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

237 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Fred From The WoodFred From The Wood

Brewed by:
Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
Oregon, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Aged in new, medium toast American oak barrels for at least 6 months

Added by freed on 03-28-2005

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 237 | Ratings: 535
Photo of Phyl21ca
2.46/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Hogtownharry: Poured a medium yellow color ale with a small foamy white head with minimal retention and lacing. Aroma of oak and sugar is totally dominated by hot alcohol. Taste is totally dominated by hot burning alcohol which is not something that I am usually fond of. Some oak and sweet malt were discernable but still totally overshadowed by the alcohol. I honestly could hardly taste the original Fred in here and I sure could not tell if there were any hops in there. I’m glad I got the chance to try that one but it sure is not something I will seek again.

 584 characters

Photo of BgThang
2.52/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thanks to jonathaL7890 for this brew

Pours a one finger head

Nose- Alcohol, perfumey, maple, cherries.

Appearance cloudy brownish/coppery

Mouthfeel I get some sweetness up front then its warmed by the alcohol.

Taste- Tobacco, toffee, maple syrup, slight grapefruit. alcohol shows up in the end

This beer is not one of my favorites. It might could benefit from age. I will not seek this beer out again.

 407 characters

Photo of BarrytheBear
2.56/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle from the 08 vintage shared with Kyle.

Yellowish carbonated beverage surprise.

Pear juice predominantly. Actually, this is surprising. There's no wood, no depth, no real complexity from a brewery that tends to nail layers and depth. Hurumph...

Sweet Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! Big red apple, skins and all. A bit mushy perhaps. A big honey sweetness as well. Just fruit juice and a slightly cloying floral syrupy finish.

Not sure whether Fred is just not my bag, or that aging has done this beer ill, or both. As is, this is just a messy bottle of fruit syrup that doesn't stand up well. A disappointment.

 621 characters

Photo of mikey711
2.66/5  rDev -37%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

From Batch 64, poured into s snifter

A: A murky brown wih a big off white head and very good lacing. Some sediment sits in the glass.

S: HMMM, it smells exactly like A1 steak sauce... There is a hint of leather and some heat. Very stange and it makes me want a steak

T: Yeah still some A1, but lots of smokiness and sweetness. As it warmed up a bit more it continued to get better as more of the vanilla and oak comes out.

M: Boozy and sweet, but a bit lighter in body than I anticipated.

D: I am wondering if I got a bad bottle of this and am willing to try it again, but this time it want a bit tough to drink.

Note: I tried this bottle again to give it a second chance. Way to sweet for my liking and still reminding me too much or steak sauce

 752 characters

Photo of benmiliron
2.68/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Gift from beer powerball.

This is a weird beer. Looks hazy tan orange. Smells pretty good, but there is a good dose of funk in there that I wasn't expecting. I don't think this should be a barleywine but a sour beer instead.

Taste is unique - American wild flavor that is becoming so popular lately. I just can't seem to develop a taste for this. Very weird with a barleywine, but admittedly the flavor combo is interesting. Kinda hot in the mouthfeel.

Overall I wouldn't recommend this brew unless you're into the recent US "wild" beer craze.

 549 characters

Photo of Arbitrator
2.89/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Review of 2009 vintage, courtesy of ramnuts, who has generously sent me several vintages of this beer. Thanks, Frank!

A: Hazy golden orange with moderate head that recedes into a ring around the top. It remains active and carbonated throughout the drink, with energetic lacing throughout.

S: Wood. Wood, wood, wood. Alan, did you forget about Fred? With some careful sniffing I pick up light fruits (peaches, I guess?) with a dose of caramel malt and toffee.

T: The initial taste is a nice malty flavor that is quickly overtaken a solid oak/wood presence. Alan's serious about this. Some caramel and toffee malts enter in the middle, with light piney hop taste in the finish. No alcohol burn detected.

M: Medium-bodied and medium carbonation, lacking that motor oil feel. Well captured presence.

