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

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

853 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 853
Hads: 1,735
Avg: 4.09
pDev: 17.11%
Wants: 378
Gots: 303 | FT: 19
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: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-13-1998

Fred was created to honor beer writer and historian Fred Eckhardt. It is made with aromatic and rye malts and includes 10 different hop varieties.

10% alcohol by volume
65 IBUs.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Fred Alström Bros
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Reviews: 853 | Hads: 1,735
Photo of CraftFan5
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first HotD beer! I mean I've owned several for a while, but I've cellared each and every one of them. Bottoms up! 12 oz. bottle into a teku.

A - Wah! Woo! Ug-lee! Fugly! Absolutely no head, and zillions of floaties. The few bubbles rose to the top almost immediately, and now this thing is stagnant. Even the floaties aren't moving. Otherwise it's a lifeless, translucent burnt orange.

N - Better. This smells almost exactly like FW Helldorado, a blonde barleywine. Some hop bitterness, but not much. I get some caramel, and a bit of vanilla too.

T - Man, is this interesting. This is almost like drinking a low ABV hard liquor. Absolutely no carbonation, but just bursting with flavor. Still that slight hop bitterness, but otherwise tons of caramel, vanilla, maybe some coconut. and some tropical fruit, like peaches, mangos, apricots, etc. Unique!

M - For having zero carbonation, this thing does get around. Dry on the finish, but not clean at all. This one will be sticking around for a while. It's everywhere on my tongue and palate. Never experienced anything like this before.

O - I hate to rate this under a 4, but it's a bit hoppy/bitter for me, and it's just so f-ing ugly. Overall, however, a very nice beer. Eager to try more of their stuff.

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Photo of BigRedDog
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark orange. Slight haze. Noticeably flat like most HOTD beers I've had.

Smell is of mulling spices, some orange zest. Booze on the nose.

Taste has a yeasty fruitiness to it similar to a tripel. The booze is there as a warming touch as the liquid coats the palate. No harsh, but just warming enough. Candy sugar, Orange, rye spice, yeast, and other lighter stone fruits all present. Slight sweetness on the finish, but not cloying. Maybe even a slight peat smoke as the beer warms...

Mouthfeel is rich and creamy. The low/no carb works well with this beer.

Overall, in the broad category of American strong ale I would rate this fairly high. The booze is there but not overwhelming or out shining the other aspects of the beer. This to me seems like a boozy tripel with the fruity and yeasty character to it, but the nice spice notes really add an extra oomph to the beer.

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Photo of Mehinaman
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I have no idea how to describe what this beer tastes like. If I did it would sound like I did not like it as I would say it's flat tasting (low carbonation) with a kind of sweet taste or dates. But it works! It's similar tasting to Doggie Claws which I did not like, but this one is delicious.

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Photo of T_Hass
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a wine glass.

L- A clear golden liquid with minimal head. I wasn't expecting this. Most of the strong ales that I have had are dark and rich. This looks more like a blond barley wine. I'm not really sure what the difference is.
S- sweet brown sugar and dark fruit notes.
T- Sweet. Brown sugar dates are what comes to mind.
F - Smooth and rich

Overall this beer reminds me a lot of Helldorado which I just had from FW. Its a great beer and easily obtained in CA. I wish I had picked it up earlier.

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Photo of Mantooth
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed on draft in their tasting room. Pours a rich gold hue with loads of carbonation and head retention. Lots of rich dried fruit and caramel malt in the nose and the taste holds true to that, while adding mounds of hops and esters. It's definitely got some chew to it. I love this beer. after spending a few hours in the tasting room, I'm almost glad I live on the other side of the country. They'd never get me to leave if I was in the area full time. Cheers!

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Photo of Hydrophobic
4.77/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a growler.

Appearance was a hazy opaque golden honey with a thick fluffy white head and lively carbonation, even after a week in the growler. Head retention was shitty, lacing was ok.

Smelled of orange blossom hoppiness and burnt sugar. Breathes fire a bit

Tasted primarily of molasses and orange, with a slight bitterness at the back of the throat. Tastes of a light barleywine.

