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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.

474 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 474
Reviews: 234
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.38%
Wants: 499
Gots: 107 | FT: 14
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: 474 | Reviews: 234
Photo of DrewOSU
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch #64

Got this off a trade from Masterhomebrewer.

A: Pours a caramel brown with a1/8 inch khaki head. Sudsy, spiderweb lacing on initial pour.

S: Unusual tart smell on the nose, with an underlying sweet malt tone. I get wood, but also get a strong citrus, almost cider quality.

M/T: Lighter on the tongue than expected. A lighter to medium body. Huge malt presence, with a caramel quality to the sugars. Very sweet, but not over powering. I don't get a lot of wood presence, but it does show up in the initial aftertaste after the swallow. Finishes fairly dirty, with sweet malts on the tongue. This is a very mild barleywine. I think it has aged very nice. It doesn't kick you in the teeth like a Dogfishhead for example.

D: Nice sipper, but as with most barleywines, finishes very dirty. Feels like the sweet malts almost back up in the throat. However, this is one of the most refined, mild barleywines that I have experienced. Superb.

Photo of Sean9689
2.91/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured from 12oz bottle into Duvel tulip.

A - Golden color, mirky, with a small amount of white head that quickly vanishes leaving a white ring around the edge of the glass.

S - Lots of sweet cirtus, mandarin oranges, tangerines, and mango notes.

T - Similar to the nose, I get sweet citrus flavors. Some alcohol burn in the way down, but I think the 10% is hidden pretty well on this beer (as good as you can hide 10%). Bitterness on the end mixed with some alcohol burn.

M - very rich, creamy, medium in body. Slight carbonation, I think it could use a bit more.

D - Not really digging this one.

Photo of pwoods
3.82/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks to OHLRangers for the very nice extra from our trade on DLD.

12oz. brown bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a fire-y slightly murky deep oragne. A modest head forms but can't hold too long. Some lacing throughout.

S: Good woody notes with a bit of earthy sweetness. Soft alcohol aroma with some spicy and citrus hops. The hops have a bit of age showing. Big sweet malts.

T/M: Big malts, sweet but not as much as I thought from the nose. Alcohol is pretty big, lots of complexity. Alcohol gets really big as it warms further... I can dig it but I could definitely see this being a draw back. More of the aged hop build with some citrus and spice. The wood has melded nicely with the alcohol and lends further woody and earthy flavors. Low carbonation makes the body feel fuller than it probably would be and a bit syrupy.

D: Definitely a sipper. Not the most drinkable but tasty and would work as a good night cap.

Photo of ccrida
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, 2008 vintage, poured into my Delirium snifter, Fred FTW is a clear pale orange with a small, off-white head that leaves zero lace. I like the pale color, even though it murks up some on the second pour, in spite of leaving most of the sediment in the bottle.

Smell is sweet, golden raisins, and very okay, some clean alcohol vapors as well.

Taste is similar, sherry like and oaky to the max. Whoa, more so then I recall from previous vintages, although I've never really scrutinized them as much as this bottle, more of a pure bliss type of experience were analytics weren't appropriate. I see the label states new oak barrels, I wonder if that isn't always the case? Still, damn good, exhibiting some of that spicy rye characteristic I love from virgin fred, I think it really works well with the intensity of the oak here. World class for sure.

Mouthfeel is smooth, tannic and sticky, medium bodied.

Drinkability is pretty good, an fantastic American strong ale like no other. Not one to drink quickly, but one I would order on a regular basis if it was available around town like some of the other HOTDs are.

Photo of sholland119
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2008. Brought this back from the brewery last fall.

A-A beautiful crystal clear amber with a hefty white head and good sticky lacing.

S-Oak , oak and more oak. Caramel and leather behind. But, yeah, oak.

T-Caramel, oak, burnt marshmallow and toffee. Then hops in the finish and mwarming alcohol at the very end. Oh yeah.

M-Medium bodied, coating and rich.

D-Yeah, this one slides right down. Glad I still have 3 or 4 left. Excellent.


