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

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Doggie ClawsDoggie Claws

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1,079 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,079
Reviews: 536
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 398
Gots: 254 | FT: 19
Brewed by:
Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mattmaples on 10-12-2001

"a Barley Wine made in the West Coast style. Big malt and hops make this copper colored ale one of our most popular products. Produced in September and October and released in November, this Beer will improve for years to come. Alcohol: 11.5% by volume. IBU's 70"
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,079 | Reviews: 536
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 beergod1
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010. Very deep amber in color with a long lasting beige head, good lacing. The aroma is very rich with lots of malt, caramel, Christmas spice, light alcohol, dark fruits. Silky palate with loads of nice fruity notes,Brown sugar, A light burn on the finish, maybe a touch of hops. Full body, a little sweet right now, give this one some time....a year or so, then I will re-rate. I bet this will be great.

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into snifter glass. Pours clear brown - amber with nice big foam head and lingering lacing. Aroma is loaded with good hops, light sugary - honey notes, citrus-grapefruit fruits, caramel - typical holiday spices. Where the whole charm of this beer comes to life is in its taste especially when approaching room temperature. All the hops come together with the malts for an amazing experience. All is terrifically well balanced. The bitter hops is balanced out with the hops and the sweet addition of honey - brown sugar, making this beer an extremely smooth and sweet beer. I am cellaring another bottle for a year or two and see what this is all about!

Photo of 2xHops
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It looked like it's tasty. The head didn't develop as much as I thought it would. It may be the way I poured the beer that caused the lack of head. It had a full-bodied coloring and definitely not transparent. The color's rich caramel (right word?)

The smell's very aromatic. the smell wafered around my nose with ease, and I could smell some floral notes along with the hops.

Taste - I can't remember what a barleywine beer normally taste like, so forgive me if I give the beer a good grade for something that may or may not be accurate. However, I do enjoy the flavors this beer had to offer.

Mouthfeel - The alcohol definitely came alive when I swished the beer. The carbonation's there, and it isn't too thick or thin. However, the alcohol may be just tad overpowering.

Drinkability - It packs a powerful punch, so it's not very drinkable on regular basis, especially if you wanted to drink more than one pint of beer. For the more experienced beer aficionado, this will be a fun sample to try.

I'll drink it again, but I think I prefer Adam or Fred from the brewery.

Photo of charliedvrs
4.62/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage with a little bit of a year of age on it. Saved this one for the first big snow storm of the year. Thanks msubulldog25 for this one, last of my HtDs!

A - Pours a nice slightly hazy, copper orange. Lots of carbonation bubbles and a creamy, white head. Some yeasties float around in the glass but most lay stuck to the bottom of the bottle.

S - Sweet caramel, molasses and sugars with a bit of alcohol. Earthy hops in the background but definitely present.

T - Oh, what a treat! Tons of sweet malty flavors that come across and blend with the yeast to give a nice, cohesive taste full of sugary caramel, molasses and honey mixed with sweet dark fruits like cherries, figs and dried prunes. Even a year after bottling the hops are still all over this one and round out the taste with strong grass and pine notes.

M - Full bodied, which fits well with the honey and caramel sweetness, with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Great sipping beer for a cold winter night. Makes an even better post or pre shoveling drink! High ABV and full body would keep me from having more than one, but that ain't the point of this one. Great beer, thanks again Brian!

Photo of pmccallum86
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful amber brown colored body with a thick and bubbly tan head. Very nice looking Barleywine

The smell is of big sweet caramel malts and floral pine hops. Very nice aroma

Taste is of huge malts with a bitter pine hop finish. The alcohol is slightly detectable, but not too bad considering it's 11.5%. Good Barleywine, nothing mind blowing but very good.

Mouthfeel is very full with high carbonation.

Just above average drinkability, nice barleywine.

Photo of Flightoficarus
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter!

A - Pours a muddy, brown-amber, with a massive tan head, with excellent head retention and lacing. A very active beer that took a few minutes to calm down before drinking!

S - Smell is of dark and citrus fruit drizzled malts, with sweet honey, molasses, and spicy, piney hops.

T - Complex! Taste is of thick, bready malts, loaded with flavors of cherry, apple, apricot, orange, honey, toffee, caramel, and spicy hops. It's a mouthful, and a tasty one at that for sure!