Felt thick, sticky, and smooth with surprisingly low burn and a slight fuzziness in the finish.

Overall, there would be more depth to this review had I done it live in the public house, but the overall character remained. The beer was still ultra-fantastic even though a week had passed with it in the growler. I love strong ales, and this one has a very unique twist that is not unwelcome. Pops in law, who shared the growler with me, called it his favorite beer of all time.

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Photo of Onefootlarry
4.52/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I continue to go back to this beer any chance I can get. It's got a great mouth feel, perfect blend of malt and hops, with a 10% kick in the end. I prefer it a little more on the room temperature side.

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Photo of constantine_272
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is a great golden ale. Hops are a little high and the candy sugar is on the sweet side. Would drink again, but not true to the belgian golden style--more of a new world style golden ale.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Hazy gold with a large piillowy white head that grips the side of the glass.
S: Fruit, light malt, banana.
T: Slightly sweet on the tongue with fruit, over ripe fruit and light malts.
F: Very creamy, soft mouthfeel with medium to medium light body and medium carbonation.

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Photo of RickS95
3.04/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Rich-looking medium brown pour. Cloudy, hazy look. However, there is NO head. None. Zilch. Simply not there. Looks like a juice of some sort.

The smell is very pleasant. There's a nice fruity scent mixed in with a little rye spice. All the while your nose tells you there's candied sugar in there somewhere. Even without the writing on the bottle, these ingredients stand out.

The rye malt is very apparent and dominant. Alcohol really comes to life in the taste as it's extremely strong and medicinal. The sugar is there as well. Hops are a bit player in this aggressive sipper.

Zero carbonation. The beer is completely flat until the spicy malt and crazy alcohol pepper the palate. It's very sweet, fairly bitter, and ridiculously alcoholic...a bit too much so. Feels like a Barleywine. Despite the flat feel, it's a very heavy beer.

Very disappointing. Maybe I let this one age a little too long, but I thought with the high ABV it would be ok. This wasn't very good. The look is awful, the taste is a bit on the medicine side, and it feels pretty bad. I expected so much more based on what I'd read. This missed the target on most fronts.

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Photo of Michael_Miller_206
3.25/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Despite a nice aroma the taste and mouth feel were both surprisingly disappointing. I generally love golden ales, and the surface characteristics of this beer suggested that I would enjoy this one as well, but the actual taste did not bear that out.

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Photo of Jmamay22
2.27/5  rDev -44.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

Fred pours a very cloudy amber brown with no head. Not very attractive. Looks like a muddy puddle in my glass. The scent is very sweet featuring brown sugar, caramel and dark fruits such as fig and plum. The taste is also sweet, really too sweet. The rye spiciness attempt to hold back the sweetness, but it all comes through as a sugar bomb. Lots of caramel. Alcohol heat is present, but not terribly strong. Mouthfeel is nearly wine still and fairly heavy.

I enjoyed some of their other offerings on tap yesterday, but this one from the bottle is a muddled sweet mess. I'm curious to know what the brewer was after with this one. Maybe a mistake and under attenuated due to the strong sweet flavor and lack of carbonation. Reading the notes saying there are 10 different hops used is interesting. This may have helped lead to the muddled flavors. 10 different hops is a lot to try to balance.

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Photo of mbmiche
4.11/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Flavor profile was really solid--caramel, vanilla, dark sugary dried fruit, but almost no carb at all. heavy yeast at the bottom of the bottle made it into my glass.

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Photo of SierraFlight
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle shared by Kevin among a few folks at Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach. Poured into a taster. Brown-orange in appearance with a few floaties despite a careful pour. A two-plus finger head forms, stays for a while, then leaves spots of lacing as it recedes. Aroma is caramel, vanilla, alcohol, dried pears, and apples. Taste, initially, is moderate sweetness with caramelized sugar and dried fruit notes. On the finish there is a citrus hop flavor, rye spiciness, and alcohol. Full body, thick, chewy, sticky texture, soft carbonation in the mouth which is strange after the bubble show on the pour, and a finish that is initially abruptly bitter and has a warming boozy tail.

