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

Not Rated.
Doggie ClawsDoggie Claws

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

1,091 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,091
Reviews: 537
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 393
Gots: 256 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,091 | Reviews: 537
Photo of drabmuh
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Amyliz4, thanks Amy.

Beer is brown and mostly clear with a thin pathetic head of tiny bubbles that somehow leaves some lacing on the glass.

The aroma of the beer is about what you'd expect except louder, sweet caramel malt and lots of alcohol, not burning though.

Beer is medium in body and really sweet at lead off. The follow up is strong and more candied sweetness, mild bitterness on finish. This was pretty much exactly what I expected from the beer, so that's another way of saying I wasn't disappointed.

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, 2012 vintage bottling. Big crack upon opening, very highly carbonated. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy ruby red color with a 2-3 finger foamy light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings around the glass, with a large amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big tangerine, grapefruit, citrus rind, pine, pepper, floral, grass, caramel, toast, brown sugar, raisin, honey, herbal, and floral earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of hop and malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, orange zest, citrus rind, caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, raisin, honey, floral, grass, pine, herbal, and floral/toasted earthiness. Fair amount of earthy floral/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, orange zest/rind, pine, caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, raisin, honey, floral, herbal, and floral/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice balance and complexity of citrus/pine hops with dark malt/honey flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a moderately slick and fairly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent barleywine. All around great balance and complexity of malt and hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +1%
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 mdaschaf
4.37/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to FalconA for sharing.

A: Pours a hazy ruddy brown color with a large tan head on top. Very slow dissipation with streaky lacing down the sides.

S: Wow, surprisingly hoppy, would not guess it a barleywine if I didn't know. As it warms there is some citrus fruit, caramelized sugar, brown sugar, and a little bit of alcohol.

T: Initially very hoppy, just like the aroma with some nice citrus fruits, but as it warms a bit of caramel and toffee come out, a bit if sugary/sweet malt, and a little vanilla.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Rather smooth, slightly warming, but a bit booze kick is missing, a good thing.

O: A very nice (and hoppy) barleywine. Can only imagine what happens to this beer over time. Can see it being a very interesting beer to vertical.

Photo of mothman
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage into snifter

1/4 finger khaki head. Good retention with some lace rings.b Color is a bronze hued orange, rustic colored.

Aroma: Very sweet and citrusy. Pine hops, with a grapefruit citrus. Caramel and toffee malts. It is hoppy, but still has a nice malt backbone. Has a nice warming alcohol flavor.

Taste: A bit more malts here. Toffee and caramel again. Kind of bready. The citrus is still there, but it is balanced. A bit more alcohol shows. Some pine shows, but no where near as much as in the nose. A nice balance for this one. Spruce pine ftw.

Mouthfeel: Bitter, creamy, smooth. Medium to full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. A bit boozy. Ends warming, dry, but fairly clean.

Overall, a really nice bwine. Lots of awesome flavors here. Even after a year it still shows some nice citrus and hop flavor and balances out the malts well. Fairly drinkable for the high abv.

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

2010 offering care of both Joe and Brett. Thanks guys for the hookup on this one, unfortunately I don't know which one of you is responsible for this particular bottle but I am grateful to you both for allowing me the opportunity. Poured into my Hotd tulip care of Kegatron, thanks to you as well my friend!

Gusher warning here. The cap came off and I poured the brew carefully down the side of my glass. I only got a couple ounces into the glass before it was overtaken by a billowing yellowish stained tan head. What remained in the bottle slowly crept up, out and down the outside of the neck. It doesn't matter how careful you pour, the eruption of carbonation swirls the half inch of yeast that is on the bottom up into the brew and makes it transform from a clear golden to copper color into more of a clouded brown to amber color. A finger of yellowish tan head maintains a fingers strength throughout the entire duration with a constant stream of bubbles to the surface. Thick patches of lace stick all over the glass. When held to the light, a ridiculous amount of yeast trub lays on the bottom of the glass that includes some green hop break material. Thick chunks of yeast hang along the edges of my glass where the wall of the glass moves inward towards the base.

The smell of this brew initially had a bright citrus and fruited hop scent that was very reminiscent of something more accustomed to IPA territory. The bright hop character gives way to a yeasty quality along with toasted oats and grain that smells a bit burnt. There is a hoppy vegetative quality throughout that mixes with a lightly sulfuric yeast mixture which takes this brew in a unique direction. Across the back are some sweet scents like toffee.

