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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Reviews: 864 | Ratings: 1,804
Photo of MasterSki
3.58/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Adam (Nanoslug) for sending me a bottle of this brew. Served in my Darkness snifter - batch 73.

A - Ridiculous soapy off-white foam that sticks around indefinitely and leaves lots of chunky lacing. Dark hazy copper-orange-red color that has some bubbles visible.

S - Interesting bouquet - bubblegum, raisins and plum, citrus hops, brown sugar, candy, and caramel malts. There's a bit of spiciness (rye malt?), and as it warms up a touch of booze comes out.

T - Tons of bready malts, with a bit of that sour rye flavor. There's also some honey and medicinal herb flavors that come through at the top of the palate. I'm not digging the slightly sour aftertaste - not sure if this is a sign of impending infection.

M - Body is viscous but thinner than I'd expect from a 10% barleywine. Some residual burnt sugar feel after swallowing. Carbonation is lower, and there's a bit of alcohol warmth that builds.

D - I'm not digging this one nearly as much as Adam or Matt - kind of staring at the glass and wondering how I'm going to finish it. The ABV isn't harsh, but it's not well-hidden either, and the aftertaste is off-putting. Definitely something I'd only want a 4oz pour of in the future, and my least favorite HOTD to date.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

07/14/06- Brought back from Portland as a gift from my wife.

Presentation- 12oz bottle, with no freshness dating. I received it in April of 2005 it's probably an '04 version. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Rust colored appearance, head rises to the top of my least 2 inches..almost overflows on a slow pour. Chunks, streaks, pock marks with a vanilla milkshake looking of the best head retentions I have seen.

Smell- At first note I noticed alot of Tripel aspects. Some sweet spices and maybe a bit of corriander. Now I notice some real sweet caramel malt..loads of confectioniers sugar...smells like a old fashioned ice cream parlor. Maybe a bit of butterscotch as well. After resting...caramel seems to be the lead flavor...not really toasted or dark, but more like a candied scent.

Taste- Heavy sweet caramel, definitely roasted, as the backdrop and base. I can tell this one probably used to be a big hopmonster. I can taste some burning hop bitterness on the back of the tongue...not a real fresh hop taste though...I guess the aging has taken the fresh hops out of the picture. Maybe even a bit of a cherry or some kind of alcohol soaked current flavor.

Mouthfeel- Seems a bit high in the carbonation department. Pretty damn effervescent. Fuller mouthfeel because of the sugary caramel nature.

Drinkability- I'd like to try one of these fresh to compare. Pretty good barleywine as is though. Nice tribute to Fred Eckhardt.

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Photo of Tone
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy, copper color. 6/4 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of alcohol, sweet malt, slight citrus, yeast, and slight bread. Fits the style of an American Barleywine. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of alcohol, sweet malt, hint of roasted malt, slight citrus hops, slight yeast, and hint of bread. Overall, great appearance, good aroma, body, and blend.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my DFH signature glass, congratulations, its a barleywine. Beer is amber and hazy but clears as I drink it, may have served it slightly too cold. Head leaves some lacing on the glass but its not much of a head to start out with, carbonation is low.

Malty malty malty. Sweet syrupy aroma. Pretty strong, this is what barleywines smell like.

Beer is thin and sweet with a dry finish. Its a little odd, all the flavor is in the front half of the palate and then it kind of falls flat. I like it, I do, I think its a good beer and even for a barleywine I enjoy it, I just wish there was some sort of late flavor or bitterness. I would recommend it.

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Photo of aasher
4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch #78. This beer pours somewhere in between dark gold and bright copper in color with a three finger cream colored head. This one may take awhile to calm down. It smells of very bready sweet malts. I get A LOT of Bisquick biscuit dough from it. It also features a light but sweet caramel malt aspect that is rather subdued but pairs well with the aforementioned biscuity aromas. It tastes of sweet caramel malts with a nice honey covered biscuit aftertaste that is delicious. The whole profile isn’t typical of a “barleywine” but it works rather well. It is moderately sweet but isn’t overpowering in the least. It isn't overly sticky on the palate either but boy does the head stick to the side of the glass. It’s probably one of the most drinkable barleywines around. Overall this is a great beer from Hair of the Dog, once again.

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Photo of stevoj
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

You’ll know what you’re getting into at first whiff. Malts and alcohol greet you, a murky copper color with just a ring of head around the glass. Some caramel/ toffee sweetness mellows the whole thing. Alcohol burn and warmth all the way down.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from 10/2010 notes. Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a dark orange amber. Thick off white head and mega lacing, more like the whole cloth! Sweet malt and hop aroma. Sweet and hoppy. Caramel malt, some dark malt, complicated hoppy flavors, citrus and very sweet. The sweetness almost too much, but fits in fine with the other flavors. Nice medium body. Very unusual combination of flavors, but it works. An obvious candidate for some interesting aging. Batch 80.

