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

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,494 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,494
Reviews: 827
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 11.71%
Wants: 357
Gots: 292 | FT: 20
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: 1,494 | Reviews: 827 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PDXHops

South Carolina

4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 ounce bottle from batch 54(!) courtesy of jsilva, poured into an oversized snifter. I see Fred has been reclassified as an American Strong Ale somewhere along the way, probably the right choice considering its hybrid nature.

A cloudy body with a mysterious color that's somewhere between gold, apricot and amber. A modest head reduces to a thick collar of bubbles and a skim of foam, but the retention is surprisingly tenacious from that point. The delicate streaks of lacing are an unexpected surprise as well.

Even at 6-ish years old, citric and leafy hop notes are to be found in the nose, along with a healthy dose of fruitiness- peaches, pears, apples. Complex sweet combo of candi sugar, cake batter, pale malt and buttered toast with brown sugar. Hints of clove, black and white pepper and other more vague spices. My wife's opinion: "This is what beer should smell like". No arguments here.

Shockingly bitter at this age and with a surprisingly lively carbonation that slowly dissipates, leading to a lengthy smooth and satisfying finish. It's damn near impossible to capture every single flavor attribute; let's just say it's every bit as tasty as it smells and then some. Insanely rich and delicious. A purely decadent drinking experience. Fred's a great beer fresh, but outrageous with a few years of age. Highest recommendation.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2011 22:35:49 | More by PDXHops
Photo of mzwolinski


4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've been thinking back fondly on this beer ever since I drank it 2 days ago. I would have thought of it as more of a Belgian trippel than a barley wine. A slightly hazy copper/bronze in color, with a medium-sized head. Aroma is yeasty with a zesty orange-peel component and heaps of spices and floral hops. But the flavor is where it's really at. Undergirded by a sweet maltiness, this beer has layers upon layers of spices (corriander stands out), citric hops, floral hops, and the rye seems to really add a lot of "pep" to this beer. Tingly finish. Alcohol warming is detectable, but at just the right level to add a bit of depth and balance the citric, tangy qualities of the beer. Medium-bodied with a dry finish. I love it!

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2003 07:56:17 | More by mzwolinski
Photo of trill


4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Copper-colored pour, with a big 4" off-white head, bubbles constantly streaming. Strong melon and light citrus aroma, with a little sweet malt. Taste is a powerful honey and raisin sweetness, with a rich bready flavor. Hop bitterness is noticeably restrained, aside from a tingle on the back of the tongue. Intersting near-Belgian yeasty quality; tastes like its being held back by the malt sweetness. Head and lacing are unusually long-lasting and creamy. Drinkability is exceptional for such a big beer; rye taste comes out as the beer warms. This is a very deep beer, one you could have a dozen times and still find something new with each sip.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2007 04:06:57 | More by trill
Photo of John_M


4.85/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 42 consumed on 8/17/09 at the HOTD tasting event at Dyan's place. Was told this beer was roughly 8 years old. Wow. I believe it.

This beer was compared with batch 67 I believe. At least for me there was no comparison, either visually, aroma-wise or on the palate. Also, I've had this beer fresh on tap many times at the Horsebrass in PDX, as well as at the brewery. It's is flat out amazing how much this beer improves with a little time.

The beer pours a brownish honey color, with exceptional head retention and sticky lacing all around. The beer has a somewhat viscuous look to it, and in fact this beer is very rich and thick tasting on the palate. On the nose I get a lovely interplay of toffee, chocolate and butterscotch. You can tell right off you are going to be in for a treat with this bad boy. On the palate this beer is incredibly rich and full. Flavors generally replicate the nose, but I'm just amazed by how rich and long this beer is. There are just waves of flavor in this beer, and it has a finish that lasts nearly a minute. Drinkability is unbelievable in this beer. The alcohol blends seamlessly into the flavor profile, giving one the foolish impression that you could drink glass after glass of this nectar.

The years have been very kind to this beer and have turned it into a thing of absolute beauty. An absolute stunner and just fabulous stuff. It doesn't get much better then this.

