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

855 Reviews
For Trade:

Brewed by:
Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
Oregon, United States | website

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-13-1998

User Reviews
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Reviews: 855 | Ratings: 1,757
Photo of LambicPentameter
3.99/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Enjoyed out of a 12 oz brown bottle with "batch 90" marked clearly on the label. Drinking this as part of a Conflux No. 1 deconstruction tasting--Fred, Adam, Stoic, and Dissident followed by Collage. Served in an old fashioned glass.

Appearance (4.25) - Pours a predominantly translucent tangerine amber color with just a bit of haze from the bottle conditioning yeast with which I wasn't careful enough. A pour of moderate aggression reveals a fluffy finger of off-white foam consisting of tight bubbles with just a few pocks on the surface here and there. It leaves just traces of faint silky lace behind on the sides of the glass.

Smell (4.0) - It doesn't blow me away at first, but as I sit here and take a few more whiffs, I start to gain more appreciation for the elements therein. Golden raisins, light pear and honey come through as well as sweet Hawaiian bread and sticky bun and a sublte touch of clover blossom. There's a hint of the heat from the alcohol that adds a touch of astringency, but really works to break up the sweeter smelling parts of the aroma.

Taste (4.0) - I'm not quite as impressed by the taste as the aroma, but the difference is pretty negligible in the long run. Again there are dominant notes of light fruits like golden raisin and now even some nectarine, perhaps dried pineapple, but the sweetness isn't quite the level I expected based on the smell. Some floral notes of honeysuckle tease the tongue, but don't linger, giving way to floral hops and nice bitterness with even a bit of white pepper.

Mouthfeel (3.75) - Light bodied and high carbonation, and honestly, this is my first real complaint about the beer, as the feel just seems a bit out of balance. It's like the level of carbonation creates an airy aspect to the body that doesn't quite support the density of flavors, if that makes any sense. A minor quibble, but I could have done with lower levels of carbonation.

Overall (4.0), a nice strong ale with good flavor that works well with the high level of alcohol without just masking it. Though it's a bit of an undefined style, this one manages to have made a distinct mark on my memory. Probably my least favorite of the Collage "deconstruction" tasting, but that really speaks more to the quality of the beers involved than it does the lack of quality of this one.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 90, poured into a snifter

A- slow pour produces a hazy golden color with lots of sediment floating around, big fizzy and foamy white head that retains long after the pour, leaving some sticky lace behind

S- sweet candied berries with notes of raisins, flowery and herbal hop aromas lead to notes of spiced cider and apple skin. It closes with some peppery rye and a honey-like sweetness. Aromas seem to open up more as it rules

T- sweet candied fruit with hints of brown sugar up front, red apples and grape skin, herbal hop notes with a peppery spice from the rye, a hint of alcohol and sugar on the finish

M- medium body with low carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a smooth and warming finish

O- good mix of spicy and sweet, a slow sipper that still has a bit of heat to it

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Photo of smakawhat
2.34/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Poured from the bottle into a Hair of the Dog tulip glass.

Lifeless pour. No carbonation, just a gooey orange apricot glow out of the bottle, filling with an orange and a screeching lifeless faint tan collar on the edges. Nothing going on here.

Aroma is sweet malts and honey. Hop aroma hinting toward spiced pine, with some clove esters a bit. Sugary. Sucrose, and lots of syrup

Palate hints at what could have been. Flat flat lifeless body. Palate fills with a bit of woody hop and pine, but is overtaken by sugary syrup and sucrose thickness. Lifeless and overly sweet.

Remind me to never drink bottle Hair of the Dog ever again, I'll stick to the brewpub where the beers actually shine. This is a disaster, basically drinking liquid sucrose with a bit of hop bitterness.

--- Old review look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4 | Final 4.3

Fred consists of very yellow almost lemon yellow opaque appearance. A good solid head that doesn't seem to dissipate too quickly.

The nose on the beer is quite surprising. An overwhelming sense of tropical fruit, specifically mango, and sweetness. Tastes of a sweet sugary honey, but not of heavy alcohol that linger in aftertaste.

An enjoyable beer but depending on your preference for fruit you may not care for it.

