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

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 Bfarr
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 dbalsock
3.11/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

App: A huge offwhite great head sits upon the dense amber body, before I drink this and look at the subtle lacing. Very appealing.

Smell: Way too much biscuit in the aroma for me, and I usually love biscuit. There's a fruity alcohol background, but altogether it seems a little overwhelming.

Taste: A complex hop fruitiness comes through on a caramel body, finishing with a major alcoholic twinge. More intense taste than belgian strong pale ales, but similar. The aftertaste is like a forest grove.

Mouthfeel: Dense and thick. There's a good bitterness, but too much alcohol on the aftertaste for me to feel like this is balanced.

Drinkability: 12oz of this is too much for me, and I find it nearly impossible to get through a bottle. I do, however, can imagine it being nice in 4oz samples every once-in-awhile.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.14/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a standard pressure-cap 12oz bottle into a tulip glass in high elevation Libby, Mont. Batch 88. 10% ABV confirmed. Reviewed live.

A- Ridiculous head. Six-fingers thick of off-white creamy bubbles. Hazy orange-brown body with aggressive carbonation. Long retention, forms a mound of head in the middle. Fluffy, airy lacing.

S- Very fruity. Tropical fruit tones. I'm getting guava, pineapple and passion fruit. Fruity and floral hops. Some boozy notes to reflect the high ABV.

T- Bitter and boozy. Alcoholic esters, tropical fruits.

M- Creamy and warm feeling with a boozy after feel. Bone dry.

O- Not as good as the reputation would have me believe. Not impressed.

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Photo of Pamola
3.16/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This is a batch 66 from Viggo at the ebf. Thanks again, man. Crossing my fingers for a solid bottle.

A: Slightly off-white, one-finger head. Cloudy orange brown beer. Damn gorgeous.

S: Funky and buttery with potent sweetness and booziness. Overpowering in the funk category. Hmmm. Funky bottle. HOTD should simply be a lottery. Wait...

T: Should I just review this as a wild ale? If so, my particular bottle has a pleasant wild twang. Sour as hell, actually, but the malt in the back allowed the beer fade from sour to sweet. Objectively it's not that good. I can only ride the bad bottle train so long. Still, had worse.

M: Jumpy, stinging, and smooth in the end with the faint note of barleywine coating.

D: Interesting as it was in this less-than-perfect state, I wouldn't have it again and will definitely edit this when i get a good one.

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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 jeffthecheff
3.18/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Batch 74. Pours a dark and hazy amber color with a fluffy, off white head that lasts forever and leaves great lacing.

The aroma caught me off guard, as I was expecting a spicy, yeasty Belgian nose. Instead, Fred is closer to an American barleywine, like the BA style suggests. First off, it's incredibly strong, It's got a caramelly, malty aroma with a bit of leather, dark fruits, and leather. A little bit of fruity yeast is found, but it's not particularly Belgian.

The flavor is a little too sweet throughout, with a cloying finish. It has a syrupy, raisin and plum flavor up front and a puckering, thick and gooey malt finish. Some nice features, but in the end it didn't mesh well with my palate.

The mouthfeel is where most of the Belgian influence seems to come from. Bottle conditioned to a high carbonation on top of a thick, malty body. If I were to have this again, I wouldn't open a bottle myself. This beer was complex and interesting, but not very drinkable.

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

Bright, slightly cloudy orange in color with a huge, creamy and fluffy head that does not quit. Very hoppy aroma-has a big fresh mowed grass smell to it. Huge hop flavor dominates-almost to an astringent degree. Very puckering and almost sour. Needs a lot more malt to balance the hops. I realize this is a US version but it still needs some more malt please. Ok mouthfeel. Lacks even the oily slickness of a lot of hops. As much as I love US barleywines this one just doesnt do it for me. Way overhopped-even for a US Imperial I find it overhopped. Not my thing.

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Photo of corby112
3.18/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy amber color with a nice sized white head. Aroma is dominated by the strength of alcohol. Also contains hints of spices and white fruits. Taste is very similar to the aroma in which the 10% abv is not masked very well at all. tastes of strong alcohol that is slightly balanced with golden apple and spices. The alcohol taste becomes less overbearing as it warms.

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Photo of Uncle_Jimmy
3.21/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into a glass.

