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.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

232 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 232
Hads: 487
rAvg: 4.2
pDev: 7.38%
Wants: 506
Gots: 109 | FT: 12
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 232 | Hads: 487
Photo of DaveHS
5/5  rDev +19%
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. (497 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
5/5  rDev +19%
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! (528 characters)

Photo of hopsbreath
4.97/5  rDev +18.3%
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! (2,276 characters)

Photo of slayer3604
4.97/5  rDev +18.3%
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! (541 characters)

Photo of NWer
4.92/5  rDev +17.1%
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. (480 characters)

Photo of PDXHops
4.87/5  rDev +16%
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! (1,413 characters)

Photo of udubdawg
4.87/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2008
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.

cheers--
--Michael (1,886 characters)

Photo of hdelavega
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
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. (949 characters)

Photo of marcpal
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
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. (1,865 characters)

Photo of olympuszymurgus
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

this beer will make you do strange things. strange things, indeed. like open a second one for no reason and then forget to tell everyone else until they're getting ready to open another bottle and then yelling at them that you have opened another fred from the wood. it could happen to you too!
this beer is beautiful, like the inside of a salmon covered by the thinnest slices of oranges. in fact, i wish that's what we had eaten with this. i want that to happen. the barrel is all over this beer but in such harmony that i feel almost as though it were born in a barrel. vanilla and oak blending so righteously with that beautiful malt profile that never really seems as high abv as it is. its a dancer sweeping the hops off of their feet and leaping high into the sky. the hop profile is complex, orange and grapefruit, some other fruits, the pine hides in the cracks of the oak. so smooth. thanks alan for creating such a well designed beverage. (949 characters)

Photo of Ryan011235
4.84/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter on 6/5/10

2008 vintage

Countless thanks to PDXHops

Fred From the Wood is a deep, vibrant shade of amber; at times it appears nearly copper. The poured yielded a one finger head of tightly-bubbled foam though after several minutes it has become a skim with a patch of bubbles in the middle. A little bit of lacing so far. By the end retention is thin & lacing randomly splotchy.

Leading off the aroma are notes of oak & tobacco which, working in tandem, impart a slight mustiness. These earth tones engulf a smooth, toasted malt sweetness; blended are hints of brown sugar, toffee, caramel & a spot of butterscotch. Undertones of fig, raisins & prune. There's a mild boozy swoon as well.

Right off the bat the taste is astounding & incredibly well-integrated. Dark fruit notes - raisins, prunes & plum - are enveloped in boozy hints of sherry; bolstered by toasted sugars (mostly caramel & brown sugar), the result is just shy of being tart. Tobacco potency is a welcomed addition to the fray (it isn't at all harsh, as I have previously encountered in other beers). There are a few stray wood overtones, but none as apparent as the aroma.

Rather full bodied with smooth & creamy carbonation; definitely low, carbonation is just right. Sticky & dense without being gritty. The whole flavor profile lingers on the finish, slowly tapering off. So much so, in fact, that is seems like the beer is still drifting about long after is has gone.

Drinkability is superb. Considering Fred From the Wood is such a massive beer with so many intricacies, it's all the more impressive. This may well be the most complex beer I've yet had; it's certainly one of the best. Highly recommended. (1,706 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
4.84/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz 2009 bottle into a big snifter late at night watching breaking bad. Glad to see more HOTD in SEPA.

Honey glazed persimmon orange with a disco glow, a shining star. This ones a looker. With a semi hard downslope Fred only managed to create a minimal cap barely of off white vanilla like suds. I can forgive the lack of foam, this is BA after all. Eventually Fred calmed down to a dead stillness, but he still glissened.

Big scents of American wood and oak, it practically jumps out the glass. This is perhaps, if not, the best BA brew that I've had the pleasure to sniff. This actually smells like the inside of a brewery, it's that pungent. How Alen got Fred to smell this good in just 6 months shows the quality of the barrels and the brewer. Big citrus zest with NW hops and some candi sweet malt backing. A small amount of alcohol under the wood. This beer smells fucking incredible!!

Not being overly impressed with Fred, Fred with wood impresses with flying colors. I get a nice malty candi sweetness up front with trace amounts of caramel, a nice change for once. After that a blast of citrus like im literally biting into tangerines and grapefruit plus others. Than the wood comes in and it just devours and seals the deal. Along with the wood a nice pine backing and a small splash of alcohol. Somehow the rye component of original fred is lost in the shuffle. Brilliant beer.

