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

Not Rated.
Doggie ClawsDoggie Claws

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1,070 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,070
Reviews: 534
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 10.82%
Wants: 400
Gots: 254 | 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: 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,070 | Reviews: 534 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of baybassboy
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of tewaris
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Doggie Claws
12 oz. bottle from 2011 sent generously by Ron. Thanks! 11% ABV. Poured into a snifter.

A good combination of malts and hops, Doggie Claws smells sweet and caramel like, yet floral-fruity at the same time... much like honey? Swirling lets the nuances of hops come forward and the pungent character of American hops is felt.

Taste is only moderately sweet and bitterness is medium but lingering. Age will certainly treat this beer well as the label claims. Having been on a barleywine kick for a while now, I find myself short of adjectives but suffice it to say that it's good. Notable and somewhat distinguishing features are: a sweetness that holds its own against hops that sometimes seem to overwhelm fresh American versions; strong citrus peel; and a floral character that is probably from honey. I am no expert on braggots but I have enjoyed whatever I have had, so I am certainly digging this floral sweetness. Hints of booze are only welcome.

The body is good but carbonation seems a tad high. Regardless, swirling and warmth will take care of it. I like this beer.

4, 4, 4, 4, 4

Photo of BrokenStones
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of DCgolfpro
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of Dunkelhund
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of samEBC
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of Mar02x
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer pored in by Alan Sprints himself during the Alvinne Craft Beer Festival. What a fantastic moment.

A - A yellow beer with a white head.

S - A fruity hop scent; mango citrus.

T - There is fruity mango, pineapple, candy sugar, but the fluid is not crispy. Alan told me that it came because of the added honey. I didn't notice it though. I know it sounds stupid but I thought that I was drinking a Imperial IPA. Later I discovered it was a barley wine.

M - A soft carbonation and no real bitterness. This beer is beer lemonade!

O - A real nice beer, and so easy to drink. I know that I am nagging now, but a bit colder would have been nice.

Photo of piclee
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of Drinkerofales
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours murky copper brown with red in the lights. A large light brown head forms and stays.

Smell is pungent hops, dark fruit, sweet roasted malt, toffee, and booze. Huge.

Taste is candied fruit, booze and roasted malts, hops are present as well.

Feels thick and creamy. While there is an alcohol presence, but it's not too to, just about right.

Nice beer, big and pungent. Gonna get some to age....


Photo of MASPuros
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.54/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a medium red-orange amber with a one finger fine to medium white head. Nice retention and massive lacing. Looks great. Fantastic aroma of herbal hops and sweet malt, light fruit. Wonderful complex flavor dominated by herbal and citrus hops with a solid sweet malt body and dark and light fruits and honey. Finishes nicely with malt and a hop kick. Creamy medium body. Very well made and tasty. This 2010 bottle was perfectly carbonated, no sign of the over carbonation reported by others for 2010.

Photo of todisht
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of twowheelssoar
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of dogfishandi
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to youradhere for the extra!

2011 Vintage. 12oz bottle, fridge temp., darkness snifter.

pours a cloudy ruby red copper/ bronze color, love the color. big creamy, billowy light tan head. three fingers worth off the pour that settles to a solid fingers worth of retention. lots of thick sticky lacing, and lots of visible carbonation bubbles.

resinous piney hops with lots of sticky carmelized malt, some hot booze, a bit of raisony dark fruits and tobacco leaves. a bit of sweetness, carmalized sugar like, comes through.

great taste and a good balance, but still tons of malt. piney, woody, resiny hops are quickly overcome by tons of sticky carmalized malt, molasses, a bit of burnt sugars and tobacco. some nice sweetness that gets cut by the hop bitterness in the finish. warming going down, but no actual taste of alcohol.

big, sticky mouthfeel, a little sweetness on the sides of the palate after the sip, but mostly resinous hop bitterness that lingers. flows over the palate so smoothly. carbonation looked like it would be high from the pour but settled out nicely.

definatly one of the better american barleywine's ive had. similar to bigfoot only with some better complexities. i would love to try this aged or out of a bourbon barrel.

Photo of Thingus
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Live tasting 12oz. Bottle, 2011 vintage into Duvel tulip...

Appearance; pours a mahogany copper color with less than a finger of foamy light light copper colored head.. Retention is minute, with just a thin ring sticking around the edge of the glass... Lacing is essentially non-existent with just one spotty web stuck to the side of my glass...

Smell; starts off with a slightly bready aroma, all kinds of winter spices, raisins, prunes and figs...

Taste; slightly bready with caramel and vanilla hints of cinnamon, nutmeg... Notes of raisin and prunes sneak in... Alcohol becomes more prevalent as it warms, but it certainly doesn't detract from the flavors of this brew...

Mouthfeel; just a touch of carbonation, and you certainly wouldn't know it by looking at the beer which is nearly still in the glass... Full medium body goes down smooth...

Overall; a great Barleywine with a lot of complexity that I am sure would only become more pronounced with age!

Photo of gkunkle
4.39/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a yellow/ brown color, which I found a little odd. The beer is hazy brown, but when held to light gives a yellow color. The head is mellow, rising to about 1 finger in my snifter. Lots of carbonation can be seen The smell is close to a DIPA smell, strong nose of grapefruit, raisin, alcohol. Taste starts with thick malt sweetness and alcohol, then I get a touch of fruitiness, maybe like a apple/strawberry. Toward the end of the taste I get a smooth malt that eases into a slightly sweet aftertaste. Mouthfeel is thick, with ticklish carbonation. This is a really great barleywine, I enjoy the assertive hops and the sweetness provided by the honey. I'm looking to tasting this again in a few years.

