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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.

1,494 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,494
Reviews: 827
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 11.71%
Wants: 357
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: 1,494 | Reviews: 827 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of objectivemonkey


4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an cloudy, dark golden amber color, a mountainous head forming when poured without delicate care, and stays for several minutes before receding slightly, never falling below an inch. The aroma lets you know right off that you're in for something special, and potent. No fooling around here for sure. Wafts of sweet citrus, a potent caramel, and yeastiness is nicely spicy, lots of alcohol here to put you on guard. Very, very nice.

But down to the real business. The taste is something to savor for quite a while, and to respect. The mouth is fairly full, and lends a bit of carbonation that seems a bit high, but actually is right on, with a lot of alcohol warming. The yeasts pick up with the spices for added strength, lots of grapefruits, orange, and apricot citrus playing around, and settles into a long finish split between thick sweet caramels and other grains, and seems to thicken as it fades. Quite simply, impressive.

Upon first sip, and expecting 'barley wine,' it really shouldn't have surprised me that HOTD would offer up some incredible, other thing. It feels like a barley wine in the taste, but has almost a triple nose. Its truly a special brew. This one was Batch #62, but I have a few older bottles in the cellar, and will probably want to re-review the older ones too.

4/22/08 - Another bottle batch #62, have held onto this one for a few years, not sure how old it is exactly. As much as I liked it before, I have to say, after some years in the cellar, it improves even more. My first though after several sips was simply 'golden.' It was really all I could think about, that it was 'golden.'

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2007 03:10:14 | More by objectivemonkey
Photo of barleywinebrewer

New Hampshire

3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

after having this on my wants list for almost a year I wound up with 2 via 2 different trades all in the same month. Nothing like a coincidence to make a beer tasting more fun!

A - Redder than I expected from the label (golden..), small thin off white head that quickly disspiates.
S - pineapple, green apple, caramel and booze.
T - Similar to the aroma but with a bit more pronounced caramel feel.
M - medium bodied, lightly carbonated, smooth but hot.
D - definitely a sipper.

thanks to wonderful BA's I have one for this review and one to age for a couple of years. My guess, this will taste great with some time on it.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2007 17:51:51 | More by barleywinebrewer
Photo of crwills

Ontario (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy, dull brown into a Chimay glass. Decent head, but it faded very quickly. Lots of floating yeasties.

Aroma is very pleasant on this one, and powerful. Lots of spicy hops, cotton candy, and fruits (pears and raisins were what I picked up).

Flavour is decently balanced with some bread-doughy malt, and little bit of astringency in the finish. Woody notes in the aftertaste, plus some sour crab-apple. Bitter grapefruit hops throughout.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2007 15:36:26 | More by crwills
Photo of genog


3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Wyllder for this bottle! Enjoyed this last night as a night cap.

Batch 54. Not sure when that was made, but thats the batch.

Pours a dark amber color with a 2 inch light khaki color head. This remains halfway through the session, very impressive.

Smell is sugary, caramel, fruity, apples? Smells like a white wine.

Taste is very complex. Sweet, malty, sugary, Spicy hops, and bitterness at the end. Strong, intense, sweet, counterbalanced by the bitter hops at the end of the taste.

The spicy hops leave a mouthfeel that is very nice.

I gave it a 3.5 for drinkability because I don't think I could have more than one in a sitting. Drink slowly.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2007 16:11:53 | More by genog
Photo of GbVDave


4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a DT tulip. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the hook-up!

A: Pours a slightly cloudy, orange-brown color, with a three-finger, orange tinted head that towers over the glass by one finger and refuses to recede for ages! When it finally does, it leaves big bands of lace in the glass.

S: Sweetish nose of caramel malt, maple sugar, and green apples with an undercurrent of spicy hops.

T: This barleywine features a large, sweet caramel malt backbone that acts to lend balance to the bitter hop flavors going on here as well. Big, sweet, fruity, and bitter. Very nice!

M: Actively carbonated, upon initial pour, that makes for a prickly mouthfeel. The carbonation dies off quickly and smooths out the mouthfeel immensely. Very big, sweet, and smooth.

