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

1,819 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: 1,819 |  Reviews: 866
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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Photo of fear025
3.73/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This Fred was of Batch 77.

Aroma:Tons of sweet malt, dark fruits, and alcohol in the aroma.

Appearance:Deep amber in color, tons of long lasting white head.

Taste:The hops are very much in force in this beer on the foretaste, hugely bitter. The midtaste lets the malt and caramel flavors start to shine through the bitterness. The aftertaste mellows out nicely leaving caramel and dark fruit flavors on my tongue.

Mouthfeel:This beer has a medium to heavy body, great carbonation, a little creaminess, and some hot alcohol. The heavy handed hops give it some harsh astringency.

Drinkability:It's got some great complex flavors, and is a nice sipping beer. I think that this beer may still need to do some more aging to round out the rough edges, even though it's already at least 2 years old.

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Photo of leedorham
3.63/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours a deep honey colored brownish orange with a huge and fluffy off-white head. Great head retention. There was some yeast crud in the neck of the bottle.

S - Smells sweet and pungent with some resiny qualities. A bit of burnt sugar.

T - Definitely a complex and deep taste reminding me of sugared fruits. Orange marmalade is a flavor complex that comes to mind. Definite sweetness and caramel character. Very spicy with a bit overpowering of a clove taste.

M - Viscous and syrupy to the palate. Highly carbonated for what I would expect.

D - This one really smacked me upside the head and then grew on me a bit. It is not one I would drink frequently although I look forward to seeing what a little age will do.

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Photo of Gunslinger711
4.46/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to the Village Bottle Shop for having this Cali beer available in Indiana.

Batch 79.

Poured into a pint glass.

Fred pours smooth, retains head for hours, and is amber and hazy in appearance. Definately can see bubbles from ample carbonation.

A good sniff of the beer gives you a slightly sweet start, definate rye notes, but nothing really betraying the 10% abv.

Mouthfeel is almost as smooth as a belgian ale. No harsh bite from the double digit abv.

Taste is complex and subtle, nothing that's going to hit you over the head for such a big beer. We have sweet wine notes at the beginning, wine gives way to malty smoothness, malty smoothness gives way to some rye bitterness.

Drinkability is high, there's no harshness to this beer. It's big but subtle, sweet then bitter, and delicious.

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Photo of happy5930
4.77/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass. Showed very little trace of head or lacing, but had tons of sediment. The nose was smooth with tons of sweet flavor. The taste was amazing, it practically exploded with hops and malt, sweet to the taste but packed a full 10% ABV punch. I highly recommend this beer, and will age my others for some time. Easy to drink, strong, but sweet.

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

Poured from 12oz bottle (Batch #79 - 2010) into a pint glass. Pours a clear amber / dark golden color with a large beige head. Not as light as most golden ales but lighter than most barleywines I have drank. Aroma is sweet honey, a touch of citric hops, and some alcohol. Flavor is honey, hops, candy sugar, sweet malts and a bit of alcohol. Tastes sweeter than the aroma suggests. Medium mouthfeel and a nice carbonation throughout along with mild sediments so pour slowly to keep the sediments in the bottle as much as possible. This was one of the better golden ales (barleywine in this particular style) I had.

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Photo of busternuggz
4.52/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle (batch 79) into a plastic disposable cup in a Super 8 Motel. It's so good it doesn't matter, I'm reviewing it anyway.

Nice, clear, resplendent brass/amber color with a 1/4" yellowish-off white head. Has decent retention but resides to a thin film. Leaves spotty lacing.

Delicious rich smells of toffee, kumquats, maple syrup, some other tropical fruits-peach, papaya? A touch of caramelized sugar. A little floral hint comes out as it warms. Decadent, sweet, and very inviting nose.

More richness on the palate, with layered notes of light caramel and toffee, maple syrup, sweet fruits- like the best can of mixed tropical fruit in heavy syrup ever made, a touch of oakiness on the finish. Some sweet concentrated orange juice comes out when it warms a bit. Very sweet but complex and balanced just right with hops, which give just a little bite of bitterness on the aftertaste that mingles nicely with the syrupy-fruity notes.

