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

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859 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: 859 | Ratings: 1,787
Photo of Jonada
3.33/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle. Batch 85

Appearance: Dark orange/copper color. Extremely hazy with some visible sediment floating in the glass. Poured about 2 fingers of an off white, cream colored head with nice retention and lacing.

Smell: Sweet malt, rye, banana bread, Belgian candy sugar, a bit of a spicy yeast character, slightly medicinal.

Taste: Sweet bread, spiciness from the yeast and rye, some dark fruit and nuttiness, more candy sugar. Booze and spiciness help cut the sweetness a bit.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, sticky, syrupy mouthfeel. Carbonation is on the high side.

Overall: Not impressed with this one. There's some nice flavors in there, but the end product is a bit of a sweet, syrupy mess.

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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 standardcherry
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle thanks to Lopo87! Batch 86.

A: A dark orange/red color. Not very golden. Nice 1cm head that lingers forever.
S: Smells a lot like my mash tun when I brew. Lots of bready, caramel and malty aromas.
T: Tastes a bit hoppy. Grape-like tastes at the beginning. Very light though. Followed by lots of sweetness, malts, caramel, vanilla, and honey. The flavor reminds me of a "light" barleywine.
M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Sticky, and tiny alcohol hotness present. Smooth and semi-dry finish.
O: This is a great beer. I haven't had many golden ales but this is definitely among the best I've had.

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Photo of warrenout330
4.19/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz into a 28oz snifter

Batch 78, that puts this around 2yrs?

A- pours a orange amber glow, very small head that's diminishs to a thin ring around the beer

S- not much going on here, whiffs of caramel, fresh baked bread, faint alcohol fumes

T- tad alcohol taste, years have toned this down, sweet caramel, candied raisins, dried figs almost wine like

M- slick and oily, fuller body, alcohol warmth on the tongue...still hard to really tell its 10%

O- found this gem in Pittsburgh... always wanted to try it and the years of age have put it in my drinking terms .... cheers

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Photo of welldigger888
4.29/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25


Poured a hazy honey golden hue with a 2 finger head of snow white. Sheets of lacing down glass and legs to boot.

Honey and malt with a touch of oxidized hops, but not unpleasant hop. peach and dark stone fruit like raisin and plum,booze is in check but present.

SWEET grape like sweet, peaches and raisin, honey and prune. Big prune finish and a hint of hop bittering.

Medium full bodied creamy goodness. This one whale of a beer.

A bit sweet but NOT cloying, not typicaly my bag but very enjoyable.

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Photo of NorCalYeti
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

batch 60 (2006)

taste- caramel, citrus, raisins, apricots, sour notes, faint wood smoke, madeira flavors in the finish

color- deep amber

clarity- pours hazy with sediment in the pour

smell- aromatic malts, strawberries, sour, dampness, wood, biscuits

body- good hop bite in the mouth with a medium-length finish, soft mouthfeel

appearance- great color, tight bubbly creamy slightly off-white head, nice initial lacing that fades with each pour. carbonation kicks up with each swirl...very nice

overall impression- alan does a great job with his beers, they never cease to amaze me in terms of their staying power in the bottle. i had a fred 3 (1998) not too long ago and there was still carbonation in the bottle and the flavors help up...incredible!

notes and comments- beer is still well balanced, reminded me of a barleywine, alcohol is still present. a lot of sediment (somewhat loose) on the bottom of the bottle

beer spy- bevmo, walnut creek ca, 2006, 12oz

glassware: tulip

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Photo of deuce9259
4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Batch 85. 12oz. bottle into a snifter.

Appearance - Pours a think head. Apricot color. A little foggy. Decent lace.

Smell - Sweet, sweet alcohol. Also getting a strong hop presence. Maybe some fruit in there too...apricots? Very sweet though, toffee and vanilla. Delightful.

Taste - Sweet malt and toffee. Complex hop flavor. Very nice.

Mouthfeel - Not much carbonation. Medium body. Not much to speak of on the back end...besides the alcohol.

Overall - Very complex. Still get a lot of alcohol, even after it warms up. Glad I have 2 more of these to see how they age over the next 2 years.

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Photo of nUgZ
4.06/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter. Enjoying this one thanks to SanFranJake.

A: Pours a hazy copper color with a huge head and nice lacing.

S: Citrus and floral hops, sweet malts, along with some oak and vanilla.

T: Oak, vanilla, and honey up front with some bitter hops on the back end.

M: Medium to full bodied with good carbonation.

O: A little sweeter than I prefer, but quite enjoyable. I'm very glad I got to try it.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.06/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 76.

Appearance: Perfectly clear light copper/like a newish penny. Head is off-white and creamy. Drops to a small cap almost instantly. Retention is decent, keeping the cap for the duration. Moderate carbonation on the pour.

