Hair Of The Dog Brewing Company / Brewery And Tasting Room

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American Strong Ale
Ranked #26
Ranked #3,115
4.11 | pDev: 11.68%
Hair Of The Dog Brewing Company / Brewery And Tasting Room
Oregon, United States
Notes: Fred was created to honor beer writer and historian Fred Eckhardt. It is made with aromatic and rye malts and includes 10 different hop varieties.

10% alcohol by volume
65 IBUs.
Reviews: 888 | Ratings: 1,879 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of EMV
3.52/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Dogfish head tulip

L: Cloudy golden orange pour with 2 fingers of foamy white head. Nice lacing... some sediment at the end of the pour.

S: Caramel, fruit, and yeast.

T.F: Toasted grains... some caramel, but lacking some of the expected sweetness. Kind of flat on the flavor... stale-ish hops, some yeast esters, but not loving this. Medium bodied... with the ABV not overly hidden. Smooth carbonation.

O: This one didn't do it for me... not sure if I had a bad bottle or what, but I expected a lot more.

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Photo of travolta
4.19/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Peach marmalade in color, with nice yeast floating around. Spotted lacing with decent head retention. Off white head. Not marking down in regards to head because of a bad pour on my part.

Nose: Yeast, peach, apricot, little bit of fig, sweet caramel and dark fruit.

Taste: Very syrupy with fresh red apple cider right up front that has a hot alcohol finish. Little bit of spice in the middle.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
2.25/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

This one pours a golden orange color, with a very big fluffy head, and lots of lacing.

This smells like peach syrup, sugary malt, booze, and molasses.

This is fairly gross. It’s just so overwhelmingly sweet and just too “big.” It tastes like concentrated fruit and booze and caramel.

This has basically no drinkability - it’s hard to drink, and it’s just not enjoyable.

Maybe this was a bad batch, or maybe this is just overall a gross beer. Whatever it is, I don’t want to try this again.

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Photo of mschrei
4.27/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Good example of the style. Creamy thick head, excellent retention. Smell and taste both have caramel notes, tart, dark fruit flavors, some spiciness, sweet, malty. Feel is medium bodied, mouth watering, definite alcohol presence. Glad I finally got to try it. Thanks @lingenbrau.

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Photo of Buck89
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a hotel glass. A moderately hazy amber color with a thick off-white head. Great retention and lacing in the glass. A seriously fruit aroma with banana, orange, bubblegum, and faint spicy notes. Same on the taste. Complex and hard to describe. I guess it's like a Belgian Strong but with Northwest hops. More bitterness and citrus notes. Works well for me.

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Photo of patre_tim
3.87/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Honey golden and hazy with lots of dark and light floaters. Topped with 2 fingers of creamy yellow head.

Smells of candy caramel and a hint of stinky fruit.

Tastes of creme caramel, burnt sugar, and some light fruitiness.

Medium body with moderate to high carbonation.

I got this in Petaluma and am drinking it in Redding, March 27th, 2019.

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Photo of Beersnake1
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A glass from tap at the source with Lingenbrau. I was shocked that I hadn't tried this, but it's ridiculous that I haven't! This pours a dark with a bit of tan head. The nose was sweet candy, with a touch of tree sap bitterness. Really nice. The taste followed the nose for me. REALLY good. I was surprised by the sweetness, which wasn't overpowering at all. Nice dark fruit, as well as some apple. A bit of pine bitterness. Overall, a phenomenal beer that I will revisit soon.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.
The appearance was an amber color with a sly transparency about it. Big foamy two finger head slid off at a decent pace. Some lace ran here and there.
The aroma had some perfumey floral to caramel/toffee malts playing with some rye crisp semi-earthy to floral sweet character. Light red apple. Some Belgian candy sweetness sharpens the back end quite nicely.
The flavor took all of the previously mentioned aromas to combine sweetly with just a tickle of rye spice. Somewhat dry with a crisp earthy rye spice in the aftertaste.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a fair sipping quality about it. Carbonation felt good. ABV felt good. Good malty finish toned by some dry caramel/toffee smoothness.
Overall, quite a nice strong ale by an American brewer. I'd have again.

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Photo of thebeers
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opaque murky orange with a thin creamy near-white head. Settles into a nice crown, but leaves modest lacing.

Malty aroma with a strong showing of orange hops. Caramel, molasses and pine behind.

Oak, lots of orange, pine and alcohol bite in the taste. Not unlike a triple IPA with a lot of wood.

Thick, creamy feel with moderate carbonation.

Holy shit, this isn’t aged on wood? Creamy, oaky, West Coast-Hop deliciousness.

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Photo of rypkr
2.48/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

No hiss whatsoever on the cap. No carbonationation whatsoever on the pour. Not enthused right now.

Smell is anything but vibrant and effervescent. There's almost nothing. What I do get is the stale hops typical of an American barleywine and a lot of caramel sweetness.