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Photo of Gavage
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber / orange color with a 1 inch head. Plenty of lacing from this one. The aroma is of malt, yeast, honey, and grass. The flavor is complex. Numerous tones arrive at different times through the drink as it warms. Yeast, malt, honey, grass, and hops are all highly evident. A sour apple flavor seemed to be there too. Alcohol levels are very noticeable.

The mouthfeel is very smooth. The alcohol, malt, and bitterness last long on the tongue. Very interesting full flavored beer.

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Photo of liamt07
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Rutager, 12oz into a tulip. Batch 86.

Golden brown, voluminous cream colored head. Huge lacing and retention. Nose of citrus, malts, candy sugar. Light rye, spice and even some gentle herbal character. Taste has intense malt notes (caramel), some lighter rye, candi sugar, alcohol and bitter citrus hopping. Full feel, light syrupy quality and sticky sweet. Medium carbonation. Some sort of Anerican BW/strong ale hybrid, very nice stuff.

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Photo of tempest
3.99/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch #62 purchased in May from a store that didn't know what they had.

It's a bit of a gusher, but that bottle conditioning makes for a heck of a head. The aroma is a touch simple, mostly just like sweet, alcoholic malts. The flavor open up more with the spicy rye coming through over fruitier and light caramel malts. It's also like there's some earthy root flavors with the rye. It's almost like a strange mix of perfume with lemon, orange, and toffee. There's a balancing bitterness that makes a mouthfeel and drinkability worth mentioning. Tastes a bit like some American-made English barleywines, but the rye puts this in it's own dimension. Definitely an unusual beer, give it a try. It'll give you plenty to think about.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.36/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my second HotD beer, thanks to Bryan (BA...spdyfire83). Adam is my highest rated beer, but I did not dare to assume Fred would match that. Let's see...batch 79. It's been in my mini-fridge for ~8months

Fine looking beer! Medium-deep copper goodness, clean and clear. HUGE foam upon even a gentle pour. Barely off-white. Settles to a soft, somewhat rocky pillow. Nice presentation.

Fruity aroma. almost like a dubbel or quad, except that the fruit is more of pear, peach, persimmon than apple. Maybe some white grape. Alcohol is present. Spicy. Crap, 10 hops? Nah, I don't think I can pick all of them out. Saaz I can predict, but the others would be difficult for me

Malty, some peat in background of the flavor profile. Mostly, though, it's fruit and hops. Rich flavors. Light biscuit does well with some spicy rye malt. Alcohol more pronounced.
The feel is odd. Bubbly, but also a bit syrupy. The alcohol thins things out, but I think diminishes the hops' bitterness.

Quite a nice beer

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.41/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle obtained via trade with a non-BA.
Batch #82 - poured in to Founders tulip glass.

A - Poured golden orange with one finger of thick white head with excellent retention and excellent lacing. The head really stuck around for a while and was thick and luscious.

S - Sweet caramel malts, honey, sticky candy and a bitter floral hop aroma. There is a light citrus aroma and yeast in the background.

T - Big sweetness up front - sticky candy, caramel and honey. The sweet malt bill is balanced out by a big hop punch and warming alcohol. The balance is seemingly perfect considering the huge sweetness. The hops carry floral and citrus flavours and the yeast shows up as a background flavour as well. Very complex.

M - Medium body, creamy and silky. Light carbonation.

O - A truly excellent and one of a kind strong ale.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy brownish color, some carbonation, huge creamy tannish head, tons of sticky lacing throughout the drink. The nose is malty, licorice, toffee/caramel. The taste is malty, little tangyness, slightly sweet, lots of toffee/caramel. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is a slightly different barleywine, but very tasty, slightly complex brew, highly recommended.

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Photo of WesWes
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a hazy, dark gold color with a 1/4" white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a warming pale malt scent along with a nice hop aroma as well. The alcohol really stands out in the nose. The taste is good as well. It has a nice burnt pale malt flavor that comes from an extended boil. The malts are caramelized perfectly here. Also, the hops really balance out the flavor. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a sipper for sure, but it's smooth and flavorful; a great beer. I'm sorry it took so long to finally try it.

Batch 71

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.45/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I see that Belgian candy sugar is used; does that make Fred a Belgo-barleywine? Enough of the stupid remark, bust out the Old Guardian glass and opener and get on to the beer:

It's magnificent looking; a darker shade of gold, tiny bubbles that are clearly visible from a few feet away, a thick creamy top that seems to last forever. That's the good news! The bad news is that something seems to have gone awry in the nose. It's most resemblant of sweet honey and a good amount of astringency. More time allows the astringency to calm and bring a little note of hop leaf. A little better, but still rough for my liking.

