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

1,817 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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-13-1998

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Ratings: 1,817 |  Reviews: 866
Photo of billab914
4.02/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 76 poured from a 12oz bottle into my CBS snifter. It poured caramel brown in color with a thin white lacing scattered across the top of the beer.

The aroma has some sweeter caramel and malty flavors to it at first. I get some candied orange like flavors to it as well giving it kind of a fruity, zesty citrus flavor. A little bit of an herbal like spice comes through as well.

The taste shows a little more of the sweeter, malty, caramel flavors to it up front. In the finish some bitterness comes out with a little bit of an orange citrus flavor to it. Nice balance of malty sweetness and citrus bitterness to it.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being below average. Overall it was a pretty good beer that I really enjoyed. it had a nice range of flavors to it and managed to stay relatively balanced overall. very enjoyable beer to sip on this evening.

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Photo of smithj4
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of russpowell
4.72/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch# 68; from bottletrek as I recall.

Pours a murky amber into a Ommegang halice, with 3 fingers of sand colored head. Stays hazed throughout, mega lacing & head retention

S: Fruitty as all hell, through & through

T: See above ( raisins, figs, & dates), with rich piney hops up front! Some boozeyness as this warms, along with more fruittyness & piney hops. Finishes with honey, piney hops, much fruittyness & SOME GRAPEFRUIT, sorry for the caps lock!!

MF: Mucho chewy with vigorous carbonation & some booze.

Drinks good for the style & ABV, this is a closer as opposed to a session beer, but could lull you down that alley & bite you! This could easily pass itself off as an English BW as well!

Lives up to the hype, if not the price..., but close

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Photo of atrocity
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of smcolw
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Full four-fingered off-white head with extremely tight bubbles and amazing lace. The beer amber-orange and cloudy as to be expected in a bottle conditioned ale.

Sweet wine-like aromas. Strong malt and alcohol oiliness in the smell. Impressive strength here--each time a lift the glass I get another whiff.

Very smooth, some port-like body and mouthfeel. Strong alcohol warmth, obviously this is very potent. Nice hop touch at the end--light but enough for balance. Nice lingering flavor long after the swallow. The carbonation is present but unobtrusive. This is a sipping beer, folks. There's that much flavor and strength.

I am shocked at this beer. The lable on the bottle had me thinking another lawn mower beer. This is as far on the other side of that spectrum as you can get. This would give any barley wine or triple bock a run for the money. This is perhaps the finest barley wine I've ever had.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 83. Thanks to James for this want!

A: Pours a hazy orange/copper color with a massive white foamy head, one of the thickest I have ever seen with the best retention of pretty much any beer i've seen. Thick lacing all around the glass.

S: Wow, lots of caramel and toffee with some brown sugar, vanilla, and a little bit of pine. Underneath there is a little bit of raisin and red apple.

T: More caramel and toffee, some raisins/figs/plums underneath with a little more red apple. Slightly yeast and bready as well.

M: Medium to full bodied, definitely a slow sipper. Moderate carbonation.

O: A really good beer. Drank slowly over the course if an evening it only got better.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 67. Glazed terra cotta with a disturbing amount of carbonation. Multiple streams of rapidly racing bubbles have created (and are sustaining) a massive crown of pale orange colored foam after a gentle pour. The lid is whipped creamy, semi-rocky and is depositing scattered patches of smeary lace. Thankfully, things have already begun to settle down.

Fred smells like a maltier than usual BSPA. The brewery calls it a 'golden strong ale' and Mr. Eckhardt himself thinks it tastes like a quadrupel. In any case, the aroma consists of dried peaches, pears and apples in sugar syrup, and a spiciness that is a little Belgian yeasty... although a Scottish ale yeast was used. No alcohol is noted.

This is wonderful stuff! I think the beer's namesake is right, it tastes like a quad that goes heavy on the pale malt. Either some amount of caramel malt or Belgian dark candi sugar (probably both) gives it a steely caramel vibe that would also be at home on an Imperial Oktoberfest.

Hair of the Dog might have been one of the first breweries to use as many as 10 different hops in one beer. For the record: Progress, First Gold, Crystal, Fuggles, Northern Brewer, Willamette and Tettnang (bittering)... Chinook, Saaz and Spalt/Strisselspalt (aroma). Even after an estimated two years in the bottle, the hop flavor and bitterness are still kickin'.

The flavor is spicier than the nose. For that, we have light rye malt to thank. The beer is also floral in a candied-violet-petals kind of way. The sweet golden fruitiness increases in intensity with warming and the various flavors come together better as well. Even though alcohol is present, it's masked extremely well. Several more years of rest shouldn't be a problem.

