Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

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

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

852 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 852
Hads: 1,729
Avg: 4.09
pDev: 17.11%
Wants: 380
Gots: 305 | 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
Reviews: 852 | Hads: 1,729
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.

 543 characters

Photo of Wisconsinality
3.33/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to kk73 and July2Nov for this one.

12oz bottle poured into Duvel tulip.

A- Pours a murky caramel brown that looks a lot like apple cider. One finger worth of head that dies down rather quickly and doesn't leave much for lacing.

S- Some good malt presence to go along with a bit of dark fruit, plums and fig. There is a little bit of sour apple, brown sugar and just a hint of alcohol peaks through.

T- The hops are pretty pronounced on the tongue and meld well with the dark fruits. The malt isn't nearly as present as in the nose. As it warms, the alcohol becomes more present but still not overwhelming.

M- Full bodied that has a surprising amount of carbonation for the style. There is a bit of warming from the alcohol and the finish is a little on the dry side.

D- A sipper for sure but a decent one for a chilly winter day. This is pretty fresh, it's the newest batch so some time on it could really help this develop.

 938 characters

Photo of BarrytheBear
3.33/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle of batch 84. Believe this was from a recent trade, but my notes defy me. Thank you kind whoever for the opportunity.

Opens with a big hiss that previews the massive billow of fluff. Carbonation seems to be a standing issue with HotD, covering all facets of the spectrum. Very hazy darker orange in the glass with a steady cover throughout. Oodles and oodles of bubbles as well.

Smells along the lines of a belgian triple: candy sugar is well pronounced with the underlying spice of rye and some herbal and citrus notes.

Tastes follows suit. Spicy rye, candy sugar, and hops. A little too much on the Belgian end for my liking. Hops fight through and take grasp leaving a sharp bitter snap on the finish. Citrus and spice seal the deal.

Overall, I prefer my strong ales less in the yeasty vain. In fact, I dislike yeasty beers. There's enough here to distract from the distraction, just not enough to salvage it completely. Overcarbonation doesn't help much either.

 981 characters

Photo of bcm75
3.33/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Overly loud hiss of carbonation when bottled was opened. After an extremely careful pour I was still left with a good solid 5 fingers of head in my tulip. It was an extremely thick head that didn't even begin to dissapate for 20 minutes. This beer is way, way over-carbonated. Flavors and aroma are nice but this issue ruins it.

 328 characters

Photo of msarver16
3.33/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a snifter. Very little head, which fades quickly. Pours a dark amber color.

Smells sweet and malty, I get caramel and dark belgian candi sugar. Getting hints of rye, citrus, and booze.

Taste is all over the place. There's a lot going on here, it kind of works too. Tastes follow the nose with flavors like raisins, caramel and sugar up front. Hops provide a little bit of a bitter aftertaste. I don't love it, but I'm still drinking it.

Overall, this beer has a love it or hate it kind of quality to it that will scare a lot of people away. I appreciate it's complexity, but it's not a home run for me. Glad I tried it, don't really want another one.

 683 characters

Photo of Jonada
3.33/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle. Batch 85

Appearance: Dark orange/copper color. Extremely hazy with some visible sediment floating in the glass. Poured about 2 fingers of an off white, cream colored head with nice retention and lacing.

Smell: Sweet malt, rye, banana bread, Belgian candy sugar, a bit of a spicy yeast character, slightly medicinal.

Taste: Sweet bread, spiciness from the yeast and rye, some dark fruit and nuttiness, more candy sugar. Booze and spiciness help cut the sweetness a bit.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, sticky, syrupy mouthfeel. Carbonation is on the high side.

Overall: Not impressed with this one. There's some nice flavors in there, but the end product is a bit of a sweet, syrupy mess.

 697 characters

Photo of Retail1LO
3.34/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First time ever having Fred. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Founders snifter.

This is one you DEFINITELY cannot pour straight down the middle. I ended up with a glass nearly 80% filled with head, and it would NOT recede. Had to pour off some. Outside of the outrageous head, Fred otherwise pours a brilliant translucent straw haze of gold. The nose definitely showcases Belgian yeast, which is SO not my thing. It's amazing I even attempted to drink this. But in the name of science... The taste, fortunately, bids adieu to the Belgian yeast, as it is not present in the taste. This is pretty mild, actually. A little citrusy with a bit of spice to it. Fairly neutral, otherwise. The mouthfeel is very clean and fresh with a nice effervescence to it. Finishes with a dryness reminiscent of champagne. This is decent, but generally not my thing.

