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

860 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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 860 | Ratings: 1,792
Photo of JReites
1.08/5  rDev -73.6%
look: 1.25 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Batch 88 bottle poured into a goblet glass.

A- Very hazy orange color upon pouring. No head at all.

S- Very strong smell of dark fruits, sweetness, and an overall off putting aroma. Can't put a finger on what the smell is I am getting.

T- Very sweet with hints of dark fruits. Not sure what is going on with the taste, seems to be very confused flavors overall.

M- Very thick and syrupy with a strong, warm alcohol presence.

O- Honestly I was looking forward to finally trying a beer from Hair of the Dog. I could not drink more than 2-3 sips of this one. Same goes for the rest of the people around when we tasted it. Poor flavor and hard to tell if this was still good. Have heard of problems with consistency with this beer, would try it or other HotD again, but only if offered as a sample. I am definitely not willing to pay full price for a bottle or draft of this or others until trying something better.

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Photo of nhindian
1.65/5  rDev -59.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

12oz bottle poured into a Cantillon wine glass.

Batch 78.

To begin with: This beer is explosive. I poured a little bit of the beer gently into the glass and I was met with a rushing cloud of foam and carbonation. I had a half inch of liquid to 10-feet of foam. I literally had to scoop the foam out with a spoon to get it to a level where I could actually get a drinkable amount of beer into the glass. Their first beer I had from them was dead flat and this one's bursting with carbonation.

Anyway, onto the review.

A - After scooping out spoonful after spoonful of dense foam, I am left with about 2.5-fingers of incredibly thick, creamy head. This is the closest thing I've seen that resembles the head that Allagash beers get, but this one gets a little chunky at the top and doesn't budge. Even after sitting for almost a half hour, there's still carbonation and head sticking around on this, unfortunately as it's so thick I'd prefer if it went away. I find no faults with the body, however, as it is a beautiful amber gold with a lot of radiant glow to it. It's hazy, but it's easy to see the multitude of carbonation. The lacing benefits from the persistent head, as it coats it almost completely.

S - After taking my first smell of this, I can definitely tell this is off, as if the head and carbonation didn't give it away. It's full of tart green apples and is slightly sour. I can discern some yeast, malts, and bread, as well as some spices? The back has some citrus hops to it, but not much.

T - The flavors from this are just a mess in my opinion. From the tart notes, to the bready malts, to the overactive carbonation, this is a jumble of flavors that are not congruent at all. I am actually having a tough time picking out specific notes in this. Yeast, green apple, caramel, slight citrus hoppiness. All vying for pole position only to get blindsided by carbonation.

M - Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with too high carbonation. Again, this is the second Hair of the Dog beer I had in as many days that suffer from mouthfeel and carbonation problems. Adam was completely flat, and Fred is brimming with carbonation. Very awkward for the style and flavor profile and I can still feel it bubbling in my stomach.

D/O - Drinkability is low. I kept going back and forth on whether I should drain pour this, being conflicted that it might foam up and clog my drain and pipes, and then getting scared as to what is going to happen to my digestive tract. Eventually I lost the battle with this beer, getting knocked down by the yeast and carbonation, and then finally TKO'd by a surprising amount of sweet cloyingness that manages to rise from seemingly nowhere and assault me in the finish. Stay away unless you can get a guarantee you are getting a clean bottle, which from my now 0/2 track record from Hair of the Dog, makes me think it may be harder than it seems. Take out insurance.

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Photo of brianmandell
2/5  rDev -51.1%

Batch 92. Hazy golden pour with zero head. Visibly viscous.

The nose is very sweet with honey, caramel and hints of stone fruits. A touch of sherry.

Taste is quite similar to the nose except it is pervaded by a strongly unpleasant astringent bitterness. Flavors of sweet honey, vanilla, caramel, raisins and sherry come through along with an alcohol bite.

Mouthfeel is slightly viscous with no carbonation.

I didn't mind the lack of carbonation so much as I couldn't stand the astringent bitterness. Smells great but tastes awful. Drainpour.

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Photo of Hoptometrist
2.11/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Served from the bottle (Batch 88) into a globed glass

A- Poured a dark hazy orange color with zero carbonation, no head, nothing.

