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

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Doggie ClawsDoggie Claws

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1,059 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,059
Reviews: 534
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 396
Gots: 251 | FT: 19
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: faernt on 11-16-2004

"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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,059 | Reviews: 534 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 ounce bottle - 2004 vintage. Uncapped and poured into my shaker glass. The ale appears a mildly cloudy dark hazelnut color with about a finger of light tan foam. The flavors and aromas consist of prunes, molasses, rich toffee, bitter burnt demura sugar, caramelized bready grains, graham crackers, dark cherries, some bittersweet chocolate, earthy hops. Approaching full bodied with nice carbonation. Even after 5 plus years in the bottle, I'm still getting some pleasant alcohol warmth in the back of my throat. Really nice overall, gets sweeter as it warms.

Photo of GarrettMD
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Very hazy orange hue. No head at all, some bubbles from the pour.

S - Caramel malts, piney hops, cherry, dark fruit very similar to a belgian quadrupel. Fig is a big aroma in this one.

T - Sweet tasting, mostly caramel malts, the same dark fruits but not as many as in the aroma. No hop taste in the least. Cherry is still there, the fig still comes through.

M - Medium to light bodied, no carbonation to speak of, but still very smooth mouthfeel. Finish is sweet and slightly drying. There's really no alcohol taste at all.

D - Very good drinkability, cannot taste alcohol at all. Wouldn't drink more than one just because of the ABV, but it is delicious and easy to drink nonetheless. This was a 2009 bottle.

Photo of Halcyondays
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, 2006 Vintage, bottle has a dog with a Santa hat on it next to a couple of menorahs, 10.5% alcohol,

A: Pours a murky red-brown, with really no head except for a few bubbles, light ring around the perimeter of the glass.

S: Great smell as I am used to in many an aged barleywine. Dark fruit, raisins, sweet malt, molasses, fig juice, and booze.

T: Quite a complex amalgam of flavours. Dark honey, brown sugar, and fig form the main flavour, it is quite sweet. An earthy and minty hop overtone ends the brew.

M: Carbonation is practically nil, somewhat watery, and viscous, ethanol character.

D: Quite good for a high octane brew like this one. It is quite good now, in one or 2 years it could be absolutely fantastic.

Photo of tmoneyba
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from tasting at The Comet.

Poured reddish brown color with an average off-white frothy head that was mostly diminished with fair lacing. Moderate spicy malty and alcohol aroma. Medium body with a sticky texture. Medium sweet dark fruit flavor with a medium sweet & sour finish of moderate duration.

This is a standout beer.

Photo of Dope
4.21/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2011 batch.

A: Pours a hazy sort of reddish-brown. Tall, fluffy light brown head. Head fades very slowly with great retention. Just a little splotch of lacing here and there.

S: Big and rich malts. Heavy on the caramel, heavy on the dark fruits - primarily raisin. Prunes too I think. Very sweet smelling.

T: Again, very malty but there is a surprising little bite of hops up front (despite being 2+ years old). A little sharp alochol up front too. Caramel and dark fruits abound as well. Big bready malt is here now too with a touch of brown sugar.. Sort of a sweetbread taste I'd say. More like bread crusts in the finish. Lots of malt flavors, naturally. Touch of booziness again in the aftertaste. Lingering spicy alcohol and piney hoppiness between sips.

M: Fairly heavy but the booziness cuts it nicely.

O: A nice hoppy (I'm sure much hoppier fresh) and malty barleywine. Showcases some really nice and complex malt notes with just enough hops and alcohol to cut down the thickness and sweetness. Well balanced to boot. Easily the best HOTD beer I've had to date.

Photo of jvillefan
4.21/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: A very hazy brown with a head that dissipates very quickly (too be expected from 11% ABV)

S: Roasted malts are at the front of this aroma with an almost bourbony aroma.

T: Deep malt flavor. Very complex. There are very strong caramel and wood flavors in the front of this beer. There some great bittering qualities present in this beer probably from Simcoe hops.

M: Heavy but not as heavy as I expected from an 11% ABV beer. Low carbonation.

O: A very good beer. Not an everyday beer but worth picking up.

Photo of Mora2000
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Matt for sharing this beer at thirdeye11's tasting.

2007 vintage. The beer pours a murky orange color with a white head. The aroma is awesome, with caramel and piney hops. The flavor is pine and orange hops with a nice semi-sweet, caramel malt backbone. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of magictrokini
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured hazy orange-bronze with a short white head. Thick lacing. Earthy herbal hop aroma with heavy pine and some honey. Semi-viscous mouthfeel. Great taste. Lots of resiny goodness up front and throughout. Avoids the soapiness in some of these hoppy barleywines. Smooth, sweetened citrus and brown sugar flavor towards the back. This flows with tropical fruit overtones; pineapple, mango, kiwi, and some melon. Long finish, slightly sticky. Wish I had bought more.

