens this up on the palate. Again this is a slightly sticky beer...but again I'm not complaining!
D: What an insanely wonderful beer! I'm sitting on some more for a later date. If this turns into what the BWX vintage did, its an intoxicating treat to look forward too and watch progress! If you can get only one bottle of HotD beer, Matt is the one! Try it if you can.
Price: $15.00 Served In: Tulip
My first sample of Matt comes courtesy of d0b, thanks Dave! Matt gurgles from the bottle like black coffee and looks no different when in the glass. A small, short lived beige head settles to a swirling a nice collar. Sticky sheet lacing gets left behind after each drink which is very impressive for such a big beer.
The nose is all kinds of deep and expressive. Molasses, apple brandy, bourbon barrel, and tendrils of dense smoke all float through the air. Richly caramelized sugar lays down a strong backbone. A thick roastiness and deep, dark chocolate make an appearance too. The aroma on this beer is so deep and complex my ramblings barely scratch the surface.
The flavor profile is also off the charts complex. All the complexities of the nose are present in the flavor but there's also a solid amount of roasty coffee bitterness and the smoke just coats my palate. The apple brandy aspect hits on the swallow and adds a crazy touch of sweetness. Black cherries hit on the backend too, damn, crazy. All I mentioned in the nose seems to really pop on the tongue. This beer reminds me a lot of Adam, which is one of my favorites, and actually improves upon it.
The mouthfeel is so velvety smooth it boggles my mind. The smokiness coats the tongue and the finish is never ending. The body is rich and heavy but in no way cloying and the carbonation is on the lighter side allowing this beast to work through on its own.
Matt is without a doubt a sipping beverage. There's a lot of huge flavor and it takes some time to pick out all the complexity. Take your time and sit down with this beer over an hour or so, you will be rewarded.
Hair of the Dog makes some great beer and this very well could be their best. It's so rich, fruity, smokey and delicious that I can't stop thinking about it. If you get any chance to give this beer a try, trade, steal, or cheat to get it. Thanks again, Dave!
Served In: Tulip
Served lightly chilled around 55ºF / 13ºC
A vigorous pour into my 25cl tulip glass just produces a fat-one-finger thick, nicely browned, dark tan colored head. The beer is quite dark, almost black really with perhaps a touch of brown to it. When held up to the light the beer shows brilliantly clear, deep, dark ruby highlights. The aroma is quite smoky, phenolic even; the smoke character doesn’t have the richness that I associate with beech-wood (Rauchbier) or alder-wood (Alaskan Smoked Porter) smoked beers, instead it is a little thin, though really this might be because the smoke is not nearly at the same level as those other smoked beers. The smoke here combines with a distinct fruitiness that reminds me of raisins, prunes and even some brandy like notes along with a touch of warming alcohol. At times the alcohol can be quite noticeable in the aroma, especially after I have started to drink the beer. The fruit character becomes very rich and interesting if you concentrate on the nose for a bit. There is also a touch of roast malt character noticeable after a bit as well. Not a bad nose, but the up front smoke character is a little thin and sharp at times, though it does have a nice underlying richness.
The beer is creamy and viscous feeling with only a faint carbonation that supplies a very soft prickle. The beer is fairly sweet, which accentuates a dark, concentrated fruitiness, but both of these are offset somewhat by a sharp malt influence. Roast grain notes provide a burnt-bitterness to the finish, perhaps a touch of acrid notes as well as a touch of burnt acidity. The smoked malt is a bit fainter than it even was in the nose, but it does provide a subtle smokiness that provides some richness to the beer as well as a hint of sharp smoke phenolics that is just noticeable at times. The rich fruitiness is the most noticeable part of the flavor; notes of prunes, raisins and roasted berry notes are all quite noticeable. Subtler fruit notes of caramelized apples, a touch of dates as well as some not so subtle rich, Brandy-like fruitiness. Alcohol is evident, but donesn’t get past supplying a nice warmth and a bit of spiciness. While rich feeling on the tongue, the beer isn’t overly heavy and in fact is a bit more drinkable than might be safe.
For a beer that has a fairly middling aroma to it, the flavor has turned out to be quite nice. This is definitely a sipping brew and I am really enjoying the rich, concentrated fruitiness here that is just supported by roast malt notes and a hint of smokiness. After a slow start, this ends up being quite an enjoyable brew.
Served In: Tulip
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