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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.

1,574 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,574
Reviews: 836
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 11.98%
Wants: 365
Gots: 295 | 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: 1,574 | Reviews: 836 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of abeeronthebeach
4.09/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Staw gold haze. Head had disappeared by the time my glass arrived.

S - Floral hop aromas blend with the fruitiness of plum.

T - Sweet plum, belgian yeast, mild malt and grapefruit.

M - Easy drinking with moderate alchohol

O - Good, but not particularly memorable.

abeeronthebeach, Apr 22, 2014
Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, batch number 79, from a hard-target grocery store, gettin' outta Dodge (aka Portland) search, earlier this year.

This beer pours a murky, dull golden brown hue, with a rising column of tight foamy, DQ swirl, eggshell white head, which settles faster than expected, though still not quickly, leaving some random chunky swaths of lace around the glass in the process. It smells of strong fruity pale malt, quite sugary, with some pungent herbal citrus hops, all floating in an alcoholic ether. The taste is quite consistent with the aroma - sweet, confectioners' candy malt, sugar syrup, more drowned bitter earthy, herbal citrus hops, and a light, but firm booze warming. The carbonation is quite soft, the body nearly full in weight, displaying only a bit of that sugar density character on its way to a warm smoothness. It finishes still very sweet, malt, sugar, and booze in a decently complex saccharine tangle - some under-appreciated, soused hops keeping things out of tongue-scraping territory.

Weird to say, but this is quite the candidate for a dessert pairing - the sugar and booze, with subtle NW hopping, would work nicely. On its own, there's plenty going on to admire and contemplate, sipping away at this seemingly restrained behemoth, as the snow falls yet again.

biboergosum, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of trappistlover
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(12oz bottle Batch 79). Pours hazy apricot with off-white head. Very active carbonation. Aroma of dried fruit, some wood and citrus, but the fruit dominates-mostly sweet, dried apricot. Taste is sweet with some hop bitterness. Full bodied with thick, sticky texture. Very smooth. The alcohol is noticeable in the finish, but really hits the chest and throat. Really nice!

trappistlover, Feb 12, 2011
Photo of angrybabboon
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for giving me a bottle. I don't remember where, when, or why I received this, but I'm happy I found it hiding in my closet.

Consumed 7/13/12

Note: Batch 85

Appearance: Poured gently, yet Fred formed a gigantic, unrelentingly epic head - it's a solid wall of foam - creamy, fluffy, dense - kind of looks like cake frosting from a distance - you could eat this with a spoon - the beer is impressively clear - amber, with some orange and burnt caramel - the head lasts forever and leaves blobs of lacing everywhere

Smell: Reminiscent of a barleywine - cooked malts, cooked grains, toffee, and caramel - lots of cooked, malty sweetness, but not sugary - hoppy, with some floral citrus - some spice, some light and dark fruits - some booze to round things out - vanilla extract, and a touch of rye - very complex

Taste: Rich and flavorful - cooked malts, caramelized malts, chewy grains, toffee, caramel, candi sugar - spicy, with some rye, maybe some wood - plenty of booze, gets a little harsh - malts are very complex - spicy light and dark fruits - nicely hoppy as well, with some floral and pithy citrus, and wet pine - somewhat bitter

Mouthfeel: Heavy, even with the impressive amount of carbonation - very smooth, sticky, with some alcohol heat

Overall: Did I mention complex?

This is ridiculous. It's similar to an American Barleywine, but it's definitely not. There's so much going on with the malts and the hops. This is rich, and pretty much the definition of a sipper. This is the only beer I'll be drinking tonight. Honestly, I think it may be a good idea to split a 12oz bottle with a friend. A whole bottle gets too sweet and boozy toward the end.

angrybabboon, Jul 13, 2012
Photo of OneDropSoup
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a stemmed tulip: Rust-colored orangeish-brown under a finger of frothy white head. Hazy. Some small nucleation bubbles add to the head.

Good balance of sugar sweetness & fruitiness, teetering between a caramel, maple, & butterscotch character & an apple, pear, & orange fruit character. Slight alcohol tingle, just enough to be noticeable. Reminds me more of an American barleywine than anything.

