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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: 1,740
Avg: 4.09
pDev: 17.11%
Wants: 377
Gots: 306 | FT: 19
Brewed by:
Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
Oregon, United States | website

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: 1,740
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep, rich taste, batch 54. What an initial head-read instructions, pour slowly. Creamy barleywine taste, honey sweetness and drying with spicy bit of burnt barley taste at end, orange citrus. Golden orange lucious, great hop experience. Thank you JoeMcPhee.I had a bottle 1.5 years later at Volo Cafe which was fine as well.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 79.

Pours a beautiful dark honey orange color with a 2 inch bone colored head that fades to a small cap. Bubbles from the pour flowed downward in the glass before rising again to the top. Very small patterns of lacing around the glass present as the beer goes down. Smells of caramel, butterscotch, brown sugar, and citrus zest. Taste is exactly like the smell with sweet burnt sugar tastes (brown sugar, caramel, butterscotch) up front with a citrus hop presence on the finish. Bitterness is very mild and fades quickly on the palate. Mouthfeel is a bit flat carbonation wise leading to a somewhat thick and chewy beer. Overall, this is a great beer that I have put of trying for way too long. Highly recommended.

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Photo of t0rin0
4.64/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This 12 oz bottle was from batch 4. It was kinda hazy and there wasnt much head but I'm assuming thats due to its age. The color was a bit light for a barleywine but a nice amber color. What little foam appeared was thick and creamy and slightly off-white.

The beer smelled very malty, somewhat like maple syrup (again due to aging). There was a bit of fruitiness coming out as well with a little bit of piney hops. Overall it smelled very nice. The taste was more towards the maple flavor hinted at by the smell. The hops had subsided somewhat. Very nice balance. There was also a bit of chocolate in there. It was a wonderful flavor, one the best beers I''ve had (out of 700 at this point). It had a lot of body to it, very thick, kind of refreshing after drinking octoberfest beers and now pumpkin beers for the last few months. Definately very drinkable, no alcohol burn present.

This is one of the best barleywines that I've had yet, behind only Avery's Samael, Great Divide's Old Ruffian, and Victory's Old Horizontal.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.66/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(Batch 75 tasted 10/10/10. The others are from notes of prior tasting as noted):

Batch 71: Dark brown; sweet fruity coffee nose; bitter chocolate/malt flavors; big flavors with great balance and flavors; coffee hop finish; big; nice. 1/09;

Batch 73: like above but with a bit more carmel/toffee nose. 02/09;

Batch 74-like above with a juxtaposition of very sweet Belgian fruit, coffee and carmel with a hop character and finish. 09/09;

Batch 75 10/10/10 - Medium brown with a thin white head. Nose of sweet carmel and toffee and almost a sweet "mint" character that is very pleasant. A light carmel whiskey character in the nose. Creamy mouth with nice elegant carbonation. Off balance but not bad. Flavors of big burnt toast; big burnt carmeled coffee. Very sweet front that goes to a very pine/grapefruit skin bitter. Complex layered flavors that go from maple, carmel, toffee to bitter coffee to bitter pine finish. Complex, interesting, strong alcohol and whiskey character with big, big flavors. A sipper; not real drinkable. 10/10

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Photo of metter98
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy amber in color and poured with a finger high beige head that slowly settled down but left a thin layer of bubbles consistently covering the surface. There is a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation.
S: There are aromas of caramel malts and alcohol in the nose.
T: The taste has a moderate amount of sweetness and is dominated by flavors of alcohol, caramel malts, molasses, raisins and spices. There is a mild amount of bitterness in the finish. The flavors become more complex as the beer warms up.
M: It feels full-bodied, smooth and sticky on the palate with just a slight amount of carbonation. There is some dryness and warming from the alcohol, most notably in the finish.
D: For the amount of alcohol content in this beer, it's actually quite drinkable although the stickiness can slow you down.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Snagged a bottle of this at my local place, one ofthe first beers I bought from there actually. This was something I had wanted to try since I enjoyed ADAM so much. The beer poured out as a nice hazy honey colored brew. It's not transparent at all. The beer looks to be pretty thick. The head it's pretty good to for a little while. The smell of the beer is strong with sweetness, boozy malts and a good dose of hop aromas too. The taste is sweet and has some elements of honey in there to me. There is a zesty hop bite in there as well. The flavors of maple I think are even coming through in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel of this beer is pretty heavy. It's got a nice oily body to it that coats the mouth and lingers for a long while. Overall I'd have to say this is my favorite HotD release yet.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An amazing and surprising strongly malted ale. Maybe more Engish Barleywine-like in flavor and herbal presence, but attention grabbing in the succulent syrupy flavor, feel, and fruitiness.

