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

Not Rated.
FredFred

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

853 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 853
Hads: 1,739
Avg: 4.09
pDev: 11.98%
Wants: 379
Gots: 305 | 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
Reviews: 853 | Hads: 1,739
Photo of rab53
2.79/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Originally had this beer years ago (batch 48) and rated a 4.5.

Revisited this evening (batch 93) and was thoroughly disappointed.
Flat, sweet, boozy. Almost every HotD bottle I've had in the past year has had major carbonation issues.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to hophead101 for sending me this bottle. This is one I have been looking forward to trying.

The beer pours a hazy brown color with a white head. The aroma is classic American Barleywine with notes of caramel malt and oranges. The flavor is sweet caramel, sweet oranges, toffee, brown sugar and a touch of alcohol. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A great beer that didn't disappoint.

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Photo of Billolick
4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, "Batch 68", pours cloudy dark orangy amber, yeast expelled into the glass, yeeha, I love yeast. Typical medium tan head, tiny bubble film, and spotty, fine lacing left behind. Toasty nose, with some burnt orange notes. Buttery smooth, tasty and finely crafted brew, 10% truly nowhere in sight, except the center of my cranium. Caramel, vanilla, honey notes, warming and yummy. High qualiity and a must try all the way. No bargain @ $4.99 a bottle, but worth it for the high brow suds experience.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch number 66

Pours a slightly cloudy dark amber with a huge bubbly head that lasts forever and leaves thick gobs of lacing all the way down. Smells of citrus, caramel. and a bit of spicy yeast. Taste is caramel malt, grassy, citrus hops, fruity esters mixed with a bit of alcohol. Has a bit of a Belgian flair to it, really interesting and flavorful. Thick body, lots of carbonation, sticky sweet mouthfeel. I thought this one was great. I wish I had more!

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.36/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my second HotD beer, thanks to Bryan (BA...spdyfire83). Adam is my highest rated beer, but I did not dare to assume Fred would match that. Let's see...batch 79. It's been in my mini-fridge for ~8months

Fine looking beer! Medium-deep copper goodness, clean and clear. HUGE foam upon even a gentle pour. Barely off-white. Settles to a soft, somewhat rocky pillow. Nice presentation.

Fruity aroma. almost like a dubbel or quad, except that the fruit is more of pear, peach, persimmon than apple. Maybe some white grape. Alcohol is present. Spicy. Crap, 10 hops? Nah, I don't think I can pick all of them out. Saaz I can predict, but the others would be difficult for me

Malty, some peat in background of the flavor profile. Mostly, though, it's fruit and hops. Rich flavors. Light biscuit does well with some spicy rye malt. Alcohol more pronounced.
The feel is odd. Bubbly, but also a bit syrupy. The alcohol thins things out, but I think diminishes the hops' bitterness.

Quite a nice beer

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Photo of Gavage
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber / orange color with a 1 inch head. Plenty of lacing from this one. The aroma is of malt, yeast, honey, and grass. The flavor is complex. Numerous tones arrive at different times through the drink as it warms. Yeast, malt, honey, grass, and hops are all highly evident. A sour apple flavor seemed to be there too. Alcohol levels are very noticeable.

The mouthfeel is very smooth. The alcohol, malt, and bitterness last long on the tongue. Very interesting full flavored beer.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.97/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased at De cicco's in NY, It sure beats paying $9 a bottle in PA. Batch 75

A- HOTD Fred looks very thick coming out of the bottle. Once in the glass it has a interesting color of bright gold that shines. Some hints of bright bronze as well. A hard pour yielded no head whatsoever, just some sparse bubbles on the top, no lacing.

S- A interesting sweet barleywine here. I was expecting a big amount of hops being a american version but not so much. Big sweet maltiness jumps out as well giving off caramel and some alcohol. Some fruit such as plum and orange. Not much hop aroma.

T- Reminds me of DFH olde school, only better. The malts rule giving off a big sweetness but im not really picking up on the hop addition, which I thought would dominate. Don't get me wrong, they are there but not up front. Big fruity taste with the above mentioned plus some candi sweetness. Some syrup flavor as well.

M- A good step above medium bodied and while were at it, this one is a thick beast. Not much bitterness, very sweet and goes down smoothly with minor alcohol taste, the alc is hidden well. A good amount of carb felt. This one engulfs the mouth and lets it's presence known.

D- I took my time with this one and enjoyed it very much. A smooth sipper that demands time be put into drinking it, I would not have it any other way. Now I need to try some other's from this brewery.

