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

Not Rated.

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1,657 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,657
Reviews: 845
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 11.76%
Wants: 370
Gots: 297 | FT: 22
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: 1,657 | Reviews: 845 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dgb3
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from City Beer Store. #77 Poured into a New Belgium goblet.

Poured with a beautiful head.

It's still there... I've got about a thumb wide foam stand. Purdy.

Only thing is, can I get some more beer into the goblet? Please?

A: Color reminds me of the flesh of the persimmon I had for breakfast. Crystal clear.

S: Candied orange peel. Sweetness dominates the aroma.

T: Sweet up front. Toffee. Burnt sugar? Alcohol in the mid palette. Hop bitterness towards the finish that leads to a grainy/husky flavor. Maybe some oak at the end? Flavors linger lightly. Very pleasant.

M: Thick and coating with a spritzy carbonation.

D: Hides the 10% extremely well. Nice sipper. Enjoying it as it warms.

Hey! The head is there there!

Photo of k3n
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, batch 71.

Clear, reddish-amber. My careful pour to keep the sediment in the bottle left me little to no head, which then died away to nothing. Careful agitation stirs up wispy bubbles, but that's it. Oh well.

The nose is all sweet malt, perhaps with a hint of some spice waaay in the background.

Taste follows the nose with huge malt sweetness up front. Despite the lackluster head, the mouthfeel is a bit prickly and lively, lightening up the heavy malt presence. Flavors continue with some fruit in the middle (apricot, peach) and the finish is again faint spices and ends faintly bitter. 10% alcohol is pretty much nonexistent.

Superb sipper for cold weather.

Photo of Freethyhops
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle thanks to trill. batch 70. what a fantastic extra.

A- pours an opaque light amber color. much lighter than I expected. a minimal white head was produced an reduced to a thin film almost immediately. very heavy lacing for the amount of head, though.

S- full of sweet caramal malts, with a nice pungent floral hop bitterness in the backround. actually smells a little spicy actually.

T- first impression isn't overwhelming flavor, but instead a very well balanced beer, that hides it's 10% unbelievably well. A load of sweetness is provided by, what I'm sure is, a massive malt profile centered around a load of Light/caramel malts. a nice bitter backround is present, along with a little breadiness, to balance out the sweetness. I usually find barleywines a little too "malt bomb" like, but this one is an exception to that. right in my comfort zone.

M/D- great mouthfeel on this one. fairly thick for a barleywine, with ample carbonation that accents the hoppiness to create a pleasantly crisp barleywine. this thing goes down super smooth. I wish I had WAY more than the single 12oz bottle I have. drinks almost as easy as an IPA.

Photo of mynie
3.94/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Massive, uncontrollable head. Large and rocky. Pour this fucker nice and slow.

Smells like a goddamn sonofabitch. Giant giant caramel, big dry hops and wood and then some sour, some sour right from the hops.

Tastes like just a bit too much. Wood, like the aged it with oak chips. Yes--yes I am familiar with the process of barrel aging. This seems different, somehow. Cheaper. The beeriness is like lamp oil only nice. First couple of sips I really hated it but, man, it grew on me.

What a bizarre, offensive beer this is.

Photo of DanOLeary
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Sweet orange peel with a melanoidin malt backbone. Citrus hop aromatics lie behind the malt with hints of dark frut also lingering. The aroma is very rich with the orange presence becoming stronger as the beer warms.

Appearance: With a slow pour down the side of the glass the beer forms a massive billowy white head. I had to wait to pour the entire bottle. The beer is the color of diluted amber with a slight yeast haze.

Flavor: Initial blast of an alcoholic and warming flavor of dark fruit. Not hot. Rich malt complexity of fresh white bread, caramel, nougat, and toffee. Finishes with an alcoholic bite.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with medium carbonation. Not as much carbonation as expected considering the massive head. Clean on the pallet but with a slightly sticky lingering presence.

Overall: I was a bit disappointed in the fact that I couldn't even pour the entire beer at once, because of the bottle conditioning I wanted to leave the yeast behind but with multiple tips of the bottle I was sure to stir some up. Otherwise an excellent and complex, nicely sipping, warming ale. Great malt and citric complexities from the nose to the mouth.

Photo of olmatty
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Batch 76

Appearance- Pours a deep, cloudy, brown amber with a puffy white head

Smell- Earthy woodiness and hints of biscuit

Taste- Woody, earthy, a citrus zing, dry biscuits, brandy alcohol

Mouthfeel- Crisply carbonated, refreshing and yet powerful and palate filling.

Drinkability- I could happily drink many, but I'd probably pass out from 10% ABV.