The taste of this brew is as expected based off the aroma. It is a bold assault of hoppy bitterness that carries with it some resinous pine-like bite, along with fruity rind quality and more bitter fruitiness like grapefruit or orange pulp. There is a solid foundation of toasted malt that comes across like toffee. This brew is a constant struggle inside the mouth between sweet and caramel malts verse bitey aggressive hoppy bitterness. A yeast quality is present throughout the profile. The aftertaste is a constant struggle between sweet verse bitter with little to no alcohol impact for the listed 11.5%.

This is a medium to full bodied brew with an excessive amount of carbonation that is just way over the top. The sheer amount of yeast and carbonation that makes its way into the glass is quite distracting. However, for how over carbonated it was, instead of being prickly and bubblly inside the mouth, the overkill of yeast made it feel more thick and creamy, strange. As-is this was a solid take on the style, I hope my experience was just an off bottle or bad batch because I see this without the carbonation and yeast issue being a very solid brew. I will need to revisit this soon but let my review be a warning. I feel that my bottle literally could have burst if it was mishandled, there was that much carbonation.

Photo of GClarkage
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12/29/04- Purchased at Plumpjack Wines in San Francisco, CA

2002 Version, aquired in a trade with Jetsbeer.

Presentation- 12oz bottle, vintage 2002. 10% abv..a bit less than later years. Fourth in the series that I have tried. Poured into my Anderson Valley tulip.

Appearance- Somewhat murky and rust colored pour. Huge chunky head. Takes a good 10 minutes to die down to a 1/2 inch constant. Incredible gobs and streaks of lace left behind.

Smell- More caramel malt than anything else. A touch of hops, but pretty slim pickins.

Taste- Very laid back and creamy caramel malt. A limited amount of hops as it's been 4 years since the bottling.

Mouthfeel- A bit dry, medium carbonation, creamy and pretty smooth. Maybe just a touch on the skim side.

Drinkability- Easy drinker, abv was not even sensed as 10%. Another nice brew in the Doggie Claws line. Thanks for the brew Steven!

2003 Version

Presentation- 12 oz festive bottle with no expiration date. Poured into my Duvel chalice.

Appearance- Nice four fingered head which took about 10 minutes to settle before I could drink. This was a good thing because it came directly from the beer fridge, Nice copper coloring and decent to above average lacing. If it had just a bit more lacing it would have received a 5.

Smell- Very strong malt scent. A very nice amount of floral hops. Lots of toffee and caramel also.

Taste- Wow! Huge toffee flaovred malt with a perfect mix of semi-bitter hops. Not to bitter, not to sweet. About the best barleywine I have had to date.

Mouthfeel- Perfect level of carbonation. Silky smooth while nice and chewy at the same time. Warms your tummy nicely.

Drinkability- Incredible except for that little 11.5% barrier reef. Actually, I'm not feeling it yet after one, but I'm sure if I had another, I would be. This is definitely my favorite winter beer to date and my favorite barleywine. A bargain at the $3.49 I paid for it. Think I am going to make a special trip up to SF just to buy another 4 or so to age. Awesome brew!

2004 Version-

Same appearance
Same smell
Taste is more toffee flavored and less hop flavored. There are still alot of hops in the taste, but they are more mellowed out. Almost brandy like or some kind of liquor like flavor.
Mouthfeel still as smooth and thick as ever.
Drinkability may be even better than the 2003 version. This guy will age into a caramel-toffee malt bomb I have a feeling, which will be a very good thing. Rating stays the same though.

2005 Version-

Appearance- Extremely cloudy in appearance. Looks like someone liquified a caramello bar and poured it into a glass. Deep milk chocolate in color. No light coming through this thick murky pour. Huge billowy white head and big chunks of lace.

Smell- The hops literally burn your nose hairs in this years HOTD. Lots of sweet caramel malt and maybe a bit of butterscotch.

Taste- Very raw. Needs a good year or more to calm down. Alcohol burning hops scorch your pallet leaving a sleak caramel and milk chocolate trail behind. Hops linger and linger.

Mouthfeel- Carbonation needs to calm down a bit. Thicker than the previous versions I have tried...even though it's down from 11.5% to 10.5%.

Drinkability- A year away from being another outstanding brew. Right now just to raw to be that drinkable. Still consider 2003 to be the class of this brew.