Notes from the smell pretty much carry into the taste, but there's a greater showing from the sugary side of things, along with a kind of lightly burnt flavor & a real kick from alcohol. Yeah, the booze really picks up, dries it out & makes it a little solventy at the end. Damn, this is powerful stuff.

The rollercoaster between sweet & malty, a little roasty, & boozy is a lot to keep up with mouthfeel-wise. Doesn't destroy my palate like some IPAs or even American barleywines do, but definitely makes its mark.

Feels like there was a lot of grapple with here - the alcohol turned out to be more of a challenge than I'd anticipated, & the flavors kind of mutated while I was drinking it. Very different from what I'd anticipated, hefty & even unwieldy at times, but good.

OneDropSoup, Jan 06, 2012
Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Served in a snifter. The initial pour is a moderately-dark dark with a bit of a reddish hue. The nose is quite nice, bringing forward some green apples, light hops, caramel, spice, and a bit of general malty sweetness.

The taste mimics the nose to a large extent, though some of the darker, more fruity flavors take over just a bit. Mild green apple skin the background. Nice touch of caramel and light brown sugar. Good feel with a nice body and a hint of booze in the finish. Drinks quite well and is another solid brew from a brewery that just can't seem to miss.

Thorpe429, Nov 13, 2010
Photo of brokenleadedcask
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Friends brought this back from their Oregon vacation for me. Savored in honor of my Dad (Fred) on Father's Day.

My first beer from HotD and I was anxious to try this. So after it settled for a few days in the fridge, I got right to it. Golden amber liquid billowed into the glass with a fine amount of head retention. My nose was met with rye and an abundance of alcohol (almost medicinal). Other aromas as it warmed include plum and a fair amount of hops. Alcohol is very in your face in the taste, it has some heat. I would really like to have an aged one. Rye and caramel malt follow up ABV and has some cloying sweetness to it. Some hop and alcohol linger inside the mouth. I liked it and was grateful they thought about bringing me beer, but it didn't really speak to my tastebuds

brokenleadedcask, Jul 15, 2009
Photo of cfrances33
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks to WhereTheWildBeersGo, served in a snifter.

Pour: Completely hazy orange tan with two fingers fluffy, off white head that sticks around and leaves really nice lacing.

Smell: Belgian candy, caramel, bready yeast. Some hoppiness appears in there as well with a floral and citrusy finish.

Taste: Huge belgian candy and caramel. Nice chewy breadyness. Hops add some grapefruit and grass that oversee the whole affair. Really hard to tell where one flavor really sits on the palate, which is awesome for the taste in total, and complexity, but it really confusing and takes away from the experience at the same time for me.

Mouthfeel: Really, really sticky. No booze. Goes down easy despite the sticky body.

Overall: First HotD offering and really tasty. Makes me even more excited to try Adam.

cfrances33, Sep 12, 2012
Photo of BitterPachyderm
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle recieved from a trade with tprokop7...batch 68. The bottle has a nice little "in rememberance" for Fred Eckhardt on the side.

I poured Fred into an oversized wine glass...three fingers of the nicest looking head I have seen to date. Rocky, cramy, tan foam that clings to the glass for dear life. The body is a hazy copper with some amber highlights. Gorgeous!

There's a lot of pine in the nose. This is very much a standard barleywine. Some roasted malts with a slightly nutty undertone. Maple begins to show as it warms...interesting!

The flavor seemed a bit weak at first...it turns out it was too cold! There is some sweet caramel and a large smack of pine as it warms. Very sweet and peppery all the way around. Delicious!

It's a bit syrupy but remains smooth. The carbonation seems to keep the syrupiness (is that even a word) in check.

Drinkability seems out of this world! Yeah, it's a bit peppery, but damn is this a smooth drinking barleywine. The sweetness fits so perfectly that the alcohol doesn't even seem to be there.

