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

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,671 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,671
Reviews: 850
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 12.01%
Wants: 370
Gots: 302 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,671 | Reviews: 850
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3/5  rDev -26.5%

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3/5  rDev -26.5%

Photo of Ndflyfan8
3/5  rDev -26.5%

Photo of Cubatobaco
3.01/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip

A - Pours a murky brown color with a light auburn hue when tilted to the light. Mild carbonation and very still in the glass. No head formed when poured and only has a bubbled edge around the sides.

S - Reveals a deep earthiness with a burnt sugar and candied yam/sweet potato aroma. Esters are very evident in this beer followed by hints of dark fruits. This is not what I was expecting. Reveals almost a Quad-like smell. Intense!

T - Almost no carbonation and very off-putting. I think that this is a bad bottle. Tastes of caramel and burnt sugar. Very similar to the smells

M - No carbonation on the palate with a thick and syrupy feel. Not appealing. Again, this is a bad bottle.

O - I'm not going to give this a bad rating as I got a bad bottle. I hope the other bottle I have is a lot better.

PS - I'll correct my review if the next bottle is better.

Photo of flannelman808
3.06/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Bright amber in color yellow tinge toward the edges. A powerful head forms and has ridiculous retention. I'll comment on the lacing in about 15 min as the rocky head isn't going anywhere fast. Too much carbonation? looks like this one is seriously made for aging (no cork though ... ).
Yeah silly lacing too.

S: Pilsner malt (husk) and white cane sugar take over the aroma, maybe just a hint of dried candied fruit somewhere hidden along with a subtle grassy note.

T: Very rich and very carbonated, but the thickness of the beer actually overpowers the tickle. Still its difficult to taste. Sugar cane and bitter grassy flavors would seem to tease out of a vigorous tongue numbing (think seltzer) carbonation. Mild honey like flavors develop along with the warming of 10% abv. This is definitely a sweet beer though it hides behind bubbles which are doing the best job of keeping it from being cloying.
Subtle fruity notes develop with time as this warms, which are actually pretty nice. Perhaps time will help this beer, but honestly I wouldn't buy more given its high cost.

M: Seltzer and syrup.

O: I have to say I am not a fan of this. Over time it may get better, and if you happen to buy one I would recommend not drinking it because you will have wasted your 7 ish dollars a 12 oz.

Photo of WCBCFrank
3.08/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hair of the Dog's Fred is a strong Belgian style golden ale - think of Chimay White with tons more complexity and notes of alcohol in the finish. This is a strong beer, somewhat sweet but typical of tripel-style brews. It pours yellow-copper orange in a goblet and has a medium head with good lacing. Aromas of ripe apples and sugar are appealing....tasty but a powerful somewhat sweet alcohol finish might perturb some taste buds. Overall, a well made brew, but for my palate not a home run.

Photo of UnionMade
3.08/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I got a huge green glass magnum bottle of this beer, with batch number 53 printed clearly on the front.
Pours an interesting coppery orange color, with a bit of haziness. A big frothy white head pops up, and disappears almost as fast, dying out completely about 1/3 of the way through the glass.
Smells sweetly malty, some caramel, with a strong hop presence and a bit of alcohol. Lots of fruitiness, with an odd rind-like hopping.
Taste is immediately sweet and malty, with a bit of apricot, orange, and something like pineapple or pear. I'm not sure. A strong alcohol taste mingles with the hops in the finish. It's a very strange hoppiness, like it's indistinct. I can't really pick out certain varieties. Muddy, blending several hop flavors together, but all at once. Piney, citric and herbal. Big alcoholic wash in the end, with a slick, oily warmth on the way down.
A pretty good beer, but the alcohol got very overwhelming as the brew got warm and flatter. I had trouble finishing the last few sips, as it started to take on a strong boozey character. Kind of a wierd frankenstein feel, with flavors going everywhere, and an odd muddiness to the hops.

