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: 538
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 meatyard
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage

Pours a hazy, reddish amber with a fluffy, 3-finger, off-white head that has nice retention while leaving some wet lacing that follows the head down the glass.

The smell is wood, some very light citrus hop aroma and sweet sweet malt.

The taste is wood, lots of sweet malt and an ever so slight hint of citrus hops. The oak and vanilla are very evident after the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium with moderate carbonation.

Overall: Love the taste, especially the vanilla and oak in/after the finish and the way it sits in your mouth. I would very much like to try this fresh and aged on tap. Unfortunately this wasn't available when I was there mid-July though I did have some awesome brews on tap at the time. I like this a lot and have to recommend it.

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Photo of richalexander78
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on draft at the brewery. Awesome! Def more wood aging than from the bottle. This was heavy and strong. Most Def a sipper. Great hops and malt with very heavy wood flavor. Drink this one like a port and enjoy slow. I would Def recommend the thee ounce pour.

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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 ffejherb
4.67/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Hair of the Dog on 6/26/11. 2008 vintage!!!

A - Cloudy chestnut brown liquid with a thin off-white ring and patchy film that reduced to a few sparse dots of lace around the glass.

S - Bourbon soaked caramels, oak and woody notes and candy sugar comprise the luscious aroma of this vintage Fred from the Wood. This is one of those beers you can sit and sniff for several minutes before taking your first sip.

T - Sweet and boozy but extremely mellow and tangy with a restrained alcohol presence for a 10% ABV brew. This sucker is mature! Toffee notes, brown sugar, molasses and earthy bitterness rounds out the spectacular flavor of this vintage brew. Simply delicious!

M - Medium to full bodied with a syrupy texture and sticky mouthfeel. Finishes slightly sweet with moderate bitterness on the palate. Rich and luscious!

D - Dee-freakin-liscious! What a treat to have this vintage 2008 version ON TAP! This really mellowed with a few years under its belt. The alcohol was very restrained, surprisingly. Cherry Adam from the Wood was on tap just before, but it kicked right before I got there. This, however, was a more than suitable replacement.

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

2008 (!) vintage on tap at HOTD 8.50 for 12 oz. tulip.

Half finger medium tan head pretty quick dissipation resulting in thin ring of head around edge of glass. Amber brown body nearly opaque a bit cloudy, lazy trails of tiny carbonation bubbles rising around edge of glass. Nose is complex,the oak barrel is prominent but picking up vanilla, dark brown sugar, the normal Fred hop proflie is muted by the barrel aging. Taste mirrors nose , very deep and flavorful taste profile, a bit on the sweet side, hops not very prominent, slight bitterness on backend . Mouthfeel a bit on the full side of medium, tres sticky. This is undoubtedly my favorite of all the beers Alan brews, and to have this aged vintage...well, with snaps to my good friend and stellar BA, johnmichaelsen: Must..Have..Vintage Fred From The Wood. Absolutely superb.

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Photo of hdelavega
4.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 Poured from a 12oz bottle to a duvel tulip glass, thanks to Kevin for this most delicious freebee.

Hazy golden color, with bits of sediment floating about, half finger head receded quickly after the pour. Almost no lacing, but the alcohol legs are pretty aperent as this sticky brew transfers from the glass to my gullet.

The aroma is full of carmalised sugars, I also detect sweet fruit and a bit of fusle oil from the oak barrels. There is sweet malty aroma that realy comes out as well.

The flavor is nice and sweet with a bit of spiciness and booze. There is also a hoppy bitterness in the finish that I don't find frequently in American barleywines.

The mouth feel is very Nice. This brew is incredibly silky with a nice open center and slightly bitter finish that warms on the way down.

Overall I was very lucky to get this as a hand out and will be seeking more. It was not exactly what I ecspected but it was still damn delicious.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.92/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 Vintage

Appearance -- Pours a hazed honey amber with a slim sudsy creme head. Looks good.

Smell -- Amber malt, rock candy sweetness, hint of citrus hops, along with woodiness and oaky vanilla.

