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

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1,824 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,824 |  Reviews: 867
Photo of ithinkimasofa
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of adrian21
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of avaldivia
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of starrdogg
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of mjtiernan
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of rjacobs6
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of thehermosillo
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of SonicAlligator
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, batch number 79, from a hard-target grocery store, gettin' outta Dodge (aka Portland) search, earlier this year.

This beer pours a murky, dull golden brown hue, with a rising column of tight foamy, DQ swirl, eggshell white head, which settles faster than expected, though still not quickly, leaving some random chunky swaths of lace around the glass in the process. It smells of strong fruity pale malt, quite sugary, with some pungent herbal citrus hops, all floating in an alcoholic ether. The taste is quite consistent with the aroma - sweet, confectioners' candy malt, sugar syrup, more drowned bitter earthy, herbal citrus hops, and a light, but firm booze warming. The carbonation is quite soft, the body nearly full in weight, displaying only a bit of that sugar density character on its way to a warm smoothness. It finishes still very sweet, malt, sugar, and booze in a decently complex saccharine tangle - some under-appreciated, soused hops keeping things out of tongue-scraping territory.

Weird to say, but this is quite the candidate for a dessert pairing - the sugar and booze, with subtle NW hopping, would work nicely. On its own, there's plenty going on to admire and contemplate, sipping away at this seemingly restrained behemoth, as the snow falls yet again.

 1,293 characters

Photo of Kadonny
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this via trade with toblerone. Thanks Toby. 12 ounce bottle poured into a nonic pint glass.

A: A medium golden color with some orange hints. Nice glass lacing but it doesn't last forever.

S: Wow, not what I expected. I get sweet fruits like a fruitcake. Sugar sweet, some slight wood notes and some twinge of hops.

T: Fruits are abundant here, with grape, pear, plum, some darker fruits like raisins and cherry. This is very fruitcake type fruit flavors for me. Sweetness is brown sugar, candied sugar and some slight bready notes. I get a hint of wood even though is not the wood aged version. Finish stays sweet with some nice hops and the alcohol swoops in to cover everything. Nice beer.

M: Full, coating, sweet but not cloying, alcoholic but welcomed, slightly prickly. Nice beer.

O: A nice, nice beer that reminded me of DFH Burton Baton for some reason. Woody notes, fruit and hops. This is a winner for sure.

I did not expect this color or flavor from a ASA, but I loved it. Great beer I'll take more please.

 1,028 characters

Photo of SourNotes
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Sarlacc83
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of John11486
5/5  rDev +22.9%

Photo of Jspriest
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Rollzroyce21
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of mkotsayfan
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle (batch 83, 2011 vintage) into a pint glass. Pours a dark hazy orange with a couple fingers of head. The aroma is very interesting, lots of spice and citrus hops. The taste has a lot of the candied sugar in the front, with a mix of spices and hops on the back, just a touch of bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium-thick bodied with good carbonation, but is very smooth and creamy.

A delightful beer for sure, and I usually don't go for sweet beers. The complexity hides the alcohol well. Well worth giving a try if you've never had one.

 561 characters

Photo of Hachiman
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy medium-brown Neither head nor lacing Impressively dense looking.

Smells impressively of herbal hops floating in a sublimated alcohol cloud.

Tastes of biscuity malt and dried fruits: raisins, prunes, dates. Truly, lip-smackingly tasty, like the best aged ales. No hop flavor to speak of.

Enough carbonation that it doesn't feel too heavy, and a lightly warming alcohol feel after the sweet stuff. Slightly sticky on the lips.

A really fine beer, if you can find it!

 483 characters

Photo of CenCalMario
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from 12oz bottle into a Bruery snifter.

Appearance is golden, orange, hued beer. Very appealing, excellent carbonation, great head retention.

Smell is complex. Lots of stuff going on from front end aroma to backend. Caramel, brown or burnt sugar, some residual sugar notes.... Very nice.

Taste is just great. Zesty on the tongue, uber complex. Lots of depth. Tastes like there was maybe a barrel treatment, but this is Fred from the fermenter, not Fred from the Wood. Wow, what a beer from first sip to last.

Mouthfeel is medium to full-medium bodied... a good solid medium body beer. Lots of carbonation and good sherry, barelywine type beer, but it isn't. Very complex and layered with flavors that linger beyond the taste/drink. Very impressed.

Overall I was stunned. First HOTD beer and it was not a disappointment whatsoever. If I could've bought a case I would've. This is the kind of beer you stockpile, save, store and break out every so often to share with only the privileged few. It has tons of potential for storing and I cannot wait to try the Fred from the Wood and see just how much more complex this beer can get. What a great work of art this was. Do yourself a favor and try this beer at different temps... start cold and let it warm-up and open up with different flavors and aromas. Recommended and seek/trade worthy.

