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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.

538 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 538
Hads: 1,101
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 10.9%
Wants: 392
Gots: 260 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 538 | Hads: 1,101
Photo of jdhilt
3.37/5  rDev -18.4%
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. (413 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4.44/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. 2006 Vintage

Poured into a chalice a cloudy copper color, nice carbonation, no head, no sticky lacing afterwards, but a couple of tiny islands. The nose is malty, hoppy, good dose of caramel. The taste is pretty sweet, hoppy as hell, malty, with some caramel notes. Nice warming effect from the ABV, but hidden pretty well. Medium body. Very drinkable, another great beer from HOTD. (389 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage poured in to tulip.

A - Very murky dark brown; swampy. Next to no head formed on the pour; just a few scattered bubbles around the edges of the glass.

S - A big hop aroma up front with some citrus and pine notes that immediately give way to a big sweet malt profile with caramel, toffee and brown sugar. Some fruity aromas in the background as well.

T - Good balance overall with a sweet malt base and a big hop presence coming together nicely. Lots of dark caramel, brown sugar and toffee from the malt bill and some citrus and piney hop flavours come through as well. Lighter candied raisin flavour in the background.

M - Medium to full body. VERY light carbonation. (686 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 vintage 12oz inflatablechair picked up in Portland for me and SAS... much appreciation... It's been in the fridge for a couple of weeks.... tonight is the night. Poured into my New Belgium snifter.

1" head good lacing and hazy lite amber brew...

Aroma is thick malts with American hops.. some citrus and pine with more than enough caramel and toasty malts.

Flavor mirrors the aroma but with a big punch of yeasty frutiness and citric hops .... caramel and dark fruits.. rummy but in a good way.. big American hops.. but still there is an earthy hop component.. Huge complexity.. There is a bunch going on with this brew. Body is viscous but creamy carbonation.. a sipper but I will always want another drink. Very fine... loving what HotD is brewing.

3.5/4/4.5/4.5/4 (775 characters)

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.03/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hyrid glass on 4/7/12
*From notes

-- Thanks to SirRuss for this one --

Vintages 2010

A: First off, I popped the cap, put the bottle down on the counter to grab a glass, and by the time I came back, it had oozed all over the place, soaking my bills, magazines, etc. God damnit. I ended up losing almost half the bottle. As for color, well it's a dirty shade of cloudy piss. One of the ugliest beers I've ever seen. Overly bubbly white .75 finger head and no lacing or real semblance of a collar.

S: Figs, sugar plums and some seriously candied hops.

T: Very concentrated amount of residual sugar and overall sweetness. Toffee and caramel dominate the fore to mid. Alcohol washes over the back. Even two years in, this is still hot. And considering the "Secret of the Ooze" that happened upon opening, I do not detect any signs of infection.

M: Overcarbed to the max. Like a viscous soda pop.

O: There is absolutely no excuse for exploding bottles. It's a sin I lost so much of this to the counter. And it isn't the first time I've had an issue with HotD beers. I simply wish they could find a consistency to their products. Now you know why it gets a 2 overall.

As for their Doggie Claws, it's a nice beer that's got a bunch of warts. If they'd take the time to touch this up and give it a bit of TLC, this could be great. As it is, it's just ok. (1,380 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.54/5  rDev +9.9%
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. (537 characters)

Photo of aasher
3.89/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This bottle is the 2008 vintage and courtesy of BrewerB. Thanks for hitting this want Brian! Opened on Christmas Day.

This beer pours a light to medium bodied pure copper in color with no head or lacing. The aromas are incredibly malty, featuring plenty of caramel, toffee, and sweet dried fruits with a citrusy faded hop character. It solid and to he expected from an '08. The flavors are very sweet and fruity. It's near all swerve malts. I get a lot of cherry and orange peel in the malt bill. It solid and has nice flavor. It's drinkable for the abv and is sticky yet not overly so. Overall this is a nice aged barleywine and pretty similar to the '08 Behemoth that I had earlier this year. (695 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
4.48/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle from who knows where, maybe VA trip Summer 2004.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 2" beige head over the clear, effervescent, bright copper brew. Head is static, regenerating itself for quite some time before finally dwindling (10+ minutes), and lacing is heavy, foamy ,and impressive, especially for the style. Aroma is sweet malts, coupled with some vinous fruitiness. Taste is somewhat sedate for what I was expecting. Light sweet notes, passing through dim fruitsville, and then closing down for the night at a crisp slightly hoppy note. However, mouthfeel and drinkability bring us back to the land of awe. One of the most drinkable 10% brews I've had in a long time. Age has done this one good. (724 characters)

Photo of Derek
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 Vintage.

A: Amber/merlot with an off-white, almost tan head. Although there's more head than most Barley wines, there's not much retention. It initially leaves a nice lace though.