Taste -- Again there is this rock candy sweetness, as well as husky grain and amber malt. Gentle floral/citrusy flavors and a good deal of resinous hop kick left in it. The barrel character is definitely subdued: gentle oak and vanilla lending a slim extra layer of complexity.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-full with mild carbonation. On point!

Overall -- Very good. A decisive improvement from regular Fred, but I still wish wish regular Fred was like this, with FFtW taking it to another level of complexity. Solid, but not a 'wow' barleywine, which I think is necessary to pay that much for a 12oz bottle.

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Photo of corby112
4.39/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes:

Pours a light hazy amber orange color with a thin half finger off-white head that quickly fades leaving little n the way of lacing.

Slightly earthy aroma with zesty spice, light fruit, booze and barrel. Subtle smokiness with ashy oak an vanilla as well as hints of apple and pear.

Medium bodied and sweet with soft carbonation up front and a prominent barrel character. Huge blast of toasted oak up front with boozy sweetness that lingers throughout. Nicely balanced with hints of light fruit, vanilla, oak and booze. Subtle peppery spice adds complexity to an already crazy beer. Slightly creamy and fuller bodied than expected with a well masked ABV. Hints of apple, pear and apricot provide sweetness that adds to the insane drinkability of this beast.

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

2008 bottle poured into a Snifter globe.

Pours a dark golden color, with little head.

Smells of fruit & a slight booziness.

Mouthfeel is spot on... thick, smokey taste, & complex.

Definetly more enjoyable & less intense than Cherry Adam, in my opinion.

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Photo of dougofthefuture
4.39/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottle

A. Pours ruby red with a fair amount of sediment that settles out to reveal a strikingly clear beer. Very little head, but decent lacing on the glass.

S. Tons of warming booziness and a strong apricot and tangerine fruitiness. It is amazing how much this smells like fresh fruit.

T&M. The fruitiness is very present, and becomes almost like a syrupy liquor as the glass warms. Plenty of warmth and viscosity, but the brightness of the fruit is matched with a tannic barrel component that almost balances it out. Still too sweet. I wish I could have had this fresh. A bit more hops and this would be really balanced. It is a barleywine though, so sweet isn't all bad...

O. This is a really good beer that I knew almost nothing about until I opened it. Intense flavor, very smooth, and holding up well after 3 years. I wish I had more!

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Photo of barleywinefiend
5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2010 consumed 5/2010.
A: Poured a deep orange color with a small, nice white head
S: Nose is plenty of booze, wood heavy, sherry like feel.
T: Taste is wood, sweetness, pine and floral notes, citrus too.
M: Mouthfeel is pretty boozey, caramel, hops, not much bitterness.
O:One of the most delcous beer on plant Earth. Very drinkable.
Vintage 2007 consumed 5/2011
After years of sitting around this beer only matured in every aspect. I don't give perfect scores but my wife and I both thought this beer sets the standard!

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Photo of udubdawg
4.87/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

pours with a deep coppery color, lightly hazed by the little bit of sediment I allowed to get into the glass. The head is sort of a yellowish tan, tightly bubbled, and more than an inch high, exhibiting excellent retention and more than decent lacing.

Caramel is up front and ever-present in the nose, rich rather than one-sided sweetness. The hops are citrusy and spicy, , and there is background honey and a few sherry notes - nothing too oxidized or papery, but rather adding to the complexity and suggestion of depth. No diacetyl. Barrel character is background, adding woody spiciness, faint vanilla. Alcohol is noted but never hot or solventy. I don't get any tobacco like I do on the Adam beers.

the sugars are heavily caramelized, sticking on the palate but somehow balanced by smooth lingering bitterness, drying spicy barrel notes, and never approaching cloying while retaining impressive drinkability. Fruitiness seems to be mostly from the hops, which allowing the malt to shine up front before increasing in the finish. Mild alcohol warming but again no hot or solventy character. Plenty of malt, plenty of hops, clean with no off flavors, spicy, warming but demanding another sip...the barrel has added to the beer rather than overwhelming the beer. I wish all barrel-aged barleywines were like this.

warming alcohols but never detracting from drinkability...perhaps they should as this is dangerously drinkable! Smooth, full body, perfect soft carbonation, no trace of astringency. It'll finish quite sticky on your palate, but you won't mind...