The beer opens with a quite murky/muddy look- hazy, rust colored brown/copper. A froathy yet intermitten head eventually evens out for an eggshell creme that does a great cask ale-like impression.

Red apples and raisons fill the nose in quite domineering fashion. Mead-like honey notes swirl with the fruity esters and reminds me of mulled spices and cider. Cinnamon and nutmeg character comes in as the beer warms.

Brown sugar and molasass sweetness hits the tongue first but with a quick follow up of the apples and raisons. A long sweet fade eventually concludes with alcohol, spice, and grassy hop bitterness. Nutmeg and cinnamon flavor assist the balance but the alcohols take on a nail polish remover taste late. The rye flavor adds a spicy earthiness that makes the sweet transition to hoppy bitterness effortless and seamless.

Full and syrupy start holds on like expected from heavy honeywines. But the weight of the beer lifts just in time for the alcohol dryness and hoppy crispness, keeping the beer from finishing cloying or dulled.

A terrific beer that's tough to classify. Where I was worried about the apple upstart, the other fruits, spiciness, earthiness, and intensifying bitterness really rounds out the beer very late in the finish.

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Photo of brentk56
4.95/5  rDev +21%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 62

Appearance: Pours a hazy medium caramel with a prodigious head that lasts forever and splashes tons of lacing around the glass

Smell: Toffee, vanilla, a fully dressed hamburger (is this possible?), some grassy and piney hop aromas and some butterscotch

Taste: Starts with a wonderfully subtle toffee flavor with a touch of fruitiness; after the swallow, a variety of hops flavors emerge taking the bitterness in different but never extreme directions (tobacco, leather, a touch of pine and a touch of mandarin orange)

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and a load of carbonation; warmth in the gullet after the swallow

Drinkability: Along with Adam, Hair of the Dog makes two of the most astounding beers I have tasted; full of flavor but never over the top

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Served in a snifter. The initial pour is a moderately-dark dark with a bit of a reddish hue. The nose is quite nice, bringing forward some green apples, light hops, caramel, spice, and a bit of general malty sweetness.

The taste mimics the nose to a large extent, though some of the darker, more fruity flavors take over just a bit. Mild green apple skin the background. Nice touch of caramel and light brown sugar. Good feel with a nice body and a hint of booze in the finish. Drinks quite well and is another solid brew from a brewery that just can't seem to miss.

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Photo of largadeer
4.62/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another awesome vintage beer shared by HopHead84. Thanks, Shane. This review is for Fred batch 1, bottled October 28, 1997, consumed on November 8, 2009, making this just over 12 years old.

Gently poured into two snifters, this beer is tawny-colored with a slight haze. Half an inch of off-white head rises and slowly settles to a thin film. With plenty of carbonation, this looks great for a 12 year old beer.

The aroma is rich and nuanced. Oxidation has changed this beer quite a bit, and mostly for the better. It has developed notes of sherry, leather, wood and earth. The toffee and honey-like sweetness found in fresh bottles of Fred is still noticeable in the aroma, but hops have long since faded. I get a faint spiciness as well - allspice and nutmeg.

It's initially sweet on the palate, honey and caramel up-front, with more earthy, woody, drying flavors mid-palate. The body has held up quite well, as has the carbonation. I'm amazed at how gracefully this has oxidized, taking on port and sherry-like characteristics without developing any unpleasant staleness. The finish is bittersweet, flavors of toast and caramel leading into a woody, spicy aftertaste.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Hogtownharry: Poured a clear golden color ale with a foamy white head with perfect retention and lacing. Aroma of hops is clearly dominating with some sweet malt. Taste is a good balance mix between some floral and bitter hops as well as some sugar and a nice malt backbone. A tad too hoppy for my taste in barley wine but still very enjoyable and something that I could see aging quite well.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, batch number 79, from a hard-target grocery store, gettin' outta Dodge (aka Portland) search, earlier this year.

This beer pours a murky, dull golden brown hue, with a rising column of tight foamy, DQ swirl, eggshell white head, which settles faster than expected, though still not quickly, leaving some random chunky swaths of lace around the glass in the process. It smells of strong fruity pale malt, quite sugary, with some pungent herbal citrus hops, all floating in an alcoholic ether. The taste is quite consistent with the aroma - sweet, confectioners' candy malt, sugar syrup, more drowned bitter earthy, herbal citrus hops, and a light, but firm booze warming. The carbonation is quite soft, the body nearly full in weight, displaying only a bit of that sugar density character on its way to a warm smoothness. It finishes still very sweet, malt, sugar, and booze in a decently complex saccharine tangle - some under-appreciated, soused hops keeping things out of tongue-scraping territory.