S: Not a lot of aroma. Pine, toffee and alcohol, with hints of earth & bready malt in the background.

T: Nice bittersweet balance with a warming alcohol. Not nearly as much hop flavour as some American Barley wines (though there's plenty of pine flavour, earth, and a very slight hint of citrus). Toffee, caramel and a little cotton-candy-like fruityness. There's a little bit of that Amarillo-aspirin flavour too.

The yeast sediment had a nasty, earthy bitterness (which didn't seem to healthy).

M: Moderate body (fairly light for its strength); slight acidity. Carbonation is moderate.

D: Very approachable, starts to become a little harsher as it warms, but then the alcohol sets in & I love it more!

Wife's review: Caramel-coloured, tastes like hops! (and a little molases). (985 characters)

Photo of Gobzilla
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: poured a murky brown with pale yellow highlights that had basically no head and no lacing sticking to the glass.

S: the caramel and booze really pop out on the nose right away with citrus orange but it did have earthy leafy notes.

T: the citrus orange and caramel hit the palate first with a pretty good amount of booze, but it did still have eathy leafy accents, and catus like character as well.

M: the brew was medium in body with a low amount of carbonation which had a sweet, earthy, citric, boozy, and sticky finish.

D: it drank decent considering the ABV on the beer and was really tasty for being a barleywine. HOTD always comes through for me. (659 characters)

Photo of DrJay
3.9/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2004: Clear, deep coppery red colour topped by a fluffy, light brown head. I rinsed the glass before pouring and there are definitely legs reaching up the glass. Moderate, chunky lacing to start and this carries through the rest of the bottle. I can't believe the hops are still so dominant in the aroma! There's a ton of caramel, malt, and toffee, but my nose was still hit first with a big burst of hops - piney and a bit powdery. The texture is like oil as it hits the palate, heavy and with fairly low carbonation. Lots of malt sweetness, but the hops still hold up here as well. The hop character is quite resinous with a bit of grapefruit that provides depth. By the mid, there's a rich fruitiness that appears. By the finish, alcohol has taken over the show and the warmth lingers for quite some time, accompanied by flashbacks of caramel and pine. A little sticky, but the mouthfeel is definitely appropriate for such a big beer. I can't imagine what this would have been like fresh - either a disaster or an epiphany. As it is, this is still a bold, aggressive beer that should only get better as it ages. Thumbs up! (1,125 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 Edition.

A muddy rusty coloured brew, it has a fine 2 finger head of foam and some good lacing. Bottle conditioned brews almost always strike my fancy.

I reckon the smell is top notch. Loads of caramel malt with a nice sharp hop bite of grapefruit and pine. Overall, super strong and at the same time balanced. Wow.

Big time taste as well. Huge caramel malt sweetness without getting too much out of control thanks to some bitterness from the hops which is more of a tropical fruit taste than citrus or pine. Still....the malt bill is, again, HUGE and the alcohol is right there. This one should be an excellent beer to cellar, me thinks.

Medium, close to full bodied with medium carbonation.I'd bet a little less carbo would give me a better mouthfeel.

Head retention turns out to be excellent with very stubborn sticky lacing.

Drinkability? I'm glad this is only a 12oz bottle. Being as "hot" as it is this fresh doesn't give the brew a chance to exactly scream drinkability. That being said, I do enjoy it a lot. I'd love to me hands on one with a few years on it. (1,078 characters)

Photo of Viggo
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served in a 1.5 liter bottle, took an eternity to finish seemed like. Pours a very hazy orange/light brown with a small head that lasted the whole day. Very strange colour, had some proteins floating around in it. The smell is sweet, fruit juice, nectarines, orange. Taste starts off very sweet but then gets easier, sweet and sour, lots of fruit apples, peaches, mandarin orange. Was very smooth and creamy, had perfect carbonation, very pleasant and I would definately try this one again. Thanks for the opportunity to try this one sammy. (540 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
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. (480 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle opened on 11.26.12

2012 Version

A - Pours a murky light brown with a huge explosive tan head that doesn't fade.

S - Hoppy citrus, then sweet malts, toffee and carmel.

T - Oranges, carmel, grass.

D - Lots of carbonation and a medium body.

O - Hoppy and a bit unbalanced, at first. Then it warms to almost room temperature and I am in heaven. Great beer. (366 characters)

Photo of dgilks
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear red colour with a nice creamy light tan head. Good head retention and some great lacing.

Big robust toffee aroma with some notes of honey and lots of fruit. Great esters with pear, apple and stonefruit all coming through.

Big malty sweetness with lots of caramel and some toasty toffee. Big fruity esters again with some great pear and peach notes. Really delicious.

Full body with moderate carbonation. Really solid and a great example of a barleywine.

