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

Not Rated.
Doggie ClawsDoggie Claws

Educational use only; do not reuse.

541 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 541
Hads: 1,119
Avg: 4.13
pDev: 11.38%
Wants: 392
Gots: 257 | FT: 16
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 541 | Hads: 1,119
Photo of Jimmys
2.69/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle. 2013 vintage. kept at cellar conditions since obtaining in 2013.

A: pours like all hell. dark brown and super hazy. tried to keep most of the conditioning yeast out of the pour, but it was challenging. head is super frothy and has great retention.

S: smells like a glass of raisins. oxidation too. virtually no hops. this thing is pretty cooked and despite being held at cellar conditions, didn't age nicely.

T: see aroma.

M: a positive from this, the carb is great. full bodied brew.

D: see aroma. truly, I kept this in good condition and it really is nothing to write home about. should have drank sooner as I could only imagine fresh would be much better.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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Photo of daledeee
3.21/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I never met a barleywine I didn't like...until now.

I poured this into a large wine glass and wondered. No bubbles? I swirled it and got a few large bubbles. A cloudy brown body.

The Nose had hints of flower blossom at first then not much.

Taste was sweet and some hops but not much else. It does taste like some kind of fruit juice with a hops after taste.

I am wondering if this is just the batch. The mouthfeel was absolutely flat. Not very warming but the flatness made this harder to find appealing. This had to be batch specific because another person said the same thing, then older reviews speak of a big head and pine aromas. Not this one. Too bad, I don't go out west and won't be able to try another one.

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Photo of Tupperwolf
3.26/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2005 'vintage'.

Pours a hazy mahogany brown; The head is very slow and small, so I begin to force-pour, which is my downfall. The head suddenly erupts. Look out!

After getting things stabilized in my Stone Old Guardian glass, I'm left with a two-cookie-thick yellowish head atop a hazy, dark brown body. The head leaves behind a sticky inch-thick ring that completely covers, then trails off in vertical lines down the side of the glass.

Alcohol, tree sap, slight cardboard earthiness - but none of this is really bad, mind you. These are merely notes I pick out amidst the burnt caramel malts and the explosive hops (which seem to need some time to mellow).

Distinctive grassy, grilled vegetable flavor, bready and slightly caramelly malts - blended all together with a bigass wallop of piney hops, more, perhaps even than Bigfoot '06. I like trying barleywines when fresh because the hops are still present - but I think this will be a bit better when mellowed.

The mouthfeel is very, very, very sticky. It's like someone took some honey and mixed it with water, so that you could drink it - but not very easily. I find this takes a very long time to drink not because the alcohol is overpowering or anything - it's definitely not - but because the mouth is so sticky that after you take a sip, it's easy to sit there for ten minutes without wanting to take another sip. You can still taste the last sip, so why go back for more?

Final thoughts - a tricky barleywine. It's good, but might be better later.

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Photo of nkersten
3.28/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of gregg, thanks! 2010 bottle is a bit of a gusher, luckily the darkness snifter was ready and i didnt lose too much. Hopefully this one isnt infected. Color is a nasty looking cloudy brown with lots of sediment floating around and a 3 finger thick light tan head that lingers. Smell is a good balance of sugary malt and alcohol, some simcoe hop bitterness, slightly metallic astringent quality, the amarillo is totally overpowered. Taste is very sweet up front, lots of sweet cherries and dark fruits, caramel malt, some fruity hops, slightly piney, some alcohol. Mouthfeel is a bit light for a barleywine with a medium carbonation - way off for the style, the alcohol seems to have thinned it out. Warm alcohol finish. Not a very drinkable barleywine, this one definitley needs a little time on the shelf.

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Photo of Cavery
3.3/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 3

12oz Shared with Klym, poured into Stone Nonics.

2009 vintage

A: Poured CLEAR (yes I said CLEAR) bubbles with no head formation at all. This one is looking quite rough. There's a murky toffee/carmel body that looks a bit redeeming, but the lack of head has me concerned. Obviously there's no lacing to speak of. This reminds me of so many "brandy barrel aged" offerings I've had. However, I don't think this thing has ever seen a barrel.

S: For all of you that live near the border of mexico, this thing smells exactly like Baby lucas. Tamarind and lime salts with some deliciously forward mexican spices. Ancho chile power, coriander, and some cumin. This thing has quite a stellar nose. What in the world could this taste like? Could this possibly forgive the lack of head?

