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

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,658 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,658
Reviews: 845
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.76%
Wants: 370
Gots: 298 | FT: 20
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,658 | Reviews: 845 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -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.

Photo of t0rin0
4.64/5  rDev +13.7%
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.

Photo of spycow
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of GRG1313
3.66/5  rDev -10.3%
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

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.12/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of metter98
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Photo of olradetbalder
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of ygtbsm94
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of brentk56
4.95/5  rDev +21.3%
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

Photo of BEERchitect
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

Photo of Knapp85
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.48/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

Photo of womencantsail
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
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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Fred from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
91 out of 100 based on 1,658 ratings.