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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 864 | Ratings: 1,804
Photo of Bighuge
4.49/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a nice darker shade of golden with a tint of orange. Minimal white head. What a nice aroma. A blend of orange, tangerine, grapefruit, subtle spice and yeast undertones as well. Fruity to say the least. Wow! What a unique taste. This is the first beer that I can really taste some apricot-like flavors. Extreme citrus flavor. And yes, there is a tad of alcohol on the tongue with this one as well. I really can liken this to drinking a citrus blend juice, like an orange/tangerine/grapefruit mix. There is a bitterness that lingers that I can't decide if it's appealing or not. I think it is ok. This is probably the most unique beer I've had in months and well worth a try if you have a chance.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


On tap at Horse Brass in Portland.

This is on par with the very best Barley Wine’s I’ve tasted.

Appearance: Muddy straw gold with orange hues and a thick and last white head.

Aroma: To begin with…fruit…blueberries, odd as that might sound, pineapple, apricot, and cherry. Then enters the spice followed by pine sap. Large and aromatic, potent and loud, pungent even. Booze is only caught in glimpses. A sweet caramel maltiness is ever present but not dominant. It’s surprising how the hops can play such a large roll but not come across as overwhelming nor as simply citric or piney. The variety of fruit in the nose seems boundless. I swear, that if I really put my olfactory to work on this I pick up nearly the entire array of orange citrus fruit – nectarines, tangelos, blood oranges, the whole damn line up…The only thing missing is grapefruit, and rightly so. It would be too aggressive and we would never find the much more subtle but equally important cherry, berry, and even a little plum.

Taste: As the nose indicates, this is a boldly fruity beer. Juicy apricot/peach/nectarine flavors blend with cherry and are then juxtaposed by juniper and pine spice. Dark and heavy malt flavors enter with rum like booziness bringing raison and plum to the table. Finally caramel covered apples and spicy figs take their place too.

Mouthfeel: Large, balanced, boozey, doughy, and smooth.

Drinkability: For me this stuff is like a taste of heaven. I could happily sit and sip this for hours.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Hazy gold with a large piillowy white head that grips the side of the glass.
S: Fruit, light malt, banana.
T: Slightly sweet on the tongue with fruit, over ripe fruit and light malts.
F: Very creamy, soft mouthfeel with medium to medium light body and medium carbonation.

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Photo of eat
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a trade with pintplease, thanks a ton! Batch 82. Beautiful, hazy peach-coloured body topped with a seriously rocky off-white head. Tons of sticky lacing. It's been a while since I poured a beer that looks like it should. Thank you, Hair of the Dog, for reminding me.

Lots of citrus, pine and tropical (pineapple, guava, mango) hops jumped out as soon as I started pouring. A bit bready with lots of sweet caramel. Smells pretty much like a malty double IPA.

Sugary but also very hoppy. I'd say it's pretty well-balanced, just very flavourful. Pine and citrus (grapefruit juice, lemon), bready, lots of caramel. I'm not really picking up on anything I usually associate with rye; maybe it's blending in with the hops. Grapefruit pith on the finish. A touch of alcohol shows but nothing like 10%. Awesome.

Full, almost creamy medium body. Carbonation is maybe a little high but I don't mind it.

I wish Canada had more beers like this one; or even any beers like this one for that matter. A little like a double IPA but distinctly something else, I don't think I've tried any Canadian beer that would fall under this style of American strong ale. I would probably be drinking this regularly if it were available here in Quebec. Amazing stuff, thanks Terry!