The mouthfeel is much less buzzy than I'd feared. If I could be patient (next to impossible with beer this good), it will probably calm down enough to earn the next highest score. It just does get there with the final few ounces. In terms of heft, it's full, heavily silky and glassy smooth.

Fred is a uniquely delicious ale named after one of the pioneers of American craft brewing. HOTD has done themselves proud with this one. Whenever I get the chance, I'll buy a few bottles and will cellar them for a bitterly cold day like today. This is a 'roaring fireplace' beer if I've ever tasted one.

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Photo of duceswild
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle - Batch #78, bottle on 12/10/2009 - Poured into a Pint Glass

Pours a golden orange with about a 1.5 fingers worth of head, does not leave much lacing in the glass. Smell is of candied sugar and that is about it. Taste is very sweet, but in a good way almost a little to much, but not over doing it. Very smooth taste with also some spices on the aftertaste. Mouthful is solid, light carbonation.

Overall this is a solid beer and I am going to see out a more recent batch to compare this one to.

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Photo of Jason
4.01/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz bottle with a batch # of 54 on the label.

Appearance: Very frothy … not a gusher but the carbonation was very active during the pour. The head retention was the best I have seen in a long time. The sediment stayed to the bottom the bottle to yield a semi-clear reddish orange hue.

Smell: Yeasty with a blunt tropical fruit aroma. Spicy grain. Estery and mild caramel in the nose as well.

Taste & Mouth Feel: Full bodied with a creamy slick mouth feel. Rose-like alcohol, bitter hop with a hard yeasty bite. Spicy rye grain middle to end. Malty with lots of toasted husk on the palate. Finishes with a big spicy bite.

Drinkability & Notes: A very original brew, a sipping brew as well. By all means let this warm up to cellar temp before you drink it.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.48/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Now this was a real treat. I have wanted to try this for I cannot even remember how long and to finally be able to made me very happy indeed. This one poured a nice hazy golden amber with a thick white frothy head. A nice amount of sediment was visible as was a good deal of carbonation. The retention was excellent and this led to quite a good deal of side glass lace. There was a tremendously hoppy aroma, and this took me a bit by surprise, however I am learning this seems to be the norm from the brewery regardless of the style. There was defiantly a light fruit, peach, pear yeast component to the aroma as well, but the quick crisp citrus hoppiness of it really put it over the top. Such a nice medium body with great carbonation really let the flavors really pop and then linger to let you get the full experience. Very nice bright flavor profile, lots of lemon, and coriander mixed with a pronounced yeast flavor and a very nice light but noticeable bread backing. A slight hint of alcohol but nothing overwhelming and it was actually a nice little extra punch to it. This was a fantastic brew, as I am learning pretty much everything of theirs is. A really great big golden ale with a decidedly west coast hoppiness added in for good measure. This was a really cool thing to try and I would love to see this in regular rotation on my neck of the woods. This is a definite must try if you can get it.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of woodychandler
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My cellar continues to amaze me with what is down there! This is a Batch 55 bottle with Batch 78 currently on the shelf at Pinocchio's. This will be a pleasant start to the day (I hope).

From the bottle: "Hair of the Dog brewing company produces bottle conditioned beers which improve with age. We are dedicated to providing the beer lover with new and unusual beer styles. The sediment you see is normal to the bottle conditioned process. Pour slowly to allow sediment to remain in the bottle."; "Fred was created to honor beer writer and historian Fred Eckhardt. This Golden Special Ale incorporates ten hop varieties from five different countries. Through the use of aromatic and rye malts, the beer achieves a unique balance of flavor. We hope that Fred will inspire you to share your knowledge with others as Fred has with us."

Needless to say, I can read and follow directions, so I used a very gentle slow pour. It was testament to its carbonation that I actually briefly got some light-tan head before it faded to wisps. Color was a deep orangish-amber with NE-quality clarity. BUPGOO! Nose was richly malty, like toffee. Mouthfeel was very full, quite carbonated with an initial heat followed by a wash of malty sweetness, quite toffee-like. Finish was warming and sweet. My oh my. Just what I needed on a swelteringly hot day.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - A dark, murky orangish-brown color, with no head and a small amount of carbonation. Not overly impressive.

s - Smells very sweet, like sugar. Also smells of rye/bready malts and a small hint of alcohol.

t - Tastes of sugar or molasses, very sweet. Also tastes of bready malts and alcohol again.

m - Medimum to heavy bodied and feels very thick, yet smooth going down. Very little carbonation.

d - Overall I enjoyed this barleywine quite a bit. While a small alcohol smell/taste was present when you consider that it is 10% ABV it wasn't as bad as some others. It was a little sweet, but still very smooth going down. I would definitely like to try this beer again.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A rich brown-amber color with next to no head and some lacing.