S- Big dark fruits (figs, dates), rye, honey, and tons of sweetness, cardboard, slight wet dog aroma. Not a great aroma

T- Pretty muddled, lots of sweetness, honey, graininess, rye, and marmalade. Some cardboard notes.

M- Very low carbonation, syrupy, fuller bodied, big alcohol warming. Drinks pretty flat overall.

O- I was excited to try a beer from Hair of the Dog but had heard bad things about carbonation issues and have avoided buying their bottles for that reason. This is my first bottle from them and it might be my last. Too much money to spend on unreliable quality issues. Their beers sounds really interesting, maybe I will catch some of their beers on draft sometime. Could not drink more than a couple of ounces of this.

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Photo of shleepy
2.21/5  rDev -46%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Served from a small bottle (bought at K&L in Redwood City) into a snifter.

A: Dark amber, cloudy. Some yeast sediment floating around. Medium-high head with decent retention.

S: Caramel and floral hops. Maybe even some hot alcohol.

T: Wow, that's bitter and intense. There's almost a stinging sensation a couple of seconds after taking a sip. Bitterness in the aftertaste, as well. Other than that, there are a few complex flavors hidden in there - caramel, maybe liquorice, citrus.

M: Heavy. Medium carbonation. As I mentioned above, the bitterness is quite overwhelming.

O: Definitely a slow-sipping beer. I don't enjoy beers this intense, unless they're barrel-aged stouts or maybe barleywines.

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Photo of Jmamay22
2.27/5  rDev -44.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

Fred pours a very cloudy amber brown with no head. Not very attractive. Looks like a muddy puddle in my glass. The scent is very sweet featuring brown sugar, caramel and dark fruits such as fig and plum. The taste is also sweet, really too sweet. The rye spiciness attempt to hold back the sweetness, but it all comes through as a sugar bomb. Lots of caramel. Alcohol heat is present, but not terribly strong. Mouthfeel is nearly wine still and fairly heavy.

I enjoyed some of their other offerings on tap yesterday, but this one from the bottle is a muddled sweet mess. I'm curious to know what the brewer was after with this one. Maybe a mistake and under attenuated due to the strong sweet flavor and lack of carbonation. Reading the notes saying there are 10 different hops used is interesting. This may have helped lead to the muddled flavors. 10 different hops is a lot to try to balance.

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Photo of Trilogy31
2.32/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Batch 80 in a tulip. Pours a sunset amber with a beautiful frothy head and leaves nice sticky lacing. Unfortunately for me this is where the good looks end. Nose and taste is like a completly out of balance doggie claws. Overly sweet malts and citrus on the nose with little hop balance and alcohol esters more of the same in the mouth as well with a hot finish. Reminds me somewhat of stone old guardian 2011 which is not a good thing. Not a fan but at least its nice trade bait.

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Photo of smakawhat
2.34/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Poured from the bottle into a Hair of the Dog tulip glass.

Lifeless pour. No carbonation, just a gooey orange apricot glow out of the bottle, filling with an orange and a screeching lifeless faint tan collar on the edges. Nothing going on here.

Aroma is sweet malts and honey. Hop aroma hinting toward spiced pine, with some clove esters a bit. Sugary. Sucrose, and lots of syrup

Palate hints at what could have been. Flat flat lifeless body. Palate fills with a bit of woody hop and pine, but is overtaken by sugary syrup and sucrose thickness. Lifeless and overly sweet.

Remind me to never drink bottle Hair of the Dog ever again, I'll stick to the brewpub where the beers actually shine. This is a disaster, basically drinking liquid sucrose with a bit of hop bitterness.

--- Old review look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4 | Final 4.3

Fred consists of very yellow almost lemon yellow opaque appearance. A good solid head that doesn't seem to dissipate too quickly.

The nose on the beer is quite surprising. An overwhelming sense of tropical fruit, specifically mango, and sweetness. Tastes of a sweet sugary honey, but not of heavy alcohol that linger in aftertaste.

An enjoyable beer but depending on your preference for fruit you may not care for it.

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Photo of harrymel
2.35/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Batch 80

A: Pours golden and lifts a fine white less than single finger head which thins to a sheet of the same. Slightly hazy.

