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

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859 Reviews

Brewed by:
Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
Oregon, United States | website

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: 859 | Ratings: 1,784
Photo of clvand0
3.69/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber color with a large head that had nice retention and left lacing on the glass - lots of chunk came from the bottle. The aroma didn't do it for me - very strong - lots of bready and lots of hops that I don't really recognize. The flavor was much the same. Big malt presence, but there is a very strong hop presence as well as a lot of alcohol. Lots of fruits. Tastes a lot better than it smells. The mouthfeel is moderate, but seems a little oily and thin. The drinkability is ok, but it is very strong and aggressive.

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Photo of Floydster
3.69/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle purchased from Liquid Solutions in Oregon for four dollars and some change

Batch #68, pulled out of my cellar after three to four months

Thought this was more of a Belgian pale ale than a barleywine but that is just my opinion

Poured into an oversized wine glass with a murky light orange color and that an obvious golden tint when held up to the light, nice 3/4 super creamy head that lasted a long time and was surprisingly very thick, great retention and lots of sticky lacing all the way through

Smell was too perfume-like for me and had lots of different fruit, both dark ones and citrus, good amounts of sweet malt, some dry hoppiness and also some faint toffee aromas

To me, the taste was all over the place and had some good qualities, just not quite the balance I was looking for, too hoppy when the beer was cool and when it warmed there was far too much malt, could taste tangerine, apricot, chocolate, hard liquor, and toffee, which do not all mold together well, lots of sweetness, could taste strong flavors of sour apple towards the end along with some different herbs and spices, like I said this beer was doing too many different things, would have been better if it was more mellow which is why I recommend aging this one for at least a year, too strong and wild for me, still not bad overall

The body was average, excess of carbonation but the taste stuck around for a long time, left a spicy finish on the back of the tongue

Could not drink more than a couple bottles of this, high ABV and heavy stuff, meant for drinking slowly and letting warm to see its different complexities, filled me up after one and its sweetness got to me

Not a bad beer from Hair of the Dog, only the third one of their beers that I have tasted, cannot wait to try the wood version of this that is sitting in my cellar because I have had high expectations for that one for quite some time now, recommended trying this even though though a bottle runs almost five dollars

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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 ManekiNeko
3.68/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle of batch #36 served chilled in a pint glass. Enjoyed slowly so it had a chance to warm up.

Appearance: Clear amber colored liquid with yeasty floaties (mmm... floaties). A small, but extremely thick light khaki head that eventually reduced to a small film of bubbles. Impressive lacing.

Smell:Very yeasty and bready. Honey and medicinal aromas dominate. Piney bitterness in the background. Caramel malt underlies the whole lot.

Taste: Pronounced alcoholic taste, but not overly harsh. Peppery, piney and medicinal hop aftertastes. Sweet, almost Belgian-style caramel malt sweetness. Tons of strong flavors competing with each other rather than getting along in harmony.

Mouthfeel: Thick and chewy with a lengthy aftertaste. Slightly astringent.

Drinkability: The poor booze masking kinda hurts the drinkability a bit, but not as bad as others I've had. Definite sipper, make sure you age this sucker for a bit before consumption.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
3.68/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into snifter. From notes

A - Fantastic pour. Orange to light copper and amber. Super fluffy stark white head.

S - Sweet, brown sugar, candied sugar, regular get the point. I do get some zest of lemon, butterscotch and rye.

T - See above. Very sweet, butterscotch, brown sugar mostly. The hint of lemon and oranges is there as well along with candied apricots. Very good

M - Sticky, medium fairly well balanced.

O - I enjoyed this beer except it was a touch too sweet for me, but still remained quite tasty. I continue to love HotD products.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.68/5  rDev -10%
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 rhinos00
3.68/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 70. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

A- Very gorgeous. Pours a radiant, light amber. Perfect clarity. Produced two fingers width of white, fluffy head. Over time reduced to a solid ring around the glass.

S- Getting a lot of candied, dark fruits with hints of sweet malt beneath. The candied aroma is very pungent.

T- Upfront the sweetness really comes out from the fruit-like flavors. This flavor continues and eventually becomes the base flavor throughout. Midway through to the end a unique rye / hops bitterness takes over the beer. Still a lot of heat from the alcohol.

M- Medium bodied with plenty of carbonation. Wish the body was more viscous. Just a little too thin for my liking.

D- The hops bitterness and the alcohol really put a damper on the drinkability. All of the 10% abv plus more was easily felt.

Overall, I could see this one blossoming with some age (I dislike strong hops flavors in my barleywines). THe hotness really needs to mellow out. Definitely will need to revisit this one in a couple years.

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

12oz. Bottle poured into a over sized sniffer.

Appearance : dark cloudy yellow in color . Half inch of white head that fades away quickly leaving a white ring behind.

Smell : Very fragrant bouquet of citrus fruit. Subtle hop aromas also. I'm also picking up on some sweetness in the aroma

Taste :nice flavor profile lots of sticky malt sweetness . Im not getting much hop flavor just very subtle hop aromas.

