Hair Of The Dog Brewing Company / Brewery And Tasting Room

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Strong Ale - American
Ranked #24
Ranked #3,384
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: 890 | Ratings: 1,885 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

3.44/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Batch Number #41 (if that means anything).
Not sure what to make of this beer. Poured with an absolutely massive creamy "off-white" whippy head that was incredibly persistent. Low carbonation once things settled to a very yeasty looking clowdy orange color, looks that so often threaten a serious headache later on. Appearance is not that off-putting when placed in context of the strength and the bottle-conditioning though. Resembles some Belgium Trippels I have had. In fact it also smells like them. Strong alcoholic powerful aroma intermixed with grain, malt, and damp freshly harvested hops with some fruity hints in there, I kept getting Apricots. Heck, the aroma on this beer is multi-dimensional and very complex. Firm mouthfeel, with a strong warming introduction that is like CPR for the heart. Spicy middle, with the hops really kicking in at the end as the warmth of the alcohol sudsides. Bit of a sweet, cloying 'sticky' finish. Not overly impressed with this beer, its just too damn complex. A confusing beer that tries just too hard to be "Belgique" in my opinion.
$1.99 at Trader Joes for a 12 fl.oz bottle. Took me a while to dispatch this one I have to admit. Glad I saved it until last!!

Oct 13, 2002
More User Reviews:
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Lingenbrau from Oregon

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.

Feb 13, 2018
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Thankin_Hank from Texas

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

Apr 15, 2018
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WesMantooth from Ohio

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.

Jul 01, 2018
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

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.

Mar 03, 2019
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StonedRugger from Ohio

2.77/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I think I got a bad bottle. The carbonation present in this particular Fred is ridiculously high. Each Time I poor the head level rises twice as much as the liquid. The head is not going away. It is a lumpy white that continues to sit on the top while the head is built up from the bottom.
The initial appearance and smell, the hazy golden color and what I thought was a pronounced hoppy aroma made me think ruination, but sadly this is not the case. Upon imbibing this brew the alcohol hits like a fist to the face and carbonation makes a thorough examination of the taste impossible. I'd like to poor more to get a better idea, but i'm afraid the head will rise again. ..The bubbles are still rising in abundance...The lace is very thick if you're wondering. If I get the rest of this poured before the beer is room temperature My views may change and I'll amend this review accordingly, but as it is this is not a beer i'll be enjoying again if i am in Dorothy Lane Market getting coffee or beer and happen to see it.

Mar 31, 2004
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TheBierBand from Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured the 12 oz. brown bottle (Batch #69) into a pint glass to produce a 1-1/2" head of off-white foam. Good retainage and lots of clumpy lacing. The beer was honey colored and slightly cloudy.

The smell was of fresh, ripe fruit.

Taste: Very interesting.... not what I was expecting from the aroma. Quite a strong, bready, rye taste with some serious hop bitterness. Different, but very good.

Mouthfeel: Nice, rich, thick and medium carbonation. Fantastic mouth coating and aftertaste.

Drinkability: Definately a sipper. Let it get up to cellar temp. Cold mutes the intense flavors of this big beer. Enjoy at 50-55 degrees F. Recommended. Not your average Barleywine.

Jan 02, 2008
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brendaniel from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Sep 23, 2013
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cosmicevan from New York

3.65/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up locally.

a - Opened the 12oz bottle and poured into a duvel tasting tulip. Poured a beautiful brownish red with an almost yellowish head that built as the beer was poured. Head was bubbly and hung around a bit. Visual carbonation in the murky beer.

s - Syrupy hops and malts. Nutmeg, sugar, potpourri. Not overdone or intense.

t - Much more lively than the nose suggests. Super duper sweet and malty. Alcohol is fairly present as well. Mild spiciness.

m - Thick and rich...alc tingle. Sweet and almost sour aftertaste.

o - Overall decent barleywine, nothing to write home about. A bit rich and syrupy. Malt heavy.

Apr 03, 2011
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cmadd from Canada (ON)

4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011, Fresh

A: Huge foamy head – three fingers poured into a snifter. Cloudy orange straw body.

S: Light citrusy hops dominate nicely. Deep in the background: malty earth, esters, ripe apple, alcohol.

T: A sort of rye spiciness, honey sweet, light citric notes, apple and pear ripe orchard fruits. A lingering rough bitterness – perhaps the yeast got unsettled in the trip. Maybe a bit hot for my taste? Really neat, though.

M: Nice carbonation, warming alcohol sits in the stomach. Decent.

O: Great beer, even when I find the roughness a tad unsettling. Someone here put it nicely; a marriage between an American Barleywine and a Belgian Tripel. Fascinating and I'm glad I got to try it.