Very nice texture, thick but supple at the same time. Coats the tongue for a few seconds after swallowing and fades gracefully.

Insanely drinkable for a barleywine. So well balanced and engaging. I normally have trouble drinking more than 6 or 8 ounces or so of a barleywine but I went through this one quick, and I wouldn't mind having another one.

Very well made beer, just amazing. Definitely my favorite barleywine.

Edit: I guess they're calling it an American Strong Ale now. Whatever it is it's really good.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.81/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle shared by Jason. Thanks, homie. Poured into Darkness snifter.

A - Pours a golden-yellow, two fingers-worth of frothy white head that gives some nice lacing and a thin cap on top.

S - I get a strong note of Beligan sweetness, some candied sugars, malts, and slight hops.

T - A little more hoppy then the nose, candies/sugars, slight floral note, dark fruits. Tastes much more like a BW and smells more like a Beligan ale.

M - Medium, good carbonation, rich and smooth.

D - A sipper that I enjoyed as a change of pace from your normal Barleywine. Nothing mind-blowing, but nice to try for something different. Give it a shot.

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Photo of jrallen34
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my Rodenbach Grand Cru glass...A confusing pour as this is the lightest barleywine I've ever seen...A dark gold with copper in the middle. An off white head with a decent cap, great lacing...Honey bomb on the front, lemon, hoppy barleywine finish...The taste is really sweet, lots of honey, easy to drink. Hoppy finish. Strange but drinkable, a little intrigued.

Can't recommend but I'd drink it again.

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Photo of 2xHops
4.36/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I couldn't wait, and went ahead and opened the bottle. It was from batch 80.

This beer had a lot of head! At first glance it looked like it may have too much carbonation, but it mellowed out nicely. The beer was foggy with amber hues. It looked like a beer, and a tasteful one at that.

It smelled good. However, it seemed to me that it reeked a bit of too much alcohol, but hey, it's expected when it has 10%.

Tasting this beer, for some reason, reminds me of tasting some of the Imperial IPAs. The hops and the alcohol hits you first, but then it mellows out with some sweet flavors.

Mouthfeel - it feels like a beer. Carbonation's there, but I probably opened the bottle too early. The beer lingers in your mouth for a while.

Drinkability - I would drink this all the time, but just not daily. It's a strong beer with a lot of character. It's definitely something you can pair with food, but I would drink it on its own any day.

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Photo of Retsinis
4.07/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cellared this one for over a year, Batch 77.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Bruery tulip glass. Pours a golden honey amber. It was slowly poured, and still had a very generous head, over 2 inches that took some time to settle, but eventually settles to about a half inch of head that is retained throughout.

Smells of Apricot, honey, a bit of banana, as well as a bit of estery yeast.

Taste is of light tropical fruits, caramel, honey, sweet malt, and a tinge of alcohol.

Mouth feel is generous carbonation, sticky, but crisp and refreshing.

Reminded me of Duvel, but much better. Could probably been safely cellared another year or two with the 10% backbone, and the great carbonation retention. Recomend a very slow pour, to let the yeast settle to the bottom of the bottle, and leave about an ounce in the bottle for the best intended flavor.

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

Thanks to Santa for this one! Poured into a tulip. The beer pours a murky amber with a thin creamy layer of off white head that settles down with thin sticky lace. The aroma is spicy golden raisins with a musty toffee finish with candied sugar to finish out the aroma. The taste is full of dark fruits. Raisins and figs come to mind with a musty flavor and a very sweet caramel candied sugar finish. Really a nice balance of dark malty flavors with a sweet toffee finish. Feels really nice, with a big full body and subtle carbonation. Like most barley wines this one is kind of a boozy sipper. Really enjoyable and I always want more.

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Photo of Axic10
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 78. Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy brown with a thin layer of head.

