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

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Bourbon Fred From The WoodBourbon Fred From The Wood
BA SCORE
4.09/5
Exceptional
462 Ratings
Bourbon Fred From The WoodBourbon Fred From The Wood
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Hair Of The Dog Brewing Company / Brewery And Tasting Room
Oregon, United States
hairofthedog.com

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Bottles (12 oz) released November 2011
Batch 2 bottles (12oz) released July 2012.

Added by jdense on 07-25-2009

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#2,800
Reviews:
132
Ratings:
462
pDev:
12.71%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
236
Gots:
130
Trade:
16
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 462 |  Reviews: 132
Reviews by ummswimmin:
Photo of ummswimmin
4.66/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

More User Reviews:
Photo of joe1510
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!

 2,124 characters

Photo of Lingenbrau
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!

 1,332 characters

Photo of DanGeo
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of tectactoe
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of NWer
4.75/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage.
Thanks Luke for getting these for me. What a treat!
Poured a very dark brown into my Hair of the Dog tulip (what else?)
Wonderful aroma of bourbon, caramel.
Generous head that retains well for quite a while. Any question of carbonation quickly evaporates.
Taste is sweetness and bourbon caramel and oak. Alcohol very present. A little rough around the edges.
Mouthfeel nice but again a little rough.
Needs time to smooth out and blend. The remaining nine bottles remain in my cellar for a year at least.

Update to include 2013:
Thanks to Harry for snagging these for me. Greatly appreciated.
Popped the cap and the bourbon aroma knocked me over. Filled my nostrils immediately and I was outdoors!
Poured into HotD tulip. Given its reputation for being flat, I didn't hold anything back. Into the bottom of the glass it goes and . . . . nothing.
Just sits there. No head. Maybe a few easily counted bubbles along the side.
Taste on the other hand not bad. Like sipping brandy but more fun. Sure miss the effervescence of the 2012 though. Better with than without.
Yet, a bad Bourbon Fred from the Wood is better than most strong ales of this type. I'm very glad I still have six more.
I knocked my scores down a notch on appearance and overall. There needs to be some price to pay for inconsistency.
Still love the beer though and eagerly waiting for the 2014.

 1,376 characters

Photo of warnerry
4.02/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of olradetbalder
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of fo1ksguitar
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of kingcrowing
3.05/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

Pours a flat amber honey color with no head or bubbles its completely flat. nose is bourbon and malt and that's it.

Taste is very alcoholic and Bourbon, boost and sharp with a super malty and bourbon finish. But its so flat its really hard to enjoy.

 290 characters

Photo of bpfrush
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of dogfishandi
5/5  rDev +22.2%

Photo of ehammond1
2.68/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Bottle (2011)

Holiday Wine Cellar
Escondido, CA

(Aged for 6 months)

Surprisingly light in color--nearly clear, light auburn and amber, with some definite sediment, and zero visible carbonation and no head. This leaves the glass pretty clean down the glass.

The aroma is of old, sweet bourbon, some caramel candies, and an earthy, stinging element. Nice enough, but unspectacular.

The flavor isn't particularly interesting, complex, or good: bourbon and wood, though simple in flavor--the bourbon tastes somewhat cheap and thin. There's sweet caramel and toffee, and old, damp wood flavors, and a pretty high level of sweetness.

Thin to medium bodied with no carbonation.

Probably my least favorite Hair of the Dog offering yet, and price per ounce, this is one of the worst beers I've ever purchased.

 807 characters

Photo of Cynic-ale
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of HoppySeb
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jeonseh
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 1 from 2011. Poured into a GI tulip. Part of NWI tasting group New Year's Day

A - Chestnut with light brown hues. Looks slightly like maple syrup. As expected for this one, no carbonation or head

S - Boozy up front with brown sugar, bready malt, dates, and a slight lemon peel finish

T- Sweet beer with brown sugar, candied dates, malty, bready, and sweet bourbon kick. Finish is candied dates as well as a light lemon. Very flavorful throughout.

MF - Flat beer which is what I've heard about this batch. It is thick and syrupy which actually works with the flavors in the beer. There is a thick, syrupiness that lingers and coats the tongue. It definitely could have used some carbonation.

O - Solid beer with lots of flavor. It was definitely thick and flat. This is definitely a big, bready and malty beer that is loaded with bourbon sweetness. Worth tracking down

 878 characters

Photo of BobbysLiquors
5/5  rDev +22.2%

Photo of kevwcamp
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of RobertH50
4.71/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of quirkzoo
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of DerekQXQX
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of timc100
4.26/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2013

Murky, dark gold/blood orange. Decently hazy - absolutely zero head, just some bubbles.

Huge whiskey aroma - surprisingly dominated by peat and smoke. Pronounced bourbon as well - toffee and some caramel and sweet maple syrup. Very whiskey driven.

Taste defined with incredibly rich toffee, maple syrup, boozy-caramel, barrel-vanilla, some dark fruits and slight notes of lighter tropical fruits that blend with the vanilla/toffee. Nice whiskey-boozy heat on it as it goes down.

Flat. Zero carbonation. However, though it is not ideal it does not detract from the beer that much. It smells, drinks and feels like a rich malty spirit.

Pretty one-dimensional and abrasive fresh, however delicious - interested to see how it ages. Also - the sweet maple syrup component is interested given no additive.

 813 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of MrVonzipper
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Looks like a caramel-molasses but obviously slight less viscous. But very viscous. Zero head.

Real nice nose with bright caramel, butterscotch, honey, bourbon and dark fruit.

Flavor follows the nose very closely. Tastes young and old. But real nice wide range of sweet flavors like caramel, honey, dark fruit, bourbon and butterscotch.

Mouthfeel is very full bodied and viscous like a syrup. No carbonation.

Overall I'm glad I got to try it. If this was carbonated properly it'd be an absolutely amazing beer.

 517 characters

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Bourbon Fred From The Wood from Hair Of The Dog Brewing Company / Brewery And Tasting Room
Beer rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 462 ratings