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

Not Rated.
FredFred

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

848 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 848
Hads: 1,709
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.98%
Wants: 375
Gots: 304 | FT: 19
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 848 | Hads: 1,709
Photo of spinrsx
4.18/5  rDev +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. (673 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
3.68/5  rDev -10.2%
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. (709 characters)

Photo of kdahnke123
3.81/5  rDev -7.1%
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. (447 characters)

Photo of Bonsall_Phil
3.66/5  rDev -10.7%
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. (804 characters)

Photo of abeeronthebeach
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
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. (271 characters)

Photo of portia99
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
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. (2,357 characters)

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.81/5  rDev -7.1%
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. (874 characters)

Photo of 57md
3.96/5  rDev -3.4%
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. (452 characters)

Photo of ChrisL24481
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
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. (395 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
3.86/5  rDev -5.9%
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. (1,760 characters)

Photo of dionito
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
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. (456 characters)

Photo of artoolemomo
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
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. (2,135 characters)

Photo of StJamesGate
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
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. (371 characters)

Photo of buzzardman
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
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 (462 characters)

Photo of Bosoxfan20
4.36/5  rDev +6.3%
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. (895 characters)

Photo of PPOmaha
3.24/5  rDev -21%
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. (471 characters)

Photo of hreb
3.77/5  rDev -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. (1,016 characters)

Photo of wisrarebeer
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
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. (256 characters)

Photo of PicoPapa
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Orthodoxkardia for this one.

12oz bottle. Batch 89. Pours a murky light brownish orange with a massive, chunky head. 2+ inches. Fair amount of lacing. The aroma is hoppy tropical fruits, alcohol, yeast and funk. Kind of smells like a hopped up, boozey Pilsner. The taste is boozey upfront with some butterscotch and orange peel. Some clove and spice notes as well. Boozey at the end with some more bitter orange peel. Pretty sweet. Creamy mouthfeel. Pretty complex beer with alot going on. Plenty of Pilsner characteristics but with plenty of hops and alcohol burn. I don't think I have had many brews like this one. Overall, pretty damn good. (654 characters)

Photo of JasonLovesBeer
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 34 (bottled in 2000) drank Dec 28 2013 at the brewpub. What a treat to get to try such an old cellared bottle! No doubt this was a hand-picked batch that is a cut above many of the others.

I didn't take much for notes so these are a bit abbreviated but to the point.

A: Deep red with small but lasting head.

S: Sweet red fruits and red licorice. Delicious

T: Red fruit (cherry, plum), red licorice, vanilla perhaps?

M: Syrupy thickness, just awesome. Nice carbonation - gentle but there.

O: Stunning how this beer's stood the test of time. While the carbonation of Fred can be all over the map, Batch 34 is an outstanding example. I am not trained on off-flavours or oxidization but this didn't have enough of either to detract from the beautiful malty body that's developed. (792 characters)

Photo of Benish
4.46/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into snifter glass. No date on bottle.

Appearance: just as I was pouring, foam rapidly built up. It was thick like shaving cream, you could almost make stiff peaks like whipping cream. Had to let the beer settle a bit before resuming the pour. The beer had a nice hay golden color with bubbles fizzing up. Some sediment settled to the bottom.

Smell: tropical fruits and a little bit of pilsner malt. Very sweet and fragrant. The hops really shine through.

Taste: it's a mesh of sweetness and bitterness. Hops are aggressive in this; it taste almost like a double IPA. Taste sweet/bitter grapefruit followed by a malty sweetness. I know it's an American strong ale, but if I didn't know that, I swear I would assume its a double IPA.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied mouthfeel; while the appearance shows it's a bit over-carbonated, it's not.

Overall: It's a great brew. I'm a bit burnt out by IPAs at that time but with the significant amount of hops in this strong ale, it was still enjoyable. (1,003 characters)

Photo of Kendo
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Batch Number 87. Consumed on 12/17/13 as I begin the chore of wrapping the year's Christmas presents. . . .

