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

1,807 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:
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Ratings: 1,807 |  Reviews: 864
Photo of CashMoneyVagrant
3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

- Batch #76

Poured cloudy and orange in color, with a enormous, dense head of foam that filled half the glass on the first pour. Sweet and spicy up front in the nose. Marbled rye bread, honey, English toffee, rum soaked fruit cake, butterscotch. Fruity, floral aromas of orange marmalade, apricot jam, fresh flower nectar, some vanilla. Smells big and muscular.

Lots of carbonation on the palate. Sweet, rock
candy, raisins and fruit preserves at first. A little cloying, kinda boozy in the mouth, with some heat. Spicy. Rye bread, honey, maybe bay leaves. Lots of English toffee and butterscotch. I pick up a doughy, batter taste maybe pound cake or shortbread. It develops some rum and whiskey flavors as it warms up. Toasted malt, sweet and boozy in the finish with some bitterness.
From a 2-3 year old bottle from the cellar, could be older than that. Had lots of life left in it. Definitely a night cap beer.

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Photo of RocPorterFanatic
3.68/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful light copper with thick rocky head.

Very pungent aroma, very malty, cotton candy sweetness is ever present

Candi sugar is very much on the forefront with just a subtle peppery hoppiness. Nowhere near the hops I expected for the style.

Very effervecent, alot of rich bubbly carbonation.

Great beer, a little under-hopped for an American Barleywine, but not unpleasant.

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Photo of Offa
3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 78

Faintly hazy golden amber, small off-white head slowly shrinks to foamy ring and thin foam & wisps.

Aroma is raisiny bread crust, citrusy hops, hint of steak, cotton candy, toffee & pine.

Taste is sweet-spicy toasty raisiny character with hint of spicy resiny hops and hint of citrus, mostly grapefruit, but very mild. It has noticeably warming alcohol but is not too boozy. It’s a bit oily & creamy in feel, fairly well balanced but definitely a bit on the sweet side. It’s good but not great.

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Photo of stoutfiend27
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle received from my good friend james in a surprise box which really made my terrible week so much better...thanks for looking out...batch 80 into the snifter

a-deep hazy golden color...huge rocky head and tons of chunky lacing....lots of carbonation at first but settled down nicely...

s-lots of sweetness..loads of caramel and toffee....the earthy rye malt is nice as well as the addition of the aromatic....very balanced on the nose

t-lots of caramel up front...some toffee comes in and the earthiness/breadiness from the rye lends its hand....bitter hops hold this thing together and keep it from being cloying...very delicate and the sweetness from the candy sugar is nice...hops finish this one out..

m-medium to full bodied...lots of residual sugar in this one...coats the mouth and stays....the bitterness from the hops linger as well as the dryness in this beer...

o-excellent would love to have tons more of this....the 10% abv is nowhere to be found and nothing is offensive at all about this beer....huge thanks to james for sending this my way...cant wait to get into the rest...

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Photo of mactrail
3.42/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bittersweet strong ale.

Orange-amber in the chalice. Aroma is tantalizing warm fruit cake with alcohol fumes. This must be the sweetest beer I have ever had. I can't think of another. It's like those sweet non-alcohol Malta beers they have in the Caribbean. Main flavor is raisins. Or dried currants, to be precise. Only sweeter. Ruby Port wine. Aftertaste is dark, bitter orange marmalade. Truly unique

I guess if this is made from malt and high-enough octane, you can call it barley wine. I call it raisin wine.

Batch 79.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 79.

Pours a beautiful dark honey orange color with a 2 inch bone colored head that fades to a small cap. Bubbles from the pour flowed downward in the glass before rising again to the top. Very small patterns of lacing around the glass present as the beer goes down. Smells of caramel, butterscotch, brown sugar, and citrus zest. Taste is exactly like the smell with sweet burnt sugar tastes (brown sugar, caramel, butterscotch) up front with a citrus hop presence on the finish. Bitterness is very mild and fades quickly on the palate. Mouthfeel is a bit flat carbonation wise leading to a somewhat thick and chewy beer. Overall, this is a great beer that I have put of trying for way too long. Highly recommended.

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Photo of hardy008
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 79

Rich amber color with a less than one finger head which has nice retention and lacing. The aroma has caramel, candy sugar, oranges, and butterscotch. Smells sweet, and very nice.

The flavor is just like the aroma. A sweet beer with caramel, candy sugar, and butterscotch. Oranges and lemon flavors are also present, indicating a nice amount of hops used to balance the sweetness of this beer.