D: The alcohol presence is incredibly restrained and subtle. Don't get me wrong, my face was feeling pretty flushed by the end of this, but that feeling came out of left field. This is a great barleywine!

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2007 20:27:39 | More by GbVDave
Photo of sinistermadman


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

Batch 68

Orange-brown in color. After a vigorous pour there was still a negligible amount of head. Aroma is subdued, but earthy. Minimal carbonation. Subtle, soft mouthfeel. Very delicate but tasty flavors. Alcohol is barely perceivable. Not bad. Very drinkable considering the abv.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2007 00:58:21 | More by sinistermadman
Photo of Wasatch


4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2007 00:17:11 | More by Wasatch
Photo of umustdrink


4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On sale for 1.99 a 12 oz bottle

A - Pours a deep, dark orange, almost red color. Head is a fluffy offwhite scoop of ice cream goodness. Lacing is strong.

S - Rich dark raisin and plum, biscuity malts and grapes. Warming alcohol.

T - Dark and heavy and fruity like a burgundy wine to start, moves into bitterness and bready malts. Finishes sweet with a very warm alcohol sensation.

M - Medium to thick consistency. Carbonation seems to be right on the money.

D - This is a beer to sip if I ever had one. Think about Christmas, snow, nighttime, sweaters and roaring fireplaces...in a bottle.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2007 23:55:31 | More by umustdrink
Photo of Vancer


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

HOD sure makes some fine brews, and I notice they really luv the Barley wine style.

The pour on this was impressive, a massive thick and creamy ivory head floating on a sexy hazy amber orange. Lots of orangey citrus in the aroma, mixed with some winter spice and coriander. A hammerhead pop of sweet caramel maltshake, finishing with an orange sourball which dissipates quickly and cleanly. You can feel the 10% warm up the tummy, but it’s not noticeable in the quaff. Nice.

Many thanks to dubbercody for the bottle, sent for my BA annv.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2007 19:35:47 | More by Vancer
Photo of Imstillthegman


4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to BeerBeing for this bottle.

Batch # 54.

Pours a clear reddish-copper color with three fingers worth of off-white head. Good amount of lacing.

Very complex aroma. I get molasses, caramel, raisins, alcohol, a little bit of a woody / floral note, and a light bubble gum scent (odd....I know).

The flavor starts with some biscuity malts, then the spicy, peppery hops and the alcohol ends it all. There is a bit of sweet fruit flavor that makes an appearance, but the alcohol quickly overtakes it. Sweet and malty, then a bit of sweet and spicy, followed the alcohol burn. Nice.

Thick medium body with little carbonation. The alcohol is hot with this one. Sneaks up on you a bit as well. If it wasn't for that, I would have given it at least a 4.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2007 21:53:12 | More by Imstillthegman
Photo of ArrogantB


4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured carefully into a snifter. I didn't see any sediment that others have mentioned. The color was bright and golden. The smell was hoppy and a little alcohol. The taste was really good and reminded me a little of Old Guardian. Strong ABV did not really get in the way. Delicious beer, wish I could get it here in CO.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2007 16:45:59 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly

New York

4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall, this is another great beer from Hair of the Dog.

I poured this into a pint glass...such a head!

it smells like booze, good I wanna get drunk.

It tastes nice, I taste the alcohol, but that's ok.

it goes down easy for the most part and has a warming alcohol finish.

I could have 2 of these but that's about it. Seeing as this is 10% abv I consider 2 "drinkable".

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2007 23:59:37 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of ReebShorts


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

Poured this into a pint glass, and was not ready for the huge, root beer float looking head that formed on this baby. I had to wait a few minutes just to pour the remainder of this 12 oz bottle into my 16 oz glass.

Wonderful aroma of burnt caramel malt, dried fruits, raising, molasses, vanilla, black licorice, and mixed hops (cascade slightly dominant).