2006 Vintage....

Presentation- 12oz bottle, 2006 release, poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Burnt caramel brown color. The lightest of head on the pour. Maybe an 1/8th of an inch if that. Small light white rim forms. Fairly nice lace sheeting.

Smell- The scent in this years batch is very restrianed. Has a weird medicinal vegatal nose. Maybe a hint of orange marmalade as well. Very odd.

Taste- Well, this certainly makes up for the smell. Incredible caramel milky flavor. Grapefruit hops come into play in the swallow and aftertaste. This tastes like a classic English style one to me. The flavor is wonderful. Maybe some orange liquor like Drambuie flavor comes through as well.

Mouthfeel- Damn creamy and silky smooth. This is very close to cask style. Caramel and orange coating. Wonderful.

Drinkability- This years hits you fairly hard. The taste is totally different than years past. This still remains right at the top of the list for me per style. Another perfect dessert brew. Score big time for 2006!

2008 Version-

Pretty much online with each year. This year seems very very smooth. Equal caramel and hops. Cross between english and american style. Very silky. One of the better vintages right off the bat.

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike!

The appearance is dark brown with a thin head that leaves just a little lacing on the glass.

The nose brings a heavy dose of sweet malt, along with caramels and alcohol.

The flavor is quite sweet, with flavors of toffee and caramel chews soaked in alcohol. A nice, slow sipper on a cold day.

Medium to full in body, with alcohol content masked pretty well, given the 11.5% abv.

Not as complex or wonderful as Adam, but a very good example of the style nonetheless. I would definitely drink this again.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz 2009 vintage silver capped into a tulip glass watching Damages. This was 'cellared' in my basement for all of three days, I could not wait.

A melted copper penny shine with some reddish outlines, This looks quite different from Fred. With about five ounces poured my tulip exploded with a caramel, off white, creamy colored mass of foam that made noise and was active, almost like molten lava. Fingerprints of lace around the base of the glass.

I've had a 9 year aged version of this and this semi fresh version is much bolder with ripe hops bursting out west coast style. Smells of grapefruit and some papaya. Citrus blast indeed, doggie has a sweet caramel touch with slight chocolate and bread from the malts. The malts come out with big warming as well as some alcohol.

Doggie digs it's claws with grapefruit mixed with some booze and some semi dark fruit action. The flavor is just so rich and something that i'm enjoying alot. Light sugar mixed with a little more caramel rounds out the sweetness with a small candi like vibe. Some molasses and brown sugar adding to the sweetness. The chocolate is real minimal or perhaps im imagining that. A big toastiness from the malt addition with a splash of alcohol.

This stuff really is a marvel on the mouth. When cold the citrus hop burst does it's thing without wrecking the tounge, or palette. With warming the malts do their thing and claws becomes a more sweet barleywine with the hop bite fading, but never fully. An above medium bodied beer that may have a bit to much carbonation, I like it, but it's huge, but I think it works. I've heard of complaints on carb on this vintage, but not from me.

Insanely drinkable, while the alcohol is noted and felt, I just kept picking up my glass. I did not care for Fred at all (perhaps it was the added rye) but doggie has a style all of it's own, this is the bomb. It's not far off from any other well crafted American Barleywine in taste, smell, feel, but this is damn good and just a pleasure. I thought this would be a boozy mess at this semi young age, but I was surprised at the complexities and togetherness of this beer.

Photo of Halcyondays
4.19/5  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 Billolick
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was glad to see this rare tap offering at the BTAH in NYC this past week. It poured an inviting hazy shade of light orangy amber with a thick tiny bubble head. The nose was a pungent melange of hops and more hops. Intricate and well developed lacing. This is a pleasantly strong and full flavor BW. "Yowza, yowza, yowza" came the description from one of my duly impressed table mates! Loads of malt, hops, flavor, complexity, alcohol noted but in check, very fine stuff. Seek it out on tap if you have the chance.

Photo of billab914
3.92/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 vintage poured into my CBS snifter. It poured a darker orange brown color with just some trace bubbles scattered around the edges of the glass.

The aroma has a rich malty profile to it with both caramel and toffee really coming out. The honey is also pretty evident, giving it a bit of a floral sweetness. I get a little bit of a hoppy, grapefruit, citrus rind quality as well.