Edit from 2/17/10: Many thanks to Nathan, who was generous enough to share yet another bottle of 42 with me. Not sure what I can possibly do to repay him for this... After having an entire bottle of this, I've upgrade my original score just a bit. IMHO, the aged version of this beer hovers very close to perfection. If I can choose a beer to have on my death bed, this might be it... butter, cream, caramel (by the gallon bucket) and chocolate, and then with just a hint of green hop in the finish.... the quality of this beer surpases what I could even imagine a beer to taste like when I was younger. Amazing. Incredible. Fred.

Edit from 5/9/10. Was fortunate enough to sample Fred 2 from a magnum at the PDX tasting at Todd's (hannont's) place. Although the beer had to be close to 15 years old, it was still incredibly fresh and delicious. It actually seemed a bit fresher and a bit less mature then the 42 I sampled a few months back, except there was also a nuttiness in the flavor profile that I didn't recall from the bottle of 42. Just a testament to the ageability of this great beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2009 19:24:50 | More by John_M
Photo of MisterClean


4.85/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From bottle, though I should have reviewed when I was there in July.

A - Lots of head, as it practically burst out the bottle. Pours a nice golden copper, with white head. Leaves a nice lacing too.

S - Malts, flowery hops, and slight alcohol. The combination of the two leaves the beer smelling like a rose.

T - Um, excellent. Lots of rose flavors and very malty with a little bit of alcohol.

M - Well-balanced, just excellent again.

D - Although these were very expensive beers ($4 for a 12oz retail), they are well worth it as they are so tasty.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2008 16:49:42 | More by MisterClean
Photo of gkatsoris

4.85/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: HUGE THICK HEAD!!! It took 5 minutes (literally) for it to come down; WOW! The color is a nice oak brown. It is cloudy, murky and there are a ton of bits and particles floating around in the glass; I am both afraid, and excited.

S: Alcoholy, hoppy, lots of raisins. Hints of molasses, honey and malts.

T: Delicious!! Malty, sweet and smooth!!! This is the most balanced barleywine I have ever tasted. There is no taste of alcohol at all; absolutely balanced.

M: Smooth and creamy. Rich and Velvety. Perfect carbonation.

D: This actually warmed me like a brandy. I can't believe I only have 2 bottles. Again; Wow!!!!

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2008 23:27:14 | More by gkatsoris
Photo of Pahn

New York

4.85/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Batch #74.

Appearance: Free pour yields a one and a half inch fluffy white head that dissipates steadily into a long lasting quarter inch froth. Pours a hazy, dark red orange and leaves occasional lines and dots of lacing.

Smell: After a few minutes trying to place it, I realize that this smells a lot like J.W. Lees, which is a very good thing. Deep malty sweetness, along with some interesting caramel/raisin notes that are difficult to describe. Also some faint herbal hops, and various sweet and sour fruits all playing quietly in the background.

Taste: Basically, tastes like a hoppier, more carbonated J.W. Lees. There's some decent hop bitterness (though on the low end for an American barleywine), lots of deep malt, rye, some sourdough breadiness, fig, caramel. Alcohol heat is subdued at first but catches up to you. Amazing mix of bold flavors and subtle background notes. Excellent. I'm trying not to give out inflated ratings, but this flavor is flawless, and I can't think of any way to change it to make it better.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, moderate carbonation. Mild tannic character. Close to sugary at times. Mouthfeel is the least interesting aspect of this beer, but there's no particular flaws here.

Drinkability: This is my kind of beer. I would never refuse it if offered, and would order it over most other beers.

Wow. Somehow this beer has close to the depth and flavor of a 10-yr old J.W. Lees, but it's less than a year old. It's somewhere between a good American barleywine and an amazing English barleywine. I don't know if it's that this beer is simply masterfully crafted, or if it just hits all the notes that are important to me. Either way, I highly recommend buying it if you see it.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2010 22:21:16 | More by Pahn
Photo of DaveHS


4.83/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 77, poured into a pint glass.

A-Pours a light amber with over 3 inches of thick, luscious eggshell white head. Leaves tons of sticky lacing.

S-Green apple, caramel malts, nutmeg, brown sugar, citrus.

T/M-This beer is spectacular. Lush, rich, and bursting with complex flavor. The bready sweetness of an English barleywine collides with the rich flavor profile of a Belgian golden ale. There are interesting fruit notes in this, particularly green apple. The flavor swells mid-palate, introducing a buttery flavor I have never experienced in any other beer. This is unique. The finish is lightly bitter.

