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

Not Rated.
Doggie ClawsDoggie Claws

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,013 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,013
Reviews: 529
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 10.79%
Wants: 397
Gots: 242 | FT: 16
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:
"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 added by: faernt on 11-16-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,013 | Reviews: 529 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lighthabit
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

one of my first barley wines . . .

2012 bottle poured into a sniffer style

A: hazy deep orange. big head, but was poured relatively warm, so to be expected. very nice lacing the whole way thru

S: can't quite place the smell , but enticing, if not a bit boozy since it's warmer than i'd usually pour. i can see why a few here mention leather, i can sense a faint bit.

T: smooth, surprisingly, since i usually don't care for some of the strong ones as they warm. the malts seem entirely more smooth and complex than what i'm used to, which i like. hops seemed mutedi'm looking forward to putting a few of these on the shelf and trying them next year, lots of potential.

O: in spite of a less-than-fair initial try, this did very well. i'm looking forward to experiencing it aged and served properly.

update dec 2013 - still awesome :)

lighthabit, Dec 29, 2012
Photo of BrandonDZ
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

BrandonDZ, Jan 08, 2014
Photo of cooch69
3.7/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer pours a very murky orange with some tan highlights. It's got an awesome small head. When you swirl this beer it sticks to the sides as easy as a melted marshmellow.

Smell is like a fresh garden of mixed wildflowers in the middle of an evergreen forest. It's definetly got that honey character in there as well. I'd say it was orange blossom honey if I had to guess.

Taste is a nice mild but very noticable hoppiness.( note this is a 2009 edition). Followed up by a huge sweetness that is full of both malts, oranges and mangos. In the finish I also get some spices, most notably corriander and even a wee bit of thyme. The alcohol shows through in the finish as well but not 11%. It is very well hidden.

This beer was much too sweet for me to fall in love with, but I did appreciate the intricacy and flavors that it showed off. I'll try to find a 2010 bottle to see if the hops dry it out a bit.

cooch69, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of OldSock
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – 12 oz bottle dated 2004 from Sam’s. In my snifter it is dark brown, in fact much darker than most barley wines. The head is creamy and tan with great retention and sticky lacing.

Smell – Perfume like alcohol up front with a light citrus hop and toasted malt backing. A good barleywine smell, adds a bit of floral complexity, but doesn’t stray far from the standard formula.

Taste – Definitely alcohol warming with lots of great flavor. At a year old this beer has great balance, if anything it leans towards the malt side. The malt has a slightly roasted edge, something that many barleywines do not have. The hop presence is enough to balance the big malt sweetness, but it does not add too much complexity aside from some citrus. There is a bit of dark fruitiness, but not enough to be more descriptive than that. The alcohol fusels, particularly in the aftertaste, are unwanted, but are not too intrusive to the overall experience.

Mouthfeel – Full mouthfeel, but with too much carbonation for me.

Drinkability & Notes – The fusels take away from what is otherwise a sip-able barleywine. This is a solid effort, but there are lots of better choices out there for American Barleywines.

OldSock, Oct 17, 2005
Photo of stoutfiend27
3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 bottle sent in the last care package from James...thanks bro..into the snifter

a-deep bronze/copper....huge three finger head..fell quickly to some chunky lacing..nice carbonation for the style

s-sweet malt and citrusy hops..some caramel..not much else to describe

t-sweet malt bill heads this one up..the typical west coast hop schedule comes into play rounding this one out and finishing on a bitter note..

m-thick and chewy the way a barleywine should be...really hit home on style..the carb was perfect as well as the effect on the palate

o-a great representation of the style and one i wish i had multiple vintages of the save...

stoutfiend27, Jun 13, 2011
Photo of SageO
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

SageO, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of BrokenStones
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

BrokenStones, Mar 15, 2012
Photo of sinistermadman
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


Pours an orange-amber color while yielding a nice, creamy head. Generous lacing on the side of my glass. Crisp, earthy malt aroma with some subdued hop notes as well. Nice! Taste is so soft and delicate. Caramel and faint chocolate with a mild residual sweetness (wildflower honey collected on Mt. Hood apparently doing its part). Stellar! Mouthfeel is flawless. Quite smooth but semi-full. This is pure joy to drink. Alcohol never intrudes. Quite the drinkable brew.