A really great Barleywine. Alan really knows how to make big malt flavours sing with the addition of some hops for balance and great yeast character. A stunner. (624 characters)

Photo of claspada
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 release. Pours a nice clear golden orange/amber with a ridiculous amount of white foamy head, way way more than I have ever seen in a Barleywine. Leaves some nice lacing as well.

Aromas begin with tons of sweet honey and toasty bready and much lesser caramel malts. Fruity hops join the party next with citrus and some lesser tropical fruits as well. Smells become more intense and pleasant as it warms and once the head recedes so you can actually get a good whiff of the liquid itself.

The tastes begin with sweet honey, bready and butterscotch malts, caramels emerge more as it warms. Nice balance of light bitter hops with adequate amounts of fruit flavor hops as well. Quite fruity overall (balanced fruit though); nice pineapple and orange mainly. Finish is nice and dry from the higher ABV and adequate carbonation. Nice dryness and crisp finish.

Overall I really enjoyed this Barleywine. It is much more balanced in the hop department and doesn’t linger into that hazy DIPA/American Barleywine category that most west coast breweries seem to love now (Stone, Green Flash, Sierra Nevada, etc. which are all too heavy on the bittering even with aging). This is perfect after about a year of aging and from what I have read is one of the style which is better consumed in the 6 mo - 1 year range. Highly recommended; I also enjoyed this more than my first 2 HotD beers (Fred and Ruth). (1,400 characters)

Photo of Gusler
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A somewhat nebulous deep copper color, with a Mastiff sized head, spumescent in texture, the color a beautiful light tan and the resultant lace a fine sheet that covers the glass. Nose is hop floral, malt sweet, and a pleasure to sniff, start is thick malt, honey sweet, the top middling in its feel to the palate. “BAM” the hops bite like a great white in a feeding frenzy with the acidity quite delectable and the aftertaste alcohol bitter and long lasting. A must try for “Barley Wine Freaks”, but if you can’t “Run with the big dogs, stay on the porch”, as this bad boy will take the hide off an Armadillo. (617 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle split with blackie

appearance: muddy brown with heavy amber highlights, minimal head with streaky off-white lacing

smell: dark fruit, plum, fig, alcohol, mild pine/citrus hops definately present in the nose

taste: Quite impressed after the first sip. Strong bourbon like alcohol is present. Dark fruits overpower the hoppiness. I dont see the comparisons to an imperial IPA, perhaps due to this bottle having about 10 months under its belt. Certainly one of the finer barleywines I have come across.

mouthfeel: very smooth, nice hop/malt balance though I bet the hop profile has subdued since the original bottling

drinkability: wish I had more than 6 oz (676 characters)

Photo of ccrida
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 12 oz. bottle poured into my Hommel snifter, this years Doggie Claws is a murky chestnut with a large khaki head that's pretty slow to subside, leaving very heavy, foamy lace.

Aroma is heavy on the pine and citrus hops (amarillo and simcoe cited on the label), but some nice gingerbread malt sweetness as well. This fresh, it could be marketed a DIPA, but it's heavy on the sweetness.

Taste is rather sharp, heavy on the hops with a nice boozy backbone, but the malt is sugary and a bit cloying. Lots of fruity ales esters, apricot. Clearly young, but drinking better right now then the '05 and '06 I've had lately, although none of them hold a candle to the '02...

Mouthfeel is very lush and creamy, very nice. The carbonation of course I expect to fade, but the velvetyness is something I'm accustomed to only gaining after a few years in the cellar.

Drinkability is pretty good for such a big, young beer.
Paired with my last chunk of Tillamook white cheddar with peppercorns, my favorite cheese. (1,012 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I grabbed a couple of these when I was in SF over Xmas this past winter. I figured 6 months would be enough time to have the trub settle out. I'm not the biggest barleywine fan, but I love what Alan does. 2008 vintage.

A: In my snifter, DC pours a clear, bright, ruddy orange with a thin, tan head with decent retention. Lacework is nice too. For a 11.5% beer, the retention is quite amazing

S: On the nose, this has a very rich character. Malty with a lot of toffee, nougat, and a candy sweetness, this is good on it's own, but the mildly faded hop character lends a balance by way of citrus and floral character. This smells like orange blossom honey, a little diluted. Swirling results in more hop character coming out, earthy and herbal in character. Very, very good. One thing to be noted is the fact that the alcohol heat is absent. Nothing. Zero. Just incredibly smooth, rich and decadent.