Photo of Thrasher
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

To quote from the label: "Doggie Claws has a light copper color and an intense herbal hop character." The first statement is patently false. It is a deep, dark, rich rubied brown. The second phrase is an understatement. This is a truly hoppy beer; the aroma literally fills the room and my fingers feel sticky from handling the bottle and glass. The head is deliriously high and potent, and the beer goes down thick like candied sugar, only to be brutally scraped away by the severity of the antiseptic hops. My lips are wintry-chapped today, and it smarts to pour this hop beast across them. I would say yes, this is a barley wine; it has the thick viscosity and austere malt wood-varnish quality I find in many US barley wines but not too many IPAx2's. It's incredibly hoppy, though, and delightful for that. It's not as bright and flowery as Bigfoot, but the Simcoe hops (god I love them) lend an earthy complexity and taut suppleness that makes this a damn enjoyable bevvy. Aging should suit this beer just fine, but don't you want to try it now and get spanked by the violent hops? Admit it, bitch, you do. You do. It's HOTD's Xmas/Hanukah gift to us all -- it would be ungrateful of you not to try it.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Murky ruby amber big tan head leaves thick patches of lacing throughout the glass. Aroma: Loads of citrus hop character mild pine cone accents some would say it smells like you should clean your floor with it, but I say it's a great hop aroma. Malts are solid and try to shine through in the citrus explosion but the yeast truly makes its mark with a bready dough tone. Taste: Alcohol very evident not overbearing but damn you know it's there all that alcohol tone is blended within copious amounts of citrus piney hops with rich robust malts that give a fruity edge to the already complex flavor. Mouthfeel: Full bodied good stuff evenly carbonated no complaints for this beast of a beer. Drinkability: In your face with citrus, loads of malts to balance all of those hops west coast b-wine at it's best.

Photo of augustgarage
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage. Poured from a 12oz bottle into my snifter.

Mahogany body, rather dark with rust and vermillion highlights. Perpetual thin desert sand head leaves behind lacing like a sparkling field of stars.

Alcohol is strong in the aroma, with suggestions of light cognac, candied orange, whole cloves, and as a bridge into the malt aromatics, syrup-coated fruitcake. The malt is bready and potent, but this young example is still full of spicy hops with hints of citrus and pine.

Myriad flavors parade across the palate: a faintly vinuous sherry note, lots of fruit (stewed peaches, nectarines, dates, prunes, cherry, bitter orange, etc.), lipton tea, and more. Dark bready malt spreads out mid-palate and leads into a complex hoppy dry heat in the finish (though there is a residual sweetness as well).

Medium-bodied, very well carbonated, smooth, lightly tannic, and just a touch sticky (though this suits the style).

Robust, well balanced, with a nice complexity and a well integrated ABV - an excellent take on the style, which seems to drink very well young (a nice change of pace compared to the über barleywines that require years of aging to obtain any semblance of balance).

Photo of Elemental
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - darker copper color with tons of little bubbles floating to the top. A huge (3 figures) amount of head that won't die down....a little to much if you ask me.

Aroma - wonderfully bitter and aromatic, its only downfall was the slight sour smell.

Taste - once you get past the supper bitter head, the taste of the barley wine was really nice. Not overly heavy and has a bit of an alcohol bite to it. Bitter up front with a slightly sweet finish. Slightly spicy.

Bottom line: a very nice seasonal worth drinking early.

Photo of hopsbreath
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review is taken from notes. Sampled February 12. This one has a gold cap, 2008 vintage, 12 ounce bottle. I bought two. One for me and one for my wife.

This started out as a beer that I was not impressed with. Color is medium tan and opaque. Very little pop sound with little head formation with a vigorous pour. Concerns start to swirl.

The smell begins the redemption. Sweet fruits abound! Some honey dew or cantaloupe exists and I don't care what people say about honey fermenting there is a honey smell still there.

The taste is great! Complex sweet malts, cantaloupe like sweet fruits, and damn it the honey is there! I actually had to go back to the bottle to see if it said anything about honey because I was unaware of what exactly went into this barleywine. For the record, Alan did indeed use honey in this one and yes the flavor still lingers.