Tasty, as expected. A bit sticky sweet, but the hops come in on the finish to take care of the sweetness for the finish. Great beer, at almost $5 per 12oz bottle this will not be a staple for me, but I'll gladly plop down the $$ for this one from time to time.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2007 03:29:33 | More by ReebShorts
Photo of naderator55


4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber color. Nice two inch head that stays along for a good portion of the ride.
As soon as I opened the bottle the aroma hit me in the nose. Floral and fruity. Picked up a hint of oak.
The taste is great. Caramel, dark fruit, oak all come through pretty strong. Bitterness comes quick. The hops start off citrus and move into a floral taste.
Nice creamy mouthfeel
I could drink a couple of these the alchohol is very well hid.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2007 02:54:15 | More by naderator55
Photo of Gueuzedude


3.85/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2007 21:23:15 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2007 19:36:57 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of edodio

New York

5/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is, by far, my favorite beer. So I decided that it was about time that I shared my love for it.

Fred costs me $3.50 per 12oz bottle. Sometimes, I think that this is expensive. It is only after comparing it with the price of all of the other liquids I tend to enjoy that I appreciate that $3.50 is such a low price to pay for so much pleasure.

I am, overall, a pretty big fan of Hair of the Dog brewing company. I've found that all of their beers have a very complex flavor with many nuances that I'm used to finding in fine wine. However, Fred has come out on top for me, surely in part because it really is such a deep and complex ale, but mostly because it has just the right base flavors of salty, sweet and bitter that seems to hit the spot for me.

I am a fan of many Belgian beers and some American microbrewery graduates, but Fred has remained my top choice for a few years now. It has a wonderful deep golden-to-amber color and a pleasant, slightly honeyed nose. The mildly grassy start is quickly replaced by a mild bitter bite and a long, salty and cloyingly sweet finish that seems to last forever. I savor it for as long as I can, but the glass is waiting for me on the table. So I grab it and enjoy it, again and again. Which I need to get back to now. So I'll wrap this up.

If you come across this beer, I implore you try it. But please leave a few bottles for me. And Hair of the Dog Brewery, get to work! You have a lot more of these to make.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2007 04:29:18 | More by edodio
Photo of WeisGuy

New York

4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to BeerBeing for providing me with this bottle of Batch 54 brewed in 2004.

a - pour deep orange/brown color, HUGE off-white billowing head with excellent retention and lacing, lots of sediment, even with a relatively careful pour

s - good mixture of intense biscuity maltiness, some rye, hints of piney hops and a little fruitiness, also pronounced alcohol notes

t - very malty/biscuity up front, hops are very subdued perhaps from the aging, but still lend a mild bitterness to the palate, nice sweetness in the body, finish is very smooth and the alcohol does not really come through as much as the aroma would suggest, finish has moderate bitterness and dryness with the rye malt coming through once again

m - medium-to-full bodied, moderate carbonation, slightly dry finish

d - even though the alcohol doesn't come through that much on the taste, this is certainly a sipping beer, great beer, just wouldn't be wanting to drink more than one in a night

Great beer overall. I have a Fred from the Wood that I'll give a try in the near future to compare. I'd also like to try a fresh Fred to see how this beer has evolved from the fresh version. Worth seeking this one out.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2007 02:41:28 | More by WeisGuy
Photo of ccrida


4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The 12 oz. bottle claims this is a Golden Special Ale, no mention of barelywine, batch # 67. Poured in a pint glass, not as dark as I expected, a lighter orange gold, with a 1 finger off-white head with lots of lace and moderate head retention.
The aroma is pretty strong but soft and sweet, alcohol for sure, but more like cognac, with a distinct touch of caramel, vanilla and apricot.
The taste is really fantastic, mainly malts and that apricot bit I smelled, but pretty complex, a nice fruity barelywine, with a bit of honey. Aromatic malts and rye, with 10 hop varieties according to the label, with which I agree that it's incredibly balanced. I wouldn't even say that it is particularly hoppy...it' really not particularly anything, other then awesome. Wow, my first Hair of the Dog, I'm quite impressed, yay Portland, so glad I moved here!
The mouthfeel is pretty creamy and not to heavy for a strong ale, not much effervescence, but nice. Maybe a tad cloying, but hey, it's a strong ale/barelywine, so I can't really dock it for that.
This beer is so yummy, the drinkability is high. So is the likelihood that you'll get hammered if you don't pay attention! Although I haven't shopped around for these, at $3.25/single from trader joe's, I probably won't be sucking these down by the 6 pack, although lord knows I could! Looks like I'll have to do some shopping.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2007 04:34:10 | More by ccrida
Photo of IntriqKen