Smell: Biscuits and alcohol. Touches of caramel sweetness. Very bready. Hops are still kicking with huge notes of grapefruit and pine. Slightly pithy. Big hit of higher alcohols. Toffee and caramel with touches of vanilla as well. Perhaps a touch of oak. Some underlying spiciness coupled with the distinct sweetness of candi sugar. Vaguely floral and fruity.

Taste: Toffee and lots of it. Big bready/biscuity malt with some underlying caramel malt sweetness. A bit more spice comes through than the nose indicated. Delightful. Candi sugar adds another layer of sweetness. Malts are complex and a bit over sweet. Slightly overcaramelized as well. Solid hop presence is floral with a touch of citrus to round it out. Some vanilla mixed in as well. Almost perfume-like at times. Sharp bite of alcohol on the back. Slightly fruity...apple maybe?

Mouthfeel: A medium to full body with a medium to light carbonation. Dry finish from the alcohol.

Overall: Blunt force Americana.

Fred treads on barleywine territory, but is most definitely not. Deeply complex. A true sipper. Drinks like a beast and that gets a little intense as the beer warms. Still aggressive after 3 years in the cellar. Nice.

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Photo of Uncle_Jimmy
3.21/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into a glass.

Aroma- Peach, cantaloupe, floral with a light hits of citrus and vanilla. just a hint of alcohol sharpness. Smell is amazing

Appearance- Thick mountains of cream colored head that lingers, but not much lacing. Hazy Orange color(I may have poured this into the glass a little too aggressively)

Flavor- Carmely, nutty, toffee, sweetness with a big peppery Rye Finish . I get an alcoholic bitterness as opposed to a hoppy bitterness in this one. A little piney at the end.

Mouthfeel- Sticky, coats the mouth like a syrup but the rye and the alcohol give a slight burn

Overall- as it warmed i could taste some slight similarities to the Double DBA (which I really enjoy). In fact, i would have mistaken this for a barrel aged beer. However, This beer didn't do it for me though. If i want the flavor i would do the Double DBA, if i wanted the buzz i would grab a Bigfoot. If I wanted the Jewish Deli flavor I would grab the great divide Rye.

I wouldn't turn it down but i wouldn't order another

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

2012 Vintage

Appearance: Hazy orange and red with a fingers worth of a chai tea latte head. Moderate alcohol legs with fine bubbled lacing around the rim.

Smell: Mango, pineapple, apples, honey, desert white wine, toffee.

Taste: Toffee, caramel, honey, sweet malt carries through the middle. End of the tongue finishes with some bitter hops. Tropical fruits rather than resinous flavors dominate from the hops. Sweet malt backbone really balances this brew. Mango, grapefruit, and sweet citrus.

Mouthfeel: On the full side of medium and slightly syrupy with moderate carbonation.

Overall: A very well executed balance between the bitterness of the hops and the sweetness of the malt with lots of tropical fruit, honey and toffee.

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Photo of argock
4.02/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a pinot noir glass. Batch 85 on front of label (bottled on 12/5/11 per the HOTD vintage guide). Purchased at Olive Tree Marketplace (San Diego, CA) for $5.49.

A: Hazy burnished copper with prodigious 2-3 finger off-white head with decent retention and some scraps of lace.

S: The aroma is more malty than hoppy, although there are pretty big contributions from both. The maltiness is very sweet toffee with some vanilla, cocoa, and sweetbread. The hops component is orange and lemon citrus with plenty of resin and pine too. The spicy rye peek through also.

T: It is a very American barleywine type of character with sweet winning out over hoppiness by a little bit too wide of margin. The maltiness is marshmallow-ike with caramel, maple, and vanilla with big breadiness. The hoppiness provides a punch of bitterness with orange citrus and floral components fading into a resinous finish. It is a huge blast of flavor, just too cloyingly sweet for me. It would be a superb dessert beer.

M: The sweetness is a bit much after a while and it leaves a sticky feel to this full-bodied brew. The carbonation is also high overall.

O: This beer is many things -- toffee, citrus hops, vanilla, breadiness, resin. It is definitely one to share as a nice nightcap given the ABV and high level of sweetness.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.19/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a perfect pint. Batch 83.

3.5 A: I needed a few pours to get a full glass due to the massive head. Anyway, I eventually got to a well hazed orange brown color with a lot of small particulate floating about. Three fingers of frothy/foamy beige head. Retention is impressive given the ABV and a ton of lacing is left.

4.5 S: Quite a nice nose on this. Quite malty like most HOTD brews. Deep caramel, toffee, light fruits, spicy earthy rye, and some raisin and fig. Candi sugar for that extra push of sweetness. Hops are floral, citrusy, and herbal. Solid, robust aroma on this.