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: golden beer with fat head

S: floral notes and caramel malts, brighter notes of citrus, soft tones of vanilla

T: ruby red grapefruit, butterscotch caramel, pale fruits, candi sugar

M: rich, creamy, soft and clean-finishing

O: awesome brew - had lots in common with tripels and imperial IPAs - most American strong ales are darker and more meaty - this was a fuzzy and lush treat of a beer

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Photo of franksnbeans
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy red/orange with a huge creamy head that is insanely resiliant. I could eat the head with a spoon. Smells of many different fruits, some spice, caramel and yeast. This is a huge beer. Many different flavors going on. Big fruit, dried and juicy, alcohol, big malt, rye. Finishes with some spice. Feels very full and creamy in the mouth. The ABV is apparant but not in a bad way. Warms you up nicely. This is a sipper through and through and absolutely incredible. Very complex and original and as it warms up more and more shows. This is a must try for any BA.

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Photo of Arenbeer
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a tulip glass

Batch 78, not sure how old it is but guessing fairly newer

A- Pours a clear golden honey orange with no head at all just a nice white rim around the glass. Carbonation just streaming up from the bottom of the glass and some sexy legs on the side that stick around.

S- Sweet caramel malts and barley combined with a spicy, fruity, citrus hop presence that is standing strong. Can tell this ones at least six months old, the hops are fading and the malts are becoming more dominate. Has a really unique aroma, almost floral.

T- Wow. Up front you get sweet caramel and toffee from the malts and an almost candy sugar or molasses type flavor. On top of that as it graces your palate further a huge plethora of citrus tropical like fruits and darker fruits like raisins and plums come out and combine really nicely creating a puzzling complexity that I wasn't expecting. Probably the best part is after it goes down and your left with the mouth drying bitter hops and alcohol sting or fullness to really tie this beer together.

M- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a nice bitter dry finish.

Overall this is an amazing barley wine that I'm really grateful to have tried. It's so complex, refreshing, and full of surprises as you drink it. Wish this 12ozer was a 750! Also glad I held of drinking it for so long, I think the fading hops really brought out the true characters of this beer.


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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 sjccmd
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Batch 75, my first beer from HotD.

Even with a delicate pour, this beer produced a surprisingly massive head. Pretty odd considering the style and the ABV. Medium copper color with a light tan head. Slightly murky.

Grapefruit and pine come out initially in the smell. Maple syrup and an interesting woody component. There are also some other fruit aromas that I can't quite pin down. There's a hint of alcohol as it warms.

Woof! The smell didn't at all prepare me for the taste. In-your-face bitter hops initially with a unique sweetness. There seems to be two different phases in the finish and it's constantly evolving. After the initial punch, syrupy sweetness takes over which is then followed by citrus and bitter hops. The order seems to change, but it seems like a continuing rotation between sweet and bitter. Very unique. A hint of rye spiciness comes in and out as well. Each sip reveals something new.

The mouthfeel is also extremely unique. The carbonation provides an initial explosion of flavor but is soon followed by a syrupy thick finish. The beer seems to stick to the insides of my mouth.

There's really very little notable alcohol flavors coming out in this beer, but it is still quite a hefty beer. The sweetness and stickiness bring down the drinkability a bit, but this is definitely one of the more interesting beers I've had recently.

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Photo of rayjay
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

And for my 69th review....

Scored in OR on a recent family/beer buying trip. Batch number 65, but that tells me nothing. Foamed out the top of the bottle upon popping the cap. This beer is alive! Of course all that activity stirred up the sediment, so a dirty pour was all I could do. Nice deep dark gold color, I kept the head under control, and it persisted through the whole beer and caked the glass. Looks great; a bit sloppy but it sure made an entrance!

The taste reminds me of this: all those big, malty, thick, barleywine style double IPA's like Stoudt's and Great Divide and 90 Minute, this is what they should be going for. This one's got tons of hops (10 varieties according to the bottle) and tons of pale and carmel and rye and all kinds of other malts I don't even know about yet. Lots of sundried fruits in this one, fresh baked banana bread, fresh fruitcake, a bit of salt, a shot of aged bourbon. Aftertaste is a battle between bitter and thick sweetness and goes on and on. Leaves a great taste on your lips, too.

Big and bold and just wonderful. I hadn't had this beer in 7 or 8 years and it was a joy to get re-aquainted with it. Now to find some Fred from the Wood.

