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

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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

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Reviews: 237 | Ratings: 535
Photo of Sammy
4.12/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A Hoppy, lovely tasting, and superior barleywine. Apple juice with some white head lightly covering, this is aged. Integrated woodiness. Average mouthfeel, a bit drying. Exceptional: vanilla, peach, red pepper, grapefruit. Freeze the tongue carbonation.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.95/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle pour at mrbubbler's tasting.

2013 vintage.

Pours a hazy honey brown with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus zest, earth, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest, honey, and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of woody bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a very nice wood aged presence going on with the base beer.

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Photo of t0rin0
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This came from a big 2 or 3 liter swingtop bottle and its from batch 1. So glad I got to try this.

Pours a dark red color with some haze. Very nice color. There is some head but not much retention or lacing.

The oak has pretty much dissapeared from this brew over the years in the bottle. There is a liquor smell though that smells like a scotch or something. Also theres a strong aged malt quality coming out of the glass.

The taste is very powerful and malty. A tiny bit of alcohol is detectable. Sweet developing malt character is the majority of the flavor but theres a whiskey flavor as well. A noticeable bitterness is still in the beer.

Body is medium/heavy and oily. Low/medium CO2. Very drinkable and really enjoyable especially at warmer temps.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours out as a slightly murky golden color with a thin white head. The smell of this beer is powerful. It's got a lot of sweet, boozy, wooden aromas. The taste of the beer is also quite sweet, it's loaded with some caramel flavors, honey, fresh wood and malts. The mouthfeel was thick and oily with a little carbonation to it. Overall I really enjoyed sipping on this beer, it's not a brew to drink fast.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tons of complexity going on in here. Starts off with an intensly sweet, musty, woody, earthy aroma that soon settled into deep, dark, dehydrated fruit scents. Appearance is heartily viscous with some letting and with a thin foamstand that held firm. A rich chesnut color with a mild haze. Flavors pick up on a medium molassas sweetness with dates, figs, plumbs, raisins, prunes. A big hop balance brings citrus frutis (grapefruits and oranges), tropical fruits (pineapples and mangos), along with an earthy pine and lemon-grass flavor. The wood aging also brings out an earthy / peaty / musty flavor with some nuttiness and vineous-ness. The texture is full bodied, but smoothened out by the wood aging. Not quite chewey, but close. Finishes sweet and dry (partly from alcohol, partly from hops) with a linger focusing on the sweetness. Fantastic beer. Thanks Clvand0.

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Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A splendid treat to find available upon cycling to the taproom in Portland.

This beer appears a cloudy dark reddish amber tone, with one finger of creamy off-white head, which settles slowly, eventually rendering a berm-like ring of lace around the glass. It smells of singed caramel, toffee, vanilla, astringent bourbon barrel wood, and leafy, deep dark woodsy hops. The taste is sweet toffee, warming alcohol, a lessened vanilla woodiness, and equally tamed earthy hops. The carbonation is quite low, the body full and slickly smooth, but somewhat prickly at the same time. It finishes sweet, under a rock overcrop of suppressed booze and oily barrel wood.

Pretty sweet - good thing it came in a small glass - but the booze and hops keep things from being cloying or hysterically overwrought. Nice, if skewed barrel characteristics are your thing.

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Photo of brentk56
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 64

Appearance: Pours a hazy copper with a bubbly head that leaves shards of lacing around the chalice

Smell: Bounteous waft of caramel, toffee, whisky and sour orange

Taste: Starts with a blast of caramel, brown sugar, citrus and oak, with the woody flavors building mid-palate; after the swallow, the oaky/whisky flavors join with apples, vanilla and bitter herbacious flavors to provide a complex finish

Mouthfeel: Thick but not particularly sticky; moderate carbonation; warming on the finish

Drinkability: While I was slightly disappointed to discover that I prefer plain old Fred, this is nonetheless an extraordinary beer

Thanks, msubulldog25, for the opportunity and to c64person for the chance to re-visit the 2013 version

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Photo of largadeer
3.84/5  rDev -9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Perfectly clear golden-amber in color. A slow and gentle pour left me with four fingers of frothy head that's barely contained by the glass. The body reveals a massive torrent of tiny bubbles feeding the head. As the head recedes (which takes a long time) it leaves chunky sheets of lace all over the glass. A beautiful beer for sure.

Smell: Oak - a lot of it. Tobacco, brown sugar. Surprisingly mild compared to the taste, and a bit too oak heavy for its own good.

