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

Poured into a New Belgium Tulip

A: Pours an orange-brown color, looks a lot like an ipa. Ther was about 1 inch of white foam after the initial pour.

S: A pretty fruity nose comes through with lemon and pear. I get a little bit o a woody complex to it as well, not piny, but woody. Hops are noticeable in the nose as well.

T: Heavy on the citrus flavor. The lemon and pears dominate the front end of this bear, it is also pretty hoppy as well. Not overly malty, but it is noticeable. Well balanced over all. Reminds me a lot of an ipa.

M/D: The beer was mildly carbonated, but the hops kind of tackle your tongue. Does not drink like a normal barleywine, not very malty and very reminiscent of an ipa Still, it was very interesting and well balanced. A nice beer, not worth $5.00 for a 12 oz all the time, but worth it occasionally.

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Photo of BeerEngineer89
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - They call it a golden ale, and its true to their word. Any lighter and it would be a pilsner. BE CAREFUL when you pour. There must have been a metric ton of cara pils because there is tons of head.

S-Smells like a double IPA, very hoppy. One noted, but still a great smell. Maybe a bit too sweet.

T-Tastes very sweet and orangey. Citrus hop in the tip of the tongue. When I swallow, there is a leathery taste at the back of my tongue. Again, the sweetness doesnt allow for more than a 4, but it is probably covering the alcohol a bit.

M-SO SMOOTH. Swishing it gives pure bubbles. I love it. Nice finish as well that is difficult to explain. Very sticky from the sugar, butstill some kind of crispness to it.

D- Very drinkable for the first beer, but I think the sugar would stop me after two.

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Photo of greenmonstah
4.04/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Batch 81 poured into tasting glass

A - Pours a clear gold with a huge head, from a not-very-aggressive pour. I've got about 2-3 fingers of big sticky off-white head. Looks great. Excellent lacing.

S - Somewhat muted. Hints of raisin/fig and leather, but nothing that really stands out. Can smell a little bit of pilsner malt.

T - Quite hot. You really taste the booze. Very sweet with some raisin/fig flavors. Again, a slight pilsner taste to it. Finishes with lots of leather, which was surprising.

M - Full bodied, sticky sweet but not cloying. Coats the mouth perfectly, with a touch of dryness in the back end. Really great. Good carbonation, too. Perfectly smooth, it engages your entire mouth and sticks around for a while afterwards. I can't imagine it being better.

D - Very drinkable, in spite of the heat from the booze. The booze is an enhancement, and adds to the flavor. That said, it will still keep you from pounding this one. A great beer.

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

A - Clear dark golden color with 1 finger white head. Head stays around forever, lacing is fantastic. I can't believe theres this much head for this high of an ABV.

S - Light malt background with slight sweet hop aromas. Some figs, brown sugar, and alcohol come through as well.

T - Follows the aroma pretty well, but theres a nice addition of leather, what I've found to be typical of HOTD beers. Lots of alcohol comes through, but it balances well with how sweet the beer is.

M - Medium bodied, perfect carbonation. Sticky feeling, very sweet mouthfeel. Finish is sweet and slightly dry.

D - Drinkability is surprisingly good for this beer. While the alcohol comes through quite a bit, it doesn't take away from the beer and doesn't seem to make it any more difficult to drink.

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

Batch 77

a - poured a huge four-fingers thick off-white head into a tulip glass that was very dense and billowy like a soft serve from dairy queen that settles into a thick and clingy head. the body was a bright and bubbly orange-amber color.
s - orange peel, cinnamon.
t - cinnamon, oranges, toffee, bananas, pears, a hint of booziness. very complex and just washes over the tongue with many different flavors.
m - medium and slick.
d - what a sipper this is. delicious but i wish i had waited a little longer to drink this one.

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Photo of emerge077
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2011: Batch 70, 3 year old bottle.
Brilliant orange clarity, three fingers of foam initially, and it maintains an uneven broken skim with good coverage. Dried orange peel and brandy nose. Huge dried apricot and rich raw honey flavors, very full bodied, plenty of lasting citric orange peel bitterness. Ages beautifully.

Thanks to PEBKAC for this boozy beast. (batch 70 = 1 yr. 2008 bottle)

Golden orange body, even foam, lasting retention. A swirl brings the foam back quickly...

Smells of overripe fruits, apricot leather, mildly phenolic. Rich and fruity, skirting the alcoholic bombast of many barleywines.

Rich, nutty and fruity taste, very full flavored and strong. Dried orange peel and dried whole apricots. Residual hop bitterness, lingering well into the finish. Strength dominates, but fruity elements seem to creep out, lasting for awhile.

Rich luxurious feel. Slow sipper to be sure, hard to say how much aging may benefit this tasty monster... Paper and fire, angel and liar, the devil of one another. (RIP Dio)

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Photo of tmcelvain
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Light brown beer - very hazy with a giant head. This is a unique looking beer. The smell is of alcohol and roasted candied malt.
Sweet, sweet, but earthy caramel flavor. Rasiny fruit aftertaste with a bitter finish that balances this sweet, grassy flavor.
Fizzy mouthfeel from start to finish. A very lively beer. Overall, this is a very complex and pleasing brew, making me likely to order a few, but the high ABV and such a mouthfull of flavor leave me torn on the drinkability of this one. A tremendous beer, though I tend to disagree with the Barleywine classification. Tastes almost like a Belgian golden to me.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a bright cloudy orange-red color with a finger of creamy white-tan head. The head retention is okay and there is nice lacing on the glass.