S: Sweet grains. Apple skins (too bad). Floral, citrus, vitamin scents here as well.

T: Sweet, alcoholic, phenolic. Not real hop feel here. Woody tones.

M: Syrupy, heavy, moderate carbonation. Coats the mouth and remains resonate.

D: One's enough for me. Too sweet.

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Photo of nrb1
2.36/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I had the same issue - 2 bottles totally flat. Not a hint of carbonation. No head. This is from Batch 88. Bummer. Will try to find a couple of bottles that are in better shape. Also have a couple of bottles of Adam, same batch. Hopefully not with the same problem.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.41/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

Identifies itself as a "Golden Special Ale." Batch number 84. 10% ABV confirmed. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Acquired at K&L Wine in Hollywood. Expectations are high given current ratings.

Side-poured slowly per instructions on the label. Served straight from the fridge.

A: Pours a 5+ finger light khaki colour head of fair smooth cream, nice thickness, and great (9+ minute) retention. No lacing at all. No bubble show. Body colour is a hazy nontransparent translucent orange. No yeast particles are visible. Generally appealing for a golden ale, with an impressive head. Decent vibrance.

Sm: Fresh orange fruit, mandarin oranges, malty sweetness, pale malts, tropical fruit esters, off-putting pineapple, floral hops, candied fruit, banana, some spicy graininess, light honey, clove, and heavy booziness. Alcohol definitely comes through on this one. Not the refreshing golden ale aroma I expected. It's a bit off-putting, to be honest. The tropical fruit mixed with the alcohol just isn't at all appealing; it's redolent of a crappy cocktail. A moderate to strong aroma.

T: Hrm. Candi sugar, heavy alcohol boozy character, tropical fruit, banana, mango, and overdone sweetness. Green apple. Maltiness here is poorly executed. The balance is crushed by the one-two punch of tropical fruit and alcohol. Ugh. Severely disappointed. No subtlety to this one all. There's decent complexity here, but without balance it's useless. Not liking it. Way too sweet. It's a mess; I'd point to the overly diverse hop varieties as problem-inducing here; that definitely feels like a marketing gimmick. Caramel (and why is this in a Golden Ale?).

Mf: Eroding in its sugary sweetness. Smooth and wet. Tingly from crystal malt. Way too thick, even syrupy and viscous - what is that doing in a Golden Ale? Doesn't suit the flavours all that well. Carbonation is too high, to boot.

Dr: Real hard to drink; the flavours aren't appealing nor is the ABV well hidden. I'm not gonna enjoy finishing this glass. I honestly don't understand the high ratings for this one; it's a failure as a Strong Ale and as a Golden Ale. Trying this makes me happier I haven't sought out Fred From The Wood. If this is the base beer, I don't expect much from any variant. Really disappointed in this one.


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Photo of Brew33
2.43/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A very generous "want" extra from Black13. Thanks Michael!

I popped the top on this and began to gently pour into my Founders tulip. Fred produced a glass full of sticky foam and around 1 inch of beer at the bottom. After letting it settle for 15 minutes I stuck my nose in the glass. Herbal hops, alcohol, and light belgian candi sugar dominate the nose. Really a muddled mess that the excessive amount of CO2 didn't help at all.

I don't know if it was my high expectations or a bad night or if I really just don't like Fred but this is not a good beer based on my one bottle sample. Lots of candi sugar. The most prominent flavor I got out of this beer. Candi sugar is pretty darn distinct and I've used it in home brews before in small doses. They seemed to go overboard. Earthiness from the yeast and/or rye malt is apparent. I think the candi sugar and highly attenuative yeast really dry this beer out. Overly carbonated but the mouthfeel is creamy and pleasant. Yeasty, earthy, bitter, dry, boozy. An odd beer.

Overall, I don't get it. I'm sure the ingredients are top notch but it's a freaking mess. Too much going on with 10 hops, candi sugar, rye malt, and booze. Weird beer but I'm certainly glad I was able to try it.

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Photo of 2x10
2.53/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Spent way to much on this bottle. the batch I tasted was 4 yrs old. Maybe I am not a fan of aged beers. Very heavy mouthfeel, not friendly to the nose. Way to much bready taste and a HUGE belgian yeast aftertaste that lingered and did not go away. Nice to try something different, but we decided Fred can just lie in his bed, permanently.

