Doggie Claws - Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room

Not Rated.
Doggie ClawsDoggie Claws

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

536 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 536
Hads: 1,095
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 10.9%
Wants: 392
Gots: 258 | FT: 17
Brewed by:
Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mattmaples on 10-12-2001

"a Barley Wine made in the West Coast style. Big malt and hops make this copper colored ale one of our most popular products. Produced in September and October and released in November, this Beer will improve for years to come. Alcohol: 11.5% by volume. IBU's 70"
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 536 | Hads: 1,095
Photo of maximum12
1.79/5  rDev -56.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Thanks to the long-absent ThirstyHopHead, who sent me this in a very good trade before heading for the hills. Hope you are well, my friend!

Poured into my very nice Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence goblet (where'd I get that thing, anyways?) & it is, as advertised, a deep copper color. Small, persistent head. Smell is in some kind of garbled code. Roughage, hops, alcohol.

Doggie Claws lays down a base of caramel fire that everything else plays off of. Honey appears to be in the house, or perhaps just some sugar sweet malts. Then comes something unpleasant. Whether it's the yeasts (which I carefully left in the bottle), oxidation, or something else, there's an unpleasant, downright nasty undercurrent of wet boot. It sticks to the top of my mouth. It gets worse as the beer warms. I'm not going to be able to drink this. I'm sad.

What the hay? This is the second Hair brew I've had & I've been underwhelmed & revolted, in that order. Whether there's something wrong with the bottle, this is pungent, & not in a good way. Drain pour. (1,042 characters)

Photo of JDV
1.99/5  rDev -51.8%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours opaque muddy brown with suspended yeast as well. Looks exactly like muddy water. Worst looking beer I've ever seen by far. ZERO carbonation and head. Unpleasantly chunky, gritty, thick palate. Smell is of alcohol and muddy, earthy hops. Flavor is overly sweet with a mild earthy bitterness and earthy, herbal hop flavor and touch of alcohol following. Tastes, feels, and looks like tree bark smashed up in sugar water. Doesn't resemble beer at all, excessively sweet, and an unenjoyable drainpour. To me, very overrated. (526 characters)

Photo of Nietzsches_Horse
2/5  rDev -51.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Perhaps beyond my current palate, but I don't think so...It looked, smelled, and tasted bad (like medicine or some kind of stale/infected cider more than beer). Still, I recognize I'm in the minority on this verdict. Maybe you'll love it! (Edit: refers to 2014 batch, which may have had "issues.") (299 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
2.28/5  rDev -44.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.75

This one pours a syrupy looking opaque brown. There's a small amount of bubbles on top, which is surprising, because this one is flat as can be. There's some sludge under the bottle cap and inside the neck of the bottle. Gulp.

Smells actually somewhat decent, piney and citrusy hops mainly, with a bit of caramel.

Tastes honestly atrocious though. This just feels unfinished, honestly. It's got a flat, stale cardboard flavor, almost like it's oxidized. The funny part is this is a 2014 bottle, though, so there's no way it'd be oxidized. There's a little bit of a old molasses flavor, and absolutely no hop flavor at all. This is strangely muted, and like I said, unfinished. Did it even finish fermenting? There seems to be so much unfermented sugar and dead yeast in here. Meh.

This has an intensely syrupy and unpleasant mouthfeel, with absolutely no carbonation, whatsoever, leading to an wholly undrinkable beer. I don't mind low carbonation, some styles require a lower level of carbonation, but this is just flat and dead.

This honestly felt like a shitty attempt at a barleywine homebrew. Not a great start to Hair of the Dog, as this was the first beer I've ever had from them. Ugh. (1,196 characters)

Photo of ChadQuest
2.28/5  rDev -44.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Beer pours with no head, dispite an aggressive pour. Its petty clear and a very attractive color, but looks like a dark fruity bourbon with the completely still surface. A stiff swirl gives nothing either.

I can tell by the taste and aroma that this beer has so much potential. It fares heavily on the citrus and dark fruits side of the Barley wine spectrum, and other then the brightness of citrus didn't have much in the way of Hop flavors or aroma, maybe the flatness is causing this notion. This drinks alot more like a bright Old Ale then a BW.