Apr 08, 2012
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cyrushire from Florida

4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jan 12, 2015
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Lucnifter from California

4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Jun 28, 2013
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jtfest from Oregon

4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy amber with a lasting light tan head, there was a fair amount of sediment from bottle conditioning. Drinking Hair of the Dog's is reminding me of drinking homebrews -- though, fortunately, for the most part GOOD homebrews. Full of flavor and a true drinking experience, HOTD is rapidly becoming a favorite brewery of mine.

Fred has a deceptively mild aroma that's hard for me to describe. Hops? No. Malt? No. Hops? I'm confused. In the mouth, it starts sweet and you nod approvingly at the full mouthfeel that almost 'coats' your palate. Then, having been lulled into a false sense of security, Fred sucker-punches you with a strong wallop and an alcohol after burn that finds the chaps in your lips. I like Fred, but I'm not sure he likes me. I doubt I could drink too many of him without a lampshade on my head.

Jan 06, 2004
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laxer8811 from New York

4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Jul 23, 2013
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pleasewearpants from California

4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really dig this mustachioed canine on the label. Batch 81.
Pours a hazy golden color with a lucious creamy white head. Really great retention and body.
Aroma immediately brings to mind clover honey. Rye and pilsner characteristics are also immediately present. Also get notes of tropical fruit and hibiscus.
Taste starts with an initial bitterness then swirls into rye, honey, tropical fruit and saccharin.
Really great mouthfeel for this ABV. Has a nice coating quality but still a nice amount of effervescence on the front.
Really awesome beer, glad I revisited it.

Mar 22, 2011
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mrebeka from Michigan

3.83/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Feb 18, 2015
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avaldivia from California

4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Nov 15, 2011
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BeerOps from Illinois

4.01/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

May 09, 2015
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Sweffin from Wisconsin

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

Feb 19, 2017
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egajdzis from Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 49... Poured a hazy amber color with a medium sized, off white head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of floral hops, citrus fruits, caramel malts, sherry, and light alcohol. Much of the same in the taste, hops were still forward, and the alcohol was also a bit strong.

Aug 26, 2006
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walshclimb from Nevada

4.71/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This refers to a 12 oz. bottle of batch 67 Fred poured in a tulip glass on 8/22/07. Pours clear, dark honey with thick bubbly head with bubbles ranging from v. small to 1/4" and small bubbles rising up through the body.l Nice, somewhat uneven lacing. Smells of warm, sweet malt with honey and doughy yeast and mild alcoholic scent. The initial flavor is big, malty, and sweet IF and a nice, long lived bitter aftertaste. The bitterness is strong enough that you can almost feel it in your teeth! Long lived, tasty, and very interesting. The overall impression is of a reasonably balanced beer although neither the initial flavor nor the aftertaste is particularly well-balanced. But the combination of the two creates a sense of balance because they are so big and so different. The transition from big malt to refreshing hop bitterness makes this possible. The mouthfeel is full-bodied with slightly creamy texture, lively carbonation, and somewhat alcoholic finish. This is an ultra-classic beer that has complex flavor and a beautiful appearance. Definitely a must for any tasting list. Stock up on a visit to Portland as it is not very common outside the Pacific NW.

Aug 27, 2007
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alcstradamus from Iowa

3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Nick!

Pours with an out of control head....I tried to go slow but four fingers quickly engulfed the glass. A quick browsing of reviews shows that the majority of others aren't experiencing this, so I hope nothing is wrong with my bottle. I don't mind the crazy foam, it forces me to wait for a while and let the beer breathe and warm up first (something I have a difficult time forcing myself to do usually)

Sticking my nose into the marshmallow mountain of foam beneath me, I am greeted by a wave of floral and citrus hops, spices, apple peel, with hints of pepper and clove.

Upon first sip the spices come full force and brutalize my palate, eventually washing down to a citrus hop finish. The hops are big here. In a blind tasting I would guess this was an American Barleywine mixed 50/50 with a nice Tripel....I guess that is why the bottle is labeled Golden Special Ale (kind of vague, right).

There is a bit of a carbonation sting which I don't care for along with a noticeable alcohol burn in the finish, but this beer has a nice body. I enjoyed drinking it for sure, but it was definitely a sipper and the 10% ABV made itself known.

Aug 31, 2009
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AlexFields from Tennessee

3.97/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Feb 19, 2016
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olradetbalder from Sweden

4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Dec 01, 2014
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ahermsen from Wisconsin

4/5  rDev -2.7%

Jul 11, 2013
Fred from Hair Of The Dog Brewing Company / Brewery And Tasting Room
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 1885 ratings