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Bourbon Fred From The Wood - Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room

Not Rated.
Bourbon Fred From The WoodBourbon Fred From The Wood

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

126 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 126
Hads: 445
Avg: 3.94
pDev: 26.14%
Wants: 243
Gots: 137 | 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 |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jdense on 07-25-2009

Bottles (12 oz) released November 2011
Batch 2 bottles (12oz) released July 2012.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 126 | Hads: 445
Photo of maximum12
1.79/5  rDev -54.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Thanks to the masked-man known as "Beerness" for this bottle. At the crazy trade prices it was commanding I didn't think I'd get to try it - & wanted to after sampling the Adam brews at a tasting one night. 12 oz. bottle lifted to the southeast & Atlanta, GA. Salut.

Pour is radioactive orange; really like something that should be pumped & decontaminated in a locked & guarded facility. Appears lifeless. Only a whisper when the top was popped. Bourbon, sweet malts, heaviness, & oxidation greet the nose whiskers. Smells deadly serious.

Bourbon Fred from the Wood should have the entire last word of its name capitalized. This is one woody beer, closing in on Splinter Marshal Zhukov territory. Massive bourbon notes are intertwined with the malt, but there's already a hint of oxidation creeping in that brings this down significantly. Mustiness that's redolent of wet leather & tobacco juice further reduces its appeal. Mouthfeel is still as polluted well water, & the overall effect is that 2-3 ounces of this would be plenty. My stomach is burbling in protest already.

Difficult for me to judge this one, but it couldn't hold the jock strap of Adam from the Wood. Heavy, tastes off, I just can't imagine this one getting any better with an early dose of oxidation, either. Not a good beer, one of my biggest letdowns to date. I'm not going to be able to finish the bottle, this is truly deserving of a failing grade.

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Photo of russwbeck
2.21/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Big thanks to doughanson for grabbing a bottle of this for me.

A: Pours...oh no. I've heard of Hair of the Dog having carbonation issues and this pours with zero head. Literally dumped the bottle straight down into the glass...nothing. Murky brown in color, the beer does seem a bit lifeless.

S: Big sweet bourbon bomb. Dark fruits, oak, bourbon, booze and little else. It leads you to believe it's going to be a huge beer.

T: Wow this is disappointing. For everything Doug had to go through to get it, I really expected something more. The taste just...isn't there. Harsh booze, just far too much alcohol, bourbon is secondary, and dark fruits hide in the back. The flavors I do get are mild, and disappear far too early.

MF: The body is thin. The carbonation is non-existant. The drinkability is low. The finish is weak. The booziness is too much. They literally missed every single part of this.

O: Nothing left to say. Sucked.

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Photo of caskstrength
2.24/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Ahhh....another flat HoTD release. At least I know this one's going to be flat. I'm so excited, I can barely contain myself. 2011 (the flat batch, if I'm being vague in any way)

Pours a flat, fairly intense dark orange color. Looks kind of interesting, except for the carbonation thing.

Smells are bourbon fruitiness. Apricot stands out the most. Smells pretty good, bourbon soaked fruits, musty oak barrel too. Alan knows his way around the barrel, no doubt.

Beer juice for the taste. Bourbon aged apricot beer juice. Not a favorite beverage of mine, in general. Desperately needs something to lift it off the tongue and balance the barleywinesque heft.

Mouthfeel is horrible, unless you were hoping for apricot beer juice. Sort of chewy, would have been fun to see how that worked with some bubbles.

Another HoTD failure. At least it was announced ahead of time. Equivalent of around 30 bucks for a four pack of this. BAs are suckers sometimes, aren't we?

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Photo of waltonc
2.44/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Picked up this bottle last week at Hi Times. Pours pond water flat. Like a juice. Very disappointing to see this is devoid of any carbonation. The label should have provided a warning. Smell is dominated by oxidation. Behind that are layers of bourbon, vanilla and brown sugar. But the nose is really dominated by the smell of a beer that has not aged well in spite of this being a new release. Taste is slightly more balanced but this beer still tastes like a horribly aged, improperly cellared brew. Again, notes of bourbon, brown sugar and vanilla are present as well. Body is fairly thick and entirely uncarbonated. Overall this is an extremely disappointing beer. Regular Fred and FFTW are so much better.

