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

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding
549 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
549
Ratings:
1,159
Avg:
4.12
pDev:
17.23%
 
 
Wants:
401
Gots:
263
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Doggie ClawsDoggie Claws
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
Oregon, United States | website

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
"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"

Added by mattmaples on 10-12-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 549 | Ratings: 1,159
Photo of filabrazilia
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a semi-clear light copper with a nice beige head that crowns the top. The lace drapes the glass like silk curtains.

There is a slight aroma of malt, unusual for the style because you expect it to be more pronounced. The floral hops brush the nose ever so slightly.

Hops define the flavor--lightly acidic and citrusy with a parting bitter bite at the finish. The malt is present but remains as a supporting cast member as opposed to the star. This tastes like a fine IPA. I really don't detect any alcohol presence in the taste--this is really nice.

The mouthfeel is the most unique element of this beer. It is pretty thin in the beginning, but maintains a great deal of body in the swallow. While the hops are assertive in the flavor, they aren't as assertive in the feel. Don't get me wrong, they grab the tongue, but not like other hopped up beers.

This is a very solid offering from Hair of the Dog. Not a traditional barleywine but very nice to drink on a cold winters eve.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.37/5  rDev -18.2%
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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Photo of PatandDavid
3.08/5  rDev -25.2%
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 schemb
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bizarealicious. Nice choclate color hints at whats to come. I haven't had a beer before with such a strong rose flavor. Starts out roses goes to rapidly to choclate and cycles between them. Chewy mouth feel but not overly so. Hops flavor and bite right at the finish, not detectable before then (except in balancing out some of sweetness for the whole ride). The alcohol hides out right to the very end, going up to your sinuses and reminding you this is a pay-the-next-day H.O.D. brew. A good one to curl up with by the fire while alternately chewing on your favorite squeeze toy.

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Photo of Truh
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had no choice but to put Old Yeller down with this one on 12/4/2004. 10.5-oz. goblet pour at Redbones.

Thin sheeting of carb with some moons and stars, and one large cratered bubble at eleven o’clock. Nice lacing throughout. Deep core of almost Macoun apple red with just a touch of brown to hue. Hoppy fruitiness to nose, a surprise, with a center of alcohol sweetness, almost a raspberry schnapps. Good god, a hoppy barleywine with a warmed bite of the nectar up front followed by the usual malt chuminess that seethes with an alcohol whip at the end. This is one, given its hop character that balances out the treacle, that I could dangerously drink many of without realizing it. This offering simply cannot be leashed.

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Photo of gentlebubbles
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap at Redbone's

A hazy reddish caramel swirls under a nice off-white barely yellow head, a color somewhere between old bones or chicken fat or beeswax. Lots of caramel and toffee mingle with pine resin in the syrupy body. Even more grapefruit in the finish and the aroma and the sticky stuff on the lips.

Just a sample totally overwhelmed my better judgement and I ordered a full glass. Dangerous stuff.

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Photo of weefisheads
4.9/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review #2. Thought I probably shouldn't wait until the 1 year anniversary of #1!

Sampled from 12 oz. bottle purchased from the brewery at their release of Doggie Claws 2004.

Appearance
As I don't review all that often (!), I'm not sure if the appearance was really Exceptional or just marginal, but looking at it made my mouth water, so I reckon it must be pretty high. A gorgeous dark amber - kinda Scotch Ale-ish, but certainly less opaque than most barleywines.

Smell
Lovely!! I'm used to a sweetish smell from barleywines, but this was DEFINITLY hops - upfront, and in your face. Reminiscent of some grand Imperial IPAs I've had.

Taste
Blimey - I've gone to heaven. Hang on, though - this is definitly NOT what I expected. Instead of the usual barleywine raison, plum, complex taste, I get hops. Loads of 'em! But plenty of malt and other flavors so that the hops aren't bitter and overwhelming. Once again, I'm confused - Barleywine or Imperial IPA?