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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.

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Photo of tempest
3.99/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch #62 purchased in May from a store that didn't know what they had.

It's a bit of a gusher, but that bottle conditioning makes for a heck of a head. The aroma is a touch simple, mostly just like sweet, alcoholic malts. The flavor open up more with the spicy rye coming through over fruitier and light caramel malts. It's also like there's some earthy root flavors with the rye. It's almost like a strange mix of perfume with lemon, orange, and toffee. There's a balancing bitterness that makes a mouthfeel and drinkability worth mentioning. Tastes a bit like some American-made English barleywines, but the rye puts this in it's own dimension. Definitely an unusual beer, give it a try. It'll give you plenty to think about.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.84/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1998 Vintage, Sampled on tap at The Stuffed Sandwich February 2007
This beer sits with a hazy amber color and does not have much head to speak of. The aroma seems more oxidized than the Ed that I had along side it. The flavor is sweet, definitely way more than the corresponding Ed. The hops have mellowed considerably over the years. A sweetness melts to light notes of oxidation (sherry), toasted malt and caramelized notes as it passes through the mouth. The hops are all that really lingers on in the finish; it is lightly bitter, but still pine-like notes and citrus character are still found. This has aged quite gracefully over the years.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.96/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, Batch 66,

A: Pours a burnt orange, with a thick cap of white foam, which lasts for the whole glass until the very end, limited lacing.

S: Smells of lemon zest and musky yeastiness.

T: Very thick fruity taste, lemon, pear and apple, with a nice warming alcohol in the end. Taste is reminiscent of Dogfish Head 120, or a strong Belgian, very sweet, but has a definite earthy hoppiness to it to keep it balanced.

M: Thick, syrupy, viscous.

D: An interesting barleywine, not a hop bomb, but a beer with a wide mix of flavours which makes it interesting to drink.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 78, 12 oz bottle.

Clear light golden color with a thin off white head. A few dots of lacing and a thin film. Aroma has honey, grass, light pepper, honeydew; overall fairly sweet. Medium thick, syrupy body with low carbonation and light alcohol in the finish. Sweet flavor with light malt and bread underneath candi sugar, melons, honey and clove. Always a treat, this bottle was a little sweeter than I remembered, but still smooth and balanced.

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Photo of liamt07
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Rutager, 12oz into a tulip. Batch 86.

Golden brown, voluminous cream colored head. Huge lacing and retention. Nose of citrus, malts, candy sugar. Light rye, spice and even some gentle herbal character. Taste has intense malt notes (caramel), some lighter rye, candi sugar, alcohol and bitter citrus hopping. Full feel, light syrupy quality and sticky sweet. Medium carbonation. Some sort of Anerican BW/strong ale hybrid, very nice stuff.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.41/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle obtained via trade with a non-BA.
Batch #82 - poured in to Founders tulip glass.

A - Poured golden orange with one finger of thick white head with excellent retention and excellent lacing. The head really stuck around for a while and was thick and luscious.

S - Sweet caramel malts, honey, sticky candy and a bitter floral hop aroma. There is a light citrus aroma and yeast in the background.

T - Big sweetness up front - sticky candy, caramel and honey. The sweet malt bill is balanced out by a big hop punch and warming alcohol. The balance is seemingly perfect considering the huge sweetness. The hops carry floral and citrus flavours and the yeast shows up as a background flavour as well. Very complex.

M - Medium body, creamy and silky. Light carbonation.

O - A truly excellent and one of a kind strong ale.

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Photo of Zorro
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch number 45.

A unique looking beer, a cloudy golden orange color.

Smell is lots of malt and toasted grain with a mild perfume scent.

Taste is mildly sweet and fruity with a solid rye flavor to it. The Alcohol is noticeable and quite warming. The beer is mildly bitter having just enough punch to balance all that malt flavor. One puzzling thing is the sensation that this brew is salted, I don't know why that is.

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkability is OK, but not really my mug of beer. This just seems to be a bit too sweet.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy brownish color, some carbonation, huge creamy tannish head, tons of sticky lacing throughout the drink. The nose is malty, licorice, toffee/caramel. The taste is malty, little tangyness, slightly sweet, lots of toffee/caramel. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is a slightly different barleywine, but very tasty, slightly complex brew, highly recommended.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 69.. not sure who I got this from because my record keeping has been shitty with HotD brews (If I had to guess, I would say ASymon13) ... but anyway, big thanks to whoever helped me catch the elusive Fred... poured into my New Belgium globe.. shared a small portion with Brenda.