S - Aroma has a lot of sweet fruits in it, such as apple. There are also some elements of wheat and yeast mixed in. Just a touch of malt.

T - Starts off with some fruit flavors (again a lot of apple) and some other sweet elements. There is also some noticeable alcohol taste alongside just a touch of sweet carmel malt. Through the middle some deeper fruit and malt flavors break through with a touch of yeast flavor. The finish is a blend of the fruity esters some bread malt flavor and a touch of booze and hop which lingers for a while.

M - Full bodied with moderate sharp carbonation. The beer is pretty thick overall, but slick and smooth. The finish is pretty pungent and really lingers for a while.

D - Fairly drinkable. Really big and complex beer, so it is a real sipper, but it is very enjoyable. There are a lot of flavors mixing around, and while it is not quite perfectly balanced, it is very enjoyable.

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Photo of harrymel
2.35/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Batch 80

A: Pours golden and lifts a fine white less than single finger head which thins to a sheet of the same. Slightly hazy.

S: Sweet grains. Apple skins (too bad). Floral, citrus, vitamin scents here as well.

T: Sweet, alcoholic, phenolic. Not real hop feel here. Woody tones.

M: Syrupy, heavy, moderate carbonation. Coats the mouth and remains resonate.

D: One's enough for me. Too sweet.

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Photo of trappistlover
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(12oz bottle Batch 79). Pours hazy apricot with off-white head. Very active carbonation. Aroma of dried fruit, some wood and citrus, but the fruit dominates-mostly sweet, dried apricot. Taste is sweet with some hop bitterness. Full bodied with thick, sticky texture. Very smooth. The alcohol is noticeable in the finish, but really hits the chest and throat. Really nice!

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Photo of Briken
3.09/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Hazy golden orange and white fluffy head with great retention and nice lacing. Candy yeast sweetness and alcohol. Very sweet with just a light bite and an alcohol taste and warming that increases as you drink. Some floral/citrus hops. Silky and fuzzy feel.

There is a nice hop flavor but it gets a bit drowned out by the sweetness and alcohol. The pilsner/rye malts become very similar to a barleywine sweetness. It almost seemed nicely balanced except the sweetness and alcohol lingers on and on and eventually takes over and makes this one a bit difficult to finish. note: As it is listed as a barleywine on BA that makes a little more sense on the taste but doesn't really change anything.

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Photo of Gosox8787
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle poured into my Portsmouth Brewery tulip glass. Served at room temperature. I looked on the bottle, but didn't see a vintage. I assume its within a year or two though.

Appearance: Golden yellow to orange in color with a slight fluffy white head and average retention. Seems to be adequately carbonated as well.

Aroma: Candied sugar plays a pretty noticeable role here along with some nice sweetness from the pilsner malt. A touch of herbal hop notes near the back end as well.

Taste: On the borderline between really sweet and cloyingly sweet. Candied sugar and sweet light malt dominate. There is definitely a nice hop presence here as well that has integrated into a nice herbal touch. Does not quite lend enough bitterness to balance out all the sweet components. The alcohol blends in nicely and lends a nice heat.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with plenty of carbonation. A bit sticky and syrupy at times though that can weight it down a touch.

Drinkability: A 12 oz. bottle is the perfect amount for sipping. I think more than a bottle, the heat and heaviness could wear a little thin.

Overall, I really enjoyed this offering. At times, it was a bit cloyingly sweet in my opinion, but the flavors were solid and interesting. The amount of heat was really spot on. Definitely something to pick up and I have to imagine it will cellar well.

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Photo of jsh420
3.18/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

batch 80

pours cloudy golden yellow with a head that just will not quit that left some spotted lacing

smells candi apples and lots yeast spice

taste is very sweet candi caramel almost cloying - then the spicy yeast - just didnt gel well for me

mouthfeel was way too carbonated and that mixed with the booze and the very sweet taste ripped at the back of my throat

drinkability was just as good as the flavor and mouthfeel - maybe i will revist this beer when it has some age on it - the fresh was just too much

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Photo of JamnesCameron
4.41/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 79.

Poured into a MJ tasting glass.

Pours a hazy, deep gold, with a huge egg shell head of two fingers. Head really stands up. Heavy lacing.

Aromas of hard candy, honey, lemon. Strong honey dominates.

First sip is of honey, lemon, bready malt. Some alcohol bite. Golden raisins, figs. Very boozy. Finish is rather short with bitter and malt in a relative balance, with some alcohol bite.

Mouthfeel is big, sticky, malty. Alcohol warmth. Creamy carbonation, unusual for such a big beer.

Overall very drinkable.I've had this many many years ago. Honey, malty aspects most memorable. Very tasty brew.

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Photo of mjsheehan08
3.92/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5


Pours a hazy dark brown with little to know head that is capped with a little collection of cloudy foam that floats around the top of chimay glass. Lots of carbonation coming to the top of the glass from the bottom. 

Smell is sweet, notes of honey and the candi sugar. There is also a little citrusy from the hops and it is all pretty much overpowered by the booze. I am also getting some dark fruit, plums, raisins figs?  

Tastes is heavy on the malt in the beginning. I got some breadyiness and even more Carmel.  Booze is really evident, and I wish I had sat on this beer a little longer. I think this beer is at least a year and a half old, but there is still a little presence of a hop bitterness in the aftertaste. 

Mouthfeel is slick and has only a mild presence of carbonation. I drink my fair share of over 10 ABV beers, but this one is really boozy. One is definitely enough.    

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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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