Fred From The Wood
Hair Of The Dog Brewing Company / Brewery And Tasting Room

Fred From The WoodFred From The Wood
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American Strong Ale
Ranked #13
Ranked #1,093
4.27 | pDev: 9.84%
Hair Of The Dog Brewing Company / Brewery And Tasting Room
Oregon, United States
Fred From The WoodFred From The Wood
Notes: Aged in new, medium toast American oak barrels for at least 6 months
Reviews: 245 | Ratings: 558 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Lingenbrau
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage from the bottle...

First thing noticed is how much darker this is than good ol' Fred. A ruddy amber brown with classic HotD lack of clarity. Above lies an oddly orange tinted tan foam, that snappy as bubbles continue to vocalize their demise. A thin ring and even more scarce patch are all that they leave behind.

The Fred signature Dark Belgian Candi sugar is still dominant in the aroma, but to taking on a much richer form. Dates and prunes soaked in classic cola and associated spices, accompanied by a lively leather and tobacco oak influence. Definitely takes Fred to the next level.

There's molasses, then there's Fred From the Wood. Straight up molasses. Syrupy, black licorice, oak, leather, fig and a touch of soy sauce. Once again, Hair of the Dog nails simplicity with insane and contradictory complexity going well beyond just the flavor. The finish has such a unique flavor that I can't quite put my finger on, yet it's so familiar. Frustrating as hell.... Raw cranberry juice perhaps?

Syrupy and smooth with just a faint pop of carbonation that colludes with the wood to employ a perceived dryness. The booze is remarkably well hidden, especially considering the source as being ones not shy of intensity. A sipper, and a pleasure with it's sweet yet bold demeanor.

Another, as expected, absolute pleasure. Once again, I have no context to this versus fresh. My first go with Fred From the Wood is this very bottle. 6 years old and absolutely fan-fucking-tastic.


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Photo of Lucnifter
3.79/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2013 vintage.
Pours dark amber with a moderate tan head.
Aroma is tea, lemon and oxydation.
Flavor is carmel, tea and cardboard.
Medium heavy body.
Overall an okay beer. The 5 years is apparent. Not bad. Drinkable, but I prefer the non-BA version.

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Photo of Dactrius
4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013. Nearly flat but more carbonation than a lot of their bottles. Oxidized but HotD makes beers that are really well suited to aging where the flavors actually work with age on them. The barrel isn't very noticeable, perhaps getting overpowered a bit by the oxidization. A great beer but not one I'd age much longer.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.49/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle

Tea and tobacco all over the nose, dried orange peel, dusty oak, toasted scones and burnt sugar. Taste follows suit. Thin caramel and burnt sugar, toasted scones, walnut. Flash of orange marmalade. Some berry. Deep earthy tones of tea, tobacco, and pine bark. Plenty of dusty and toasty oak. Long earthy tobacco and herb finish. Medium-full body with gentle carbonation and a slight sticky texture. A great American interpretation of an old ale, and full of character. A pleasure to drink.

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Photo of stevoj
4.11/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle from Jeremy, barley wine tasting 2018. Really smooth, sharp ABV notes in the aroma. Malty sweet and boozy. Perfect all the way around. Barrels really up the ante on this beer.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.9/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

We did a side-by-side with Fred From the Stone at the brewery and the differences were stark.

This had a thicker head with an even more solid wall of lace all around the glass, yet had a lighter amber-orange hue that was fully opaque.

Aromas of really hard spirits hit the nose with woody spice, sticky sap, pear, apple and salted caramel. As it warms I also get maple and candied nut. The aroma here is the big winner between the two, hands-down.

Frothy and soft but with a medium level of boozy heat, this semi-dry version tastes of apple, pear, toast, wood, licorice and molasses.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
3.6/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Beavertown Extravaganza. Aroma has musty wood barrel, cellar funk and some fruits. Taste is woody, dusty and musty. Not as good as the regular version.