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Photo of islandboi8204
2.5/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Aggressive pour, but unfortunately it is completely flat. No head, no lace. A deep, muddy caramel color. Really ugly and not promising.

Smell is quite off putting, whey protein powder with bourbon, sweet caramel, and brown sugar.

The taste starts with sweet caramel, brown sugar, and toffee. There is some pineapple and the bourbon barrels come through at the end. The finish is the best part - bourbon with a toffee aftertaste. A very rich beer.

Beer is medium bodied with no carbonation. Syrupy with a warm finish.

This was a let down. I think this beer has a lot of potential but the lack of carbonation and the awful smell isn't helping. The flavor is complex and the sweet toffee makes for a nice night cap.

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Photo of Arbitrator
2.61/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Lightly chilled bottle into a glass. Courtesy of ramnuts. Thanks, Frank! Also opened by writerLJBerg at another occasion where I didn't take notes. Thanks, Luke!

The bottle being reviewed has a few months of age (end of Feb 2012).

A: Pours a completely still, hazy, maroon body.

S: A nutty bourbon character greets the nose first, followed by evident sherry oxidation. Some aromas of burnt caramel, oak, and a soft apricot nuance are noted.

T: There are some pretty good elements here. While nutty bourbon is evident, it does not obliterate the base beer, particularly its citrus (apricot and grapefruit) and oxidation (sherry and a touch of soy). Some burnt caramel and candi sugar give the beer an additional sweetness. Oak with ver light vanilla.

M: Surprisingly, this beer has no heat for something of its size. It's completely still, but it has enough heft and richness where that isn't a total killer. There are times when the citrus, sweetness, and flatness remind me of old orange soda, though.

O: It's decent, but not amazing, and I can't see where it is going to get better.

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Photo of Bendurgin
2.62/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a snifter. Pours a muddy light brown with no head, just a few bubbles on the side. Please be carbonated. . .

Almost smells of fruit that is just past it's prime with some toffee notes. Faint bourbon in the background but it kind of just smells medicinal. Tastes alright though. Nice rich toffee and caramel flavors with a solid bourbon finish. Still a bit of a musty fruit flavor.

The feel is heavy and lingers on your tongue. It's also flat.

Seriously, get it together HotD. I'm sick of flat beer, especially when there is some promise. I'm not going to end up finishing this one.

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Photo of ehammond1
2.68/5  rDev -32%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Bottle (2011)

Holiday Wine Cellar
Escondido, CA

(Aged for 6 months)

Surprisingly light in color--nearly clear, light auburn and amber, with some definite sediment, and zero visible carbonation and no head. This leaves the glass pretty clean down the glass.

The aroma is of old, sweet bourbon, some caramel candies, and an earthy, stinging element. Nice enough, but unspectacular.

The flavor isn't particularly interesting, complex, or good: bourbon and wood, though simple in flavor--the bourbon tastes somewhat cheap and thin. There's sweet caramel and toffee, and old, damp wood flavors, and a pretty high level of sweetness.

Thin to medium bodied with no carbonation.

Probably my least favorite Hair of the Dog offering yet, and price per ounce, this is one of the worst beers I've ever purchased.

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Photo of ArrogantB
2.86/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

12oz bottle thanks to dsgolovin, appreciate it. Like most people have noted this is completely flat and the beer really suffered as a result. Dark murky orange color. Aroma of bourbon, oranges, strange yet interesting. Tasted like vanilla and oranges, booze, not bad but the lack of carbonation made it seem like juice with booze in it. Overall, disappointing.

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Photo of AgentMunky
2.89/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a FIrestone Walker tasting glass. Vintage 2011.

A: Golden amber. No carbonation. No head.

S: Stinky and unpleasant. Very strong kitty litter.