Creamy and medium to full bodied bodied, with moderate carbonation. The alcohol is well hidden for 10.00 %, but has a warming effect. I'm not sure what else needs to be said. This is a great beer, which I will seek out again.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.45/5  rDev -15.6%
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 jsanford
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Snifter. Batch 81.

A - Cloudy orange-amber with a huge, fluffy eggshell-colored head that refuses to dissipate. Leave thick, sticky lacing clinging to the glass.
S - Spicy rye malt, tons of sweet caramel, burnt orange peel, candi sugar, and a lingering hop finish.
T - Sweet malt, caramel, candi sugar, and more orange peel with a citrus hop bite. Bit of alcohol definitely makes itself known, you can tell this is a big one.
M - Slick and sticky, with a medium-full mouth-feel and low carbonation.
O - Not bad for my 1st HotD brew, overall a very nice Barleywine. I'd be really interested to see this with some age on it. Thanks to Aussy13 for sending this my way!

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.4/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy orange-ish to yellow color with an off white head. In the aroma, dry fruit and candy sugar. In the taste, dry candy sugar with yeast and fruit notes. A smooth and medium to bigger bodied mouthfeel, with a dry hint of fruit in the aftertaste. Nice mix of fruit and yeast, more an American triple than a barleywine.

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

Pours a distinct amber color with hints of orange. Very clear body, one finger head. A very appealing looking beer, no doubt about it.

Smells like a barley wine should. Ripe fruits hit first, a little toasted malt in the back, some alcohol but not too much, and it's more of a pleasant touch than a harsh feeling. No hops to speak of in the aroma.

The taste is very complex to say the least. The warming alcohol hits more up front here than in the smell, and it's actually drier than I expected, though the fruits are still there. Let it sit in your mouth for a moment and the alcohol really comes to dominate the finish. There's a lingering feeling about the taste, though it's still not as thick as some barleywines I've had. There's spice in there too, but I can't place it. There's still no hop flavor or aroma to speak of, but the bitterness shines through a lot more and really subdues what must be otherwise powerful malt flavors.

This is definitely an American barleywine - the flavors are a bit punchy, and those Pacific Northwest hops definitely want you to know they're there. It's not my favorite American barleywine, but I'll likely buy it again if I see it.

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Photo of zhanson88
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Got this one as part of a trade with JohnGalt1. Thanks a lot Toby. Batch 79.

Appearance: Fred pours a dark apricot color with ruby highlights. It's very hazy, but that's not a surprise considering it's bottle conditioned. It seems to have very low carbonation. Two fingers of head form that have excellent retention and lacing. Very nice looking beer.

Smell: I can detect the rye malts that are in this beer, but they aren't too strong or spicy. I also get some sweet, wet bready scents, and some lingering citrus hop character as well.

Taste: A big malt presence is prevalent up front, as well as some sticky, sugary, bready sweetness and some apricot-like fruit flavors. A small amount of citrus hops show up on the back end, but not too much. Overall, a damn tasty barleywine. The more it warmed up, the more I liked it. Pretty complex and tasty.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Medium bodied with low carbonation, this beer is quite creamy and sticky in the mouth. This is the stand-out category for this beer in my opinion. Overall, a very good barleywine but not quite elite. I dig everything I've had from Hair of the Dog, and I'm really excited to try Fred from the Wood to see what the barrels do for this beer.

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

Picked up locally.

a - Opened the 12oz bottle and poured into a duvel tasting tulip. Poured a beautiful brownish red with an almost yellowish head that built as the beer was poured. Head was bubbly and hung around a bit. Visual carbonation in the murky beer.

s - Syrupy hops and malts. Nutmeg, sugar, potpourri. Not overdone or intense.

t - Much more lively than the nose suggests. Super duper sweet and malty. Alcohol is fairly present as well. Mild spiciness.

m - Thick and rich...alc tingle. Sweet and almost sour aftertaste.

o - Overall decent barleywine, nothing to write home about. A bit rich and syrupy. Malt heavy.

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Photo of steve8robin
4.14/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tried this once and loved it...

A: A nice murky copper color with a small white head that fades quickly to a murky lace atop the brew. Decent.

S: A nice sugary malt upfront with a hint of sugary raspberry and slight earthy hop an bitterness on the backend. Very good.

T: A nice sugary malt upfront with a watery fruitiness quickly followed in the middle and some hidden hop bite on the backend. Good.

M: Medium body with a great carbonation. A nice balanced finish. Very good.

D: Goes down well.

All in all, this is a great brew if you like the style. I am glad I've gotten to try this brew twice. Very sugary with hints of bitterness. If you like that sort of thing, then this brew is for you!

