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


Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,410 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1410
Reviews: 819
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 11.92%

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

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Fred was created to honor beer writer and historian Fred Eckhardt. It is made with aromatic and rye malts and includes 10 different hop varieties.

10% alcohol by volume
65 IBUs.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-13-1998)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,410 | Reviews: 819 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of longpondbeerman


4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The label of course is distinctive, and so is the brew. Not surprisingly, this "golden special ale" pours a deep, sparkling gold, almost amber. It is topped off by a colossal, tan, marshmellowy head. Lots of thick, drooping lace. What is first noticable in the aroma are the spices mixed with some berry and courant esters. The hops are lurking in there, too. The taste is--wow--like carbonated figs flambe (not that I have ever had that particular combination before). The alcohol, hidden nicely in the smell, asserts itself with authority, and the syrupy and earthy sweetness masks any hops I might have expected. The mouthfeel is medium, and the effervescence front and center. A nice brew for slowly sipping.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2004 21:51:37 | More by longpondbeerman
Photo of LuckySevens82


4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Batch number 53.
Pours a nice dull golden color with a huge, thick, magnificent head. Lacing is fantastic.
Smell is first and foremost fusel alcohol. Some citrus and dried fruits.
Taste is also dominated by alcohol. Lemon and perhaps cantalope also flavor this one. It's kind of an odd flavor for an Old Ale, but it's still a fine beer.
The mouthfeel is great, the alcohol warming and carbonation are rather nice. This is a fine after dinner beer. Very warming, and very nice to have around.
Thanks again to Skyhand for hooking me up with this fine brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2004 02:19:12 | More by LuckySevens82
Photo of Crosling


3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into my Moinette chalice. A glass that I a growing quite fond of. The color is a dark distant sunset. Very bright and nearly glowing. The head is big, rocky and creamy. It laces very well. A healthy looking beer.

Fred has a lovely aroma. Quite spicy and citric with orange, lemon and tangerine. Very floral, very fruity.

Start is fruity (lemons, oranges.) Blending ten hop varieties together this well is pretty astounding and a credit to how good the Hair of the Dog brewers really are. Balanced by a lot of sweetness from the malt. Tons of citrus flavors. Apricots and a pretty harsh alcohol bite. Though, It does lessen as the beer warms. Excessive carbonation. The finish is dry, very hoppy and slightly tangy. Cloying at times. Still very good.

Hair of the dog is an amazing brewery. They makes these bizarre beers that can barely be classified into a beer style but they are all delicious. Adam was incredible and this is very good. Though if I had the choice between the two I would certainly always pick Adam. Doggie Claws 2002 was very good but I have a 2003 in the fridge that I have heard many good things about.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2004 06:48:33 | More by Crosling
Photo of mschofield


4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #51
Pours a cloudy golden body with a huge well fortified head - could probably support a brick on it, leaves clumpy bits of light-tan lace.
Very hoppy aroma, herbal, grassy, but balanced with a strong sweet malt base. Alcohol present here as well.
Fruity, spicy, caramel, smoke in the taste, huge malt base.
Full bodied, chewy malt body.
It would be tough to drink more than one of these, but I would definitely try it again.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2004 16:28:39 | More by mschofield
Photo of merlin48