Taste & mouthfeel: Rich and sweet; flavors of maple syrup and honey are the first things to hit the palate. The use of new American oak lends a strong tannic quality to the beer that brings to mind spruce, vanilla and tea leaves. As the carbonation subsides the thick, syrupy texture begins to reveal itself - this seems far heavier than the regular Fred. The finish is both sweet and intensely tannic.

Drinkability: Good stuff, but heavy and intense. A 12 oz bottle should happily serve two or more.

Notes: 2008 batch.

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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.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a snifter. Color is a deep reddish-amber with a nice off-white head that settles down somewhat quickly. The nose is really nice and complex with oak, vanilla, dark fruits, figs, caramel, and some sweet malt.

The taste mixes the oak with the base quite well bringing out a bit of sweetness and fruit. Mouthfeel is really nice and rich, bringing out all the flavors that this has going on. Drinks quite well and is a really nice brew.

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Photo of mothman
4.16/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 64 - RB Edition

Poured into snifter.

Pours a white fizzy head. Color is a hazed brown.

Aroma: Fruit and malty. Orange peel, cherries, oak, toffee, caramel, and dark fruits. Very fruity and well done.

Taste: Oak, vanilla, fruit, oranges, cherries, and some spice flavors. Rich and malty. Toffee flavors.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, but warming. Medium to full bodied with a lighter amount of carbonation. Ends warms and malty.

Overall, amazing aroma, but very malty and sweet. A ton of flavor and I really enjoyed all the fruit flavors. Fairly drinkable.

2014 vintage drank 7/2016. Very oaky. Lots of wood and vanilla in this one.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ the Hair of the Dog Brewery and Tasting Room (Portland, OR) on 9/3/11. Served in a tulip glass.

Initially pouring a murky brown, this does eventually clears out into a brilliant ruby, topped with a thin cap of off-white foam. This retains nicely, with a rich creaminess around the edges of the glass that throws up a rich looking cascade of spotty froth, which dots the sides of the glass. The aroma smells of cocoa, caramelized sugars, some even darker brown sugars, and a splash of vanilla. This has a very sweet presence in the nose but the green woody tannins of the barrel do bring this back just a touch. Going deeper into this reveals a core of extra sweetness and slightly singeing warmth but that’s only if you really decide to get in there.

The taste is wow, just RICH with molasses, brown sugars, and vanilla flavors that drench the mouth with a sticky sweetness. Deep wood notes finish this hard, with a dry and burnt feel that really parches the palate at times. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a big creaminess that fills the mouth yet this still moves easily thanks to a undercurrent of sleek tannic character. The robust flavors and well done feel combine to do an incredible job of hiding that 10% ABV here. I’m not sure if this was the 2008 edition that they had previously had on tap here earlier in the year but if it was, I could definitely see a couple years of aging helping smooth out and hide that alcohol as well.

This is one that I’ve wanted to sit down with for a while now and it didn’t disappoint. It’s amazing how the burnt sugars from the barrel aging really transform this into something much darker and even sweeter than it originally was. This was a complete joy to drink. I savored every drop.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Suspiciously opaque, medium brown body with a very thin, white head.

Smell: Rich, aromatic, malty nose! Woodsy oak, jam-packed with rum-soaked raisins, homemade caramel, vanilla beans, juicy peaches, and honey liqueur.

Taste: Decadently sweet, tasting of honey, dark caramel, and pralines. Bready rye and barley flavor. Some rosebud florals. Hint of dull, earthy spices. A single drop of vanilla extract. Moderate bitterness present. Sip of champagne. Lusciously fruity, with tastes of raisins, peaches, and ripe green apples. Maybe a spritz of lime juice. Woodsy barrel character the pops up midway and grows into the sweetish, fruit-laden finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Excellent! A first-rate barleywine. Crammed to the absolute brim with flavor and complexities, plus they don't skimp on the alcohol.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 64. Polished persimmon with a splash of cherry juice. The beer has a beautiful, rich, gemstone-like color that looks especially good with sunshine behind the snifter. Generous carbonation has created an expansive chunk of pale caramel colored creaminess that has deposited a thick blanket of lace around the circumference of the glass.

The nose has plenty of barleywine power. Each inhale delivers light caramel notes, apricots in apricot brandy, a splash of vanilla and a few stave's worth of oaky woodiness. Although it would be completely out of character, this would be even more outstanding ale if it used a Belgian yeast strain. Then again, what wouldn't?

This particular batch of Fred From The Wood is more than 2 years old... and it has held up beautifully. That's pretty much par for the Hair of the Dog course. If you're cellaring a bottle or six, it tastes like it'll be good for another few years at least.

