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

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1,861 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: 1,861 |  Reviews: 880
Reviews by mattmaples:
Photo of mattmaples
4.66/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Fred RULES!!!! I do not agree with the barley wine designation but other than the review was dead on. Jason and Todd's idea of putting this beer down and ageing it out is a good one. I have a case for Fred magnums in my beer cellar just wait for a party to see the light of day. They have been aging for over two years . Pat Savage from Hair of the Dog gave me a magnum of 1999 "Fred from the Wood" which means it was aged in oak.

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More User Reviews:
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 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 oberon
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

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Photo of Popsinc
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
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 -0.5%
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 +10.6%
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 -12.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of ricke
4.02/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

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Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Schlais
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Photo of hopsleeroy
4.07/5  rDev 0%
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 +4.4%

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
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 +4.4%

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
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 +2.5%
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.

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Photo of bulldogg915
2/5  rDev -50.9%

Photo of JasonA
3.22/5  rDev -20.9%
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 +12.5%
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 -1.7%

Photo of sponberg
4.97/5  rDev +22.1%
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.

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Photo of Beaver13
4.03/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of TimoP
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

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Fred from Hair Of The Dog Brewing Company / Brewery And Tasting Room
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 1,861 ratings