D: I LOVED my 2008 bottle (the first time I had it). I am sure my palate has evolved, but I am also positive the 2009 batch is overwhelmingly woody. Wood from the Fred needs to be aged a bit to let that die out.

EDIT: I am consuming a 2008 vintage on 01/17/2012, and it is as I remembered it back when I first had it: balanced expression of wood and very peachy in the nose and mouth. I find this version far superior to the oak juice of the 2009 vintage.

 1,261 characters

Photo of Sean9689
2.91/5  rDev -31%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured from 12oz bottle into Duvel tulip.

A - Golden color, mirky, with a small amount of white head that quickly vanishes leaving a white ring around the edge of the glass.

S - Lots of sweet cirtus, mandarin oranges, tangerines, and mango notes.

T - Similar to the nose, I get sweet citrus flavors. Some alcohol burn in the way down, but I think the 10% is hidden pretty well on this beer (as good as you can hide 10%). Bitterness on the end mixed with some alcohol burn.

M - very rich, creamy, medium in body. Slight carbonation, I think it could use a bit more.

D - Not really digging this one.

 605 characters

Photo of charlesw
3.03/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Well, weird. This is a BA beer? Ah. Hmm. Right. Well, yeah. I'm comparing it to a BA Old Numskull so maybe... Maybe yeah. Still, I don't get the BA (or however they impart their woodiness) bit. I'd have to compare it to a Fred to really see, I suppose. Not gonna happen tonight. Anyway, what the heck is up with calling this an American BW??? What hop bitterness? And, wow, is it ever thick and sweet. Well, in a 'merican BW there should be the bitterness or some other kind of hoppiness to balance out the sweetness - if it's there. Mind you, hey, it has carbonation so all is not lost! Sometimes... Sometimes I check out other reviews while I'm going over a beer. It's weird. I wonder if we're talking about the same beer. Pronounced bitterness? Where? What? Strange. Ah well.

 778 characters

Photo of rhinos00
3.05/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2009 Vintage. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

A- Much like Fred. Pours a vibrant amber. Great clarity. Fingers width of white that quickly dissipates into a ring around the glass.

S- Interesting, but the combination of aromas wasn't doing it for me. The aroma was way too one sided with the heavy oak barrel notes. Some sweetness was able to escape to give it some diversity.

T- Rather disappointing. The first half was manageable and actually quite good. As in Fred, lots of fruit sweetness with a nice barrel presence. However, the second half was just atrocious. Unlike Fred, this beer developed a sweet artificial flavor that just permeated throughout. It was borderline disgusting. I've never experienced anything like this in any beer I have had. Oak barrels or not, the sweetness was not only overbearing on the end, it was synthetic like.

M- Like Fred, thin on the mouthfeel. For a barleywine I would expect a little more viscosity.

D- First half of the sip is good, second half almost hard to put down.

Overall, really looked forward to this one, but probably won't be seeking it out again. Sort of sucks because I am a huge barleywine fine, but this is just doesn't even compare to the better ones I have had.

 1,241 characters

Photo of crossovert
3.13/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. It is a gusher 2009 vintage.

It pours beautifully, a beautiful orange/red color with a foamy white ehad that recedes to some gorgeuos lacing.

It is straight up fucking infected though, maybe a stray batch of Fred Flanders form the wood got bottled. It smells like a sour Belgian pale. It has a bretty presence and some sweetness.

The flavor is sweet and sour with a definite oak flavor. Well ill be fucked, it isn't half bad infected. It has a big lemony flavor, some cloying sweetness from the base barleywine. Some solid barleywine base flavors like caramel and toffee are very pronounced. The wood is big and bold and it has a bit of spiciness.

Ever had a sour Belgo-barleywine? This is it. I wish I could have it un-infected. And sadly because it is infected I have to dock points somewhere and I will go with the smell.

 843 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.33/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Received from thethrone in the Barrel 'O Beer BIF.

Clear amber colored beer with no head formation at all.

Smell is orange juice and vanilla with a significant sour note. Can smell the oak but that is about it, this smells quite weird.