Mouthfeel
Brilliant. Very smooth, and despite the overt hop profile, very well balanced. What makes this beer - and any great beer, IMHO - great is how well it makes you forget the alcohol and focus on the flavors. Quite unlike the previous iterations of Doggie Claws, I hardly even noticed the alcohol - all 11.5%!

Drinkability
Even though it's not a session beer, this is truly is a barleywine that I could have "several" of. However, because of it's high alcohol content, I can't give it above a 4.5 as I think very few folks could actually drink more than just one.

Overall
Egad - how to rate this!? As a beer to enjoy, this really is one I'd have over and over again. However, I really think the boys at HOTD have mislabled this one as, to me, it's more of an Imperial IPA than any barleywine I've ever had. Beer styles and categories be damned - this is one of HOTD's finest. And for them, that's pretty impressive!

(Chrikey - why do all my reviews have the same SCORE?!)

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Photo of faernt
5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The Simcoe and Amarillo hops ( harvested just weeks before brewing) are still sticky in this bottle. The smell is as if I were in the brew. You can't get a fresher hop aroma and taste. This beer is "right now ready" and, I'm sure, it will age well but, this is the most "drink now" Barleywine I've ever had. I'm doing you a favor by not describing this beer further. Go get some. This is as good as it gets

2002 Edition once again two and one half years later... It's blended now. I'm drinking from the same acquisition as my original review. The head is still nearly unmanageable. It took three pours to get it into the glass and there was still the yeast hit in the bottom of the bottle. The hops have mellowed but are still present. The mouthfeel is still creamy. It still rocks. I must take the pilgrimage back to Portland. .

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Photo of Mitchster
3.87/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Made with Simcoe and Amarillo hops. Pours out to a murky dark caramel with orange accents, forming a large meringue-like dark beige head with excellent retention and lacing. Chunks of yeast quickly settle to the bottom of the glass. Carbonation is moderate-firm. Aroma is abundant with resinous and herbal hops, a fruity ferment with apple, pear and pineapple, rosehips, a light dash of caramel, and raisins. Very nice aroma, and good looking too. Mouthfeel is vibrant..starting fizzy, melding into syrupy, and ending lightly ruddy. Taste begins with a gush of hops..very herbal and also very resinous with lots of pine overtones; this melds into a raisiny amber malt body with the lighter fruits mentioned earlier, followed by a firm herbal bitterness intermixed with peppery alcohol. The finish is ruddy and gives the impression of bitter wet cardboard steeped in prune juice.

This started nice, but the off-flavors and crummy mouthfeel at the end kinda ruined it for me. There are better barleywines out there, and this one is kinda a chore to finish due to it's tainted finish.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.58/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

As to be expected with all Hair of the Dog beers this one pours out with a monster head. After getting all the beer in the glass the tan head settled into a whipped cream kind of look, very interesting. The body was a murky brownish orange. The head stayed around until the end lacing the glass with clumps galore. This is about as perfect looking as it can get in my opinion. Aroma is full of malty sweetness with a nice ripe fruitiness about it. There are notes of caramel and alcohol in the mix as well. The taste is similar with dark fruits and sweetness upfront over a bit of chocolate. Earthy hops come in at the end before the fruity aftertaste with a bit of alcohol bite to it. Mouthfeel is full with a warmth and stickiness to it. Very drinkable stuff here, its solid all around and I will definitely be picking up some more.

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Photo of danadeny
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The body has great carbonation, a nice frothy off white head, and a nice caramel color. The smell is classic, clean, fresh, fruity malty barely wine. The taste is strong alcohol and fruit up front. Smooth middle, and a mild clean finish. Good fruit bite. The mouth feel is nice carbonation on the tongue, and the drinkability is good because of it's smoothness.

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Photo of Rastacouere
4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2002: It initially pours orange, almost clear with a monstrous off-white head, bubbles could be better cut off though. When pouring the (lots) yeast, it becomes a dirty river light brown, very cloudy. Aroma is heavily hoppy (spruce, grapefruit, coniferous, herbal, flowers). Big notes of pepper also. Well-hidden alcohol (best hiding from HOTD imo)Bread, orange and pepper are followed by a considerably dry bitter finish and a spicy aftertaste. Overall good, but not as interesting and unique as the other Hair of the dog products I've had, perhaps a little straightforward.