4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle of batch number 35 here. According to the label, this one was created to honor beer writer and historian, Fred Eckhardt.
This Fred pours a hazed, golden apricot color, with a small beige head that has excellent retention and patches the glass with sheets and globs of lace.
The nose is highly aromatic, and exceedingly complex. The label states that ten different hop varieties from five countries, and aromatic and rye malt are used to create this. I have no reason to doubt this, given all the aromas picked up here. The hop notes are pine and citrus, but the yeast, malts, and alcohol dominate the aroma, as well as flavors. Spicy, Belgianesque clove, nutmeg, vanilla, and pepper are obvious in the nose, as well as a prominent alcohol presence. Bananas and apricots are also up front, as well as a barnyard yeastiness. There are additional aromas I can't identify, but this is one bigtime, Jimmy Durante nose.
Mouthfeel is quite nice, thick and rich, and very full bodied and robust.
Taste is about as complex as the nose. Spicy, fruity tart, very malty, and a good dose of the 10% abv are the initial notes picked up in the flavor profile. Cloves, coriander, nutmeg and pepper provide the spice onslaught. Bananas and apricots make up most of the fruit essence, with some pear and overripe apples in the background. Rye bread taste is here, as well. Lots of sweet maltiness rounds things out. The hops are pine and citrus. I'm sure that if I had another Fred, that I could notice some additional hop notes, but this one isn't so much about the hops, no matter how many varieties are in this.
This Fred caught me off guard, I must admit. I was looking for something interesting to savor, after work, and this one is definitely interesting, but in a "slap you in the face" sort of way. This is a big "beer", and has loads of complexities. Exceptional nose, and a complexity of flavors that I will be thinking about for quite awhile.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2004 22:12:57 | More by merlin48
Photo of StonedRugger


2.78/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I think I got a bad bottle. The carbonation present in this particular Fred is ridiculously high. Each Time I poor the head level rises twice as much as the liquid. The head is not going away. It is a lumpy white that continues to sit on the top while the head is built up from the bottom.
The initial appearance and smell, the hazy golden color and what I thought was a pronounced hoppy aroma made me think ruination, but sadly this is not the case. Upon imbibing this brew the alcohol hits like a fist to the face and carbonation makes a thorough examination of the taste impossible. I'd like to poor more to get a better idea, but i'm afraid the head will rise again. ..The bubbles are still rising in abundance...The lace is very thick if you're wondering. If I get the rest of this poured before the beer is room temperature My views may change and I'll amend this review accordingly, but as it is this is not a beer i'll be enjoying again if i am in Dorothy Lane Market getting coffee or beer and happen to see it.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2004 04:32:10 | More by StonedRugger
Photo of feloniousmonk


4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

After 3 rather blase brews, I needed something spectacular, and look what I found in the fridge...
Bright, golden peachy hue, slim, soon-departing white head.
Aroma, slightly sour, but citric and sweet moreover, lemon, orange, spices and more...a lively treat.
Taste: yeast and citric fruit, with thick, full malt are the biggest, juiciest part of this brew, nicely hopped, and with a thoroughly tangy mouthfeel. Medium bodied, with a long, fruity, citric finish.
I'd forgotten the style when I cracked the cap and started into the brew, but now it's clear that it's meant as a tripel, but ends up being a rather intriguing variant. Thick, chewy, sticky, fruity, gummy, yummy, this Fred is much like it's namesake, a unique, particular specimen that is rich in character and defies categories, a cantankerous, unruly ale that stretches boundaries and delights tastebuds. I need to meet up with this Fred more often!

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2004 08:05:32 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of watermelonman


3.5/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is a big beer. This thing could beat up on several of the barleywines I've had recently.

It poured with massive carbonation, to a fairly typical color but not one that I would call "golden" like the label does. For some reason, it's making me think of that Belzebuth stuff. I'd definitely say that this is better, though. It tastes like there's a bit of honey in there. Highly carbonated and highly alcoholic honey, that is. It's big on hops, too.

High quality, but not as enjoyable as their Adam.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2004 05:47:27 | More by watermelonman
Photo of BeerResearcher


4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 51
Fred pours an orange-tinged deep amber color with a firm and rocky off-white head and big, thick sticky lace.
The initial aroma is like placing your head directly over a fresh cut fruit bowl. As it warms, a scent of cut hay, cloves and alcohol begin to emerge.
A substantial malt body has complex tastes of toffee, over-ripe bananas, sweet malt and candy sugar.
A potent citrusy taste of oranges, lemon zest, plums, cloves, coriander and pepper are nearly overwhelming.
The alcohol is very noticeable and provides quite a kick.
Fred is sort of a wild and raw edged brew. For the most part, the flavors tend to remain separate and easily distinguishable from the others.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2004 03:34:19 | More by BeerResearcher
Photo of winomark


3.25/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch 46

Appearance: Big hiss as the cap comes off. First pour is ALL foam. Takes 20 minutes to pour the pint. Nice, slightly hazy medium gold color. Huge lacing all over the glass.

