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Fred From The Wood - Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room

Not Rated.
Fred From The WoodFred From The Wood

Educational use only; do not reuse.

462 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 462
Reviews: 233
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 10.35%
Wants: 496
Gots: 102 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: freed on 03-28-2005

Aged in new, medium toast American oak barrels for at least 6 months
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 462 | Reviews: 233 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of seanthornton152
5/5  rDev +17.6%

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5/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of Hobbit
5/5  rDev +17.6%

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5/5  rDev +17.6%

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5/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of VAbdoyan
5/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of DaveHS
5/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy golden orange with a foamy white head. The complex nose reveals quite a bit of the new American oak barrel aging.
Aromas of leather, cookie dough, smoky malts and vanilla extract. The complex mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, with light, pleasant carbonation. Packed with smoky sweet oak flavor, as well as caramel, citrus fruits, banana and a buttery sweetness. Light piney hops show up on the back palate, behind a wall of oak. A world class barleywine. Wish they made more of it.

Photo of SonicAlligator
5/5  rDev +17.6%

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5/5  rDev +17.6%

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5/5  rDev +17.6%

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5/5  rDev +17.6%

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5/5  rDev +17.6%

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5/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of ATPete
5/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of beefandbean22
5/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of barleywinefiend
5/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2010 consumed 5/2010.
A: Poured a deep orange color with a small, nice white head
S: Nose is plenty of booze, wood heavy, sherry like feel.
T: Taste is wood, sweetness, pine and floral notes, citrus too.
M: Mouthfeel is pretty boozey, caramel, hops, not much bitterness.
O:One of the most delcous beer on plant Earth. Very drinkable.
Vintage 2007 consumed 5/2011
After years of sitting around this beer only matured in every aspect. I don't give perfect scores but my wife and I both thought this beer sets the standard!

Photo of piclee
5/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of SeattleBoB76
5/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of hopsbreath
4.97/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this at the new HotD tasting room today in PDX. After sampling all six of the beers on tap my wife and I agreed we each needed our very own 12 ounce tulip of this to truly capture its essence. MADhomebrewer joined us soon after and we convinced him to order a tulip of his own as well. WOW was the consensus impression about this beer.

As I already mentioned, this beer came served in a tulip with the smallest half centimeter of light cinnamon head sitting atop the chestnut brown body. In case there was any mistaking this beer for the non-barrel aged version, the color is a dead giveaway. Regular Fred is not as deep and rich. It is instead more amber in color. No lacing showed up but what do you really expect from a barrel aged 10% ABV beer?

Smell was...Coconut! Indeed, there was a strong aroma of the tropical fruit not unlike some Caribbean rum. How in the world Alan Sprints was able to get that smell in a beer escapes me. Lots of tobacco, leather, and prunes also are strong contenders here. I must have sniffed this for a solid 3 minutes before taking my first sip. It was outstanding.

The taste sealed the deal for me. Toffee, decadent caramel, raisin, banana esters, cognac, and amaretto were layered on top of each other with enormous depth and complexity. Phenomenal!

Mouthfeel was superb. Moderate carbonation allowed the flavors to be the showcase and not battle prickly carbonation. Perfect body was not-to-thin-not-to-thick.

Drinkability...I want another now! The one was all I had because of the 8 o'clock closing time but I want to go back for some more later. I'm wondering if we didn't just hit the HotD lottery. I have not had previous batches so I can't make comparisons but this batch seems perfect. Some reviews call this "to hot" and that it "needs more time in the bottle". I disagree and must say that for a young alcohol forward beer, on tap mind you, this was a real treat to enjoy. Part of being on BA for me is to find new interesting beers. To frequently I feel let down after anticipation of a transcendent beer experience falls through again. Homerism be damned! Today, I can honestly say I found my new favorite beer. I thoroughly look forward to something that will top this one day. Find this, obtain it, and drink it NOW!

Photo of slayer3604
4.97/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

oh man! such a great looking beer to start out with. nice plump head, sturdy amber color, absolutely piercing clarity, and nice ropes of co2 here and there.
smells like roasted fig, there is apparent spice, pear, plum and a tinge of cedar as well. insanely complex.
nice higher end of 'medium' bodied, with a tangy zest on the palate which gives way to a bunch of over ripe fruit, more pear (i love pear), and finishes slightly cloying but in a good way. this beer sticks around.
I'd drink this all day long if i could. what a masterpiece!

Photo of NWer
4.92/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

At the brewery. Murky brown appearance. Aroma is overpowering from the get-go. Just taking in the aroma from the glass is time well spent.
First sip is a wow. Very nice. Strong alcohol prominent. A little sweetness balances out the hops perfectly.
A very good sipping beer that reinforces why I prefer beer to other alcoholic choices.
It took a long time for me to make the effort to stop at Hair of the Dog Brewery. It won't take much of an effort to go back for a second visit.

Photo of PDXHops
4.87/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2008 version, 12 oz bottle poured into a 22 oz snifter.

A pour of the full 12 ounces into the snifter easily raises 2 fingers of almost white head. Bright golden orange color with some carbonation bubbling up from the bottom. Makes me thirsty just looking at it. Good crackly lacing.