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Photo of Crosling
4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Ruby Brown.

Quite fragrant in its bouquet. Odd, difficult to describe, with notes of dried herbs, cinnamon, rotting red apple, hot sauce and peppers.

The hops are enormous in this barley wine. They don't really come into play until the mid-palate, but when they do huge flavors of pine, lemon, wood and herbs come about, along with an incredible, overpowering bitterness. The malts are full of caramel and sweet sugar glazed dark fruits. Daunting, griping, textured, full body.

Just an incredible beer.

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Photo of canucklehead
3.86/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The biggest head ever for a Xmas beer on top of a nice reddish brown body. This is a big beer with lots of balanced hops and plenty of back bone. Tasted a little like Stones Old Guardian. Should cellar well as the flavours seem to need a little time in the bottle.

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Photo of RenoZymurgist
3.94/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Very nice American Barleywine poured a dark cloudy mahogany with ruby highlights. Good head retention for an ale of such alcoholic strength as it poured an inch thick off-white that subsided into a thin film. Aroma is rich in Plum and alcohol with various fruity esters intermingling but more on the dark fruit side and a slight touch of maple syrup on the finish. Flavor is excellent as this beer has a noticeable piney/herbal hop presence which transitions to a complex malt profile which comprises both sweet malt flavors and some dryer roasted malt qualities as well. The body is fairly light which IMO is not good for a barleywine though is does conribute to a clean finish. Overall a good barleywine that could definitly have a place in my cellar.

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Photo of IrishRedRock
4.14/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Been a while since I had me a solid, strong American barleywine, and this one fit the bill. $3 a bottle didnt hurt either.

Muddy brown color with all the aromas of true American barleywine arrogance. Very piney and sweet, with a pungent herbal aroma to boot. This is a thick, full bodied barleywine with a good blend of robust malts, December spices, and a smattering of hops. Alcohol warmth is ever-present and could use a little lightening IMO. No need to drop off the 11.5%, thats always good, just could be a little more well hidden. One I would go back to, though I dont see it very often, and Old Ho is much more prevalent. :-)

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Photo of aracauna
4.26/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2002 Edition: A true amber, medium tone and a slight haze. A very large head, especially for a barley wine and one about a year and a half old. This thing rivals the best of the Belgians with that head. With the fuzzy lacing, this is a very attractive beer. Spicy, herbally aroma with juniper-evergreen hops, lemon zest, oregano. The flavor is mildly sweet toasty malt. The alcohol is camoflaged very well. The body and flavor are just thinner than what I expect from a barleywine. I’m used to that thick, old fruit flavor from barleywines instead of this relatively crisp, just hoppy enough for balance flavor that has really held up amazingly well since 2002. Call me sacreligious, but I think I like this understated, refined giant better than the heavy-browed monster that make up much of the style.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep mahagony tone. Airy, light beige head with a yellow tint to it. Retention is better than average. Lace is quite full for a barleywine. Aroma is of pineapple and passion fruits, light caramel malts and alcohol. The flavor is a little alcoholic to start with, but this subsides. The passion fruits really play a big part with pineapple and banana as well. Rummy tones are evident and figs and dates too. Caramel malts are pretty big as well. All in all, a very nice barleywine.

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Photo of kbub6f
4.69/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Three fingers of yellowy-tan, coarse head and a dark, dark red-brown, clear body. Cloudy on the last pour with lots of floaties. The nose shows sugar aplenty, with grapes and prunes, spice (nutmeg?) and major piney hops. Wow. Hops and hard sauce dominate the front, but step aside for tons of sweet, malty cream in the middle. Rich, rich, rich. Big hops and spice make a comeback in the finish. This beer tastes just like plum pudding with hard sauce. Delicious. It has a great sweet/spicy/malty/hoppy balance.