Aroma: Lots of toasty malt, with some fruitiness present. Slightly creamy tones. Smells warming, if that makes sense. Pleasant and rich nose.

Taste: Massive alcohol sweetness dominates. Malty richness makes an appearance. Warming alcohol controls the finish. Somewhat unbalanced. Some dryness deep in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Very rich, coating and flavorful. Alcohol adds both depth and sweetness. Slightly overpowering.

Drinkability: Not sure how to classify this one. I enjoyed tasting it, but not sure how much I like it. Quite alcoholic in the taste; needs more malt to offer more balance.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2004 15:36:04 | More by winomark
Photo of ElGuapo

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A light brown/amber colored brew with a big topping of off-white foam on top. The nose is huge. It is very sweet at first, but a lot of hoppy aromas are in there as well. Candy and fruit blend with a touch of bitterness to make a delite for your nose which is left with a little kick of alcohol.

There is a massive malt flavor that starts you out, sweet. The hops come in to balance, and they do so very well. There is a lot of alcohol flavor in this one, but it is welcomed as there is enough flavor to balance. The carbonation is very light, aiding in a rich and smooth mouthfeel. It has excellent complexity, and the intense flavor will keep you interested. Drinkability still remains pretty good even though the alcohol flavor is a bit big.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2004 21:33:50 | More by ElGuapo
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.2/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch #51. Pours a five-fingered thick, creamy, white head that goes very slowly and leaves gobs of lace. Pour this very slowly. Clear amber color. Light-medium carbonation. Nose is distinctly alcoholic. Starts and finishes alcoholic and some bitterness. Lingering bitter aftertaste. $4.40 for a 12oz bottle.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2004 00:02:15 | More by jdhilt
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber / orange color with a 1 inch head. Plenty of lacing from this one. The aroma is of malt, yeast, honey, and grass. The flavor is complex. Numerous tones arrive at different times through the drink as it warms. Yeast, malt, honey, grass, and hops are all highly evident. A sour apple flavor seemed to be there too. Alcohol levels are very noticeable.

The mouthfeel is very smooth. The alcohol, malt, and bitterness last long on the tongue. Very interesting full flavored beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2004 12:54:17 | More by Gavage
Photo of jtfest


4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy amber with a lasting light tan head, there was a fair amount of sediment from bottle conditioning. Drinking Hair of the Dog's is reminding me of drinking homebrews -- though, fortunately, for the most part GOOD homebrews. Full of flavor and a true drinking experience, HOTD is rapidly becoming a favorite brewery of mine.

Fred has a deceptively mild aroma that's hard for me to describe. Hops? No. Malt? No. Hops? I'm confused. In the mouth, it starts sweet and you nod approvingly at the full mouthfeel that almost 'coats' your palate. Then, having been lulled into a false sense of security, Fred sucker-punches you with a strong wallop and an alcohol after burn that finds the chaps in your lips. I like Fred, but I'm not sure he likes me. I doubt I could drink too many of him without a lampshade on my head.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2004 04:37:57 | More by jtfest
Photo of pezoids


3.8/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this one from batch #45 cellaring for awhile and anticipate something good…

Poured out a cloudy golden color with tints of orange and topped with a massive white head of foam that sticks "doggedly" to the side of the glass. This almost looks like a beer latte or frappe. The aroma is full of floral sweetness, honey, ripe fermented fruit (like pulpy orange juice), and heavy sweet malts. The taste is very strong and the flavors intense. Alcohol is nearly overwhelming, just barely hidden by the intense flavors and sweetness. Can detect something like figs or raisins in the flavor. This is a go for broke, knock your socks off kind of beer. A very special and enjoyable treat.

Thanks to Weefishheads for the sample!