Photo of bt931912
3.08/5  rDev -24.5%

Photo of Bfarr
3.09/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Hazy golden orange and white fluffy head with great retention and nice lacing. Candy yeast sweetness and alcohol. Very sweet with just a light bite and an alcohol taste and warming that increases as you drink. Some floral/citrus hops. Silky and fuzzy feel.

There is a nice hop flavor but it gets a bit drowned out by the sweetness and alcohol. The pilsner/rye malts become very similar to a barleywine sweetness. It almost seemed nicely balanced except the sweetness and alcohol lingers on and on and eventually takes over and makes this one a bit difficult to finish. note: As it is listed as a barleywine on BA that makes a little more sense on the taste but doesn't really change anything.

Photo of dbalsock
3.11/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

App: A huge offwhite great head sits upon the dense amber body, before I drink this and look at the subtle lacing. Very appealing.

Smell: Way too much biscuit in the aroma for me, and I usually love biscuit. There's a fruity alcohol background, but altogether it seems a little overwhelming.

Taste: A complex hop fruitiness comes through on a caramel body, finishing with a major alcoholic twinge. More intense taste than belgian strong pale ales, but similar. The aftertaste is like a forest grove.

Mouthfeel: Dense and thick. There's a good bitterness, but too much alcohol on the aftertaste for me to feel like this is balanced.

Drinkability: 12oz of this is too much for me, and I find it nearly impossible to get through a bottle. I do, however, can imagine it being nice in 4oz samples every once-in-awhile.

Photo of Murrhey
3.14/5  rDev -23%
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.

Photo of Pamola
3.16/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This is a batch 66 from Viggo at the ebf. Thanks again, man. Crossing my fingers for a solid bottle.

A: Slightly off-white, one-finger head. Cloudy orange brown beer. Damn gorgeous.

S: Funky and buttery with potent sweetness and booziness. Overpowering in the funk category. Hmmm. Funky bottle. HOTD should simply be a lottery. Wait...

T: Should I just review this as a wild ale? If so, my particular bottle has a pleasant wild twang. Sour as hell, actually, but the malt in the back allowed the beer fade from sour to sweet. Objectively it's not that good. I can only ride the bad bottle train so long. Still, had worse.

M: Jumpy, stinging, and smooth in the end with the faint note of barleywine coating.

D: Interesting as it was in this less-than-perfect state, I wouldn't have it again and will definitely edit this when i get a good one.

Photo of stuagano
3.17/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The taste was a little stale. With a lot of sediment at the bottom

Photo of jsh420
3.18/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

batch 80

pours cloudy golden yellow with a head that just will not quit that left some spotted lacing

smells candi apples and lots yeast spice

taste is very sweet candi caramel almost cloying - then the spicy yeast - just didnt gel well for me

mouthfeel was way too carbonated and that mixed with the booze and the very sweet taste ripped at the back of my throat

drinkability was just as good as the flavor and mouthfeel - maybe i will revist this beer when it has some age on it - the fresh was just too much

Photo of jeffthecheff
3.18/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Batch 74. Pours a dark and hazy amber color with a fluffy, off white head that lasts forever and leaves great lacing.

The aroma caught me off guard, as I was expecting a spicy, yeasty Belgian nose. Instead, Fred is closer to an American barleywine, like the BA style suggests. First off, it's incredibly strong, It's got a caramelly, malty aroma with a bit of leather, dark fruits, and leather. A little bit of fruity yeast is found, but it's not particularly Belgian.

The flavor is a little too sweet throughout, with a cloying finish. It has a syrupy, raisin and plum flavor up front and a puckering, thick and gooey malt finish. Some nice features, but in the end it didn't mesh well with my palate.

The mouthfeel is where most of the Belgian influence seems to come from. Bottle conditioned to a high carbonation on top of a thick, malty body. If I were to have this again, I wouldn't open a bottle myself. This beer was complex and interesting, but not very drinkable.

