Doggie Claws - Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
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Ratings: 965 | Reviews: 528 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by kojevergas:
3.4/5 rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3
12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into 20cl Beer Sommelier Antwerp Beer Passion Weekend stemware in low altitude Los Angeles, California. This is the 2011 version. My label displays ABV as 11%. Acquired at Wally's Wine in Westwood, California. Reviewed live. I'm excited for this one; I'm really into barleywines and am in the mood for a good one.
A: Pours a half finger head of nice fair cream, good thickness, and decent retention (considering the high ABV anyway). Colour is an extremely dark copper; nontransparent and solid. No yeast particles are visible. Appears adequately carbonated. I'm looking forward to it, though I do note that it seems a bit dark for a barleywine.
Sm: Strangely hoppy - unexpected for a barleywine. Biscuity bread-like notes. Maybe some toasted malt and/or raisin. Dark honey is also present, particularly on the finish - which is lovely. I'd say the honey is dominant, and next in line hops. A moderate strength aroma, but a subtle and intricate one that makes me excited to taste it. 4.0-4.5
T: Nectary. The delightful honey foundation is near-perfect in its subtlety, not intruding on the delicate balance, and not too bright and open; clearly they didn't just add honey the way you might in a honey blonde. It's a dark honey, and reading the label and discovering it's wild flower honey doesn't surprise me. An excellent and unique choice.
The hops are nearly perfectly balanced, giving the open a very interesting character that doesn't at all clash with the balance in a structural or flavour-wise sense.
Light candied sugar manifests mostly on the climax, giving it a bit of body but also thinning the third act a bit. It's not a favorful tradeoff all around; I think they could do with reducing the quantity of candied sugar used a bit.
No yeast comes through, nor does any alcohol - an impressive feat considering the hefty ABV.
It does seem hoppy for a barleywine, but the honey does well to hide the bitterness.
The only troublesome bit is the third act, which has a strange bitter feel to it and is thinner than the first two. It's a minor qualm, but throws the structural balance off to a degree.
It could do with more complexity in its flavours, but what's there is nice and I imagine she'd age nicely. I like it, though for the style it's a bit strange.
Mf: Smooth and wet, but a touch thick. It lumps on the climax, which doesn't bother me - though the thinness of the third act afterwards is (as aforementioned) a problem. It could do with more thickness and coarseness all around. Moreover, the finish is too slick and zips right by.
Dr: Quite drinkable for its hefty ABV, and uniquely honey-centric for the style. I like that they're experimenting, but I think the hop content should be reduced, the honey quantity increased, and the crystal malts omitted.
This one would likely age well, in part because the hop flavour would die down. There doesn't seem to be much yeast in the bottle, so I don't know that the ABV would creep.
Best paired with a good plain bread, like baguette.
Serve in a glass that really lets the aroma out; it's quite pleasant.
Serving type: bottle
01-19-2012 06:22:01 | More by kojevergas
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Doggie Claws from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
93 out of 100 based on 965 ratings.