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

1,818 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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,818 |  Reviews: 866
Photo of jeff1973
3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Hair of the Dog tulip. Batch #83.

A - Hazy light burnt orange. Giant light tan head. The head is almost annoying as it hardly dissipates to let you drink the beer.

S - Figs, a little bit of a grassy smell. I'm not getting a whole lot.

T - Figs, caramel, a hit of bubblegum, then really dries out to more than expected bitter finish. Although, overall, very well balanced between the sweet beginning and the dry, bitter finish. A bit of booze is present.

M - Medium carbonation (even with all the head). Medium heavy mouthfeel. Very creamy.

D - Medium low. Creamy, thicker mouthfeel and hint of booze reminds you to take your time.

A good beer. The bitter finish was a bit off-putting a first (I think because I wasn't expecting it), but a 1/4 of the way through it became really enjoyable.

 828 characters

Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I’m not hung over, but some Hair of the Dog sounds pretty good anyway. First from these guys, so I’m hoping I’m starting off right…hit it!

Bottled about a year before the date of this tasting – Batch 73 (2010).

A: Best looking beer I’ve seen in a while; the head is creamy beige monstrosity. It takes literally five minutes to leave…what retention! The foam leaves so much frothy lacing above the body, hazy pumpkin in color. Good amount of ginger blush on it, but the velvety head steals the show for sure.

S: Lots of Belgian malts here – bubblegum, dark fruits, and caramel are at the fore. Sharp alcohol comes out bigger and bigger, though the sugars never quite leave. It just smells so damn potent; it’s reminding me a lot of the boozy boldness of DFH Raison D’extra (one of my absolute favorites). Licorice, cinnamon, and raisin round it off nice and rich; so far, so good.

T: Fruity, but not in an incredibly dark way; it’s more like a light wine flavor. More fruits come as bitter and a bit strange, like when you accidentally bite into the rind of a citrus fruit – not totally unpleasant, though. Spices abound, showcasing pepper, some coriander, honey, spearmint, and something I can only describe as a mix of pine and curry powder. What the hell?! This beer has some crazy flavors, but somehow they're alright together. The finish is of mildly astringent hops, wheat bread, and vague, leathery alcohols (mostly brandy). A very odd, yet very memorable drinking experience.

M: Pretty syrupy – the flavors are already big enough, no need making them sticky-sweet. Still, it’s going down faster than I expected…this one’s just full of surprises, isn’t it?

O: I guess HotD isn’t kidding when they say “new and unusual beer styles” on the side of their bottles. At any rate, I’ll take it. Though this wasn’t my favorite beer, it was a really enlightening experience. I don’t know if this would be an American Strong Ale, though; it’s sort of a Witbier-meets-Barleywine conglomerate. Overall, though, it was a tasty brew. I wonder, though, what it would be like with five years on it instead of one. Only way to find out…

 2,181 characters

Photo of SFLpunk
3.65/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to DarthKostrizer for this extra! My first HotD experience! 12oz brown glass pry-top, Batch #77 (no date...)

Pours with so much head, I needed to spoon some off the top after 5 mins just to taste the beer. Deep hazy amber with thick off-white/cream-colored head.

Nose smells like oxidizing amber malts, caramel going woody. Not the best nose.

Palate is wide and slick like a big spoonful of salted caramel. Toffee is big too, and some vegetal/herbal notes mingle in the mix. Maple comes up again and again, with some earthen flavors. Long, lush finish.

Notes: Doesn't taste like a "Golden Ale" like the label says. Lots of oxidized flavors here. Got some age on it for sure, but don't know how old. (Date?...) Tastes like it's on the edge of being just right and too old....

 785 characters

Photo of bigdonniebrasco
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Pours orange/caramel color. The head is IMMENSE! Anyone that bitches about carbonation issues got a bunk bottle!

S- Caramel, spices banana (sounds odd but trust me), sugar and candy!

T-WOW!!! VERY complex! Sweetness but NEVER cloyingly so, spices, malts, and "stickiness" the banana again, and even though I am not a fan of bananas this WORKS!

M- FULL !!! smooth. creamy, it hits every taste bud you have!!! Never too much, never too little!

Overall- Really AMAZING beer. I would trade my ENTIRE cellar for an endless supply of HOTD goodness! The BREWERY (not just Fred) is THAT good!!

* caveat... I LOVE their BW, Fred, Adam and all the variants, however I am not a fan of their IPA.

 693 characters

Photo of yankeej13
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was another beer I got in a trade.

A- Pours a really nice caramel color or a dark golden like color. Has a HUGE head of white foam. You can pretty much craft into the foam its so fluffy.

S- Very potent, has a bit of a hoppy citrus smell to it. A nice amount amount of spices as well as malts. Like caramel hints as well.