I've got a decent supply, and hold beer giant tastings multiple times per year, but here is one of the few beers I basically never share. It's mine!

If you get the chance and are into the style, I highly recommend you stock up on this stuff. This 2008 bottle has at least a few years left IMO.


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Photo of Vdubb86
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter

Thanks to hannydawg, though I'm not sure how he slipped these HOTD beers in there.

2008 vintage

It would be much easier to decipher between all of these barleywines if when we were having them, some of them had actually sucked. That was never the case. This offering pours a deep auburn color with a frothy bit of offwhite head. The aromatics are rather unique. I'm not sure what wood Fred is from, but it doesn't smell like oak, it smells more like pine to me. Some of the aromas and flavors, because at this point they were getting all muddled together was a more citrusy pineapple flavor with an accent of mint and finished off by some cinnamon and nutmeg. It was rather interesting. It went from a DIPA to a winter warmer just in letting it explore my palate. It was a rather pleasant beer to consume. The only problem being it was still, with 2 years on it, a little on the boozy side. I would almost be inclined to let it go for another year an see how it turns out.

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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 zhanson88
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this as part of a trade with JohnGalt1. Thanks a lot Toby! I've been looking forward to cracking it open. 2009 vintage.

Appearance: Pours out a slightly hazy apricot color with about 1.5 fingers of off-white head. Retention is quite good, as is the lacing. It looks very similar to the regular Fred.

Smell: I can still detect some rye spiciness from the malts, but it is considerably smoothed out. A ton of caramel sweetness is the most prevalent scent. Also some slight woody character in there as well, but not much vanilla.

Taste: Considerably sweeter than I was expecting. I detect the rye malts, but the biggest component is caramel sweetness. A woody quality is there as well, but my guess is that it's faded some over the last 3 years. I might get a touch of raisins/figs in this as well.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Body is a touch thinner than the original Fred but still pretty creamy. Very good. Overall, I like this about the same as the original Fred. Less spiciness from the rye and quite a bit more sweetness, but in the end things pretty much even out.

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

Thanks to IPeeA for this awesome extra!

really dont know what to expect from this guy, should have done a side by side with fred, owell ill compare notes with that guy later.

2009 vintage into a tulip glass.

a- looks good, pretty close to a traditional barleywine, clear dark golden color with an off white half inch head. wasnt expectiong to be this well carbonated.

s- immediately upon cracking the cap, the hiss let out a sweet smell. honestly it smells a lot like a flanders, reminds me of a less potent supplication or dissident. is this guy slightly infected? not sure but i definitely don't mind this smell. sweet fruits, some cherry. very slight tartness in the back.

t- yum, this guy taste very good. the nose was a bit deceiving, and that flanders smell feels like its from the oak aging, which is prominent in the taste. slight tart finish. alcohol is barely noticeable

m-not as thick as i was initially suspecting. thick medium body, heavy against the tongue with the right amount of carbonation. i wasnt expecting too much carbonation

o-very impressed with this beer and not what i was expecting. for 10% 2 years put away feel like it really smoothed this guy out. interested to try it fresh but dont think its nearly as good with age. wish i held out longer as i can see this guy only getting better for a few more years.

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Photo of seeswo
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review #100. 2008 12 oz bottle. Pours a glowing orange brown behind so light with basically no head. Left the last ounce or so in the bottle for the yeast to hang out in. A little thrashing of a straw gets a bit of head up and a big whiff reveals sugared raisins and candy almost. A bit of citrus as well. Smells like one of the sweetest beers I have smelled. Taste is very sweet and has a bit of that citrus element, along with a small amount of faded hops. Kind of tastes like someone dumped 1/2 oz of orange soda into a barleywine, not that I am complaining. There is just a twinge of that oak and tobacco flavor that the bottle eludes to - less so than I would expect, but it does add a nice contrast to the sweetness. It tastes good, but maybe not great. The mouthfeel is medium-heavy with little to no carbonation. A bit syrupy in the finish, the sweetness would completely envelop the tongue in the finish if there weren't that leathery-oaky-faded hops in the back. Very drinkable for everything I have described above. A few of the sips have been more like glugs, which is pretty surprising for a barleywine. It's that odd, interesting, awesome 1/2 oz. of orange soda that isn't really in the beer, but I swear I get. This is a good beer that wasn't quite as good as I was expecting. Could have been a touch less sweet with a bit more oak to tone it down a bit. That being said, it is very enjoyable casting aside expectations.