Taste I can see be outstanding but it's an instant drain pour because its flatter than water. Loads of honeysuckle and lightly floral hops.

Mouthfeel. Ha.

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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
3.69/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

3 year old capped bottle: Hazy and cloudy light amber with lots of floating chunks of yeast. No head, no swirl reaction, but some strong brown lacing. Highly syrupy texture. Flavors of spices, clove, sweet barley, toffee, orange, cinnamon, cherries, brown sugar, and herbal hops. Oily and soft silky medium to full body with light carbonation. Strong strength finish, deeply bready and sugary. Mild barrel effect with quality sugars. Quite spicy and a bit leafy. Freshness is average, also quite yeasty, yet the ABV is well hidden and fairly easy to drink. It's ultra rich so I would only drink this as a dessert or as an appetizer. The texture is fine and the balance is pretty decent. Overall very good quality craft.

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Photo of MacMalt
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage. Received in a trade with @bstyle. Poured into tulip glass. It pours rich mahogany color with orange and cola hues, and a long-lasting, creamy, light khaki-colored cap and a thin sheen of lacing. It smells of roasted malt, caramel, butterscotch, raisin, plum, orange, nuts, and earthy peat. It's highly fragrant. The taste features plum and raisin, cola, toffee, molasses, rye bread, oak, tobacco smoke, pepper, and noticeable hops that leave a fairly bitter after taste. It's rich and creamy in mouth feel with light carbonation, and its 10% ABV is warming but not overly boozy. Overall, Fred is a terrific American Strong Ale: it's complex and highly flavorful and thoroughly enjoyable. I'm glad to have had the chance to try it.

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Photo of WesMantooth
4.17/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Batch Number 100 courtesy of lingenbrau

The bottle seemed to be a little over carbed, but with the most delicate of pours in the history of beer pouring, it manged to produce some beer along with the frothiest crem colored head I have seen. It seriously looks like a milkshake and then a root beer float as it settles. Lacing everywhere. It is pretty dark in color and completely opaque. I will call it a very brownish orange.

There is definitely some alcohol on the nose along with candied sugar. It also has a rye or baking spice, along with a hop and malt combo aroma that is reminiscent of a lot of “triple ipas”. Fairly sweet malts with a citrus and floral smell.

I like the flavor more than I would have guessed. A lot going on. It starts out like a sweet candied Belgian Quad with some ripe apple/pear and a hefty, spicy rye, but then some hoppy orange like citrus, dates/dark grapes, and molasses comes through with some floral notes and a significant resinous bitterness in the end.

The body is big and malty, but very soft and sort of creamy. A nice warming alcohol in the finish. Probably a little high testish for 10%, but it isn’t overwhelming.

A bit of a sipper, but most stong ales are. It’s a very tasty and fairly complex beer.

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Photo of hman43
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: It pours cooper and it quite clear. It has excellent head retention. The head is off white.

Smell: It has aromas of rye and citrus. There is a bit of grainy sweetness to it with some caramel in the background. It has a light alcohol smell to it as well as sweet orange.

Taste: It has several complex flavors including rye, citrus, and orange. There is caramel and a touch of molasses as well. It is sweet with some spiciness as well.

Feel: It has a full body that has a bit of a slick texture. There is pleasant alcohol warming and the finish is sweet and semi dry.

Overall, this is a wonderfully complex beer with several things going on in the flavor and aromas.

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Photo of zonker17
4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle pour to challis, dark amber near copper with a haze, thick off-white head with good retention. Nose is pine, citrus and bread. Taste is powerful combination of sweetness, toffee, pine, citrus. Finish is very bitter. Body is nearing heavy and carbonation is above average.

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Photo of rudzud
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had this in the cellar for a while now. Batch #89: 12/2013 vintage.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a nice crystal clear dark dark honey amber hue with a thin half finger white head that fades slowly to leave a thin wispy blanket and thin creamy halo.

S - Aromas of slightly sweet malts, little bit of corn, sugars and almost some esters and phenols as it warms up. There is an aroma on the finish that I cannot quite place ...maybe stale caramel coated dark fruit?

T - Taste is similar to the nose. Sweet malts, older rye, little bit of malt sweetness. Old stale hops, really light raisins, decent amount of caramel on the finish without being overly sweet or cloy. Finish is lingering old bitterness. No discernible alcohol though.

M- Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, decent body, no alcohol.

O - Overall this was a very very pleasant surprise. I figured this would be a shell, however, I was proven wrong. The nose has suffered some but time really mellowed things out on this. Drinking quite nice right now.

Serving Type: Bottle

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Photo of Parmesan
3.25/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

L: Pours a dark orange copper color that is quite muddy with no head and no lacing on the glass. This is an ugly beer.

S: Notes of caramel, some apple, strong note of booze. Smells rather one dimensional.