Photo of illidurit
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An unexpected gift from Oscar at The Red in Santa Cruz. Pours a hazy golden color with a creamy tan head. Aroma is caramel with overripe stone fruits. Flavor is pineapples, caramel, tannic wood, dark fruit, and peppery alcohol. Nice complexity. Full mouthfeel with good carbonation. Finish is dry and woody.

Photo of GClarkage
4.67/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

Photo of QuentinCompson
4.56/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from Healthy Spirits in SF, into chalice

A - 2 finger head into 1; great retention; nice beautiful clear amber brew, a touch of murk when all in w/ a bit of yeast getting in

S - Strangely, I could swear I was smelling Brett in the aroma, though none is used here; a bit of sweetness, caramel, honey

T-M - Super sweet, complex malt intro, caramelly, mapley, dark oranges, honey, alcohol, slight wood smoothness; nice spicey, peppery, oak outro - excellent mouthfeel

D - This is the best brew I have had in a while. While at first sip I thought it may be a bit too sweet for my taste, after a few more, I couldnt get enough. The balance in this beer is unreal. The alcohol level is just right, not overpowering, but highly apparent and justified. Just super complex and tasty. Need to get another bottle of this soon...

Photo of Zorro
3.33/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Received from thethrone in the Barrel 'O Beer BIF.

Clear amber colored beer with no head formation at all.

Smell is orange juice and vanilla with a significant sour note. Can smell the oak but that is about it, this smells quite weird.

The taste starts out VERY sweet with a strong vanilla flavor and pretty much a vanilla aftertaste. Hops are herbal and add a melon flavor to this. Weird flavor to this beer don't think the barrel makes it better.

Mouthfeel is thick.

I don't really like this one. The flavors don't really mesh well together.

Photo of Goliath
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orangey/amber color with a half inch creamy, slightly yellowed head. Great retention and some nice lacing as well.

For me, the aroma is very nice. It's oaky, sweet, boozey, lightly phenolic, malty, and fruity. Notes of caramel, grain, and apple all appear. It's slightly yeasty and spicey as well.

The taste is nice. A big fruit profile up front, then it moves into a rather bitter finish. Somewhat hoppy, with big notes of oak, and yes even the tobacco the bottle suggests you'll find. It's interesting and complex, and pretty darn delicious.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, silky and syrupy, with very light carbonation.

Drinkability is suprisingly high. The beer has a few rough edges, but the flavor profile is spot on, and the alcohol presence is undetectible except for the warmth in my chest. A nice beer for sure.

Photo of abfraser
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: What a beautiful beer. Copper colored with a huge frothy head. Great retention. Nice lacing.

S: Big time oak. Tropical fruit and pineapple. Really interesting and complex aromas. Each smell offers up something different.

T/M: Complex sweetness; tropical fruit; honey. Lots of oak, with noticeable vanilla. Some hop bitterness. A lot going on here. Hard to process it all into words. Had this on tap last year in Portland and remember it very differently. It was a lot more oak-dominant then. Don't know if was a different batch or not but this one is a lot better.

D: Definitely a sipper, but I could probably manage a few of these. This was delicious.

I'm a huge fan of Fred and think this is a great new interpretation. But at $12 for a 12oz bottle, the pricing is a bit absurd.

Photo of tmoneyba
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from JCW.

Pours a cloudy copper color with a large frothy off-white head that lasted with excellent lacing. Solid woody sweet bourbon aroma. Medium to full body with a slick texture. Heavy complex tart fruit and spice flavor with a medium bitter finish of long duration.

This is a standout beer.

Photo of slayer3604
4.97/5  rDev +17.2%
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 PDXHops
4.87/5  rDev +14.9%
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 OlieIPA
4.11/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed with my good friend Pehlman. 2008 edition and poured from a 12 oz. bottle.

A: Absolutely no head and lacing, but had a nice orange-golden appearance. Pretty typical for a barleywine.

S: A strong and sweet bourbon barrel age aroma that had a slight and swift alcohol bite.

T: Hints of tangerine or orange citrus flavors mixed in with the bourbon or brandy characteritics from aging.

M: Gentle carbonation (perfect for this style) with full-body feel.

D: The alcohol is there, but not overwheming...which is awesome! I wish there was more to compliment the strong bourbon flavor, but overall very good.