Weird to say, but this is quite the candidate for a dessert pairing - the sugar and booze, with subtle NW hopping, would work nicely. On its own, there's plenty going on to admire and contemplate, sipping away at this seemingly restrained behemoth, as the snow falls yet again.

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Photo of emerge077
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2011: Batch 70, 3 year old bottle.
Brilliant orange clarity, three fingers of foam initially, and it maintains an uneven broken skim with good coverage. Dried orange peel and brandy nose. Huge dried apricot and rich raw honey flavors, very full bodied, plenty of lasting citric orange peel bitterness. Ages beautifully.

Thanks to PEBKAC for this boozy beast. (batch 70 = 1 yr. 2008 bottle)

Golden orange body, even foam, lasting retention. A swirl brings the foam back quickly...

Smells of overripe fruits, apricot leather, mildly phenolic. Rich and fruity, skirting the alcoholic bombast of many barleywines.

Rich, nutty and fruity taste, very full flavored and strong. Dried orange peel and dried whole apricots. Residual hop bitterness, lingering well into the finish. Strength dominates, but fruity elements seem to creep out, lasting for awhile.

Rich luxurious feel. Slow sipper to be sure, hard to say how much aging may benefit this tasty monster... Paper and fire, angel and liar, the devil of one another. (RIP Dio)

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Photo of zeff80
4.39/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a dark bronze color with a one-finger, off-white head of foam. It left thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled malty, boozy and of some black licorice. Some dark dried fruit aromas, too.

T - Great taste! Dried dark fruits - plum, currants and fig. Some spicy bitterness, boozy caramel malt and toffee. Nice black licorice finish.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - Awesome beer. I wish it was easier to get Hair of the Dog products in Missouri.

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Photo of oberon
4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow what a beautiful looking beer a nice copper color with a great creamy,sticky head with a sea foam like lace all the way down the glass.Aroma is nutty and yeasty with a note of spice (pepper?)very rich and full on the nostrils.Taste is full and rich as well and very complex,some dried fruit and nuts hit me up front with with a deep spiciness even more so as it warms as well as a generous amount of hop bittering late.What an awesome brew,man I need more of these to lay down for the future.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 67. Glazed terra cotta with a disturbing amount of carbonation. Multiple streams of rapidly racing bubbles have created (and are sustaining) a massive crown of pale orange colored foam after a gentle pour. The lid is whipped creamy, semi-rocky and is depositing scattered patches of smeary lace. Thankfully, things have already begun to settle down.

Fred smells like a maltier than usual BSPA. The brewery calls it a 'golden strong ale' and Mr. Eckhardt himself thinks it tastes like a quadrupel. In any case, the aroma consists of dried peaches, pears and apples in sugar syrup, and a spiciness that is a little Belgian yeasty... although a Scottish ale yeast was used. No alcohol is noted.

This is wonderful stuff! I think the beer's namesake is right, it tastes like a quad that goes heavy on the pale malt. Either some amount of caramel malt or Belgian dark candi sugar (probably both) gives it a steely caramel vibe that would also be at home on an Imperial Oktoberfest.

Hair of the Dog might have been one of the first breweries to use as many as 10 different hops in one beer. For the record: Progress, First Gold, Crystal, Fuggles, Northern Brewer, Willamette and Tettnang (bittering)... Chinook, Saaz and Spalt/Strisselspalt (aroma). Even after an estimated two years in the bottle, the hop flavor and bitterness are still kickin'.

The flavor is spicier than the nose. For that, we have light rye malt to thank. The beer is also floral in a candied-violet-petals kind of way. The sweet golden fruitiness increases in intensity with warming and the various flavors come together better as well. Even though alcohol is present, it's masked extremely well. Several more years of rest shouldn't be a problem.

The mouthfeel is much less buzzy than I'd feared. If I could be patient (next to impossible with beer this good), it will probably calm down enough to earn the next highest score. It just does get there with the final few ounces. In terms of heft, it's full, heavily silky and glassy smooth.

Fred is a uniquely delicious ale named after one of the pioneers of American craft brewing. HOTD has done themselves proud with this one. Whenever I get the chance, I'll buy a few bottles and will cellar them for a bitterly cold day like today. This is a 'roaring fireplace' beer if I've ever tasted one.