Smell: Sweet malt, hoppy, fruit notes.

Taste: Sweet caramel and bready malts, hoppy notes, sweet fruits.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied.

Drinkability: I really enjoyed this beer and will be picking some more up again.

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Photo of pmccallum86
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden murky color with an enormous thick bubbly creamy head.

Smell is of Belgian yeasts and American hops. Not like any other Barleywine I have ever encountered, it is probably better suited in a different category.

Taste is sweet and malty, with some Belgian candy sugar coming through strongly, followed by a little amount of hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is sweet, smooth and creamy. Good mouthfeel, medium carbonation and full body.

Good drinkablility, tasty beer, I really don't think it is a Barleywine.

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Photo of cbutova
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Interesting to see a Barleywine classified as a Golden Ale on the bottle... anyways... Batch 75.

A- Cloudy and murky brown with a frothy white head that has decent retention. A nice ring leaves some good layers of lace.

S- Pretty much just musty caramel malt, feels mostly like an Old Ale from the nose. Old brown sugar and some vanilla/oak feel, dark fruit/raisin. Also a strange sour patch kid citrus feel to it.

T- Very interesting. Dark roasty brown sugar/molasses on top of nice old caramel malt with slight rye flavor. The 10 hop varieties come into play in a whole slew of ways, spice, citrus, fruit, floral and herbal... maybe a bit too random. Dark fruit and raisin also big. Very sweet when it comes down to it. Oak/vanilla feel probably due to age.

MF- Moderately thick, oily body with lower, silky textured carbonation. Pretty damn warm from the alcohol and has a moderately bitter finish.

DB- A very interesting Barleywine to say the least. The hops are nice but are pretty random. The sweetness is the big flaw here to me, it gets cloying.

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Photo of krisandajt
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Barleywine eh? Not a style I'm a big fan of, but I'll try anything. I'll be doing my best to base this review on style and not so much my personal opinion...

Appearance: Poured from the bottle into my DFH chalice, this brew is a clear reddish brown color. There's virtually no head, barely a thin ring where the beer meets the glass. Not much lacing either, just a few specks of schtick here and there.

Smell: Malty, fruity, and just a little bit of booze. There's also a bit of a Belgian yeast thing going on. As the beer warms a bit, the booziness starts to stand out a bit more.

Taste: We've got some sweet candied fruit flavor up front with a mild bitter finish. There is a bit of booziness, however it doesn't really take away from the overall flavor of the beer.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, smooth, and creamy like a good stout. Surprising, actually.

Drinkability: As far as the style goes, it's one of the better barleywines I've tried. Honestly, it's still not a style that I would regularly reach for. I would say that if you like barleywines, you'll probably like this brew.

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Photo of SeattleBeerBlog
2.79/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- pours a slightly hazy gold with an ok head that dissipates quickly.

S- slightly tart, alcohol, yeasty. good.

T- wow disappointing, paint thinner is not a good taste. a little yeasty as well. was hoping for much more.

M- not overly carbonated or thin, decent here.

D- well I would go with a no compared to other barley wines I have had, even though the bottle calls it a golden? perhaps let this one age a few years and see if the paint thinner goes away and it cools down.

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

a - pour is a cloudy orange color. white head.

s - rotting grapefruit. candy sweetness. belgian yeast.

t - wierd flavor. belgian yeast comes out most to me. some sweetness. its good, but not a typical barleywine. bitter finish

m - very creamy feel. medium body. good carbonation

overall - very interesting. its quite enjoyable. looking forward to trying the wood version.

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

Pours dark copper-orange with a creamy off white head that hangs around awhile, then slowly dissipates leaving globs of lacing.

Aroma is sweet bready caramel malt and Belgian candy sugar. Nice bit of citrus fruit. On the back end there is hot alcohol and a strong musty basement funk.

Taste is exactly what the nose lead me to expect. Sweet bready malt lending brown sugar and light citrus fruit upfront, and dark fruit notes in the finish. Citrus hop seems subdued compared to the general sweetness. Finishes with a lingering musty and fusel alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied.