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Photo of minterro
3.59/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bought in Portland Oregon. Poured into a snifter, drank while watching a movie. Aged for a couple of months (at least 3 from purchasing date). Didn't pour sediment out as the bottle instructed.

A&S: upon opening this brew the carbonation pop was very lackluster. No head even when poured vigorously. Transparent dead light orange with hints of yellow. Smell consisted of sweet candies, malty tones, and some spiciness.

T&M: Taste was primarily sweet candy, earthy hops, complimented with an alcohol kick. In my opinion overly sweet. Mouthfeel with very thick and dead, no carbonation bite.

Overall: Honestly I think I over hyped this beer and it didn't live up to my expectations. I have only had two beers from this brewery, and even though I didn't find this one great, I really want to try more of their stuff based on recommendation.

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Photo of Oakhtar
2.73/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Batch 93....third straight flat Fred I have had. Started with batch 88 and now two straight batch 93s are drain pours.

Overall this beer smells and looks great, but I need some more texture. Supposedly bottle conditioned, but there is absolutely no carbonation in this batch. Extremely disappointed with my Fred experience thus far.

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Photo of CaptCleveland
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle into tulip. No bottle dating. Batch 91, for what it's worth.

Thick, viscous, pale orange/apricot liquid. No head or lacing.

Dried fruits, zest, sugar cane.

Tangy, spicy molasses, syrup honey.

Thick, sticky, medium to full body.

Appreciate the chance to try this, but it doesn't do it for me.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.48/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle poured into a Bruery tulip.
10% ABV, Batch #91.

A - Plenty of carbonation streams through the tarnished apricot colored beer, keeping the pillowy off-white head afloat. Sparkling like a fresh blanket of snow, the tall, plateauing foam drapes sheet after sheet of lace on the glass in beautiful fashion.

S - Caramel-drizzled flaky biscuit leads the charge into the nostrils with sharp, spicy rye following closely behind. Delicate fruit nuances of Turkish apricot, white grape sangria, and notes of Honey Crisp apple make their way through warming alcohol while floral, slightly fruity hops punctuate this intensely complex aroma.

T - Rich toasted malts bring forth a Munich-like breadiness akin to an Oktoberfest with honey-spread biscuit flavor and spicy rye bite. Encapsulated by notes of phenolic alcohol, the aromatic fruity esters balance delicately with floral hop attributes.

M - Carbonation dances on the tongue, livening up the medium-full bodied beer while warming alcohol dries out the palate, lingering on the tongue with balanced smoothness.

O - Fred is an ever-changing beer, revealing more and more of itself, leaning towards it's alcohol bite as it warms. Rye and bready malts make for a great combination that work surprisingly well with the yeast's fruity esters. This is one beer I'm pretty excited to open in a few years!

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Photo of spinrsx
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz Bottle from Whole foods San Francisco CA - gift from my wife

Appearance - Coppercolour with a large size fizzy/frothy white head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes.

Smell - Cloves, breads/grains, bruised banana, yeast

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste breads/grains, cloves, and ripe banana. There is also a peppery spice mix and a dry yeasty flavour.

Overall - A really complex tasting brew. Lots of interesting flavours that all work well together. Kind of like a barley wine meets a tripel if that makes any sense. Really enjoyed it.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.68/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle as an extra from Homer321. A long time want. Killing me with these! Thanks bud. Batch 92 poured on May 24, 2014. Pours murky orange colored with no head at all. A bit ugly. Huge sweet aroma of malt, some old citrus grapefruit hops, honey, caramel, smells soooo sweet. Flavor follows with a citrus honeycomb flavor, very sweet, lemon rind notes, caramel. Seems to be a lot going on here but verging on cloying. Syrupy thick mouthfeel with no carbonation. Totally flat. I’ve had Fred from the Wood, and I think the wood aging helps makes this a bit more drinkable. A definite sipper. Honestly this is better than the score I gave it overall if it had some carbonation. Very glad I got to try it though.

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Photo of kdahnke123
3.81/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Batch 90, poured into a glass at fridge temperature.
A - Lots of pressure on opening and some head tried to escape the bottle. Pours a slightly cloudy golden yellow color with 2 fingers of white head. The head is very long lasting.
S - A bright, clean crisp hop smell with hints of spice.
T - A balanced hop front with moderate amount of hops.
M - A light bodied beer with lots of carbonation.
O - A nice, strong, golden ale that is well balanced.

