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 santoslhalper
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearence: Pours a cloudly amber with a creamy off-white head.

Smell: The smell is a bold mix hops and a great caramel malt smell.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste has a suprising balance for the incredible complexity. The hops are juicy and citrusy with a tiny bite to them, while the malts are bready caramel. It's very well rounded. The yeast is noticble but not bad, and the mouthfeel is fizzy and crisp.

Drinkability and Overall: An interesting beer, complex yet balanced. An odd barleywine for sure, but an enjoyable one. It's not for the weak of palate, but I think hopheads will find some joy in this beer. (622 characters)

Photo of Jason
4.01/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz bottle with a batch # of 54 on the label.

Appearance: Very frothy … not a gusher but the carbonation was very active during the pour. The head retention was the best I have seen in a long time. The sediment stayed to the bottom the bottle to yield a semi-clear reddish orange hue.

Smell: Yeasty with a blunt tropical fruit aroma. Spicy grain. Estery and mild caramel in the nose as well.

Taste & Mouth Feel: Full bodied with a creamy slick mouth feel. Rose-like alcohol, bitter hop with a hard yeasty bite. Spicy rye grain middle to end. Malty with lots of toasted husk on the palate. Finishes with a big spicy bite.

Drinkability & Notes: A very original brew, a sipping brew as well. By all means let this warm up to cellar temp before you drink it. (784 characters)

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

(Batch #56) They were right with golden. It looks like a part of the yellow brick road. Thick head and a really thick lace. There are still marks from where the beer was first poured. This beer is slamming with flavor. The 10% really hits you in the face but is soon covered up by the golden yeast and heavy malt. The hops stick out like a fat kid wearring bright green spandex. A heavy molasses after taste that coats your throat and the glass. One of the better beers Ive had in a while and one of the manny great beers Ive had out of oregon. (544 characters)

Photo of granger10
4.58/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had a blind barleywine tasting last night and this beer took first out of the 8 beers involved. Here's my notes on it:

Appearance: Honeyish color with a solid creamy head that holds up decently. Holy Crap! There is an exorbant amount of yeast in here and the yeast is thick and big. Nice and dirty . . . I love it!

Smell: This is a very, very aromatic beer. It's not real hoppy or alcoholy but more sweet. There's a sweet roll nose on it combined with caramel but I can tell there's a lot of hops and alcohol in there, they just meld together nicely. Slightly fruity in the end.

Taste: Begins with a caramel sweetness then toffee. There's a spicy flavor in here that seems to work with the sweetness. The yeast provides a buttery flavor that's light and also works with the spicyness but brings out some fruit flavors the further I go. Hops are abundant but not bitter at all. Very complex hop strike here. There's some woody tones the whole way, I'm getting oak and a little vanilla with it. No alcohol fusels at all. Finish is amazingly aromatic meaning I'm getting all the flavors from the beer every time I breathe. Amazing!

Mouthfeel: The yeast provides a great body, nice smooth thickness. Great balance of flavors are in there. The slight butteryness makes it a little slick on the tongue which I really like. I'm loving this beer.

Drinkability: Oh yeah this is drinkable. I couldn't put this down. Not a sipper as its too enjoyable and not quite intense enough. The flavors let themselves known but aren't overbearing.

Overall: One hell of a beer. The brewers who brewed this know their stuff and then some. Amazing. (1,645 characters)

Photo of goodbyeohio
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

bitch #54

pours a super foamy amber with minimal carbonation and nice, thick lacing. very intricate, wish i could include a picture

aroma is unique, to say the least. i detect strong cumin notes along with corn and maltiness.. not what i expected but interesting and not at all bad.. unless of course this ends up tasting like colt 45.

sure enough it does not. first thing to hit me is the creaminess of the head that sticks to my upper lip and coats my tongue. then comes a buttery, smooth flavor with a mix of spicy hops intertwined. all this followed by a serious alcohol kick in the ass. makes no effort to hide its abv, but since it emerges in aftertaste only, i will forgive it.