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Photo of HipCzech
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Hair of the Dog Brewery and Tasting Room, served in a stemmed 3 oz glass. Cloudy orange amber with a short, frothy crown of near white head. Big and boozy with plenty of oak barrel notes. Toffee, turbinado sugar, vanilla, sweet citrus fruit, and spicy new oak. Leather and tobacco tannins linger in the finish. Medium to full body and moderate carbontion along with some alcoholic heat. A potent brew with tasty, bold barrel notes.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.14/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is one heavy beer. Tonnes of brandy, oak, caramel, leather. Nose also has spices. Thick and heavy, almost syrupy. It's pretty great, but about as undrinkable as it gets- boozy and heavy, a bit of an ordeal. Great for a small amount- but I can't drink it for too long!

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Photo of unclekeith
4.49/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 12 oz bottle into a tulip

L: Murky brown with a nice 1-finger head settling to a thin collar
S: Caramel, spices, oak, vanilla, toffee - wonderful
T: Following the nose, leather, tobacco
F: Full bodied, good carb
O: Superb, complex, alcohol well hidden, worth the wait

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Photo of ptykozoon
3.86/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours ugly as sin mirky pond water. No head/lacing.

Sweet citrusy fruits, caramel, toffee, vanilla. Excellent.

Tastes like the nose only subdued. The flavors are very delicate but pleasant.

Mouthfeel is extremely smooth. ABV feel is handled well. Finish is a dry tobacco and molasses.

A subtle, smooth beer with lovely yet restrained flavors.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.31/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2014 vintage
12oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a murky amber color with a small foamy white head that reduces to a ring around the edge of the glass

S- aroma opens with spicy young oak, followed by notes of leather & tobacco, molasses, caramel, dark cherry, vanilla, herbal tea & raisin, very complex

T- flavor opens up with a strong presence of spicy oak, followed by dark fruity sweetness, with notes of raisin & black cherry. Mid-palate brings more sweet notes of caramel & molasses. As it nears the finish, notes of spicy wood kicks in, along with some earthy notes of tobacco. The linger is of strong fresh oak and hints of vanilla

M- medium body with low carbonation leads to a slightly foamy mouthfeel that continues into the finish

O- the oak barrels play a huge part in this variation, and it works very well with the base beer, definitely recommended if you like strong woodsy flavors

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.04/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2014

Appearance: pours a orangish brown color. a finger or two of a tannish head with strong retention and a big lacing behind. hazy and opaque.

Smell: lots of wood flavor. cinnamon, vanilla and huge virgin oak. some rye spice and alcohol.

Taste: opens with rye and a strong maltiness. huge wooden flavors take over completely with virgin oak, and minor notes of cinnamon and vanilla. fairly strong alcohol. some dark fruits float in occasionally.

Mouthfeel: heavier, slick and almost syrupy. strong lingering oak. fairly dry.

Overall: a huge improvement on regular fred. the pure oak flavor is killer, and almost takes over the whole beer. I wish a few more base notes came through but this is still a delicious beer.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, the beer is an unfiltered, muddled, light brown coloring, with sparse trails of carbonation throughout the body, and no head to speak of. Aromas of super sweet toffee and caramel, vanilla, brown sugar, wood, roast, apple, date and fig, and a subtle spice blend of nutmeg and cinnamon. Wow...this is a layered trip for your nose. Flavors are rich and heavy forward, with a heavy dose of molasses, toffee, booze heat, woody character, candied apple, fig, and peat. Pretty decent blend of earth and rich sweetness. Smooth, creamy body that layers the flavors for you to uncover. Richly sweet, creamy, and heavily roasted aftertaste. Smooth, slightly cloying, lingering sweet finish.

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Photo of zonker17
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottle consumed 10/5/15. Creamy beige head that stays for a while. Deep brown somewhat amber color. Smells like a wood and malt. Taste is better than most, with very little hop presence at this point. Mouthfeel is outstandingly over-medium with good level of carbonation.

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Photo of Zaximus
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

2014 vintage 12oz bottle into a newly acquire HOTD tulip. Pour produces about a 1/4'' head. No carb issues here.

Caramel, molasses, wood and a little burn on the nose.