Anothere home run for HotD. Let's pretend that Ruth doesn't exist and stick to making some of the best strong ales in America. As of right now, this is a top 25 beer for me. I can only imagine what Fred From the Wood is going to be like...

BitterPachyderm, Jun 08, 2009
Photo of shippos
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured with a thick white head on a clear brillant golden honey color with a thick 2 finger head that fades to a nice thin coating.
sweet malty sugary aroma...not much hops mostly malty sweetness mixed with alcohol and some softer fruity notes. decent amout of carbonation in this that cuts through what would be a bit too thick and over sweet body...nicely balanced match with the amount of alcohol presenting itself. starts out a bit lively in the mouth and is very easy to drink...good beer.

shippos, May 21, 2005
Photo of cpetrone84
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a cloudy reddish orange copper color with an egg shell white head that lingers for a little less than half a minute and leaves some solid lacing on the glass

S-the nose is relatively big and quite malty. the alcohol is present somewhat in the nose. the aromas start with some dark fruits, plum and fig, then you get lots of sweet brown sugar with some caramel that gives way to a faint resignous pine hop with a touch of citrus.

T-the taste is big but does show the alcohol a little more than the nose. the malts are big and tons of brown sugar, some bready malt, hints of plum, some lingering bitterness at the finish.

M-this has a medium body and is very syrupy. it is somewhat slick on the back of the throat and the carbonation is very nice.

D-this is quite tasty, big flavors and an interesting texture. the alcohol is somewhat present but at 10% it isn't bad.

cpetrone84, Jan 23, 2010
Photo of Retsinis
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cellared this one for over a year, Batch 77.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Bruery tulip glass. Pours a golden honey amber. It was slowly poured, and still had a very generous head, over 2 inches that took some time to settle, but eventually settles to about a half inch of head that is retained throughout.

Smells of Apricot, honey, a bit of banana, as well as a bit of estery yeast.

Taste is of light tropical fruits, caramel, honey, sweet malt, and a tinge of alcohol.

Mouth feel is generous carbonation, sticky, but crisp and refreshing.

Reminded me of Duvel, but much better. Could probably been safely cellared another year or two with the 10% backbone, and the great carbonation retention. Recomend a very slow pour, to let the yeast settle to the bottom of the bottle, and leave about an ounce in the bottle for the best intended flavor.

Retsinis, Jan 18, 2011
Photo of rodlavers
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 77 poured into a snifter.

1-2 finger white head, thins out relatively quickly. Decent lacing on the glass. Burnt dark hazy orange coloring, with some gold coming through as it's held to the light. Looks like it might be really carbonated. Smell is sweet malt and caramel, maybe some floral hops; smells really good. Taste is similar, with serious bread texture included. It is super sweet. Mouthfeel is smooth, despite the appearance of high carbonation, with minimal bite. Overall I Fred is a good beer. It might be a little too sweet for some, and I could probably only have one every once in a while, but I enjoyed it. Cheers.

rodlavers, Sep 15, 2012
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.

LuckySevens82, Apr 25, 2004
Photo of deapokid
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Very excited to see this cult favorite distributed in the Philadelphia area. This is the second beer I've tried from Hair of the Dog and I'm stoked to try one of their acclaimed barleywines.

Poured into a pint glass at a nice tilt. Color is a reddish amber with off-white, one finger head boasting high retention. The carbonation is buoyant, with playful bubbles racing to the rim of the glass.

Smell is tart like orange rind and grapefruit. Very sharp and tangy; the status quo for American Barleywines.

Taste is packed with flavor, prominently featuring dried fruit, prune, berry and rich maple. The finish leaves a pleasant dryness at the back of the throat.

There are so many complex flavors on display here that it takes the tongue a minute to recognize all of the fruitiness, woodiness and musky wine dryness. It's really overwhelming and swishing it in your mouth is quite a treat.

Although the ABV is high, it never overwhelms with booze and is very easy to enjoy. I'm not sure how I'd feel after a few glasses, but enjoying one after dinner was a really rewarding experience.

deapokid, Aug 27, 2009
Photo of Atron67
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P- 12 oz bottle with green and black... angry dog in a german war helmet. poured into a snifter.