D-An American micro classic.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2010 07:23:28 | More by DaveHS
Photo of bort11


4.83/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Solid punch to the face from JohnGalt1 and the Fight Club BIF.

12 oz bottle, batch #71, poured into a Ommegang flute. The head and to think about it for a few seconds before it decided to show itself. A quarter inch light tan froth that recedes quickly and leaves some spotty lacing. Color is a hazy caramel brown/orange. Small bits of sediment float by.

Smell is a malt bomb of sweet and juicy aromas. Banana and melon, spicy cloves and dark bread. Rich rye malts give it a tang. Taste is equally an explosion of sweet goodness. More bananas, caramel malts, ginger, brown sugar, oranges and passion fruit. Hops are more noticeable as it warms, but just adds to the spiciness.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. The last swallow has that tasty sediment grit. Damn this is good. Must get more.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2008 02:43:15 | More by bort11
Photo of Beerbuddha


4.8/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I too have to thank msubulldog25 for this incredible brew. It poured a nice orange color with a nice fluffy white head which lasted a nice bit. Great lacing as well. Had a nice aroma of fruits(oranges and lemons) and yeast. A strong lemon taste is present along with other fruits that I can't quite distinguish. The alcohol is present but not overpowering. Mouthfeel is heavy and the carbonation is mild. I was surprised to see it labeled a barleywine. I wasn't sure what kind of beer it was but that surprised me a bit. Great beer overall and I wish we could get some on a regular basis here in Louisiana.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2008 21:28:07 | More by Beerbuddha
Photo of happy5930

New York

4.8/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass. Showed very little trace of head or lacing, but had tons of sediment. The nose was smooth with tons of sweet flavor. The taste was amazing, it practically exploded with hops and malt, sweet to the taste but packed a full 10% ABV punch. I highly recommend this beer, and will age my others for some time. Easy to drink, strong, but sweet.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2011 20:22:13 | More by happy5930
Photo of xraided81


4.8/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 Vintage;
Pours a 4 inch fluffy off white head into a tulip. Pours a bright golden orange with a slight hazy cloudiness, persistent head.
S: Double IPA hop profile, aggresive west coast american hops shine through with sweet bready aromas from the malt creeping through as the beer warms up.
T: caramel, sugar, dark ripe fruits, dried oranges, candied pineaple
M: Effervescent persistent carbonation, medium mouthfeel, has the mouthfeel and body of a double ipa more than a barleywine.
O: this is the easiest drinking barleywine i have ever head, beutiful looking beer, that taste as delicious as it looks, if this was available in 6 packs i could easily put one down during a football game, and would proabably not remember much of the game, great beer cant wait to try bourbon fred from the wood

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2011 07:27:37 | More by xraided81
Photo of gabrielsyme


4.78/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in a tulip. Rich copper color. Plenty of carbonation, and nice lacing on the glass. Lots of toasted malt. Sweet without being sickly, like caramelized apples in a pie. I'm not getting much hop bitterness, possibly because I've aged this quite a while. Delicious. Batch 71.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2012 00:10:14 | More by gabrielsyme
Photo of abuliarose

New Hampshire

4.78/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Body is a clear and deep red amber with an appealingly creamy bit of head and some clouds of very fine bubbles nucleating throughout when swirled. For a barleywine this is very pretty. Smells deliciously sweet, with a solid caramel malt and vanilla presence and a little bit of golden raisin and golden syrup thrown in. Maybe even lychee. These are delicious barleywine smells.

Tastes like it smells, but not overly so! Sweet, malty and much lighter on the tongue than expected with a noticeable but very well balanced and refreshingly bitter hop presence. Some light warming spice to the taste. Mouthfeel is silky and creamy but not syrupy with carbonation more of a palate cleanser (very fine-grained) than a presence. Awesome characteristic for a stronger beer, and one I can't remember an equal to. Alcohol is there, but very well integrated and making this too easy to drink.