Photo of lackenhauser
3.18/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bright, slightly cloudy orange in color with a huge, creamy and fluffy head that does not quit. Very hoppy aroma-has a big fresh mowed grass smell to it. Huge hop flavor dominates-almost to an astringent degree. Very puckering and almost sour. Needs a lot more malt to balance the hops. I realize this is a US version but it still needs some more malt please. Ok mouthfeel. Lacks even the oily slickness of a lot of hops. As much as I love US barleywines this one just doesnt do it for me. Way overhopped-even for a US Imperial I find it overhopped. Not my thing.

Photo of corby112
3.18/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy amber color with a nice sized white head. Aroma is dominated by the strength of alcohol. Also contains hints of spices and white fruits. Taste is very similar to the aroma in which the 10% abv is not masked very well at all. tastes of strong alcohol that is slightly balanced with golden apple and spices. The alcohol taste becomes less overbearing as it warms.

Photo of Uncle_Jimmy
3.21/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into a glass.

Aroma- Peach, cantaloupe, floral with a light hits of citrus and vanilla. just a hint of alcohol sharpness. Smell is amazing

Appearance- Thick mountains of cream colored head that lingers, but not much lacing. Hazy Orange color(I may have poured this into the glass a little too aggressively)

Flavor- Carmely, nutty, toffee, sweetness with a big peppery Rye Finish . I get an alcoholic bitterness as opposed to a hoppy bitterness in this one. A little piney at the end.

Mouthfeel- Sticky, coats the mouth like a syrup but the rye and the alcohol give a slight burn

Overall- as it warmed i could taste some slight similarities to the Double DBA (which I really enjoy). In fact, i would have mistaken this for a barrel aged beer. However, This beer didn't do it for me though. If i want the flavor i would do the Double DBA, if i wanted the buzz i would grab a Bigfoot. If I wanted the Jewish Deli flavor I would grab the great divide Rye.

I wouldn't turn it down but i wouldn't order another

Photo of ballewblake
3.21/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Barelywine or Golden ale?

Poured from bottle into my trusty Duvel tulip.

Two finger white head, amber in color. Dark yeast expelled from the bottle, multiple washes and it was still coming out. Sweet malt with a little yeast and alcohol on the nose after popping the cap; glass is even more pronounced. Even more [alcohol] on the palette, whoa, this is hot.. No attempts to hide the alcohol on this one. Getting some hops in the nose the more I get into it. Head retention is good, clean lacing that lasts with the swigs, not a whole lot of sponging. Not horrible, but really hot and that leads me to thinking the balance is off. Maybe this one was conditioned too long.

Photo of JasonA
3.22/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch 66 received in a BIF in 06.

Uh oh. Pours a light carmel more unfiltered translucent than transparent. Virtually no carbonation present. I am worried about this bottle. Agitate, agitate, nothing. I am worried.

Light malt, maybe grapefruit zest, and some ABV. Maybe biscit, maybe hops.

Wow. Talk about against the sensal grain! Smooth malt, carbonation in the mouth, light bodied for the ABV. Better than expected (thankfully)

I finshed an Adam from the same 06 timeframe, cellared the same way. Though somehow it doesnt seem this bottle came through. Im going to chalk this up to a bad batch. While this isnt a horibble brew, it simply doesnt compare to the Fred Wood I had originally and the Adam I just finished.

This makes me think of Barley Wine and making a 'Light'. Medium bodied, not a huge malt character.

I almost dont want to submit this rating. Sorry.

Photo of fox227
3.22/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 1 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

For awareness purposes, I want to report what I've read from others in that this batch, 89, and others, have not been carbed, leaving a totally flat beer that gives the impression of a beer that has been poured more than two hours before. This isn't small head, this is zero foam. What happened? This seemed like a good beer, with flavors of candied sugar, toffee and caramel, but no life for these elements to become enjoyable.

