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

864 Reviews

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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Reviews: 864 | Ratings: 1,804
Photo of SierraFlight
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle shared by Kevin among a few folks at Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach. Poured into a taster. Brown-orange in appearance with a few floaties despite a careful pour. A two-plus finger head forms, stays for a while, then leaves spots of lacing as it recedes. Aroma is caramel, vanilla, alcohol, dried pears, and apples. Taste, initially, is moderate sweetness with caramelized sugar and dried fruit notes. On the finish there is a citrus hop flavor, rye spiciness, and alcohol. Full body, thick, chewy, sticky texture, soft carbonation in the mouth which is strange after the bubble show on the pour, and a finish that is initially abruptly bitter and has a warming boozy tail.

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Photo of jellikit
3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: light orange. Clear. Flat. No head.
Smell: toffee. Caramel. Slight yeast aroma.
Taste: caramel, orange, malty sugars, alcohol. Grapefruit peel.
Mouthfeel: low-to-no carbonation. BIG body. Sweet.
Overall: big beer. Sweet. Complex in flavor. Boozy. Will buy again.

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Photo of Taybeh
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a single bottle (batch 90) into a Great Divide Cervoise, first review of the new year

A: Goldenrod with a lot of bubbles and sediment, huge head and huge retention
S: big caramel and malt flavors, alcohol, yeast, sweet dried apricots, apples, raisins, vague hoppy edge
T: big flavors -- lots of layers of sweet chewy malt, rendered more complex with some molasses, dark dry fruit; earthy hops & esters that linger on the end
M: heavy, chewy, and syrupy despite moderate carbonation.

Overall: This is a big beer, complex flavors that integrate nicely.

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Photo of LouZ
3.32/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle. Appears to be a thick beer out of the bottle, golden in color - like apricot. Hazy and unfiltered, and absolutely no head to be found. Smell is on the sweeter side, some citrus; resembles a barleywine. Taste is sweet: sugar is the first impression, and it's pronounced. Small hop finish, unfortunately; espcially for one said to have 10 different varities. Feel is on the thicker side; very low carbonation. Overall, it's not what I was expecting and while not a terrible beer, it would not be one I'd go for again.

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Photo of ClePaul
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look 8/10
Smell 17/20
Taste 35/40
Feel 8/10
Drinkability 16/20

Overall 84/100

Meh, had a batch 77 from 2009... Wasn't really my thing. Almost tasted more like a Belgium. Had lots of dark fruit and fig tastes. Maybe it oxidized, maybe not my thing, regardless I wasn't left with a great impression~

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Photo of zac16125
3.52/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a snifter
Batch number 92

Thanks to KevSal for sending this one over in a trade.

A: Pours a very hazy, to the point of being opaque, dark apricot color with lots of sedimentation. There is essentially zero head, just a few bubbles of indiscernible color, which form an outer ring. Leaves almost zero lacing. 3

S: Aroma is booze and sweetness. Candied sugar, caramel/toffee, and some sweet citrus notes. 4

T: Booze, lots of fusel ethanol, followed by sweet notes. Lots of candied sugar, some sweet Belgian estery notes, subtle citrus. 3.5

M/D: Almost zero carbonation, nearly flat, which gives it a syrupy mouthfeel. Pretty heavy alcohol presence, even for the ABV. Drinkability is ok. 2.75

O: Pretty big disappointment here. The lack of carbonation really hurts it a lot. It kind of reminds me of a DFH 120min, gone wrong. Not sure if I got a bad batch or what, but its certainly a let down from what I was hoping for. 3.5

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Photo of beerdedking
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

First time with Fred. Batch 90. Bottled sometime in 2013 if I were to guess. I was forced to extrapolate from HOTD site.
Very slow, careful pour into snifter gave up a cumulus cloud of head, 2 fingers minimum.
Golden copper in hue, with much yeast sediment in suspension. Smells vaguely like a Belgian Pale Ale.
I can tell it's going to be a dry beer already. Initially, it is a strong Belgian Pale, then the drying resinous
hops kick in. As it warms, the rye malt also appears, along with some oak. Lacing is persistent.
This beer is too complex to describe with one 12ozer, I'd need a couple to sum it up. I may just arrange that.
I get why it's categorized as an American Strong. It's just too complex to pigeonhole...

Overall, easily a beer every enthusiast should give a go...

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Photo of richj1970
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%

Poured from 12 oz bottle into snifter. Bottle labeled Batch 90.

A: Pours a cloudy honey yellow with large 3 finger white head that seemed to last forever. Generous 360 degree lacing.

S: Raisins, pears, honey, and dried pineapple.

T: Light caramel sweetness and gentle hop bitterness. Some soft fruit flavors, pineapple, and apple juice.