Mouthfeel :full bodied brew that is thick and sticky with medium carbonation

Overall :this is a quality beer that I did enjoy but will probably not seek out again

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.67/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark amber in color with a frothy ring of head. Smell is hops and a lot of them. Along with some evergreen coming through as well.
Taste is floral, perfumy hops. Somewhat bitter. Very full and filling on the mouthfeel. You only get the slightest hint of alcohol in the taste. Almost has a acidic grapefruit taste to it.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.66/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(Batch 75 tasted 10/10/10. The others are from notes of prior tasting as noted):

Batch 71: Dark brown; sweet fruity coffee nose; bitter chocolate/malt flavors; big flavors with great balance and flavors; coffee hop finish; big; nice. 1/09;

Batch 73: like above but with a bit more carmel/toffee nose. 02/09;

Batch 74-like above with a juxtaposition of very sweet Belgian fruit, coffee and carmel with a hop character and finish. 09/09;

Batch 75 10/10/10 - Medium brown with a thin white head. Nose of sweet carmel and toffee and almost a sweet "mint" character that is very pleasant. A light carmel whiskey character in the nose. Creamy mouth with nice elegant carbonation. Off balance but not bad. Flavors of big burnt toast; big burnt carmeled coffee. Very sweet front that goes to a very pine/grapefruit skin bitter. Complex layered flavors that go from maple, carmel, toffee to bitter coffee to bitter pine finish. Complex, interesting, strong alcohol and whiskey character with big, big flavors. A sipper; not real drinkable. 10/10

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Photo of Bonsall_Phil
3.66/5  rDev -10.5%
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 Mitchster
3.66/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Batch # 45. Named after Fred Eckhardt, and brewed with 10 different hop varieties and aromatic and rye malts. Clear copper with orange accents, forming a large, pillowy peaking light beige head atop fine bubbles. Moderately strong carbonation. Aroma is of fresh varietal hops, a hint of grass, vanilla, alcohol, and sugary pale malts. Taste is spicy, flowery hops, sticky abundant pale malts, a bite of alcohol with a peppery, astringent finish. Moderately-strong floral bitter finish. Complex, yet not very balanced. Rich in body. Mouthfeel is initially bright with a ruddiness 1/2 way through. The pronounced alcohol flavor tends to ruin this one.

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Photo of pmarlowe
3.66/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Batch 82. Tulip glass.

Pours a medium gold with three fingers of beautiful, dense white foam. Good retention and pretty streaks of lace stick all over the glass. Very uncharacteristic for a barleywine. Smells like sweet orange and lemon, honey, apricot, mango, jasmine tea and some floral notes, nice spicy rye malt in the background. Very nice complexity; this has some of the characteristics you would expect from an IPA (orange, tropical fruit, floral) without the same hoppy kick. Definitely smells sweet, though. Dominant on the palate is straight up sugar and honey, some spicy rye, some bitter pineapple hoppiness, with a nice lingering sweetness. This tastes a fair bit less interesting than it smells; not one note, but not much more than two. Full bodied, mouth coating, medium carbonation. I'll echo what some past reviewers have said about this coating your lips. Overall, although there was a decent amount of complexity, for me the sugar just dominated the taste a little too much for me to enjoy this. A version with toned down sweetness would bring this to another level.

I found that this opens up a lot more at warmer temperatures; the sweetness is just too much even after 10-15 minutes out of the refrigerator. It's still sweet no matter what.

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

A: A very pale orange pour, fairly cloudy. Big off-white head. Retention is quite excellent. Decent streaks of lacing.

S: Big caramel malt and belgian sugar. Lots of sweet orange. Maybe a hint of honey? Some rum-soaked raisin and a tiny bit of melon perhaps?

T: Super sweet and syrupy oranges. Huge caramel malt. Some honey. Just a hint of herbal and citrus bitterness in the aftertaste but mostly overpowered. Tastes like a ridiculously sweet english barleywine with belgian yeast.

M: Syrupy, cloyingly sweet. Heavy.

O: Not a bad flavor but it's just out of control sweet. Trust me, I love beers like Choklat and Rogue Double Chocolate. This reminds me of a JW Lees with some tweaks. It's not horrible but it was hard to put down the whole bottle due to the sweetness.

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

A - Poured an orangeish color with a huge off white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Has a very sweet malty nose

T - Just like it smells its very sweet malt upfront then has an alcohol finish

M - This beer has a fuller body with high carbonation to it

D - Overall this is a good enjoyable beer it wouldn't be my first choice in choosing a barleywine but its still worth getting to try out

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

Very tasty. I poured the beer, the Hair of the Dog Fred. Very nice deep golden/amber color with a pretty sweet head, nice residual ring left behind. Thick with head left sticking to the side of the glass from point of complete pour to level of drinking. Smell was dead on comparable to an abbey. Very nice taste, aftertaste, and mid range flavor. Mid gave the hint of hops, complex hops, forward taste like an abbey ale and the finish flowed right through with a yeasty malty ending and hops. Mouthfeel was almost full. With the complex tastes, something dies out quickly I couldn't put my finger on. Thick and stroung, not that easy to drink, but a fantastic sippable brew. I drank it out of a wine glass.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of jimj21
3.64/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bought a single of this. Batch 72. Twelve ounce bottle poured into a snifter. Beer pours an orangish golden color. It is hazy and there is a little sediment. Not much of a head, but good lacing. Some bubbles rising in the glass.

