Bourbon Fred From The Wood
Hair Of The Dog Brewing Company / Brewery And Tasting Room

Bourbon Fred From The WoodBourbon Fred From The Wood
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Hair Of The Dog Brewing Company / Brewery And Tasting Room
Oregon, United States
American Strong Ale
4.09 | pDev: 12.71%
Jun 22, 2022
Jul 25, 2009
Bourbon Fred From The WoodBourbon Fred From The Wood
Notes: Bottles (12 oz) released November 2011
Batch 2 bottles (12oz) released July 2012.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Rated: 4.59 by QuakeAttack from California

Jun 22, 2022
Photo of DIM
Reviewed by DIM from Pennsylvania

4.65/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
2012 purchased recently from HotD.

This was a bright, clear golden tinted Amber colored and poured with a short, but long lasting head. Great looking beer!

So much going on here, it's layered, complex, and subtle. It's softly sweet overall, orange, toffee, marshmallow, bourbon, and more. The finish adds a gentle oaky tingle.

It's amazing how good this is after 10 years, glad I got to try this.
May 17, 2022
Photo of REVZEB
Reviewed by REVZEB from Illinois

4.41/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Cellared bottle. Orangey brown murky pour, no head. Bourbon, oak, soft caramel, apricot, and oxidized must, with soggy brown bread and flowers in the nose, light and airy all together. Taste takes all of that and adds candied orange peel, tootsie roll, and toffee. Everything is so artfully layered into a great complexity. Lighter and oh so smooth body, though languid and moderately warm, it makes you sip given the complexity. Refreshing to have a strong ale that isn't just booze to the face. The wife loved it
Jun 05, 2021
Photo of StonedTrippin
Reviewed by StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.76/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
2011 vintage, i think someone left this at my house a long time ago, but since i couldnt remember exactly and its been around a real long time, i thought it was high time to drink this, especially on a freezing windy rainy cold fall night, this certainly warmed me up. i know a lot of the hair of the dog beers are built for extended ageing, some even intentionally uncarbonated, i assume this is one of those. is hazy pale amber color from the little bottle and near still, just some thin patchy lace at the edges, some sediment towards the bottom, quite viscous, but lighter in color overall than i think i was expecting. with all the hype around this, i think i was hoping for me, but this didnt do for me what it clearly has done for others. enjoyable as a sort of pale barleywine type, but maybe its older than is ideal, even without any real oxidation to it, surprising for being almost ten years old. in the aroma and flavor i get a ton of caramel, butterscotch, raisin, and sweet bourbon, still lots of residual sugar here despite the age. there is an appreciable yeast element too, bready and cooked and loosely english. strong vanilla to finish, somewhat mellowed alcohol but still obviously enormous. this just overall tastes like old strong ale without being particularly distinctive or special to me, good sure, but not unique at this point in its evolution, and while i enjoyed it, especially in the context of this weather, it really didnt wow me like i expected based on the stoke levels other people seem to have for it. a little more in a single bottle than i needed too, but it was a cool experience to have this legendary brew finally, it was just a bit lost on me unfortunately...
Nov 16, 2020
Rated: 4.75 by NickThePyro from Washington

May 09, 2019
Rated: 4.16 by PhineasMcClintock from Massachusetts

May 07, 2019
Rated: 3.82 by Dactrius from Netherlands Antilles

Feb 09, 2019
Photo of npolachek
Reviewed by npolachek from New York

4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Solid red color. Tastes of bourbon as well as rye. Almost like a bourbon in a beer. Tastes are complex with some earthiness and raisins. Mouthfeel is smooth.
Jan 06, 2019
Rated: 4 by grapeshops from California

Dec 22, 2018
Rated: 4.1 by shelby415 from Oregon

Sep 29, 2018
Photo of Radcpa
Reviewed by Radcpa from Washington

4.31/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Reddish amber appearance with little head. Aroma is a very strong bourbon with a slight fruit. Taste is also a strong bourbon with the smooth taste of alcohol. I recommend aging for a year or so.
Apr 18, 2018
Rated: 4.4 by Docrock from Illinois