T: Hm. Interesting. Funky and weird. Sugars. Funky yeast. Molasses. Dryish, Belgiany influence.

M: Dry and sour.

O: This is deep and interesting and complex, but is not very good. I would give it another try, but as is it's awfully disappointing.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.01/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Received in trade from brewtechnik, thanks for the opportunity!
The bottle opens with barely a pfft and pours a murky deep brown color, zero head and just a smattering of bubbles. For fucks sake brewers if you are going to release a premium product for a premium price QC the fucking beer before you release it. Smells heavy of sweet bourbon and oak with lots of sugary caramel and toffee malt sweetness. The flavor is sweet sugary malt with lots of caramel, brown sugar, dark sweet fruits, oak vanilla, and bourbon. Thick body with a sweet sickly syrupy mouthfeel, and a non existent level of carbonation. Smells great, tastes ok, the mouthfeel is shot from the lack of carbonation. I didn't give Flat Abbey any slack and I'm not giving this one any either. This could be a great beer, I guess I'll never know.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.03/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Absolutely love regular Fred and scored it a 4,55 here, so I had high hopes for the bourbon barrel version. Cheers to bsuedekum and Boozcamel for bottles of this stuff.

From a bottle into a snifter
Vintage: 2011
Drunk right after a regular Fred batch 80

APPEARANCE: Pours disappointingly flat. A hard pour riles up some jiuce bubbles, but that's it. Burnt orange in color with no carbonation. A bit darker than the regular Fred. Looks flat the whole way and leaves no lacing.

SMELL: Lots of bourbon, oak, vanilla and coconut on the nose. Some caramel and toffee there as well, but most of what made the base Fred so nice is outplayed here. Quite bourbon heavy and perhaps a touch of sulpher on the nose. Nice, but not as well crafted as I'd hoped.

TASTE: Liquor like, with lots of bourbon, oak and candy sweetness up front. Sugary sweet finish with brown sugars, caramel, and more bourbon barrel flavors, like vanilla and coconut linger in the bold and alcoholic aftertaste. Oaky wood flavors are there as well.

PALATE: Flat and liquor like in the feel. Syrupy and slick going down, finishing rather sticky on the palate. Too bad, as some carbonation would have brought this to life.

OVERALL: Disappointing really. The regular Fred is such a fantastic beer, and the barrel aging here didn't really help it out. Besides the fact that this bottle was completely flat, the bourbon barrel aging is too dominant, basically whiping the base beer off the planet. More nuanced barrel aging would allow the beauty that is Fred play a roll in the flavor profile a little more, and some carbonation would help the whole experience further. Glad to have tried this, and I'll wait and hope future batches turn out better.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.05/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Pours a flat amber honey color with no head or bubbles its completely flat. nose is bourbon and malt and that's it.

Taste is very alcoholic and Bourbon, boost and sharp with a super malty and bourbon finish. But its so flat its really hard to enjoy.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.15/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a deep brown color ale with almost no head and no lacing – pretty much flat. Aroma of Kentucky bourbon with some vanilla is pretty powerful with distinct alcohol ester and loads of brown sugar notes. Taste is an unbalanced mix between strong notes of bourbon with some loads of brown sugar notes and some light vanilla. Body is full with almost no carbonation and loads of alcohol ester is discernable. Too boozy and too sweet for my taste – probably the type of beer that could be split four ways for a 12oz bottle.

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Photo of billshmeinke
3.15/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to NCbeerfan.

Murky amber/golden color. No real head to speak of.

Spicey oak dominates the nose with undertones of flimsy one vitamins and a touch of what I want to call butter.

Tastes of sweet caramel and esters with some minerals, earth, and maple syrup.

Mouthfeel is simultaneously thin and syrupy. Kinda weird. Almost no carbonation too. Shows NO booze.

Interesting, but I don't think I'll be trying to snag any next time around.

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Photo of vivasbeer
3.22/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Opened 05/27/12
Pours flat no head or carb whatsoever. It's supposed to be like this? Murky brown but light comes through.