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Photo of nickfl
4.59/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - One finger of off-white head on a slightly hazy copper-brown body. The foam dissipates quickly and leaves thick lace clinging to the glass.

S - Thick, rich toasted and toffee malt with earthy, spicy hops. Some dark fruit in the background with notes of red apple and plum.

T - Very thick, very sweet caramel malt, followed immediately by smooth, stiff hop bitterness. These two elements continue to play off one another all the way through the finish, weaving around dark, fruity notes of raisins, fig and plum, spicy alcohol, cinnamon, and clove as well as brown sugar and pipe tobacco. Dark flavor linger and become darker on the palate, releasing smoke, char, and licorice.

M - Very thick, creamy, smooth, mousse-like body, moderately low carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - Great. The aroma is good, the flavor is complex with exquisite balance, and the mouthfeel is obscenely velvety. The appearance is the only aspect of this beer that is less than stellar, and it is still better than average. This is an excellent beer and my only complaint is that I don't have a whole case of them to cellar, because it has the potential to age very well.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.48/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Now this was a real treat. I have wanted to try this for I cannot even remember how long and to finally be able to made me very happy indeed. This one poured a nice hazy golden amber with a thick white frothy head. A nice amount of sediment was visible as was a good deal of carbonation. The retention was excellent and this led to quite a good deal of side glass lace. There was a tremendously hoppy aroma, and this took me a bit by surprise, however I am learning this seems to be the norm from the brewery regardless of the style. There was defiantly a light fruit, peach, pear yeast component to the aroma as well, but the quick crisp citrus hoppiness of it really put it over the top. Such a nice medium body with great carbonation really let the flavors really pop and then linger to let you get the full experience. Very nice bright flavor profile, lots of lemon, and coriander mixed with a pronounced yeast flavor and a very nice light but noticeable bread backing. A slight hint of alcohol but nothing overwhelming and it was actually a nice little extra punch to it. This was a fantastic brew, as I am learning pretty much everything of theirs is. A really great big golden ale with a decidedly west coast hoppiness added in for good measure. This was a really cool thing to try and I would love to see this in regular rotation on my neck of the woods. This is a definite must try if you can get it.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.41/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

Identifies itself as a "Golden Special Ale." Batch number 84. 10% ABV confirmed. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Acquired at K&L Wine in Hollywood. Expectations are high given current ratings.

Side-poured slowly per instructions on the label. Served straight from the fridge.

A: Pours a 5+ finger light khaki colour head of fair smooth cream, nice thickness, and great (9+ minute) retention. No lacing at all. No bubble show. Body colour is a hazy nontransparent translucent orange. No yeast particles are visible. Generally appealing for a golden ale, with an impressive head. Decent vibrance.

Sm: Fresh orange fruit, mandarin oranges, malty sweetness, pale malts, tropical fruit esters, off-putting pineapple, floral hops, candied fruit, banana, some spicy graininess, light honey, clove, and heavy booziness. Alcohol definitely comes through on this one. Not the refreshing golden ale aroma I expected. It's a bit off-putting, to be honest. The tropical fruit mixed with the alcohol just isn't at all appealing; it's redolent of a crappy cocktail. A moderate to strong aroma.

T: Hrm. Candi sugar, heavy alcohol boozy character, tropical fruit, banana, mango, and overdone sweetness. Green apple. Maltiness here is poorly executed. The balance is crushed by the one-two punch of tropical fruit and alcohol. Ugh. Severely disappointed. No subtlety to this one all. There's decent complexity here, but without balance it's useless. Not liking it. Way too sweet. It's a mess; I'd point to the overly diverse hop varieties as problem-inducing here; that definitely feels like a marketing gimmick. Caramel (and why is this in a Golden Ale?).

Mf: Eroding in its sugary sweetness. Smooth and wet. Tingly from crystal malt. Way too thick, even syrupy and viscous - what is that doing in a Golden Ale? Doesn't suit the flavours all that well. Carbonation is too high, to boot.

Dr: Real hard to drink; the flavours aren't appealing nor is the ABV well hidden. I'm not gonna enjoy finishing this glass. I honestly don't understand the high ratings for this one; it's a failure as a Strong Ale and as a Golden Ale. Trying this makes me happier I haven't sought out Fred From The Wood. If this is the base beer, I don't expect much from any variant. Really disappointed in this one.


