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Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

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

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

850 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 850
Hads: 1,717
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 7.56%
Wants: 375
Gots: 305 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Fred Alström Bros
Reviews: 850 | Hads: 1,717
Photo of beagle75
4.26/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.
Batch 81

A: Clear, medium golden color with over two fingers of voluminous and persistent white foam head. Moderate clumped lacing remains on the glass and effusive sheets of bubbles rise in the column.

S: Lightly toasted grain is clean and very honest. The rustic quality of the smell evokes just-milled base malt, and lots of it--exactly like a visit to a working brewery. Fruit is weak but bright, a combination of pear and delicate lemon. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins sweet, with big pale malt that is paradoxically refined after the rustic smell. The cleanliness, on the other hand, parallels that of the smell, lacking any characterful input from yeast. Things get interesting into the middle as the flavor sweetens further to become truly dessert-like. There is a definite boozy thread that develops mid-way through the flavor profile, well-timed alongside emerging herbal bitterness. Whatever fruitiness is present appears similar to the pear from the smell, but is short-lived. The finish maintains the characteristic cleanliness of the rest of the profile with a sleepy-but-moderate bitterness that has shows staying power.

M: Thick viscosity, very smooth--even slick--on the palate, with low carbonation.

D/O: I did not expect or want to like this beer; strong blond beers never seem to measure up. This well-aged bottle of Fred was able to win me over, representing well the learned opinions of those few who reported that this beer might even exceed the excellence of Hair of the Dog's other signature strong ale, Adam. Something--namely Belgian abbey yeast--seems absent, although it is not missed. A strong burst of yeast-derived metabolites would only distract here. As it is, this beer is a focused and decadent beast of a malt-bomb. Although the official derivation of the name honors craft brewing royalty, I like to think that is also gives a nod to Fred Armisen and his Portland-inspired humor. (1,973 characters)

Photo of Seanniek91
4.49/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12oz bottle into an Allagash chalice. Batch number 86. Cellar temp.

Appearance- Slightly hazy orange/copper with thick off-white head that shows no sign of leaving. Incredible lacing follows.

Smell- Very strong fruit aromas of peaches, green grapes, apricots, and citrus fruits. heavy caramel malts and light booze are also prominent.

Taste- Belgian candy sugar, apricots, and rasions are the dominant flavors I'm getting. Carmel and earthy tobacco notes are light, but still there. Finish is mildly boozy with nice hop bitterness. Well balanced between malty/sweet and hoppy. Hops linger for a while.

Mouthfeel- Thick and resinous. Ample enough carbonation. Smooth and mildly hot. Clean finish with a mouth cleansing bitterness.

Overall- With the moniker of "Golden Special Ale", one might believe this beer to be a light crisp ale, butin my mind, it has more wheat wine qualities to it. Phenomenal none the less. Would love to try their variations or older vintages. (988 characters)

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.34/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: bright gold with round juicy glow, a touch of haze, cottony white head, decent snail trails

S: floral bouquet, hard candy.... really hits you.... strong medicinal alcohol aroma, permeates the mucus membranes, opens them up, but reigned in and complemented well with the honeyish, turbinado syrup tones.... overall, pretty baller-bold

T: strong, smooth, phenolic, hot, with odd under-/over-ripe honeydew.... a slick hybrid between an old school type Amer strong (Yards Tavern Ale?) and a spicy Belgian strong golden (Duvel, but with a different, smoother spice)

M: round like its glow.... tiniest gummy-chewy texture... buffered desiccant effect from medicinal alcohol.... has some substance, has something to say

O: the funky melon thing really sticks out, the most memorable thing about it aside from the honey-nectar like body (like an ice-wine or a Moscato?).... I could tear through a few of these (908 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.62/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. cellared bottle from 2008.

Poured amber and more-or-less clear. Although bottle conditioned, the aromatics seem similar to a barrel-aged beer. Some of that is the suggestion of brandy in this high ABV ale. Also smells a little fruity. Has a medium-full body with some harshness from the alcohol.
Taste: very strong flavor; no style on bottle but "imperial barleywine" seems appropriate. Mildly bitter.