The taste starts out VERY sweet with a strong vanilla flavor and pretty much a vanilla aftertaste. Hops are herbal and add a melon flavor to this. Weird flavor to this beer don't think the barrel makes it better.

Mouthfeel is thick.

I don't really like this one. The flavors don't really mesh well together.

 548 characters

Photo of DIM
3.37/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

note: I had this right after a regular Fred.

a: This looks exactly like Fred. This was a clear, pale, golden copper color. It poured with a huge, fluffy, craggy white head that was sticky and long lasting.

s: This smell strange and very different than regular Fred. The candied sugar is still here, but the rye and hops are gone. Replaced by strong earthy aromas of tobacco, naked oak, and something spicy (coriander?). Overall, this was neither subtle nor appealing.

t: This features the same spicy, candied sugar that Fred does. The hops from the finish are gone, replaced by sweet vanilla and oak flavors. There is some moderate heat to found as well. At the very end, raw oak flavors linger for a long time.

m: This was creamier than regular Fred and the carbonation was a bit more lively. The aftertaste is unpleasant though.

d: As with regular Fred, I wouldn't call this a barleywine. It seems that I might not like beers aged in new oak barrels as much as beers aged in bourbon or whiskey barrels. This was worth trying, but I won't have another.

 1,058 characters

Photo of Bung
3.43/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

12 oz. 2008
Brighter amber pour, more carbonation than some others here have described. Still just a thin layer on top, more throughout though.

Aroma is pretty sweet, but not overly so. Brown sugar, light red fruit, some oak, peat.

Taste is fig, brown sugar. Quickly goes to some red fruit and slight sour notes. A large amount of booze here also. Finsihes with some sweet malt and then drier oak, spicy, hops.

3 years, the taste is interesting, but wow is this still boozy. The mouthfeel is medium and carbonation is lightly there to stave off the stickiness some. The boozy nature, makes this difficult to finish even the 12 oz.
At $1 an oz, I'll pass on another.
Adam set the bar so high for me with these guys, everything else has paled in comparison.

 758 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.45/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter. 2009 vintage.

3.5 A: Murky light brown color. About one finger of creamy beige head that falls rather quickly and leaves a small incomplete ring of lacing.

3.5 S: Holy shit is this woody! This is simply dripping with the essence of oak. Really, the oak is so strong that it covers up a lot of the other aromas, but I'll try to pick them out anyway. Sweet caramel and toffee, boozy, apricot and pear brandy, plum and raisin, vanilla, and tobacco. You really have to like wood to like the way this smells, I think there's just a little too much.

3.5 T: Again, strong oak, tobacco, pear brandy, plum and raisin, and tobacco. Vanilla from the oak, toasted malts, nuts, and bread. This is really boozy for 10%. If I had to guess without already knowing, I would have thought this was at least 15%. Strangely, this has the essence of a bourbon barrel without the bourbon, but not just the oak if that makes any sense (I doubt it does). This is absolutely packed with flavor, but it seems raw even with over a year of age on it.

4.0 M: Heavy body. Good moderate carbonation. Reasonably creamy, but a bit chewier than I prefer.

3.0 D: This has the makings of a fantastic beer, but I think it needs a good three years to get to that level. Even though this bottle had over a year on it, the taste was too earthy and raw. I love oak, but I found it to be a bit too aggressive. Also, the alcohol is way too apparent right now. It's quite boozy for only 10%. Great beer, just not yet.

 1,505 characters

Photo of rayjay
3.45/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2008 vintage. Delirium Noel tulip.

A blond strong ale. Fair appearance, not very lively though. Musty oxidized aroma. Very sweet malty body with faded hop bitterness. Butterscotch and salty almonds. So nutty it's off the charts. Between the spicy carbonation and the alcohol presence it packs quite a punch. Not very subtle, but with respect towards the style.

Admittedly not my style but interesting to drink. Reminds me of drinking a strong ale in the 90's when QC wasn't really a concern, you'd think "wow that's stronger than the average beer" but it wasn't really that great...but strong enough that you want to drink it. This beer has that sort of appeal.