A- cloudy red amber up to the light, huge fluffy slightly yellow head rose up and then stuck with great retention. slowly fell to leave a light lacing.

S- big malty kick to the nose, some good hop presence, but more bitter than grassy scented. pretty fruity as well.

T- maybe its the carbonation at the beginning but the strong acidity and it work together reallky well to give a great first impression. it makes the maltyness kick out strongly then the fruits set in, a variety of dark fruits all equally delcious and well blended yeast side flavors. the bitterness of the hops is more accented in the nose, however it has a nice finish, well balanced by the nose.

M- thick acidic, high carbonation, smooth only lingers slightly on the tongue

D- pretty solid, great barleywine

Atron67, Mar 27, 2008
Photo of ubenumber2
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottling into a tulip type glass , very hazy beer yellowish with an orange hue to it , huge head that goes down to a nice 1 finger head after a bit , spotty lacing

The smell is sweet and a little spicy with a hint of plums , raisins and brown sugar

The mouth is heavy with lots of carbonation to it

The taste of this beer just doesn't match up to the smell of it , its not bad by any means. Starts off spicy and sweet but ends off with a punch of alcohol at the end that just doesn't fit in with the rest of it

Overall it's a good beer with a great smell just a little off balanced in the flavor for me. The over powering alchohol at the end. I would like to get some and let it age for about a year and see how it levels out

ubenumber2, Jun 02, 2013
Photo of standardcherry
4.11/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle thanks to Lopo87! Batch 86.

A: A dark orange/red color. Not very golden. Nice 1cm head that lingers forever.
S: Smells a lot like my mash tun when I brew. Lots of bready, caramel and malty aromas.
T: Tastes a bit hoppy. Grape-like tastes at the beginning. Very light though. Followed by lots of sweetness, malts, caramel, vanilla, and honey. The flavor reminds me of a "light" barleywine.
M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Sticky, and tiny alcohol hotness present. Smooth and semi-dry finish.
O: This is a great beer. I haven't had many golden ales but this is definitely among the best I've had.

standardcherry, Feb 17, 2013
Photo of artoolemomo
4.11/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- Pours up a good amount of head which looks to have equally good retention. The head is a fluffy, pure cotton-white while the body is a pale to medium amber which appears as a golden, pale amber in the light. Spots of lacing, some wisps.

Nose- This is dominated by hops which already makes it different from Hair of the Dog's high gravity beers. Lots of citrus which ranges from orange to lemon to grapefruit. Light notes of cherry, peach, and apple. Very fruity and very well rounded. Not in your face but still quite delicious. Slight grain on the nose- maybe the rye? Swirling doesn't show much.

Taste- Reflective of the nose as it shows bunches of fruity esters from the hops on the front. Orange, lemon, grapefruit, touches of peaches, hints of apple and cherry. Some spice on the finish (coriander) that mixes with pine and resin. Slight notes of rye. Reminds me a little bit of Lagunitas Sucks actually. Very clean and crisp tasting with all of the hops working in almost perfect balance together. Very little bitterness and quite reminiscent of the newer imperial IPAs. Maybe a little bit of earwax from the bitter side of the hops. Some honey and floral notes. Suggestions of caramel. Really good beer that has flashes of greatness. Not quite there but this scores well in every category: presence, complexity, and balance. I'm surprised I've missed out on this so far but I'm glad to be drinking it now. Some linger but a bit of dryness as well. Pretty enjoyable.

Mouthfeel- Between light and medium bodied with healthy carbonation and nuances of syrup on the texture. Maybe even a little slick or oily but in a good way.

Drinkability- Very easygoing and gives no indication of its 10% at all. Very accessible for a strong ale as well. It retails for about 5 bucks, which seems reasonable to me. This is definitely a beer I will be drinking again.