T- A ton of different spices rush through your mouth at one time. A nice sweet citrus smell as well as hints of rye and sugarcane. A nice malt is in tack as well. Mild caramel notes. Has a really powerful and bold finish. Leaves your mouth with a smooth spicy flavor.

M- Ok drinkability cause of the high abv. Very bold and rich flavor. Leaves your mouth with a solid citrus flavor.

Overall- Really great beer. Totally loved it, wish I had access to more of these. Cheers!

 806 characters

Photo of jcartamdg
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden amber with a paperthin head that sticks around with good lacing throughout the drink. Aroma of sweet malts with caramel up front. Also raisins figs and dates with bitter hops in the back. Taste follows the nose but man is this sweet. Tasty but definitely a sipper. Hops are present but a bit overpowered by the malts. I'm glad I tried it and I can respect what they put together but not my personal favorite beer.

 428 characters

Photo of ElGallo
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle split with chowdahead. Batch 79 (tried to find the bottling date online, but no dice). Pours a think caramel gold color, hazy, but plenty of head - no carbonation issues here.

Smells like caramel malt bomb, tastes like caramel malt bomb with some mild fruitiness. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. This was literally like drinking a caramel beer - I loved it.

More caramel malt forward than Double Dead Guy, which is saying something in my opinion. I really enjoyed this beer and would love to try another batch for comparison.

 539 characters

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.36/5  rDev +6.6%
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

 1,000 characters

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

12 oz bottle, just to try, from the Beer Junction in West Seattle, poured into pint glass.

even when poured marginally slow, this sucker's head and contents exploded everywhere while pouring to gather the head. hard to judge, but i'll say "two finger" off-white head with moderate, frothy lacing. pours a crystal clear champagne color into a brilliant, orange-amber body with a peach tint and lots of haze and sediment.

smells of pine and lemon with a orange peel and citrus hops aroma. wheat and a lettuce, or garden-y, vibe is present.

tastes absolutely hoppy, with a slightly buttered bread palette. hops have a fruity sense to them i can't quite hit the nose on - definitely fruity, though - maybe pears and lemons.

big, warm, frothy on-bringing plays out to a tried and true crisp, dry finish. comparable to a fresh sprite or ice cold american adjunct lager, even though i'm enjoying this beer at around 55-60 degrees. 10% alcohol content hidden very well.

a solid, dignified ale that stands out from the crowd. if my right hand and lap weren't sticky as hell the experience would have been that much greater.

 1,123 characters

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

Plenty of rye grain with a strong touch of brown sugar and maple syrup. Carbonation is sneaky, resembling a quality Belgian; the mouthfeel starts as a slightly thick, less bubbly mass - but then as it slides down your throat a burst of carbonation arrives. The burst is a pleasant surprise, a perfect transition from the initial mouthfeel. This style will be too sweet for some, especially with the Belgian candied sugar being very prominent. It's very drinkable at 10% though, and is potently dangerous for any beer fans with a sweet tooth.

 541 characters

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

A bottle at Collins Pub in Seattle.

A: 1" off-white head over amber liquid with excellent clarity.

S: Floral and citrus hops.

T: Very malty with some citrus hops.

M: Very thick viscosity with a high level of fine carbonation.

O: A thick sipper, that almost reminds me of some Wheatwines and Barleywines I have had rather than an American Strong Ale.

 354 characters

Photo of nmbr0ne
3.77/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: When I first poured it I was alarmed because it came out very hazy. I got very little head. There isn't that much lacing on the sides of the glass or the top of the beer.

Smell: Surprisingly, I like the smell. It smells very sweet. I get hints of apples, honey, and a few spice notes. At the same time, I smelled what seemed to me to resemble red wine vinegar.

Taste: It has a sweet beginning when it enters the mouth. The sweetness turns into a lingering bitterness that stays on your tongue for a while after sipping. I feel like it's a hoppy finish.

Mouthfeel: It's not thick like a syrup. It's not water like either though. I'll say it feels creamy. It has a bit of carbonation.

Overall: It's a beer I can sip, but not one I can have too many of. I wouldn't want to have too many of it anyways. It's not my favorite, but it is definitely a good beer. I like the balance that is formed by the sweetness at the beginning of the sip and the bitterness at the end. It's enjoyable.