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2004 03:06:03 | More by pezoids
Photo of HiroProtagonist


4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed while drinking...Batch#51. Pours (into a Duvel tulip) with a rapidly expanding voluminous light tan head. Larger bubbles below and a fine self-stadnding foamy crown rising an inch above the rim. This settles down slowly over several minutes. Rings of clingy lacing remain with a large foam poof on one side. Color is hazy orange with a red hue. Smells lightly spicy (coriander? orange-citrus?), with nice hoppiness, and subtle maltiness and sweet candy sugar. Taste is very interesting, complex, and WELL balanced with a driving hoppiness holding it together. A tad sweet, but not exactly malty, and a sublte dried fruit undertone. A hint of warming alcohol at the end. Flavors carry on the palate for a good length of time. Mouthfeel is full, smooth and enveloping- excellent. This one grabs me the right way! Midway through consumption the head settles into a 3 millimeter blanket and stays that way. I like this one very much- along with Hair of the Dog's "Adam". YUM.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2003 02:18:16 | More by HiroProtagonist
Photo of sponberg

New York

4.97/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch #42. Yet another beer that I pour, sip, and stare at. Deep cloudy copper with a head that just will not stop - rocky, white, great to look at. Simply stunning aroma - big hop (citrus, earthy), malt (sweetness) and hints of rye in concert with a whiff of alcohol. Looks at bottle again. 10%? This will be interesting.

ohhh, mama! The beer equivalent of a... a... a damned fine beer. Massive body with all kinds of hop complexity - if you can picture a hop flavor in your mind and concentrate while sipping, you'll find it. Chewy, round toffee and rye maltiness, with a warming surge o' to complement the flavors. Hints of licorice in the background as it warms, which is a trait I look for in old ales. I could literally spend an evening drinking nothing but this beer and be happy as hell. Way up on my favorites list, and an impressive brew.

Can't wait to wait a year and see how it ages... but in the meantime I think I'll need to get a six or three.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2003 23:49:30 | More by sponberg
Photo of Rastacouere

Quebec (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I don't quite remember the batch number, but it was not more than a couple months old. The appearance is stuff of legend, bottle-conditioned with sediments floating in the snifter, beautiful cloudy amber body and a HOTD's HUGE off-white head, rocky, sticky, like a snowy mountain chain. Aroma is mostly complex stages of hops, it's easy to believe there are 10 varieties, there's the big american C hops character combined with the refined English ones. Very relaxing to sniff on and ultra-complex, like a touch of vanilla on fresh citrus (grapefruit). In mouth this dances on the tongue, nice effervescence, creamy, full-bodied, complex malt sweetness and an obvious balancing yeastiness. This is a delicious big generous beer. Long Life HOTD. Tasting this with my buddy MartinT, we came to the conclusion that given the choice to pick only 2 beers from a same brewery to have an infinite supply of, HOTD with Fred and Adam would probably win over quite anyone. *High-fives Jazz88*

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2003 22:02:24 | More by Rastacouere
Photo of CRJMellor


4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #35 - 12 oz. bottle
Poured an very viscous amber color, very nectar like. Thin white head but good carbonation noted. Heavy malt aroma with some hints of raisins, bananas and mabe figs ?
Taste was of heavy complex malt flavors with estery alcohol kicker and slightly bitter aftertaste. Initial flavors noted included caramel, butterscotch and toffee. As it warmed smoothed nicely and some raisin/date flavors became evident.

Nice and chewy in the mouth, perfect for a cold Michigan night. Pretty heavy beer and could only probably 2 in a night but very nice tasting beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2003 14:39:13 | More by CRJMellor
Photo of BierReise


4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #46 12oz. Bottle This brew poured a cloudy dark gold looking like apple cider and a huge merengue like towering head. Took awhile for the head to die down. Aroma of sugary sweet delicious malt and fruity overtones remind me of a Belgian ale. Mouthfeel has a crispness unlike most barley wines I've had. Flavor is again, more like a Belgian Strong ale in my opinion. Sweet malt, candy sugar and fruit. Heavy lacing. Overall a really nice Thanksgiving warmer.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2003 14:46:37 | More by BierReise
Photo of UncleJimbo


3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at Redbones.