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Photo of thagr81us
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up out in Cali while out there for the RS Party. Batch #79! Served from bottle into a Surly Darkness snifter. Poured a massively hazy red-orange with a minimal off-white head. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, citrus, and citrus hop. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, citrus, citrus hop, and subtle sweet alcohol. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was an excellent brew. The citrus aspect on this one really wowed me as it kept me coming back for more. Great aroma here as well. While this brew isn't very complex, it does quite well with the flavors and aromas it has present. If you haven't tried this one, you need to get off your ass and do so even if you have to traade of it.

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Photo of Trilogy31
2.32/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Batch 80 in a tulip. Pours a sunset amber with a beautiful frothy head and leaves nice sticky lacing. Unfortunately for me this is where the good looks end. Nose and taste is like a completly out of balance doggie claws. Overly sweet malts and citrus on the nose with little hop balance and alcohol esters more of the same in the mouth as well with a hot finish. Reminds me somewhat of stone old guardian 2011 which is not a good thing. Not a fan but at least its nice trade bait.

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Photo of depechemode1983
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a cloudy golden honey color. Has a thick fluffy white head that sticks around for a long time. Leaves a curtain of lacing around the glass. Beautiful.

S - Very fruity nose. There is some sweet peach, and some acidic pineapple upfront. In the middle you get more of a cane sugar sweetness with some floral hop notes. Then it ends with a slight citric hops character the doesn't linger.

T - Taste is very sweet. Lots of candy sugar and sweet grape. Picking up some citrus along with some spice as well. Taste like a cross between a Hefeweizen and a Belgium Strong Pale Ale. Don De Dieu in particular. Perhaps to complex for my descriptive capabilities.

M - Smooth medium bodied and light carbonation. Very soft creamy.

Wow. Very impressive. This beer is delicious. One of the best beers Ive had to date. Highly drinkable. The ABV is high but well hidden. Id like to thank gkunkle for the bottle.

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Photo of Scotchboy
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 80. Poured into a Stella Artois glass.

For the record, this beer wasn't anything that I expected; from presentation to the mouthfeel this beer surprised me at every turn.

A: Poured a golden straw color, with tons and tons of creamy off-white head that clings to the glass and sticks around. This beer is well carbonated and appears pretty clear despite the fact that it is bottle-conditioned.

S: Malt forward; caramel and toffee, fruity esters, sweet moist breadiness, a touch of alcohol. Spicy and earthy hops underneath, but the sweetness and candy sugar really shine here and pull all the aspects of the aroma together. Really big and complex.

T: Its a sweet beer, with waves of candy sugar and sweet bready malt, but the spicy hops are underneath and prevent this beer from being one dimensional. In the end it works together, the fruitiness and the sweetness and the hops, but its almost too much. Between the sweetness and the alcohol heat on the back end, the cellar would probably calm this beer down a lot in a year or two.

MF: Like a good American Barleywine, this beer feels juicy and big. The carbonation does move everything around though and keeps the sweetness from becoming cloying.

O: Its a darn good beer, but teetering on undrinkable to me (although I think HotD did exactly what they wanted to do here). But to me its a good beer now, as a sipper. We'll see how an aged version holds up. This beer also convinced me to give HotD another shot, since my Batch 77 Adam experience nearly ruined my opinion of the brewery.

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Photo of mountsnow1010
3.74/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 78.
A - Goldish with a tiny head, no lacing, minimal carbonation.
S - Smells citrusy and "sharp" with a dusty undertone, not sure what that is. Not cardboard, almost like wood shavings or something. Dries the nose. Grainy notes too.
T - Quite citrusy and spicy, followed by an overwhelming sweetness. This beer has a very complex flavor profile, but it unfortunately is too sweet for me, tastes almost like drinking sugar water. Good in general, but the sweetness really decreases it for me.
MF - Smooth and sticky. Fitting for the flavor. Minimal carbonation. A bit of alcohol burn in the throat, but not much.
O - Not super drinkable for me, as I found it way too sweet. Otherwise though, a pleasant drinker. Couldn't really imagine having more than a bottle.

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

Poured into my brand spanking new HotD tulip, hell yeah. Poured on 2/24/11.

Pours a beautiful hazy golden color with more then 2 fingers of head that dissipates leaving some pretty fine lacing on about 50% of the glass.

Smells of tons of malt sweetness and flowery hops. Very complex with hints of wood and citrus.

Tastes very sweet. I taste the booze but it gets lost for the most part in the sweetness. Significant hop presence but its all about the malts and the carmel, and candy sugar.