A very smooth and relaxing ride throughout. Fred is a above medium bodied monster that plays nice. The wood is big and sticks around the mouth but does not destroy. When I burp it's all wood baby, this is incredible. I have no problems with the carb on this, dead center. A little less syrupy than the regular. No hotness, just goodness.

I preferred this in small sips, but I just wanted to drink it on up and quickly. Im not a fan of overly woody beers but this one opened my eyes like no other, it's just so tasty. Im buying another bottle or two ASAP and im drinking them up quick as well. I really don't see the point in aging this, it's drinking awesome now. I really enjoyed the hop circus in this. Between the wood, citrus, hops and regular Fred, we got ourselves a winner. Well worth the $cratch. (2,199 characters)

Photo of Mauerhan
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

first off i liked fred alot. so this was pretty much a no brainer from the start.

similar color with smallish white head. color is golden orange. nearly crystal clear.

smells like a barrel. slight sweet. mostly woody goodness.

taste is amazingly complex. you get alot of sweetness like with normal fred but it counter balances the sweet with a big wood flavor. this beer is tasty. i would drink this every day.

i didnt have any trouble drinking this. looking forward to another chance to drink this again.

this beer is fantatic. if you have the opportunity to drink it get it. if you dont. you're a bitch.

DELICIOUS!!! (628 characters)

Photo of SourBatchKid
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12-oz bottle shared with oglmcdlg, thanks for the eye opening .

A- The slight froth of head catch's my eye as my glass inters the room. A lazy, tarnished, gold, glows brightly like the sun fighting to break through the clouds.

S- Full faced, I go straight into the snifter, I take it all in, not wanting to miss a thing. To smell so sweet, like hand squeezed lemon aid on a scorcher of a hot summer day. Or wait, Lemon heads, that's it! Oh, and I am just getting started, this is so complex and a bit overwhelming. But, I take my time to get into each different part. The sweetness of honey dew suckles waft through out my nose. I can't stand it any more, I must have it.

T- Shockingly complex, I saver each sip by genteelly playing with it in mouth until I just can help but to swallow. This is mind blowing, how it literally activates every single part of my tongue seems unreal and in the most interesting pattern. The sweetness of the darkest of honeys would still not do Fred justice. Ahhh, and there, no we are in the woods, a nice oakyness that doesn't over power the beer, but only creates one more level of complexity. With the sensation of lemon zest and hops that only just add on another level them selves. I believe I might be smitten here guys.

M- The hot body of this brew starts out with a good amount of carbonation and about a medium body. It quickly settles to a much lighter body with little to no carbonation. However, its still very viscus in texture.

D- I love it, I am ready to leave right now and fly out to the brewery, who's come'n with me? But a lass, circumstances won't allow for it. I guess I will just have to dream about it and hope that some day i might be luckily and find some more. (1,723 characters)

Photo of rye726
4.8/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

'09 Vintage

Pours an orangish brown with a creamy tan head and some nice lacing.

Nose has oak, vanilla, caramel, toffee, peppery alcohol, floral hops, cognac and fruity malts.

Taste is quite impressive. A blend of tropical and citrus fruits along with candy malts, wood, vanilla, honey, herbal hops, brandy and white wine grapes.

Full, silky body has a perfectly delicate yet crisp carbonation. Lasting tart, fruity finish.

The barrel aging did wonders for this beer. My new favorite from Mr. Sprints. Really impressive. (527 characters)

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
4.79/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11/29/08. Bottle, 2008. Pours a clear orange with NO head (sad to me because I loved the luscious head of regular Fred). Aroma of a woodshop (fresh pine!) and vague sour/fruity notes (pear in particular). Flavor is quite woody with a nice sour/sweet background. This is more like a wood-barrel aged sour ale than a barleywine. It's very tasty, but a little sharp in terms of the wood/alcohol. It's very interested to me that Fred could have turned into this! I prefer the regular Fred but this is an excellent beer as well. Top-notch.
Aroma: 8/10
Appearance: 4/5
Flavor: 9/10
Palate: 4/5
Overall: 17/20
4.2/5

Update 12/30/08. Had this again and was simply blown away. I don't think there was anything different about the bottles, but the flavors just seemed to blend so well to me. Tons of piney wood and nice sour/light fruity notes. I could really taste the regular Fred in this. Heavy palate, but smooth. This was incredibly awesome to me the second time around. So I've got to change my numbers. 10/4/10/4/19 (4.7/5) (1,021 characters)

Photo of dar482
4.78/5  rDev +13.8%

The beer comes a copper dark brown.