Photo of jdhilt
3.23/5  rDev -20.8%
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.

Photo of magictacosinus
3.23/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.75

EDIT 6/15/2014: Apparently this beer tastes like this fresh as well, only evermore sweet, almost cloyingly so. I struggled to finished my 4oz of this at the brewpub in Portland. Honeyed, syrupy, yeasty, and too much of a butterscotch bomb to wade through enjoyably. I've given up trying to enjoy this, and will opt for a Moscato d'Asti the next time around.

Finally found an opportunity to crack this open. Batch 87 - poured out of a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Well, I can safely say that this at least pours a beautiful beer in many respects - contains the very sort of showmanship I give high marks to pretty beers for. Cloudy, creamy, orange amber (sunset, really), complete with SEVEN fingers worth of a frothy, creamy white head that nearly overflows when poured to the top of the glass. And, this was when I was careful in pouring it as well. How does a 20 proof beer produce something of this monstrosity? The secret is the bottle conditioning, and this won me over in the process. Leaves behind tons of thick lacing, as well as an egg-white beaten head that's only found in few other beers I've seen, such as Orval. Does it smell the same, however?

Err... No. Still, contains some interesting things going on right here that make it different from your run-of-the-mill Belgian-style strong ale. Canned peaches, pineapples, pears, and raisins make up the main aroma, with tons and tons of caramel and butterscotch following soon afterwards. Contains a funky yeasty character but a rather dulled flavor throughout. I'd imagine this is a bit old at this point, but I wouldn't know with the lack of the bottling date. There's no bitterness here to speak of, but it's definitely funky and sweet in its own regards. I did expect a bit more, however.

The flavor is about the same, but I can definitely say with confidence that this bottle in particular is a bit old by now. What's left is mainly a yeast and malt stew, with the hops long gone and faded away. Notes of candied pineapple, peaches, pears, and green apple fill the tongue, only to be cut by intense butterscotch and caramel from the malts, with a faded citrus characteristic that is from the dulled hops. I'd imagine this is more impressive while it's fresh, but there's something underwhelming about it, especially in face of its high ABV. Then again, I can't TASTE the alcohol under the sugar, but I can definitely feel it. Definitely well carbonated - as creamy and world-class as any well done home brew. Gets progressively sweet as it warmed up - I had to pair it with fatty funky cheese and meat to cut it down a bit.

Not quite what I expected - I heard this was one the brewery's better readily available beers, but it's a bit too old at this point and I'd love to try it again fresh one day and give it a new review. It feels a little one-note at this point, and it's struggling to win my full attention. At least it paired extremely well with a handful of honey glazed nuts, but other than that, there's not much else I can go with this.

Photo of PPOmaha
3.24/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Batch 85

Aroma: molasses, brown sugar and some sherry notes. Spicy hop aroma in the background.

Appearance: dark golden to orange with some debris from bottle conditioning.

Flavor: sweetness: raisin and fig. Hop flavor is still prominent though. Some paper and sherry.

Mouthfeel: highly carbonated and slightly lingering sweetness in finish.

Overall: not the best bottle I've had. Slightly oxidized and more dark malt character than I remember. Still a good beer.

Photo of birchstick
3.24/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A - pours a copperish orange color with a MASSIVE head that leaves a very frothy aftermath all over the glass.

S - smells of sweet candied orange marmalade, spices, some caramel malts and a bit of hops

T - this thing has a ton going on - almost too much. Really sweet candied sugars up front move to some fruity flavors. These fade to a bit of toffee flavor. Next up is a barrage of bitter hops but are then overtaken again by the sweetness. Really sweet overall.

M - creamy and full - really nice body

D - I still don't know how I feel about this. At one point it was really enjoyable, at others it was really hard to drink. I think the sweetness mixed in with the pronounced bitterness didn't work as well as I would have hoped. Really glad to have tried it.

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Fred from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
91 out of 100 based on 1,671 ratings.