the more i drink, buttered toast comes to mind in the nose as well. this is a really good beer. i've passed it many times on the shelf, and today's trip to town and country sealed the deal. this would be a great complement to fried chicken. don't ask me why. (955 characters)

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #57. Fred departs the bottle a dirty amber orange brown hue with a huge pillowy white head in my tulip glass. Wow..thick patchy lacing sticks to the side of the glass as the massive head slowly works its way down. Impressive. Big spicy, citric hop notes battle each other as they waft up into my nostrils. Hints of pepper mesh with sweet caramel candy, vanilla and fruity tones. Complex and intruiging.

A nice sweet caramel/toffee maltiness arrives first along with a veritable cornucopia of hop notes...floral, spicy and citric all make a showing, with hints of tropical fruits. A candi sugar sweetness does a good job of balancing out the bitterness. A yeasty, spicy finish makes this seem like a Belgian-esque barleywine to me..quite an interesting brew overall.

Mouthfeel is suprisingly arid on the palate...good body with a lot of tight, bubbly carbonation. A bit less carbonation would make me happy. As for drinkability...this is definetly a sip and savor brew. I could see having a couple on a cold night. I might have to track more of this down to cellar. Many thanks to weefisheads for the opportunity to sample this one. (1,143 characters)

Photo of oxmasterscream
4.92/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow. What a pleasant surprise coming off of my last HOTD brew, Ruth, which I nearly despised.

App: Poured into a tulip glass... cloudy copper with a big, cream colored, frothy, thick head which left massive lacing as it was consumed.

Smell: Awesome. Complex. Wonderfully fresh hop aromas coupled with a heavy malt presence. Spicy, fruity, cotton-candy, golden raisins, vanilla, sweet, golden pastries, a bit of citrus... damn, I can't put my finger on one of the smells but I can't get enough of it. I took a deep whiff between every taste.

Taste/Mouth/Drink: Yow. Big time hop burn. Wickedly spicy and seriously fruity. Finish is bitter sweet and lingering. At times a citrusy, sour tang was left throughout my mouth. A candy-like sweetness is balanced by crisp, spicy hops. Warming but not overly alcoholic tasting. Mouth is thick and full but still bubble and prickly on the tongue. Really enjoyable. A top-notch barleywine. The way one should taste. I wish I had bought more than one. (997 characters)

Photo of babydoc
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 51, in a twelve ounce bottle.
Pours a dark cloudy apricot, with a generous creamy yellow white head. The head slowly bubbled down to a thn layer that persisted until the end, leaving bits of lace down the chalice. Nose was apple, caramel, and apricot. Tastes of sweet malts, with apricot, fruit, then tart hops. The carbonation and alcohol contribute to a prickly buzz on the tongue, leaving a creamy mouthfeel and alcohol warmth on the tongue and palate. It's a potent brew. Lovely, but a bit much to drink all evening. Love to have another tomorrow, and would like to taste batch 51 later on, too. (606 characters)

Photo of RedDiamond
4.37/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

For the sake of expedience, I’m combining two reviews into one. Both are of the same beer bearing the amicable name Fred, but one was served on draught at the Horse Brass Tavern, the other poured from a 12 oz. bottle originating from my local market.

The Horse Brass actually serves 20 oz. imperial pints of this powerhouse 10% ABV barleywine. This is an insane serving size though it works well as a taunt to your young adult male friends who think all beer is a variation of Bud and who can be coaxed into pounding an imperial pint of barleywine to prove their virility. It’s loads of fun to later deride these young fools for their effete shortcomings as they pass out in the toilet stall after having had “just one beer.” More fun than darts by far.

I opted for a more sensible 10 oz. stemmed wine glass that I savored with great reverence. Fred, named for the venerable beer writer Fred Eckhardt, is a huge ale with a tremendous yet tempered bitterness on draught bearing a flavor profile comparable to an imperial IPA. It is solid and soothing with a great polished texture to the tongue and a taste of congealed honey and sharp bittering derived from ten different hops. Fred is dull topaz, clouded, and has a dense body that seems to glow from within.