Also recommended from the Hair boys: Blue Dot 2xIPA.

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Photo of stephendr
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle- color of mahogany , with a thick tan head - nose of brown sugar , dust , roasted malts , apricots , and raisins – taste of coffee grounds , caramel , malts , and slight hops in back palate - body slightly chewy, and acidic – aftertaste of bitter hopps , and molasses

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Photo of HopHead84
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours dark golden with a frothy two finger head which lingers, and lingers, and lingers. The head leaves very heavy lacing on the side of the glass as it slowly dies. The white head almost looks like white cotton candy. Miniscule bubbles travel up the glass.

S: Smells like a sweetish nectar with coriander. The aroma of alcohol is present with a hint of ripened banana and honey.

T: Sweet, alcoholic, slightly bitter, a slight bight near the finish. Slightly fruity. Malty backbone that's nicely balanced by the hops. This tastes like a strong golden ale, not sure why it's called a Barley Wine on this site.

M: The beer has a not unpleasant sticky quality to it which coats the mouth and lips. Perfect carbonation and slightly creamy.

D: Very enjoyable and drinkable for a strong golden ale (barley wine, whatever).

Batch 1:

Consumed on 11/09/2009 with largadeer and poured into a snifter. Looking at my prior review I'm rather embarrassed at how bad it is. I really don't feel like writing a full review at this time so brief notes will have to suffice. The beer opened with a light "pop." Despite being nearly 13 years old, this barleywine has aged gracefully. The hops have essentially disappeared, leaving rich caramel and toffee, as well as complimentary oxidation. This is the oldest barleywine that I've had and I can't believe how well it held up. Layers and layers of caramel and toffee. Delicious.

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Photo of Wildman
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Okay, as is usually the case with this brewer, this beer foamed up like nobody's business no matter which method of pouring or glass style. It poured a light clear amber color with a huge off white foamy head that left latticed lace as it slowly began it's stubborn depature. A medium amount of carbonation is present, surprising, considering the amount of head I would had expected more. An aroma of malt, caramel and alcohol. A flavor of malt, caramel and alcohol with other sweet dark fruit flavors floating around. A medium body and a slightly sweet, yet somewhat bitter finish. A Belgian triple with barley wine elements. A good beer.

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Photo of HiroProtagonist
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed while drinking...Batch#51. Pours (into a Duvel tulip) with a rapidly expanding voluminous light tan head. Larger bubbles below and a fine self-stadnding foamy crown rising an inch above the rim. This settles down slowly over several minutes. Rings of clingy lacing remain with a large foam poof on one side. Color is hazy orange with a red hue. Smells lightly spicy (coriander? orange-citrus?), with nice hoppiness, and subtle maltiness and sweet candy sugar. Taste is very interesting, complex, and WELL balanced with a driving hoppiness holding it together. A tad sweet, but not exactly malty, and a sublte dried fruit undertone. A hint of warming alcohol at the end. Flavors carry on the palate for a good length of time. Mouthfeel is full, smooth and enveloping- excellent. This one grabs me the right way! Midway through consumption the head settles into a 3 millimeter blanket and stays that way. I like this one very much- along with Hair of the Dog's "Adam". YUM.

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Photo of willjschmidt
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle (batch #65) into a New Belgium globe glass.

A: Pours a deep reddish orange color with a decent white head. A thick layer of sediment stays in the bottle.

S: Quite a bit of alcohol in the nose along with a big blast of tropical fruit.

T: Lots of semi-sweet fruity hops mixed with some floral accents. A large malt presence in the form of some grainy caramel. A big and tasty brew with lots of bold and in your face flavors. Not as much alcohol as I expected.

M: Very thick and chewy mouthfeel. Low carbonation due to the full bodied aspect.

D: It's actually quite drinkable for such a big and alcoholic beer. It's a sipper and it's really an excellent beer.