Taste follows the nose. Sweet, caramel, malty, bready(?) goodness with perfect amount of wood and alcohol. I really dig this. Possibly a bit under appreciated and definitely recommended. HOTD crushes this style.

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Photo of dar482
4.78/5  rDev +11.9%

The beer comes a copper dark brown.

The aroma offers sweet bourbon, oak, toffee, caramel.

The flavor follows of a full mouthfeel with a good amount of carbonation. A punch of dried dark fruit of figs and plums. A rich brown sugar and caramel sweetness comes through with the beer drying out of oak.

A deliciously complex brew.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Shared by ygtbsm94. Thanks Brad!

The beer is copper hued and somewhat clear with a small tan cap. Aromas of bread, oak, sweet malt, vanilla, booze. Huge flavor. A huge wave of oak carries over from the aroma to flavor, with additional flavors of wet wood, earth, vanilla, malt. A potent offering. While this is indeed quite tasty, it's best enjoyed in small servings.

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Photo of portia99
4.12/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2nd in my series of Fred reviews in honor of my cat Fred who recently passed away.
1st bottle in series - batch #69 (2007) Fred

12oz bottle (2008 vintage) poured into a gold rimmed Harpoon 100 Barrel series stemmed glass.

A - Pours a slightly deeper amber color than the standard Fred and has a more pronounced reddish tint to it. Body is a touch muddy in contrast to the regular Fred which had excellent clarity. Head is a low finger high, light tan/creamy in color and tightly bubbled with good retention. Webby/soapy lacing is left on the glass.

S - Sweet malt base, syrupy and thick in aroma - caramel with hints of molasses, iced tea, faint cherries, nice woody oak aromas, some light vanilla, lightly boozy, yeasty and bready. Estery and fruity with notes of apples and raisins. Very malt forward for sure, but not quite to the level of the original Fred. Some mild toasty aromas also.

T - Very malty up front...much more than the original Fred. Toffee, caramel, brown sugar, molasses and honey-like sugary sweetness. Thick and syrupy in sweetness - a bit overpowering in character. Toasty, woody oaky-ness, warm booziness, nice vanilla aspects, a bit of ginger ale, really no hops left after 6 years. Slightly roasty and toasted on the finish, slightly drying out the character of the beer, but still remaining predominantly sweet on the palate. Super smooth and too easy-drinking for a 10% beer.

M - Thick and full bodied with a lowish carbonation that still manages a bit of a tingle on the tongue. Syrupy in feel, multi-varietal sugary complexity, smoothing vanilla barreling, woody notes. Sweet, but not overly sweet...really bordering on the edge of being too much, but straddles the line on the correct side.

O - Overall very good beer. I think I like the original Fred a bit more, but this is a fine beer without a doubt. Slight change in character, a bit smoother, a bit more sweetness, definitely a fuller bodied beer. A fine beer in the middle part of my tribute to my cat buddy, Fred.

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Photo of zaphodchak
3.99/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Amber body, thinnish offwhite had and surface tracing.

Boozy nose, bourbon and some of the coriander of normal Fred.

Extreme smooth bourbon, faint citrus, borderline astringent levels of wood, but I enjoy this.

Smooth and even-textured.

Darn fine beer—I think I enjoy this less as it warms though.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.89/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Glad to give this one a try. Cheers to Doopie for breaking out the three bottle Fred lineup including the regular, this one and the bourbon wood versions.

From a bottle into a snifter
Vintage: 2013
Six months in new American oak barrels

APPEARANCE: Much darker than the regular Fred. Pours a one finger, medium looking white head with good retention. Hazy maroon red with no carbonation evident. Slight wisp remains and leaves no real lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Heavy oak on the nose here, with vanilla, caramel and toffee as well. Light spices with lots of oak and wood on the nose.

TASTE: Lots of oak and wood again here, with vanilla, caramel and toffee sweetness up front. Sweet finish of more wood, butterscotch and toffee sweetness. Little bitterness, but very sweet with lots of wood.