Aside from being a hearty compelling beer, the essential reason I revisited Fred in its bottled form was to gain a sense of its smell. I made the assumption that the beer itself didn’t actually smell like cigarette smoke and that this intrusion originated at the bar. True enough. The real Fred has a strong aroma of sliced melon and carotenoid fruits such as peach and papaya. There was also a biting element of alcohol. By comparison, the smell was much more provocative from the bottled version, while the overall taste more tempered and inviting on draught.

These differences could possibly be explained by a different batch or age of the beer. While I don’t know how old the draught version was, the bottled version I drank was from batch 58, which in February, 2005 had clearly not achieved its potential. It was still harshly bitter with an accent on its rye malt component.

Though it says “Golden Ale” on the label, Fred is a golden barleywine reminiscent of Old Boardhead. Given time, Fred evolves as a refined ale with much personality – perhaps too much personality to be accurately conveyed from a single tasting. (2,419 characters)

Photo of AlexJ
4.67/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got to try this wonderful brew at a homebrewers meeting, a real treat! Pours a deep chestnut color with a moderate head of light beige that laces beautifully. Surprisingly good head retention for a high-grav beer. Mouth-watering sweet malt aromas of dried flowers, peach, mango, burnt caramel, spiced rum, and pinecone hops. A prelude to the flavor...all of the above and more. Creamy malted milk, spiced peaches, port, and floral and pine hops. Superb thick mouthfeel with soft carbonation. Finish is long with creamy malts fading into pine sap glory. I wish I had the whole bottle to myself, this is what a barleywind should be! (638 characters)

Photo of beergeek279
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 54, served in the 12 oz. bottle into a tulip. The color is copperish, with a nice thick white head. The smell is a nice mix of the hop blend and a nice fruity maltiness. The taste is dominated by a nice citrusy/piney hop blend and also a good, fruity, estery character to the malt, with only a touch of alcohol. Mouthfeel is nice and creamy. As for drinkability, this would be a very nice one to have some of.

I admit, with the previous HOTDs I'd had today/tonight (split half with cupbeerman), I really wasn't much looking forward to this one. Well, this is easily the best of the Hair of the Dogs I've had. A nice mix of the hop bite and the flowery maltiness, and a nice drinker. Something I'd be glad to have again. (728 characters)

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

batch #51
50F
Slightly clouded, but the color is dynamite. It's like walking into a very polished cedar panelled den. Light a fire and pull up a thick brown leather chair with brass rivets. Cover with a sheepskin.
Smells of apricot jam boiled down with the kernals, and a hint of scented geranium.
Taste...Ummphh. Apricots, peach, apple...STOP! Attention! Hop on the premises. Swallow that fuit, stop chewing that malt gum. Hops are here in the shape of pointy, prickly plants sticking their needles in my veins and injecting beautiful, sinewy green dreams intravenously. Uuuuhhhh. This beer's like opium. I looove it! A gentle giant. Nothing imposes itself on the palate, but everything pleasurable is there. The bomb.
addendum: Tried another bottle of the same vintage. Pineapple was much more prevalent this time in aroma and taste. I wrote: Fresh cinnamon buns, grand marnier, and a hint of key lime. It'd go great with Thai curry; coconut and lime leaves. Wonderful mouthfeel, like beer hard candy. Suck this, it's good. (1,030 characters)

Photo of twelvsies
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Woah. Didn't know quite what to expect with this one but it ended up being a great beer. Big and bold. A nice brassy looking orange color with a bit of head floating around. Very pungent smell. Definitely some alcohol in the nose. Smells like apricots, rum, and nice fruity malts. Also some piney hops kicking around in there. This beer is intensely flavorful. All of the above smells are found in the taste as well; rum, spices, ripe fruits as well as a yeasty and hoppy taste reminiscent of a Belgian style ale. Gritty thick mouthfeel, interesting. It would be tough to put down a few of these, but it would also be quite a pleasure, a real gem of a beer. (657 characters)

Photo of rdrummer
4.37/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

After waiting a long time to get my hands on a bottle of Fred, I was not disappointed. It had a cloudy, dark amber color with a medium head and huge lacing.