A: Poured from the bottle into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass. Body is dark golden at first blush, turning more orangey-amber when backlit. A modestly aggressive pour has yielded a large (nearly 3-fingers) off-white head that threatened to escape the top of the glass. Active carbonation fortifies the head, allowing it to only ever-so-slowly settle to a meringue-like hill of foam in the middle, surrounded by soap-bubble-like foam that coats the glass. Calling it lacing would be a mistake; this is foamy.

S: First impression is of the alcohol. Then I get candied fruit, sugar-coated oranges and Southern Comfort or Grand Marnier. Obviously a lot of malt went into the creation of this, as I also get toffee and caramel malt.

T: Pretty much follows the nose, with toffee, caramel malt, fruit (overripe canned peaches in syrup come to mind), some modest spiciness and booze (SoCo again is a thought). Finishes, however, with a good bitterness that seems tannic at times, as though this were aged in wood - young wood. That's quite a feat, given that I believe this has been in my cellar - and then my DBF - for quite awhile, so the hops should have mellowed quite a bit by now. Warming is noted in the belly pretty quickly; no surprise given the 10% ABV.

M: Pretty close to full-bodied in weight, with a modest syrupy feel to it - which again is a surprise given the active carbonation. Somehow this beer pulls off a lot of different things all at once, even in the mouthfeel.

O: This is really good stuff. My only complaint is that I've got to go wrap presents. I'd rather sit in the family room by the fire and sip this over the next hour, focused on little more than this beer and some good tunes. Wish I could get this one again. (1,852 characters)

Photo of South2NW
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 90, 12oz bottle poured to snifter.

A: dark golden color, about a fingers width of off white head. Leaves light amount of lacing.

S: honey, dark fruits, maybe a bit of brown sugar?

T: honey and fruit sweetness up front, a nice bit of spice follows, hop bitterness in the finish. Bitterness lingers just a bit.

M: medium bodied, with high carbonation. Just a touch of burn from the alcohol.

O: very good beer. The 10% abv isn't too noticeable. Goes down easily. (470 characters)

Photo of BastardKing24
4.16/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

$4.99 for a 12 oz and a 92 rating, I'm about to see what the hype is. Poured dark gold without any head. Hmmm so its flat? I dont know let me see then "Sip" yeah its borderline flat. Oh well at least its tastes ok.

Smell is a wonderful bouquet of flowery esters and fruit. Peach, apricot, wet hay, strawberry, some banana, just a really interesting complex smell, very unique.

Taste is very intriguing. Main flavor I get is golden raisin, in a big way. Never had a beer taste like this before. Other fruits come to mind, like apricot, pineapple, sweet syrupy goodness, but It's even more so because this bottle was not carbed well. Anyways, kind of belgian like, I dont know if from the yeast or hop combination or what, but its like a condensed belgian triple. Big flavor profile with a strong alcohol taste. It's pretty hot, more so than other 10% beers.

mouthfeel is slick and syrupy, hardly any carb on this one but I am enjoying it anyways. If this beer typically has more carb then I will give it a 4. Must be a bottle defect or yeast problem. This is ever so slightly carbonated to keep it from being all flat, but still needs more.

Over all this is a very unique beer and its way different than anything I've had before. My second Hair of the dog beer, as I have had Adam before. Looking forward to trying some of their other beers but I won't buy this again as it was a unique experience and I think thats enough, for 5 bucks. (1,439 characters)

Photo of BeerlyLegal
3.74/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Fred is my first taste of Hair of the Dog. Reminds me very much of a Belgium. Let me just start with the obvious.... Lots of alcohol going on. Everything from the taste to the high ABV (10%), Fred hits you QUICK. Maybe I should have eaten before hand...

Great golden hue, but....I dislike the thick cappuccino like head. You could blame my pore, but honestly I think it is what it is.

Overall its fairly good. Just above average. Worth trying more Hair of the Dog but not hooked yet. (487 characters)

Fred from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
92 out of 100 based on 848 ratings.