Overall- Just short of being great. Another example of why Hair of the Dog is the best brewery in Portland. Moreover, you don't have to stand in line or go to the brewery to drink this- you can buy it in a store! A must try and one I will be drinking again.

artoolemomo, Mar 15, 2014
Photo of StJamesGate
4.11/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

on tap at the brewery, Portland

Hazy deep gold with white film that’s steady and trails.
Sugar and orange peel nose.
Lots of sugar cookie, a bit of rye spice, fair whack of citrus, melon and kumquat.
Fruit punch finish and dry linger.
Medium, chewy, slight oil.

Very fruity for a golden ale. Rye is subtle, the hops are significant. A style bender in the best way.

StJamesGate, Mar 10, 2014
Photo of dbossman
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Effervescent and golden with a huge frothy head; great lacing

S: Lots of citrus and fruit: pineapple, lemon, apples; some booziness, grainy, and somewhat hoppy

T: Grainy and fruity and dry and boozy; yeasty and hoppy; this is a balanced and interesting beer

F: Creamy with great mouthfeel; so creamy

O: This is a great and surprisingly complex beer; hoppy and grainy and fruity

dbossman, May 08, 2012
Photo of peabody
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out an abmer with very white suds two fingers high on the glass.
I am smelling malts and fruity hops along with a slight banana/ caramel aroma.
The Ainse and Licorice taste predominate this one with the malt and the sugar taking second place.
Still a great mix for a pretty nice beer.
Mouthfeel is a little oily but the hops tend to dry that out pretty quickly.

peabody, Jun 05, 2008
Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle - Batch 83 slooow pour into pint tulip glass

A: This is the 3rd time I tried this, so I finally managed a pour without overflowing the glass. It absolutely explodes out of the bottle. Be extremely cautious and make sure the sediment stays in the bottle. The head is insane; never seen anything like it. It persists for a long time and leaves gobs of lacing. Beer is a cloudy amber.

S: Typical of an old-world golden ale, but better, if that makes any sense. Sweet malts and the Belgian candy sugar they mention on the bottle. Some hops, a little bit of the piney citrus you smell in IPAs. Really good.

T: Quite sweet, very complex. You pick up more of the impressive ABV (10%!) as it warms, but it never gets overbearing. Well-balanced and a lot going on. You pick up the rye they mention on the bottle.

M: Full-bodied to heavy, definitely fits the taste and smell. Not too much heat from the alcohol.

This is a great beer. If you can get one, do try it. I'm aging another one, so we'll see what happens in a year. Just watch the pour!

IvoryFoxhole, Aug 16, 2012
Photo of liamt07
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Rutager, 12oz into a tulip. Batch 86.

Golden brown, voluminous cream colored head. Huge lacing and retention. Nose of citrus, malts, candy sugar. Light rye, spice and even some gentle herbal character. Taste has intense malt notes (caramel), some lighter rye, candi sugar, alcohol and bitter citrus hopping. Full feel, light syrupy quality and sticky sweet. Medium carbonation. Some sort of Anerican BW/strong ale hybrid, very nice stuff.

liamt07, Oct 15, 2012
Photo of cbutova
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Interesting to see a Barleywine classified as a Golden Ale on the bottle... anyways... Batch 75.

A- Cloudy and murky brown with a frothy white head that has decent retention. A nice ring leaves some good layers of lace.

S- Pretty much just musty caramel malt, feels mostly like an Old Ale from the nose. Old brown sugar and some vanilla/oak feel, dark fruit/raisin. Also a strange sour patch kid citrus feel to it.

T- Very interesting. Dark roasty brown sugar/molasses on top of nice old caramel malt with slight rye flavor. The 10 hop varieties come into play in a whole slew of ways, spice, citrus, fruit, floral and herbal... maybe a bit too random. Dark fruit and raisin also big. Very sweet when it comes down to it. Oak/vanilla feel probably due to age.

MF- Moderately thick, oily body with lower, silky textured carbonation. Pretty damn warm from the alcohol and has a moderately bitter finish.

DB- A very interesting Barleywine to say the least. The hops are nice but are pretty random. The sweetness is the big flaw here to me, it gets cloying.

cbutova, Dec 31, 2010
Fred from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
91 out of 100 based on 1,574 ratings.