3.38/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A dark golden amber fills the glass with a decent two fingers of white foam that melts slowly to impressive white lacing and mapping along the side of the glass.
Aroma is initially alcohol...strong alcohol. It's followed with dark ripe fruits....plums, bananas, raisins....reminiscent of a christmas pudding.
Taste is again, heavy in alcohol. You have to dig below this to reach the fruits and dark sweet amber malts.
This is a rich and heavy American Barley wine but could use a year...maybe two....under it's belt before the depth of flavors develop to become intriquing and enjoyable.
Right now it is raw, hot, and rough.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2007 04:31:42 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of stephendr


4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle- color of mahogany , with a thick tan head - nose of brown sugar , dust , roasted malts , apricots , and raisins – taste of coffee grounds , caramel , malts , and slight hops in back palate - body slightly chewy, and acidic – aftertaste of bitter hopps , and molasses

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2007 21:04:22 | More by stephendr
Photo of rallison


4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a large red wine glass, served at cellar temperature.

A: Beautiful caramel color with a 3 finger off-white head that truly lasts - impressive for a 10% beer!

S: Mmmm...smells of caramel sweets, tropical fruits and a touch of alcohol.

T: Delicious. Nice caramel sweetness with some of those tropical fruits thrown in. Rum flavors are floating around too. Nice hop kick at the end to temper the sweetness. Some alcohol shows itself, but in a nice, warming way. Delicious all around. I love these flavors.

M: Nice and full and warming, but never gets thick. The hops at the end really help to kick it from feeling too thick.

D: The 12oz bottle went very quickly, let's just say.

One excellent barleywine. Highly recommended!

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2007 05:01:04 | More by rallison
Photo of nase


4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks to cwier. Batch 66.

In short, I think this beer, when fresh, is best suited for experienced palates. Otherwise, I would let it age. Myself? Not quite ready for it. I do think that it is pretty good but the alcohol is a little too potent. I would drink it again fresh because the taste is delicious but if given a bottle, would age for some yrs. to see what time might yield for this thing.

Appearance - 3.5 - solid lacing
Smell - 4.0
Taste - 4.5 - Superb
Mouthfeel - 4.0
Drinkability - 4.0 - Again, the potent alcohol but would I have another eventually? After some aging, absolutely.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2007 06:43:01 | More by nase
Photo of lawrence76


3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance was a tough call due to the low light in bukowski's, but orange/amber seems about right.

nice lacing, though not much of a head; served in a unibroue tulip glass.

Aroma is of rum, dried/candied fruit, and vanilla. flavour follows the same path down warm to hot alcohol notes and spicy hot resins. Surprisingly, a good hot bitterness appeard late in the sip and helps close things out a bit.

Overall impressions are of a very intense brew, perhaps better after some aging; complex and tough to get your head around, but delicious just the same

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2007 02:59:56 | More by lawrence76
Photo of klewis


4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to crosling for supplying this one

Batch 56

A: Pours a hazy orange color with a big fluffy head.

S: Smells of figs, molasses, and tropical fruit(?). A bit of alcohol as well.

T: Full-flavored with well-balanced taste that leans on the sweet side up front and fades into a bitter finish. Fruity with a slight metallic taste.

M: Medium-full in body with moderate carbonation. Sticky with a taste that saturates the mouth.

D: The bottle claims a desire to make "unusual beer styles." Give them a gold star. Quite unlike anything I've had.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2007 02:54:09 | More by klewis
Fred from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
92 out of 100 based on 1,494 ratings.