This ale poured a hazy, amber color with white foam that settled. The smell was sweet and malty with some bitter hops aroma and a hint of oakiness. The taste was fruity, bitter, resinous hops balanced with malt and a lightl sweet, slightly vinous finish. There was a slight, pervading oakiness (possibly due to oxidation). The mouthfeel was smooth and dry overall. The body was medium with moderate carbonation. This was a nice, old ale.

Serving type: on-tap

12-03-2003 06:49:45 | More by UncleJimbo
Photo of Rumrunner


3.48/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle.

Pours an ugly and murky swamp copper brown. An excellent retentive head and some decent lacing. The scent is big alcohol. It dominates and lets only mild notes of other scents through. There is some butterscotch and wood. Butter and some mild fruit. All are there but the alcohol dominates them like a cruel master.

Flavors are very tangy. A sweet butterscotch cannot match itself against the tangy fruit. A huge alcohol post dominates the initial sweet taste and then finishes with a big grapefruit and bitter hop flavor. Some plumb and dark fruits also make a show but are quickly pushed aside. A big oak and alcohol finish leads to a wheat aftertaste. This beer is big and strong but in my opinion the flavors are not mixed well together. If you like an alcohol flavor like an untamed barley wine then this is a beer for you.

Somewhat dry an rye like on the palate. Pushy in the mouth and a heavy uncomfortable alcohol bite. It could use some aging? Drinks rough and carbonation is just too much.

This ale is well intended but it is losing much in its translation.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2003 09:48:21 | More by Rumrunner
Photo of BeerBuilder


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

Sampled on 8/24/03

Pours to an orangish-red color, like a sunrise with just a ring of lacing around the glass. The aroma is sweet and fruity, citrusy with a nice malty backbone. The flavor is malty upfront with a sweet fruitiness that flows to a dry, bitter alcoholic finish. It is a complex beer that is subdued in the beginning, then it hits you with a mass of flavors. It is a full-bodied, warming brew. Another tasty offering from Hair of the Dog.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2003 21:57:45 | More by BeerBuilder
Photo of skar

New York

4.65/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at the Blind Tiger, NYC 11/5/03 Belgian Beer Fest

Appearance/Head: Cloudy, reddish amber color. Excellent head that lasts.

Aroma: Strong, powerful grapefruit aroma with nutty and toffee notes. I also notice some British barleywine malt aroma and even a hint of artisinal cheese. Very complex aroma.

Taste: Starts with a rich malty sweetness. Lots of tangy citrus fruit. Ends with a bitter, crisp finish. Also a little dry with notes of tonic water. Each sip brings different malt and hop flavors. Reminds me a little of Fraoch Heather Ale.

Bottom line: A NW beer with outstanding complexity. Almost perfect, this beer deserves its own style and a group of beers trying to clone the flavor.

Serving type: on-tap

11-07-2003 14:13:13 | More by skar
Photo of Reidrover


4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ok after many a year i decided to take the plunge and purchase one of this breweries beers ( had feared the inconsistancy and the high price..being Scottish).
Batch# 49
Says this is a "Golden Special Ale".
Ok lets see..
WEll its a good looking beer but doesnt look very "golden" I poured it into my Chimay goblet and its lovelly amber/ chesnut brown hazy beer..with a gorgeous creamy large off white head..as usual the goblet channels a steady flow of carbonation up the middle of the beer..very attractive brew!
The beer has a very strong aroma but its curiously balanced..between the lovelly malts and the hops ( there are apparentlly 10 different kinds in this!
A very nice warming ale to taste starts with a rich creamy sweet maltiness progresses to about three different kinds of bitterness through to the alcoholic warmth at the end,
Smooth and creamy on the palate with a great alcoholic warmth.
This was a very nice brew indeed..drinkable..well yes if you like to sip..and I do as it is the end of the night..be careful with this..10%..take it sloww and easy

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2003 07:08:12 | More by Reidrover
Fred from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
92 out of 100 based on 1,410 ratings.