Photo of largadeer
4.62/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

Photo of Pencible
3.72/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 73. This poured a nearly opaque greenish gold with tons of head. It smelled like caramel and honey and creamy yeast, with sugary oranges and light copper hops. It tasted like sweet caramel and toffee and honey wheat, followed by strong waxy lemon and grapefruit, and a bit of sour yeast. It was somewhat thick with smooth carbonation, and had a lasting bitter aftertaste with alcohol warming. Overall this was a pretty powerful drink with unique character. Some flavor elements were good, but others were not, and they generally didn't mesh well. It had great body but the alcohol was harsh, so this was not easy to drink. Splitting a 12 ounce bottle was plenty for me. I would imagine this improves with several years of age, but I wasn't a huge fan of it at whatever age this bottle was.

Photo of jnn4v
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: incredibly foamy. Head filled 3/4 of the glass and took minutes to die down. Tons of greenish whitish milky sediment at the end of the pour.

S: candy, Belgian yeast, lemon zest, and honey. Some hints of orange and coppery scents on second try.

T: very sweet with nice caramel malts followed by hoppy bitterness and citrus tartness. Lemongrass and almost fresh ginger on second sip. Good balance and blend of flavors. Pretty unique.

M: felt thick but also very bubbly on first sip. Good weight, and decent Belgian texture.

D: very drinkable. 10% alcohol is well masked by the flavors and texture.

Photo of morimech
4.34/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 75

Unfortunately I was not careful on the pour and got quite a bit of sediment in my glass. So the result is a cloudy bronze color with a small white head that quickly settled to a thin cap. Not much for lacing. Has a very malty aroma with some Belgian qualities. I would not call it a Quad but the candied sugar and fruit notes are unmistakeable. A slight hint of alcohol. The flavor is very Belgian in qualities with its strong malt and candied sugar. Hints of dates, plums, and pears. Strong alcohol flavor and warmth in the finish. The strong alcohol aids in cleansing the palate. Full bodied with just enough carbonation to keep things alive. Has a very good texture.

A interesting beer that does not really fit into a style. A meld of English, Belgian, and American styles and ingredients. Wish I had more than this one bottle.

Photo of biggred1
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy bronze colored with a massive eggshell head that takes five minutes to settle enough to be able to take a sip and leaves splotchy lace behind on the glass. The nose is fresh fruity hops and gingerbread spice. The flavors are great and grow more complex as it warms, imagine a Belgian quad with big, dank hops and caramel malt. A full bodied beer that begs to be sipped slowly and enjoyed. I'm glad I finally got my hands on one of these. A great beer that lives up to it's hype.

Photo of jujubeast6000
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed 8/10/2009 (Bottle batch#35):

Pours a golden orange colored body, with a small white head, diminishing. Syrupy aroma, sweet like something. Strong aroma. Some kind of syrup. Smells good. Strong taste, old and musty tasting. Syrupy taste, like maple. Woody taste. Sweet aftertaste, almost cloying. Very tasty, doesn't overwhelm. Some alcohol bite. Sticky sweet aftertaste, like syrup. Really good, not quite a sipping beer, could have almost a whole pint without overwhelming.

Photo of WCBCFrank
3.08/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hair of the Dog's Fred is a strong Belgian style golden ale - think of Chimay White with tons more complexity and notes of alcohol in the finish. This is a strong beer, somewhat sweet but typical of tripel-style brews. It pours yellow-copper orange in a goblet and has a medium head with good lacing. Aromas of ripe apples and sugar are appealing....tasty but a powerful somewhat sweet alcohol finish might perturb some taste buds. Overall, a well made brew, but for my palate not a home run.

Photo of tai4ji2x
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

from either liquidsolutions or bottletrek, by way of stevemcqueenjr.

12oz bottle. batch #73. tasted in late may/early june 2009. poured into tulip.

deep coppery amber. almost clear, but some hazy/dusty sediment remains despite leaving behind 1cm in the bottle. small, 1-finger head only forms with a hard, vigorous pour. nearly white in color. a nice, nitro-like "reverse cascade" effect takes place tho. fades to thin wispy layer and ring. a sparse splotch of lace.

aroma: anise-like character upfront along with the citrusy and piney hops. grapefruit tones fade into apple and grape, then finally to a caramelized malt base.

taste: malts are more upfront here, with an apple syrup character. then back to piney hops with citrus (mostly rind and zest, but also a touch of fruity flesh), giving a moderate, resinous bitterness that lingers lightly. alcohol is perceptible, almost boozy, but not over the top.

medium body, w very syrupy feel. resinous notes in the finish, but still smooth. very gentle carbonation helps with the perception of smoothness. perhaps the most pleasantly surprising aspect of the beer, in fact.