 1,041 characters

Photo of WestValleyIPA
4.56/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opened a 12 oz bottle and had a bit of a gusher. No worries, that's why I have a mouth. Poured into my Nice Chouffe goblet. Very hazy rich golden color, initially about 3 fingers of head. Fades leaving a light film at the top of the body. On the nose, a lot of dried fruit including apple and golden raisins. Honey. A bit of spice (maybe Belgian yeast?). Some faded tea scents. Almost smells like a bastardized apple cider. Getting a nice booze warmth smell too, but it's not offensive. Smells sweet. Yep, it is. On the palate, sweetness hits first, Apple, honey, fruit, Belgian spices, a nice hop bitterness. And then a warming glow from the booze. Very tasty. A real prickling, little bubble feel on the tongue at first sip. Extremely creamy. A fantastic beer.

 762 characters

Photo of Gushue3
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 78. Pretty sure my main man Treebs hooked me up with this one so cheers to Ryan.
Poured into Stone IRS snifter

A a dark golden pour into the glass and is slightly orange/copper in the glass with some haze. A smaller white head forms and leaves behind some lace as it goes down. body is pretty lively.

S Sweet candied sugar, pale malt, bready malts and a

T Follows the nose perfectly. Sweet candied sugar with almost a citrusy taste. Candied orange slices take the the taste to a sweet finish. It's like a really sweet barleywine but not cloying in the least. Hops arent really making any presence here. Truly great tasting beer.

M Thicker feel, somewhat syrupy. Medium carbonation to start off with but when some goes away this feel unreal.

O I cant get enough of this beer. Just as good as the first time I had it.

Drink bottle at POPE in Philly

A- hazy orange amber with a smaller off white head. Looks nice with smaller lacing.

S- sweeter citrus with some malt up front. Nice scent thats all i expected

T- nice blend of citrus and sweet malt, like a blend of american and english barleywine. Hops turn slightly bitter toward the middle and a creamy sweet finish. Really nice beer!

M- medium to heavy mouthfeel thats almost syrupy. Lower amount of carbonation makes this beer feel awesome.

O- awesome beer that hits everything i love in a beer. So glad i found this. I need to bring some home.

 1,416 characters

Photo of PDXHops
4.86/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 ounce bottle from batch 54(!) courtesy of jsilva, poured into an oversized snifter. I see Fred has been reclassified as an American Strong Ale somewhere along the way, probably the right choice considering its hybrid nature.

A cloudy body with a mysterious color that's somewhere between gold, apricot and amber. A modest head reduces to a thick collar of bubbles and a skim of foam, but the retention is surprisingly tenacious from that point. The delicate streaks of lacing are an unexpected surprise as well.

Even at 6-ish years old, citric and leafy hop notes are to be found in the nose, along with a healthy dose of fruitiness- peaches, pears, apples. Complex sweet combo of candi sugar, cake batter, pale malt and buttered toast with brown sugar. Hints of clove, black and white pepper and other more vague spices. My wife's opinion: "This is what beer should smell like". No arguments here.

Shockingly bitter at this age and with a surprisingly lively carbonation that slowly dissipates, leading to a lengthy smooth and satisfying finish. It's damn near impossible to capture every single flavor attribute; let's just say it's every bit as tasty as it smells and then some. Insanely rich and delicious. A purely decadent drinking experience. Fred's a great beer fresh, but outrageous with a few years of age. Highest recommendation.

 1,347 characters

Photo of beerandcycling88
3.92/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Batch 82.

Wow this one was a gusher nearly exploded everywhere.

A Pours a clear light orange color with a huge pillow like head.

S Citrus and tropical fruit like notes. Very nice.

T More tropical fruits, along with a bit of hop bitterness. There is also some caramel malt notes in there as well.

M Full bodied with lots of carbonation.

Overall this is a pretty good beer. It has a pretty good nose and taste and is quite enjoyable to drink. The only issue I have is the fact that it nearly gushed all over.

 553 characters

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

Pours opaque orange, not unlike a hefeweizen, but there is little head. After a swirl, the head coats the beer and retention is good with some lacing as well. The nose is filled with citrusy hops & slight alcohol scent at the end. Spicy alcohol hits the tongue first, followed by hints of sweet fruit with a bit of tart. Bready flavors end with a sharp alcohol and bitter hop taste. The beer is carbonated well, despite the lack of foam. It coats the mouth well and fades slowly.

This is a big bodied ale with bold and complex flavors. Something to savor, but you can drink it easily. It can get you in trouble if you forget the alcohol content. I love that it's hoppy and complex at the same time. Definitely treating myself to this again when I can.

 752 characters

Photo of notchucknorris
3.81/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Slightly hazy golden color with a monster cream colored head that took forever to settle. Amazing retention.

S: A bit of honey and lemon with something tart in the background that reminds me a bit of red wine vinegar.

T: Honey, apricot jam, golden raisin and candied orange with a hint of hops and hop resin on the finish. Pretty nice flavors going on. My one complaint is that the syrupy mouthfeel combined with the sweetness makes the alcohol pretty evident.