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Photo of jellikit
3.96/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: light orange. Clear. Flat. No head.
Smell: toffee. Caramel. Slight yeast aroma.
Taste: caramel, orange, malty sugars, alcohol. Grapefruit peel.
Mouthfeel: low-to-no carbonation. BIG body. Sweet.
Overall: big beer. Sweet. Complex in flavor. Boozy. Will buy again.

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Photo of Taybeh
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a single bottle (batch 90) into a Great Divide Cervoise, first review of the new year

A: Goldenrod with a lot of bubbles and sediment, huge head and huge retention
S: big caramel and malt flavors, alcohol, yeast, sweet dried apricots, apples, raisins, vague hoppy edge
T: big flavors -- lots of layers of sweet chewy malt, rendered more complex with some molasses, dark dry fruit; earthy hops & esters that linger on the end
M: heavy, chewy, and syrupy despite moderate carbonation.

Overall: This is a big beer, complex flavors that integrate nicely.

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Photo of LouZ
3.32/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle. Appears to be a thick beer out of the bottle, golden in color - like apricot. Hazy and unfiltered, and absolutely no head to be found. Smell is on the sweeter side, some citrus; resembles a barleywine. Taste is sweet: sugar is the first impression, and it's pronounced. Small hop finish, unfortunately; espcially for one said to have 10 different varities. Feel is on the thicker side; very low carbonation. Overall, it's not what I was expecting and while not a terrible beer, it would not be one I'd go for again.

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Photo of BrewUSA
3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look 8/10
Smell 17/20
Taste 35/40
Feel 8/10
Drinkability 16/20

Overall 84/100

Meh, had a batch 77 from 2009... Wasn't really my thing. Almost tasted more like a Belgium. Had lots of dark fruit and fig tastes. Maybe it oxidized, maybe not my thing, regardless I wasn't left with a great impression~

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Photo of zac16125
3.52/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a snifter
Batch number 92

Thanks to KevSal for sending this one over in a trade.

A: Pours a very hazy, to the point of being opaque, dark apricot color with lots of sedimentation. There is essentially zero head, just a few bubbles of indiscernible color, which form an outer ring. Leaves almost zero lacing. 3

S: Aroma is booze and sweetness. Candied sugar, caramel/toffee, and some sweet citrus notes. 4

T: Booze, lots of fusel ethanol, followed by sweet notes. Lots of candied sugar, some sweet Belgian estery notes, subtle citrus. 3.5

M/D: Almost zero carbonation, nearly flat, which gives it a syrupy mouthfeel. Pretty heavy alcohol presence, even for the ABV. Drinkability is ok. 2.75

O: Pretty big disappointment here. The lack of carbonation really hurts it a lot. It kind of reminds me of a DFH 120min, gone wrong. Not sure if I got a bad batch or what, but its certainly a let down from what I was hoping for. 3.5

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Photo of beerdedking
4.5/5  rDev +10%

First time with Fred. Batch 90. Bottled sometime in 2013 if I were to guess. I was forced to extrapolate from HOTD site.
Very slow, careful pour into snifter gave up a cumulus cloud of head, 2 fingers minimum.
Golden copper in hue, with much yeast sediment in suspension. Smells vaguely like a Belgian Pale Ale.
I can tell it's going to be a dry beer already. Initially, it is a strong Belgian Pale, then the drying resinous
hops kick in. As it warms, the rye malt also appears, along with some oak. Lacing is persistent.
This beer is too complex to describe with one 12ozer, I'd need a couple to sum it up. I may just arrange that.
I get why it's categorized as an American Strong. It's just too complex to pigeonhole...

Overall, easily a beer every enthusiast should give a go...

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Photo of richj1970
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%

Poured from 12 oz bottle into snifter. Bottle labeled Batch 90.

A: Pours a cloudy honey yellow with large 3 finger white head that seemed to last forever. Generous 360 degree lacing.

S: Raisins, pears, honey, and dried pineapple.

T: Light caramel sweetness and gentle hop bitterness. Some soft fruit flavors, pineapple, and apple juice.