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Photo of 99bottles
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: This beer has a deep reddish brown body and is topped with an ample head of off white fluff that is very sticky. If you've ever had HOTD beer, you know that you must pour it slooowly to avoid having too much head.

Smell: A sharp boquet greets the nose and smells of mostly simicoe and amarillo hops, fresh cut pine, summer grasses, and slighty sweet esters.

Taste: This is more rich and malt based than the 2002 version. Actually, this is a better example of a barleywine, but I think I like last year's hop-soup better. This version has a huge amount of malted barley that gives a more pronounced richness to the flavor. Sweet cherry, raisin and other vinous fruits exude throughout the mouth as the heavy hop prescence comes out in the finish and in the aftertaste. Spicy, juicy hops linger, but are balanced out by the maltiness.

Mouthfeel: Full and rich, this slides down easily and puts you to sleep. It's got some serious weight, but I'd be hard pressed to guess 11.5% ABV.

Drinkability: I like this, but I prefer the 2002. Maybe I'm just turning into a hophead, or find myself measuring it against the version that I had first. I'd drink this often, as it is a great barleywine. However, as I can't find it near me, I'll have to content myself with the other 2 I have in the cellar. I have a feeling those will not live to see very old age.

Super-mucho thanks to BA Weefisheads for sending me these West Coast delights.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 2002, Sampled May 2004
Pours a bold copper color, it is highly carbonated with a cream colored head. There is a citrus hop aroma with apricot notes, obviously has been muted over time but it is still front and center in nose. There is a bit of oxidized character in the nose as well. Overall this has a pleasing balanced aroma. The taste is lightly sweet with a nice balancing bitterness in the finish. There is still a lot of hop flavor in this beer. I notes that the finish has a bit of alcohol in it. This beer has definitely started to oxidize, but the hop character suppresses this quite a bit, it allows the oxidation to just be an addition to the complexity. As I get into this beer I can taste notes of bergamot, apricot and pear. This is still quite good after two years. I can imagine that the hops have toned down quite a bit, but the hops are still a huge part of this beer. I am really enjoying this beer right now.

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Photo of CRJMellor
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, ruby red with hint of burnt orange. Lots of effervescence and a one-finger light tan head.
Aroma of caramel, heavy belgian spices, dark brown sugar and a slightly burnt or roasted hint.
Flavor of caramel, brown sugar, slight charcoal, hint of peat and a deep dark citrus hit.
Mouthfeel has very belgian-like qualities, spicy coriander with heavy caramel malt front. Belgian specialization of this brewer comes through clearly.
Drinkability is going to be great but right harshness is not smoothed enough with age. wish I had another to age 6-12 month.
thanks to my bro Skyhand for another quality brew.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of merlin48
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2002 Vintage. Pours a cloudy apricot color, with a "whoa there", five inch tall, rocky, beige head. Label proclaims this to be a barleywine, but I've never seen an overcarbonated barleywine before. Big, patchy globs of lace are left all over the glass after the head eventually subsides.
Aroma begins with a brief vinous note, that is immediately swept aside by bitter hops of the pine family.
Mouthfeel is very lively, with strong carbonation.
Taste has some characteristics of an imperial ipa, with highly carbonated, major league hoppiness. Caramel malt emerges as this nears room temperature, but the hops run the show here. I keep forgetting to start barleywines off at room temperature, but it really makes no difference with this hoppy puppy. This ends with more malty flavors, like sweet applebread, trying to emerge, but the finish is citrus and pine hops, all the way.
Quite a contrast to the Hair of The Dog Fred, I reviewed earlier. "In Your Face" hops are dominant in this one, but it does conceal the alcohol much better. Very likeable, overall, especially if you're a hophead.

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Photo of ark57
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2002. It is cloudy and a light copper in color. The head was huge and lasted for a long time. I have not had this beer fresh, but it must have been very astringent. The hop aroma is very strong with herbal and citrus/grapefruit notes. It has the right amount of maltiness to round out the simcoe and amarillo hops. It finishes with an herbal bitterness and a warming quality.

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Doggie Claws from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
92 out of 100 based on 549 ratings.