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Photo of Oakhtar
2.73/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Batch 93....third straight flat Fred I have had. Started with batch 88 and now two straight batch 93s are drain pours.

Overall this beer smells and looks great, but I need some more texture. Supposedly bottle conditioned, but there is absolutely no carbonation in this batch. Extremely disappointed with my Fred experience thus far.

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Photo of StonedRugger
2.77/5  rDev -32.3%
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.

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Photo of SeattleBeerBlog
2.79/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- pours a slightly hazy gold with an ok head that dissipates quickly.

S- slightly tart, alcohol, yeasty. good.

T- wow disappointing, paint thinner is not a good taste. a little yeasty as well. was hoping for much more.

M- not overly carbonated or thin, decent here.

D- well I would go with a no compared to other barley wines I have had, even though the bottle calls it a golden? perhaps let this one age a few years and see if the paint thinner goes away and it cools down.

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Photo of rab53
2.79/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Originally had this beer years ago (batch 48) and rated a 4.5.

Revisited this evening (batch 93) and was thoroughly disappointed.
Flat, sweet, boozy. Almost every HotD bottle I've had in the past year has had major carbonation issues.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.8/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a tumbler.

Let's hope this stuff is more Frederick the Great on the battlefield than Fred Flintstone on the lanes... It pours a mostly clear golden-brass topped by a finger or so of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises thick honey, mild banana, biscuit, mild Belgian yeast, clove, and a touch of booze in the background. The taste brings in more of the same, with the booze and an overly-strong current of blunt sweetness dominating the proceedings. Honestly, things just seemed too sweet and disjointed to get much of a sense of the other constituent pieces. The body is a hefty medium, with a light moderate carbonation, a lightly syrupy feel, and a drying finish. Overall, like many Hair of the Dog offerings, this stuff didn't do it for me at all. It's too sweet and boozy for its own good, and it seems to want to insist upon itself rather than let me experience it in any kind of pleasurable way. God, I hope that makes some sense to someone other than me...

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Photo of TheGreatFozzini
2.84/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Was excited about the color, the smell was perfect
I got the zero carbonation version.
Taste was exactly as I had expected for a golden ale.
Warming but not overwhelming heat.
I'm disappointed, Nothing more to say.
Doubt I would shell out more money for another Hair of the Dog.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
2.9/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Got this in a trade from travisd13. Poured into a snifter and enjoyed with Trevor (lynx1245).

NOTE: After talking to others about this experience, I'm pretty certain that this bottle contained infected yeast.

Appearance: As soon as this was popped open, carbonation rushed to the surface and caused the head to gush out the top of the bottle a little bit. Carbonation even drug large chunks of sediment to the surface. In the snifter, head was four fingers high, white, and very soapy/fluffy. Body is a cloudy orangish-yellow with tons of gray, doo-doo-like sediment at the bottom. Lots of lace. Nice 1/4 inch retained head forms after the first swirl.

Smell: Green apple, burnt sugar, Belgian yeast, doughy malts, spices, and red currants (not in that order). Smells a bit champagne-like.

Taste: Sugar and candy, tart berries, green apple, doughy malts, and stinging alcohol. Sour yeast strain also detected. The stinging alcohol may be due to the fact that I don't drink many barleywines... or possibly this beer is bad?

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated and very hot and dry. Tons of warming in the tummy.

Drinkability: Too hot to handle! Had a tough time finishing this one, but maybe I'm just not used to barleywines. Then again, maybe this one is spoiled. I don't know, but this was a very tough drink.

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Photo of Cubatobaco
3.01/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip

A - Pours a murky brown color with a light auburn hue when tilted to the light. Mild carbonation and very still in the glass. No head formed when poured and only has a bubbled edge around the sides.

S - Reveals a deep earthiness with a burnt sugar and candied yam/sweet potato aroma. Esters are very evident in this beer followed by hints of dark fruits. This is not what I was expecting. Reveals almost a Quad-like smell. Intense!

T - Almost no carbonation and very off-putting. I think that this is a bad bottle. Tastes of caramel and burnt sugar. Very similar to the smells

M - No carbonation on the palate with a thick and syrupy feel. Not appealing. Again, this is a bad bottle.