Mouthfeel is heavy. The sweet taste really sticks around and bring with it just little hops. Sweetness stays on your lips as well. Very nice.

Drink ability is high. It keeps you combing back for more and stays around long enough in the plate to satisfy. The only hit is the high ABV could be rough if I drink these all night long.

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Photo of claspada
3.69/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Batch #74, I believe that means it was bottled around Jan 2009.
Aromas are quite white grape/vinous with a slight champagne alcohol essence. There is a discrete spiciness which I can only assume is the rye malt. As it warms you get some darker fruits.
The tastes are initially sugary/caramel sweet malts with slightly tart apple cider/white grape flavors; an interesting cotton candy flavor as well. The finish/mouthfeel I feel are the lowest point of this beer as it is a bit heavy and the alcohol burn becomes more evident as this warms; could be considered cloying to some. Thankfully there is a slight earthy bitterness to help balance the sweet flavors.
Overall this is a really good beer, not nearly the alcohol flavor you'd expect from a 10% ABV brew, glad I aged this for 2+ years. I do have to say this is probably not worth the elevated price tag for the single 12 oz bottle.

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

I really dig this mustachioed canine on the label. Batch 81.
Pours a hazy golden color with a lucious creamy white head. Really great retention and body.
Aroma immediately brings to mind clover honey. Rye and pilsner characteristics are also immediately present. Also get notes of tropical fruit and hibiscus.
Taste starts with an initial bitterness then swirls into rye, honey, tropical fruit and saccharin.
Really great mouthfeel for this ABV. Has a nice coating quality but still a nice amount of effervescence on the front.
Really awesome beer, glad I revisited it.

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Photo of dizknee24
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A great nice dark amber with a good amount of head.

S great rye and and noticeable booze as is the usual for a barleywine. or "golden special ale"

T beautiful hoppy taste. like a garden shop mixed with a candy store.

M thick thick thick

O i love it get you some.

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Photo of veinless
3.96/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a caramel orange with a very finely bubbled lacy white head that retains for ages. Body is cleanly translucent, and the color is very rich and inviting. Head is strangely coarsely bubbled on the sides of the glass while being milky in the middle.

Nose is very sweet, with a generous amount of clean, soothing pilsner and rye malt available to add character. Rye especially is a big player in this beer, adding its distinctive edge from start to finish. The sweetness is raw and unprocessed, a lot like jaggery. Fairly floral as well, with hibiscus and jasmine coming to mind. The floral scent is quite distinctive, and the only other time I got this same smell was in the other HoTD beer I had, Ruth.

Taste starts very hoppy and floral, with a perfume-like hoppy flavor that is a little bit of a mismatch with the sweetness that quickly joins in. Speaking of the sweetness, this beer is absolutely candy-like after the initial hop kick, and even those flavors were on the sweet side. Malts come in full force for the main course of the beer, with a boozy sweetness adding still more saccharine character to this one. The sweetness might be a bit too much, but at least they diversified the sweetness to make it a complex beer. Rye comes out phenomenally here as well. Finish has some slight tropical hop notes but keeps with the floral theme, and sweetness fades a bit leaving room for a tiny bit of bitterness to finally rear its head. I'd say the taste is very unique and delicious, but could use some more emphasis on bitterness to balance it out.

Mouthfeel is smooth, rich and syrupy. Fits the aroma and taste profile very well. Drinkability is hindered by the incredible sweetness, but at least it is a tasty sweetness and not something that makes the beer difficult to drink. Definitely recommended, and I can see how Cherry versions of these beers would be so highly sought after - they must be like dessert.

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4.53/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch #82

Copper hued golden, head of cumulus clouds.

Aroma is a doubletake, cause it smells like a Belgian quad.

Mild white vinousness, confectionary in the front, floral ideas, tremors of springtime meadows, walnuts and brazil nuts, these things all flash before giving way to the sheer weight of the malts, and the sweet sourdough theme steers the ship from there. Fred's a thinker and a heavyweight to be sure, but altogether a sunny disposition. Kept in tow by a slightly astringent and grassy hop profile that is totally unique, and works amazingly.

Lush and lightened by CO2 in the mouth, yet thick and a little slick, this approaches perfecton per mouthfeel for fitting the beer.

Drinkability is way high, per style. This is fresh and superbly drinkable today, I'm going to load up a few for the trip back home to lay down a couple years or so.

Glad I finally had the chance to have this and others from HOTD.

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Fred from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
4.09 out of 5 based on 1,807 ratings.
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