 1,349 characters

Photo of beermanbrian
3.38/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Batch 75

This ones been in the beer fridge for awhile. Deep gold light bronze color. Minimal head but might have been a little cold on the pour so I won't penalize for that.
Smell is somewhat boozy. Some caramel malt smell but I mostly get a bourbon smell. Tast follows suit. Alcohol up front, strong candied sweetness in the middle, bourbon finish. For a 10% beer it packs a strong kick. Starts to smooth out some as it warms. Overall another ok strong ale amoungst many others that I would prefer over this one.

 515 characters

Photo of Ryan011235
3.89/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an E&J Cask & Cream glass on 11/1/11

Batch 54 (not sure what year - maybe 2004 or 2005?)

Massive thanks to PDXHops for the chance to try this older vintage critter

Rather deep tobacco-burst appearance with a bit off cloudiness; not too much - it just adds some depth. Rust highlights at the center. Crackling three finger head rises steadily, peaks, and starts to compress to about 1/4th inch layer. Essentially no lace.

Still in the bottle, the aroma was possessed of a syrupy notion. In the glass however, the beer begins to open up quickly, revealing peaceful notes of raisins, rye bread crumbs, figs, peanut brittle, subtle caramel, floral tones and herbal notions. Some sweetness is had, but it does not dominate the nose. As it warms, hints of brown sugar and orange peel emerge. Faint nip of oxidation. Mild boozy flair is noticeable only with focused inhalation.

As with the nose, the flavor profile is speckled with sugary tones, but they aren't very sweet and things dry out quickly. Brown sugar, caramel, toffee, raisins, and rye are all fairly appreciable. Candied fruit overtones. Toastiness of the rye malt couples with oxidized notes for a scrappy latter half.

The aftertaste that lingers on the finish is the only aspect I don't care for. It's like burnt trash fire pits, ashes, paper, cardboard and some other unpleasantries. It grows with each sip and lingers entirely too long on the finish; it just won't go away.

Incidentally, the second pour found some of the sediment making its way into the glass and it seems to have fleshed out the flavor a tad and masked some of the finish. Ok, I'll take it.

Medium-full feel with a penchant for slickness. While a slick, oily feel is apparent right away, so are softly rolling granules which build through the latter half of the glass and culminate in a dry, almost chalky finish (which lends to the aforementioned dubious lingerings). Active carbonation propels the weight of the beer with ease. Alcohol warmth flashes mid-swallow and gets hotter as it warms up.

Aside from whatever is going on with the finish, the beer is just fine. Smells and tastes good, but it falls apart for me at the end. I'll be on the prowl for a fresh bottle to see how it is right out of the gate. I'd imagine it's even better.

 2,290 characters

Photo of abraxel
4.37/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage

A - Hazy reddish golden orange, with just a little bit of dense, off-white head that really sticks around a while and leaves solid lacing. Looks really appealing.

S - Mmm, malty goodness. Awfully difficult to describe. It's kinda citrusy sweet (not hoppy citrus, though) and caramelly and rather delicious.

T - This is... yet harder to describe than the aroma. Quite sweet and delicious, though. I still have sweet citrus in mind, and there's an odd bit of bitterness (again, not hoppy bitterness) that reminds me of orange pith. That bitterness (for lack of a better word) is actually a bit distracting, but overall it's still quite good.

M - Nice and thick and smooth. Practically no carbonation. Nice.

Overall, I'm quite impressed. I haven't had this fresh, but it's fantastic at three years old. I'm thoroughly enjoying the rest of the glass.

 864 characters

Photo of NWer
4.58/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 82. Slow deliberate pour into my Deschutes tulip revealed an explosive foamy result 1" beer, 4" foam. Very surprising. Foam dissipates very slowly leaving behind clumps of foam that won't go away. Nice lace.
Cloudy golden appearance.
Sweetness on the nose. Very sweet. Like cotton candy. At first sip, hops fight through the sweetness reveling themselves (along with the alcohol) leaving a very pleasant aftertaste.
A wonderful sipping beer.
Note: My first experience with Fred was Fred from the Wood at the brewery and expected this to be a letdown.
Not so. Fred stands on its own beautifully.

 602 characters

Photo of phichifiji00
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into snifter.

Appearance: golden color, pours one inch of thick white head that fades slowly. Minimal lacing.

Smell: malty, eatery, some subtle spice, rye malt, candi sugar, anise, cloves.

Taste: sweet, syrupy, oak, vanilla, a little spice, cloves, bourbon notes, anise, bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: full bodied, moderate carbonation, smooth, very thick/viscous, a bit boozy.

Overall: the appearance is very deceiving. Looks like a typical golden Belgian ale, but drinks like a bourbon barrel aged barleywine. Very nice. Complex.

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Fred from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
Beer rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 1,824 ratings
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