 849 characters

Photo of beermanbrian
3.38/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Batch 75

This ones been in the beer fridge for awhile. Deep gold light bronze color. Minimal head but might have been a little cold on the pour so I won't penalize for that.
Smell is somewhat boozy. Some caramel malt smell but I mostly get a bourbon smell. Tast follows suit. Alcohol up front, strong candied sweetness in the middle, bourbon finish. For a 10% beer it packs a strong kick. Starts to smooth out some as it warms. Overall another ok strong ale amoungst many others that I would prefer over this one.

 515 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.4/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy orange-ish to yellow color with an off white head. In the aroma, dry fruit and candy sugar. In the taste, dry candy sugar with yeast and fruit notes. A smooth and medium to bigger bodied mouthfeel, with a dry hint of fruit in the aftertaste. Nice mix of fruit and yeast, more an American triple than a barleywine.

 326 characters

Photo of MrSeth
3.4/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

from a 12oz. bottle of batch number 54

App: Foam slowly rises out of the bottle which was left undisturbed for a week before opening. This warns of the massive head that is about to form in the glass. The suds fall in a bit but maintain a good half-inch head for the duration of the drink.

Smell: The nose is wonderful. So many classic barley wines come to mind as I enjoy the rich malt and sweet dead-ripe fruit aromas.

Taste: The malt is big and bawdy right from the start. But the body is no where near as syrupy as many old ales and barley wines can be. On the back of the tongue the bitter citrus peel flavor emerges. But the citrus is also not as heavy as other, more heavily hopped ales are on the palate.

MF: Overall the malt is very intense. The feel is puckering and drying, even for an ale of this style. The aftertaste and the puckering start ganging up on you after a while.

DA: Worth a try, especially for fans of the barley wine and heavy ale styles. But have a glass of water handy to wet the palate.

 1,031 characters

Photo of AwYeh
3.41/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle from batch 82 poured into snifter.

A: The head on this beer is absolutely ridiculous; at least three fingers of lush, creamy foam with an impressive plateau in the middle; comparable to Duvel's well-known appearance. The spiderweb lacing left all down the glass and the stream of carb bubbles flowing up through the body are nice touches too. The golden-brown liquid beneath the head is vibrantly colored, and its murkiness brings to mind the look of a particularly yeasty Belgian or German offering. Well done.

S: Lots of light and citrus fruit flavors start this one off– notes of orange and lemon zests are noticeable just before a rush of apple and especially strong pear come in. Belgian yeast, candi sugar, floral notes, and rye malts (increasingly powerful with warmth) along with a light peppery smell make this one really interesting.

T: Candi malts dominate the initial flavor, before being replaced by a sharp, lasting rye and a decent amount of alcohol. The alcohol is somewhat overpowering here, but does work with the beer's pepperiness– I'm sure lots will appreciate that quality of it. Light floral quality is nice, but this doesn't seem as complex as the smell– wondering where the pears went.

M: Thick, creamy, sticky, syrupy– the body on this beer is huge. Just a bit of warmth from the alcohol, and moderate carbonation considering its density.

O: Even though I wasn't a huge fan, it's definitely unique and I appreciated having the chance to try it. Would be willing to try it again in the future to see if it grows on me, but for now there was a bit too much of a combination of alcohol and overemphasis on sweetness near the end for me.

 1,684 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.42/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bittersweet strong ale.

Orange-amber in the chalice. Aroma is tantalizing warm fruit cake with alcohol fumes. This must be the sweetest beer I have ever had. I can't think of another. It's like those sweet non-alcohol Malta beers they have in the Caribbean. Main flavor is raisins. Or dried currants, to be precise. Only sweeter. Ruby Port wine. Aftertaste is dark, bitter orange marmalade. Truly unique

I guess if this is made from malt and high-enough octane, you can call it barley wine. I call it raisin wine.

Batch 79.

 526 characters

Photo of JDV
3.42/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared at tasting. I believe Humulone_Red brought this, and thanks! Pours a medium caramel color. Smell is lightly malty, and bright and light, with a hint of alcohol. Taste is almost oaky, perhaps from the oxidation of this older bottle? Moderate maltiness aside from that and a pleasant alcohol character. Lightly drying at the end as well. Nice beer that I'll have to have again at some point.