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Photo of rye726
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have wanted to try Hair of the Dog's beer for a while. This brew pours a nice copper brown and has a silky tan head. Excellent lacing. The nose is quite sweet yet well balanced with floral hops and spicy Belgian yeasts. The taste has tropical fruits, candy malts, sweet complex alcohols with a constant fruity hop presence. Delicious. The full body passes like silk over the palate. Nice blend of a Belgian Strong Ale and a Barleywine.

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Photo of buzzardman
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Sweet malt, brown sugar, fig.

Appearance: Hazy dark amber, nice two finger off white head that settles to a covering.

Flavor: Sweet malt, brown sugar, raisin, fig, bitter hops. Very much like an america style barleywine with the amount of hop flavors.

Mouthfeel: Full body in but not quite heavy, Syrupy but not thick, some alcohol warming.

Overall: Good beer, would buy again. Maybe age some for a year and see where the flavors go. $5.99 for 12 floz

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Photo of Lunch
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12oz. bottle purchased at Shangy's in Emmaus, PA into my Cigar City snifter at the appropriate temperature (01/02/10).

A: Pours an slightly hazy oily caramel color with a one finger off-white head. The head dissolves rather quickly leaving only a cap, but it produces some nice lacing.

S: Wonderful aroma of caramel, toffee, and candied citrus blanketed in a tone of sweet booze. Malt certainly dominated the nose, but there is a very strong hop aroma as well containing some pine.

T: Caramel hits the palate first leaving some sugary layers of citrus and pine to meld into a malty concoction like no other I have tasted. The booze is slightly present throughout, but never in an overpowering way. The hops are slightly bitter with some tones of nectar and help to balance out this malt bomb. Very unique and pleasing.

M: Fuller-bodied with smooth and creamy carbonation. The alcohol is present leaving a prickling feel on the tongue in collaboration with the piney hops.

D: For the style, this American Barleywine is incredible drinkable even with the detection of booze in each sip. This beer drinks much less than its 10% abv. and mouthfeel lead one to believe.

Overall this was my first beer from Hair of the Dog and I have been singing their praises ever since. Very impressive American Barleywine with a lot of uniqueness and character. Highly Recommended

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Photo of TheBierBand
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured the 12 oz. brown bottle (Batch #69) into a pint glass to produce a 1-1/2" head of off-white foam. Good retainage and lots of clumpy lacing. The beer was honey colored and slightly cloudy.

The smell was of fresh, ripe fruit.

Taste: Very interesting.... not what I was expecting from the aroma. Quite a strong, bready, rye taste with some serious hop bitterness. Different, but very good.

Mouthfeel: Nice, rich, thick and medium carbonation. Fantastic mouth coating and aftertaste.

Drinkability: Definately a sipper. Let it get up to cellar temp. Cold mutes the intense flavors of this big beer. Enjoy at 50-55 degrees F. Recommended. Not your average Barleywine.

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Photo of olmatty
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Batch 76

Appearance- Pours a deep, cloudy, brown amber with a puffy white head

Smell- Earthy woodiness and hints of biscuit

Taste- Woody, earthy, a citrus zing, dry biscuits, brandy alcohol

Mouthfeel- Crisply carbonated, refreshing and yet powerful and palate filling.

Drinkability- I could happily drink many, but I'd probably pass out from 10% ABV.

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Photo of popery
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, home. Pours a big coppery amber with a small white cap. It looks a bit like brandy. Lots of caramel malt sweetness and big American hops in the aroma. There's a great spicy rye note in the flavor, along with honey and sweet grapes. Rich but not cloying. There's a bitter citrus rind finish, at least in a relatively fresh bottle. I think the feel improves as the beer sits.

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Photo of StonyB
4.51/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A quiet afternoon at d.b.a. gives me the opportunity to try this beer I've heard much about. Let's see if the experience matches the hype...

Appearance - Very appealing. A hazy dark gold. Sediment and carbonation swirl gracefully toward the bright white half-finger of foam. That's not lacing, that's paint. Impressive.

