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

864 Reviews

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: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-13-1998

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 864 | Ratings: 1,806
Reviews by Gobzilla:
Photo of Gobzilla
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow what a beautiful looking beer a nice copper color with a great creamy,sticky head with a sea foam like lace all the way down the glass.Aroma is nutty and yeasty with a note of spice (pepper?)very rich and full on the nostrils.Taste is full and rich as well and very complex,some dried fruit and nuts hit me up front with with a deep spiciness even more so as it warms as well as a generous amount of hop bittering late.What an awesome brew,man I need more of these to lay down for the future.

 496 characters

Photo of Popsinc
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have 1 word for this beer, WOW! A beer oozing with complexity. Flavours and smells come jumping out at you while your taste buds are confused and yet very pleased at the same time. Heavy in texture. Strong hints of caramel & molasses which acompany this thick, slow drinking beer perfectly. A great cold weather warmer.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – This one was foggy but very shiny on-tap. The color is orange tinged with brown and the head was very modest (as opposed to the head from the bottle that explodes on your kitchen counter).

Smell – The nose is very sweet and winey. There’s a bit of yeast malt to this one, but mostly it is tons of sugar bathed in alcohol.

Taste – The big boozy winey notes carry the day. There is some nice malt in the form of a light yeast.

Mouthfeel – This Barley Wine is medium to full in the body and is extremely smooth, although there is enough of an alcohol bite to warn the drinker. The flavors are much better mixed out of the tap than they are from the bottle.

Drinkability – This was much more drinkable from the tap than the bottle. The pub kept it kind of warm, too (not cold, I should say) which helped a lot. It is a big beer yet very smooth.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


On tap at Horse Brass in Portland.

This is on par with the very best Barley Wine’s I’ve tasted.

Appearance: Muddy straw gold with orange hues and a thick and last white head.

Aroma: To begin with…fruit…blueberries, odd as that might sound, pineapple, apricot, and cherry. Then enters the spice followed by pine sap. Large and aromatic, potent and loud, pungent even. Booze is only caught in glimpses. A sweet caramel maltiness is ever present but not dominant. It’s surprising how the hops can play such a large roll but not come across as overwhelming nor as simply citric or piney. The variety of fruit in the nose seems boundless. I swear, that if I really put my olfactory to work on this I pick up nearly the entire array of orange citrus fruit – nectarines, tangelos, blood oranges, the whole damn line up…The only thing missing is grapefruit, and rightly so. It would be too aggressive and we would never find the much more subtle but equally important cherry, berry, and even a little plum.

Taste: As the nose indicates, this is a boldly fruity beer. Juicy apricot/peach/nectarine flavors blend with cherry and are then juxtaposed by juniper and pine spice. Dark and heavy malt flavors enter with rum like booziness bringing raison and plum to the table. Finally caramel covered apples and spicy figs take their place too.

Mouthfeel: Large, balanced, boozey, doughy, and smooth.

Drinkability: For me this stuff is like a taste of heaven. I could happily sit and sip this for hours.

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Photo of DanGeo
3.55/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of ricke
4.02/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Golden amber with a shy off-white and very bubbly head that settles kind of fast. Minimal lacings.

S: Caramel, candy and a hint of fudge. Lots of floral and grassy hop notes mixed with a doze of yeast (like white bread). Estery with notes of strawberries and tart berries and lemons. A hint of alcohol. The smell is rather hard to nail down and every breath seems to reveal different prominent characteristics - truly complex and enticing. All in all, a really good and interesting smell.

T: Lots of sweetness going on, the flavor is almost sugary. A lovely malt character with notes of mostly caramel, but also fudge. A gentle taste of candy ends the sweetness as a light fruity yeastiness and wood take over. The hops, although they have clearly starting to fade in this one, gather momentum and balance the sweetness nicely. Other than a general floral character, it's hard to pick out any elements derived from the hops. Perhaps I get a hint of lemon. The finish is pleasantly bitter with complementary malty sweetness, spices and herbal alcohol.

M: Full-bodied and oh so smooth. The slick mouthfeel is just outstanding with a nice sticky finish. The only thing holding it back from a perfect five is a slightly too gentle carbonation.

D: A very good beer, definitely a sipper considering the sweetness, the comparatively prominent taste of alcohol in the finish and the smooth mouthfeel.

 1,400 characters

Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Schlais
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of hopsleeroy
4.07/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into Malheur snifter.

