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Fred | Hair Of The Dog Brewing Company / Brewery And Tasting Room

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1,863 Ratings

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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,863 |  Reviews: 882
Reviews by beagle75:
Photo of beagle75
4.26/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.
Batch 81

A: Clear, medium golden color with over two fingers of voluminous and persistent white foam head. Moderate clumped lacing remains on the glass and effusive sheets of bubbles rise in the column.

S: Lightly toasted grain is clean and very honest. The rustic quality of the smell evokes just-milled base malt, and lots of it--exactly like a visit to a working brewery. Fruit is weak but bright, a combination of pear and delicate lemon. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins sweet, with big pale malt that is paradoxically refined after the rustic smell. The cleanliness, on the other hand, parallels that of the smell, lacking any characterful input from yeast. Things get interesting into the middle as the flavor sweetens further to become truly dessert-like. There is a definite boozy thread that develops mid-way through the flavor profile, well-timed alongside emerging herbal bitterness. Whatever fruitiness is present appears similar to the pear from the smell, but is short-lived. The finish maintains the characteristic cleanliness of the rest of the profile with a sleepy-but-moderate bitterness that has shows staying power.

M: Thick viscosity, very smooth--even slick--on the palate, with low carbonation.

D/O: I did not expect or want to like this beer; strong blond beers never seem to measure up. This well-aged bottle of Fred was able to win me over, representing well the learned opinions of those few who reported that this beer might even exceed the excellence of Hair of the Dog's other signature strong ale, Adam. Something--namely Belgian abbey yeast--seems absent, although it is not missed. A strong burst of yeast-derived metabolites would only distract here. As it is, this beer is a focused and decadent beast of a malt-bomb. Although the official derivation of the name honors craft brewing royalty, I like to think that is also gives a nod to Fred Armisen and his Portland-inspired humor.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Lingenbrau
4.41/5  rDev +8.4%
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 Thankin_Hank
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
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 WesMantooth
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
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 Lone_Freighter
4/5  rDev -1.7%
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 StonedRugger
2.77/5  rDev -31.9%
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.

 1,023 characters

Photo of TheBierBand
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

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Photo of brendaniel
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of cosmicevan
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

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Photo of cmadd
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of cyrushire
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Lucnifter
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of jtfest
4.03/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of laxer8811
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of pleasewearpants
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

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Photo of mrebeka
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of avaldivia
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of BeerOps
4.01/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Sweffin
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of egajdzis
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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Photo of walshclimb
4.71/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

 1,170 characters

Photo of alcstradamus
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

 1,151 characters

Photo of AlexFields
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of olradetbalder
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of ahermsen
4/5  rDev -1.7%

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Fred from Hair Of The Dog Brewing Company / Brewery And Tasting Room
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 1,863 ratings