The mouthfeel was smoooth. The carbonation is extremely low. Some people do not like low carbonation but I do. This may have been a little under carbonated for my taste but still worthy of a 4.0 in the category. The liquid itself is thick and luscious as it glides across the palate.

I did not realize this was an 11.5% until I went to place the bottle in the recycling box after consumption. The whole time I was thinking it was probably in the 8%-9% range. This is really well done for that much alcohol and easily could be trouble for an unassuming consumer. I might suggest it when the ubiquitous "good beer choice for girls" topic crosses the forum next time. My wife certainly liked it.

Overall I have to say this was one of my more enjoyable beers during my recent trip to Portland. At $4.99 in a Whole Foods I have to say it is a worthy investment and not hard to find. Oregonians have it made!

Photo of Janderson91
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another one sent from SpdKilz! 2010 vintage. Enjoyed on 07/15/11.

A - 12oz bottle into a goblet. Whoa! Did not expect to get a large head out of this one but it consumes half my glass after a pretty aggressive pour. A two finger head has formed inside the bottle as well. Weird. Once in the glass, the appearance is an above average barleywine. Muddy brown/red color, can't see through it at all. Lots of floaties. Leaves very good lacing.

S - Big caramel, honey, piney hops, and some cherries and plums. Good aroma on this one.

T - Quite sweet up front with big caramel malts and then a very nice piney bitterness comes through. Honey sweetness is present throughout. Finishes with a bitterness balanced by the honey, caramel sweetness and some cola flavor is present also.

M - Mouthfeel is quite good. Creamy with some carbonation present in the back.

O - Overall, I really enjoyed this one. An above average barleywine for sure but not quite as good as Bigfoot or 2010 Nemesis.

Photo of blackie
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: A careful pour creates a short lived, light khaki head. The beer is a slightly cloudy mahogany due to some sediment sneaking into the glass. It looks wonderful.

smell: There are plentiful green, piney, oily hops, that despite their age still show plenty of fresh character. A nice amount of dark, fruity sweet malt provides some balance. Some ethanol spikiness is felt in the nose, but it is well masked considering the beer weighs in at 11.5%.

mouthfeel: The beer is medium high in carbonation, and the bubbles are small. Body is on the lower end of the heavy spectrum. The carbonation may be a little high, but I'm not complaining.

taste: The wonderful interplay of dark, sweet fruitiness provided by the malt with those awesome hops first noticed on the nose makes for a great barleywine. The beer is big on bitterness, and is thoroughly complex and interesting. The ethanol is expertly hidden, and first appears in the aftertaste as it warms the stomach. A big bitterness lingers into the finish.

Split a 12 oz. bottle with dirtylou.

Photo of dardan
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Had to try two, just to make sure. The issue with the lack of carbonation is unfortunate, but most everybody seems to be aware by now - it's still delicious.
A: clean, dark brown/amber, no sediment
S: malty, dark fruit, and caramel,
T: well balanced bitterness, malty, thick syrupy, dark fruit and caramel,
M: thick, smooth, lack of carbonation is the big detracting factor,
D: as noted, we had two to make sure - the alcohol is subdued and we quickly finished both bottles; it's really that good.

If you get the chance and don't mind a flat beer, this is well worth the time. For those of you back East (US), it comes off as very similar to the Thomas Creek Up the Creek Extreme IPA.

Photo of RBorsato
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice light copper color with a nice full light beige head. Nice floral hop aroma considering the fact that I aged this one. Has a light sweet malt aroma backing it up. Nice balanced American Barley Wine with a lightly sweet flavor up front. Medium-full bodied.

Ages very nicely !!

Per label: 10%ABV & "Bottle Conditioned" & "In this year's release (2002) Simcoe and Amarillo hops harvested just weeks before brewing"

Per HOTD website: Produced in Sept and Oct and released in November, this Beer will improve for years to come. Alcohol: 11.5% by volume. IBU's 70

2002 Version
Tasted: 11/02/06

($3.99 / 12 oz. bottle)

Photo of FosterJM
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

124th review on BA
bottle to pint
2009 Bottle

App- A very murky orange amber color with some yellow highlights. A one finger bubbly head that was a light tan milky color.

Smell- I get a lot of scents in this one but mostly, hops, honey and milk. Odd combination I know.

Taste- It's a strange American Barleywine to me. It was very creamy yet had a nice spice to it. Had such a lush feel as well. Like a bit of creamy milk with some booze.

Mouth- Medium bodied with a matching medium carbonation to create quite a unique feel on the palate.

Drink- Its a good beer. High ABV yet could put back a few of them.