 403 characters

Photo of IntriqKen
3.43/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A dark golden amber fills the glass with a decent two fingers of white foam that melts slowly to impressive white lacing and mapping along the side of the glass.
Aroma is initially alcohol...strong alcohol. It's followed with dark ripe fruits....plums, bananas, raisins....reminiscent of a christmas pudding.
Taste is again, heavy in alcohol. You have to dig below this to reach the fruits and dark sweet amber malts.
This is a rich and heavy American Barley wine but could use a year...maybe two....under it's belt before the depth of flavors develop to become intriquing and enjoyable.
Right now it is raw, hot, and rough.

 628 characters

Photo of PatrickSwayze
3.43/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured into miniature snifter from a 12oz. bottle golden in color and bright as a mafucka

S: A little spiciness from the rye that quickly turns to spiciness from the hops.

T: Light spiciness mixed with a great hop presence tossed with a tad of alcohol.

M: I nice heat is added from the alcohol presence that is nicely mixed with high carbonation.

O: A pretty good offering. I paid 5.99 for this 12oz and wasn't disappointed. I enjoyed it but i didn't love it.  

 469 characters

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.44/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Batch Number #41 (if that means anything).
Not sure what to make of this beer. Poured with an absolutely massive creamy "off-white" whippy head that was incredibly persistent. Low carbonation once things settled to a very yeasty looking clowdy orange color, looks that so often threaten a serious headache later on. Appearance is not that off-putting when placed in context of the strength and the bottle-conditioning though. Resembles some Belgium Trippels I have had. In fact it also smells like them. Strong alcoholic powerful aroma intermixed with grain, malt, and damp freshly harvested hops with some fruity hints in there, I kept getting Apricots. Heck, the aroma on this beer is multi-dimensional and very complex. Firm mouthfeel, with a strong warming introduction that is like CPR for the heart. Spicy middle, with the hops really kicking in at the end as the warmth of the alcohol sudsides. Bit of a sweet, cloying 'sticky' finish. Not overly impressed with this beer, its just too damn complex. A confusing beer that tries just too hard to be "Belgique" in my opinion.
$1.99 at Trader Joes for a 12 fl.oz bottle. Took me a while to dispatch this one I have to admit. Glad I saved it until last!!

 1,209 characters

Photo of watermelonman
3.45/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is a big beer. This thing could beat up on several of the barleywines I've had recently.

It poured with massive carbonation, to a fairly typical color but not one that I would call "golden" like the label does. For some reason, it's making me think of that Belzebuth stuff. I'd definitely say that this is better, though. It tastes like there's a bit of honey in there. Highly carbonated and highly alcoholic honey, that is. It's big on hops, too.

High quality, but not as enjoyable as their Adam.

 508 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.45/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I see that Belgian candy sugar is used; does that make Fred a Belgo-barleywine? Enough of the stupid remark, bust out the Old Guardian glass and opener and get on to the beer:

It's magnificent looking; a darker shade of gold, tiny bubbles that are clearly visible from a few feet away, a thick creamy top that seems to last forever. That's the good news! The bad news is that something seems to have gone awry in the nose. It's most resemblant of sweet honey and a good amount of astringency. More time allows the astringency to calm and bring a little note of hop leaf. A little better, but still rough for my liking.

I think we have a Belgo-barleywine, or at least an attempt. If you love sugar, then you will get your fix here. It's very sweet overall, yet finds a way without ever being cloying. Sugar sweetness is obvious, little notes of mandarin orange, leaves, and a hop cone or two. Some of the 10% alcohol is felt/tasted in the form of ethanol. It's a big and firm bodied beer (and one that leaves sticky residue around my lips, which I like a lot), so take this easy.

Hair of the Dog throws a change-up at the barleywine style. It's not bad and certainly different from the diet of fastballs that we're all used to seeing, but sometimes a good 93 MPH heater gets the job done better than a slightly better than average change on the outside corner.

 1,364 characters

Photo of Rumrunner
3.47/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle.

Pours an ugly and murky swamp copper brown. An excellent retentive head and some decent lacing. The scent is big alcohol. It dominates and lets only mild notes of other scents through. There is some butterscotch and wood. Butter and some mild fruit. All are there but the alcohol dominates them like a cruel master.

