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

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,647 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,647
Reviews: 843
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 12.01%
Wants: 370
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:
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,647 | Reviews: 843 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wisrarebeer
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Batch 78. Brought back by PurpleCloud from Portland, OR. Thanks bro!!rnrnGreat beer all-around. Unique, tasty, full-flavored and definitely unique. Somewhere between a tripel and saison in taste. With an ABV that is definitely present and quite noticeable.

Photo of kunstdrache
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This review is for batch 73

After a blow-up where I lost about 1/8th of the beer, I poured this goodness into my delirium tremens goblet. Appearance is a slightly cloudy with some sediment on the bottom (which I like). Smell is slightly sweet almost similar to Adam- some notes of fruit. Taste is just as smooth, with a slightly sweet taste, again like Adam, hops are faint but does make an appearance, albeit a short one. Mouthfeel is good, with some alcohol stirring the pot a little, but overall a good aftertase.

Like most of the HOTD beer this is a special beer, having more than one just somehow feels...wrong. Pair this up with the strong ABV and it boils down to being only drinkable up to one or two bottles. Still, its a great brew!

Photo of mdfb79
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - A dark, murky orangish-brown color, with no head and a small amount of carbonation. Not overly impressive.

s - Smells very sweet, like sugar. Also smells of rye/bready malts and a small hint of alcohol.

t - Tastes of sugar or molasses, very sweet. Also tastes of bready malts and alcohol again.

m - Medimum to heavy bodied and feels very thick, yet smooth going down. Very little carbonation.

d - Overall I enjoyed this barleywine quite a bit. While a small alcohol smell/taste was present when you consider that it is 10% ABV it wasn't as bad as some others. It was a little sweet, but still very smooth going down. I would definitely like to try this beer again.

Photo of yourefragile
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 78, 12 oz bottle.

Clear light golden color with a thin off white head. A few dots of lacing and a thin film. Aroma has honey, grass, light pepper, honeydew; overall fairly sweet. Medium thick, syrupy body with low carbonation and light alcohol in the finish. Sweet flavor with light malt and bread underneath candi sugar, melons, honey and clove. Always a treat, this bottle was a little sweeter than I remembered, but still smooth and balanced.

Photo of Chelsea1905
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle, batch 72.

At first I poured slowly, but realizing that absolutely no head was forming at all, I poured the last part quite agressively to try and muster something...Nothing! The colour was cloudy and light yellow.

Smelled of alcohol, but in a way similar to a Port. Honts of Scotch Whisky in there too, and of wooden barrels.

Taste had a lingering like a sherry, and a nice warm alcohol follow up. Spicy and Fruity

Mouthfeel was fine, and drinkability was very easy and purely enjoyable for a beer with 10% alcohol


Photo of Allpe45
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz poured into a snifter
Batch 79

Appears a hazy brownish orange with 1 finger head that recedes leaving sticky white lace.

Smells like sugary malt, cooked sugars, and rye malts. Sweet candied raisins and molasses. A subtle grassy/earthy hop aroma presents itself as the beer warms. First thing I notice from the initial sip is how incredibly silky smooth this beer is. Very low carbonation but medium-thin bodied. Lots of sugary malt flavor up front, followed closely by caramel sweet estery fruit, some honey and rye. A touch of spicy hops in the finish and another smattering of malty sweetness coats the mouth with slick oiliness. Very unique, doesn't really fit the classification of american barleywine but I don't think there is a style where this would fit.

Photo of beckje01
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint Glass.

Batch 62

A- Lot of head, which is cream colored, it has an almost carmel look to the beer yet a bit darker. Very still looking.

S- Sweet with malty aroma. Really makes me get to the drinking.

T- Carmely, with a kick at the end. Smoth to start its very good taste complex.

M- Somewhat tingly but nice. Can't seems to hold in my mouth long just want to get it down. Its nice

D- Very much a sipping beer, and a nice one at that. I don't think I would have another in the same night but it is a nice way to end the night.

Photo of Japerrault
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy golden amber with a thick white 2 finger head. Nice lacing.

S: Malty! caramel, and spruce.

T: Big sweet caramel malt flavors up front, toasty, smokey? grain in the middle, and mild spicey hops at the finish. Mild lingering bitterness to balance the sweetness.

M: Medium/full body. Decent carbonation. Some alcohol warmth.

D: Nice smooth, flavorful, balanced beer, but it is a slow sipper.

Photo of Westsidethreat
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch #60

A: Dirty, hazy and mysterious. Raspberry copper color with a huge off white head. Lots of sediment. Very nice. Lots of rings left behind after every sip.

S: Light caramel and yeasty. Subtle hints of aromatic hops. Obvious alcohol.

