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

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,514 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,514
Reviews: 827
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 11.71%
Wants: 359
Gots: 291 | 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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-13-1998)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,514 | Reviews: 827 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev -2.4%

11-24-2011 14:31:38 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of smcolw


4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Full four-fingered off-white head with extremely tight bubbles and amazing lace. The beer amber-orange and cloudy as to be expected in a bottle conditioned ale.

Sweet wine-like aromas. Strong malt and alcohol oiliness in the smell. Impressive strength here--each time a lift the glass I get another whiff.

Very smooth, some port-like body and mouthfeel. Strong alcohol warmth, obviously this is very potent. Nice hop touch at the end--light but enough for balance. Nice lingering flavor long after the swallow. The carbonation is present but unobtrusive. This is a sipping beer, folks. There's that much flavor and strength.

I am shocked at this beer. The lable on the bottle had me thinking another lawn mower beer. This is as far on the other side of that spectrum as you can get. This would give any barley wine or triple bock a run for the money. This is perhaps the finest barley wine I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2006 21:05:04 | More by smcolw
Photo of Halcyondays


3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2008 06:00:11 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of mendvicdog


4/5  rDev -2.4%

11-08-2012 16:43:10 | More by mendvicdog
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2004 12:54:17 | More by Gavage
Photo of beernads


3/5  rDev -26.8%

04-05-2013 09:29:37 | More by beernads
Photo of kojevergas


2.38/5  rDev -42%
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.


Serving type: bottle

03-13-2013 03:32:07 | More by kojevergas
Photo of GClarkage


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

07/14/06- Brought back from Portland as a gift from my wife.

Presentation- 12oz bottle, with no freshness dating. I received it in April of 2005 though....so it's probably an '04 version. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Rust colored appearance, head rises to the top of my Duvel...at least 2 inches..almost overflows on a slow pour. Chunks, streaks, pock marks with a vanilla milkshake looking head....one of the best head retentions I have seen.

Smell- At first note I noticed alot of Tripel aspects. Some sweet spices and maybe a bit of corriander. Now I notice some real sweet caramel malt..loads of confectioniers sugar...smells like a old fashioned ice cream parlor. Maybe a bit of butterscotch as well. After resting...caramel seems to be the lead flavor...not really toasted or dark, but more like a candied scent.

Taste- Heavy sweet caramel, definitely roasted, as the backdrop and base. I can tell this one probably used to be a big hopmonster. I can taste some burning hop bitterness on the back of the tongue...not a real fresh hop taste though...I guess the aging has taken the fresh hops out of the picture. Maybe even a bit of a cherry or some kind of alcohol soaked current flavor.

Mouthfeel- Seems a bit high in the carbonation department. Pretty damn effervescent. Fuller mouthfeel because of the sugary caramel nature.

Drinkability- I'd like to try one of these fresh to compare. Pretty good barleywine as is though. Nice tribute to Fred Eckhardt.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2006 19:36:07 | More by GClarkage
Photo of XmnwildX12


3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

12-05-2013 02:01:56 | More by XmnwildX12
Photo of corby112


3.18/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy amber color with a nice sized white head. Aroma is dominated by the strength of alcohol. Also contains hints of spices and white fruits. Taste is very similar to the aroma in which the 10% abv is not masked very well at all. tastes of strong alcohol that is slightly balanced with golden apple and spices. The alcohol taste becomes less overbearing as it warms.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2008 09:08:38 | More by corby112
Photo of MarkyMOD


4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

09-21-2012 05:13:19 | More by MarkyMOD
Photo of weeare138


4.33/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2009 21:39:38 | More by weeare138
Photo of yourefragile

District of Columbia

4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2011 20:52:40 | More by yourefragile
Photo of lacqueredmouse


4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2010 07:54:02 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of barleywinefiend


4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a nice light, coludy orange color with a nice white cap.

S: Nose was rye, booze and candy. Citrus and floral notes.

T: Taste starts out hot but smooths out. Plenty of citrus, candy sugar sweetness and rye. Floral notes. Piney at times.

M: Mouthfeel is quite smooth but with noticable alcohol. Very good. A big body for sure.

O: Good

Serving type: on-tap

05-21-2011 02:35:16 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of tempest


4/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2007 00:10:12 | More by tempest
Photo of zestar


4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

07-09-2013 07:51:47 | More by zestar
Photo of woodychandler


4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My cellar continues to amaze me with what is down there! This is a Batch 55 bottle with Batch 78 currently on the shelf at Pinocchio's. This will be a pleasant start to the day (I hope).

From the bottle: "Hair of the Dog brewing company produces bottle conditioned beers which improve with age. We are dedicated to providing the beer lover with new and unusual beer styles. The sediment you see is normal to the bottle conditioned process. Pour slowly to allow sediment to remain in the bottle."; "Fred was created to honor beer writer and historian Fred Eckhardt. This Golden Special Ale incorporates ten hop varieties from five different countries. Through the use of aromatic and rye malts, the beer achieves a unique balance of flavor. We hope that Fred will inspire you to share your knowledge with others as Fred has with us."

