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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.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

1,058 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,058
Reviews: 534
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 396
Gots: 250 | 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: 1,058 | Reviews: 534 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of emerge077
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sample courtesy of Kmpitz2...

Poured with a generous amount of frothy, creamy foam. Tawny orange/brown body, hazy with yeast. Aroma was nice, some spruce and sweet dried apricot, mixed with some subdued yeast esters. Taste followed the aroma with a big malty toffee body. Alcohol was hidden enough not to interfere, but definitely present. The bottle was shared, but I would happily drink one of these as an occasional treat.

Photo of zeff80
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Edition

A - Very good looking barleywine. A clear, dark amber color with a large, tan head of foam with some big bubbles of carbonation. Nice retention that receded to leave some sticky lace.

S - Spicy aroma with some pine-like hops. Also, a good balance of sweet maltiness in the nose.

T - A malty barleywine that isn't overly sweet. Again a good deal of spicy/bitter hop character matches the caramel malt goodness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied beer with a slightly dry finish.

D - This was really quite good. It's no surprise that Hair of the Dog made a good one, though.

Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip glass.

Big thanks to hannydawg for sharing this bottle!

2008 vintage. Let me just say that I am firmly against dressing dogs up for the holidays (or pretty much any other time, as well). That said, this stuff pours a very lightly murky russet-amber topped by a half-finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises ruby red grapefruit, pine, mild menthol, and toffee. The taste brings in more of the same, though the toffee is much more pronounced, giving some more balance to the proceedings, and the alcohol stabs through quickly, smartly, and shortly. The body is a straight medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and an oily feel. Overall, a very nice barleywine, a nice side-by-side with the thicker and maltier Fred from the Wood. Good times.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2002 - cellared, and then stored refrigerated and upright, for a year or so...

The yeast was clearly compacted at the bottom of the bottle and it poured a crystal-clear (I could see my fingerprints through the glass), glowing orange body beneath a massive head of rocky bright-white foam. It was a bit effervescent after 3 years in the bottle, and the rising bubbles helped to maintain the head, It kept a solid, creamy surface covering down to the last sip; and left some very nice sheets of attractive lace at the outset.

The nose was hoppy and fruity, or perhaps just loaded with fruity hops (Centennial, Cascades, etc.)! I can't imagine what it might have been like fresh, as it was still pretty damned hoppy three years later! There were notes of pineapple, grapefruit, apple, and tangerine; as well as some pine and mild spice over a grainy maltiness.

It was crisp in the mouth with a medium body and lively carbonation that perked up the tastebuds and 'scrubbed' the palate but didn't burn.

The flavor was very much as the nose suggested, with its fruity and piney hops brazenly tromping here and there across its lightly sweet and bready malt base. The bitterness level was kept restrained for a West Coast barleywine (or has it just softened that much?); and it was superbly balanced. More spiciness came through in the flavor than the nose; and its alcohol was present but far from obtrusive.

As I have no experience with a fresh bottle of Doggie Claws, I can only assumed that this has mellowed considerably; and that's not necessarily for the better, but it was quite good! I enjoyed it immensely, and with the exception of its alcoholic kick, I could easily have partaken of at least one bottle more. This is a beer that you sit down with, kick back, and enjoy while contemplating your utter insignifigance in comparison to the ever expanding universe... and then you think, "Yeah, but I've got an awesome brew at hand dude"!!! Rock on Doggie Claws!

Photo of nickfl
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.33/5  rDev -20.1%
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.

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 Kegatron
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber with a thicker creme head. Nose is a tight citric hoppy tone. I think the best way to describe it is definitely "tight". Flavor is hoppy, yes. Nice fruity thing going on there. Doesn't seem to be much dimension to it though as it's basically fairly straight forward. Minor brown sugar on the back side is about all else I can add. Smooth feel with a nice carbonation. This is nice, yes. I would go for this again (though the price is a bit too high IMO), but it wouldn't be the first barleywine I would go to.

Photo of XmnwildX12
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of oline73
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of russpowell
3.93/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to googzoid10 for this, cheers Greg!

2009 bottle spewed a bit as it opened, opened a murky tea color with 1 finger plus of sand colored head, plus floaties. This was a gentle pour mind you... Average head retention & lacing

S: Much pine & some caramel, plus apple & cinnamon

T: Pine & grapefruit, & a bit of booze up front & a touch of whisky smokeyness & toffee sweetness. Boozeyness, grapefruit & leafy hops dominate as this warms, along with apricot & figs. Finishes a bit rough, looking for more smoothness please ( I'm sure time will take care of that)

MF: Medium bodied, over carbonated, pretty warming. Body isn't really holding up to the hops, seems a bit thin once warm

Drinks alright, but this sucker needed at least another 8 months I'm thinking, live & learn...But if your looking the hop smack it probably will fade soon

Photo of mendvicdog
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of Rifugium
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had: on tap at their brewpub
Also have bottles of this for later consumption.