Overall: A must try. Cheers!

Photo of mykie73
4.68/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

Photo of trill
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage, courtesy of Tayner. Thanks Dana!

This one pours a rich golden color, slightly darker than regular Fred, with an off-white head that is very sticky. The aroma is mostly a very toasty oak, vanilla, burnt sugar, and a woody smell like matches. Flavor is very similar to regular Fred, but that oak sort of steps all over everything; it seems sweeter, less nuanced, but the finish is a bit drier, which helps drinkability. Mouthfeel is thick, but with good carbonation, and not sticky in the finish.

Photo of bort11
3.51/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

johnnnniee included this with Black Booty 09. thanks dude

12 oz bottle poured into my Boulevard Smokestack goblet. Tight tan head that recedes to a foamy cap. Pretty tight retention for a higher ABV. Foam paints the glass with each sip. Color is a hazy golden orange.

Smell has a bit of a funk to it. Sweet floral and oily butter aromas. Very rich. There is a sweet citrus like an over-ripe orange. Taste is strangely overwhelming. It's not the bitterness or the sweetness that is overwhelming, but a combination of the two. The hops are floral and fruity. There is a banana/bubble gum sweetness. Maybe that's what is not quite jiving with me.

Mouthfeel is very thick, creamy and buttery. THis is a very slow sipper. Perhaps this will change with age. I am willing to give it another shot

Photo of Reino
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- After pouring very cautiously, I'm left with a creamy white two-finger head in my snifter. The head sticks around for awhile as big bubbles cling to the side of my glass. The body is a beautiful, burnt-orange color with very nice clarity.

Smell- A beautiful blend of sweet tangerine, mango and oak character with just a tiny bit of heat. The vanilla from the wood really makes its presence felt while melding all the scents together. A very pleasing aroma.

Taste- Those juicy tangerines show up again but this time are accompanied by a sharp, white grape juice flavor. There's a strong, malty base that is almost matched by some hop bitterness. Nice vanilla and [what I'll call] brown sugar flavors are present for a lot of the ride. The finish is where the oak comes in and it brings with it some heat, and something almost peppery. That pepper might actually be some piney/earthy hops mingling with the booze. Finishes pretty dry except for some tangerine that manages to linger on the back of my throat. There's quite a bit of depth to this beer and each sip brings something different out.

MF- A gorgeous mix of thick creamy body and a nice medium/low carbonation. If you've drank a flat Fred or Fred ftw before, and I have, you know that it is extremely syrupy in body. However, this bottle has carbonated the perfect amount in the bottle giving the fullness just enough lift, but still letting it massage the tongue and throat on the way down (that's what she said).

Drinkability- Goes down pretty easy considering the abv and complexity. If this came in bombers I could see myself putting one down by myself without thinking twice. This is a great beer. That Alan is either a mad genius, or he keeps getting lucky. I'll assume the first until proven otherwise.

Photo of ncvbc
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep amber rust, clear before the sediment is poured later. Medium white cap with decent retention, falling to a ring within a minute or two. Smell is a woodsy bouquet of hops and malt. Definitely some oak, hints of tobacco and a faint, faint vanilla. Some heat but not enough to complain about. Taste is just like any other HOTD brew I've had. Insanely complex and delicious. Moderate sweetness balanced by the wood like flavor, which is lovely. Some caramel and toffee and piney hop presence leaving a bitterness in the finish. It's sweet in the mouth upon sipping and soon there is a snappy bitterness that is enjoyable. Again, just the slightest burn. Medium bodied with good carbonation and drying in the finish, which I'd give the oak more credit for than the hops. A slow sipper. Not quite up to the regular Fred standards in my opinion, yet it takes on a different persona and a very nice one at that. I really enjoyed this brew and savored it for over an hour. Too bad it's gone.

I owe inflatablechair a huge thanks for including this extra in a recent trade. This favor will surely be returned.

Photo of grub
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

one of two bottles from batch 64 that i got from a trade with HimerMan.