I think we have a Belgo-barleywine, or at least an attempt. If you love sugar, then you will get your fix here. It's very sweet overall, yet finds a way without ever being cloying. Sugar sweetness is obvious, little notes of mandarin orange, leaves, and a hop cone or two. Some of the 10% alcohol is felt/tasted in the form of ethanol. It's a big and firm bodied beer (and one that leaves sticky residue around my lips, which I like a lot), so take this easy.

Hair of the Dog throws a change-up at the barleywine style. It's not bad and certainly different from the diet of fastballs that we're all used to seeing, but sometimes a good 93 MPH heater gets the job done better than a slightly better than average change on the outside corner.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to hophead101 for sending me this bottle. This is one I have been looking forward to trying.

The beer pours a hazy brown color with a white head. The aroma is classic American Barleywine with notes of caramel malt and oranges. The flavor is sweet caramel, sweet oranges, toffee, brown sugar and a touch of alcohol. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A great beer that didn't disappoint.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A truly exceptional beer from a great brewery. My favorite of their products that I've had. Batch # 69. Poured a beautiful hazy dark orange with little head, but excellent lacing. The smell had deep aromas of candi sugar, orange blossom honey, lemon zest, and brandied raisins. Wonderful. The taste is even nicer, with the sweet flavors being complimented by a great earthy, piney, hoppy bitterness on the finish. Big and on the sweet side like a barley wine, with additional flavors of sweet orange, fruitcake, sweet malt, and the same notes as were in the aroma. Mouthfeel is exceptional- smooth, creamy, and substantial. Excellent drinkability as well. It's definitely a sipper, but it is also immensely satisfying. Kudos!

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased at De cicco's in NY, It sure beats paying $9 a bottle in PA. Batch 75

A- HOTD Fred looks very thick coming out of the bottle. Once in the glass it has a interesting color of bright gold that shines. Some hints of bright bronze as well. A hard pour yielded no head whatsoever, just some sparse bubbles on the top, no lacing.

S- A interesting sweet barleywine here. I was expecting a big amount of hops being a american version but not so much. Big sweet maltiness jumps out as well giving off caramel and some alcohol. Some fruit such as plum and orange. Not much hop aroma.

T- Reminds me of DFH olde school, only better. The malts rule giving off a big sweetness but im not really picking up on the hop addition, which I thought would dominate. Don't get me wrong, they are there but not up front. Big fruity taste with the above mentioned plus some candi sweetness. Some syrup flavor as well.

M- A good step above medium bodied and while were at it, this one is a thick beast. Not much bitterness, very sweet and goes down smoothly with minor alcohol taste, the alc is hidden well. A good amount of carb felt. This one engulfs the mouth and lets it's presence known.

D- I took my time with this one and enjoyed it very much. A smooth sipper that demands time be put into drinking it, I would not have it any other way. Now I need to try some other's from this brewery.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass. This is batch #82.

Appearance: poured with an inconveniently gargantuan head (5 fingers of foam in a pint glass - whoa). Body is a clear golden color with only the tiniest bit of haze and a ton of apparent effervescence. It's a bit crazy.

Smell: aroma of sweet malt and spicy rye. A very faint strawberry aroma is also present. Unfortunately, it's a bit light for a barleywine -- there just isn't much present.

Taste: very sweet with a prickliness on the tongue, though not necessarily due to the alcohol. Malt flavor is supplemented with the spicy, fruity rye to yield a very dessert-like quality. Pretty good.

Mouthfeel: big body with a super carbonation which yields a silky, creamy, satisfying texture. Great.

Overall: a decent beer. I wasn't sure what to expect from this "golden special ale", but I like it. It's definitely a slow-sipping dessert-type beer, though.

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Photo of biegaman
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 63 - sampled 11/03/09.

Fully illuminated jack-o-lantern with a very polished tawny hue. The beer is quite bright and reasonably clear but not to say thoroughly transparent. It is polluted with either yeast sediment or coagulated proteins particles (a fairly inattentive pour leaves me unsure). As expected for the strength, there is no real head but a bold contour is always a positive sign.

West Coast brewers and hops certainly have a thing for one another; Portland, Oregon is most definitely situated on that side of the continent and their affliction for the lupullin is apparent from the first sniff. This has all the resiny, sticky hop serum that you'd expect along with the twist of a highly phenolic yeast that leaves the impression of bubble gum and pink cotton candy. Caramel and tea biscuits are never far out of the picture.