T: This thing gave me mad shivers. This is alcohol infused tamarind tea. Super sweet lime salts and tamarind make for the funkiest flat mexican cocktail this side of tijuana. I mean really Hotd, this is just missing the flavor of tequila. Meant to age for years? I think this barley wine should be consumed fresh. Absolutely no hop presence to speak of whatsoever. This is expected considering the age, but this tastes so incomplete. This is like diet crystal mole; the carmel color is but a mind game.

M: So flat it hurts my skull. Very watery iced tea with not even the slightest pinch of carbonation. Fresh hops and lively carbonation would greatly improve the experience of this beer. I am left wanting in the mouth, I have to will myself to the next sip.

O: Either the 2009 batch was no good, or this is too long for this beer. This had without a doubt the weirdest pour I have ever seen. Clear bubbles? what the hell. I thought I poured some bubble bath into my nonic. This thing looked like you could blow bubbles with it. The smell and taste was so interesting, that I feel cheated. This beer was swiss cheese; there were some holes that I can't neglect. This is on my most wanted to retry list -- and I need a fresh sample. The flavor was far too compelling to ignore, don't bother with the 2009. Oh my god I will not forget this nose.

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Photo of TheBungyo
3.34/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I’ve had various vintages of this beer and if the others bottle of this years vintage are like this bottle then this must be the weakest of all. I was troubled when no lacing appeared after I poured the scarlet and caramel bodied brew into my pint glass. No head and no lacing. As the 7337 kiddies say these days “WTF”?

The ball gets rolling a bit with the nose. The hops leap out first with pine leading the charge. Bitter grapefruit brings up the rear with buttery not-too-sweet caramel hand in hand. The finish reminds for some reason of rose petals and rich honey. It’s very nice. Though this tastes great I find the thin mouthfeel distracting. No lie, this beer has the consistency of water. Now I’m a water drinker myself. I don’t drink any fruity or sugary drinks to quench my thirst, I’m a water guy. When I opt for a beer, I want a mouthfeel that reflects that. Not only does this fail but it flunks with flying colors.

I’d consider buying this again just to see if this bottle was a fluke. It tastes very good but the thin mouthfeel just kills it. A shame. I rated the drinkability low because of the mouthfeel. I considered making this a drain pour with every sip.

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Photo of JCam9981
3.36/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12oz 2012 vintage, poured into a a Raleigh Beer Week snifter.

A: Pours a murky brown with no head. If I hadn't poured it, I'd have thought someone handed me a glass of farm made apple cider. It's hazy and there's no penetration even when held directly up to a light. When tilting the glass, the beer leaves streaks of carbonation on the side.

S: Smells of alcohol, toffee and apple skins, although the latter could be my mind playing tricks on me.

M: Thick. Yet another comparison to apple cider.

T: Alcohol up front and a slight burn on the finish. I'm getting a lot of malt, almost a bit salty.

O. In reading the other reviews on here, it appears that about 1 in every 10 has the same experience I did. Not sure if this is due to bottle storage - I drank mine just a few days after delivery - or if I just drank this bottle too soon, but it's definitely one of the stranger beers I've ever had. I've got about half a bottle left, and I can't decide if I'll finish it.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.37/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2006 release, acquired from Viggo courtesy of Birthday Club 2, so a big Thank You goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color, with no head and no lacing which can happen with this type of beer when it's got some age one it.

S: The aroma is of brown sugar, caramel, bourbon, alcohol and a decent amount of hops.

T: The taste is sweet up front with flavors of caramel and brown sugar, there's a strong alcohol burn that follows along with a toned-down but complimentary hops presence. The malt character is very hearty. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium-to-heavy body, very little carbonation, finish is sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, strong kick, decent representation of style, I've certainly had better barleywines, but I have a strong feeling that this beer would be much better fresh.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.37/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours with a five-finger+, bubbly light tan head that explodes out of the bottle, fades slowly and leaves a good lace. Cloudy amber color with chunky bits at the bottom. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is raisiny. Starts on the sweet side but some bitterness comes in and lingers. There are better barley wines like Dogfish Head's Old School. $4.25 for a 12oz bottle from Vintage Cellar Blacksburg, VA.

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Doggie Claws from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
92 out of 100 based on 541 ratings.