Overall, this is one of my new favorite sippers. If only it were easier for me to get.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2010 01:06:54 | More by abuliarose
Photo of Georgiabeer


4.78/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A truly exceptional beer from a great brewery. My favorite of their products that I've had. Batch # 69. Poured a beautiful hazy dark orange with little head, but excellent lacing. The smell had deep aromas of candi sugar, orange blossom honey, lemon zest, and brandied raisins. Wonderful. The taste is even nicer, with the sweet flavors being complimented by a great earthy, piney, hoppy bitterness on the finish. Big and on the sweet side like a barley wine, with additional flavors of sweet orange, fruitcake, sweet malt, and the same notes as were in the aroma. Mouthfeel is exceptional- smooth, creamy, and substantial. Excellent drinkability as well. It's definitely a sipper, but it is also immensely satisfying. Kudos!

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2007 22:07:22 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of Wackyfoot


4.78/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Awesome almost burgandy colored pour with a surprisingly large head. Flavor is full of sugar and fruit and a little bit of caramel lurking behind. The alcohol flavor is present but isn't invasive at all. One of the best barleywines that I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2008 06:46:06 | More by Wackyfoot
Photo of inanity


4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

03-05-2014 20:57:48 | More by inanity
Photo of DCgolfpro


4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

03-15-2012 05:00:33 | More by DCgolfpro
Photo of BDavidson14


4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

08-31-2012 19:22:44 | More by BDavidson14
Photo of rosebud

New Hampshire

4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I Love this beer and the brewery, what a line of products they produce! Next to IPA's, Barley Wines are 2nd to me. From the 1st sip, this beer says hello to you and demands to be recognized! I wish I knew what hops they used, and, this is not a beer for the faint of heart at 11.5% abv you drink this one slowly and savor every beautiful sip, and why rush, alot of work went into to creating such a fine product, definitely a barley wine lovers beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2001 12:41:56 | More by rosebud
Photo of OregonGrown7


4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

08-02-2013 05:01:51 | More by OregonGrown7
Photo of jakon


4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #68

This has been one of my favorite brews since I first tried it, and I don't think that will ever change. It was love at first sip. A special ale indeed.

Be careful when you pour this. It requires more of a decantation than a pour. If you go the aggressive route, you'll be standing around waiting for quite awhile before there's enough room to continue your feeble attempt at taming the great Fred.

The retention is rivaled by few. The tightly compacted bubbles form together by the thousand like a proud army atop a precious gold reserve. As though they are insisting you take full notice of the apparent magnificence before you are granted entry.

And now you see what makes this brew worth fawning over. The flavor is exceptional. I won't even attempt to pick it apart. That would be like critiquing a princess' attire as you stood before her. This beer commands respect, and demands to be sipped rather than drank. It is not a hop bomb in the traditional sense, but has boundless hop characteristics. In other words, it isn't bitter, but has a ton of citrus/fruit/floral notes. And the sweetness from the malt is anything but cloying. Much like the Adam from the same brewery, I think the words that best describe this beer are "amazing, balanced and unique." Simply put, I love this beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2007 08:35:05 | More by jakon
Photo of marcpal

New Jersey

4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you msubulldog25 for this bad boy, quite a treat. This one was brewed from batch 69 and poured into large snifter.

A: Looks great from the start with an appetizing gold color. Not huge head but fluffy and pillowlike. Spiderweb lacing.

S: Strong aroma of fruits- little bit different from expectations of a barleywine. Plenty of honey scents and some grapefruit. Could pick up a bit of the hoppiness.

T: Strong and delicious. The hop bitters come through in all directions. Fruitiness of the aroma a bit masked in the flavor but still present. Reminded me of honey graham crackers and the sharp, sweet alcohol bite matched beautifully.

M: Thick, coating and a nice alcohol aftertaste. Little carbonation outweighed by the spices and hops.

D: The alcohol is there indeed, one that is meant to be sipped and enjoyed. Letting it warm a bit did it some favors Im sure. Id love to get my hands on some more of these sometime soon, or get out to Portland I guess.

A barleywine surely worth seeking out. Seems a bit more of a strong belgian but terrific. Thanks again bulldog.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2008 23:54:57 | More by marcpal
Photo of alpenglocken


4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

06-25-2012 16:45:30 | More by alpenglocken
Photo of tbizzle0


4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

06-09-2012 22:07:26 | More by tbizzle0
Fred from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
92 out of 100 based on 1,494 ratings.