Photo of FarmHouseJam
4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This brew pours copper orange, with a red hint in the middle of the glass put up to a light....

Smells great....on to the story

This is batch #76...

Appearance and drink-ability fit in the same category for me,

It poured to such a serious head at around 42 degrees it was impossible to pour in a glass without a cloth under it. Even a soft pour got such great head retention it was near undrinkable for 20 minutes. Maybe this is a brew of patience ordeal which I don't care for at the price I paid....$6 12 oz bottle in northern Indiana....

Fred has a very sweet smell, and finishes sweet too, very sweet.
the Candi sugar is a huge part of this, and without the rye malt to spice- it might have just killed this beer in my perception.

Seems hopped well to attenuate the sugar profile.

My end of story is this is a worthy beer of its price, its done well nice light color for its alc. profile.

The head retention made in undrinkable in my mind for 2oz pours or a whole bottle. After a sip and BA write the glass lip made my lips stick to it...almost too sugary for me....

This is me...so try it for you!!!

Support the craft anytime you can!!

Photo of sprucetip
4.36/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes. when I had this at Horse Brass it was called "Fred Strong." Maybe there is another beer by that name? But I'm going to assume that they are the same. (June 2012 updates in parentheses)

Clear, copper, good head, spotty lacing.
(2+ inches of head in the tulip, amazing retention, thick lacing).

SMELL Sweet, dark fruity, estery heat, spicy. Sweet and boozy, mainly. (same components but more synergy, complexity and balance than what I said before.)

TASTE boozy, sweet, spicy, raisins. Very complex and unique and difficult to describe. Hop presence is for sure, but not much bitterness. Intetesting. My notes say "reminds me of a barleywine."
(very rich, complex and balanced. Unique and special.)

FEEL full body, slick, strong warming. (super smooth, really nice and full.)

OVERALL Sipper. Sweet, tasty, s-l-o-w sipper. (This is special).

Photo of sjccmd
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Batch 75, my first beer from HotD.

Even with a delicate pour, this beer produced a surprisingly massive head. Pretty odd considering the style and the ABV. Medium copper color with a light tan head. Slightly murky.

Grapefruit and pine come out initially in the smell. Maple syrup and an interesting woody component. There are also some other fruit aromas that I can't quite pin down. There's a hint of alcohol as it warms.

Woof! The smell didn't at all prepare me for the taste. In-your-face bitter hops initially with a unique sweetness. There seems to be two different phases in the finish and it's constantly evolving. After the initial punch, syrupy sweetness takes over which is then followed by citrus and bitter hops. The order seems to change, but it seems like a continuing rotation between sweet and bitter. Very unique. A hint of rye spiciness comes in and out as well. Each sip reveals something new.

The mouthfeel is also extremely unique. The carbonation provides an initial explosion of flavor but is soon followed by a syrupy thick finish. The beer seems to stick to the insides of my mouth.

There's really very little notable alcohol flavors coming out in this beer, but it is still quite a hefty beer. The sweetness and stickiness bring down the drinkability a bit, but this is definitely one of the more interesting beers I've had recently.

Photo of jgasparine
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle Sample- Batch #70:

A- Poured carefully from bottle to yield a nice cream-colored foamy head, which was surprisingly well-retained throughout the drink, slowly giving way to some nice bits of lacing. The body was an opaque honey color... heavily sedimented with yeast. Oddly though, this yeast sediment appeared congealed... almost jelly-like... never seen anything like it. This congealed yeast backs the Appearance grade down to a 4.0.

S- The nose is relatively simple, yet elegant: sweet candy sugar, some vinous notes, and just the right amount of peppery alcohol...

T- A near-replicate of the nose, with the alcohol pepperiness coming though stronger than anticipated... warms the throat going down. Beautiful lingering finish, where some hop bitterness is noted, but not outdone by the malt.

M- This beer is thick and chewy in the mouth- packed full of unattenuated sugar and soft carbonation. Highly viscous- this perfectly coats the mouth for extended gratification after each sip.

D- A perfect winter warmer. One of my favorite beers of all time!

NOTES: This was the freshest example of Fred in a recent vertical tasting where Batches 70, 45, and 24 were compared. This fresh sample was far more hoppy than the older samples. The difference between batch 70 and 24 were so significant, that they deserve contrasting reviews.

So without further adieu, batch #24:

A- Poured carefully from the bottle to yield no head, nor any visible carbonation. The body was heavily sedimented with small granular clumps of yeast, which were suspended in an opaque oil-rubbed copper-brown colored body. (3.0)

S- Aromas of madiera are most prominent on the nose, along with strong aromas of caramel malt, and candy sugar, and a slight booziness. Smells absolutely decadent (5.0)

T- A near replicate of the nose with outstanding madiera flavors and a super-long (slightly oxidized) malt finish. In-f'in-credible. (5.0)

M- Medium body here is packed with unattenuated sugar, but no carbonation to speak of. But really who cares when the beer smells and tastes so good!