 664 characters

Photo of bort11
3.51/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

johnnnniee included this with Black Booty 09. thanks dude

12 oz bottle poured into my Boulevard Smokestack goblet. Tight tan head that recedes to a foamy cap. Pretty tight retention for a higher ABV. Foam paints the glass with each sip. Color is a hazy golden orange.

Smell has a bit of a funk to it. Sweet floral and oily butter aromas. Very rich. There is a sweet citrus like an over-ripe orange. Taste is strangely overwhelming. It's not the bitterness or the sweetness that is overwhelming, but a combination of the two. The hops are floral and fruity. There is a banana/bubble gum sweetness. Maybe that's what is not quite jiving with me.

Mouthfeel is very thick, creamy and buttery. THis is a very slow sipper. Perhaps this will change with age. I am willing to give it another shot

 791 characters

Photo of badbeer
3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber color with a white head and bits of lacing. Head quickly recedes to a ring around the glass. Hoppy aroma, like a mixture of pineapple and pickles (strangely); there is also a little bit of oak. Woody taste with sweet caramel that comes through before a pineapple finish. Medium carbonation and body. This was Batch 64. Pretty good, but I wouldn't go nuts about it.

 370 characters

Photo of jminsc76
3.61/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Shared this with alexd3891, which he poured into a couple of Delirium tulips. Exhibits a medium-size head atop an orange-ish/slightly murky body.

Strong and refreshing aromas of vanilla, honey, sour apples, and grapes. Exhibits some other fruity flavors in there as well, but I can't identify them.

Flavors are sour, earthy, tart, and includes vanilla, caramel, apples, and oak, slight tobacco, and some bitterness. There is a lot going on here but the components don't crescendo into anything stellar. It's a Frankenstein of flavors rather than a Don Juan.

The mouthfeel is medium thickness, with little heat for an ABV of ~10%. Exhibits a decent finish at the end, but I agree with alexd3891 that it doesn't live up to the hype flavor-wise. Considering Fred (without the Wood) is a well-respected and admired American Barleywine, I think a lot of people reasoned that since this is an aged version, it should be even better. Nope. This either needs more time to age or its not my (and alexd3891's) cup of tea.

Should you be able to acquire one of these and find yourself slightly dissatisfied, try H.O.T.D.'s Adam if you already haven't.

 1,147 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
3.61/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served cold from the fridge, 2009 Edition, no batch number listed.

With a vigorous pour, I see a cloudy a reddish orange brew with a 1 finger head of foam. And a very good stubborn head of foam it is. Plenty of lacing to boot. A gorgeous looking BWSA.

The nose is interesting. I'm getting notes of oak and hop bitterness but also some tart and sour fruitiness. I'll admit, I had no idea of what to expect going in to this sitting. It'll be a tough call for me on scoring for smell.

The taste has lots of caramel sweet to it with some definite woody notes and bitterness from the hops but... the finish is dominated by a fairly strong, very wine like sourness. I hope this is the way this BWSA is meant to be. As is it is, I like but if there's some kind of infection going on then I guess I must have a "bad" bottle. In this case, "bad" isn't all that bad according to my palate. I'll be checking other reviews to see what's what.

I'd say it is full bodied, medium carbonated, and does have a silky smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability? Despite the sourness or because of it???, I find Fred From The Wood an easy drinking strong ale. But I have to say, I prefer the regular Fred by a country mile. That is one hell of a good brew.

 1,229 characters

Photo of Swimsum
3.65/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 vintage at Beachwood BBQ on 8/8/09.

Pours out a dark golden orange color. A bit cloudy when held to the light. About 1/2 finger head on the initial pour that settles into a thin film. By the end of the glass the head has disappeared completely. Some lacing down the sides of the glass but it doesn't stick to the glass very well and is sporadic.

Sweet smelling upon the first few whiffs. Oak/wood immediately follow this up and ends with an alcohol burn. At times the alcohol becomes a bit overwhelming in the smell.