The aroma offers sweet bourbon, oak, toffee, caramel.

The flavor follows of a full mouthfeel with a good amount of carbonation. A punch of dried dark fruit of figs and plums. A rich brown sugar and caramel sweetness comes through with the beer drying out of oak.

A deliciously complex brew. (329 characters)

Photo of philbe311
4.77/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2009 Version

A - A half finger of tightly compact perfectly level creamy eggnog colored head... This recedes in quick fashion leaving a full ring of foam around the edge of the glass and a full veil of lace in the center of the glass... A slightly glowing medium brown color... Murky... A disciplined very slow paced carbonation rises towards the top of the glass mostly clinging to the form of the glass... Some sediment floaties are noticeable throughout which ultimately settle at the bottom of the glass... Loads of lacing clings fully to the sides of the glass...

S - An absolutely stellar and inviting aroma... A potent and perfect blend of malty sweetness and citrus hoppiness... Loaded with caramel and toffee... Dried apricots... Golden raisins... A touch of honey... A hint of vanilla... A hint of woodiness... Buried under all the sweetness is some subdued grapefruit... Again, just an absolutely delightful aroma...

T - Golden raisins... Apricots... Vanilla... Undetones of brown sugar... Carmel... Toffee... Orange... Grapefruit... A tropical fruit juiciness... Just the faintest hint alcohol...

M - Creamy on the lips to start... Smooth... Rich... Medium bodied... A slight alcoholic warmth permeates throughout... Slightly sticky... Just terrific...

D - A truly stellar and world class offering... Not enough superlatives to express the greatness of this HOTD offering... I can't see how age could help this one any, it's near perfection as is... (1,470 characters)

Photo of WakeandBake
4.77/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A nice muddy golden orange color body, with a huge foamy off white head that lasts for ever, medium carbonation, tuns of lacing and sheeting. Aroma if lots of oak , sweet malt, tobacco ,and apple skins . Favor is out of this world Huge caamel malt , sweet cherry, vanilla, honey ,nuts and hint of alcohol , sticky mouthfeel but the carbonation seems to clean the palate between sips, Full body , balenced , very complex and everchanging flavors and aromas . Probably the best beer I have had to date. (500 characters)

Photo of drunkmonk
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Hazy Copper with a billowing khaki head. Steady quater inch lace with nice 3-D. The lace holds to the very last sip.

S- Oak treatment, Vanilla beans, leather, bourbon, cherry tobacco and some citrus hops trying to fight there way in.

T- Bourbon, vanilla, and oak flavors coat the tongue. Some earthy and citric hops again try to assert themselves. Just enough hops to keep the other flavors in check. A lingering boozy finish, with a nice warming after glow. This is very good.

M- Moderate body, smooth and creamy feel. Luscious. Lingering heat felt after a few sips.

D- For such a stealth beer, this drinks remarkably easy. A fine drinker. This one hit me in all the right places.

This is a must seek out brew. (720 characters)

Photo of esch
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage poured into a 12oz goblet.

A: Stunning hazy orange color. Reminds me of a sunset. Poured with an enormous thick vanilla ice cream colored head. Retention on this is unbelievable; after 10 minutes it's still over an inch thick.

S: Oak aroma is huge in this. Malt sweetness tries to compete but loses out quickly. Citrusy hops...grapefruit, pineapple, bitter orange peel are merely an afterthought. Some wet earth aroma towards the finish.

T: First impression is of sweetness, almost overwhelming. Very quickly overtaken by oak, tobacco, vanilla and earth. As in the aroma, ever so slight citrus hop flavor. There is appreciable hop bitterness but it balances so perfectly with the oak that it goes almost unnoticed. Finish is sweetness riding the oak all the way towards a bourbony aftertaste.

M: Medium-heavy mouthfeel. Despite the substantial head, carbonation is low. Alcohol heat is present, but not hot...just warm enough to make its presence known.