Photo of froghop
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pour is a cloudy dark brown with a very thin tan head, and an excellent thick lacing.

smell is grapefruit, herbs and spices, caramel and nuts, plenty of dark fruit, and roasted toffee.

taste is thick, creamy, some grain, burnt caramel, dark fruit (raisin, prune), grapefruit, some sour malt, spiced rum, brown sugar, and nuts, ends thick and nicely bitter.

Photo of AdamGarcia
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served in Darkness Snifter. 2009 vintage.

A: A slow gusher. Pours a murky orange/brown color. Billowy head from initial pour that sticks around for a while. Leaves a little lace.

S: Sweet maltiness. Slightly estery. Nice amount of hoppiness to balance out the sugary sweet malt. Floral. Slightly spicy. Sweet bread. Some dark, candied fruit. Layered and intense.

T: Similar to smell. Loads of sweet malt with just a bit of hops to add some balance. Tobacco and leather. Notes of plum and fig. Lots going on. Rich and complex. 11%abv is not hidden, but not more noticeable than appropriate. A slight astringency in the finish.

M: Full bodied. More carbonation than some barleywines. Soft, but viscous feel.

D: Big and complex, this is certainly a sipper. Very interesting as it changes with each sip. Could drink more than one serving of this over the course of an evening.

Very enjoyable. This is one I'll be one the lookout for when in season. I'd love to lay a few down to see how the flavors develop with more age.

Photo of rodrot
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2002 bottling. This beer pours an attractive orange amber color with a 1/2 inch creamy head that sticks to the glass. Aroma is malty and spicy with a nice whiff of herbal hops. My first taste is a big blast of malt with notes of honey, caramel and winter spices, along with a hoppy bitterness in the finish. There is also a nice warming alcohol that made my face flushed after I had finished about half of the bottle. This beer was very warming and really hit the spot for me. My only regret is that this is my last bottle. I wish I had bought a case of this stuff instead of only 2 bottles. Maybe Doggie Claws will make it's way to NC.

Photo of illidurit
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber, almost brown color. Head is beige and dense. Hop aromas of grass and earth come through, while the more citric hoppiness blends with the intense honeyed malt character. Flavor is sweet with caramel and honey notes. Some raisin bread and an earthy finish with medium bitterness. Warming but not too viscous. Nice drinkability.

Photo of SheepNutz
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Chris! 12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. It pours a hazy medium orange color with one finger of head. There is minimal lacing on the glass. The smell is slightly sweet, with lots of pale malt. There is a great hop aroma. Very citrusy, with some piney hops as well. The taste is very strong, lots of sweet malt, and a good dose of alcohol. There's a nice hoppy finish that has lots of citrus character. The mouthfeel is nice and thick. The drinkability is a little low due to the high alcohol. Overall, a good American barleywine.

Photo of Toddv29424
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

*My girlfriend thinks this beer tastes like cough syrup, and doesn’t think that anyone would ever give it a good review. I'll keep working on her ;)*
Pours a hazy brown color with an interesting cascade. The taste is amazingly complex and well-balanced. Mostly a fruity malt mixture with a hint of hops. There is also a hint of yeast, that I happens with many big beers. There are hops fused into every sip of this beer, but amazingly it never becomes intrusive on the balance.

Photo of msubulldog25
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The 2006 version, listed at 10.5% ABV on the label. Bottle-conditioned and brewed using (among other things) Simcoe and Amarillo hops and dark wildflower honey, according to brewer Alan Sprints' comments on the label.

A: Cloudy dark chestnut brown with reddish highlights. Almost no head or visible carbonation...the 1/4" layer of yeast sludge at the bottom of the bottle attests to it's bottle-conditioning.

S: An abundance of candy sweetness, bready malts, caramel. Huge herbal and grassy hops (amarillo & simcoe). And, yes, a discernable flowery honey aroma...traces of oak.

T: Ample mix of juicy citrus (oranges) hoppiness and caramel/brown sugar/honey. Nicely evolves in flavor: from sweet malts to citrus hops to a drier finish, with traces of honey, alcohol and woodsy tannins. This will only get better with age (I hope)...grading a '4' as of Dec 2006.

M: Full, thick mouthfeel. A little 'syrupy' because of the lack of carbonation. A dose of alcohol warmth and some stickiness on the lips.

D: A nice winter sipper and lovely barleywine. Looking forward to more of these over the coming months and years. Bought a few at the HotD Dock Sale in November - I plan to crack one every six months or so and find out how it's developing. Strong recommendation to try this one, if you can find it.

Doggie Claws from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
93 out of 100 based on 1,059 ratings.