Aroma- Peach, cantaloupe, floral with a light hits of citrus and vanilla. just a hint of alcohol sharpness. Smell is amazing

Appearance- Thick mountains of cream colored head that lingers, but not much lacing. Hazy Orange color(I may have poured this into the glass a little too aggressively)

Flavor- Carmely, nutty, toffee, sweetness with a big peppery Rye Finish . I get an alcoholic bitterness as opposed to a hoppy bitterness in this one. A little piney at the end.

Mouthfeel- Sticky, coats the mouth like a syrup but the rye and the alcohol give a slight burn

Overall- as it warmed i could taste some slight similarities to the Double DBA (which I really enjoy). In fact, i would have mistaken this for a barrel aged beer. However, This beer didn't do it for me though. If i want the flavor i would do the Double DBA, if i wanted the buzz i would grab a Bigfoot. If I wanted the Jewish Deli flavor I would grab the great divide Rye.

I wouldn't turn it down but i wouldn't order another

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Photo of ballewblake
3.21/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Barelywine or Golden ale?

Poured from bottle into my trusty Duvel tulip.

Two finger white head, amber in color. Dark yeast expelled from the bottle, multiple washes and it was still coming out. Sweet malt with a little yeast and alcohol on the nose after popping the cap; glass is even more pronounced. Even more [alcohol] on the palette, whoa, this is hot.. No attempts to hide the alcohol on this one. Getting some hops in the nose the more I get into it. Head retention is good, clean lacing that lasts with the swigs, not a whole lot of sponging. Not horrible, but really hot and that leads me to thinking the balance is off. Maybe this one was conditioned too long.

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Photo of JasonA
3.22/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch 66 received in a BIF in 06.

Uh oh. Pours a light carmel more unfiltered translucent than transparent. Virtually no carbonation present. I am worried about this bottle. Agitate, agitate, nothing. I am worried.

Light malt, maybe grapefruit zest, and some ABV. Maybe biscit, maybe hops.

Wow. Talk about against the sensal grain! Smooth malt, carbonation in the mouth, light bodied for the ABV. Better than expected (thankfully)

I finshed an Adam from the same 06 timeframe, cellared the same way. Though somehow it doesnt seem this bottle came through. Im going to chalk this up to a bad batch. While this isnt a horibble brew, it simply doesnt compare to the Fred Wood I had originally and the Adam I just finished.

This makes me think of Barley Wine and making a 'Light'. Medium bodied, not a huge malt character.

I almost dont want to submit this rating. Sorry.

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Photo of fox227
3.22/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 1 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

For awareness purposes, I want to report what I've read from others in that this batch, 89, and others, have not been carbed, leaving a totally flat beer that gives the impression of a beer that has been poured more than two hours before. This isn't small head, this is zero foam. What happened? This seemed like a good beer, with flavors of candied sugar, toffee and caramel, but no life for these elements to become enjoyable.

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Photo of colts9016
3.22/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

From 2009 poured into a snifter at 50 degree. An orange color beer with some amber hue. The head is one finger thick with some retention. The clarity of is slightly opaque.

Citrus, bread, biscuit, yeast, caramel, floral, and boozy.

Orange peel, bread, biscuit, yeast, caramel, and some stone fruit, like peaches, and apricots.

The mouthfeel is dry slightly carbonated and sticky.

This strong ale is sticky and sweet, I think it is over aged, the body of the beer is different. I really don't care for this one.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.23/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch #51. Pours a five-fingered thick, creamy, white head that goes very slowly and leaves gobs of lace. Pour this very slowly. Clear amber color. Light-medium carbonation. Nose is distinctly alcoholic. Starts and finishes alcoholic and some bitterness. Lingering bitter aftertaste. $4.40 for a 12oz bottle.

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Photo of magictacosinus
3.23/5  rDev -21%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.75

EDIT 6/15/2014: Apparently this beer tastes like this fresh as well, only evermore sweet, almost cloyingly so. I struggled to finished my 4oz of this at the brewpub in Portland. Honeyed, syrupy, yeasty, and too much of a butterscotch bomb to wade through enjoyably. I've given up trying to enjoy this, and will opt for a Moscato d'Asti the next time around.

Finally found an opportunity to crack this open. Batch 87 - poured out of a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Well, I can safely say that this at least pours a beautiful beer in many respects - contains the very sort of showmanship I give high marks to pretty beers for. Cloudy, creamy, orange amber (sunset, really), complete with SEVEN fingers worth of a frothy, creamy white head that nearly overflows when poured to the top of the glass. And, this was when I was careful in pouring it as well. How does a 20 proof beer produce something of this monstrosity? The secret is the bottle conditioning, and this won me over in the process. Leaves behind tons of thick lacing, as well as an egg-white beaten head that's only found in few other beers I've seen, such as Orval. Does it smell the same, however?