A-Cloudy hazy orange caramel color. Nice white head that faded quickly and laced nicely.
S-Caramel, brown sugary sweetnes with some citrus fruit
T-Caramel and sugar sweetness, bitter earthy hop underneath, citrus/grapefruit in there as well, alcohol present and almost unpleasant-adds to bitter earth hop flavor, some bubble gum as it warms
M-Slightly fizzy at first but seems to be fairly smooth, feels a little overcarbonated which takes away from smooth mouth feel
D-Feels overall rough around the edges, I bet this will be fantastic with a little bit of age

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Photo of BubalooBrewMaster
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: On tap.

Appearance: Tarnished gold in colour with a fine ring of white lace.

Smell: Mostly alcohol in the nose, almost rum like with a little dried fruit.

Taste: Very chewy malt mouthfeel, a mix of caramel and toffee flavours swish around the tongue with a hint of wood, perhaps oak. The very warming estery alcohol and generous use of hops add a spicy bite though the ale.

Notes: An extremely big ale indeed pushing 11.5% abv! It was hard to pick out any exact hop flavour due to the use of 10 different hop varieties. Try laying this one down for a year and see what happens. This brew will get your mojo goin!

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Photo of Ben7773
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #57. Fred departs the bottle a dirty amber orange brown hue with a huge pillowy white head in my tulip glass. Wow..thick patchy lacing sticks to the side of the glass as the massive head slowly works its way down. Impressive. Big spicy, citric hop notes battle each other as they waft up into my nostrils. Hints of pepper mesh with sweet caramel candy, vanilla and fruity tones. Complex and intruiging.

A nice sweet caramel/toffee maltiness arrives first along with a veritable cornucopia of hop notes...floral, spicy and citric all make a showing, with hints of tropical fruits. A candi sugar sweetness does a good job of balancing out the bitterness. A yeasty, spicy finish makes this seem like a Belgian-esque barleywine to me..quite an interesting brew overall.

Mouthfeel is suprisingly arid on the palate...good body with a lot of tight, bubbly carbonation. A bit less carbonation would make me happy. As for drinkability...this is definetly a sip and savor brew. I could see having a couple on a cold night. I might have to track more of this down to cellar. Many thanks to weefisheads for the opportunity to sample this one.

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Photo of blitz134
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 35: Looking at the Hair of the Dog website it appears this beer has been in the bottle just over 5 years. Wow! I had no idea of that fact when I bought it.

Pours with a golden body with some red highlights when held up to the light. Lots of floaties since I emptied the body (oops...don't bother me though...I like it better that way). Not much head, even with an aggressive pour. What is there is only a couple bubbles thick and white as can be.

Amazing smell on this one. Lots of sweet caramel with a good hit of butterscotch (not in a diacytl way, though). Carrying on with the sweet aroma some bubble gum and cotton candy come through. A touch of sweet alcohol as well. A treat to smell.

Taste isn't nearly as complex as the smell. Mostly has a sweet caramel malt taste. Has some bread yeast qualities as well. A touch of citrus and light fruits round it out. A good hit of alcohol that burns a bit at the finish. A overall good flavor with the alcohol well incorporated. As it warms a bit more the alcohol subsides a bit, but after 5 years its still holding on.

A full bodied brew that slides down the tongue. Coats the mouth well and allows that caramel sweetness really linger. Drinkability is good for this high of an ABV. It does warm the stomach making this a true sipper.

 1,300 characters

Photo of bulldogg915
2/5  rDev -51.1%

Photo of JasonA
3.22/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch 66 received in a BIF in 06.

Uh oh. Pours a light carmel more unfiltered translucent than transparent. Virtually no carbonation present. I am worried about this bottle. Agitate, agitate, nothing. I am worried.

Light malt, maybe grapefruit zest, and some ABV. Maybe biscit, maybe hops.

Wow. Talk about against the sensal grain! Smooth malt, carbonation in the mouth, light bodied for the ABV. Better than expected (thankfully)

I finshed an Adam from the same 06 timeframe, cellared the same way. Though somehow it doesnt seem this bottle came through. Im going to chalk this up to a bad batch. While this isnt a horibble brew, it simply doesnt compare to the Fred Wood I had originally and the Adam I just finished.

This makes me think of Barley Wine and making a 'Light'. Medium bodied, not a huge malt character.

I almost dont want to submit this rating. Sorry.