The winey aroma evoked whiffs of alcohol, caramel, and the grape. The taste was rich and best experienced rather warm. It starts with a malty sweetness but relinguishes the stage to some fruity flavors that can only be described as grapey. There is a hops bitterness in the end with a hint of cloves.

It is a fullo-bodied pour that is only slightly carbonate and ends up being very creamy. It is good from beginning to end, but due to the alcohol, I had to leave the second bottle for another day. A shame really. (676 characters)

Photo of SeanChouffe
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #56
Pours thick, hazy, amber with plentiful carbonation and a full rocky yellow head. Lacing is sticky. Aroma is of fruity esters, like a tripel, fresh and grassy with spices, peaches and apples lurking in the background. Tastes sweet and fruity with a slow moving but distinctive hop finish. Palate is full bodied and creamy. This is a well-crafted beer with a great balance of flavors and palate; complex without being over the top, but subtle and unassuming. This concoction seems more like a complex tripel than a barleywine. Anywhoo, I liked it. (557 characters)

Photo of Hhawk06
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch #54
It poured with a body reminiscent of apple cider and a great cloudy and creamy head with nice retention and lace. I'm smelling a malty spice with a little bit of oak in the nose. Presentation is very good. Ah this brew is very nicely dry hopped. Its certainly lemon-like in that it makes you pucker but the overall tone is set in its rye flavored theme. The finish is bitter and dry with aromatic hops leaving a lasting impression. I do notice at the very tail end of the finish, the high alcohol content finally makes its presence known before once again fading into oblivion. Not outstanding, but I will sip and enjoy again down the road. (651 characters)

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

Batch #36 (brewed 11-28-00, bottled 1-5-01)

Pours with a dense creamy yet sparse white head, quickly settling into a tight layer capping very yeast hazed deep amber/copper liquid. Dark fruit and intense malt nose. Wow! what a taste this has, flavors of deep, and biscuit-like maltiness and candyish sweetness mingles with a superbly dry and bitter hoppiness that refuses to fade on the palate. Super rich mouthfeel. A heightened sense of alcohol is noted too...but it enhances rather than detracts from the experience. The finish is long, luxurious and ultra bittersweet. Age has done this bad boy quite well, it's in amazing condition for being almost five years old and shows no signs of fading soon...although I'd love to try a freshly bottled sample for comparisons sake. Well done, a treat for us "big" beer fans. (821 characters)

Photo of MrNuggets
4.58/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

This one is big on flavor. Yeasty notes fill the nose. Starts me off sweet. Sweet like hot maple syrup. Like a mouthfull of pine needles. Sharp bitterness, a firm smack of huge hop flavor.
Soft of the palate, high level of carbonation makes this oddly smooth.
No foam problem with this bottle, not much head at all actually. Maybe I was too careful? (352 characters)

Photo of canucklehead
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy dark gold with a good head, this beer grabs you by the lapels and makes you take notice. Lots of hops with a slightly sweet finish this is balanced yet bold in flavours. Like all of the beers from these guys I am impressed with the quality involved and heartened by the limits pushed. (291 characters)

Photo of waughbrew
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Batch #54

Deep amber, slightly hazy, continually rising bubbles, beautiful huge head. Smells of spicy apple peel, cider, alcohol, band-aid plastic. Flavor is milder than expected. Wood and whisky. Like a resiny tree sap. Toffee and caramel with a small burnt note. Band-aids. Vanilla and alcohol. Wonderful finish. The feel is thick but carbonated and creamy. Probably the best mouthfeel of any beer I have ever had. Drinkability is hindered by the slight protrusion of the alcohol during the beginning of the flavor.