4.0 T: Taste is like the nose, but just isn't quite as impressive. That said, it's still damn good. Lots of caramel, generic light fruitiness, dates and raisins, spicy earthy rye. Again that trademark candi sugar residue. Mild bitterness, but much more hop flavor. Citrusy, then floral, then herbal, then citrusy again.

4.0 M: Heavier body. Good moderate carbonation despite needing several pours. Good creaminess and plenty smooth. Alcohol is hard to detect.

4.5 D: This might be my favorite HOTD brew. Very nice balance and super easy to drink. Well done.

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Photo of IllNate
4.09/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy medium amber with good amount of off-white head. Good retention. Nose is wonderfully complex with a good balance of malt, esters, hop and a tinge of alcohol (well hidden). Fruity esters abound with a tropical fruit feel and definite spicy note. Malt is mostly indistinc (pale), but with a definite caramel note. Could be some spicy hop here as well and also some pineapple. Taste is fruity and spicy again, citrus hop, caramel and definite alcoholic notes. Mouthfeel is great except for the alcoholic aftertaste. Overall a good beer. Not sure exactly where this fits in the style guides, haven't had this much ester character in a beer in a while.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great thanks to SatlyMalty for this one! Poured into a Dogfish signature snifter. No freshness date.

A- Pours a very murky dark amber color with a full inch of off-white head that bears great retention time before meandering down to a thick ring around the edge of the glass and surface foam with varied thickness. Thick ring of bubbly lacing. She's a beaut.

S- Herbal hop aroma reinforced by strong booze and a heavy cereal grain sweetness. Maple syrup, raisin and oak come to mind.

T- Strong flavors of earthy hops, alcohol and toasted, semi-sweet malt. Everything is extreme but balanced and drinkable with no single element sticking out more than the other except maybe the booze. The IBUs are certainly up there, I'm sure.

M- A bit stingy from the booze but also slightly creamy. Medium carbonation and a hefty body.

O- A very straightforward ASA that hits the spot pretty well. If I had another, I'd sit on it for a year or so to let the alcohol simmer down.

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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 liamt07
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
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 Rutager
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 84

Appearance. Pours a lightly hazy, rich gold with a little amber and 1.5 fingers of thick white head that has decent retention and leaves some nice bands.

Smell. Nice light grains, sweet and fruity belgian yeast, a little lemon rind and caramel candy.

Taste. Nice sweet light grains and wheat, some nice bready yeast, a light amount of sweet fruits, both light and dark with a bit of honey and demerara sugar. High alcohol is fairly well hidden, very nice.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body with medium carbonation. Just a little astringency and warmth.

Overall. Very nice beer. I hear "golden ale" every once in a while and it leaves a litlle confused because it's not defined on this site ...and everything I know about beer has been pretty much through here alone. Anyways, after trying a few "golden ales", this will define the style for me ...so far anyways. Extra .5 on the overall for making such a strong beer that went down a bit too quickly. Not sure why this (and a couple other HotD's) have sat in my cellar for close to a year. I'll be killing the rest off soon!

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

A: Pours a hazy amber in color with light amounts of visible carbonation and a moderate amount of small white yeast particles in suspension. The beer has a foamy three finger tall tan head that slowly reduces to a medium sized thick patch near the center of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate amounts of caramel malts with some lighter hints of dark fruit (raisin) sweetness and spicy yeast.

T: The complexity of the flavors of this beer really come out as it warms up. There are moderate amounts of malt sweetness including both caramel and dark fruits (raisin). Also, there are some notes of molasses and spicy yeast. Moderate amounts of lingering bitterness.

M: Full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth and sticky with moderate amounts of alcohol warming and dryness in the finish.

O: Very enjoyable but this is a big beer and needs to be slowly sipped over a good chunk of time - the alcohol is mostly hidden which is impressive when the beer clocks in with 10% ABV.

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Photo of tlazaroff
4.57/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On the nose I get big apples, big sweet apples. Its like what I would imagine a freshly baked apple pie would smell like if traditional spices (cinnamon, clove) weren't used in it's creation. Wonderfully inviting via the aroma.

This is a beautiful beer to behold on the eyes too, its a hazy honey-orange color with visible carbonation and a giant fluffy incredibly light tan head that just sticks to the sides of the glass, and doesn't go away at all! I love the aesthetics of this beer.

Sweet in the sense that this is a savory sweet desert in a glass. Full of peaches, pear, apple, and all those wonderful summer fruits that you just want to make a pie out of. I get a bready yeasty taste on the backend that brings it home. Creamy texture and a full body with medium-light carbonation (hard to believe due to the head on this thing) make this beer incredibly drinkable when combined with the taste. There is NO alcohol that I can taste in this, for a 10% ABV beer, this is a ninja!

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Photo of BrownNut
4.69/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Batch 86 (bottled 3-22-12), drunk 6 months later, cool, tulip

A - 4.25 - Cloudy apple cider color, but then again I didn't think to hold back the yeast from the initial pour. Modest off white creamy head.

