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

Cherry Fred From The WoodCherry Fred From The Wood
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Strong Ale - American
Ranked #37
Ranked #2,917
4.29 | pDev: 10.02%
Hair Of The Dog Brewing Company / Brewery And Tasting Room
Oregon, United States
Cherry Fred From The WoodCherry Fred From The Wood
Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 60 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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joe1510 from Illinois

4.37/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz Bottle


A giant thanks goes out to Phil for always keeping the Hair of the Dog faucet flowing. Thanks, buddy! Cherry Fred is still, like some of the past variations. There's not a sound as the cap pops. With that said, this is still a great looking beer. It's dense and slightly murky. The darkest of reds even hinting at some deep purple highlights. It looks elegant yet bold, much like my interpretation of everything Hair of the Dog.

The nose on this beer is absurd. Figs, dates, and bing cherries get it going. There's a slightly oxidized brown bread maltiness combined with a touch of graham cracker. Soft oak and a bit of mustiness surround the giant malt driven body. It's a touch leathery, even earthy at times. This beer smells like you should be sipping it in a wood paneled, leather bound library next to a roaring fire and bear skin rug. Your smoking table next to you with a copy of The Sun Also Rises. When beer brings you to a place, it's a good thing and rare.

The cherry is ridiculously well done. Brown bread and soda bread make up the giant malt base. The fruitiness mentioned above is present in droves in the flavor profile. Fig & date with a rich, dark cherry presence. The oak is on the peripheral and a slight oxidation adds a ton of depth. Old leather is nuanced as is a bit of dark berry sweetness on the swallow. This is a really great beverage.

I find it necessary to ding the feel a bit because it's still. With that said, I don't know of a beer that could pull off no bubbles as well as this. The body has some weight up front with a velvety feel. There's no stick or overly sweet finish though, it cleans up nicely. What there is, is a welcomed boozy spice on the swallow that dries up the overall finish. This stuff is dangerous.

What can I say? Hair of the Dog packages a beer with no bubbles and it is still a masterpiece. There's great dark fruitiness and depth present in this beer while remaining dangerously approachable. 750s of this guy would be perfect for the Winter holidays. What a great beer. Thanks again, Phil!

Aug 20, 2018
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Lingenbrau from Oregon

4.52/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

As with most of Fred's litter, Cherry Fred From The Wood doesn't make a sound as the cap is pried off. I'm not worried this time. The pour reveals a deep crimson fluid, which collects as a solid body of dark cherry or even prune purple. As expected, it is completely flat, with just a few beads floating around the perimeter of the glass.

Bourbon, cherry, and wood are intoxicating as they lazily ascend from the surface. Wonderful compliments of chocolate, cinnamon, and granola make my mouth begin to water as I imagine this is going to be like taking a bite into freshly baked cherry pie, only the cherries were bathed in sweet bourbon first.

Sweet Baby Jesus. The first sip comes out of the gate with smooth and mildly oaked bourbon being front and center. Slightly tart dark cherries glide over next, drizzled like a syrup reduction. Sweet milk chocolate dusted in spices finish this off, and without the perception of granola or bread, this ends up being a bit more like a cherry truffles than pie. Fine by me.

There is no carbonation, as expected with Fred. And once again, it works quite well. It would only distract from the rich and syrupy full figured mass that Fred is. Sturdy. Strong. Bold. At 13.5% abv, it's no wonder there is a hearty warmth, but still this manages to hide it well.

Once again, Hair of the Dog delivers an incredible beer. And once again, a beer that is probably not for everybody. But those who are fans of this incredible brewery need to put this one on their wants list, right up there at the top. Plenty of bite from this dog. Cheers!

Mar 04, 2018
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Sammy from Canada (ON)

3.78/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Birriria Volo, after all these years of missing this dog. Initially soapy glass despite the high $ per ounce. Then cherry, plastic cherry, sweet canned cherry. and Bourbon maple syrup that is the real taste, and not the off taste

Oct 22, 2017
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Ciocanelu from Romania

4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Beavertown Extravaganza. Reddish copper color. Aroma has rich malts, sticky bourbon and sweet dried fruits. Taste is sweet and sugary with dried fruits and cherry preserve. No carbonation.

Sep 19, 2017
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Kurmaraja from California

4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big sweetness, rather flat. Towards the end of the night I ended up cuveeing this with some fresh Adam, a particularly leather / smokey batch. In a 2:1 ratio, fred to adam, became incredible.

Which is to say this is an excellent beer but lacking a touch in elements to balance the sweetness and bourbon.