The multiple members of the flavor profile have used the time to get intimately acquainted. Wooded Fred probably started out as a grizzly bear and is now more like a slightly pissed-off teddy bear. The malt backbone is rock-ribbed and sturdy, with a toasted-earthy-nutty character that suggests a considerable amount of Munich malt. I wouldn't be surprised if candi sugar was used as well.

A decent amount of hop bitterness has managed to survive, which is pretty amazing given the bottling date. Apricots and peaches are still the most apt fruit comparison. Oak comes on like gangbusters as the beer warms. Man oh man, this is classic 'sip slowly and savor' beer. Too bad I traded my other bottles away.

The mouthfeel is pretty damn nice, but it tends to wander away too quickly on the finish. It's silky smooth, just not creamy or luxurious enough for the style and the ABV. This is (arguably) the only area where age has taken a bite of this amazing elixir.

Hair of the Dog has done it once again. Fred was delicious beer and Fred From The Wood is as well. Six months of oak barrel exposure turned great beer into... equally great beer. Yeah, I could have predicted that. Highly recommended.

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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.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I had the chance to try this on a couple of occasions thanks to mughugger and johnmichaelsen poured at cellar temp into a snifter.

A - Hazy caramel w/ a medium brown head w/ a fine bead. Small amounts of lace form.

S - Mucho caramel w/ extra vanilla from the woody w/ a subtle boozy hint.

M - boozy, viscous and ultra concentrated malt w/ a sweet yet not cloying feel

T - Almost too much caramel maltiness at first. This seems sweeter than it is on the tongue, but the accent on the wood comes on en force gradually w/ vanilla and toasted graham cracker flavor that is sweet and dry. There is even a hint of fruity marshmallow like notes and subtle creaminess, but the woody flavors are done so well that they make the fruity tinges seem minimal.
D - The epitomy of drinkable wood aged beer IMO, just fantastic how the blend of malt and wood flavors have a nice interplay and the booziness seems controlled in relation to the overall drinkability factor.

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Photo of billab914
3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage poured from a 12oz bottle into my CBS snifter. It poured a murky, brown/orange color with a thin white head scattered across the to of the beer. Nice color to it.

I get a lot of the woody oak in the aroma with some notes of toasty coconut and vanilla coming out. I get some sweeter, candied malts with some caramel, brown sugar and orange flavors to it. The oak compliments it pretty well.

The taste also has a strong oak presence throughout it. Candied oranges, brown sugar and caramel all come out of the sweet, maltiness. In the finish though is where I start to get something like an oak aged orange juice flavor starting to take over that was a little overpowering.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being low. Overall it was a pretty good beer but it started to feel a little overly sweet and juicy the more I got into it. The oaked orange juice flavor was tough to get out of my mind after I noticed it. I did like that it had some unique and interesting flavors to it though. It was a pretty good beer overall, but not one that really stood out to me compared to their other beers.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a deep, dark red-orange featuring a thin off-white head.

S: Quite a complex nose. The oak is strong up front along with some vanilla notes. Plenty of fruits follow; oranges, cherries, red grapes, and other assorted dark fruits provide a nice sweetness.

T: The oak is not quite as intense initially. Sweet caramel and toffee along with an intense fruitiness. There is a mild bitterness, possibly imparted from the oak. The wood is not as heavy on the vanilla, but provides a bit of a spicy note. Just a touch of chocolatey oxidation to finish things off.

M: The body is medium to full with a somewhat low and smooth level of carbonation.

D: I liked this quite a bit better than regular Fred. Very, very complex and enjoyable.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip glass.

Big thanks to hannydawg for sharing this bottle!

2008 vintage. I wanna see the version from the streets: Fred from the 'Hood. Flava Flav would play the lead. I'd see it. Anyway, this less ghetto-fabulous brew pours a lightly murky amber-russet topped by a half-finger of lightly dirty sandstone foam. The nose comprises apricot, orange zest, caramel, and butterscotch. The taste does not choose to deviate from this path, though the orange peel flavor is stronger now, and a touch of the alcohol is now noticeable. The body is a straight medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a syrupy, almost chewy feel. Overall, a very nice b-wine, one that the couple years seems to have helped (though, not having had it fresh, I don't have anything to compare it to) flourish. Good times.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 06/09/12 notes. This was a 12 oz. bottle from the original batch, tried side by side with a 3 year old bottle of Fred and Bourbon Fred From the Wood. This one was by far the best of the three.

a - Pours a dark amber color, one inch of off white head and low carbonation evident. Looks like the other two but slightly darker and murkier.