Overall quite sweet, but enough citrus hop bitterness to keep it from becoming cloying. Alcohol has a strong presence throughout, but I don't mind that in a big beer.

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

Poured a deep cloudy orange with a light but sticky tan head.

The smell was fruity and strong with big tropical notes and sweet toffee.

The flavor is quite a bit different than the nose with a big citrusy hop flavors. The fruit flavors in the nose are much more subdued here with a funky bit of yeast and some bready notes. The hops really tend to take over the more I drink it.

The mouthfeel is thick and full and a bit resiny.

Another winner from hair of the dog.

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

122nd Review on BA
Bottle to pint.

I 1st drank this beer 3 years ago in Seattle but never having signed up for BA, took me awhile to snag another bottle to review. Glad I did.

App- A very different color of a golden brown with a subtle caramel color with a huge eggshell head on it. Took forever for it to drop.

Smell- Mostly an apple smell with some grape juice and a earthy hoppy aroma make this a very interesting smelling brew.

Taste- I really don't see how this is a BW but it has a big flavor profile that I sat back and enjoyed while watching some Sunday NFL action. A very good beer while nothing remained what I thought in the 3+ years since I tasted this.

Mouth- I'm still pondering that this is a BW but it was very sweet and creamy. It was tasty but not overtly in your face.

Drink- 3 years in between the last two drinks. I don't think I will be going that far this time. I'll have to have one again sooner. A very tasty brew and delicious at that.

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Photo of kylehayworth
3.73/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I will say this is my second attempt of an offering from hair of the dog. The first time, it was a complete gusher, rendering it undrinkable. I decided to try it again, due to the proding of a co-worker.

A: The color is really nice. It has a cloudy brown color, but pops a little more with hints of orange. The head is great. It forms about one finger, lowered a bit, then stuck around for the long haul.

S: Has a very woodsy smell, a slight smell of oak perhaps. I get a very very mild nose of vanilla and caramel.

T: Very sweet. It has some flavors of spice poking in and out, as well as some dark fruits flavors, but the sweet syrup dominates.

M/D: Mouthfeel is thick and creamy, alcohol is well hidden by the sweetness. It has a syrup like quality that adds a nice texture. Overall, it is a good beer, it just might be a bit to sweet and syrupy for me.

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Photo of birdypowder
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

One for the cellars! I opened a bottle from batch 79 and complexity and intrigue flowed out.

Strong thick white foam stands resilient over a hazy mysterious dark golden brew laced with beckoning red hues. Decent lacing for a 10% beer.

A very unique combo of aromas pickled my nose into confusion. Apple juice, berries, pear, toasted malt and bubblegum dart around sporadically but all are permeated by a complex hop aroma that seems to hold everything together like glue.

Alcoholic and sweet with a peppy carbonation, this brew tastes like fruit and candy with a sweet and honey like finish. Hard to believe there are 65 IBU's in here as I long for a bit more bitterness.

Amazing. Creamy and smooth, thick.

A bit too sweet and cloying to be considered highly drinkable, however Fred does okay in this category for its style.

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Photo of ne0m00re
3.91/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Live review of a 12 oz bottle.
A: A strange cloudy caramel, which poured with a descent head that died immediately to a very thin collar.
S: Boozey up front, with some vanilla and whiskey barrel charateristics, followed immediately by caramel and white grape juice and an interesting hops profile, which is mostly citric, somewhat resiny, and with a deep earthiness to it.
T: Sweet and everything you'd expect from the smell, except for a noticeable sticky molasses cigar linger. This is malt heavy, but well balanced with hops that aren't overly bitter. It's nice, maybe a little too sweet with a dry malt extract coating on the mouth, but nice.
M: Thick and somewhat sticky, with a mild carbonation that helps break things up.
D: OK. One bottle is enough.

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Fred from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
4.09 out of 5 based on 1,819 ratings.
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