Oak/wood greats the tongue as the beer is sipped. Followed up by some alcohol heat, sweetness and slight tobacco. The alcohol is the most noticeable aspect of the taste for it. I really think this needs some time to develop as I thought it was very hot.

Sitting on the tongue this is a very thick beer with not a lot of carbonation. Upon swallowing, their is an alcohol burn that I'm not liking all that much.

This one was a sipper for me. Was pretty boozy and not all that complex. Perhaps the meal I had with it wasn't helping it out any but if I had a bottle of this, I'd let it sit for awhile. Hopefully will be able to get another bottle of this one day.

 1,186 characters

Photo of DrJay
3.65/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 64. This poured a hazy amber with a short cap of fine beige bubbles. Spotty lacing at the start and it showed decent retention. Oaky aroma with a nice combination of vanilla and citrus, sweet orange, and caramel. The flavour started off with sweet caramel, followed by strong woody vanilla and a solid bitter bite. Citrusy tangerine hops appear towards the end and it finishes with a slightly aggressive alcohol flavour and warmth. Bitterness lingers. Low carbonation, a bit heavy with a nearly syrupy texture. I found the flavours to be very distinct with a separation between where each element finished and the next began. I also found it just slightly harsh in the alcohol department, but it did mellow nicely as it warmed and more citrus was apparent. Overall, an interesting beer that I did end up enjoying. Thanks for sharing grub!

 844 characters

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.67/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle thanks to Styles.
Pours a dark golden brown in color. Only a slight froth appears on the pour. First thing I notice is the amount of hops that are present in both the nose and taste. Some nice oak is present in the taste that helps round out the flavor and subdue the hop presence. Good brew, I don't get near enough Hair of the Dog stuff.

 346 characters

Photo of hoppymcgee
3.7/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled with some good friends. Poured from a 2009 vintage bottle into a Bruery tulip glass.

A: Golden, swirly carbonation with a glowing texture.

S: White raisins, figs, dates, graham cracker.

T: Boozy, oaky, and vanilla up front with a bitter and woody finish.

M: Dry and smooth with the carbonation mixing in well with this beer.

D: A little viscous; could use a little more time in the cellar.

Thanks for the bottle Sam!

 430 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.7/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ok, so I have yet another HotD to try here, this one being a special release edition. I am a big fan of wood aged beers, so this one should be a real treat. This poured a very nice and hazy light brown with a large two inch plus head of foamy tan on top that only gradually decided to fade and nestled down into a layer of lace covering the top and the sides of the glass. The aroma was very interesting, it had a definite wine like character and the wood smell was defiantly a presence. Had a bit of a spiced note to it as well and also a bit of alcohol. The taste was very strong, with a lot of alcohol present in it. There was a very big presence of spice and oak barrel taste to it as well. A dry hop like finish tried to make itself known at the end, but never really got that far past the strong notes from the other flavors. Very nice medium to full body gave it a very sipper like quality. Overall this was pretty good, although I will admit not my favorite offering from them. This seemed like it needed to sit for a while and come back to it later. Just a little to young and the alcohol just a little too strong still. But a quality selection and something I would not hesitate to pick up again.

 1,206 characters

Photo of unklesyd
3.73/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I sat on this for about a year; kept at 47F in a DBF. Opened in honor of a mini-fast; drank after my own Oaked BW, of which this bears a striking resemblance.

A nice, amber with a slight off-white head, clear after a careful pour into a des Rocs goblet.

Sweet, sappy, young American Oak aroma. Odd phrasing, but: "slightly pungent" comes to mind. Not quite savory, but the aroma hangs in there in the nether regions between sweet and bitter that are usually in a beer.

Flavor is hinting at the same, but much more of the sweetness comes through, but reasonably balanced by some clean bittering hops. A little alcohol comes through at the end. A bit too sappy up front, as the initial hit reminds your tongue of what light wood looks like.

Medium heavy, not overly syrupy, a light creaminess across the tongue. Fits the flavors well.

Good, but really not as good as a plain, fresh Fred.

 905 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Fred From The Wood from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
4.22 out of 5 based on 535 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.