Like Adam, I think this could be an amazing beer if the alcohol flavor was toned back even just a touch. Even though the flavor profile of this brew is not my personal favorite, it really really impresses me, and the mouthfeel is something to be remembered. (781 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle purchased somewhere in VA, one of many things gathered at either Vienna Whole Foods, Norm's, or Westpark Wine & Beer. Batch 46.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a HUGE 4" light beige head over the medium amber brew, what there is in the glass. Will take some time to get this poured out. Ten minutes later, still working. Head is amazingly dense, and obviously, has great resilience, with incredible amounts of foamy laces everywhere. Aroma is sweetly of Belgian malts, a bit spicy, and a little yeasty. Taste is of spicy malt, with strong alcohol presence throughout, and a nice close with some hoppiness. Mouthfeel excellent for the style, but drinkability dropped a notch or two due the extended period of non-drinkability while I had to wait for the bottle of foam to turn back into beer. (817 characters)

Photo of RenoZymurgist
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a thick white head atop an amber-gold ale with a nice amount of carbonation. Aroma is all about the alcohol with no hops or malt to be detected. The flavor is very complex with a blended malt flavor that includes both kilned malts and regular malt flavors on the initial taste which segues into a very complex hop flavor. I find it very hard to pick out any individual hop varieties as the flavor is citrussy, earthy, with that distinct "noble" hop flavor. Tasting the dregs gives a bit more of the hop bitterness and a clean yeastyness. The body is exquisite as the chewy mouthfeel is complemented by the smooth carbonation which contains no carbonic bite. Very drinkable as well as being very complex, an excellent combination. (736 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow what a beautiful looking beer a nice copper color with a great creamy,sticky head with a sea foam like lace all the way down the glass.Aroma is nutty and yeasty with a note of spice (pepper?)very rich and full on the nostrils.Taste is full and rich as well and very complex,some dried fruit and nuts hit me up front with with a deep spiciness even more so as it warms as well as a generous amount of hop bittering late.What an awesome brew,man I need more of these to lay down for the future. (496 characters)

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

Appearance – This one was foggy but very shiny on-tap. The color is orange tinged with brown and the head was very modest (as opposed to the head from the bottle that explodes on your kitchen counter).

Smell – The nose is very sweet and winey. There’s a bit of yeast malt to this one, but mostly it is tons of sugar bathed in alcohol.

Taste – The big boozy winey notes carry the day. There is some nice malt in the form of a light yeast.

Mouthfeel – This Barley Wine is medium to full in the body and is extremely smooth, although there is enough of an alcohol bite to warn the drinker. The flavors are much better mixed out of the tap than they are from the bottle.

Drinkability – This was much more drinkable from the tap than the bottle. The pub kept it kind of warm, too (not cold, I should say) which helped a lot. It is a big beer yet very smooth. (871 characters)

Photo of ngandhi
3.61/5  rDev -12%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 51

Despite carbonation so aggressive that the beer looks like the first pour from a fresh keg through a warm tower, Hair of the Dog Fred is initially soft in the mouth. The triple-scoop of foam offers a dedicated bouquet of caramel bananas and wheaty, Belgian yeast with exotic spice.

More banana and caramel on the palate backed by grassy, Sterling-type hops fresh in flavor and bitterness. Smoky alcohol is in near-perfect harmony with the malt and hops. Very spicy. Powerful finish. Everything about this beer -- malt, hops, yeast, and alcohol -- is big, but understated.

Its only real fault is the bottle priming, which offers such a large, tough head that the beer is virtually undrinkable out of an even remotely clean glass; this affects the body of the beer because I am consumed, in most of my sips, by pure foam. When the liquid hits my palate, it is lucious -- only medium bodied, but packed with bold flavors on a molecular level.

Instead of better ingredients, Hair of the Dog Fred is missing only one thing: quality control.

Relax, relax.
ng (1,080 characters)

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