The taste also shows a lot of the malty, caramel flavors throughout. The honey shows more in the finish with more of the sweeter, floral flavor. The honey almost gives it a bit of a wheatwine like flavor that I really like. The finish has some more bitter, citrus rind showing through and helping it balance it out.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style with carbonation being almost non-existent. Overall it was a pretty good beer of the style. I really liked what the honey added to it and it was very smooth for the abv as well. Very solid beer, but it just didn't really wow me like some of the best of the style do.

Photo of smakawhat
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2009 of Doggie Claws consists of a reddish copper color hue. An enticing head with good lacing, but a very surprising bouquet of Christmas like spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, sweetness perhaps some earthy pine needles. The bouquet feels of a very sweet beer to come, but the surprise is in the honey like dominant taste that isn't as sweet as expected. Faint hop seems to come through on the aftertaste along with the honey.

Does not taste overpowering, feels very balanced.

Quite enjoyable.

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

2005- drunk in August, 2006.

This beer pours a hazy copper brown with a fairly small offwhire head. The head doesn't really stick around.

The smell is dark and rich like a fruitcake. Predominant flavors of liquor soaked fruit and lush malt.

The taste is very winey- sweet flovors balanced nicely with malt and hops are there and a spicy aftertaste.. Almost a fruit brandy finish. Warm alcohol flavors, but not hot- very well integrated.
A really pleasing barley wine.

The mouthfeel is good- if anything the carbonation has mellowed too much by now. Nice body, and despite all the malt not too sticky- very warming.

Great drinkability- definitely a sipper by the fire, although I'm enjoying it just fine on a cool evening in the summer in Palo Alto, California.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.49/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into my new Kate the Great tulip. 2011 vintage thanks to hopsbreath.

Appearance - Dark body with a reddish hue in the light. The one-finger head just fits in the glass. Good retention and, surprisingly, some lacing. Not bad for an 11.5% barleywine.

Smell - When it's cold, it just smells like caramel malt. Really boring. A it warms, it definitely develops into some fruit flavors and a substantial hoppiness. Lots of alcohol, though. Big whiffs give a slight burn in the nose, even.

Taste - Caramel malt, some fruitiness, and definitely alcohol. Hops come through all the way. Faded grapefruit and a bitter finish. The finish is almost earthy, but the hops are a touch too bright for that characterization.

Mouthfeel - Despite the alcohol flavors in the smell and taste, it's quite smooth. It hardly even warms, which is strange. Hoppy bitter finish masks how sweet and syrupy this is. Not easy to drink, but doesn't drink like an 11.5% beer.

Overall - I really wanted to like this more, but it definitely lacks some complexity. Sweet, boozy, and a little uninteresting.

Photo of corby112
3.72/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes:

2008 vintage received as an extra in a trade and consumed fresh.

Pours a dark, murky golden orange/swampy brown color with burnt orange hues and a one finger off white head that quickly fades. I poured half of the bottle out and there are large chunks of yeast floating in the glass. This beer looks pretty awful.

Earthy soil like aroma with hints of leathery malt, dirt, alcohol solvency and lots of earthy piney hops.

Medium bodied with lots of alcohol sweetness up front. This is counters by a blast of resinous, earthy hops that give off a nice bitter, dry pine needle flavor. There is also a decent amount if citrus flavor especially grapefrut and orange peel. This is again countered mid-palate by a prominent earthy, leathery malt presence. This beer Looked and smelled like swamp water but the malt flavor is actually quite pleasant and there is a great balance of earthy, bitter and sweet flavors.

Photo of weeare138
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004 bottle...
Appears a deep chestnut brown with a dark beige head that slowly fades into a mild cap. Scattered lacing is left around the glass. Moderate amounts of CO2 rises near the top.
Smell is of caramel, vanilla, toffee, cherries. roasted nuts, and light oxidation that's welcomed.
Taste is of the same aromas with vanilla, caramel, and brown sugar standing out among the flavors.
Mouthfeel is chewy, full bodied, syrupy, and sugary with moderate sweetness.

Photo of HopHead84
3.95/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage.

Pours a deep amber with a 1 finger head which quickly recedes. Lacing is good. Very complex aroma. Orange, tangerine, and sweet bready malt. There's a yeasty spiciness to Doggie Claws.

Pleasant rich and sweet malt is balanced by a low level of hop bitterness. The flavor, like the smell, is yeasty. Alcohol is quite pronounced but very welcome. The hops impart a citrus flavor to the beer, reminiscent of oranges. Some ripe apple is also noticeable. Finish is a long blend of all the aforementioned flavors with alcohol being the most dominant.