O: an extreme ale that seems a little over the top and with the high ABV a bit too obvious. Rough and unrefined in contrast with an aged Firestone DBA that preceded it. (580 characters)

Photo of Axnjxn
3.82/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle batch 87

As i was first cracking the top open on the bottle, i could hear a loud "pop" sound. Obviously, this beer was massively carbonated. Slowly poured it into a Tulip glass and the head was massive. Pours a dark golden color with a massive white head that slowly dissipates. Smell is amazing - fruity and sweet. Tropical fruits dominate the nose. Taste is intense! extreme carbonation and tang is all you taste at first, then you get a taste of raisins and apricots. Its much less sweet than the nose would leave you to believe. However, a very bitter finish detracted from this beer. Body is on the heavy side of light with extreme carbonation.

overall this beer doesnt mess around. It has a massive flavor profile that seems to be just too over the top for me. i cant quite tell what it is. (812 characters)

Photo of 4000qtrap
4.97/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Source/Serving: Bottle

S: Wow, this is a BIG nose. Lots of hops, malt, and yeast too. Wow. Fresh lillies, honey, spearmint, caramel, rye bread are all in your face. A nice toastiness and also fruit heavy which is super complex (banana, tropical fruit, guava, pineapple). Light ginger, tangerine, and vanilla. Lively and zesty overall. Rye spiciness and Belgian spiciness are moderate, along with apple cider,

T: Ginormous flavor profile, wow, this is massive. Fairy sweet up front, but not as sweet as it should be given how malty it is. Syrupy and thick, but the worried expectation of cloying sweetness is never met - more of a mouthfeel indication than a sweet taste per se. Confusing to the brain. Hops are evident from the get-go with mint, herb, fresh flowers, but are clean and not oily or resiny at all. Body is over the top heavy, practically a shake. The middle is syrupy caramel/toffee/toasted bread malty but really only slightly balanced to the sweet side due to a soft, fortifying bitter balancer. For how heavy this beer is there is a ton of juicy fruitiness and liveliness, really a study on how to make a heavy beer light - very well done. Belgian spiciness/fruit and the rye notes are all evident but in the background, more of a foundation flavor. Incredibly smooth, creamy, almost slick. Finish has a nice dryness, but the alcohol is not at all hot or really very present - very well done. The sip ends with smooth clean mint, heaps of caramel, brown bread, more floral and importantly some rye grittiness (which is good) and pithy bitterness, cleansing the palette and keeping you fresh for the next sip.

A: some of the best head retention I've ever seen.

Notes: This beer is a blast to drink. Find some and drink it. Its totally original, its intensity is uniquely awesome and amazingly smooth for the absolute flavors/aromas of the beer. Don't worry too much if you don't like sweet beer either, its really fairly balanced but uber-malty. (1,967 characters)

Photo of yankeepride
3.61/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

This one was a little all over the map for me. If you hate super-sweet beer, then run to this one, and then run screaming in horror in the opposite direction. It poured almost flat, and the massive malt bill comes right out of the glass and smacks you. You get all sorts of fruit flavors; banana, cantaloupe, guava, and whatever else your nose is sensitive enough to pick up. However, the sheriff in this town is the Belgian candy sugar. It is so syrupy and sweet that it has a bit of a sticky taste to it. I picked up the slightest bit of hops toward the very end, but the sugar completely overwhelms all sense of balance. As my first HotD beer, it is clear these guys don't mess around, but this was just too, well, too for me to truly love. (743 characters)

Photo of Oakenator
4.52/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Brownish to orange in color - really nice head at pour. Leaves a nice layer on top throughout consumption. Not much lacing (but not expected at this %). Some sediment.

S: Sweet, malts, some hops, sweet.

T: Sweet - Belgian candi sugar present in a big way. The hops age nicely on this one - it is a couple of years old.

M: Good body. Decently heavy as expected at 10%. Bite up front and lingering sugars on the back.

O: Very well done. Like what these guys are doing with beers that will stand the test of time. (517 characters)

Photo of sleuthdog
4.36/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Batch 86 into Ballast Point tulip

Pour: Even pouring gently I got a huge four fingers off white pillowy head. Receded slowly leaving some lacing. A hazy golden orange with a lot of visible carbonation.

Smell: Wow is this one sweet smelling of toffee and vanilla. Butterscotch? Very bready and biscuit like with a note of some grapefruit and pine hidden in there. Alcohol is evident in the nose. Not distracting but definitely there.

Taste: The sweetness is off the charts with toffee taking center stage and some caramel, maple, honey and a candied sugar. Bread and biscuit for sure. More tropical at the back end than resinous hop but there is a bitterness to note way at the end in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full but very sticky and almost syrupy. Sticks to the lips and tongue for quite a while after the swallow. Not as carbonated here as the pour led on.