T: Loads of caramel from the first impression to the last memory of aftertaste. Obvious rye flavors with hints of OJ, raspberry alcohol esters, creme brulee and a bit of dry sherry. Sweet but not overly sweet, not cloying what so ever. Finish is suprisingly dry like a champagne.

M: Very creamy and full bodied. Bit over carbonated but better to be over than under.

D: Friggin good beer. I can't wait to try the woody version.

Photo of mfavoino
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 84 poured into a pint glass on 1/24/12.

Appearance: Very murky-looking orange color with an almost three finger head that remained for several minutes. The beer looks like it will have some above average carbonation and there is some obvious sediment hanging out at the bottom as well.

Smell: Getting a malt scent dominated by caramel and bread with some citrus and floral hops that balance the beer nicely.

Taste: Honey sweetness, bready malts and some floral hops that hit the back and sides of the tongue are key features. Malt has a lot of complexity to it and make this beer delicious with the honey, caramel, and bread flavors acting in concert with one another.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and significant carbonation. Alcohol is barely noticeable.

Overall: Sure, it's hard to really pinpoint what type of beer this is, but I really could care less because it is delicious. Tons of great malt flavors balanced by light hops makes for an interesting, drinkable beer. Try it.

Photo of Farnswurth
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%

Photo of ShogoKawada
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz into tulip. Thanks, augustgarage! Batch 77. 10% ABV

a- Nice pale and a bit hazy dull yellow. Snow-white head that looks like an overfilled washing machine.. bubbles for days. Lacing is very light in body and spotty.. like a snowdrift in my tulip. Really amazing pour, 5 of 5.

S- Cranberries and cornbread... hmm. Very fruity, very sweet, interesting. A bit boozy, a hint of overripe papaya.

T- Malt, sweet, maple sugar, pretty good hop bite and a bit of an earthy/yeasty closer. Lots of esters and floral hop notes as well. Mild rosewater. An ongoing sweetness that borders on too much but never crosses it.

M- Great carbonation, powerful flavors.. hops and heavy malt almost take a second to register.. explosive.

D- High. Really unique, really interesting. Worth seeking out. I'd drink it again in a heartbeat.

Photo of dgilks
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sweet and sticky aroma with a nice touch of resinous hops. Good.

Slightly hazy orange colour with a small, tight white head. Decent.

Lots of silky clean malt without being cloyingly toffee-like. A nice amount of hops but they are suitably understated and let the silky malt shine. Tasty and really good.

Medium-full body with moderate carbonation.

I really like this. The beer is nicely understated and doesn't overdo the hops while still ensuring they are present.

Photo of mrw1zard
4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of spinrsx
4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz Bottle from Whole foods San Francisco CA - gift from my wife

Appearance - Coppercolour with a large size fizzy/frothy white head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes.

Smell - Cloves, breads/grains, bruised banana, yeast

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste breads/grains, cloves, and ripe banana. There is also a peppery spice mix and a dry yeasty flavour.

Overall - A really complex tasting brew. Lots of interesting flavours that all work well together. Kind of like a barley wine meets a tripel if that makes any sense. Really enjoyed it.

Photo of mikedashg
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a slightly hazy orangy copper color with a moderately small white even head. Great lacing on the glass.

S - Alcohol, boozy, orange rind citrus apricots candied caramel toffee malty goodness

T - Again, Alcohol, boozy, orange rind citrus apricots candied caramel toffee malty goodness. Tons of hops. Quite the powerful brew on the pallet. But what do you expect from a 10% american barleywine?

M - Moderate to moderately high carbonation, pretty darn creamy and smooth on the tounge, mmm mm good.

D - Really a tastey one, hits all the right notes, a little on the boozy side, but I kind of like it that way me thinks.

Photo of santoslhalper
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Photo of mbudner
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 75. Poured from bottle into snifter.

A- Deep orange to light brown hue with a 2 finger off white head leaving very nice lacing.

S- Sweet fruity, malty aroma with slight buttery-ness to it. Lemon peel, ever so faint hop profile.

T- Slightly lemony, sweet malts, caramel, a bit of booze, subdued hop profile, a bit spicy (maybe it's the rye)

M- Pretty spot on for the style. Nice mild-medium carbonation with a surprisingly viscous/coating mouthfeel.

D- A little sweet to be TOO drinkable, but definitely good for a 10% barleywine. I would love to see what some age would do to this.

Photo of WeisGuy
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to BeerBeing for providing me with this bottle of Batch 54 brewed in 2004.

a - pour deep orange/brown color, HUGE off-white billowing head with excellent retention and lacing, lots of sediment, even with a relatively careful pour

s - good mixture of intense biscuity maltiness, some rye, hints of piney hops and a little fruitiness, also pronounced alcohol notes

t - very malty/biscuity up front, hops are very subdued perhaps from the aging, but still lend a mild bitterness to the palate, nice sweetness in the body, finish is very smooth and the alcohol does not really come through as much as the aroma would suggest, finish has moderate bitterness and dryness with the rye malt coming through once again

m - medium-to-full bodied, moderate carbonation, slightly dry finish

d - even though the alcohol doesn't come through that much on the taste, this is certainly a sipping beer, great beer, just wouldn't be wanting to drink more than one in a night

Great beer overall. I have a Fred from the Wood that I'll give a try in the near future to compare. I'd also like to try a fresh Fred to see how this beer has evolved from the fresh version. Worth seeking this one out.