PALATE: Medium body and carbonation. A little lighter than the regular version, semi-creamy and smooth on the palate, goes down okay with a touch of heat and finishes slightly mouth-coating.

OVERALL: Really nice here. Not quite as well balanced and interesting as the base beer, as the oak aging has made it somewhat one-dimensional, but this is still a delicious treat. I'd drink this one again for sure, but wouldn't bother seeking it out. Thanks again Doopie!

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Photo of sweemzander
4.59/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12oz. bottle poured into a stemmed tulip. 2013 vintage.

(A)- Pours a very dark burnt sienna brown color. Produced a lovely frothy tan to eggshell colored head. nice retention and lacing for the style and ABV in mind.

(S)- A very inviting aroma. A big underlying sweetness behind it with hints of a figgy raisin combo. Very deep and robust leathery tobacco oak nuances. Ever so slight vanilla and molasses kiss on the finish.

(T)- Very complex. The oak barrel really shines in this with robust leather and tobacco profile. You get a nice subtle char note from the barrel as well that meets just a little bit of cocoa and vanilla combined with a figgy raisin nuance. Even still throughout its underlying flavors, the subtle oaky sweetness just fits this so well.

(M)- A nice carbonation level for the style. It is really well balanced and layered complexity. Superb oak barrel integration and a very well hidden ABV, though perhaps a bit lighter in alcohol than most of Alan's barrel variants.

(O)- Its amazing how much a barrel can change and integrate itself into the base beer when it is done the right way. Very harmonious yet robust and balanced. Simply superb.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 Vintage. Poured in to snifter.

A - Murky deep brown; almost completely opaque with a thin layer of dirty white head.

S - Big woody/oak aroma up front with toffee, caramel and a candy-like sweet aroma.

T - Charred oak, toffee, burnt sugar, molasses, tobacco (which really intensifies as the beer warms) and a hint of smoke.

M - Full body. Light carbonation.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.49/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 year bottle as a lucky grab from a shelf in Ocean Beach. Pours a murky amber color with a small toffee colored creamy looking head. Aroma of honeycomb, molasses, maple syrup, some lemony soapy aroma. Flavor is big sweet toffee, figs, maple syrup, honey, bready, sweet brown sugar and molasses, oak, vanilla. Vanilla oak, tobacco, and maple on the finish, lingering dry on the palate. Light booze and warmth but the dryness of the oak keeps it in check. Heavy bodied but still with medium high carbonation that prickles the tongue. Huge complex flavors. Awesome brew and I was surprised how much oak remained on this after 4 years.

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Photo of jaasen64
3.94/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from '09 poured into HF stemmed glass, thanks Michael (black13) for the hook-up.

A- Pours a translucent reddish,mahogany copper nice carbonation with consistent rising bubbles, just a faint white head forms that dissipates fairly fast to a flat top leaving clinging lacing to the sides of the glass.

S- Definite oak, some honey, slightly malty, faint hints of yeast and tobacco, slight mustiness that Im assuming it picked up with age- doesn't make the beer smell bad, just different then I was expecting. Decently aromatic and fairly complex, definitely different.

T- Initially comes out as being sweet with a nice touch of honey and malts balanced with oak. Next to these flavors is an interesting muskiness that provides a hint of sourness, not what I was expecting at all with this but oddly enough it balances with the oak, sweetness, and hints of tobacco- in a way it almost adds complexity, but I think I'd prefer it fresh. Finishes with more sweetness coming through with honey, slight cherries, and a bit of toasted wood.

M- Medium bodied, very smooth although the slightly sour presence adds a little bit of sharpness to it, nice carbonation throughout.

O- This beer was definitely a little bit different then I thought it would be. Over the last few years it picked up a musty, slightly acidic quality to it. It didn't completely ruin the beer, more of just added an interesting presence to it while still showcasing the wood and sweetness. None-the-less I think I would prefer this fresh and in my taste Adam is definitely a better beer. This beer was interesting to try but I definitely wouldn't trade the cellar for it.

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Fred From The Wood from Hair Of The Dog Brewing Company / Brewery And Tasting Room
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 558 ratings