 466 characters

Photo of n2185
3.32/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a hazy yellow-orange with three fingers of white head that fades into a dense white cap with a solid sheet of lacing.

S: Cloves and coriander-like spice notes up front followed by some orange citrusy aromas and Belgian candy sugar. There are some biscuity sweet notes along with a strong, chalky yeast aroma.

T: Similar to the aroma, some spice notes at first along with Belgian candy sugar and some sweet orange citrus notes. Bitter yeast and biscuit flavors follow along with a decently strong alcohol burn. The bitterness lingers as well.

M: Medium body and carbonation, this beer has a bit too much lingering bitterness, sweetness, and alcohol burn for my tastes.

O: This seems more like a Belgian strong pale ale than anything, but not a particularly good one. It's not bad, but could use a bit more complexity and balance with the strong yeast flavors.

 871 characters

Photo of rlee1390
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Cloudy oragne, two finger head, no lacing is left though.

S-Citrusy, grapefruit, caramel, lots of malt.

T-Starts very sweet, sugary, caramel. Ends with bitter. The balance is spot on.

M-Medium bodied, smooth, some carbonation.

O-A great beer, the balance is there, very flavorful. I have one aging and I hope it turns out as good as this one did.

 352 characters

Photo of flagmantho
3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

 919 characters

Photo of robbrandes
3.97/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

pours a slightly hazy amber, ridiculously big fluffy head. thisclose to overcarbed.

big malty nose, hints of fruit and a good slug of warm alcohol. taste starts really sweet - caramel/toffee/sugar, but tightens up with a dry, yeasty punch. little bit of lingering hop bitterness.

the carbonation isn't overdone, as i worried on the pour. nice mouthfeel.

 401 characters

Photo of KAP1356
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First time having this one. A 12 oz. bottle marked Batch 81 I received as an extra in a trade. Poured into a Weyerbacher tulip...

A - Pours a very golden-yellow color. Even with what I thought was a soft pour, I got at least 3 fingers of fluffy eggshell white head. Nice soap like lacing here.

S - Very sweet malts - toffee and caramel like scents, and some honey up front. Slight citrus and a nice hop presence. Some slight spices and lighter fruits come out as well.

T - Candy sweetness along with caramel, toffee and honey. Apples, pear and grape come out next along with some hops (both pine and citrus). Some alcohol comes out as well, but just adds to the flavor profile.

M - Very smooth and velvety even with a higher carbonation. Medium bodied beer that coats the mouth quite nicely.

O - Pretty nice offering from HotD here. Was expecting to be blown away like I was with other HotD beers, but I wasn't. Still a really nice beer.

 942 characters

Photo of patreely12
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served at Memphis Taproom in Philly. 22 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass. It was probably way too hot outside to enjoy this (103 degrees) but I had to try it while I could.

A - I love the way this beer looks. murky burgundy brown color. tall moderately thick tan head, keeps it's size for a bit then lingers as a filmy ring. good webby lacing.

S - strong rich aromas. probably one of the richest aromas I've ever gotten off of a barleywine. strong toffee, brown sugar, caramel notes, really really sweet, I can already tell this beer is going to have a syrupy body from the sweetness alone. strong barley malts, make up a large portion of the nose has well.

T/M - more of the same flavors from the nose. strong, sweet flavors all around. sweet, caramel malts and barley. a combination of all sorts of dark fruits, toffee and brown sugar which add to the abundant sweetness. very light and hoppy bitterness on the backend and the signature barleywine rummy alcohol bite. sticky, syrupy mouthfeel which could have been amplified by the excessive heat. fuller bodied and light carbonation.

Overall this is one of the most flavorful barleywines I've had. I would really like to enjoy this in cooler weather, especially with it's warming body. The syrupy mouthfeel could be toned down but all-in-all I loved this beer.

 1,320 characters

Photo of Chaney
3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was my first Hair of the Dog brew.

I aged this one for a year, so I guess I now need to try it fresh for comparison.

A: Innocent translucent golden color, with a slight reddish tint. The massive 1-1.5 mildly off-white nitro-esque head stayed a light peach fuzz on top of the brew.

S: Hoppy, candyland stuff! Huge malt bill, but the candy sugar takes center stage here. Sort of reminds me of Troegs "Flying Mouflan."

T: Surprisingly smooth, extremely sweet (but in a candy, luscious way), and even a bit of tartness in the mid palate. Not nearly as bitter as I thought it was going to be on the end... fairly straight-forward actually.

M: Sugar bomb for sure, thick, and with a mild carbonation prickle. The lacing was substantial.

O: You candy lovers are going to love it! I'd have it again, but I really need to be in the mood for it.

 846 characters

Fred from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
4.09 out of 5 based on 1,818 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.