Overall: This is my first HotD offering and I'm impressed and enjoyed this one. Would like to try their others. There is a lot going on in this beer and this makes it somewhat confusing but at the same time enjoyable because it is so complex. (1,116 characters)

Photo of Murrhey
3.14/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a standard pressure-cap 12oz bottle into a tulip glass in high elevation Libby, Mont. Batch 88. 10% ABV confirmed. Reviewed live.

A- Ridiculous head. Six-fingers thick of off-white creamy bubbles. Hazy orange-brown body with aggressive carbonation. Long retention, forms a mound of head in the middle. Fluffy, airy lacing.

S- Very fruity. Tropical fruit tones. I'm getting guava, pineapple and passion fruit. Fruity and floral hops. Some boozy notes to reflect the high ABV.

T- Bitter and boozy. Alcoholic esters, tropical fruits.

M- Creamy and warm feeling with a boozy after feel. Bone dry.

O- Not as good as the reputation would have me believe. Not impressed. (683 characters)

Photo of gcamparone
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Acquired as an extra in a trade.

A- Pours a hazy orange body with a HUGE white head (like mostly foam at first). Reduces very slowly to uneven chunks of foam. The carbonation makes it difficult to pour, but whatever, I'd rather have more than less.

S- Citrus, white grapes, rye spices, and booze.

T- Vanilla-caramel upfront, develops into a bready, toasty aftertaste. Fruity red wine-like notes in the background. Unfortunately it was quite boozy for 10%, and the booze added an acetone-like taste in the background.

M- High carbonation, medium body.

My first HOTD, and I wasn't overly impressed. It wasn't very drinkable due to the aftertaste. Not sure when it was bottled, may have been past it's prime. (768 characters)

Photo of anteater
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%

2002 Fred (Batch 45) consumed in the tasting room 2014

A: Amber with hardly any visible carb, darker than today's Freds

S: Caramel, pine, biscuit

T: More caramel, maple, peach, hop bitterness. This tastes like an incredible barleywine instead of the Fred I'm used to.

M: Thick

O: Totally blown away by this one. Age your Fred. (333 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
2.41/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

Identifies itself as a "Golden Special Ale." Batch number 84. 10% ABV confirmed. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Acquired at K&L Wine in Hollywood. Expectations are high given current ratings.

Side-poured slowly per instructions on the label. Served straight from the fridge.

A: Pours a 5+ finger light khaki colour head of fair smooth cream, nice thickness, and great (9+ minute) retention. No lacing at all. No bubble show. Body colour is a hazy nontransparent translucent orange. No yeast particles are visible. Generally appealing for a golden ale, with an impressive head. Decent vibrance.

Sm: Fresh orange fruit, mandarin oranges, malty sweetness, pale malts, tropical fruit esters, off-putting pineapple, floral hops, candied fruit, banana, some spicy graininess, light honey, clove, and heavy booziness. Alcohol definitely comes through on this one. Not the refreshing golden ale aroma I expected. It's a bit off-putting, to be honest. The tropical fruit mixed with the alcohol just isn't at all appealing; it's redolent of a crappy cocktail. A moderate to strong aroma.

T: Hrm. Candi sugar, heavy alcohol boozy character, tropical fruit, banana, mango, and overdone sweetness. Green apple. Maltiness here is poorly executed. The balance is crushed by the one-two punch of tropical fruit and alcohol. Ugh. Severely disappointed. No subtlety to this one all. There's decent complexity here, but without balance it's useless. Not liking it. Way too sweet. It's a mess; I'd point to the overly diverse hop varieties as problem-inducing here; that definitely feels like a marketing gimmick. Caramel (and why is this in a Golden Ale?).

Mf: Eroding in its sugary sweetness. Smooth and wet. Tingly from crystal malt. Way too thick, even syrupy and viscous - what is that doing in a Golden Ale? Doesn't suit the flavours all that well. Carbonation is too high, to boot.

Dr: Real hard to drink; the flavours aren't appealing nor is the ABV well hidden. I'm not gonna enjoy finishing this glass. I honestly don't understand the high ratings for this one; it's a failure as a Strong Ale and as a Golden Ale. Trying this makes me happier I haven't sought out Fred From The Wood. If this is the base beer, I don't expect much from any variant. Really disappointed in this one.

D+ (2,421 characters)

Photo of ThickNStout
4.04/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle from SeaofShells (sweet extra!). Batch 83: brewed 1/11/12, bottled 3/10/12. Served in a Burnt Hickory snifter.