Err... No. Still, contains some interesting things going on right here that make it different from your run-of-the-mill Belgian-style strong ale. Canned peaches, pineapples, pears, and raisins make up the main aroma, with tons and tons of caramel and butterscotch following soon afterwards. Contains a funky yeasty character but a rather dulled flavor throughout. I'd imagine this is a bit old at this point, but I wouldn't know with the lack of the bottling date. There's no bitterness here to speak of, but it's definitely funky and sweet in its own regards. I did expect a bit more, however.

The flavor is about the same, but I can definitely say with confidence that this bottle in particular is a bit old by now. What's left is mainly a yeast and malt stew, with the hops long gone and faded away. Notes of candied pineapple, peaches, pears, and green apple fill the tongue, only to be cut by intense butterscotch and caramel from the malts, with a faded citrus characteristic that is from the dulled hops. I'd imagine this is more impressive while it's fresh, but there's something underwhelming about it, especially in face of its high ABV. Then again, I can't TASTE the alcohol under the sugar, but I can definitely feel it. Definitely well carbonated - as creamy and world-class as any well done home brew. Gets progressively sweet as it warmed up - I had to pair it with fatty funky cheese and meat to cut it down a bit.

Not quite what I expected - I heard this was one the brewery's better readily available beers, but it's a bit too old at this point and I'd love to try it again fresh one day and give it a new review. It feels a little one-note at this point, and it's struggling to win my full attention. At least it paired extremely well with a handful of honey glazed nuts, but other than that, there's not much else I can go with this.

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Photo of PPOmaha
3.24/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Batch 85

Aroma: molasses, brown sugar and some sherry notes. Spicy hop aroma in the background.

Appearance: dark golden to orange with some debris from bottle conditioning.

Flavor: sweetness: raisin and fig. Hop flavor is still prominent though. Some paper and sherry.

Mouthfeel: highly carbonated and slightly lingering sweetness in finish.

Overall: not the best bottle I've had. Slightly oxidized and more dark malt character than I remember. Still a good beer.

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Photo of birchstick
3.24/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A - pours a copperish orange color with a MASSIVE head that leaves a very frothy aftermath all over the glass.

S - smells of sweet candied orange marmalade, spices, some caramel malts and a bit of hops

T - this thing has a ton going on - almost too much. Really sweet candied sugars up front move to some fruity flavors. These fade to a bit of toffee flavor. Next up is a barrage of bitter hops but are then overtaken again by the sweetness. Really sweet overall.

M - creamy and full - really nice body

D - I still don't know how I feel about this. At one point it was really enjoyable, at others it was really hard to drink. I think the sweetness mixed in with the pronounced bitterness didn't work as well as I would have hoped. Really glad to have tried it.

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Photo of Michael_Miller_206
3.25/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Despite a nice aroma the taste and mouth feel were both surprisingly disappointing. I generally love golden ales, and the surface characteristics of this beer suggested that I would enjoy this one as well, but the actual taste did not bear that out.

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Photo of Alpar
3.27/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A very nice golden orange color with a small white that recedes quickly. Nicely carbonated.

S: Smells very sweet, I am getting hops and honey or maybe sugar.

T: Sweet just like the smell, with some hops on the back of the tongue.

M: A bit coating but not too much. Very nice.

O: This is pretty good. I was expecting something different but this definitely didn't let me down.

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Photo of kbeals
3.28/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A- Pours a bright gold color. Two fingers of fluffy white head leaves excellent lacing. Good retention also. Pretty clear as well.

S- Candied sugar and some sort of hoppy aroma. The sugar and malts really stick out in this one, toffee and caramel. Very sweet smelling.

T- Wow, very sweet. This is probably the sweetest beer I've ever tasted. Definitely taste the candied sugar they talk about on the bottle. No real detectable trace of hops in the flavor. I know barleywines are usually one sided toward malts, but this really goes to the extreme.

M- Super smooth, heavy body. Almost syrupy, which kind of detracts from it.

D- Meh, it was way too sweet IMO. A decent beer but probably would never buy it again. At least it was in a twelve ounce bottle, so kudos to HOTD for that.