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Photo of Bonsall_Phil
3.66/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Purchased from Texas Wine & Spirits in Carlsbad CA
Batch 83

A: poured foamy into a chalice glass, hazy copper heart with golden yellow edges. Creamy white head retains nicely

S: faint perfumed grains and rye, dry grass scent.

T/M: unique taste up front. Hard to pinpoint, but a sweet licorice-like taste that gives way to a grainy rye. A little warmth lingering on the tongue. A little boozy. These flavors are pretty subtle behind the center-stage rye grain which is pretty overpowering. Silky mouthfeel, it's bubbly enough but really coats the tongue nicely. Very nice.

O: very good with the strong ale class, I'll leave it as interesting for my personal tastes but one cannot deny that this is a well- made ale. At the price, I probably would not purchase again as this is not my preferred style.

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Photo of abeeronthebeach
4.09/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Staw gold haze. Head had disappeared by the time my glass arrived.

S - Floral hop aromas blend with the fruitiness of plum.

T - Sweet plum, belgian yeast, mild malt and grapefruit.

M - Easy drinking with moderate alchohol

O - Good, but not particularly memorable.

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Photo of portia99
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Been collecting the Fred variations for quite a while to eventually have as a set to celebrate the life of my cat, Fred, after he passed away - sadly, after 15 great years, that time has arrived. At this point, the quality of the beer is rather inconsequential, but worthy of review as part of the memorial.

Batch #69 (bottled 9-26-07 according to the HotD website vintage listing) poured into a Harpoon gold rimmed 100 Barrel series glass.

A - Bottle opens with a firm whisp of carbonation, which isn't a given after 7ish years in the bottle. An even pour results in a clear, deep amber colored body with ample carbonation steadily rising from the bottom of the glass. Two fingers of pale creamy colored head with a dense, pillowy consistency and good staying power. Mild soapy lacing left on the glass as the head slowly falls to the surface.

S - Malty base up front, buttery caramel and toffee character, spicy rye, yeasty bread-like aromas, honey, biscuit - very complex malt profile. Mild Belgian-y yeasty twang also. At this point in time, the hops have virtually disappeared in the aroma - not surprising.

T - Definitely malt forward here too. Rich caramel and toffee take the lead with a honey-ish sweetness, a bit of lemon iced tea, very bready and yeasty character, tons of rye whose spiciness overpowers any bit of hops that still remain. Noticeable booziness that doesn't get in the way at all - plays off the malt nicely, perhaps dulling the sweetness a bit and creating some balance.

M - Medium body with a smooth, yet tingly mid-level carbonation. Yeasty, fruity/estery, iced tea, warm booziness, traces of vanilla...nice balance. Devoid of hops after 7 years, but not at all out of balance.

O - I have had this before, quite a few years ago, but long enough that I don't remember previous tastings or have anything to compare to. After 7 years in a bottle, this is still quite good...bordering on great. The American Strong Ale style is quite diverse and could result in beers that hardly resemble each other except for area of origin and alcohol content...with this said, it makes it very difficult to have an expectation of a beer prior to trying it. I find this beer to be fairly unique in flavor and aroma. Would love to try more recent vintages to compare, but at 7 years old, batch #69 is holding up well and a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.81/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: a dull golden color. a big, 3 fingers, creamy white head that fades slowly and leaves a lacing on the top and sides. hazy and murky, and just shy of opaque

Smell: huge spicy rye aroma hits me right away.some earthiness to it along with citrus. moderate amount of sweetness and a string booziness. one of the smellier beers i've had.

Taste: opens up with a mix of earth and spicy rye. middle plays out with a mixture of sweets and citrus. I get hints of dark fruits, and a definite caramel/toffee flavor. a good amount of citrus peeks out occasionally. good strong bit of alcohol

Mouthfeel: sticky and bitter rye. little alcohol astringency but still warm. moderate bitterness and a full body

Overall: a good beer. great rye character but missing a little bit in the rest. i'd prefer a bit more citrus and a bit more sweetness. but overall a pretty good beer.