Pours hazy deep gold with a near-explosive three fingers of bubbly pale head. The head eventually fades to a thin layer but leaves a good bit of lace.

Smells of mild banana, candi sugar, caramel apple, a little spice and a touch of yeast.

This is a sweet one with plenty of caramel, toffee and sweet cream followed by candi sugar, apple/banana/peach fruityness, honey, vanilla, a touch of rye spice, citrus peel and a decent kick of booze.

Medium, fairly oily body with moderate to strong carbonation. Lingering, sweet fruity tripel-like finish.

One of a kind. I wasn't sure if I liked it at first but by the end I was sad to see it gone. I'd describe it as almost a tripel/ barleywine hybrid. Very sweet and quite enjoyable, this is good enough after a year that I love to try it at 2-5 years. (927 characters)

Photo of timc100
4.9/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Gorgeous and original. Completely opaque golden orange with a foamy cream colored head that sticks around.

S: Wow. Smells sticky with resin, caramel and pine sap. Huge citrus fruit notes and sweet, rich caramel.

T: Resinous pine, sweet butterscotch and toffee, sugared grapefruit peel and the Belgian candi sugar shines through. Slight rye spice dry notes throughout.

P: Sticky, chewy, full. Coats the mouth resiny sweetness.

O: Amazing. (445 characters)

Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.37/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 84 acquired via trade. Poured into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter. A rather gentle pour brings forth a massive, creamy, well-sustained head like whipped cream on a Sunday. The lacing is majestic. The beer itself is clear, dark gold, and highly effervescent. THIS is what a beer looks like! On the nose I get sweet fruit-like notes with a hint of baking spices. It reminds me a lot of a Belgian Tripel. I get sweet pears, apples, and various phenols. I also get some alcohol and a hint of oakiness. Very nice.

Nice full body and an incredibly creamy, slick feel. There is sweet malt, some diacetyl that accompanies it nicely, and a rich toast and marmalade flavor. Along with all of this there is a perfectly balanced spicy hop additional that never overtakes the flavor and turns this into a West Coast Hop bomb. Everything about the profile of this beer is calculated and well-tuned. The finish is spicy, a tad dry, and sustained.

Wow, I am thoroughly impressed by this beer. It's difficult to describe, but I would say it combines the best qualities of a Belgian Tripel and an American Strong Ale. What surprises me most is that it's probably not even the best beer they make. It's a work of art by a true master of craft beer. To those of you fortunate enough to have regular access to these beers - I wish to express my great envy. (1,339 characters)

Photo of Jonada
3.33/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle. Batch 85

Appearance: Dark orange/copper color. Extremely hazy with some visible sediment floating in the glass. Poured about 2 fingers of an off white, cream colored head with nice retention and lacing.

Smell: Sweet malt, rye, banana bread, Belgian candy sugar, a bit of a spicy yeast character, slightly medicinal.

Taste: Sweet bread, spiciness from the yeast and rye, some dark fruit and nuttiness, more candy sugar. Booze and spiciness help cut the sweetness a bit.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, sticky, syrupy mouthfeel. Carbonation is on the high side.

Overall: Not impressed with this one. There's some nice flavors in there, but the end product is a bit of a sweet, syrupy mess. (697 characters)

Photo of 2x10
2.53/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Spent way to much on this bottle. the batch I tasted was 4 yrs old. Maybe I am not a fan of aged beers. Very heavy mouthfeel, not friendly to the nose. Way to much bready taste and a HUGE belgian yeast aftertaste that lingered and did not go away. Nice to try something different, but we decided Fred can just lie in his bed, permanently. (338 characters)

Photo of standardcherry
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle thanks to Lopo87! Batch 86.

A: A dark orange/red color. Not very golden. Nice 1cm head that lingers forever.
S: Smells a lot like my mash tun when I brew. Lots of bready, caramel and malty aromas.
T: Tastes a bit hoppy. Grape-like tastes at the beginning. Very light though. Followed by lots of sweetness, malts, caramel, vanilla, and honey. The flavor reminds me of a "light" barleywine.
M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Sticky, and tiny alcohol hotness present. Smooth and semi-dry finish.
O: This is a great beer. I haven't had many golden ales but this is definitely among the best I've had. (621 characters)

Photo of warrenout330
4.19/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz into a 28oz snifter

Batch 78, that puts this around 2yrs?

