maxhits (172) - Pico Rivera, California, USA - MAR 29, 2002
This beer is rich and aromatic. This gold-caramel colored ale pours with a light amount of carbonation and produces a modestly sized, thick cream-colored head that will lace your glass as you drink it down. When pouring, do so slowly and carefully to keep the yeast sediments at the bottom of the bottle from emptying into your glass. Now then, stick your nose into the glass. One whiff will fill your sinuses and senses with honey and hops.
This is a 10% alcohol by volume ale. (I sampled batch No. 36. Hair of the Dog Brewing changes batch numbers after every 5,000 bottles produced.) This beer is bottle-conditioned and has a long shelf life. No 'born on date' is needed for this beer. According to Hair of the Dog, its beers 'can be stored at room temperature (50-74 degrees F) and will continue to mature in the bottle for several years like a fine wine.'
This beer combines honey sweetness with hop bitterness. FRED is rated at 65 IBU's (International Bitterness Units). This ale is very bitter. Compare this to a Belgian 'tripel' style ale, Corsendonk Abbey Pale Ale, which is rated at 30 IBU's. MilkmanDan (1942) - Eagan, Minnesota, USA - MAR 7, 2002
UPDATED: MAY 14, 2003 5/14/03 Rerate: I am apparently an idiot. Didn't like this first time, found it pretty amazing on a further sample. Beautiful sweetness at the end, lovely big hops throughout, just very good. Incredibly rich and creamy. Considerably upping my rating. Original rating: An extremely ambitious yet far, far too busy brew. Has a massive head of very tight bubbles that lingers. Dark golden color with plenty of floaties (there's more residue in the bottom of Hair of the Dog beers than anyone else's). Scent is malty and somewhat sour and minty(?). Flavor is sweet and sugary, with plenty of ginger and spiciness. The finish is overly peppery and quite hoppy, for a dry finish. Simply put, they tried to do too much with this beer. It goes from sweet to sharp very quickly. Good, yet unbalanced as heck. jskendzel (602) - Washington DC, USA - MAR 1, 2002
This beer has great head retention. The color is a golden/orange hue. The beer is very effervescent. The aroma is so strong that I could smell this beer from a foot away. The aroma is somewhat malty. The mouthfeel is full and this beer is chewy. A bitter taste punctuates the flavor profile, and is complimented with an alcoholic tinge. Fred warms the stomach. The aftertaste is fruity and reminiscent of apricots. As the beer warms this sensation grows. omhper (26030) - Tyresö, SWEDEN - FEB 24, 2002
Pale. Very sweet. Bitter. Raisin and toffee flavours.
.................... ChrisBeest (43) - Corvallis, Oregon, USA - FEB 18, 2002
I'd rather drink lighter beers...this was my first Barleywine, and I always say I'll try anything once, but I never said I'd try it again.
ttboy8099 (73) - Corvallis, Oregon, USA - FEB 7, 2002
1st barleywine and to say the least I am not a fan! Too strong on the alchol side. npdempse (934) - St. Petersburg, Florida, USA - JAN 3, 2002
Good, but not great, barleywine. Pretty sweet malty body, some vinous notes. Alcohol not too apparent, decent, but not exceptional kick of hops. Northernbrewer (151) - St. Paul, Minnesota, USA - DEC 28, 2001
Wow, what a big complex beer this is, it is hard to know where to start. It is the best of Hair of the Dog's big beers. Mamoth body with a strong pale caramel flavor. An aroma of peaches, grapefruit and syrup.
As a side note. There seems to be a lot of variabitlity in this beer and it does not seem to age well. Good examples are great, but I have tasted flat and hazy examples of both Fred and Adam. 40oz (181) - Newport Beach, California, USA - DEC 27, 2001
Thick sticky creamy head that lasted longer than the beer. Fruity bitter tea aroma. Flavor is fruity and caramely but very heavy. While I generally enjoy bittersweet beers, the bitterness and sweetness of this stuff is over the top. HammerheadPDX99 (6) - USA - DEC 24, 2001 does not count
Intense... first one had to be chased down with glass of water. Another of my favorite brews.