M: Medium body with lots of carbonation. A subtle sweetness lingering on the tongue.

O: An excellent strong ale. I look forward to trying another brew from HOTD.

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Photo of brianmandell
2/5  rDev -51.1%

Batch 92. Hazy golden pour with zero head. Visibly viscous.

The nose is very sweet with honey, caramel and hints of stone fruits. A touch of sherry.

Taste is quite similar to the nose except it is pervaded by a strongly unpleasant astringent bitterness. Flavors of sweet honey, vanilla, caramel, raisins and sherry come through along with an alcohol bite.

Mouthfeel is slightly viscous with no carbonation.

I didn't mind the lack of carbonation so much as I couldn't stand the astringent bitterness. Smells great but tastes awful. Drainpour.

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Photo of ronricorossi
4/5  rDev -2.2%

bottle at The Hog's Apothecary in Oakland

a hazy golden color, this one's strong and sweet. Rather unusual - not sure I've ever had anything that's closely comparable. It's like drinking a super sweet and sticky, super boozy glass of apple juice. Fabulously inventive, but it's so specific a profile, I'm not sure I'd seek this one out again and again. Have to be in the precise mood. The barrel aged versions would be interesting to try - this is definitely a beer that would benefit from some warm, soft oak/bourbon/brandy/whatever overtones (I'm guessing?)

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Photo of LambicPentameter
3.99/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Enjoyed out of a 12 oz brown bottle with "batch 90" marked clearly on the label. Drinking this as part of a Conflux No. 1 deconstruction tasting--Fred, Adam, Stoic, and Dissident followed by Collage. Served in an old fashioned glass.

Appearance (4.25) - Pours a predominantly translucent tangerine amber color with just a bit of haze from the bottle conditioning yeast with which I wasn't careful enough. A pour of moderate aggression reveals a fluffy finger of off-white foam consisting of tight bubbles with just a few pocks on the surface here and there. It leaves just traces of faint silky lace behind on the sides of the glass.

Smell (4.0) - It doesn't blow me away at first, but as I sit here and take a few more whiffs, I start to gain more appreciation for the elements therein. Golden raisins, light pear and honey come through as well as sweet Hawaiian bread and sticky bun and a sublte touch of clover blossom. There's a hint of the heat from the alcohol that adds a touch of astringency, but really works to break up the sweeter smelling parts of the aroma.

Taste (4.0) - I'm not quite as impressed by the taste as the aroma, but the difference is pretty negligible in the long run. Again there are dominant notes of light fruits like golden raisin and now even some nectarine, perhaps dried pineapple, but the sweetness isn't quite the level I expected based on the smell. Some floral notes of honeysuckle tease the tongue, but don't linger, giving way to floral hops and nice bitterness with even a bit of white pepper.

Mouthfeel (3.75) - Light bodied and high carbonation, and honestly, this is my first real complaint about the beer, as the feel just seems a bit out of balance. It's like the level of carbonation creates an airy aspect to the body that doesn't quite support the density of flavors, if that makes any sense. A minor quibble, but I could have done with lower levels of carbonation.

Overall (4.0), a nice strong ale with good flavor that works well with the high level of alcohol without just masking it. Though it's a bit of an undefined style, this one manages to have made a distinct mark on my memory. Probably my least favorite of the Collage "deconstruction" tasting, but that really speaks more to the quality of the beers involved than it does the lack of quality of this one.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 90, poured into a snifter

A- slow pour produces a hazy golden color with lots of sediment floating around, big fizzy and foamy white head that retains long after the pour, leaving some sticky lace behind

S- sweet candied berries with notes of raisins, flowery and herbal hop aromas lead to notes of spiced cider and apple skin. It closes with some peppery rye and a honey-like sweetness. Aromas seem to open up more as it rules

T- sweet candied fruit with hints of brown sugar up front, red apples and grape skin, herbal hop notes with a peppery spice from the rye, a hint of alcohol and sugar on the finish

M- medium body with low carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a smooth and warming finish

O- good mix of spicy and sweet, a slow sipper that still has a bit of heat to it

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Fred from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
91 out of 100 based on 853 ratings.