Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Hair of the Dog Brewing Company - Fred From the Wood

It's been a while since I reviewed a Hair of the Dog beer, which is a shame because I really enjoy their beers. The problem is that only 5 of their beers make it down here on a consistent basis (Blue Dot, Adam, Fred, Ruth and Doggie Claws) so I was pretty much maxed out. However, Beverages 4 Less recently received a shipment of one of Hair of the Dog's smaller release beers, Fred From the Wood, and I was able to pick one up. I wanted to do this review as a side by side with regular Fred, but unfortunately Fred had some carbonation/oxidation issues so I won't be reviewing that one today. Luckily, Fred From the Wood greeted me with a nice fizz when I popped the cap and we were off.

Fred From the Wood pours a hazed chestnut color with a pretty beefy one-finger tan head that shows good retention. This beer is a version of regular Fred that's been aged for over half a year in new medium toast oak barrels and you really get that the second your nose gets close to the glass. I've had a good amount of beers that were aged in barrels and I've never found anything close to the intensity of the smell of oak in this beer. It smells fresh cut, spicy and toasty and I loved it. As the beer warmed a bit, the oak faded, giving way to some caramel, toffee, banana bread and toasted brown sugar.

The taste opens with a nice, spicy hit of oak that lingers over the palate for a while, letting other flavors join it without really giving up the spotlight. Cinnamon, toffee, light leather and tobacco all mingled with the oak nicely before a finish that showed a bit of cocoa. I never really considered myself to be a fan of oak aged beers that didn't involve a spirit of some sort, but this beer is phenomenal. Hats off to Hair of the Dog for this one.

Final Grade- A

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