I am kicking myself for not making the trip to the brewery a few weeks ago to get the barrel aged stuff. Maybe a bit to uninvolved for some barley wine aficionados, but to me this strikes a perfect balance between complexity and drinkability. Cheers to Alan for a great brew.

sinistermadman, Nov 30, 2007
Photo of Matthew
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2006 bottle.
Pours a deep ruby amberish color with nearly no carbonation whatsoever, just some tiny bubbles on the top of the beer.
Fresh fruity hops are up front in the nose along with a honey sweetness wrapped with hints of caramel and a very light roasted malt character.
Very sweet maltiness up front, flavors of english toffee, light fruits that show as the beer warms a bit, along with a crisp hoppy bite just before the alcohol warming shows up.
The mouthfeel is largely viscous and smooth over the palate but would have like atleast a bit of carbonation in this one. If the mouthfeel wasn't so big and smooth the lack of carbonation really would have made me dislike the mouthfeel of this beer.
For a big beer like this one its tasty and its flavors blend together nicely and allows you to sip this beer easily.
I have a few more bottles that I hope have better carbonation. I can also certainly see this one growing into a different and very interesting beer after a year or two.

Matthew, Nov 20, 2006
Photo of matttttYCE
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage. Can't remember who it was from. Big thank you, whoever it was.

Light tan colored head, a little more than a finger high. Light on lace, but retention is decent. Deep and murky amber brown colored liquid. Looks appealing for a barleywine. Even for a 2011 this is still quite a hoppy smelling barleywine, which is awesome. Bitter and fruity/grapefruit and citrus (orange) hops but they aren't overpowering. Behind that are caramelized malts, sweetness, toffee, dark fruits, lots of dark fruits, peanut brittle, and honey. Awesomely complex. Taste is great like the aroma. Hoppy and resinous but you can tell it's mellowed. Wonderful malts, sweetness, candi sugar, toffee, dark fruits, maple syrup, touch of brown sugar, man this is good. Maybe some honey also from the nose. Medium full body, medium carbonation and consistency, and a smooth lingering finish.

This is a great barleywine. I might be a bit biased as I really enjoy barleywines, but this one is definitely one of my preferred ones that isn't barrel aged. I can only imagine a bourbon barrel aged version of this. Case in point, I think this rivals SN Bigfoot one of the best hoppy barleywines.

matttttYCE, Nov 29, 2012
Photo of Nickfellow007
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Nickfellow007, Aug 16, 2012
Photo of GarrettB714
5/5  rDev +19.9%

GarrettB714, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of schoun
5/5  rDev +19.9%

schoun, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of MPLS
3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2005 Vintage that's been sitting in the fridge for about a year I would say.

A: Amber, cloudy, noticeable yeast in the body with some left in the bottle. White cloud like head. Oily lacing.

S: Rather hoppy surprisingly, almost like a pineapple/orange juice blend with noticable alcohol.

T: Tastes citrusy like the noise with a certain level of dryness and bitterness. The alcohol kind of cums through like a mellow rum.

M: Pretty oily/syrupy, sticking to the tongue.

D: High ABV, challenging beer.

MPLS, Nov 02, 2009
Photo of Shaimless
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Shaimless, Dec 06, 2013
Photo of lou91
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004 vintage in September 2005. I thought this beer would pour still so I gave it a good high pour and ended up having to gulp a big mouth of foam to keep it from spilling on my lap. I knew this was going to be good because even the foam was tasty – nice malty sweetness with hints of chocolate and great multiple hop flavors. It was a deep brown color and smelled like a west coast barley wine should – hoppy as hell. The taste reminds me so well why I love the style. Rich, sweet malty and hoppy all in a big rich high alcohol package. The taste lingers on and on, totally coating your palate making sure nothing can compete with this hop monster. Ledger’s in Berkeley.

lou91, Sep 07, 2005
Photo of jameaterblues
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes:
A- Dark amber almost brown in color. Frothy head...so big that the beer did not even fit in the pint....thick dense lace that follows the beer as you drink it down the glass.

S- Caramel and toffee, floral, and grapefruit notes. Musky dank undertone to a very dense sweet beer. Extremely complex, and I could probably pick out more scents if I had more experience.

T- Big sweet caramel flavors, with light toffee. Herbal hops create a savory sweet interplay....and a hint of cinnamon and ginger.

M/D- Really complex, light carbonation, syrupy and mouth coating....I can't wait to try it again next year.

jameaterblues, May 30, 2007
Photo of isualum12
3.3/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pour- is dark brown with a little head.

smell is nuts and bourbon, plenty of alcohol smell with a little roasted toffee.

taste is thick, creamy, caramel, brown sugar, dark cream, some malt, spiced.