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Photo of jlindros
4.37/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My second HotD thanks to mikereaser. The bottle lables this as a Golden Special Ale, and BA calls it a Barleywine, so I'll have to see what it really is.

A: Big fat fluffy 2 finger head rises up, over a super clear light mahogany reddish-orange brown color with little bubbles dancing as they rise from the bottom.

N: Nose has lots of sweet malts, dark rich fruits, dried plums and raisins, rich malt aromas, some brown sugar and molasses, little bit of toasty malts, and all around delicious. A touch of American hops and hints of bready malts. Its definitely an American Barleywine.

T: Starts with rich malts, almost a cereal quality. Pretty sweet with lots of malty flavors. More dark dried fruits, plums and raisin. More brown sugar and molasses. It has a very thick sweet syrupy flavor and some maple flavor to go with that. A little toasty bready malts as well. Touch of roasted porter flavors. Some hoppy bitterness.

M: Thick and syrupy, decent carbonation.

F: FInishes still semi sweet, somewhat bitter, sticky sweetness and syrupy quality lingers. A hint of spiciness and warmth of the booze, but otherwise hides the 10% very well. A slight lingering toasted malt flavor hints in the background under the lingering syrupy brown sugar, molasses, maple, and candi sugar. Very welcoming for the sweetness, roasted/toasted malty flavors, fruit, touch of bitterness, and how well the abv is hidden. I really enjoyed this beer, and it reminded me a lot of my last homebrew barleywine. I think HotD did a good job with this one, and I think it'll be even better with a couple years on it.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A rich brown-amber color with next to no head and some lacing.

S: Butterscotch, caramel, vanilla, oak, and a bit of alcohol. Some pitted fruits floating around as well.

T: A caramel and butterscotch sweetness, and some of the aforementioned fruits. A bit of bitterness and alcohol bite on the finish.

M: Full body, smooth and creamy mouthfeel, almost no carbonation.

D: Surprisingly high for a barleywine. Great array of flavors on this.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured carefully from a long-standing bottle the yeast can be kept almost entirely at the base of the bottle, leaving it a quite clear bloodied-orange with amber highlights. The massive and creamy yellowed-tan head subsides slowly, leaving nice fingers and splashes of lace about the glass.

Rich caramel-accented malt, brightly fruity yeast, and citrusy (orange, lemon, pineapple) and somewhat piney hops greet you in the nose. Alcohol may be lending a note of spiciness as well, or perhaps that's from the yeast - or even spices.

In the mouth it's creamy, gently zesty, airy, and then pillowy smooth across the palate.

The flavor is malty, fruity, and citrusy/piney hoppy just as the nose suggests. It starts with a quick dash of malt that's quickly countered by fruit, and gently piney hops. The alcohol shows after that, and it becomes quite spicy just as the bold bitterness begins to rise, leaving it quite dry and spicy in the long-lasting finish. It's so much, in fact, that you'll probably want to refresh your palate. I'd suggest enjoying it as a sipper with some crusty bread, warmed butter, and interesting cheese. Even some spiced meat!

So what can you say about Fred? Fred's Fred! Acccept him for what he is; let him warm up to you; and take him in small doses :)

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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.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 42, acquired from mikesgroove courtesy of the I Want That IV BIF over 3 years ago, so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a reddish gold color, with a very thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains fruit, alcohol, bourbon, caramelized malts, some spice and some hops.

T: The taste starts out very sweet with flavors of brown sugar, bourbon and caramel. Then some flavors of fruit and rye spices come in along with a significant alcohol sting. The malt character is hearty and the hops presence is subdued which is expected given the age of the beer, but it’s still enough to provide a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, decent representation of style, it’s a solid stronger beer to drink for a while but I think I may have let this one sit a little too long.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.8/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a tumbler.

Let's hope this stuff is more Frederick the Great on the battlefield than Fred Flintstone on the lanes... It pours a mostly clear golden-brass topped by a finger or so of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises thick honey, mild banana, biscuit, mild Belgian yeast, clove, and a touch of booze in the background. The taste brings in more of the same, with the booze and an overly-strong current of blunt sweetness dominating the proceedings. Honestly, things just seemed too sweet and disjointed to get much of a sense of the other constituent pieces. The body is a hefty medium, with a light moderate carbonation, a lightly syrupy feel, and a drying finish. Overall, like many Hair of the Dog offerings, this stuff didn't do it for me at all. It's too sweet and boozy for its own good, and it seems to want to insist upon itself rather than let me experience it in any kind of pleasurable way. God, I hope that makes some sense to someone other than me...

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