Apr 15, 2018
Photo of stevoj
Reviewed by stevoj from Idaho

3.46/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
Bottle from Jeremy, side by side with Fred from the Wood.. Medium Amber, flat pour. Woody, boozy aroma. Taste too is dried dark fruit, raisins, tobacco. Not as big as expected, and no comparison to FFTW.
Apr 01, 2018
Photo of joe1510
Reviewed by joe1510 from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
12oz Bottle

2017 Bottling

Huge thanks to Phil for the bottle! Bourbon Fred from the Wood isn't the prettiest of beers. It's a muddied rusty red with some orange highlights, opaque. It looks a lot like unfiltered apple cider. It's also still, which is a little concerning. Not a bubble to be found.

Whew. That's some rich, potent smelling, complex smellin' beer. Let's start with the bourbon aspect. It's well integrated. Plush notes of caramel, marshmallow, oak, and a whisper of coconut. Golden raisins, toffee, butterscotch, and brown suger make up the nearly neverending malt profile. This stuff smells like a rich dessert.

Holy shit, this beer is good. Complex and delicious. Toffee and golden raisins get it movin'. They got an incredible amount of expression from the bourbon barrels; huge caramel, damp oak, toasted coconut, cotton candy, and a healthy dose of pecan. Brandy macerated cherries pop up here, butterscotch pops up there along with a rich sugar quality, sorghum. This beer almost borders on liquid stollen. There's sweetness present but the tannic barrel and booziness cleans it up.

If ever there was a beer that possibly does better still than not, it's Bourbon Fred from the Wood. As a matter of fact, it fits so well that I forgot it was still until I got to this here mouthfeel portion. The weight sits between full and moderate. A little sweetness hits upfront before being sucked dry by barrel tannins and a clean booziness. A barely noticeable numbness gathers on the tongue after a few drinks, I can't tell if it's alcohol related or hop related, probably alcohol. This beer is a sipper for sure, based on the size and ample barrel presence.

Hair of the Dog makes some great beer. This one is no exception. I'm assuming they failed on the carbonation aspect but it's not a noticeable flaw, actually it works. This beer is hugely complex and hugely delicious. What a great combination of flavors. Bourbon Fred from the Wood is a perfect example of why Hair of the Dog has always so fascinated me. It's unique, but old school. Powerful, yet nuanced. Really great stuff. Thanks again, Phil!
Mar 18, 2018
Photo of Lingenbrau
Reviewed by Lingenbrau from Oregon

4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
2017, from the bottle.

I'm a bit nervous as Bourbon Fred From the Wood's cap is popped. Nothing. The most vigorous pour, and still completely flat. It's opaque rust colored body reminds me of dark tea saturated with honey. As one would expect, no head, no lacing.

My fear tightens a bit with the first whiff. Though enjoyable, the bourbon smells of peated scotch and slightly acidic...sour. A caramel sugary presence lays underneath, but not much else.

My fear suddenly subsides. The bourbon is absolutely the dominant variable, but wonderful notes of nutty toffee, golden raisins, oak, and a light smoke blend turn skepticism into absolute joy. And to top it off, delicious bursts of wildflower honey and ginger bring this to euphoric.

Yes, there is no carbonation, but it works. The smooth and slightly syrupy body are exactly what that flavor needs as a platform to take away all other distractions. It is sweet, but comes close to balanced thanks to a touch of smoke and a soft hop spice.

Proof that you should never judge a book by its cover, nor a dog by its jowls, Bourbon Fred From the Wood is just phenomenal. I'm not gonna lie, if I ever get this again, that lack of pressure relief will scare the shit out of me. But I'll trust it, just like I have trusted everything else from Hair of the Dog. Cheers!
Feb 21, 2018
Rated: 4.28 by MaximumYuks from Oregon

Nov 07, 2017
Photo of grover37
Rated by grover37 from District of Columbia

3.81/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
A bit better in July 2019

3.52 in Oct 2017
Oct 04, 2017
Rated: 4.66 by ummswimmin from New Jersey

Apr 21, 2017
Rated: 3.75 by jschott75 from Illinois

Mar 24, 2017
Photo of metter98
Reviewed by metter98 from New York

4.01/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Bottle at Hair of the Dog Brewing Company, Portland, OR

A: The beer is somewhat hazy caramel amber in color. It poured with just a few specks of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of vanilla, oak, and toffee are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell and is very toffee-like, with notes of vanilla from the oak.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and a little sticky on the palate with no carbonation.
O: This makes for a nice dessert beer and is something that needs to be slowly sipped.