I could handle a beer or two but that is it. I was really was not looking forward to this beer prior to drinking it but this beer plain out surprised me. This beer was good.

Serving type: bottle

isualum12, Dec 17, 2009
Photo of dwarbi
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

ooo, this is a lovely one. Big, choppy seafoam head. Cloudy, orange beer. Looks like quite a meal. Smells good. A little like sweet cherries. This beer tastes very robust and full-bodied. The alcohol is apparent, but it still tastes very good. Pleasant mouthfeel and very, very drinkable for the style and abv. I'll be looking for this on tap.

dwarbi, Jul 22, 2003
Photo of Gfunk720
4.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review #100!

2010 bottle, out of my DFH Signature glass. Thanks to Geoi for this bottle.

A- A very murky amber brownish color. Pours with an insane amount of foamy whitish tan head. The head and lacing is just everywhere.

S- Smells of piney hops and sweet malt. The hops are pretty overpowering, but it smells nice. I get some hints of caramel and dates as well.

T- Very smooth and malty, brown sugar and caramel. Then the hops really kick in on the back end, strong piney notes that linger. A very good blend of malty sweetness and piney hops.

M- Perfect on the carbonation and body/thickness. It's not terribly complex in the mouthfeel, but decent.

O- This is a very solid example of an American Barleywine. I think this beer could benefit from some more time in the cellar, but was tasty none the less.


Gfunk720, Jun 30, 2011
Photo of Donnie2112
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2007 poured into an oversized wine glass.

so I spilled the yeast but it appeared to be a nice orangish hue with good carbonation and good head retention for the style. I dumped the yeast though and so now it's a cloudy burnt orange. still a very good looking beer

so much sweet citrus in the nose, mandarin oranges, grapefruit a bit grassy and herbal as well. The hops and the malts combine to create a citric nose experience.

caramelly, molassy malts just a bit of clovey yeast and plenty of snappy lemon zest hops. Absolutely wonderful

the carbonation is awesome, wonderful full body, smooth and oily just the right amount of cleansing astringence

this beer is very drinkable for the style and I enjoyed it a bunch! This brewery alone warrants a trip to Portland! I must go!


Put another 3 years on this beer, very good stuff. At this stage the beer is completely flat though. Still incredibly drinkable, great winter warmer for the great white north

Donnie2112, Jul 07, 2008
Photo of GarrettMD
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Very hazy orange hue. No head at all, some bubbles from the pour.

S - Caramel malts, piney hops, cherry, dark fruit very similar to a belgian quadrupel. Fig is a big aroma in this one.

T - Sweet tasting, mostly caramel malts, the same dark fruits but not as many as in the aroma. No hop taste in the least. Cherry is still there, the fig still comes through.

M - Medium to light bodied, no carbonation to speak of, but still very smooth mouthfeel. Finish is sweet and slightly drying. There's really no alcohol taste at all.

D - Very good drinkability, cannot taste alcohol at all. Wouldn't drink more than one just because of the ABV, but it is delicious and easy to drink nonetheless. This was a 2009 bottle.

GarrettMD, Sep 11, 2010
Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

IvoryFoxhole, Jan 17, 2014
Photo of sorvats
5/5  rDev +19.9%

sorvats, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of Janderson91
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another one sent from SpdKilz! 2010 vintage. Enjoyed on 07/15/11.

A - 12oz bottle into a goblet. Whoa! Did not expect to get a large head out of this one but it consumes half my glass after a pretty aggressive pour. A two finger head has formed inside the bottle as well. Weird. Once in the glass, the appearance is an above average barleywine. Muddy brown/red color, can't see through it at all. Lots of floaties. Leaves very good lacing.

S - Big caramel, honey, piney hops, and some cherries and plums. Good aroma on this one.

T - Quite sweet up front with big caramel malts and then a very nice piney bitterness comes through. Honey sweetness is present throughout. Finishes with a bitterness balanced by the honey, caramel sweetness and some cola flavor is present also.

M - Mouthfeel is quite good. Creamy with some carbonation present in the back.

O - Overall, I really enjoyed this one. An above average barleywine for sure but not quite as good as Bigfoot or 2010 Nemesis.

Janderson91, Jul 15, 2011
Doggie Claws from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
93 out of 100 based on 1,013 ratings.