s - Smells of sweet dark fruits, oak, cedar, cherry, vanilla, caramel. Nose is awesome, nice and sweet with some definite cherry and wood in the there. Love it.

t - Tastes of sweet dark fruits, mint, herbal notes, cherries, sweet dark fruits, oak, vanilla, caramel malts, toasted malts. Again, nice cherry and sweet dark fruits.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Not hot and pretty easy to drink.

o - Overall I thought this was an awesome beer; up their with Cherry Adam from the Wood as probably my favorite HOTD beer. Just a lot of wood, cherries, and sweet dark fruits, would love to get more of this one.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

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 Alieniloquium
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a Hair of the Dog tulip. 2009 bottle served at the HotD tasting room. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Murky amber. Off white head with nice lacing. A surprisingly good look this old bottle.

Smell - Apples, lots of oak, pale malts. Oxidation and a touch of acidity that has me worried and intrigued.

Taste - Big fruity flavor up front. Apples and some cherry. Sourness is light, but sustained throughout the drink. Oxidized. Huge oak and vanilla. The malts taste darker than the nose lets on and from what I remember of regular Fred. Slightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Thick and sweet, but the oak cuts it nicely. Slightly astringent. The sourness adds a layer but isn't a detriment.

Overall - The aging has made this a fascinating beer. Very complex. Would have loved to have tried this fresh.

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Photo of stakem
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from 2009 care of Joe, what a crazy awesome extras included in one of his boxes. Thank you good sir! Poured into a matching HOTD tulip, this brew appears a fairly clear copper color with a yellowish stained finger of froth that holds across the top with fairly good retention. Had I not topped off my glass, the brew would be perfectly clear but a sloppy pour let a few bits of yeast get into the glass. Rising bubbles of carbonation maintain the cap across the top with stunning retention for a barrel aged brew with double-digits abv. Patches of lacework stick along the glassware.

The smell of this offering is pretty stunning. Knowing the barrels this brew was aged in did not previously hold a spirit for aging has led me to finally draw a line of comparison of character to other brews aged in the same fashion. The aroma displays a lightly tangy alcohol inclusion mixed with some vanilla, raw oak, char to lightly burnt qualities, caramel and toffee. There is a seemingly juicy sweet character present almost like candied oranges included here as well which I am assuming to be a combination of hops and alcohol esters.

The taste is exactly what you would expect based off the aroma. Bitter candied oranges meets some light fruity alcohol burn and warmth down the back of the throat. Burnt caramel to toffee mixes with raw oak and vanilla sweetness. The brew never gets to be too sweet as it is contrasted by a moderate amount of hoppy bitterness that is lightly piney. At times the grain inclusion gets to be a bit toasty taking this brew off in another enjoyable dimension.

This is a medium to full bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. It is a bold sipper yet has been tamed with the barrel aging. I am loving what the barrel did to this brew. Let't not fool ourselves, that 10% abv is not hiding here but even while it is out in the open, the broad display of character makes for one very enjoyable and deeply complex brew to sit and savor. I need more of this. Thank you again Joe!

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage.
The screams of drink me coming from the bottle proved to be too much tonight. Pours a clear deep amber/copper color with a huge beige head that persists forever and leaves lots of sticky lace on the way down. Smells of caramel, brown sugar, alcohol, slight bit of sherry, lightly earthy and sweet dark fruity. Taste is caramel and sugary sweet with an earthy herbal edge and a distinct bit of alcohol presence. I could sip on this thing all night long if only that damn bottle wasn't so small. Medium to thick body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet almost syrupy mouthfeel. Wood aged, but I get very of that in the aroma or flavor. It's a damn fine barleywine just the same. Maybe the wood was subtle and has faded, but I'd drink the shit out of these if I could.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2009 vintage thanks to ChrisPro. Served in a snifter.

A - White foam, thick collar, partial cap and wisps on top. Mostly transparent orange-brown body.

S - It's what you'd expect - an oaky Fred. Less rye than the base beer, although still somewhat spicy and earthy in character. Some floral and honey sweetness from the malt backbone.

T - The taste is quite similar to the base beer as well, with honey, stone fruits, rye, and estery yeast. Some oak and vanilla presence, but not as intense as the aroma. Thankfully loses the tangy rye finish that I dislike in the base beer.

M - Smooth, chewy texture, medium-full in body. Lower carbonation, with a low amount of alcohol warmth. Quite easy drinking considering the ABV.

D - Surprisingly enjoyable stuff. Quite mellow, and a significant improvement on the base beer. I'm going to have to get another bottle or two of this when it's released next.

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Fred From The Wood from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
4.22 out of 5 based on 535 ratings.
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