The slick and flat mouthfeel is what really brings this beer down. it ruins the appearance, diminishes the palette ability to perceive the flavors, and doesn't carry the aroma up and out.

I have a feeling this would be a totally awesome bottle with some bubbles going on, but from reviews it looks like the carb levels have been all over. (892 characters)

Photo of Wayne17
2.33/5  rDev -43.6%
look: 1 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Wow this is a let down. Had to be the least appealing beer I've ever seen. Looks like diarrhea to be quite honest and smells vaguely barley wine-ish. Taste isn't AWFUL but it's certainly not good. A weird plastic-y aspect to this that doesn't sit well. And still looking at it is giving me the willies. Bottle says its a 2013 in case anyone cares. (352 characters)

Photo of ibbjamin
2.49/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked up a 12oz bottle of the 2008 vintage from Healthy Spirits in San Francisco, CA. Poured into a small snifter.

No head, no retention. Absolutely none. Opaque, murky brown color. No lacing, almost non-existent carbonation.

Quite a rummy, alcohol infused nose. Well balanced with some slightly sweeter malts, caramel and candied raisin.

Taste is quite strong. Alcohol could be better hidden. Similar in characteristic to the nose.

Mouth is full bodied with no carbonation. The lack of carbonation makes this extremely flat and difficult to drink. The mouth is murky and somewhat gritty. Lasting aftertaste. (613 characters)

Photo of TastyTaste
2.68/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Dark rust color, hazy, with lots of visible sediment. Head is small, carbonation is fairly visible.

Smell: Dark fruit, sweet floral hops, alcohol, brown sugar, very nice.

Taste: Off flavor immedietly present. A melted plastic flavor hinders this flavor immensly. There is a nice amount of hops and malt, and I was excited to try this one, but the bottle is infected, skunked, or just has an odd flavor.

Mouthfeel: OK, but the taste really makes me dislike this beer in it's entirity.

Drinkability: Sans off flavor, this beer would be great. As is, I wouldn't recommend it. (596 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
2.68/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

3-26-2009
Pours a murky brown color with a dismal off white head that dissipates instantly. Smells of citrus brown sugar caramel a bit of alcohol. Tastes of caramel and citrus, lots of lemon comes through. Some alcohol mixed with a mild astringency and some yeasty flavors round this one out. Sweet almost cloying but offset with the lemon and alcohol. The body on this is thinner than you'd think. Carbonation is very low. Mouthfeel is syrupy and sticky. Based on the other reviews I may have gotten a bad bottle. I will revisit this one as I have a couple more bottles, but as is this one is going to clean my kitchen sink.

1-25-2014
2013 Bottle from craft shack shared with HoppasaurusRex.
Pours a murky brown color with a couple of hollow bubbles floating on the top. The aroma is stagnant molasses, brown sugar, malt syrup and honey with hints of earth and citrus. The flavor is sweet sugary unfermented wort with hints of citrus. Sticky syrupy mouthfeel, marginal carbonation with a medium to thick body. This beer went down Todd's sink. I don't know why I can't seem to find a decent bottle of this beer, but I might just be done with HOTD altogether.

4/3/2015 2005 Bottle from Mike’s Barleywine tasting, thanks for the opportunity! Rich caramel light pitted fruits mild oxidation. A 10 year old bottle that held up better than my previous 2 attempts with newer vintages. (1,383 characters)

Photo of FtownThrowDown
2.7/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Aged in a magnum bottle. Pours a cloudy golen hue with some red hints to it. Very nice large white head sits atop. I’m having trouble contrasting the smell and taste to anything else. Stone’s Double Bastard comes to mine, but this has a bit of vinegar on the back side. For being aged, this still has quite a bit of alcohol present. A different style of barleywine to say the least. There is quite a bit of smoothed out hop presence in the taste. I’d have to say that I think this is past it’s prime. Still drinkable, but would have been better at maybe 1-2 years, IMO. (573 characters)

Photo of beerandcycling88
2.87/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A Pours a dark cloudy brown color topped off with a pretty thick white head.