It's tough -perhaps impossible- to say what the aimed style was, assuming there was one. The rich maltiness and resiny hops imply barleywine but this definitely bears some resemblance (as much as most American beers are capable of) to stronger Belgian styles, notably the quadruple. I'd steer nearer to barleywine for the simple reasons that hops and malt have more influence than yeast.

Not to mention this is far more bold and aggressive than it is subtle and suggestive. That said, the contents of this bottle, having been aged over a couple of years, have mellowed substantially; most of the alcohol seems to have faded in that time too. Flavours of citric grapefruit, coconut, pine sap, bubble gum, vanilla, squash, and rich creme caramel seem as healthy as ever; they resonate on the palate for longer than a cold winter's month.

Like the dubious descriptors the brewery uses to describe the ale - true, wise, buoyant, joyful - I have a bit of trouble making sense of this beer. I also find warming has brought out disproportionately more alcohol than it has nuance; it's beginning to resemble homebrew in more ways than one. That being said, Fred is a tasty treat of a beer whatever the style.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.84/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1998 Vintage, Sampled on tap at The Stuffed Sandwich February 2007
This beer sits with a hazy amber color and does not have much head to speak of. The aroma seems more oxidized than the Ed that I had along side it. The flavor is sweet, definitely way more than the corresponding Ed. The hops have mellowed considerably over the years. A sweetness melts to light notes of oxidation (sherry), toasted malt and caramelized notes as it passes through the mouth. The hops are all that really lingers on in the finish; it is lightly bitter, but still pine-like notes and citrus character are still found. This has aged quite gracefully over the years.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 69.. not sure who I got this from because my record keeping has been shitty with HotD brews (If I had to guess, I would say ASymon13) ... but anyway, big thanks to whoever helped me catch the elusive Fred... poured into my New Belgium globe.. shared a small portion with Brenda.

Big 2 finger head out of the bottle.. I poured it fairly quickly.. nice lacing and the head sticks around forever.. brew is hazy orange.

Aroma is floral/spicy hops with some background citrus ... sugary .. and spicy.. reminds me of an American hopped BSPA... fruity with some peach and apricot... very nice.

I can see this being an American BW, but it is more complex than most... the fruitiness is bigger.. so is the spiciness... melon and some lime.. ginger .. toasty maltiness and some background caramel.. This batch of Fred at this moment in time is purely fantastic.. the fruitiness is playing perfectly with the hops and there is just enough sweetness to make the playground fun for everyone.

Hugely complex and wonderful.. but it seems so simple too. Thoroughly enjoyable and the alcohol never raises its head making me want more and more. Fred is a badass, so is whoever traded me this batch... thanks.


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Photo of tobelerone
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fred pours apricot colored, nearly clear, with a fluffy white head that sinks slowly. Lacing is very solid. Aroma is quite sweet, lots of malt and booze, spiced pears and apples, Belgian-style yeastiness.

Big syrupy sweet flavor, again somewhat boozy, with lots of candied fruits and spices. The apples and to a lesser extent pears are apparent, lots of candi sugars, pepper, coriander, lemon. Tastes almost like a cross between a barleywine and a Belgian strong golden ale with some hops thrown in for good measure. Massive flavor.

Mouthfeel has effervescent carbonation but a touch of stickiness and a full body keep it from going over the top. Warming to be sure. Finishes drier than expected.

This is a powerful and well crafted beer that was perhaps not exactly up my alley. It’s clearly extremely well made and fairly tasty but I found a bit sweet and overly boozy although that was to be expected. Just a little much, perhaps. Definitely a slow sipper and one I will return to to reconsider over time.

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Photo of Zorro
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch number 45.

A unique looking beer, a cloudy golden orange color.

Smell is lots of malt and toasted grain with a mild perfume scent.

Taste is mildly sweet and fruity with a solid rye flavor to it. The Alcohol is noticeable and quite warming. The beer is mildly bitter having just enough punch to balance all that malt flavor. One puzzling thing is the sensation that this brew is salted, I don't know why that is.

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkability is OK, but not really my mug of beer. This just seems to be a bit too sweet.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 78, 12 oz bottle.

Clear light golden color with a thin off white head. A few dots of lacing and a thin film. Aroma has honey, grass, light pepper, honeydew; overall fairly sweet. Medium thick, syrupy body with low carbonation and light alcohol in the finish. Sweet flavor with light malt and bread underneath candi sugar, melons, honey and clove. Always a treat, this bottle was a little sweeter than I remembered, but still smooth and balanced.

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Fred from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
4.08 out of 5 based on 1,804 ratings.
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