T: Wow. Time has morphed this almost into an English barleywine. The malt depth is very enjoyable - candy, toffee, nougat, caramel, with dried fruits, figs and plums. The balance leans towards the candy-like sweetness and the fruity character. Hops aren't as noticeable, but they do lend a mild bitterness and citrus character, especially towards the finish. It makes me think of an orange marmalade with honey. The finish is pretty incredible - long, sweet, and complex with a little bit of honey

M: Awesome. Big in body with soft carbonation, this beer dances on my palate. The finish is great, too, with great malt character

D: I'm not a big fan of the style, but this is an incredible beer that I'll be sad to see gone. I can tell that this one is for the ages, it really does strike me as a beer that one can cellar for years on end with only good results. (1,763 characters)

Photo of xnicknj
3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 and 2009 bottles poured into snifter - this review is based on the 2010

Pours an opaque amber color with some brighter golden tones. Some lingering floaties in there too, especially towards the latter third of the bottle. A frothy beige head rests on top, fading into some spotty lacing and retaining with some layered film.

Stiff barleywine nose riddled with pine and citrus tones. Layered, rich maltiness with a decent sweetness. Caramel and burnt sugar with syrupy honey. Soft alcohol warmth.

Decent punch of citrusy pine up front - some of the hops are still hanging onto this bottle a year later. Plenty of rich malty character with caramel and bready notes. The honey is prevalent, creating a feeling of sticky sweetness. Finishes with some more citrus peel and a decent alcohol warmth.

Fuller body, decent carbonation, sticky and coating on the tongue. This is a really nice barleywine...I definitely preferred this to the 09, which I found a bit too sweet. I'd like to get some of the most recent vintage and see how it compares. (1,049 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle split and poured into a Sierra Nevada tulip.
11% ABV, 2010.

Thanks to Beerwolf77 for sharing this one (off my wants I believe).

A - The rusty orange brew is hazed over and has little doggies turds that sink to the bottom. Mmm, sediment. Massively carbonatedm the tan foam last quite a while and leaves very thick lace behind.

S - Fruity hop notes accent the brew with gooey honey and malt galore. Toffee, caramel, and toasted bread provides a great balance and complexity. Hop balance pops back in at the end with earth and citrus.

T - Fruity, sweet honey explosion in the flavor; mango, citrus, pineapple sweetness. Big malt balance of toffee and toast. Potent and tasty!

M - Full-bodied to the max, this one is both sweet and bitter at the same time. The finish is subtly warming and well-balanced throughout.

O - Big and well-brewed, Doggie Claws would be a fantastic winter brew, especially with some age on it. Awesome across the board! (960 characters)

Photo of tectactoe
4.14/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours thick and menacingly; a musky, cloudy, burnt tan color. Almost like completely opaque apple cider. Little bits of sediment float around and give this brew an even more unfiltered look. No holds barred, right here. A slightly off-white head caps this one off, leaving minimal lacing and receding rather quickly. Aroma is very sweet, maybe even a bit too sweet, but still highly inviting and manageable. Deep syrupy aromas, graham crackers, sweet brown sugar, warm molasses and burnt toffee. Heavy on the nose, leading me to believe this is gonna be one thick, badass barleywine.

Taste hits first with those thick and sweet syrupy flavors; molasses, toffee, caramel - all in a combination of being toasted, burnt, and extremely sweet. Crispy and toasty malts follow closely behind. Alcohol is noticeable, almost giving off a very slight nail polish remover flavor/aroma. Sweet fruits eventually join the party; sugar-coated plums, sweet candied black cherries, pears, and apples. Hops? Slightly grassy and earthy, even a bit ashy... but fuck 'em. This is a super-sweet malt bomb, and a decently crafted one at that. The body is thick, but not quite as syrupy as the taste or aroma may have you believe. Low carbonation, but fitting for the style.

Damn good barleywine. Very sweet and full of sugary flavors; malts, fruits, and just straight up sugar. Flirting with the line of being "too sweet" - don't know if I could have more than one of these. But split between our tasting group, the sample I had was perfect. I'd definitely go back to this one. (1,556 characters)

Photo of sweemzander
4.73/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. 2010 vintage. Huge thanks to black13 for this one!

(A)- Pours a hazy reddish sienna brown color that produced a huge foamy off-white head with superb retention. Tons of lacing around the entire rim of the glass as it took forever to dissipate. Extremely impressive due to the ABV level of this.

(S)- Some rich fruits of raisin, fig, and maybe even dates. Some hints at cherry & cocoa with some caramel or toffee sweetness.

(T)- Just like the smell predicted. Some rich fruits of raisin, fig, date, with hints at dark chocolate covered cherries. A light spiciness with a honey or caramel sweetness. Has a dry, almost bread-like finish with hints of peat.

(M)- A great carbonation level and balance. Rich and quite strong this fresh, but a complex one at that. Mildly bitter with a mild boozy warmth.

(D)- A world class Barleywine. Tastes great now fresh, but I can only imagine what a year or two would do to this. I need to acquire more of this to find out! It still is a bit too strong to have more than one of these at a time, but it sure hit the spot on this cold New Year's Day! (1,123 characters)

Doggie Claws from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
92 out of 100 based on 538 ratings.