Photo of Arbitrator
3.38/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I didn't feel like re-writing a full review of the 2011 vintage, so I just changed the scores and amended a rolling update at the end of the review.


Chilled 2010 vintage bottle into a glass. Gold cap, if that matters.

A: Despite letting it settle for over a week and putting it in the fridge for a day, a moderate pour produces copious head that threatens to overflow my 22oz snifter. Retention is great; the beer collapses conically, leaving a volcano-like structure of suds in the middle, and sticky lace down the sides. Hard to beat, though the overcarbonation is actually a downside. The body is a reddish-amber color.

S: Pretty hoppy: grapefruit, pineapple, tangerine. Green apple, apricot, and a beautiful floral aroma that reminds me of jasmine and honey.

T: The malts dominate the taste at first, with sugar cookie, apricot, and pears blending on the tongue. I also detected honey and a light floral flavor. There are citrus hops for sure, in the fruit varieties noted in the aroma. A slight touch of grassiness. The aftertaste is malty, producing a grain-honey flavor. Doggie Claws is on the sweet side when young, though I know from drinking past vintages that it dries up with age.

M: Medium-to-full bodied. The carbonation scrubs the palate pretty well; it's only slightly sticky. Pretty well disguised ABV.

D: I was impressed with this one, but I still feel that Fred from the Wood as well as Adam and its derivatives are much better and richer in flavor. I'm content buying two bottles a season (one to drink, one to age).


A rolling vintage update from a vertical consumed in Feb 2012.

2011: Drank fresh (a couple of months old). Properly carbed, no gushing. The aroma isn't as vibrant as past vintages have been fresh. The dominant aromas are sugar cookie and grain, with a mild floral note. The taste is an unrefined sweetness with an undercurrent of bitter hops. It lacks nuance while the liquid is on the palate, but the exhalation brings out flavors of peach, jasmine, and honey. The finish is completely unsatisfying; weak and watery. (3.35)

2010: Drank with 1 year on it. Slightly overcarbed, though not a gusher. About a third of the snifter fills with beige foam that sticks around. Clear caramel-amber body. Even when I crack the cap slightly, an overwhelming aroma of jasmine, honey, grapefruit, pineapple, and tangelo reach my nostrils. These great aromatics translate well to the flavor, which is incredibly juicy. While sweet on the open, it finishes in balance with a lightly oily aftertaste and mild bitterness. There are hints of sherry oxidation. This is aging very well, and it is quite a bit better than the 2011. (4.2)

2009: 2 years old, blue cap. I remember these were the "flat" half of the batch. This one is lightly carbed now, so maybe the yeast went to work. This year, like the 2010, has a floral, honey-backed aroma. Its oxidation is evident in moderate sherry character. Some of the citrus hops are fading in nose and taste, with an accompanying stale hop flavor. I'm sure the batches vary, so it's not a direct comparison, but I don't like this as much as the 2010. (3.8)

2008: 3 years old. This looks more ruby than the other batches; it definitely borders on maroon. Low carbonation, and the bubbles vanish into nothing (not even a collar). It's mildly floral, with stronger citrus, but the hops are definitely fading out. Sherry oxidation is quite strong. I can see the trend here, despite the batch variation. The stale hop flavors I picked up in the 2009 have died down. The beer has a mild sugar burn in the finish. (3.5)

2002: 9 years old. Thanks to writerLJBerg for this one. Pours a maroon body with a pinky finger of large-bubbled beige head. An aroma of oxidized sherry fills the area as I crack the cap. It persists in the glass; this is dominated by a smell of oxidation and stale hops, with little else. The aromatic citrus hops have faded out; there are no floral notes. The taste reveals mostly sherry oxidation with a stale, slightly sour grain flavor in the finish and mild biterness. It's interesting, but not very appealing. I think J.W. Lees is a far better showcase for age than Doggie Claws. (2.8)

Result: in the future, I'm not aging this longer than 1 year. I don't like where it goes.

Photo of shelby415
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of Jparkanzky
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of schoun
5/5  rDev +20.2%

Photo of bullywee
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of MrVonzipper
5/5  rDev +20.2%

Photo of sharpski
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of JebediahScooter
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of brewandbbq
4.11/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2003 as reviewed on 6/9/06.

Pours murky mahogany, with cola-like carbonation release.
Yeast chunks make thier way to the bottom as any threat of a head fizzle out.
Medium sized bubble perculate to the placid surface.
Zero lacing with particulate matter clinging to the glass midway.
Rich and roasty malts dominate the aromatics, with dark fruit and mild oxidation.
Mild pine notes and dried bark with roasted figs underneath.
Alcohol is warming, and nose finishes spicey and dry.
Fullishly medium body, slickish and tacky. Slightly prickly carbonation.
Pallet is filled with sticky malt, alcohols, and bitter fruits.
Citrus-laded dried sap and caramel.
Mildly oxidized, resinous, and almost hot.
Bitterness is substantial, but not detractive, unlike the wet cardboard note.
Finishes long, warming, slightly mettalic, and lightly astringent.

Three years old and past prime?

Revisit, vintage 2004 as reviewed on 2/10/12.

This ones tasting pretty good, very light oxidation with plenty of plump, juicy malt and some shades of pine still coming through. Most of the hops have faded, just warming booze and sticky malt for the most part. A hint of celery seeds oddly step forward in the finish as the beer warms. This beer is still hands-down way better fresh. This vintage is holding up very well though for an eight year old.

Doggie Claws from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
93 out of 100 based on 1,070 ratings.