Very complex nose. After a year, the oak has faded into the background a bit, allowing other aromas to shine. A bit of smoky/burnt smell, a bit of flowers, a bit of sweet baking cookies and vanilla, a bit of citrus. Short version- smells great!

Even better in the mouth, if that's possible. I won't be able to do this thing justice, but it's incredible. Just like in the nose, in the mouth the oak is always present in the background, but doesn't overpower anything. So much going on here, don't even know where to begin. Flavors include: caramel/toffee, vanilla, sweet malt, tangerine, orange, kiss of grapefruit, a some alcohol warmth in the finish.

Mouthfeel is very nice. Medium carbonation. The body is on the heavy side of medium, Pretty vigorous carbonation considering the age and strength. A touch of velvety smoothness, and it somehow seems to lightly coat the mouth. Not sure if that comes from the oak or what, but it's very enjoyable.

ABV is high, but it tastes so damned good I feel like I could (slowly) sip on these things all day long.

Overall impression: Ridiculously good beer- get yourself some of this!

Photo of udubdawg
4.87/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

pours with a deep coppery color, lightly hazed by the little bit of sediment I allowed to get into the glass. The head is sort of a yellowish tan, tightly bubbled, and more than an inch high, exhibiting excellent retention and more than decent lacing.

Caramel is up front and ever-present in the nose, rich rather than one-sided sweetness. The hops are citrusy and spicy, , and there is background honey and a few sherry notes - nothing too oxidized or papery, but rather adding to the complexity and suggestion of depth. No diacetyl. Barrel character is background, adding woody spiciness, faint vanilla. Alcohol is noted but never hot or solventy. I don't get any tobacco like I do on the Adam beers.

the sugars are heavily caramelized, sticking on the palate but somehow balanced by smooth lingering bitterness, drying spicy barrel notes, and never approaching cloying while retaining impressive drinkability. Fruitiness seems to be mostly from the hops, which allowing the malt to shine up front before increasing in the finish. Mild alcohol warming but again no hot or solventy character. Plenty of malt, plenty of hops, clean with no off flavors, spicy, warming but demanding another sip...the barrel has added to the beer rather than overwhelming the beer. I wish all barrel-aged barleywines were like this.

warming alcohols but never detracting from drinkability...perhaps they should as this is dangerously drinkable! Smooth, full body, perfect soft carbonation, no trace of astringency. It'll finish quite sticky on your palate, but you won't mind...

I've got a decent supply, and hold beer giant tastings multiple times per year, but here is one of the few beers I basically never share. It's mine!

If you get the chance and are into the style, I highly recommend you stock up on this stuff. This 2008 bottle has at least a few years left IMO.


Photo of hdelavega
4.85/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 Poured from a 12oz bottle to a duvel tulip glass, thanks to Kevin for this most delicious freebee.

Hazy golden color, with bits of sediment floating about, half finger head receded quickly after the pour. Almost no lacing, but the alcohol legs are pretty aperent as this sticky brew transfers from the glass to my gullet.

The aroma is full of carmalised sugars, I also detect sweet fruit and a bit of fusle oil from the oak barrels. There is sweet malty aroma that realy comes out as well.

The flavor is nice and sweet with a bit of spiciness and booze. There is also a hoppy bitterness in the finish that I don't find frequently in American barleywines.

The mouth feel is very Nice. This brew is incredibly silky with a nice open center and slightly bitter finish that warms on the way down.

Overall I was very lucky to get this as a hand out and will be seeking more. It was not exactly what I ecspected but it was still damn delicious.

Photo of marcpal
4.85/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to a couple traders earlier in the year, had two bottles of this to enjoy on the first completely miserable icy/snowy/rainy day out here.

Hands down, I have had very few beers as good as this one. This is worthy of spending time on a review- as good excuse as any to have another.

2008 batch with two pours into a goblet.

A: Dark orange amber, lighter than wood had me thinking- chestnut probably best descriptor. Off white head is pretty thin but went absolutely nowhere. Spider lacing made this a fine looker.

A: Sweet caramel, vanilla, bourbon, booze and some more malt. The figginess came out with even more vanilla as it warmed and the hops made an appearance through all this. The grassiness a great compliment to the malty sweetness. Ash, apricot, only at warmest of temps. Great.

T: Complex as you can get. Sweet from the dried figs soaked in a wooden bourbon barrel with vanilla flavoring mixed in. Didnt pick up on the tobacco in the nose but its here in the flavor. Very mild bitterness with the strong boozy flavor (more booze in the fumes than the liquid) that puts the balance and taste to borderline perfection. Great.

M: Thick, viscous and none of the carbonation I saw in the pour. The sweetness and the tinge of the alcohol are more coating and comforting.

D: Even more drinkable than regular Fred, alcohol is not as strong as what it packs and never an easier barleywine to polish off first and head back for more. The tastes were through the roof and a few degrees did it justice and added ridiculous character to these. Great.

Another winner from Hair of the Dog, all the more reason to love what these guys are producing. This is incredibly easy to drink and enjoy and is one of the most complex creations Ive had the pleasure of.

Id love to get my hands on some more. A stark reminder for my passion for these barreled brews.

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Fred From The Wood from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
94 out of 100 based on 462 ratings.