Smell is bourbon, honey caramel, and dried fruit. Figs, raisins, and with a slight musty smell. Smells divine.

Taste is Bourbon, caramel, vanilla, and it's oddly sour. It's a bit off for me. Sweet. Not sure if it's the lack of carb, but meh.

Mouthfeel is not what I expected. I really dislike flat beers. Not sure if this is intentional or not but I wasnt expecting it to be dead. Otherwise it is medium and has a nice sticky mouthfeel and I would have enjoyed it more with a bit of carb.

Overall....it tasted ok, not trading for this one again.

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Photo of pmarlowe
3.31/5  rDev -16%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

2011 vintage. Tulip glass.

A: Pours an opaque, dull medium gold color. Flat, with no head or noticeable carbonation.

S: Very bourbon forward, oak and vanilla and coconut, toffee, floral notes with tropical fruit, some alcohol.

T: Very similar, with some honey flavor and sweetness. A little alcohol burn, but minor.

M: Flat and a thick, full body, a little sticky.

O: Carbonation would work wonders for this. Otherwise, this is a so-so slow sipper.

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Photo of BierJager89
3.34/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Glowy ambery orange, with almost no head.

S: The smell, don't smell it. It smells awful.

T: Earthy note, oak, vanilla, caramel, some fruity notes, some mustiness.

M: Medium bodied and overly smooth. Flat.

O: Dont smell it. Taste it and you'll be happy.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.35/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received this beer as an extra along with the Adam from the Wood. Was really looking forward to trying this one out. Poured from 12oz bottle (2011 vintage) into snifter glass. Pours murky cooper with a small head. Aroma of light fruit, oak, bourbon, sugar and raisins. Flavor is sweet malt, boozy tanic oak and vanilla with a light hop bitterness. Medium to full body with mild carbonation and a thick, sugary mouthfeel. This beer was not pleasant at all for me as there was some overpowering unpleasant taste somewhere in the middle that almost made this beer a drain pour for me. I am actually surprised that the regular Fred easily blows this bigger brother version out of the water.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.38/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into old RR snifter. Thanks a ton SneezyAchew! 2011 vintage.

A: Pours flat. Fuck. Deep iced-tea in color. Flat. Flat. Flat.
S: Huge and volatile notes of boozy bourbon, alcohol vapor, caramel, dark fruits, and a few hints of butterscotch.
T: Better tasting than the smell. Rich notes of bourbon, sweet berries, dark fruits, caramel, vanilla, candied sugar, wood and a hint of leather. Sweet and boozy overall with a few hint of the butterscotch I smelled in the nose.
M: No to extremely low carbonation. Mouthfeel is slick and greasy over the full and viscous body.
O: Really good flavor but disappointing carbonation. HotD bottle variation strikes again.

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Photo of billab914
3.41/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage. 12oz bottle poured into my Dogfish snifter. It poured a murky brown color and very still looking.

The aroma seems pretty bourbon dominated with a lot of alcohol showing through. Woody oak, brown sugar and a malty caramel flavor round out the flavors. The bourbon is good, but it feels pretty one dimensional.

The taste shows a lot of the bourbon influence. Up front is especially dominated by a bold bourbon flavor. In the finish is where more of the woody oak, vanilla and brown sugar mix with a little of the malty sweetness of the base beer. It's a little boozy and bourbon dominated up front, but the finish is very good. Fred seems a little overshadowed by the bourbon, but the bourbon is pretty tasty and smooth though.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied, but completely flat. I like low carbonation in bourbon forward beers, but this is a little too low.

Overall, it was a good beer but wasn't a great beer in my opinion. The no carbonation aspect hurt it a lot and made it feel almost like a bourbon cocktail and not a beer. The bourbon flavors were very good, but that seemed like all it had going for it.

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Photo of nanobrew
3.44/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Tried on 12/22/2012, this is of the most recent batch. This beer was released flat/little carbonation. I knew this ahead of time, and overall though it was fairly decent, but the carbonation would help, and maybe make it worth the $12.50 price tag. Luckily i got to sample it in the OTM tasting room.