Big 2 finger head out of the bottle.. I poured it fairly quickly.. nice lacing and the head sticks around forever.. brew is hazy orange.

Aroma is floral/spicy hops with some background citrus ... sugary .. and spicy.. reminds me of an American hopped BSPA... fruity with some peach and apricot... very nice.

I can see this being an American BW, but it is more complex than most... the fruitiness is bigger.. so is the spiciness... melon and some lime.. ginger .. toasty maltiness and some background caramel.. This batch of Fred at this moment in time is purely fantastic.. the fruitiness is playing perfectly with the hops and there is just enough sweetness to make the playground fun for everyone.

Hugely complex and wonderful.. but it seems so simple too. Thoroughly enjoyable and the alcohol never raises its head making me want more and more. Fred is a badass, so is whoever traded me this batch... thanks.

4/4.5/4.5/4.5/4.5

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.75/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A truly exceptional beer from a great brewery. My favorite of their products that I've had. Batch # 69. Poured a beautiful hazy dark orange with little head, but excellent lacing. The smell had deep aromas of candi sugar, orange blossom honey, lemon zest, and brandied raisins. Wonderful. The taste is even nicer, with the sweet flavors being complimented by a great earthy, piney, hoppy bitterness on the finish. Big and on the sweet side like a barley wine, with additional flavors of sweet orange, fruitcake, sweet malt, and the same notes as were in the aroma. Mouthfeel is exceptional- smooth, creamy, and substantial. Excellent drinkability as well. It's definitely a sipper, but it is also immensely satisfying. Kudos!

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Photo of biegaman
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 63 - sampled 11/03/09.

Fully illuminated jack-o-lantern with a very polished tawny hue. The beer is quite bright and reasonably clear but not to say thoroughly transparent. It is polluted with either yeast sediment or coagulated proteins particles (a fairly inattentive pour leaves me unsure). As expected for the strength, there is no real head but a bold contour is always a positive sign.

West Coast brewers and hops certainly have a thing for one another; Portland, Oregon is most definitely situated on that side of the continent and their affliction for the lupullin is apparent from the first sniff. This has all the resiny, sticky hop serum that you'd expect along with the twist of a highly phenolic yeast that leaves the impression of bubble gum and pink cotton candy. Caramel and tea biscuits are never far out of the picture.

It's tough -perhaps impossible- to say what the aimed style was, assuming there was one. The rich maltiness and resiny hops imply barleywine but this definitely bears some resemblance (as much as most American beers are capable of) to stronger Belgian styles, notably the quadruple. I'd steer nearer to barleywine for the simple reasons that hops and malt have more influence than yeast.

Not to mention this is far more bold and aggressive than it is subtle and suggestive. That said, the contents of this bottle, having been aged over a couple of years, have mellowed substantially; most of the alcohol seems to have faded in that time too. Flavours of citric grapefruit, coconut, pine sap, bubble gum, vanilla, squash, and rich creme caramel seem as healthy as ever; they resonate on the palate for longer than a cold winter's month.

Like the dubious descriptors the brewery uses to describe the ale - true, wise, buoyant, joyful - I have a bit of trouble making sense of this beer. I also find warming has brought out disproportionately more alcohol than it has nuance; it's beginning to resemble homebrew in more ways than one. That being said, Fred is a tasty treat of a beer whatever the style.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours dark golden with a frothy two finger head which lingers, and lingers, and lingers. The head leaves very heavy lacing on the side of the glass as it slowly dies. The white head almost looks like white cotton candy. Miniscule bubbles travel up the glass.

S: Smells like a sweetish nectar with coriander. The aroma of alcohol is present with a hint of ripened banana and honey.

T: Sweet, alcoholic, slightly bitter, a slight bight near the finish. Slightly fruity. Malty backbone that's nicely balanced by the hops. This tastes like a strong golden ale, not sure why it's called a Barley Wine on this site.

M: The beer has a not unpleasant sticky quality to it which coats the mouth and lips. Perfect carbonation and slightly creamy.

D: Very enjoyable and drinkable for a strong golden ale (barley wine, whatever).

Batch 1:

Consumed on 11/09/2009 with largadeer and poured into a snifter. Looking at my prior review I'm rather embarrassed at how bad it is. I really don't feel like writing a full review at this time so brief notes will have to suffice. The beer opened with a light "pop." Despite being nearly 13 years old, this barleywine has aged gracefully. The hops have essentially disappeared, leaving rich caramel and toffee, as well as complimentary oxidation. This is the oldest barleywine that I've had and I can't believe how well it held up. Layers and layers of caramel and toffee. Delicious.