Mar 22, 2016
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Dactrius from Wisconsin

4.39/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I'm not really a fan of most cherry beers but this was definitely the best thing I had at HotD and that includes the very delicious 2013 Matt bottle I had later. Cherry is subtle and well integrated. I had this next to regular Fred and it didn't even seem like the same base beer. A truly great beer.

Mar 03, 2016
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Mehinaman from Washington

4.67/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Had this on draft at Brouwer's Cafe in Fremont. Wasn't sure what to expect, but man was this a great beer. Definitely the most "cherry" tasting cherry beer I've ever had. Not sour or mouth puckering at all so not for those looking for something mouth puckering or sour. It packs a punch though at 11% abv. Excellent overall

Dec 05, 2015
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Phobicsquirrel from Oregon

4.91/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow! I was really impressed with this beer. I would easily buy as much as I could if it was in bottles. This had all of the goodness from the bourbon Fred however it adds cherry to the mix. I love cherry and on this brew they nailed it! Sometimes you can barely taste the cherries and other times it is way over used. On this though, not the case.

Smell was amazing, bourbon, chocolate, and cherry! The taste is just as it smells however you get all of the little bonus's such as the molasses and thick sweetness. Sure, it's a sweet beer so if you like sweet beers then give it a go. The beer is not bitter at all. If anything if you like the bourbon Fred and if you like cherry than you will be in love. I had 4 glasses of this stuff and my wife had to drive after but well worth it.

Tasting Notes:

Long Finish

Oct 02, 2013
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DefenCorps from Oregon

4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the brewery yesterday.
Still deep brown reddish highlights no head or lace. Nose is plenty of cherries and bourbon, brown sugar. The Fred base is obliterated, it's amazing how pervasive the cherry character is here. The palate is the same. More like cherry Adam than Fred, but without the earthy tobacco complexity. Candi sugar, a touch of rye spice, caramel, toffee and brown sugar. Long, boozy finish with blend of cherries and bourbon. Not much vanilla. Full body in body and mildly carbonated, this beer is a decadent treat. . Yum.

Sep 30, 2013
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boMD from Oregon

4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had the chance to try this beer in 2010 at Fred Fest, and again a year later after it was aging in the barrels longer. It developed quite a bit so here are my tasting notes for both times.

[5/12/2010, B to B+ Rating] Tap @ Fredfest... This is by far, no where near the exceptional spectrum of regular Fred, Adam, Cherry Adam, etc.. But! It’s still very noteworthy. It seemed very incomplete however. Some flavors a little off, maybe a little overbearing. Perhaps it needed more time in the barrels, or maybe in the keg. Mainly a medicinal, robitussin like flavor that I would hope would smooth out. The thick palate further exaggerated this. There were nice pepper-y hop flavors, sweet tones. I also wish the cherries were more defined. Poured dark purple, with a pink head.

[6/8/2011] Tap @ Hair Of The Dog... After over another year in the barrel Portland was treated with the next offering of Cherry Fred. It gained so much more color, opaque, burgundy, grape color with no head. Light, body, minimal carbonation. Some cherry tones, lots of heat coming up, and the ripe cherry tones were very evident in the finish. Sugary candied tones, bourbon and alcohol flavors.

Jun 26, 2011
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hopsbreath from Florida

3.81/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had on-tap the last time this was in the tasting room. To be fair this has more in common with Cherry Adam than Bourbon Fred from the Wood. The comparisons will follow. A 12oz pour ran $8.50. Review from notes.

A: Very dark plum-brown, fine bubble wisp ring that is light violet hued. Viscous, oily, and leggy. 4.5/5

S: Tangy cherries, vanilla -bal, and copious booze. The chocolate sweetness CAftW imparts at this point is missed. 3.5/5

T: Tart and sweet cherries greet the tongue immediately. The bourbon is there in spades. Butterscotch, toffee, and biscuit also show up at the mid-way and on the finish. 4/5

M: Not as full as CAftW. More carbonation works in this case but the overall lusciousness isn't quite there. 3/5

O: Fred is virtually gone but the brand-new beer in its place is quite good. Worth a try but CAftW is better at virtually every turn. 4/5

Jun 20, 2011
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chumba526 from Oregon

4.92/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appears deep brown with a very thin layer of tan foam that dissipates quickly.

A wonderful strong sweet cherry smell fills my nose as I smell the beer. There is a deep strong oak and dry vanilla type of a smell and a mild bourbon and candy sugar smell. The smell is very strong but seems pretty complex yet balanced.

It tastes strongly of rich cherries. There is a mild tartness to the cherry but the cherries are mostly sweet. There is still the sweet malt bill Fred is known for though the cherry tartness makes the malt bill less sweet. A strong okay and bourbon like flavor rounds up the flavors. This is fantastically well-balanced ale. It is really smooth.