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Photo of 57md
3.96/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Batch 90.

Poured a copper color with a healthy dose of sediment. This offering is both effervescent and extremely live yielding a huge head that lingered on and on. The nose is malty with a hint of something else that is difficult to place.

The flavor profile is mostly malty with a touch of citrusy sweetness and a dry bitter finish. The alcohol is present and not entirely pleasant given the body is thinner than expected in a beer of this style.

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Photo of ChrisL24481
4.24/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a cloudy orange, copper-ish color with QUITE the head. Very carbonated as expected with a bottle conditioned ale. Head slowly dissipated with lacing left all the way down the glass. Aroma and taste were great. Toffee, caramel, candied sugar...excellent malt flavors. Medium body, smooth; a sipper, but goes down easy. Overall, very flavorful and delicious; would love to have some to age.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.86/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle, Batch 88. Poured into a Kuhnhenn snifter today, 3/27/2014. Thanks John for sending me this one.

App- Very hazy dark orange body. Certainly not "golden" as the "Golden Special Ale" descriptor would have you think. Despite a careful pour as dictated by the label, there is a ton of sediment/floaties suspended in the beer. People give Heady shit for having floaties, but Heady looks like its filtered sparkling clear compared to this beer. To be honest, it looks gross. Like jello. I can't make myself rate the appearance higher than 2. Luckily it doesn't count for much. Pours with zero head, lacing looks like individual sugar particles clinging to the glass.

Smell- Intense bready caramel and toffee sweetness, candied sugar, fruity peach and citrus notes, a little bit of leather, quite a bit of alcohol as it warms up. Complex and a pleasure to smell.

Flavour- Very heavy on the sweetness and booze. Rye bread, caramel, honey, toffee take the forefront here and it's quite sweet. Not much sugary dryness here. Sweetness is complemented by notes of peach and apricot flavours on the palate that linger for a while, but don't contribute much bitterness at all. Good bit of booze.

Mouthfeel- Full bodied, low carbonation, quite resinous yet not very bitter at all, just quite sweet. Not a particularly dry beer. Booze is apparent, but not unpleasantly so and certainly not a surprise with HOTD.

Overall- Interesting beer, aside from the gross appearance. The sweetness is not overwhelming but certainly a major component. The esters or hop varieties that contribute the fruitiness is welcome in adding more complexity to the sweetness. It's not my cup of tea and I won't be coming back to this, but it is certainly an interesting beer to try.

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Photo of dionito
3.63/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This is really unfortunate. I picked this two days ago from Whole Foods and it is 100% flat. No head, no bubbles, no nothing. Taste is still ok, but I can only imagine how good this beer might be with the balance of carbonation. mouth feel is syrupy and overly sweet taste, but you get the hop bitterness and malt. I'm very disappointed, though. I was expecting this to be a great experience, which hasn't been. I'll try to pick another bottle soon enough.

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Photo of artoolemomo
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- Pours up a good amount of head which looks to have equally good retention. The head is a fluffy, pure cotton-white while the body is a pale to medium amber which appears as a golden, pale amber in the light. Spots of lacing, some wisps.

Nose- This is dominated by hops which already makes it different from Hair of the Dog's high gravity beers. Lots of citrus which ranges from orange to lemon to grapefruit. Light notes of cherry, peach, and apple. Very fruity and very well rounded. Not in your face but still quite delicious. Slight grain on the nose- maybe the rye? Swirling doesn't show much.

Taste- Reflective of the nose as it shows bunches of fruity esters from the hops on the front. Orange, lemon, grapefruit, touches of peaches, hints of apple and cherry. Some spice on the finish (coriander) that mixes with pine and resin. Slight notes of rye. Reminds me a little bit of Lagunitas Sucks actually. Very clean and crisp tasting with all of the hops working in almost perfect balance together. Very little bitterness and quite reminiscent of the newer imperial IPAs. Maybe a little bit of earwax from the bitter side of the hops. Some honey and floral notes. Suggestions of caramel. Really good beer that has flashes of greatness. Not quite there but this scores well in every category: presence, complexity, and balance. I'm surprised I've missed out on this so far but I'm glad to be drinking it now. Some linger but a bit of dryness as well. Pretty enjoyable.