Note: 2011 vintage

Serving type: bottle
Oct 02, 2016
Rated: 4 by Zekenyce from New Jersey

Jul 17, 2016
Rated: 4 by orangesol from Pennsylvania

Apr 24, 2016
Photo of brewskifan55
Reviewed by brewskifan55 from Mississippi

4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
The Batch 1 Version; 2011. Poured into a beautiful HOTD tasting glass at the brewery.

A: Dark brown with very little head. A nice stationary rim around the glass.

S: Bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel, toffee.

T: Follows nose with a sweet, oaky booziness. Vanilla, coconut, malts from on high. Brown sugar, a bit of dark fruit, too. As it warmed, the tastes kept enhancing.

M: Medium with low carbonation.

O: One of the beer highlights of my Portland visit. This is a celebration beer, to be sipped with friends. Damn fine stuff.
Apr 20, 2016
Rated: 4.5 by kylehay2004 from Illinois

Apr 05, 2016
Rated: 4.17 by Ohiovania from Ohio

Apr 03, 2016
Rated: 3.98 by Gtg642 from Michigan

Mar 02, 2016
Rated: 4.25 by Hohnbaum from Kansas

Feb 12, 2016
Rated: 4.54 by DerekE4750 from New York

Dec 02, 2015
Rated: 4.32 by jaydoc from Kansas

Nov 19, 2015
Rated: 4 by zekeman17 from Pennsylvania

Aug 18, 2015
Rated: 3.86 by BMMillsy from Florida

Aug 14, 2015
Photo of Bosoxfan20
Reviewed by Bosoxfan20 from Missouri

3.62/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
2011 Vintage= Batch 1
Let's face it, this is not a pretty looking beer as it pours into the glass. A murky thin lake water with basically zero carbonation. Aroma provides a strong, boozy, sweet, rich charred oak, and sooo much charred oak. Flavor follows nose well with some added caramelized candy and fruity esters. The bourbon is solid, but it can distract from the yeast notes and spice of the rye that the base beer so eloquently conveys. Mouth feel isn't overly hot. Mid body that drinks very easy for its ABV. Quite flat.

Overall, pretty dang good. Probably not one I would go out of my way to hunt down, but certainly worth exploring if given the chance. I would prefer the base beer to this, but a nice change of pace.
Jul 09, 2015
Photo of Sails_Ambassador
Rated by Sails_Ambassador from Washington

4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
2013 bottle at the taproom, super boozy
Jun 14, 2015
Rated: 4.46 by markgugs from New Jersey

May 23, 2015
Rated: 3.64 by dfhhead25 from Pennsylvania

May 13, 2015
Rated: 3.5 by BMart from Pennsylvania

May 13, 2015
Rated: 4.23 by CTJman from Connecticut

May 11, 2015
Rated: 4 by threedaggers from Kentucky

Apr 20, 2015
Rated: 4.5 by HaveUSeenMyCellar from California

Apr 08, 2015
Photo of Beersnake1
Reviewed by Beersnake1 from California

4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
This is a '13 poured from fridge temp to a taster. Haven't had it fresh, so I don't have that to compare this to. Pours a nice hazy golden color, with zero carbonation (as seems typical with HotD beers). Getting a ton of bourbon on the nose, with a lot of dark fruit and caramel. Taste is nice and sweet, and a bit boozy. The bourbon comes through nicely. Amazing stuff!
Apr 06, 2015
Bourbon Fred From The Wood from Hair Of The Dog Brewing Company / Brewery And Tasting Room
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 471 ratings