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Photo of NWer
4.58/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 82. Slow deliberate pour into my Deschutes tulip revealed an explosive foamy result 1" beer, 4" foam. Very surprising. Foam dissipates very slowly leaving behind clumps of foam that won't go away. Nice lace.
Cloudy golden appearance.
Sweetness on the nose. Very sweet. Like cotton candy. At first sip, hops fight through the sweetness reveling themselves (along with the alcohol) leaving a very pleasant aftertaste.
A wonderful sipping beer.
Note: My first experience with Fred was Fred from the Wood at the brewery and expected this to be a letdown.
Not so. Fred stands on its own beautifully.

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Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of sponberg
4.97/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch #42. Yet another beer that I pour, sip, and stare at. Deep cloudy copper with a head that just will not stop - rocky, white, great to look at. Simply stunning aroma - big hop (citrus, earthy), malt (sweetness) and hints of rye in concert with a whiff of alcohol. Looks at bottle again. 10%? This will be interesting.

ohhh, mama! The beer equivalent of a... a... a damned fine beer. Massive body with all kinds of hop complexity - if you can picture a hop flavor in your mind and concentrate while sipping, you'll find it. Chewy, round toffee and rye maltiness, with a warming surge o' to complement the flavors. Hints of licorice in the background as it warms, which is a trait I look for in old ales. I could literally spend an evening drinking nothing but this beer and be happy as hell. Way up on my favorites list, and an impressive brew.

Can't wait to wait a year and see how it ages... but in the meantime I think I'll need to get a six or three.

 965 characters

Photo of Beaver13
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, batch 56 (thanks to Crosling!). Pours a hazy golden orange with huge yeast chunks. The head is huge and meringue-like and retains well and laces the glass some.

The aroma is sweet bready malts, fruits (melon and figs), and honey with some vinous alcohol.

The flavor is sweet sugary fruits, caramel malts and some bittering (grassy hops) and warming alcohol at the finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full with nice velvety carbonation.

Overall, a well made and well balanced barley wine. It's definitely big, bold and intense. It loses some of its sweetness and becomes a little more harsh as it warms to room temperature.

 638 characters

Photo of TimoP
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of megamass
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Jason
4.01/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz bottle with a batch # of 54 on the label.

Appearance: Very frothy … not a gusher but the carbonation was very active during the pour. The head retention was the best I have seen in a long time. The sediment stayed to the bottom the bottle to yield a semi-clear reddish orange hue.

Smell: Yeasty with a blunt tropical fruit aroma. Spicy grain. Estery and mild caramel in the nose as well.

Taste & Mouth Feel: Full bodied with a creamy slick mouth feel. Rose-like alcohol, bitter hop with a hard yeasty bite. Spicy rye grain middle to end. Malty with lots of toasted husk on the palate. Finishes with a big spicy bite.

Drinkability & Notes: A very original brew, a sipping brew as well. By all means let this warm up to cellar temp before you drink it.

 784 characters

Photo of merlin48
4.49/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle of batch number 35 here. According to the label, this one was created to honor beer writer and historian, Fred Eckhardt.
This Fred pours a hazed, golden apricot color, with a small beige head that has excellent retention and patches the glass with sheets and globs of lace.
The nose is highly aromatic, and exceedingly complex. The label states that ten different hop varieties from five countries, and aromatic and rye malt are used to create this. I have no reason to doubt this, given all the aromas picked up here. The hop notes are pine and citrus, but the yeast, malts, and alcohol dominate the aroma, as well as flavors. Spicy, Belgianesque clove, nutmeg, vanilla, and pepper are obvious in the nose, as well as a prominent alcohol presence. Bananas and apricots are also up front, as well as a barnyard yeastiness. There are additional aromas I can't identify, but this is one bigtime, Jimmy Durante nose.
Mouthfeel is quite nice, thick and rich, and very full bodied and robust.
Taste is about as complex as the nose. Spicy, fruity tart, very malty, and a good dose of the 10% abv are the initial notes picked up in the flavor profile. Cloves, coriander, nutmeg and pepper provide the spice onslaught. Bananas and apricots make up most of the fruit essence, with some pear and overripe apples in the background. Rye bread taste is here, as well. Lots of sweet maltiness rounds things out. The hops are pine and citrus. I'm sure that if I had another Fred, that I could notice some additional hop notes, but this one isn't so much about the hops, no matter how many varieties are in this.
This Fred caught me off guard, I must admit. I was looking for something interesting to savor, after work, and this one is definitely interesting, but in a "slap you in the face" sort of way. This is a big "beer", and has loads of complexities. Exceptional nose, and a complexity of flavors that I will be thinking about for quite awhile.

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Fred from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
4.09 out of 5 based on 1,806 ratings.
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