S Lots of hop type notes. Lots of pine and a bit of citrus. Also a hint of a sweet malt type note.

T Maybe its just this bottle but there is definitely an off taste here that I just can't put my finger on. I don't know what it is but it keeps me from enjoying what seems to be a hoppy piney barley wine.

M Thick almost syrupy like a barley wine should be.

Overall I would have liked this one a lot more if it wasn't for that unpleasant off note that just kills the flavor for me. (608 characters)

Photo of Strawbs
2.95/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

2009 bottle. The barley wine part is excellent, but this is one of the sweetest beers I've ever had. The aftertaste is pure sweet sticky honey. Rather cloying. Perhaps it will improve with age, but not what I'm looking for now. Rather disappointing since I do like sweeter beers, but this example is just TOO sweet. (315 characters)

Photo of Hop_God
2.95/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Horribly disappointing. Reminds me of a bad home brew attempt.

L: Muddy and looked like it was separated from the rest of the beer
S: Bread, tons of bread. old dried fruit
T: Is this some kind of joke? first thing i thought. all over the place. just a yeast bomb with no flavors of anything else. Very basic.
F: slushy and clunky. No carbonation whatsoever .
O: I am so disappointed in this. I have two more bottles i intend to age for a while in hopes that It develops into something palatable. (499 characters)

Photo of chezztone
2.95/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I'm drinking a 2006 bottle that I bought at the brewery when new and aged in my cellar. Unfortunately I have most of the case left, because it is not aging well. The caps must not be attached well, because the beer is still. This is not the only bottle in the case to turn out flat, either. Strange, because an earlier Doggie Claws -- 2003 -- was extremely bubbly, so much that the brewery sold cases at a hefty discount for several years afterward. It kept building up fizziness in the bottle. And it was a great beer! Champagne-like in its color and delicate flavor, once you waited for the head to die down. But there is no way to let the head "die up" on the newer one. It tasted good when fresh, but aging is supposed to benefit it. Well....It's a copper-colored, flat, sweet, strong drink. Sort of like an off--brand sherry. It might be good for cooking, except for all the hops. Really a shame because I usually like this brewery and love this beer. (956 characters)

Photo of cokes
2.97/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

2001 edition. Or it is 1968?

(Big) Huge,1.5L bottle...or as it states on the label: 1 Quart 1 pint / 2.7 fluid oz. Gee, that system simplifies things.

A bizarre-looking glass full of tan-peach liquid nitrogen. Head is about 2 shades lighter. Massive initially, then fades to nothing.
Nostrils are bombarded with candied apricot sweetness and piney, whole leaf (whole plant?) hops. Toffee takes refuge here. But it is quickly located and neutralized by the oppressive alcohol regime that is gaining power by the moment.
Fruit inflitrates and permeates the entire beverage. Certainly complex. Intense mangoes and heavy peach syrup notes organize successful bombing runs. The war is expanded into sour lime and green apples. Layered on a secured butter-toffee basecamp.
Sounds like all is well so far, huh?
Well, that quickly changes. Solvent-like ethanol is set aflame and burns injudiciously all that could have prospered. This is a massacre of unfounded proportions; the Pol Pot of brews. It is a shame, really, as the once benevolent fruity hues are relocated and slaughtered in a murderous siege sponsored by a junta of rubber cement, petroleum, and chemical byproducts. Napalm perhaps, with hints of Agent Orange? This shit will defoliate anything.
I am left with a mouthful of clinging, burning plastic, as the hops enter to raid whatever remains standing. A lone pine tree, coated in wax and gasoline, is a silhouette against the smoldering horizion.
A helicopter descends to evacuate whatever it can. I was not fortunate enough to be included on the flight.
I am forced to face the residual carnage, alone and frightened. The burning landscape is cloyingly adhered to the inside of my mind and my mouth.

The Horror! The Horror!

This is a complex and interesting chapter in (beer) history. Yet in many ways, it is one that should remain unexplored.

A Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disordered thanks to Lt. Bighuge for the tour of duty. (1,960 characters)

Photo of Silenus89
2.97/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 12oz bottle. 5 bucks for a 12oz? I guess.

A. Deep amber orange color with no head at all

S. Malt sweetness, different spices and earthiness. Perhaps a cherry sweetness too

T. Holy sweetness, the malts are so sweet, my first sip was not good nor were the ones to follow.

M. The taste in my mouth is horrible from this, no carbonation. The alcohol is hidden well which is a bad thing for this beer.

D. One was to much of this. Definitely a sipper, if that.

I'm disappointed with this beer, especially since it was 5 dollars.. Way to sweet for me. Wont be getting this again (592 characters)

Photo of switzer
3.01/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

2012 bottle purchased a day ago.

i think i need to try another bottle. in reading the other reviews (other than one that seemed to have the same issue i did) this looks like a tasty brew. i couldn’t get over the feel, thick, no carbonation whatsoever, no head at all. the taste was good but i didnt get the right experience and i didnt finish the glass. (357 characters)

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.03/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hyrid glass on 4/7/12
*From notes

-- Thanks to SirRuss for this one --

Vintages 2010

A: First off, I popped the cap, put the bottle down on the counter to grab a glass, and by the time I came back, it had oozed all over the place, soaking my bills, magazines, etc. God damnit. I ended up losing almost half the bottle. As for color, well it's a dirty shade of cloudy piss. One of the ugliest beers I've ever seen. Overly bubbly white .75 finger head and no lacing or real semblance of a collar.

S: Figs, sugar plums and some seriously candied hops.

T: Very concentrated amount of residual sugar and overall sweetness. Toffee and caramel dominate the fore to mid. Alcohol washes over the back. Even two years in, this is still hot. And considering the "Secret of the Ooze" that happened upon opening, I do not detect any signs of infection.

M: Overcarbed to the max. Like a viscous soda pop.

O: There is absolutely no excuse for exploding bottles. It's a sin I lost so much of this to the counter. And it isn't the first time I've had an issue with HotD beers. I simply wish they could find a consistency to their products. Now you know why it gets a 2 overall.

As for their Doggie Claws, it's a nice beer that's got a bunch of warts. If they'd take the time to touch this up and give it a bit of TLC, this could be great. As it is, it's just ok. (1,380 characters)

Photo of boogyman
3.06/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours a very murky dark brown amber color. Now, I was told this batch was over carbonated but I poured it like it was grape juice with no head to speak of. I guess we will see what happens as i drink it.

S- Smell is fairly weak. It has some dark fruit along with some almost caramel scents.

T- Very malty and only slightly bitter. Subtle fruity notes on the back end and that is about it. At being 11% ABV there is almost no boozyness to this brew which is surprising.

M- Very smooth going down and absolutely no alcohol burn.

D- I feel like even though I was told that this batch of doggie claws was over carbonated, I think that I might have gotten a odd ball since mine not only wasn't overly carbonated, it had no carbonation at all! But if you take that out of it, this was a very strong brew that I could have a few of without complaining too much. (861 characters)

Photo of vurt
3.08/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle of the 2006 Doggie Claws, purchased from Hi-Time Cellars of Costa Mesa in January 2007.

A- Before I pop the top, I can see a full quarter inch of murky sediment at the bottom of the bottle. As I open the bottle, there is hardly any indication of carbonation. This significantly viscous beer pours cloudy and still into my Piraat tulip and eventually clears up as it warms. The color starts as a mellow, peachy orange and deepens to a ruddy burnt orange. A vigorous swirl yields a thin skin of foam the color of white pepper.

S- A big, piney hop aroma cuts through a foundation of malt, burnt sugar and sweetened oat cereal, with notes of honeysuckle and alcohol and a whiff of blackberries. Very promising.

T- Very sweet and tart at first, like lemon curd. Then there's a strong dry herbal/floral note in the middle, like the smell of geraniums. The finish is full of earthy, herbal bitterness and it lasts forever. Through the middle and finish, the fruity character changes from lemon to something more tropical (notes of pineapple and guava). My tastebuds are tingling a full minute and a half after the first swallow.