The mouthfeel of the beer is thick and somewhat syrup like.

Overall a great rich strong flavorful beer that I really cannot fault. Though regular Fred is not my favorite this is amazing.

Jun 05, 2011
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barleywinefiend from Washington

2.94/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a deep mahogany color with red hues, lower carbonation leaving tannish head and some bubbles

S: Was very cherry and wood forward, smelled like Cherry Robutussin and after a while it became obnoxious

T: Deep cherry, some smoke and oak, perhaps leather, citrus, dark fruits peaks in at times. Booze is pretty prominent, the more I drink this beer the more cherry cough syrup I get. this beer is way to cherry forward for me, it is a deep, wood flavor that is to in your face.

M: Lower carbonation, big body and feel

O: Probably my least favorite offering from HOTD behind Lil Dog.

May 31, 2011
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HuskyinPDX from Washington

4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On Tap at the Tasting room.

A - Dark ruby red, almost brown in color. Foamy head with a pinkish tint.

S - Cherry, dark fruit, Oak/wood, and booze.

T - Similar to the scent, but actually must smoother. Packs a punch, but it was excatly what I was hoping for.

D - Oily in the mouth, smooth with a nice booze finish.

O - I was very excited to try this, and it did not dissapoint. I liked it better than Cherry Adam, but I would never turn either down.

May 30, 2011
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John_M from Oregon

4.51/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the tasting room yesterday. The beer wasn't actually listed on the menu, but thanks to all the banter on the NW BA forum, most folks there were aware they had it and had bought themselves a glass.

The beer pours a surprising very dark brown color with something of a plum color around the edges. There isn't a whole lot of head or lacing, and Wendy confirmed that this beer had been in barrel for quite some time (it has that look). On the nose, the aroma is just outrageous. I get a glorious nose of cherry, bourbon, light chocolate, prunes and vanilla. The flavor profile replicates the nose to some extent, except there's a slight oxidation component to this beer that imparts some interesting sherry and wood flavor, and even some light sour in the finish. This beer isn't as sweet as the regular fred from the wood, and I get virtually no underlying hoppy bitterness. Mouthfeel is very smooth, long and moderately sweet. Not sure what the abv. is in this beer. I'm sure it's up there, but it doesn't really taste particularly boozy. It's quite rich of course, and it's hard to imagine consuming more than one glass at a sitting, but it's not heavy or tiring on the palate.

An interesting and excellent beer. Just for comparisons sake, I tried this side by side with some 2009 cherry adam (it's unbelievable the things they have available at the tasting room). There was really no comparison. This is a great beer no doubt, but the 2009 cherry adam completely kicks its ass. Cheers!

May 29, 2011
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northwestmark from Washington

4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this at Fredfest 2010. Twice actually. It was so freakin good I went back for a second round. It truly was thick, sweet, dark purple-red. This was a sipper for sure. Something to savor and just taste the very slight puckering from the chrries, but more the syrupy sweet body! Would love to have again!

Nov 22, 2010
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vkv822 from Oregon

4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

8oz. pour into WWFD glass at Fredfest2010.
from notes.

Poured a nice deep cherry color with purple accents and a beautiful light red head with good retention and fair lacing. The aroma is of very strong dark cherry, with slight hops and malt notes, and a light boozy aroma. The flavor is of dark cherries and oak, with a very nice and complex hop and malt backing and a pleasant, tart-cherry and very lightly boozy finish. The mouthfeel is very nice, medium to full bodied, without becoming too over powering. This was very drinkable, and I would love to be able to try this again whether it be on tap or bottled!

May 25, 2010
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jdense from Oregon

4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Fredfest 2010, full 8 oz. pour, once I saw Fred having a taste before the festivities began I did a beeline for this!

Dark red almost purple color which hid any visible carbonation. Head was a light tan, pretty good retention with some lacing despite small WWFD taster glass. Big cherry hit in the nose, dark cherries threw a lot of body into the mix, but hops were still noticeable. Surprisingly retained the paranormal Fred profile, complex malt and hops, hard to deconstruct, with the cherries throwing a good bit of tartness into the finish, not too sweet. Fairly full mouthfeel, not too sticky, good effervescence. Tried to be a good sport and make sure others got their taste or I'd have pushed the drinkability envelope. As Alan said "not too fu*kin' bad, huh?" Heh, if it's got Fred in the name, I am so down with this. Hope this gets bottled-after Bourbon FFTW, of course:). Well done, Alan!

May 15, 2010
Cherry Fred From The Wood from Hair Of The Dog Brewing Company / Brewery And Tasting Room
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 60 ratings