Smell - Slap me in the mouth and call me Susie. A powerful blast of honey and alcohol. Is this mead? Floral hops evident as well. Pungent.

Taste - Ok, this is pretty damn good. Honey, rum cake, tropical fruit, warming alcohol. The phrase "liquid bread" comes to mind. Sweet, but enough hop bitterness to balance this out. Yum.

Mouthfeel - A nice amount of carbonation, somewhat crisp up front. Thick-bodied and quite creamy after that. Lingering alcohol and hops at the end, and that's a good thing...

Drinkability - Yes, it's 10% ABV. Yes, it goes down ridiculously easily. Yes, each sip seems to get better. I'd hate myself in the morning, but I could see myself wanting more than 1 or 2 of these.

Ok hype, you win this time. Fred rocks. Highly recommended.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.51/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch number 60. This brew pours a hazy reddish-brown color. The head was enormously huge, and billowy. It is the most beautiful head I have ever seen. The aroma is rather balanced for a barley wine. Hoppy and malty, but leaning more towards the piney hops. The taste is big. Hops are dominant, but there are also caramel and alcohol flavors. The mouthfeel is full bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, this is a great barley wine. It is hoppy, but far more balanced than others I have had.

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Photo of Oakenator
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Brownish to orange in color - really nice head at pour. Leaves a nice layer on top throughout consumption. Not much lacing (but not expected at this %). Some sediment.

S: Sweet, malts, some hops, sweet.

T: Sweet - Belgian candi sugar present in a big way. The hops age nicely on this one - it is a couple of years old.

M: Good body. Decently heavy as expected at 10%. Bite up front and lingering sugars on the back.

O: Very well done. Like what these guys are doing with beers that will stand the test of time.

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Photo of BlindPig
4.52/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #1
A- Thin cream light tan head on a murky amber brown body.
S- Sweet complex caramel and toffee malt blended in with soft alcohol. Hints of dark fruits, chocolate, a tiny cherry, and just a bit of dry grass. All blended very nicley and all seems blended together.
T- Sweet caramel and chocolate malts. They come off very nicley with a strong bitterness behind it. Alcohol is like a thin blanket laying over a bed a caramel and chocolate and the bitterness is the springs of the mattress. Just a hint or two of some cherries with a light grass or straw flavor to it too. Light earthy tones make their way through. Everything seems to fit perfectly with one another. Light toffee in the aftertaste with a big warming from the alcohol in the back of throat. Maybe a tad to harsh on the back of the throat instead of a gently soothing alcohol warmth. Leaves a nice size bitterness on mid tongue.
M- Full body with really low carbonation. Silk and just a little oily body. Has almost a creamy feel to it.
D- I think this is one great beer. Worth the price I paid for it? Maybe not but I am glad I can say I tried it. IMO it is getting really close to it's peak but maybe could last a year or two longer. I would like to try one from about 6 years ago to compare it though.

Batch 59 (from about October 2006, the scoring is for batch 1)
A- Huge off white/tan head. Cloudy darker amber body. Great head retention! As it goes down it sticks to side of the glass.
S- Some darker fruits with alcohol. Some malt body, and some sweeter hops. Smells pretty sweet. Some earthy tones also.
T- Some darker fruits like plums and maybe hint of raisons and cherrys come out up front. They fade off making way for some alcohol taste and a nice malt body. Earthy tones also come out. A light bitterness comes throughout the beer and lingers in the after taste along with the fruits. Its a dry bitterness from a grassy hop. Maybe some light vanilla flavors also. Some citrus flavors also come through. Also maybe some spice is also thrown in here.
M- Low carbonation and a medium to full body.
D- It is pretty darn good. It is a sipper. I'm glad I got to try this and if it was available I would buy some but not all the time. It's a beer that would suit better if your craving a barley wine. I would also prefer just a tad bigger body to go with the strong flavors.

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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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