D- Very drinkable for a 10% ABV. The perfect nightcap, and proof positive that HotD beer ages incredibly well! What a treat!!!

Photo of TheFightfan1
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. Pours a hazy amber ruby color with a big fluffy heading that is off white.Leaves some good lacing behind as I sip it.

Smell is hoppy but a little more malty.Slight apple detected and some heavier dark fruits plums,raisins etc.

Taste has a very big bang of malt right away,Followed by a heavy bitter hop taste. There is a nice twang of rye that hits you towards the end and then again the ending of bitter hops.

Mouth is not as thick as I would have thought for a barleywine. Full bodied amazing fluffiness of carbonation.

Drinkability is good.I wouldn't recommend dowing these but a definite taster that is well worth seeking out.

Photo of DiabolikDUB
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-Tap @ Horse Brass poured into Shaker glass.

pours a slightly glowing but cloudy orange color with a creamy off-white head with good retention and thick lacing down the glass. The aroma has caramel, citrus hops and is tangy. The flavor has citrus hops, malt, nuttiness, spices, toffee and finishes with a soft bitterness. Its a creamy, full-bodied beer and is very drinkable. Very unique beer overall and is one of the beer that really made me want to get closer to the Oregon beer scene. Fred from the Wood is more fragrant but this is easy drinking.

Photo of nickfl
4.59/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

Photo of Foxtrot
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After finishing my last aged 2009 Bigfoot, I needed to satisfy my Barleywine kick with Fred.

Poured a murky red brown with some sediment floating around my glass. A small white cap was evident but departed quickly leaving a nice ring and lacing.

Smell is of candied sugar and caramel with hints of hops and citrus. Really sweet smelling for a Barleywine.

Taste was a smooth and sweet explosion of caramel malt and citrus making up the main flavors, followed with a very nice spicey finish. This would be a great winter brew with some age on it.

Mouthfeel was a good full body just touching on being creamy. Fantastic.

The drinkability of this beer is exceptional. Little hop bitterness, and masking of alcohol make this a fantastic session and sipper.

Photo of berkey
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Batch 73.

Pours a deep and dense golden color with hints of orange. Forms a massive slightly off white head with unbelievable retention. I'm actually hard pressed to think of a beer that retains head better. Leaves very good lacing. Really a beautiful brew.

Aroma begins with earthy yeast and citrus that briefly brings to mind a Belgian Tripel followed by a great combo of floral and bitter, almost smokey hops backed by a pleasant underlying sweetness.

Delicious pungent, bitter, and floral hops reallycome to the foreront along with a great earthy, almost oaky character. Also a very nice bready malt character. I'll say this is one brew that isn't it ashamed of it's alcohol but it's in no way offensive.

Feel is pretty good but drinkability takes a small hit because of the alcohol heat. Still fairly drinkable though.

Overall I'm slightly ashamed it's been so long since I've had this brewer and shocked it's my first review of theirs. I've never been disappointed and I'll be sure to buy their other offerings as I see them.

Photo of velosuds
4.37/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness dating on bottle or label, but batch 76 for those keeping score. Single purchased from local health foods store for $4.45, the most I have ever paid for a 12 oz. beer. But, hell at 10% ABV it is like two beers in one bottle.

A-Pours medium amber with a one finger, creamy tan head with modest retention and light lacing.

S-Malty for certain. Fruity, especially plums and raisins. Nice.

T-Very pleasantly sweet yet balanced. At 10% ABV the alcohol, although warming, is nicely masked.

M-Full bodied, but quite smooth.

D-My first barleywine. I like it and now understand why the heavy beers predominate the BA top 100.

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nose is strongly malty - suggesting a very high OG. Dark macerated fruit, perhaps cherry or plum. Soft alcohol. Nice floral herbal hop - soft and in background. Smells very good.

Pours moderately clear honey with moderately sized, long-lasting head and lots of lace. Looks good.

Highly malty as in nose. Very viscous. Vanilla and smooth creamy richness. Macerated fruit - cherry, plum, fig, date or so. Mild alcohol. Nice tartness. Very fruity. Smooth and creamy. Herbal citrus hops with herbal bitterness and earthy leafiness. Vinous sourness and suggestions of oxidation. Nice vanilla return. Tastes very good. Feels very good. Very good drinkability.

Thick malt, vinous sourness, and twang of hops. Nice balance.

Fred from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
91 out of 100 based on 1,657 ratings.