M: Medium body with lots of carbonation. A subtle sweetness lingering on the tongue.

O: An excellent strong ale. I look forward to trying another brew from HOTD.

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Photo of brianmandell
2/5  rDev -51%

Batch 92. Hazy golden pour with zero head. Visibly viscous.

The nose is very sweet with honey, caramel and hints of stone fruits. A touch of sherry.

Taste is quite similar to the nose except it is pervaded by a strongly unpleasant astringent bitterness. Flavors of sweet honey, vanilla, caramel, raisins and sherry come through along with an alcohol bite.

Mouthfeel is slightly viscous with no carbonation.

I didn't mind the lack of carbonation so much as I couldn't stand the astringent bitterness. Smells great but tastes awful. Drainpour.

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Photo of ronricorossi
4/5  rDev -2%

bottle at The Hog's Apothecary in Oakland

a hazy golden color, this one's strong and sweet. Rather unusual - not sure I've ever had anything that's closely comparable. It's like drinking a super sweet and sticky, super boozy glass of apple juice. Fabulously inventive, but it's so specific a profile, I'm not sure I'd seek this one out again and again. Have to be in the precise mood. The barrel aged versions would be interesting to try - this is definitely a beer that would benefit from some warm, soft oak/bourbon/brandy/whatever overtones (I'm guessing?)

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Photo of LambicPentameter
3.99/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Enjoyed out of a 12 oz brown bottle with "batch 90" marked clearly on the label. Drinking this as part of a Conflux No. 1 deconstruction tasting--Fred, Adam, Stoic, and Dissident followed by Collage. Served in an old fashioned glass.

Appearance (4.25) - Pours a predominantly translucent tangerine amber color with just a bit of haze from the bottle conditioning yeast with which I wasn't careful enough. A pour of moderate aggression reveals a fluffy finger of off-white foam consisting of tight bubbles with just a few pocks on the surface here and there. It leaves just traces of faint silky lace behind on the sides of the glass.

Smell (4.0) - It doesn't blow me away at first, but as I sit here and take a few more whiffs, I start to gain more appreciation for the elements therein. Golden raisins, light pear and honey come through as well as sweet Hawaiian bread and sticky bun and a sublte touch of clover blossom. There's a hint of the heat from the alcohol that adds a touch of astringency, but really works to break up the sweeter smelling parts of the aroma.

Taste (4.0) - I'm not quite as impressed by the taste as the aroma, but the difference is pretty negligible in the long run. Again there are dominant notes of light fruits like golden raisin and now even some nectarine, perhaps dried pineapple, but the sweetness isn't quite the level I expected based on the smell. Some floral notes of honeysuckle tease the tongue, but don't linger, giving way to floral hops and nice bitterness with even a bit of white pepper.

Mouthfeel (3.75) - Light bodied and high carbonation, and honestly, this is my first real complaint about the beer, as the feel just seems a bit out of balance. It's like the level of carbonation creates an airy aspect to the body that doesn't quite support the density of flavors, if that makes any sense. A minor quibble, but I could have done with lower levels of carbonation.

Overall (4.0), a nice strong ale with good flavor that works well with the high level of alcohol without just masking it. Though it's a bit of an undefined style, this one manages to have made a distinct mark on my memory. Probably my least favorite of the Collage "deconstruction" tasting, but that really speaks more to the quality of the beers involved than it does the lack of quality of this one.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 90, poured into a snifter

A- slow pour produces a hazy golden color with lots of sediment floating around, big fizzy and foamy white head that retains long after the pour, leaving some sticky lace behind

S- sweet candied berries with notes of raisins, flowery and herbal hop aromas lead to notes of spiced cider and apple skin. It closes with some peppery rye and a honey-like sweetness. Aromas seem to open up more as it rules

T- sweet candied fruit with hints of brown sugar up front, red apples and grape skin, herbal hop notes with a peppery spice from the rye, a hint of alcohol and sugar on the finish

M- medium body with low carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a smooth and warming finish

O- good mix of spicy and sweet, a slow sipper that still has a bit of heat to it

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Photo of smakawhat
2.34/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Poured from the bottle into a Hair of the Dog tulip glass.

Lifeless pour. No carbonation, just a gooey orange apricot glow out of the bottle, filling with an orange and a screeching lifeless faint tan collar on the edges. Nothing going on here.

Aroma is sweet malts and honey. Hop aroma hinting toward spiced pine, with some clove esters a bit. Sugary. Sucrose, and lots of syrup

Palate hints at what could have been. Flat flat lifeless body. Palate fills with a bit of woody hop and pine, but is overtaken by sugary syrup and sucrose thickness. Lifeless and overly sweet.