Flavors are very tangy. A sweet butterscotch cannot match itself against the tangy fruit. A huge alcohol post dominates the initial sweet taste and then finishes with a big grapefruit and bitter hop flavor. Some plumb and dark fruits also make a show but are quickly pushed aside. A big oak and alcohol finish leads to a wheat aftertaste. This beer is big and strong but in my opinion the flavors are not mixed well together. If you like an alcohol flavor like an untamed barley wine then this is a beer for you.

Somewhat dry an rye like on the palate. Pushy in the mouth and a heavy uncomfortable alcohol bite. It could use some aging? Drinks rough and carbonation is just too much.

This ale is well intended but it is losing much in its translation.

 1,093 characters

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

 960 characters

Photo of whoneeds8
3.54/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Batch 71

Been sitting on this one for over a year now.

Pours out a thick syrupy orange with absolutly no head. Looks flat!!! I'm worried at this point.

The scent is a strong sugar smell. That candy sugar is very evident, very nice.

The taste is like someone stuffed a whole bag of Candy Sugar down your mouth. Followed by a bag of brown sugar to follow.

The mouthfeel is terrible. It's very low in carbonation if not flat. It's very very thick, even for a barleywine. And then there is a grain feeling to the after taste.

I can't believe how much of a disappointment this beer was. I brought it back from San Diego a year ago April and it's been in the fridge without being moved since.

This beer tastes like they forgot to add yeast to feed off the sugar.

NEW REVIEW 2/2/2014: Batch 88 . . . must be the infamous Flat Batch from my searches. My parents visited Oregon and brought back two bottles for Fred for me. Both Bath 88 and both so flat they need a spare.

I'm more disappointed that I haven't found any recognition from the brewers that they fucked up on this batch. If you've found where they have, please PM me.

 1,131 characters

Photo of DividedAvery
3.55/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a New Belgium Snifter.
My first hair of the Dog experience!

A: Dark golden color. This thing gives off a ton of head! Had to let it sit twice just to pour the whole bottle. Had been sitting in the fridge for almost two weeks so I don't think it was agitation.

S: Citrus and a smell of alcohol dominate. Fruits like pineapple come across and there is a nice malt background

T: It's pretty sweet, and I like sweet beers but there is something just a tad off for me. The malt balances well and there is a slight alcohol burn on the finish. 10%? I can see that.

M: Feel's a bit like an English Barleywine in my mouth, smooth, malty and sweet with a nice level of carbonation.

O: Good, not amazing beer. I would like to try this one on tap. A 12oz bottle was more than enough of this guy but it was a good first impression from the brewery.

 873 characters

Photo of JRed
3.55/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear amber body with bubbly white head. Smells of alcohol, syrup, candied burnt fruit. The alcoholic booze and tropical fruit take over in the taste and don't let go. It slicks the palate with boozy flavors. A strong beer that serves best as an after dinner drink.

 271 characters

Photo of lynx1245
3.57/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks nick of ThreeWiseMen for sharing this one.

Poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Dark golden with huge off-white head. Lots of carbonation and sediment. Big chunks of yeast on the bottom - doesn't look too appealing.

Smell: Citrus, pale malts, earthy, finished with a hoppy note. Slightly yeasty.

Taste: Full of pale malts with slightly bitter aftertaste. I can also detect some dark fruits. Much alcohol in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: A bit heavy on the carbonation with good alcohol warming. Full bodied for sure!

Drinkability: The alcohol really hits you hard. It is somewhat refreshing, but heavy at the same time. Not sure what to think of that combo.

 665 characters

Photo of Hhawk06
3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch #54
It poured with a body reminiscent of apple cider and a great cloudy and creamy head with nice retention and lace. I'm smelling a malty spice with a little bit of oak in the nose. Presentation is very good. Ah this brew is very nicely dry hopped. Its certainly lemon-like in that it makes you pucker but the overall tone is set in its rye flavored theme. The finish is bitter and dry with aromatic hops leaving a lasting impression. I do notice at the very tail end of the finish, the high alcohol content finally makes its presence known before once again fading into oblivion. Not outstanding, but I will sip and enjoy again down the road.

 651 characters

Fred from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
91 out of 100 based on 852 ratings.