T: Notes of caramel, toffee, some apple juice, a medium to high bitterness, booze is quite noticeable. Still seems a little one dimensional.

F: Pretty heavy body, carbonation seems a little low.

O: I was honestly expecting more from this beer but this is a little one dimensional and not overly interesting.

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Photo of Thankin_Hank
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle conditioned, it has suspension particles and an apple butter color of reddish brown. No head at all but an invitingly glorious aroma. Has hints of molasses. The alcohol (10% ABV) is noticed immediately and the taste follows the nose with the molasses, figs and dates. This beer really chews and is strong on all counts. It's unique with the fruit and a REAL MAN'S brew. This ain't your Daddy's Lite beer. I think it's smooth and less bitter than some of my favorite American Strong Ales. I like it and would love another. A SPECIAL THANKS to @Lingenbrau

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Photo of citizencane
4.07/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy dark gold. Smells of caramel and candies fruit. Taste is caramel followed by bitterness, though a sugar-sweet note is present the entire time. Feels smooth and thick with only slight dryness. Very good.

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Photo of Lingenbrau
4.41/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #98.

Fred's not pretty. Just like the bull dog he is, only its owner finds the true beauty in the beast. It's a smooth muddled caramel looking color, with barely any head to mention. (*Well.... Batch 100 disagrees with that. This bottle explodes with a soft velvety looking white froth that plasters every square in it touches, after the eternity it takes to actually descend.)

But, Fred's beauty begins to show. As if the color were telling you what this would smell like, caramel and golden raisins shine through the dense looking liquid. Herbs and a strong earthy presence follow closely behind.

Once again, caramel seems to be the main theme here. It is so rich and sweet along with it's dried fruit counterpart of the aforementioned golden raisins. But then an intense flavorless bitterness attacks just in the knick of time, before woody and spicy tones stretch out the experience.

As you could imagine, this is rich, chewy, syrupy...every word you can think of to describe such density. A huge flip from from sweet to bitter, like a switch. And because of these attributes, the alcohol is hidden almost entirely.

Fred is not for the faint of heart. This is an old style of insanity that most brewers won't seem to touch, but HotD continues to deliver. A real treat for those seeking one out. I can't believe it took me this long to review him. Cheers.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
2.76/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Appearance – absolutely no head over a light golden brown body with a lot of cloudiness.

Aroma – Musty malt, apples and lemons, strong and a little boozy.

Taste – Woody and bitter, not fruity. Nutty aftertaste.

Mouthfeel – astringent and dry.

Overall – not nearly as good as I had expected, a bit of a letdown. It seemed rather one-dimensional to me.

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Photo of Blackop555
4.16/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours orangish gold. Foamy, short, Whitehead that Fades fast.

Smells orange, citrus peel, raising, Brady malt and light spice.

Taste brown sugar, dark fruit, Plum, caramel malt, orange, light fruit and light earthy yeast. Finish is semi dry with earthy linger. Medium body and creamy light fizzy medium carbonation.

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Photo of unlikelyspiderperson
4.14/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Picked this bottle up about 6 months ago on my first ever trip to this delicious spot. I've already drank down a few of them and figured I'd give a review as I drink this final bottle. This beer pours to perfection, a rich and hearty amber with a persistent cloudy head. picture perfect. The smell is much more subdued, a very typical malty aroma, hints of caramel. The taste is, well, beery. Sweet and slightly wheaty, the caramel notes are still there and there is a mild bitterness that balances the whole affair well. Very very smooth when you consider the 10% abv but otherwise just a solid standard amber/golden ale. Mouthfeel wise it is full bodied and shmoove as can be. Very pleasant. Over all this is a very drinkable beer and has aged very well (I think that's sort of these guys' MO), dangerous at 10% but that's never been something to deter me. If you're looking for a beer, this is a beer.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured into a snifter to a deep gold topped by a dense and rocky two finger white head that retains well and leaves excellent lacing
S: Smells of alcoholic fruitiness, caramel, and honey. Very sweet on the nose.
T: Taste is slightly fruity with some hints of spice. Nice honey and caramel notes with some light nuttiness. Swallow is more honey and nuts with some light toasted malts and spice.
M: This beer is full in body with a slightly silky feel. Carbonation is just slightly prickly and the beer has a dry finish.
O: Overall this beer is really nice. It has a lot of very sweet notes while having some nice spice balance from the rye malt. Definitely worth a try. This bottle is on the old side as well since it was a Batch 85. It definitely held up well and shows no signs of oxidation.

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Photo of josanguapo
4.76/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

From Mikkeller Shop. In Teku glass. Batch 96. Playing Shantae Pirate's Curse. Pretty alcoholic and sweet. However, its not unpleasant but just the opposite thanks to a good usage of candi sugar and hops. Sticky and oily

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Fred from Hair Of The Dog Brewing Company / Brewery And Tasting Room
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 1879 ratings