S - 4.5 - So pungent on initial pour, an almost winey puff of aroma spread around. Then it went straight malt, bringing to mind various breakfast cereals. Then it transmuted into a near-sherry smell. Yeah, definitely sherry... except that kind of borders on a yeast smell. So much happening!

T - 4.75 - Not surprisingly it tastes just like it smells, a cross between sherry and malty cereals, like the perfect cross between the two. There's a mild honey element, and though there's some sweetness, it's more the flavor or "throat fumes" of a special honey than necessarily the sweetness. There's almost an apple element going on, both the sweet nectar of the ripest apple and a somewhat bitter oxidized apple flesh taste. No real hop presence unless that oxidized apple bitterness is the hops. So refined and mature and elegant. Classy is the word I'm looking for. And yet the flavor is lighter and more subdued than you'd expect for something this concentratedly thick. A nice hot fume wafts up the throat for a good while after each swallow. There's a bit of that oxidized apple flesh bitterness left on the tongue for a bit.

M - 5.0 - Heavy body, the first I can genuinely categorize that way. So silkenly smooth, particularly on the lips, that it's sexy. That's easily the best mouthfeel I've ever experienced. The mouth is left coated. The few other 5's I've given out in this category should now realistically be 4.75s.

O - 4.75 - Holy cow. I had heard HotD was one of the best breweries around, but I'm cynical about hype anymore. But in this case it happens to be true. This is a sophisticated and impressively classy brew. The craftsmanship here is just impressive. I can't find a better word. Instant high respect and esteem for the brewers. Halfway through the glass I was already sad that I only had half a glass left. And only a 12oz! Accursed single-bottle limit! I agree with others who say to drink this cool and to savor it slowly in sips over an unhurried time. Treat it more like a digestif. I may need to rethink my reluctance to award scores of 5 after this. I keep wanting to leave room at the top of my scores for the very best beers I haven't tried yet, and I may have found one of them here. A tour de force.

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Photo of rodlavers
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 77 poured into a snifter.

1-2 finger white head, thins out relatively quickly. Decent lacing on the glass. Burnt dark hazy orange coloring, with some gold coming through as it's held to the light. Looks like it might be really carbonated. Smell is sweet malt and caramel, maybe some floral hops; smells really good. Taste is similar, with serious bread texture included. It is super sweet. Mouthfeel is smooth, despite the appearance of high carbonation, with minimal bite. Overall I Fred is a good beer. It might be a little too sweet for some, and I could probably only have one every once in a while, but I enjoyed it. Cheers.

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Photo of cfrances33
4.11/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks to WhereTheWildBeersGo, served in a snifter.

Pour: Completely hazy orange tan with two fingers fluffy, off white head that sticks around and leaves really nice lacing.

Smell: Belgian candy, caramel, bready yeast. Some hoppiness appears in there as well with a floral and citrusy finish.

Taste: Huge belgian candy and caramel. Nice chewy breadyness. Hops add some grapefruit and grass that oversee the whole affair. Really hard to tell where one flavor really sits on the palate, which is awesome for the taste in total, and complexity, but it really confusing and takes away from the experience at the same time for me.

Mouthfeel: Really, really sticky. No booze. Goes down easy despite the sticky body.

Overall: First HotD offering and really tasty. Makes me even more excited to try Adam.

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

12oz bottle, Batch 83, poured into a small snifter. Super hyper carbonation on pour that lead to a massive, all glass consuming head. I stopped and let the head relax then started again but much more gentle. Color is on the copper side with some yellow highlights. Fairly clear and the head is just a hint off of bright white color and sea foam in appearance. Lace is off the hook sticky and great looking.

Smell is much like a barleywine, sweet caramel, some tart like a green apple. Some light virgin wood and just a hint of alcohol.

Taste is much like the nose. There is a tart bite right off the bat that does taste much like a green apple. Then the taste mellows into the sweet malts that I smelled. Not so much caramel or even caramelized sugar but sweet none the less. Not a hint of alcohol in this. Quite nice.

Mouth is medium, body if full, carbonation is medium and crisp (not as the pour first led on) and the finish is long and on the dry side.

Overall I was pleased with this one, but not overly impressed. The initial pour really caught me off guard and once I dealt with that and re-poured this it became quite nice. Get it if you can but don't trade the world for it.

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Photo of Etan
3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Batch 83. 12oz into a snifter.

A: Orange-gold with a big white head.

S: Cardamom and coriander, pale malt, citric hops, slight mint.

T: Aggressive pale malt, heavy spices, a bit of booze, floral notes, sugary cake.

M: Frothy, over-carbonated.

O: This tasted good, like a slightly hoppy BSPA, but Bourbon Fred is much better (and much different).

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Fred from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
4.09 out of 5 based on 1,787 ratings.
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