A- pours a orange amber glow, very small head that's diminishs to a thin ring around the beer

S- not much going on here, whiffs of caramel, fresh baked bread, faint alcohol fumes

T- tad alcohol taste, years have toned this down, sweet caramel, candied raisins, dried figs almost wine like

M- slick and oily, fuller body, alcohol warmth on the tongue...still hard to really tell its 10%

O- found this gem in Pittsburgh... always wanted to try it and the years of age have put it in my drinking terms .... cheers (593 characters)

Photo of welldigger888
4.29/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25


Poured a hazy honey golden hue with a 2 finger head of snow white. Sheets of lacing down glass and legs to boot.

Honey and malt with a touch of oxidized hops, but not unpleasant hop. peach and dark stone fruit like raisin and plum,booze is in check but present.

SWEET grape like sweet, peaches and raisin, honey and prune. Big prune finish and a hint of hop bittering.

Medium full bodied creamy goodness. This one whale of a beer.

A bit sweet but NOT cloying, not typicaly my bag but very enjoyable. (513 characters)

Photo of NorCalYeti
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

batch 60 (2006)

taste- caramel, citrus, raisins, apricots, sour notes, faint wood smoke, madeira flavors in the finish

color- deep amber

clarity- pours hazy with sediment in the pour

smell- aromatic malts, strawberries, sour, dampness, wood, biscuits

body- good hop bite in the mouth with a medium-length finish, soft mouthfeel

appearance- great color, tight bubbly creamy slightly off-white head, nice initial lacing that fades with each pour. carbonation kicks up with each swirl...very nice

overall impression- alan does a great job with his beers, they never cease to amaze me in terms of their staying power in the bottle. i had a fred 3 (1998) not too long ago and there was still carbonation in the bottle and the flavors help up...incredible!

notes and comments- beer is still well balanced, reminded me of a barleywine, alcohol is still present. a lot of sediment (somewhat loose) on the bottom of the bottle

beer spy- bevmo, walnut creek ca, 2006, 12oz

glassware: tulip (989 characters)

Photo of deuce9259
4.21/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Batch 85. 12oz. bottle into a snifter.

Appearance - Pours a think head. Apricot color. A little foggy. Decent lace.

Smell - Sweet, sweet alcohol. Also getting a strong hop presence. Maybe some fruit in there too...apricots? Very sweet though, toffee and vanilla. Delightful.

Taste - Sweet malt and toffee. Complex hop flavor. Very nice.

Mouthfeel - Not much carbonation. Medium body. Not much to speak of on the back end...besides the alcohol.

Overall - Very complex. Still get a lot of alcohol, even after it warms up. Glad I have 2 more of these to see how they age over the next 2 years. (596 characters)

Photo of nUgZ
4.06/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter. Enjoying this one thanks to SanFranJake.

A: Pours a hazy copper color with a huge head and nice lacing.

S: Citrus and floral hops, sweet malts, along with some oak and vanilla.

T: Oak, vanilla, and honey up front with some bitter hops on the back end.

M: Medium to full bodied with good carbonation.

O: A little sweeter than I prefer, but quite enjoyable. I'm very glad I got to try it. (431 characters)

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.06/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 76.

Appearance: Perfectly clear light copper/like a newish penny. Head is off-white and creamy. Drops to a small cap almost instantly. Retention is decent, keeping the cap for the duration. Moderate carbonation on the pour.

Smell: Biscuits and alcohol. Touches of caramel sweetness. Very bready. Hops are still kicking with huge notes of grapefruit and pine. Slightly pithy. Big hit of higher alcohols. Toffee and caramel with touches of vanilla as well. Perhaps a touch of oak. Some underlying spiciness coupled with the distinct sweetness of candi sugar. Vaguely floral and fruity.

Taste: Toffee and lots of it. Big bready/biscuity malt with some underlying caramel malt sweetness. A bit more spice comes through than the nose indicated. Delightful. Candi sugar adds another layer of sweetness. Malts are complex and a bit over sweet. Slightly overcaramelized as well. Solid hop presence is floral with a touch of citrus to round it out. Some vanilla mixed in as well. Almost perfume-like at times. Sharp bite of alcohol on the back. Slightly fruity...apple maybe?

Mouthfeel: A medium to full body with a medium to light carbonation. Dry finish from the alcohol.

Overall: Blunt force Americana.

Fred treads on barleywine territory, but is most definitely not. Deeply complex. A true sipper. Drinks like a beast and that gets a little intense as the beer warms. Still aggressive after 3 years in the cellar. Nice. (1,426 characters)

Fred from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
92 out of 100 based on 850 ratings.