A - reddish, dark copper. Very few bubbles around the edge, no head or carbonation bubbles throughout the beer

S - The predominant smell is of oak, it is almost overpowering, along with the smell of alcohol. There is also the smell of the bourbon, along with notes of toffee, dark caramel and molasses.

T - The oak is not as strong as in the nose. The beer comes through way more and along with the bourbon. There is a good amount of sweetness in this beer. The alcohol I feel is not over powering at all. I was happy overall with the taste, only if there was some carbonation.

M - The large amount of sweetness and no carbonation make this a thick beer. It drinks more like a cognac or bourbon due to the lack of carbonation, similar to Utopias.

Again, I wish this beer had carbonation. I feel like it would then have been more enjoyable. Overall I thought it was okay, and it grew on me as I continued to drink it, however, the 4oz I had were enough.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.48/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Steve for this one. 12oz. bottle poured into a brandy snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Pours completely flat. No head, no lace, but thick legs. Beer is a deep, clear caramel-goldenrod. Not impressed.

Nose is bourbon heat, sweet caramel, and brown sugar. Some toffee also. Very aromatic and robust. Solid.

Opens very sweet. Caramel, brown sugar, and toffee. Some pineapple in the middle with more brown sugar. Bourbon barrels peak through towards the end, adding even more sweetness and richness. Finish is boozy with a a toffee aftertaste. Very heavy. Nice. Super rich.

Medium bodied with no carbonation. Syrupy and filmy in the mouth and hot going down. Warm finish with a slightly sticky aftertaste. As expected given the lack of carbonation.

This beer has a lot of potential. Its complex with a well integrated flavor profile that's just downright tasty. However, the lack of carbonation really hurts this one. Still worth seeking out though.

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Photo of beerbiatchMD
3.48/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into a wine glass.
Bottle date 2011
Thanks dsgolovin for the bottle!

A: deep amber and copper in color. Pretty much no head but a few bubbles form around the rim.

S: sweetness up front with vanilla, honey, and bourbon. Also a bit of oak, medicinal. Also get a hint of fruit, maybe sour cherry. Decent nose but significant sweetness/maltiness predominates.

T: Immediate sweet syrupiness up front with brown sugar, molasses, and dark fruit. The sweetness then recedes to an oaky bourbon flavor but still remains pretty malty/sweet. Aftertaste is gentle and mostly sweet without any bitterness. Not really any alcohol heat, which is surprising considering the 12% abv.

M: Very thick, smooth, really no alcohol heat. No carbonation really at all.

O: A well made ale that I'm certainly glad to have tried. However, it's a bit sweet for me. I would recommend it but feel like the sweetness is overpowering and the balance isn't where it could be. It seems close to a barley wine to me. It's amazing that the alcohol is so well covered. This could be a dangerous beer because of that.

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Photo of bignuke61
3.49/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This came my way by the generosity of Black13.

A: I knew this was going to be flat so I just dumped it in my DFH snifter. The color was very nice... sort of a hazy sunset burnt orange, but there was definitely not a single bubble.

S: Definitely the worst part of this beer. There was something there that I did not like at all. Sort of a musty honey bourbon thing.

T: A dark sweetness with soft bourbon tones and lingering oak finish. Very sherry like. More fruit comes out as it warms. Nothing seems to over-dominate, all the flavors mingle nicely. Surprisingly no heat given that is 12% and flat!

M: It was flatter than expected (and I expected it to be flat) but this beer can handle it pretty well. Other beers would just feel like a thick harsh syrup, but this is more of a light syrup (not very thick at all) that kind of coats the mouth and down the throat with a subdued warm woody sweetness.

O: Maybe not as great as I was hoping, but pretty good and I am glad I got to try it. The flavors play quite well together. Half way through, I did throw in a splash of (well-carbonated) Fred for bubbles. I thought it was better. It really brought out the subtle fruits and played off the bourbon very well.

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Bourbon Fred From The Wood from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
88 out of 100 based on 126 ratings.