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Photo of taez555
3.28/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured a HUGE foamy white head that took almost 10 minutes to die down to the point where I could drink it. The body was a hazy reddish brown.

The nose was a pure natural, almost homebrew, smell. An interesting mixture of hop smells. Citrus, natural earth, pepper, sweet pepper, yeast, fruit, caramel and a slight alcohol.

The taste was big and thick. Again, a very natural homebrewed beer taste dominates. A very fine natural carbonation. A bizarre mixture of hop flavors. Citrus, earth, malt, rye, caramel, fruit, some toasted malt tones. The bitterness is in your face and fights for control of your senses against the huge mix of hop tones. The rye taste really comes through as it starts to warm. Huge alcohol that hides it’s flavor but hits you hard half way through.

It’s a beer that boasts a mixture of 10 different hops, and well… it tastes like it. This is the kitchen sink beer. I suppose if you wanted a case study in beers and felt like analyzing this beer all day then this is the beer for you. I found that the mixture of hops never really seemed to fit, sort of like making a meal with everything left over in your fridge. It just doesn’t taste right. It’s not undrinkable, it just tastes to me like it was made by an inexperienced homebrewer who went crazy and instead of planning out a specific style or idea just tossed everything in. Take it for what it is, a Frankenstein beer. I’ll past next time.

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Photo of maximum12
3.28/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Busted out for review #200!

Thanks for my first Hair of the Dog goes out over the airwaves to cloudskipper, who dropped this into a legendary box rec'd during the Secret Santa 2008. With the quality of all the brews in that box, I'm going to be thanking cloudskipper for a long, long time.

Almost as long as it took for the head of this bottle of batch #73 to calm down enough to pour out the entire bottle. Frankly I don't know why anyone cares about lacing & head - it just delays getting to the main event! Smell is severely subdued, just the barest whiff of alcohol & sunny fruits.

Unwary, I take a gulp & Fred promptly sears the back of my throat. Holy crap. First thing I notice is a weird burning that tears at the back of my throat & fires its way downwards. What was that? Spices? Cloaked alcohol? Small booted feet? The taste itself is pleasant enough. But I'm just too distracted by the fire in my nose hairs to be able to describe it accurately.

Well, I was expecting mind-blowing & Fred, while appropriately bizarre, just didn't turn my crank. Not bad, & something I'm very happy to have tried, but I doubt I'd reach for another.

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Photo of winomark
3.29/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch 46

Appearance: Big hiss as the cap comes off. First pour is ALL foam. Takes 20 minutes to pour the pint. Nice, slightly hazy medium gold color. Huge lacing all over the glass.

Aroma: Lots of toasty malt, with some fruitiness present. Slightly creamy tones. Smells warming, if that makes sense. Pleasant and rich nose.

Taste: Massive alcohol sweetness dominates. Malty richness makes an appearance. Warming alcohol controls the finish. Somewhat unbalanced. Some dryness deep in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Very rich, coating and flavorful. Alcohol adds both depth and sweetness. Slightly overpowering.

Drinkability: Not sure how to classify this one. I enjoyed tasting it, but not sure how much I like it. Quite alcoholic in the taste; needs more malt to offer more balance.

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.29/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Now, if only Drew Brees would throw a touchdown pass to Shockey all would be right in the world...Very cloudy amber - a shade darker than a hefeweizen and a shade lighter than a pale ale...No head to apeak of and, therefore, no lacing. Second HotD beer I've had like that - mayhaps I'm getting old bottles?? Faint aromas of caramel, vanilla and something candy-like - maybe honeycomb? Flavor is huge and sweet - barleywine-like in nature. Very rich in the mouth. Some alcoholo, but very smooth. Lots of sweetness could be cloying for many, but I like it as it's balanced well with the hops. Hop finish is understated but nice bitterness. Finish is not long and is kind of uneventful given the initial burst of flavor. Expensive at $3.99/12oz. bottle, bringing drinkability down a little for me.

What I like Most: The sweetness is balanced well.

What I like Least: The finish is kind of boring.

Verdict: Worth trying, but not elite given the price.

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Photo of LordofTime25
3.3/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a cloudy yellowish orange with a thin white head that leaves a little lacing.

Can smell the pale malts and a slight hoppiness underneath.

Taste kind of sweet with a nice light hops bitterness.

Has a medium body with a good carbonation amount.

Not something I would drink again.

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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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