Mouthfeel- Between light and medium bodied with healthy carbonation and nuances of syrup on the texture. Maybe even a little slick or oily but in a good way.

Drinkability- Very easygoing and gives no indication of its 10% at all. Very accessible for a strong ale as well. It retails for about 5 bucks, which seems reasonable to me. This is definitely a beer I will be drinking again.

Overall- Just short of being great. Another example of why Hair of the Dog is the best brewery in Portland. Moreover, you don't have to stand in line or go to the brewery to drink this- you can buy it in a store! A must try and one I will be drinking again.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.09/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

on tap at the brewery, Portland

Hazy deep gold with white film that’s steady and trails.
Sugar and orange peel nose.
Lots of sugar cookie, a bit of rye spice, fair whack of citrus, melon and kumquat.
Fruit punch finish and dry linger.
Medium, chewy, slight oil.

Very fruity for a golden ale. Rye is subtle, the hops are significant. A style bender in the best way.

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

Aroma: Sweet malt, brown sugar, fig.

Appearance: Hazy dark amber, nice two finger off white head that settles to a covering.

Flavor: Sweet malt, brown sugar, raisin, fig, bitter hops. Very much like an america style barleywine with the amount of hop flavors.

Mouthfeel: Full body in but not quite heavy, Syrupy but not thick, some alcohol warming.

Overall: Good beer, would buy again. Maybe age some for a year and see where the flavors go. $5.99 for 12 floz

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
4.36/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep golden with a billowy white head of 2.5-3 fingers. Good staying power and clings oh so well. Very clean looking until I got greedy and attempted to get the last drop before a portion of the sediment hit my glass.

S- Pilsner malts, sweet confection candy, spice of rye, and a mixture of both bright and dark fruits. Fruity esters. A lot going on here and it seems to work.

T- Impeccable balance. A healthy does of sweet malts and intense hopping, accompanied by a soft booze character. Toffee, wood, and spicy grain.

M- full body, yet easy drinking for the abv. Syrupy and creamy. Alcohol settles in with a bite towards the finish.

O- No clue how to classify this beer, but it really doesn't matter. It's a strong ale that goes hard to the paint with intense flavors and complexity.

Pair with lamb, braised pork belly, or flavored cheeses. Serve at cellar temp and age if possible.

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Photo of PPOmaha
3.24/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Batch 85

Aroma: molasses, brown sugar and some sherry notes. Spicy hop aroma in the background.

Appearance: dark golden to orange with some debris from bottle conditioning.

Flavor: sweetness: raisin and fig. Hop flavor is still prominent though. Some paper and sherry.

Mouthfeel: highly carbonated and slightly lingering sweetness in finish.

Overall: not the best bottle I've had. Slightly oxidized and more dark malt character than I remember. Still a good beer.

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Photo of hreb
3.77/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

Batch 89. 12oz bottle served in pint glass. Beer is relatively pale in color (which is to say dark orange), and very muddy looking, texture-wise. Sediment retained in the bottle. Pours fairly syrupy, with zero head. Rich aroma suggesting a barley wine: ripe plums, raisins. Flavor is refreshingly bright, suggesting both golden caramel, and a little bit of hop flavor, which was completely absent from the nose. Oh, and it's totally flat?! Or very nearly.

The interesting thing at work is here the way the spiciness of the hops plays off the flavors of the grain. I don't detect rye in particular, but there's definitely some tasty grain presence all up in my face. That particular combination is superbly executed, but between the color, the sweetness, and the lack of carbonation, I can't help but wonder if I'm drinking someone's failed homebrew. I expect the lack of carbonation is really divisive when it comes to grading this beer, or this batch anyway. I'm not really digging it but maybe it will grow on me.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Batch 78. Brought back by PurpleCloud from Portland, OR. Thanks bro!!rnrnGreat beer all-around. Unique, tasty, full-flavored and definitely unique. Somewhere between a tripel and saison in taste. With an ABV that is definitely present and quite noticeable.

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Fred from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
91 out of 100 based on 855 ratings.