Remind me to never drink bottle Hair of the Dog ever again, I'll stick to the brewpub where the beers actually shine. This is a disaster, basically drinking liquid sucrose with a bit of hop bitterness.

--- Old review look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4 | Final 4.3

Fred consists of very yellow almost lemon yellow opaque appearance. A good solid head that doesn't seem to dissipate too quickly.

The nose on the beer is quite surprising. An overwhelming sense of tropical fruit, specifically mango, and sweetness. Tastes of a sweet sugary honey, but not of heavy alcohol that linger in aftertaste.

An enjoyable beer but depending on your preference for fruit you may not care for it.

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Photo of minterro
3.59/5  rDev -12%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bought in Portland Oregon. Poured into a snifter, drank while watching a movie. Aged for a couple of months (at least 3 from purchasing date). Didn't pour sediment out as the bottle instructed.

A&S: upon opening this brew the carbonation pop was very lackluster. No head even when poured vigorously. Transparent dead light orange with hints of yellow. Smell consisted of sweet candies, malty tones, and some spiciness.

T&M: Taste was primarily sweet candy, earthy hops, complimented with an alcohol kick. In my opinion overly sweet. Mouthfeel with very thick and dead, no carbonation bite.

Overall: Honestly I think I over hyped this beer and it didn't live up to my expectations. I have only had two beers from this brewery, and even though I didn't find this one great, I really want to try more of their stuff based on recommendation.

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Photo of Oakhtar
2.73/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Batch 93....third straight flat Fred I have had. Started with batch 88 and now two straight batch 93s are drain pours.

Overall this beer smells and looks great, but I need some more texture. Supposedly bottle conditioned, but there is absolutely no carbonation in this batch. Extremely disappointed with my Fred experience thus far.

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Photo of CaptCleveland
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle into tulip. No bottle dating. Batch 91, for what it's worth.

Thick, viscous, pale orange/apricot liquid. No head or lacing.

Dried fruits, zest, sugar cane.

Tangy, spicy molasses, syrup honey.

Thick, sticky, medium to full body.

Appreciate the chance to try this, but it doesn't do it for me.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.48/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle poured into a Bruery tulip.
10% ABV, Batch #91.

A - Plenty of carbonation streams through the tarnished apricot colored beer, keeping the pillowy off-white head afloat. Sparkling like a fresh blanket of snow, the tall, plateauing foam drapes sheet after sheet of lace on the glass in beautiful fashion.

S - Caramel-drizzled flaky biscuit leads the charge into the nostrils with sharp, spicy rye following closely behind. Delicate fruit nuances of Turkish apricot, white grape sangria, and notes of Honey Crisp apple make their way through warming alcohol while floral, slightly fruity hops punctuate this intensely complex aroma.

T - Rich toasted malts bring forth a Munich-like breadiness akin to an Oktoberfest with honey-spread biscuit flavor and spicy rye bite. Encapsulated by notes of phenolic alcohol, the aromatic fruity esters balance delicately with floral hop attributes.

M - Carbonation dances on the tongue, livening up the medium-full bodied beer while warming alcohol dries out the palate, lingering on the tongue with balanced smoothness.

O - Fred is an ever-changing beer, revealing more and more of itself, leaning towards it's alcohol bite as it warms. Rye and bready malts make for a great combination that work surprisingly well with the yeast's fruity esters. This is one beer I'm pretty excited to open in a few years!

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Photo of spinrsx
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz Bottle from Whole foods San Francisco CA - gift from my wife

Appearance - Coppercolour with a large size fizzy/frothy white head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes.

Smell - Cloves, breads/grains, bruised banana, yeast

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste breads/grains, cloves, and ripe banana. There is also a peppery spice mix and a dry yeasty flavour.

Overall - A really complex tasting brew. Lots of interesting flavours that all work well together. Kind of like a barley wine meets a tripel if that makes any sense. Really enjoyed it.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle as an extra from Homer321. A long time want. Killing me with these! Thanks bud. Batch 92 poured on May 24, 2014. Pours murky orange colored with no head at all. A bit ugly. Huge sweet aroma of malt, some old citrus grapefruit hops, honey, caramel, smells soooo sweet. Flavor follows with a citrus honeycomb flavor, very sweet, lemon rind notes, caramel. Seems to be a lot going on here but verging on cloying. Syrupy thick mouthfeel with no carbonation. Totally flat. I’ve had Fred from the Wood, and I think the wood aging helps makes this a bit more drinkable. A definite sipper. Honestly this is better than the score I gave it overall if it had some carbonation. Very glad I got to try it though.