Needless to say, I can read and follow directions, so I used a very gentle slow pour. It was testament to its carbonation that I actually briefly got some light-tan head before it faded to wisps. Color was a deep orangish-amber with NE-quality clarity. BUPGOO! Nose was richly malty, like toffee. Mouthfeel was very full, quite carbonated with an initial heat followed by a wash of malty sweetness, quite toffee-like. Finish was warming and sweet. My oh my. Just what I needed on a swelteringly hot day.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2011 16:16:58 | More by woodychandler
Photo of Billolick

New York

4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2007 23:25:27 | More by Billolick
Photo of orangesol


4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into my HOTD tulip glass.

A - Pours deep amber orange with no head at all, only a tiny bit of foam around the edge of the glass, leaving no lace at all down the glass.

S - Smells of caramel, butterscotch, vanilla, fruity yeast, oak and a good amount of alcohol. This one smells really sweet with some booze creeping in at the end of each sniff.

T - Starts off with plenty of sugary sweetness that never really goes away. Hints of fruit, vanilla, oak and some dulled piney hops offer some break from the sweetness but it doesn't last long. Finish is sweet with quite a bit of booze burn, lingering on the palate long after the finish.

M - Smooth body with a ton of sweet flavors and moderately low carbonation, almost none really. There is still quite a bit of booze present in this one.

O - I liked this one but it never really wow'd me in any way. The lack of carbonation really didn't help either. I wouldn't turn another down but I won't be running out to get more.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2012 16:58:00 | More by orangesol
Photo of rhoadsrage


4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a chalice)

A-This beer pours a hazy golden brown color with a nice creamy light tan head. It has a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles. Nice Belgian lace with each sip.

S- The smell of complex layer of hops is strong. Some notes of green fresh hops, piney resins, grassy hops and a bit of pineapple hops. There is a hint of pale malt that gives it a sweet smell.

T- Very smooth pale or light caramel malts that blend with a alcohol warmth and a spicy hop finish. The hops are very floral and the bitterness of the hops is very faint. Definitely fruity notes of apples or soft pears.

M- Very creamy full mouthfeel with a slight alcohol warmth that is not to hot. I would guess higher than 10% though.

D- Very good complex beer with a nice hop addition. It taste like an American Golden Strong Ale. It has all the nice characteristics of a Belgian Golden but the hops are American strength. It is pulled all together and balanced which is very nice. Its not to common to find a beer with big alcohol and big malt that has big hops to balance. Well done.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2005 02:32:50 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of stakem


3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Batch 75 poured into a pint glass. Opens with a hiss and appears a hazed amber orange color. A minor amount of head forms despite an agitating pour. A thin penline of bubbles collects atop the brew and sits around the inside perimeter of the glass. Very faint spots of lacing stick to the glass.

The aroma of this brew is rich malty sweetness coming across a bit like oranges from the hops with a sting of noticeable alcohol character that pierces the nose. Dark sugary and floral sweetness lingers that smells a lot like caramel.

Taste is big and boozey, clearly a brew that could/should have been laid down for awhile longer before partaking. Slightly solvent taste of alcohol is almost numbing with an astringent character that gives way to a piney bitterness from the hops. There is also a significant backing of the malty sugars that were so evident in the nose that attempt to tame the bitterness and booze.

The feel of this beer is medium to full and a surprisingly watery disappointment with an unacceptably low level of carbonation. Absolutely no signs of carbonation as the brew is swirled around inside my mouth and in the glass. If it wasn't for the hiss when the bottle opened and the few bubbles that rose to the surface when poured, I wouldn't of even realized this was carbonated.

Perhaps I am at fault for opening this one prematurely, I will seek out another bottle in the future.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2010 00:36:01 | More by stakem
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy amber in color with light amounts of visible carbonation and a moderate amount of small white yeast particles in suspension. The beer has a foamy three finger tall tan head that slowly reduces to a medium sized thick patch near the center of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate amounts of caramel malts with some lighter hints of dark fruit (raisin) sweetness and spicy yeast.

T: The complexity of the flavors of this beer really come out as it warms up. There are moderate amounts of malt sweetness including both caramel and dark fruits (raisin). Also, there are some notes of molasses and spicy yeast. Moderate amounts of lingering bitterness.

M: Full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth and sticky with moderate amounts of alcohol warming and dryness in the finish.

O: Very enjoyable but this is a big beer and needs to be slowly sipped over a good chunk of time - the alcohol is mostly hidden which is impressive when the beer clocks in with 10% ABV.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2012 02:21:22 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of DrunkinYogi


4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

06-04-2013 04:24:02 | More by DrunkinYogi
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.2/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch #51. Pours a five-fingered thick, creamy, white head that goes very slowly and leaves gobs of lace. Pour this very slowly. Clear amber color. Light-medium carbonation. Nose is distinctly alcoholic. Starts and finishes alcoholic and some bitterness. Lingering bitter aftertaste. $4.40 for a 12oz bottle.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2004 00:02:15 | More by jdhilt
Fred from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
92 out of 100 based on 1,514 ratings.