S: Butterscotch, caramel, vanilla, oak, and a bit of alcohol. Some pitted fruits floating around as well.

T: A caramel and butterscotch sweetness, and some of the aforementioned fruits. A bit of bitterness and alcohol bite on the finish.

M: Full body, smooth and creamy mouthfeel, almost no carbonation.

D: Surprisingly high for a barleywine. Great array of flavors on this.

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Photo of orangesol
3.99/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into my HOTD tulip glass.

A - Pours deep amber orange with no head at all, only a tiny bit of foam around the edge of the glass, leaving no lace at all down the glass.

S - Smells of caramel, butterscotch, vanilla, fruity yeast, oak and a good amount of alcohol. This one smells really sweet with some booze creeping in at the end of each sniff.

T - Starts off with plenty of sugary sweetness that never really goes away. Hints of fruit, vanilla, oak and some dulled piney hops offer some break from the sweetness but it doesn't last long. Finish is sweet with quite a bit of booze burn, lingering on the palate long after the finish.

M - Smooth body with a ton of sweet flavors and moderately low carbonation, almost none really. There is still quite a bit of booze present in this one.

O - I liked this one but it never really wow'd me in any way. The lack of carbonation really didn't help either. I wouldn't turn another down but I won't be running out to get more.

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Photo of paulish
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of PA-Michigander
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.16/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a goblet. Batch 81.

Appearance - Golden light amber body. Quite clear, but with some sediment suspended in the beer. Huge head that nearly overflows my glass. Great retention and great lacing.

Smell - Apples, pears, and other light fruits dominate. A huge light malt presence. Hops in the back, but they're not terrible aromatic.

Taste - Sweet and immediately fruity. Apples and pears again. The malt is fascinating. Slightly sweet and caramel flavored, but then earthy. A hefty hop bitterness rounds it out, although it seems a bit heavy-handed.

Mouthfeel - Well-carbonated and hardly any alcohol. Feels like a strong beer, but it isn't overly sweet or heavy.

Overall - A strange concoction. It really defines categorization. Reminds me of strong English ales with it's gigantic light malt bill. While I didn't find any aspect of it to be truly great, the beer is quite interesting and different. I found myself enjoying it more once I gave up trying to figure out how it was supposed to taste.

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Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

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 atlbravsrno1
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Zaphog
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of thatoneguymike
3.59/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm enjoying this beer tonight by the generosity of drabmuh. Thanks a lot Matt!

review # tree fiddy

A: Fred appears very similar in color to a glass of cherry juice. The beer is pretty hazy. There is about an inch of thick, off-white head that slowly shrinks down to 1/4" and holds steady. Ample lacing can be found around the circumference of the tulip glass.

S: The aroma is quite strong and forward. Sweet malts and alcohol take the lead, followed by some underlying fruit scents.

T: Chewy caramels soaked in alcohol. The heat and/or alcohol are really quite prominent in all aspects of this beer. That being said, I don't find it as bothersome as I usually do. Perhaps it's because this is a seriously well crafted beer. All in all, I do feel that the alcoholic intensity prevents this from achieving a higher flavor score, as it really dominates the overall presentation in the nose and palate. A few years (or more) in the cellar could very possibly yield a top-notch American Barleywine. Hmm...

M: Thick and heavy, the liquid creates a warming sensation that starts in your throat and runs down into your chest, similar to a shot of whiskey. If I were outside freezing, and really craving a beer, Fred would be a great choice.

D: I imagine that this beer would have no problem hibernating in my cellar until my son is ready to drink it (he's three). That being said, I thought it was really tasty and enjoyable now, though it packs a punch. This is a great brew to share with some friends, as a few ounces in a snifter would be adequate.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch number 66

Pours a slightly cloudy dark amber with a huge bubbly head that lasts forever and leaves thick gobs of lacing all the way down. Smells of citrus, caramel. and a bit of spicy yeast. Taste is caramel malt, grassy, citrus hops, fruity esters mixed with a bit of alcohol. Has a bit of a Belgian flair to it, really interesting and flavorful. Thick body, lots of carbonation, sticky sweet mouthfeel. I thought this one was great. I wish I had more!

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Fred from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
4.09 out of 5 based on 1,817 ratings.
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