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Photo of kdahnke123
3.81/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Batch 90, poured into a glass at fridge temperature.
A - Lots of pressure on opening and some head tried to escape the bottle. Pours a slightly cloudy golden yellow color with 2 fingers of white head. The head is very long lasting.
S - A bright, clean crisp hop smell with hints of spice.
T - A balanced hop front with moderate amount of hops.
M - A light bodied beer with lots of carbonation.
O - A nice, strong, golden ale that is well balanced.

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Photo of Bonsall_Phil
3.66/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Purchased from Texas Wine & Spirits in Carlsbad CA
Batch 83

A: poured foamy into a chalice glass, hazy copper heart with golden yellow edges. Creamy white head retains nicely

S: faint perfumed grains and rye, dry grass scent.

T/M: unique taste up front. Hard to pinpoint, but a sweet licorice-like taste that gives way to a grainy rye. A little warmth lingering on the tongue. A little boozy. These flavors are pretty subtle behind the center-stage rye grain which is pretty overpowering. Silky mouthfeel, it's bubbly enough but really coats the tongue nicely. Very nice.

O: very good with the strong ale class, I'll leave it as interesting for my personal tastes but one cannot deny that this is a well- made ale. At the price, I probably would not purchase again as this is not my preferred style.

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Photo of abeeronthebeach
4.09/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Staw gold haze. Head had disappeared by the time my glass arrived.

S - Floral hop aromas blend with the fruitiness of plum.

T - Sweet plum, belgian yeast, mild malt and grapefruit.

M - Easy drinking with moderate alchohol

O - Good, but not particularly memorable.

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Photo of portia99
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Been collecting the Fred variations for quite a while to eventually have as a set to celebrate the life of my cat, Fred, after he passed away - sadly, after 15 great years, that time has arrived. At this point, the quality of the beer is rather inconsequential, but worthy of review as part of the memorial.

Batch #69 (bottled 9-26-07 according to the HotD website vintage listing) poured into a Harpoon gold rimmed 100 Barrel series glass.

A - Bottle opens with a firm whisp of carbonation, which isn't a given after 7ish years in the bottle. An even pour results in a clear, deep amber colored body with ample carbonation steadily rising from the bottom of the glass. Two fingers of pale creamy colored head with a dense, pillowy consistency and good staying power. Mild soapy lacing left on the glass as the head slowly falls to the surface.

S - Malty base up front, buttery caramel and toffee character, spicy rye, yeasty bread-like aromas, honey, biscuit - very complex malt profile. Mild Belgian-y yeasty twang also. At this point in time, the hops have virtually disappeared in the aroma - not surprising.

T - Definitely malt forward here too. Rich caramel and toffee take the lead with a honey-ish sweetness, a bit of lemon iced tea, very bready and yeasty character, tons of rye whose spiciness overpowers any bit of hops that still remain. Noticeable booziness that doesn't get in the way at all - plays off the malt nicely, perhaps dulling the sweetness a bit and creating some balance.

M - Medium body with a smooth, yet tingly mid-level carbonation. Yeasty, fruity/estery, iced tea, warm booziness, traces of vanilla...nice balance. Devoid of hops after 7 years, but not at all out of balance.

O - I have had this before, quite a few years ago, but long enough that I don't remember previous tastings or have anything to compare to. After 7 years in a bottle, this is still quite good...bordering on great. The American Strong Ale style is quite diverse and could result in beers that hardly resemble each other except for area of origin and alcohol content...with this said, it makes it very difficult to have an expectation of a beer prior to trying it. I find this beer to be fairly unique in flavor and aroma. Would love to try more recent vintages to compare, but at 7 years old, batch #69 is holding up well and a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.81/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: a dull golden color. a big, 3 fingers, creamy white head that fades slowly and leaves a lacing on the top and sides. hazy and murky, and just shy of opaque

Smell: huge spicy rye aroma hits me right away.some earthiness to it along with citrus. moderate amount of sweetness and a string booziness. one of the smellier beers i've had.

Taste: opens up with a mix of earth and spicy rye. middle plays out with a mixture of sweets and citrus. I get hints of dark fruits, and a definite caramel/toffee flavor. a good amount of citrus peeks out occasionally. good strong bit of alcohol

Mouthfeel: sticky and bitter rye. little alcohol astringency but still warm. moderate bitterness and a full body

Overall: a good beer. great rye character but missing a little bit in the rest. i'd prefer a bit more citrus and a bit more sweetness. but overall a pretty good beer.

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Photo of 57md
3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Batch 90.

Poured a copper color with a healthy dose of sediment. This offering is both effervescent and extremely live yielding a huge head that lingered on and on. The nose is malty with a hint of something else that is difficult to place.

The flavor profile is mostly malty with a touch of citrusy sweetness and a dry bitter finish. The alcohol is present and not entirely pleasant given the body is thinner than expected in a beer of this style.

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Fred from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
4.08 out of 5 based on 1,804 ratings.
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