12oz bottle. sampled july 22/06. 4/3.5/3.5/3.5/3.5 = 3.6

pours a deep amber colour with about a 1/4" of head. slight haze that could be from my pour. the head quickly drops to a ring oround the glass.

aroma is dominated by the oak. wood and vanilla. bit of sweetness. some alcohol too. there's a bit of citrus from the hops that smells kind of like tangerine, but it's hard to tell under the oak and vanilla.

flavour is complex. there's lots of vanilla and oak. initially you get hit by a nice malt base, but that's quickly overpowered by the oak. towards the end the alcohol starts to come through, then finishes with a decent level of bitterness. it feels really segmented between the different flavours. the oak is a little high for my taste, but it's interesting. the strong oak into alcohol into bitterness makes the finish a bit harsh (more than the regular fred). however, we did notice that as it warms it mellows out alot. the flavours come together more and it's better overall.

mouthfeel is expectedly big. the carbonation is moderate, which is expected and goes well.

drinkability is ok. it's a pretty big beer, so it's not the sort of thing you'd sit down and go through a six pack of. the oak was a little high for my tastes, so i think it'd be better if it was in non-american oak, and possibly for a shorter period of time.

revisiting my second bottle dec 28/08. 4/4/4.5/4/4.5 = 4.25.

the aroma on this is still dominated by the barrel, but it's not quite as obtrusive as when i had it 29 months ago. there's lots of vanilla and barrel character, but it has mellowed slightly to allow the barleywine beneath to show through a bit more.

taste is great. the vanilla is no longer to the level that i disliked when fresh, but still fairly present. the rest of the flavour remains, without most of the harshness that i saw then.

mouthfeel is great. silky smooth medium carbonation. fairly large body.

drinkability is great. much more well balanced than i remember and with a better balance against the barrel too. fred shows through much more than it did then, and i'm definitely enjoying it to a larger degree. the aged barelywine is there - caramel, rich malt, big body - but complimented rather than dominated by the barelywine. great stuff.

Photo of Viggo
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, batch 64. Big thanks to grub for sharing this one.

Pours a clear golden amber, very brilliant colour, lighter and clearer than a normal Fred, medium sized white head forms drops some lacing and settles to a thin ring around the glass, looks good. Smell is intense, very oaky, vanilla, tannins, toffee, raisins, lots of fruit, but mostly intense fresh oak, very nice. Taste is similar, lots of caramel, lots of fruit, but all is covered by an intense oakiness, lots of tannic vanilla, almost rough, but a very smooth maltiness, very good. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, some warmth from the alcohol, but very nice. Thanks Russ!

Photo of badbeer
3.58/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber color with a white head and bits of lacing. Head quickly recedes to a ring around the glass. Hoppy aroma, like a mixture of pineapple and pickles (strangely); there is also a little bit of oak. Woody taste with sweet caramel that comes through before a pineapple finish. Medium carbonation and body. This was Batch 64. Pretty good, but I wouldn't go nuts about it.

Photo of charlesw
3.03/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Well, weird. This is a BA beer? Ah. Hmm. Right. Well, yeah. I'm comparing it to a BA Old Numskull so maybe... Maybe yeah. Still, I don't get the BA (or however they impart their woodiness) bit. I'd have to compare it to a Fred to really see, I suppose. Not gonna happen tonight. Anyway, what the heck is up with calling this an American BW??? What hop bitterness? And, wow, is it ever thick and sweet. Well, in a 'merican BW there should be the bitterness or some other kind of hoppiness to balance out the sweetness - if it's there. Mind you, hey, it has carbonation so all is not lost! Sometimes... Sometimes I check out other reviews while I'm going over a beer. It's weird. I wonder if we're talking about the same beer. Pronounced bitterness? Where? What? Strange. Ah well.

Photo of homebrewhawk
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to inflatablechair for this one. 2008 vintage served in a snifter. Poured a hazy gold with a finger of fine bubbled white head. Bottle conditioned. Fairly carbonated. Lots of oak and vanilla in the aroma with a little alcohol and burnt sugar. Medium to full bodied with a bit of a spritzy mouthfeel. Very deep complex malt flavors. Big wood flavor. Long lingering finish of oak with some alcohol. The oak really worked for me. I would put this in my top 5 for 2008.

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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 474 ratings.