Poured a nice brownish amber with a small cap of tan head that retained fairly well. Sweet caramel and brown sugar in the nose, with some fruitiness and distant hop tones. Sweet and thick with dark sugars--caramel and brown sugar--notes of raisins and red wine, with an obvious alcohol kick, and a touch of citrusy hops. Smooth and nearly full-bodied, very drinkable. Great barleywine.

Photo of drabmuh
4/5  rDev -4.1%
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 feloniousmonk
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear, light amber color, with voluminous head, puffy, lacey, creamy in color.

Aroma: sweet, sugary, and full of yeast, putting me in mind of a Belgian tripel, perhaps, spicy and fruity (grapefruit, peach, orange).

Flavor is full and hot, it's a charging rhino in the mouth, crashing down the gates, hoppy, tingly, tasty, with abundant malt and an air of ancient mysteries. There's an enormous alcoholic presence, that only widens, eventually conquering the palate.

Quite an unusual barleywine, this one, a unique flavor profile, and possessing incredible substance and staying power. Doggie Claws is a dream in a bottle!

Photo of mdfb79
3.55/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From 6/12/10 notes. Thanks to nimbleprop for sharing this one. Vintage 2005.

a - a murky orange brown color no head light carbo

s - Smells of sweet fruit, caramel malts, and bready malts.

t - Tastes fruity malts, caramel malts, and swet fruit. Also some booze in the taste.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Some sediment in the beer.

d - This was an ok barleywine, but it was very sweet. It also had a lot of sediment in it, which I didn't really enjoy. Wouldn't look to have a vintage this old again, but would try a newer year.

Photo of drewone
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of kojevergas
3.4/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into 20cl Beer Sommelier Antwerp Beer Passion Weekend stemware in low altitude Los Angeles, California. This is the 2011 version. My label displays ABV as 11%. Acquired at Wally's Wine in Westwood, California. Reviewed live. I'm excited for this one; I'm really into barleywines and am in the mood for a good one.

A: Pours a half finger head of nice fair cream, good thickness, and decent retention (considering the high ABV anyway). Colour is an extremely dark copper; nontransparent and solid. No yeast particles are visible. Appears adequately carbonated. I'm looking forward to it, though I do note that it seems a bit dark for a barleywine.

Sm: Strangely hoppy - unexpected for a barleywine. Biscuity bread-like notes. Maybe some toasted malt and/or raisin. Dark honey is also present, particularly on the finish - which is lovely. I'd say the honey is dominant, and next in line hops. A moderate strength aroma, but a subtle and intricate one that makes me excited to taste it. 4.0-4.5

T: Nectary. The delightful honey foundation is near-perfect in its subtlety, not intruding on the delicate balance, and not too bright and open; clearly they didn't just add honey the way you might in a honey blonde. It's a dark honey, and reading the label and discovering it's wild flower honey doesn't surprise me. An excellent and unique choice.

The hops are nearly perfectly balanced, giving the open a very interesting character that doesn't at all clash with the balance in a structural or flavour-wise sense.

Light candied sugar manifests mostly on the climax, giving it a bit of body but also thinning the third act a bit. It's not a favorful tradeoff all around; I think they could do with reducing the quantity of candied sugar used a bit.

No yeast comes through, nor does any alcohol - an impressive feat considering the hefty ABV.

It does seem hoppy for a barleywine, but the honey does well to hide the bitterness.

The only troublesome bit is the third act, which has a strange bitter feel to it and is thinner than the first two. It's a minor qualm, but throws the structural balance off to a degree.

It could do with more complexity in its flavours, but what's there is nice and I imagine she'd age nicely. I like it, though for the style it's a bit strange.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but a touch thick. It lumps on the climax, which doesn't bother me - though the thinness of the third act afterwards is (as aforementioned) a problem. It could do with more thickness and coarseness all around. Moreover, the finish is too slick and zips right by.

Dr: Quite drinkable for its hefty ABV, and uniquely honey-centric for the style. I like that they're experimenting, but I think the hop content should be reduced, the honey quantity increased, and the crystal malts omitted.

This one would likely age well, in part because the hop flavour would die down. There doesn't seem to be much yeast in the bottle, so I don't know that the ABV would creep.

Best paired with a good plain bread, like baguette.

Serve in a glass that really lets the aroma out; it's quite pleasant.

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 Gueuzedude
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
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 GClarkage
4.78/5  rDev +14.6%
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 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 orangesol
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Doggie Claws from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
93 out of 100 based on 1,058 ratings.