riversideAK (5404) - Shoreline, Washington, USA - JUN 3, 2011
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Nose is sweet with lots of Fred showing through some sweet cherries, slight oxidation as well as a touch of alcohol. Pours golden red, thinnish off white head. The flavor is sweet with honey, pears, grains, lots of cherry - light oak notes, alcohol for sure. Big full bodied. Soft odxidized flavors as well. Cherry is interesting, might become a touch medicinal at points due to the big sweet base beer body, but I enjoyed it. Solid and unique.
DrHomolka (761) - Portland, Oregon, USA - MAY 29, 2011
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap at the tasting room. Pours a dark, deep cherry red - pretty much indistinguishable from Cherry Adam. Pretty much no head, appears flat except for a small amount of bubbles at the top. Aroma is deep oak with some cherry and alcohol. I get bourbon out of this but itís probably just the intense vanilla and wood as I donít think this was in bourbon barrels. The cherries and oak in this have pretty much covered up the original Fred, making this seem extremely similar to Cherry Adam. Flavor is surprisingly drinkable, smooth even. Alcohol is hidden well. Wine-like fruitiness and complexity. I think I prefer the Cherry Adam at this point but this is still excellent if not completely different.
CheersMate (1292) - Fremont (Seattle), Washington, USA - MAY 23, 2011
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
On tap at Bottleworks. I canít say that this was a win. Dark, dense, nearly black body, with a strange ruby/pink highlights around the top. It is much darker than expected. Itís look pretty good, for a barley wine. This beer is insanely sweet smelling. Lots of vanilla, hints of cherry, and tiny bits of fudge and chocolate cake coming through. Bits of the Fred base come through, but, as others feel, Fred is a little too sweet for my liking. Not really picking up the oak on this one. There are interesting dimensions here, but nothing great. Iím not really digging the flavor. Itís a little too sweet for me. Lots of vanilla, chocolate, fudge, and chocolate cake. A subtle cherry tartness pokes through, but it lasts only for a second. For $10 a glass, this stuff is a bit much. The cherries donít feel like they belong in this beer. As BVC said, I, personally, prefer the Hair of the Dog Cherry Adam from the Wood. Interesting experiment that turned out a very, very sweet barley wine. Itís a little too much for me. Damn nice texture.
bvc (1102) - Kenmore, Washington, USA - MAY 21, 2011
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Draft at the dray, second sample of this beer one year later. Pours almost as Adam with a pinkish tan head that is tight yet small. Quite cherry forward with a vanilla fudge cake malt backing, hints of wet oak as a combo of light chocolate and leather. Medium to heavy body with a slick creamy feel. Dark cherry...skin, flesh, juice and pit...leather, other dark fruit, light smoke, hint of peat, touch of wet cardboard. Little cough syrup like up front, but no where near what it was the first time I had it. Little more on the balanced or cohesive side now. Still, i would opt of cherry Adam any time.
neepsntatties (883) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JUN 15, 2010
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap at the 2010 Fred Fest. Colour... looked just like Welchís grape juice, including the grapey head! Nose... whew! Thank God it doesnít smell like Welchís! Very cherry aroma, esp. cherry skins. Palate... macerated cherries, cherry pits, cherry stems, cherry juice (notice a pattern?), cherry skins, then a change to vanillin and hints of dry, sappy oak. Not my fave from Alan, but Iím still a devout HOTD aficionado!
marcus (5000) - Sacramento, California, USA - MAY 13, 2010
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap at Fredfest. Pours dark red with a small pink head and a fruity aroma. There is a delicious sweet cherry flavor with a citrus feel, vanilla, coconut and a woody finish. This beer probably needs to age some more, as the cherry flavor, although tasty, had not blended with the other flavors and was too prominent. Nevertheless, a nice beer.
boFNjackson (3571) - Portland, Oregon, USA - MAY 12, 2010
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUN 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.
[Original Rating 5/12/2010, 3.5] Tap @ Fredfest... Sometimes itís hard to tell if I love all of Alanís beers, or if I am just loyal to the brand and all the brews seem exceptional to me. Well, I think itís the former. This is by far, no where near the exceptional spectrum of regular Fred, Adam, Cherry Adam, etc.. But! Itís 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.