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Photo of Tone
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy, copper color. 6/4 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of alcohol, sweet malt, slight citrus, yeast, and slight bread. Fits the style of an American Barleywine. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of alcohol, sweet malt, hint of roasted malt, slight citrus hops, slight yeast, and hint of bread. Overall, great appearance, good aroma, body, and blend.

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Photo of weeare138
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a cloudy, amber with a small white cap that slowly fades into a gentle cap. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of vanilla, cherries, plums, raisins, & sugar.
Taste is of the aromas with a silky velvet, prune merengue.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, sugary, yeasty, bready, and syrupy.

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Photo of John_M
4.85/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 42 consumed on 8/17/09 at the HOTD tasting event at Dyan's place. Was told this beer was roughly 8 years old. Wow. I believe it.

This beer was compared with batch 67 I believe. At least for me there was no comparison, either visually, aroma-wise or on the palate. Also, I've had this beer fresh on tap many times at the Horsebrass in PDX, as well as at the brewery. It's is flat out amazing how much this beer improves with a little time.

The beer pours a brownish honey color, with exceptional head retention and sticky lacing all around. The beer has a somewhat viscuous look to it, and in fact this beer is very rich and thick tasting on the palate. On the nose I get a lovely interplay of toffee, chocolate and butterscotch. You can tell right off you are going to be in for a treat with this bad boy. On the palate this beer is incredibly rich and full. Flavors generally replicate the nose, but I'm just amazed by how rich and long this beer is. There are just waves of flavor in this beer, and it has a finish that lasts nearly a minute. Drinkability is unbelievable in this beer. The alcohol blends seamlessly into the flavor profile, giving one the foolish impression that you could drink glass after glass of this nectar.

The years have been very kind to this beer and have turned it into a thing of absolute beauty. An absolute stunner and just fabulous stuff. It doesn't get much better then this.

Edit from 2/17/10: Many thanks to Nathan, who was generous enough to share yet another bottle of 42 with me. Not sure what I can possibly do to repay him for this... After having an entire bottle of this, I've upgrade my original score just a bit. IMHO, the aged version of this beer hovers very close to perfection. If I can choose a beer to have on my death bed, this might be it... butter, cream, caramel (by the gallon bucket) and chocolate, and then with just a hint of green hop in the finish.... the quality of this beer surpases what I could even imagine a beer to taste like when I was younger. Amazing. Incredible. Fred.

Edit from 5/9/10. Was fortunate enough to sample Fred 2 from a magnum at the PDX tasting at Todd's (hannont's) place. Although the beer had to be close to 15 years old, it was still incredibly fresh and delicious. It actually seemed a bit fresher and a bit less mature then the 42 I sampled a few months back, except there was also a nuttiness in the flavor profile that I didn't recall from the bottle of 42. Just a testament to the ageability of this great beer.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from 10/2010 notes. Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a dark orange amber. Thick off white head and mega lacing, more like the whole cloth! Sweet malt and hop aroma. Sweet and hoppy. Caramel malt, some dark malt, complicated hoppy flavors, citrus and very sweet. The sweetness almost too much, but fits in fine with the other flavors. Nice medium body. Very unusual combination of flavors, but it works. An obvious candidate for some interesting aging. Batch 80.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought at Healthy Spirits, SF, and then carted back to Sydney to share with @LaitueGonflable and @thescotdownunder.

Pours a deep golden colour, slightly cloudy from sediment, with a huge an frothy head of just off-white foam. It's almost too much, with some excessive bubbling that almost makes it overflow with a pretty gentle pour. Looks good though, besides the logistics of the thing.

Big and rich nose. Masses of malt, with a boozy bent and a whiff of green hops to cut through some of the worst excesses of the barleywine. A bit of soda there as well, along with whiff of chlorine and saltwater which also leaven the rich, heavy sweetness of the brew.

Taste, however, is very firmly in the big, malty, sweet and heavy category. Rich and almost sugary, it melts on the tongue with flavours of dessert wine and toffee, with the booziness to back it up and make it a real sipper. I feel it almost needs something fresh, something lightly acidic to cut through it, but then I'm all about big malt-bomb barleywines, so I approve.

Yep, a big, unapologetic beer this one, with more than a whack of alcohol, but it's really quite suitable for the style and for what it's trying to do.

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