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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.

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Photo of oregone
4.31/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2008 bottle (12oz) split two ways into tulips:
A: Very low carb. Not an inssue for the style certainly, but only showing some wisps of tiny bubbles from a reasonable pour. Color is caramel with a fair bit of clarity. It does appear very viscous.
S: Holy oak! This is the most pure expression of American oak barrel that I've ever smelled in beer or wine. HUGE coconut and butter aromas with some tropical and spice accents. However, 'beer' character is lacking, and oak alone does not a beer make.
T: Bam. Oak. Same woody coconut lead off. Some oak spiciness. Sweetness (heavy) follows it up with a whole lot of caramelized fruit. A date-coconut dessert. Very much wood driven.
M: Very nice. It could use more carbonation which is a rare thing for me to say about HoTD brews. Even those with similarly low carb. It becomes somewhat cloying after 6oz, but treated like a dessert glass, this is fine, thick, viscous stuff that has commendable concentration and weight.
D: Good for 6oz. However, given that this is effectively a version of the Fred which I happily can consume two bottles of, and considering that at the last sip of this I was not wanting any more, this fares somewhat poorly.
Lest this be construed as anything other than a recomendation I'll be to the point; I highly recommend this beer. I may not love all of the aspects, but it has delicious moments, and perhaps more importantly, it is very unique and a useful tool of exploration into American oak. I now know that 100% new A.O. is far too much for a beer (to my taste). And yet strangely, I'll be looking forward to getting more of this on the next release.

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Photo of kbutler1
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Poured into a tasting glass a slightly murky amber orange color with a slight tan head. The aroma is fairly complex and stands out from the other BW's I had this night. The barrel is front and center and is very noticeable. After the barrel notes, other flavors make their way in the nose like some spice, dark fruit, and a slight vegetable aroma. Very sweet start in the taste of raisan and/or prune, barrel, and minimal hops. All the flavors are well integrated and work well together. The booze is eveident but not overpowering. Very tasty.

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Photo of domtronzero
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear golden copper colored with a small, short lived whitish head that lingers as a small ring of head around the glass.

S - Sweet bready, caramel malts, lots of rich fruity esters, a little bit of oaky vanilla and a pleasant alcoholic aroma. Quite complex but not as gnarly as JW Lees or something of tbat caliber.

F/M - Again, sweet bready and caramelly malts, but with a huge fruity, complex, boozy flavor. Sherry like undertones throughout. Oaky wood flavors are just a little bold and out of "woody" but otherwise tastes pretty damn good. Smooth, rich and thick mouthfeel with a pleasant carbonation and light bitterness allowing the finish to linger for a while. Lingering caramel sweet boozy flavor.

D - Good. Smooth, rich, flavorful. This is a sure sipper, but I could easily go for another pour.

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

review 3/5/09

pours a light amber color with no head. sweet bourbon and sweet tones of the nose. taste is sweet with great flavors of the "wood" Caramel notes here. Mouth is medium with subtle alcohol and lighter carbonation Very smooth!

I got 1/2 a case and i'm thinking i'll get another case next year!!

Edit: 1/13/11

2008 batch again 12 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A: Orange for sure. minimal to no head. served this at cellar temp

S - very sweet and oaky i still smell bourbon!

T - oak, sweetness, maybe a touch of citrus at the end

M - medium body. lower carbonation. pretty good. slow sipper

D - still very tasty and im glad that i have more. i think that 1 is enough for the night

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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.

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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.

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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 538 ratings.
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