D: I bought a sixer of this to trade, but there's no way I'm letting this one go. The huge oak flavor introduces so much complexity to this brew that it's hard to savor. I simply can not put this down. While the oak is almost too prominent now, it seems likely that this will develop into an even better beer. (1,281 characters)

Photo of timc100
4.69/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2013 vintage

A: Pours a gorgeous murky brown with slight hints of the gold from non BA Fred. Sits a a very murky, dark ruby brown. Amazing head, considering the aging and abv. - dense, creamy rustic looking beige with substantial retention and sticky lacing that last throughout.

S: Huge! The barrel aging has done wonders with the base. Big flavors of organic woodiness, tabacco, some oaky vanilla and a little leather. As it warms some cherry comes through and cocoa powder. Being as fresh as it is, the crystal malts and bright hops are still there. Also some very slight oxidation.

T: Almost as amazing as the aroma, but less vibrant and complex. The huge notes of wood and tobacco come through along with some smooth oaky vanilla. More chocolate and some caramel. Getting a little big of some dark fruit, wish there were a little more, and a lot less of the base beer than there was in the aroma. Very organic and woody

P: Incredibly smooth, barely any alcohol heat to speak of, proper soft carbonation. Really highlights the flavor. Medium to full in body, definitely doesn't feel big as much as full

O: What else to expect from HotD? They make amazing beers. The oak aging has been done with tact and understanding of what flavors can be extracted and complimentary to the existing beer. I would to have an older vintage, but this certainly drinks well fresh. May actually prefer this to the bourbon variant. (1,422 characters)

Photo of mykie73
4.68/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A Golden Amber and reminds me of a cider. Tiny head lacing at edged.

S Wood...as in fresh bark chips transformed into a brandy.

T I love Fred but I love the wood aftertaste even more. Gives it almost a suttle tropical fruit flavor

F This, smooth; everything a barleywine should be. Want to chew on it. Wish it was solid food.

D could drink this all the time. Would be worth the shits and the headaches if I could drink this every night. (440 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
4.67/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

02/27/09- Purchased at Healthy Spirits, in San Francisco, CA.

Presentation- 12oz bottle, 2008 bottling, or early 2009...not positive. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Medium auburn-caramel colored pour. Looks kinda brandy-like. About a 1/2 inch of quickly fading head and some light lace lines and spotting.

Smell- This one is oak city! Perhaps the most wood I have ever set my nose onto in a beer. In fact, probably a bit overkill. Besides that, some alcohol, heavy caramel malt and a touch of vanilla.

Taste- The oak carries over into the flavor. Like drinking beer out of an oak stump. Very woodsy, fairly hoppy, and nice and caramely. A bit of vanilla and a bit of a hard alcohol taste.

Mouthfeel- Medium to lower carbonation level. Pretty damn smooth. Lots of woody aftertaste as well as a nice hop flavor.

Drinkability- Worth $10 for a 12oz bottle? Not sure about that, but it was quite a different experience and would never turn a bottle down. Cut down the oak a bit and this would be a perfect beer possibly. (1,030 characters)

Photo of ffejherb
4.67/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Hair of the Dog on 6/26/11. 2008 vintage!!!

A - Cloudy chestnut brown liquid with a thin off-white ring and patchy film that reduced to a few sparse dots of lace around the glass.

S - Bourbon soaked caramels, oak and woody notes and candy sugar comprise the luscious aroma of this vintage Fred from the Wood. This is one of those beers you can sit and sniff for several minutes before taking your first sip.

T - Sweet and boozy but extremely mellow and tangy with a restrained alcohol presence for a 10% ABV brew. This sucker is mature! Toffee notes, brown sugar, molasses and earthy bitterness rounds out the spectacular flavor of this vintage brew. Simply delicious!

M - Medium to full bodied with a syrupy texture and sticky mouthfeel. Finishes slightly sweet with moderate bitterness on the palate. Rich and luscious!

D - Dee-freakin-liscious! What a treat to have this vintage 2008 version ON TAP! This really mellowed with a few years under its belt. The alcohol was very restrained, surprisingly. Cherry Adam from the Wood was on tap just before, but it kicked right before I got there. This, however, was a more than suitable replacement. (1,162 characters)

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Fred From The Wood from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
93 out of 100 based on 232 ratings.