The beer is on the upper end of medium bodied, nearly full, and the carbonation is very low. Mouthfeel is very smooth.

A nice winter sipper. Actually, pretty great for any time of the year.

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured draft from the Luck Lab Bwine Tastival 2011. Vintage 2009 A+ 5.o all the way!

A: Poured a cloudy dirty brown color with cood carbonation leaving a dirty white cap

S: I got big citrus on the nose, caramel, earth

T: I got a big caramel malt, faded hops, mainly lots of citrus and oine to this. Lots of earthy notes, sweet and tangy and absolutely phenominal! One of the best bwines I have had to date.

M: So tasty, full, booze is just right just amazing. Sticky, sweet and excpetional

D: Will not find much to rival this. I could have drank this all day long.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.62/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a snifter)
A-This beer pours a deep brown with a mahogany hint and a gentle carbonation. The head is a thin wispy tan that last for a bit

S- This beer has an intense floral hop nose with some earthy resiny notes. There is a nice malt character along with the hops, more caramel to brown sugar aromas. Very nice.

T- The sweet caramel tastes are quickly followed by a burst of fresh vibrant hops. Some roasted malts come through and a nice warm alcohol finish last almost as long as the hop bitterness.

M- This has a nice velvety mouthfeel with a gentle alcohol warmth. No astringency from the hops.

D- This is a leader in American barley wines and it is ready to drink now. The amazing aroma has fresh hops and great malty notes. This is a must try brew.

Photo of John_M
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At the tasting room today. A bottle of the 2005 version of this excellent beer.

The 2005 DC pours a fairly light brown color, with very good head retention and considerable lacing. The nose is attractive, showcasing considerable brown sugar, vanilla, honey, caramel, white pepper and dry citrus. Despite the considerable brown sugar, malty aroma, the amount of hoppy bitterness/citrus lets you know that this is not your typical, English style BW. The flavor profile replicates the nose and is just fantastic. The added age/oxidation gave the beer something of a brandy and vanilla edge, but there was still plenty of brown sugar and caramel, as well as considerable hoppy bitterness. Despite the moderate sweetness, this beer still displayed a nearly astonishing amount of hoppy bitterness in the finish, leading to a dry, drawn out, bitter finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, and it's just amazing how well integrated into the flavor profile the alcohol is in this beer.

Always a great beer, but it's truly amazing how great this beer is with a few years on it.

Photo of johnnnniee
2.68/5  rDev -35.6%
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.

Photo of jdhilt
3.37/5  rDev -19%
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.

Photo of biegaman
4.48/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer isn't much to look at. It is murky and utterly flat. Its colour, a muddied russet, is drab and dirty. Holding it up against the light brightens things up considerably but clarity is a lost cause and its head is beyond repair, neither bubbles nor a string outline can be noted. But let's not jump to any conclusions, not everything is about looks...

Smells matter too, and it just so happens that this beer smells perfect. The hoppiness, even after three years of aging, still smells about 20 stories high. It is a tsunami of lupullin that crowds your senses like a cloud of smoke. A flower-infused punch, the brewer surely shook the citric fruits off hundreds of branches and drained a forest worth of its resins.

The beer enters your mouth like a bull in a china shop. It is loud and obnoxious and shatters the taste buds. Sappy, sticky, resinous hops, citrusy and piercingly acidic hops, grassy and herbal hops - the beer has its fare share of bitterness. But it's more so resoundingly sweet; the wild flower honey is both obvious and outstanding and quite a compliment.

And the beer goes down your throat like a bull in a china shop as well. The sweetness is resounding, the hoppiness choking, the alcohol warming (if not, outright burning). This beer has no reservations about its strength, but it wears it well, with a suitable and supportive cast of flavours that include orange peel, green tea and the wild flower honey.

I still can't get my head wrapped around the extent of this hoppiness! The amount of citrusy zest still present after three years of aging is nothing short of phenomenal. And yet, I also marvel at how well proportioned and balanced the beer is; if I made a barleywine I'd want it to be exactly like this. I'll have to hire a spy to steal the recipe.

Barleywines (at least the obnoxiously hopped up ones) are an American original - they stand for freedom, rebellion against the system; they are solid, defiant, and supremely cool, the barleywine is the All-American icon of resilient individuality and freedom (at least according to this Canadian). And Doggie Claws is one of the best ones I've ever tried...

Doggie Claws from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
93 out of 100 based on 1,091 ratings.