There is a lot going on in the nose. Foremost is sweet malt. I'm also getting notes of candied fruits and a little citrus. There are also some aromas of alcohol and spice. The spice might be from the large variety of hops used.

Very sweet up front. Very malty. There is a lot of fruitiness as well. Peaches, pineapple, and and plums. Floral and spicy hop flavors. A little tart. Some alcohol in both the taste and a warming feeling. A little dry in the finish.

Very undercarbonated. As a result, it's ends up being very syrupy. Resiny and sticks to the tongue to an extent. Alcohol is quite warming.

This one is a very slow sipper. I'm not sure as to when Batch 72 was created, but I'm assuming it would probably mellow out a bit with some more age on it. A good beer though with a lot of complexity.

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Photo of dionito
3.63/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This is really unfortunate. I picked this two days ago from Whole Foods and it is 100% flat. No head, no bubbles, no nothing. Taste is still ok, but I can only imagine how good this beer might be with the balance of carbonation. mouth feel is syrupy and overly sweet taste, but you get the hop bitterness and malt. I'm very disappointed, though. I was expecting this to be a great experience, which hasn't been. I'll try to pick another bottle soon enough.

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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 chinchill
3.62/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. cellared bottle from 2008.

Poured amber and more-or-less clear. Although bottle conditioned, the aromatics seem similar to a barrel-aged beer. Some of that is the suggestion of brandy in this high ABV ale. Also smells a little fruity. Has a medium-full body with some harshness from the alcohol.
Taste: very strong flavor; no style on bottle but "imperial barleywine" seems appropriate. Mildly bitter.

O: an extreme ale that seems a little over the top and with the high ABV a bit too obvious. Rough and unrefined in contrast with an aged Firestone DBA that preceded it.

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Photo of JandJMD
3.62/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I don't consider myself qualified to complete a full review, but will do so since there seemed to be an issue with what seemed to be an otherwise good beer.

It poured with absolutely no head. No carbonation at all. Completely flat. There were no signs that there were an issue with the cap or bottle, so not sure what went wrong.

It was a dark orange/brown. Kind of hazy. The taste was overly sugary sweet. Molasses and caramel flavor. Really strong sugar taste. Not really much alcohol flavor for 10%. Really malty on the finish after the sweetness fades.

Would like to have a good bottle of this. Seems like it should be a good beer, just a bad bottle.

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Photo of yankeepride
3.61/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

This one was a little all over the map for me. If you hate super-sweet beer, then run to this one, and then run screaming in horror in the opposite direction. It poured almost flat, and the massive malt bill comes right out of the glass and smacks you. You get all sorts of fruit flavors; banana, cantaloupe, guava, and whatever else your nose is sensitive enough to pick up. However, the sheriff in this town is the Belgian candy sugar. It is so syrupy and sweet that it has a bit of a sticky taste to it. I picked up the slightest bit of hops toward the very end, but the sugar completely overwhelms all sense of balance. As my first HotD beer, it is clear these guys don't mess around, but this was just too, well, too for me to truly love.

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Photo of neonbrown82
3.61/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I can't remember who sent me this bottle in trade (it's been quite a while), but I'm pretty sure it was Crosling. Looks great. Has a nice clear tangerine color, only the slightest bit hazy. Plenty of carbonation supports an epic marshmallowy head. Excellent retention and unrivaled sheets of lacing.

The smell is overwhelming. Lots of graininess with a bit of roast and some raisin. Plenty of piney, grapefruity, and herbal hops as well, but those have kind of faded after a few months in my cellar. Just a hint of alcohol surprisingly enough.

The flavor is every bit as intense as the nose, and even more so. Thick and chewy malts hit up front with some slightly sweet flavors. As the liquid passes over the palate it brings out some more grainy flavors, most notably a touch of roast and incredibly raisiny malts. The hops are fairly subdued. There is plenty of the hops flavor, as per the nose, but not much bitterness to speak of... or at least the malt has covered up what bitterness there is. A touch of an alcohol burn in the finish. After reading the label, it suddenly became obvious that there was some rye in this beer, which explains some of the roughness and complexity. The 10 different hop varieties from around the world explains how the hops seem nearly undefinable as well.

The mouthfeel is good. Huge body. Surprising balance for such a big and overwhelming beer. The aftertaste lingers forever. Just a little bit of a burn. Could be much more drinkable if the raisin was toned down quite a bit. Pretty good though.

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Fred from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
4.09 out of 5 based on 1,784 ratings.
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