M- This beer could really use more carbonation. The mouthfeel is milky and heavy like tepid canned nectar. It coats my mouth in a way I don't like very much. Feh.

D- Not very drinkable. The bombastic, long-lasting flavors are side-swiped by a lack of carbonation. It was a lot of work to finish 12 oz. of this, and I *really* like big beers. But I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of beer this turns into in a couple of years. (1,572 characters)

Photo of PatandDavid
3.08/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was a hard one to review for me...while I thought it was fine, I didn't think it was much finer than that. I will assume with aging that this one takes off, but I have to review the young version that I has, so here goes. Dark crystal amber when served, no head. Aroma was the wackiest element...initially it seemed like dark fruit would win the day, but several deep whiffs later, I noticed an acrid note. Some finishing pine tree aromas later led me to think: acrid = someone pee'd on a pine tree. Sorry, but I gotta call 'em as I drink 'em. Moving on, I admit for being a young big beer, it is surprisingly smooth. It flows on malt, and ends with faint pine and fir notes. Some faint smoke in the background as well. Probably a killer with aging. (754 characters)

Photo of PatronWizard
3.11/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2006 vintage, courtesy of OlieIPA.

I can see about an inch of crap at the bottom of the bottle. What the hell is going on here? I crack it open and there is an accumulation of what looks like ear wax all over the mouth of the bottle. I'm not feeling to good about this right now. I carefully pour around the ear wax and manage to only get 2 floaties into my glass. Soft pour brings about no head and few bubbles. The fluid is actually a very nice shade of bronze.

Smells pretty decent. Barleywine caramel with a hint of pears? Something else too.

Well the taste approaches good but doesn't quite get there. Medium strength caramel flavor, some light bitterness, and a little other sweetness.

Fairly smooth, uncarbonated feel. It's just not very exciting. I don't think I'll be revisiting this one. Ever.

Overall: a far cry from my favorite barleywine. (857 characters)

Photo of isualum12
3.14/5  rDev -24%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pour- is dark brown with a little head.

smell is nuts and bourbon, plenty of alcohol smell with a little roasted toffee.

taste is thick, creamy, caramel, brown sugar, dark cream, some malt, spiced.

I could handle a beer or two but that is it. I was really was not looking forward to this beer prior to drinking it but this beer plain out surprised me. This beer was good.

Serving type: bottle (396 characters)

Photo of billshmeinke
3.18/5  rDev -23%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Vigurous pour into pint glass. 2009 bottle.

A: Deep honey, amber in color. Bits of yeast floating about. absolutely no head or lacing. The tiniest bit of foam on top.

S: Brown suggar, candy apple, caramel and honey. Also, some tropical fruity hops. Good nose.

T: Mostly follows smells. Quite sweet. Barley, brown sugar, candy apple, honey.

M: I saw some reviewers saying their bottle had low carbonation, but mine was a total dud. Almost literally 0 carbonation. I'm usually not one to complain about this type of issue. I even enjoy the low levels of carbonation in Port Brewing/Lost Abbey's barrel aged offerings, but this was undrinkable. Maybe it was just a problem with my bottle or the particular batch, but I couldn't finish it.

D: This beer had a lot of promise based on smell and taste, but the carbonation issue ruined the beer for me.

I really hate to bash what many consider a good beer, but it was completely unenjoyable for me. And at $6 a bottle it makes me a little angry. (994 characters)

Photo of Erdinger2003
3.21/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The head is fluffy and thick, but falls away quickly leaving a beautiful lacing. The color is clear and copper.

Slightly musky with hoppiness, apples and raisan. It is slightly fruity underneath a musky hoppiness.

Taste is hoppy and slightly fruityit holds all of the same flavors as the smell. It is complex, but somehow it holds want. It seems mistreated.

Mouthfeel is smooth, medium to full bodied and it feels great on the palate.

Overall pretty good, but a little lacking, I think a fresh bottle would be better. (530 characters)

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Doggie Claws from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
92 out of 100 based on 536 ratings.