O - I'm not going to give this a bad rating as I got a bad bottle. I hope the other bottle I have is a lot better.

PS - I'll correct my review if the next bottle is better.

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Photo of RickS95
3.04/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Rich-looking medium brown pour. Cloudy, hazy look. However, there is NO head. None. Zilch. Simply not there. Looks like a juice of some sort.

The smell is very pleasant. There's a nice fruity scent mixed in with a little rye spice. All the while your nose tells you there's candied sugar in there somewhere. Even without the writing on the bottle, these ingredients stand out.

The rye malt is very apparent and dominant. Alcohol really comes to life in the taste as it's extremely strong and medicinal. The sugar is there as well. Hops are a bit player in this aggressive sipper.

Zero carbonation. The beer is completely flat until the spicy malt and crazy alcohol pepper the palate. It's very sweet, fairly bitter, and ridiculously alcoholic...a bit too much so. Feels like a Barleywine. Despite the flat feel, it's a very heavy beer.

Very disappointing. Maybe I let this one age a little too long, but I thought with the high ABV it would be ok. This wasn't very good. The look is awful, the taste is a bit on the medicine side, and it feels pretty bad. I expected so much more based on what I'd read. This missed the target on most fronts.

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Photo of flannelman808
3.06/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Bright amber in color yellow tinge toward the edges. A powerful head forms and has ridiculous retention. I'll comment on the lacing in about 15 min as the rocky head isn't going anywhere fast. Too much carbonation? looks like this one is seriously made for aging (no cork though ... ).
Yeah silly lacing too.

S: Pilsner malt (husk) and white cane sugar take over the aroma, maybe just a hint of dried candied fruit somewhere hidden along with a subtle grassy note.

T: Very rich and very carbonated, but the thickness of the beer actually overpowers the tickle. Still its difficult to taste. Sugar cane and bitter grassy flavors would seem to tease out of a vigorous tongue numbing (think seltzer) carbonation. Mild honey like flavors develop along with the warming of 10% abv. This is definitely a sweet beer though it hides behind bubbles which are doing the best job of keeping it from being cloying.
Subtle fruity notes develop with time as this warms, which are actually pretty nice. Perhaps time will help this beer, but honestly I wouldn't buy more given its high cost.

M: Seltzer and syrup.

O: I have to say I am not a fan of this. Over time it may get better, and if you happen to buy one I would recommend not drinking it because you will have wasted your 7 ish dollars a 12 oz.

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Photo of WCBCFrank
3.08/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hair of the Dog's Fred is a strong Belgian style golden ale - think of Chimay White with tons more complexity and notes of alcohol in the finish. This is a strong beer, somewhat sweet but typical of tripel-style brews. It pours yellow-copper orange in a goblet and has a medium head with good lacing. Aromas of ripe apples and sugar are appealing....tasty but a powerful somewhat sweet alcohol finish might perturb some taste buds. Overall, a well made brew, but for my palate not a home run.

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Photo of UnionMade
3.08/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I got a huge green glass magnum bottle of this beer, with batch number 53 printed clearly on the front.
Pours an interesting coppery orange color, with a bit of haziness. A big frothy white head pops up, and disappears almost as fast, dying out completely about 1/3 of the way through the glass.
Smells sweetly malty, some caramel, with a strong hop presence and a bit of alcohol. Lots of fruitiness, with an odd rind-like hopping.
Taste is immediately sweet and malty, with a bit of apricot, orange, and something like pineapple or pear. I'm not sure. A strong alcohol taste mingles with the hops in the finish. It's a very strange hoppiness, like it's indistinct. I can't really pick out certain varieties. Muddy, blending several hop flavors together, but all at once. Piney, citric and herbal. Big alcoholic wash in the end, with a slick, oily warmth on the way down.
A pretty good beer, but the alcohol got very overwhelming as the brew got warm and flatter. I had trouble finishing the last few sips, as it started to take on a strong boozey character. Kind of a wierd frankenstein feel, with flavors going everywhere, and an odd muddiness to the hops.

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Fred from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
4.09 out of 5 based on 1,792 ratings.
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