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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Hair of the Dog Adam

This blog has its downsides. One of the biggest is that I feel duty-bound to try new beers, which, since I don't actually drink a lot of beer, means I don't drink old beers as often as I'd like. However, prompted by my post on the forthcoming cherry Adam, I decided to eschew Raven Mad, Full Sail's new doppel, and the new batch of winter seasonals and instead grabbed an Adam. It's been a year or more since my last; far too long.

Adam is HotD's first beer. When it came off the line in August, 1994, they made their first buck by selling it to Fred Eckhardt. It was inspired by a now-defunct beer style of Dortmund that Eckhardt had spoken about. What the brewery produced is an impressionistic rendering of the style (adambier), but it's pure Hair of the Dog: very strong, hoppy, and richly-layered.

Hops are used to offset malt sweetness, but in Adam's case, a pronounced smokiness in the nose and palate aid the cause. Sally commented on the hop intensity, but I found it more serene--a burnishing of the plummy malt. I don't recall the smoke being this strong. In my memory, it's more plums and chocolate with just an undercurrent of smoke. HotD now uses all-organic malt, and this may be part of the explanation. The nature of the beer is unchanged, but the emphasis has shifted.

I have only recently put a few of these in the cellar, and I regret I didn't do it years ago. This is a beer with nearly infinite aging capacity. It's only getting more expensive, so maybe I'll go buy a few more bottles for future enjoyment.

Update. Oh, one other thing I forgot to mention. When you brew espresso, it produces a skiff of foam known as "crema" (or should, if it's brewed properly). It is a very dense foam, and beguiling to the eye of this caffeine addict. As I got further and further down my glass of Adam, I noticed that a dense foam clung to it, too, looking very much like the crema of brewed espresso. Remarkable durability, given the strength of the beer.


  1. Inspiring!

    I have vintaged bottles for a 5 year "Linear tasting" of Adam, with that lonely 1998 Adam magnum hiding in the cellar. ;-}

    I might need a couple willing and capable souls to come by the Doctors' House, help evaluate and provide taste profiles for these aging beauties... ! A little research for the Dr's up and coming post.

    I think I have a good Linear tasting for Doggie Claws and Fred too... ;-}

  2. Dr. Wort,

    If you're fishing for volunteers to assist in tasting, consider me hooked.

    I'm not holding a 10 year old Adam in my cellar, but I do have an Adam/Wood magnum that is cellaring at least until Alan releases another batch. I've been pestering him for going on two-three years to release it again.

    A couple of sales back, we tasted the D/C with Cherry Honey, so while I'm sort of wishing the Adam/Wood was straight up, I do know how tasty the D/C was.

  3. patrick,

    I HAD a Adam from the Wood, but shared with Home brew friends at an out-of-state Home Brewers Festival.

    I have quite a few of the CHerry Honey D/C's.... Don't remember the exact year, but I probably have about 1/2 a case of whatever year it is.... ;-}

    Yes! I need to get like 3-4 people to do a linear evaluation...

  4. Umm, HotD tasting, i'm in!

    When was the cherry honey DC released? I never got to try that one. I just had a HotD Adam from the Wood two months ago or so and it was still delicious, although not as good as two years ago in my opinion.

  5. Da beers,

    Are you certain that's not a Fred From the Wood that you're referencing? As far as I know (and again, every time I see Alan, I ask him about the Adam/Wood) the Adam from the Wood hasn't been released for at least 5 years, while the Fred/Wood has become an annual tradition.

    And we tasted the D/C with Cherry honey at the earth day sale (spring) of 2007. Alan promised that it would be available for the 2007 anniversary sale, which it must have been as Dr. Wort scooped it up then. I had to send a proxy with strict instructions, so obviously he didn't know to pick up the D/C CH (& wisely omitting that it was available for fear of reprisal)

    Although I suspect that Dr Wort has means greater than my own in procuring this elixir.

  6. No, it was the Adam ft Wood. I picked up a few bottles about 5 years ago when they were on sale in the big ol' 1.5L bottles. What I was saying, although looking back it wasn't so clear, Adam FTW after 5 years isn't as good as it was after 3 years, in my opinion.

    I wonder if Alan still has some of that cherry honey stuff, sounds good.

  7. Patrick and DE Beers,

    Contact me through the Dr Wort email and send me more direct contact info.

    I think there may be some Cherry D/C available for purchase at the November Dock sale... That said, you might want to email Alan at HOTD and ask if it will be available.

    I know he has some on tap at the brewery... Ooops! To much information! ;-}

    If anybody is going to the Nov. Dock Sale I would advise an early arrival to wait in line.

    I just updated Dr Wort's Bog with some new info on Cherry Adam. This will be a stellar brew and there only a short supply...

  8. Do I get the same offer for the tasting of the Adam? Still need help?

  9. Haha, can I get in on the "me too!"'s? :) I would suggest bringing it to the dock sale; there were some good bottles people brought to the last one (Earth Day), but as it was my first dock sale, I was wholly unprepared (I didn't bring my own glass), so I had to wait until the dock sale opened to get a glass inside, then come back out and sample what was left.

    I'd offer some 2005 Rose Cassis, but I seem to be the only one who loves it… :) I also have a 2005 Doggie Claws, though that's one with which I struggle to distinguish between the years (having tried the '06-'08).