Photo of umustdrink
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On sale for 1.99 a 12 oz bottle

A - Pours a deep, dark orange, almost red color. Head is a fluffy offwhite scoop of ice cream goodness. Lacing is strong.

S - Rich dark raisin and plum, biscuity malts and grapes. Warming alcohol.

T - Dark and heavy and fruity like a burgundy wine to start, moves into bitterness and bready malts. Finishes sweet with a very warm alcohol sensation.

M - Medium to thick consistency. Carbonation seems to be right on the money.

D - This is a beer to sip if I ever had one. Think about Christmas, snow, nighttime, sweaters and roaring fireplaces...in a bottle.

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a perfect pint. Batch 83.

3.5 A: I needed a few pours to get a full glass due to the massive head. Anyway, I eventually got to a well hazed orange brown color with a lot of small particulate floating about. Three fingers of frothy/foamy beige head. Retention is impressive given the ABV and a ton of lacing is left.

4.5 S: Quite a nice nose on this. Quite malty like most HOTD brews. Deep caramel, toffee, light fruits, spicy earthy rye, and some raisin and fig. Candi sugar for that extra push of sweetness. Hops are floral, citrusy, and herbal. Solid, robust aroma on this.

4.0 T: Taste is like the nose, but just isn't quite as impressive. That said, it's still damn good. Lots of caramel, generic light fruitiness, dates and raisins, spicy earthy rye. Again that trademark candi sugar residue. Mild bitterness, but much more hop flavor. Citrusy, then floral, then herbal, then citrusy again.

4.0 M: Heavier body. Good moderate carbonation despite needing several pours. Good creaminess and plenty smooth. Alcohol is hard to detect.

4.5 D: This might be my favorite HOTD brew. Very nice balance and super easy to drink. Well done.

Photo of draheim
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle (Batch 82) poured into a tulip. Explosive carbonation bolsters a ridiculous monstrous head that fills 80% of the glass; the rest is a clear golden-amber color. This is already making up for the pancake-flat Ruth I had a few weeks ago. Head is creamy, fluffy, eternal. Rocky, gravity-defying.

Aroma is spices, yeast; some herbal, floral & fruity notes.

Taste is pale pilsner & rye malt, candi sugar, nice floral hops. Lots of indistinguishable fruit. Relatively sweet, a little boozy. Chewy, full-bodied mouthfeel.

Overall, wow. A really nice strong ale. Can't think of another beer I've had that quite compares to this. Good balance of elements - an imperial Belgian pale?

Photo of number1bum
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this one from BeerTruth. Thank you sir. Batch #63.

Pours a very murky reddish brown, quite a bit of sediment in the bottom, with about a finger and a half of tan head. Keeps a full, creamy lace and leaves a decent amount of stick.

Smells strongly of sweet caramel malts, fresh baked bread, brown sugar and some alcohol. The hops smell like they might be past their prime; smells of musty fruit, apples, grapes and a bit of citrus. Smells slightly oxidized.

Taste begins with some sweetness, caramel and brown sugar, and then comes some spicy rye. I didn't pick up any rye in the nose but there is a distinctive spicy rye note here, especially in the finish where it's almost black pepper spicy. Hop flavor definitely seems like it's not quite as big as it was when this was fresh, but it's better than the smell - it's fruity and floral with a pretty good amount of bitterness. I'm getting some golden raisins and a bit of tangerine. It's quite complex and I really like the rye, and it's very nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, quite creamy and remarkably smooth given its heft. Alcohol is well hidden.

This bottle has been cellared for a bit (not positive how long) and I think the hops have faded, especially in the smell, but taste wise it's still bold and flavorful. I love the rye, in particular. It doesn't seem like it's 10% at all and that makes it quite drinkable. Good stuff.

Photo of Beerzebub
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 65.

Striking bright copper color, dense beige head, thick sheets of lace.

Smells like orangy and tropical fruity hops, coconut, sweet yeasty pastry dough, butter, nuts, peppercorn, warm spice, and fusel alcohols. Delightful.

Sweet fruit and dough flavor, with mounting hop bitterness, and butter, light nuts, yeasty spice, and plenty of warm fusel alcohols coming in for a long finish.

Full smooth creamy texture, and drinkable.

Photo of Prost76
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Fred from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
91 out of 100 based on 1,647 ratings.