M - Full-bodied. Uber-rich, almost chewy texture. Medium carbonation. Glorious.

D - It's a sipper, but it's quite the sipper!

Overall - This is an absolutely fantastic Barleywine! Highly recommended

Photo of sweemzander
4.73/5  rDev +13.7%
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!

Photo of liddytime
4.64/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


That most wonderful time of the year....second only to when the kids return to school. So for December 24th, I thought I might sample Hair of the Dog's Doggie Claws. It is festive enough on the label with the bulldog wearing the Santa hat. Heck, there's even a pair of menorahs on the label! This should be one multi-denominational beer!

My bottle is dated 2007 and I can't remember, for the life of me, where I purchased it... it has been cellared for a bit..

I decanted her into a tulip snifter. Hazy, toffee brown. Soft, scant, foamy head. Aroma of alcohol, figs, prunes, rum, cardamom and raisins. Have I mentioned that I LOVE barleywines?!

What a great beer. Huge mouthful! Big body. Massive holiday fiesta of dried fruit, spices and spicy hops in your mouth.

This is everything a winter sipper should be. Another quality brew from Hair of the Dog!

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

Thanks to Dim, I'm getting to try this 2009 vintage. I've been saving it to share with my wife on Christmas Eve.

A: A murky burnt orange. Thick, beautiful, creamy head. A lovely beer indeed.

S: Sweet with honey, toffee..a little citrusy. Picking up a dark fruit aspect as well.

T: Sweet to start, kind of spicey at the finish. I'm not sure that I've had a barleywine before where citrus and dark fruits played so well before. A little bit of everything here. Beautiful.

M: Creamy and smooth. Coats the mouth, tastes linger.

D: This is sitting at 11.50% ABV? I don't believe it. Never have I had a beer at this level whose alcohol has been so well masked.

This is a wonderful beer that I would love to try again! Doggie Claws is one of those beers that you keep swirling around, not wanting to swallow. Kind of wished I told my wife that it tasted like shit so I wouldn't have to share! Dan, you picked out a real beauty here.

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

124th review on BA
bottle to pint
2009 Bottle

App- A very murky orange amber color with some yellow highlights. A one finger bubbly head that was a light tan milky color.

Smell- I get a lot of scents in this one but mostly, hops, honey and milk. Odd combination I know.

Taste- It's a strange American Barleywine to me. It was very creamy yet had a nice spice to it. Had such a lush feel as well. Like a bit of creamy milk with some booze.

Mouth- Medium bodied with a matching medium carbonation to create quite a unique feel on the palate.

Drink- Its a good beer. High ABV yet could put back a few of them.

Photo of cooch69
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

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

2009 poured into a tulip glass.

A - A light burnt orange color with a small head with a little lacing

S - light floral hops with subtle dark fruits, caramel.

T - very well balanced between hops and malts. The hops are light and floral and the malt backbone (dark fruits, caramel, toffee) that is not overwhelmingly sweet.

M - very lightly carbonated and easy on the mouth. Very clean.

D - For an American barleywine, this is one of the most drinkable American barleywines I have had in some time. It's not too hoppy (like Old Guardian tends to be) and its not too sweet (like many English barleywines),

Overall, an awesome west coast barleywine. Only thing I would like is a bit more complexity.

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

(2009 bottle) I love barleywine. I think I fell in love with the style drinking an Olde School from DFH. At this point, that beer might be a bit sweet for me, though it is still good - just a sipper. While I have made an effort to collect some allegedly good ones, like Great, BA Old Ruffian, I have not yet tried them. What I have tried is here in front of me, Doggie Claws, and it is freakin' delicious. It is a touch less sweet than Olde School and exceptionally smooth. There is not a lot to the nose, but frankly, I don't care. This has almost none of the bite or cloying sweetness that sometimes spoils a barleywine. I would actually say that, for me, this is something I could drink a few of. Of course, I wouldn't be able to walk if I did.

Really, what we have learned here is that I am going to have to effort a case of this shipped to me in the midwest. I would love to try this beer barrel-aged, but I don't want to get carried away.

One of my favorite barleywines and a really good beer. IMO, if you don't like this, you don't like American Barleywines. Get some.

Photo of Blakaeris
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours opaque caramel brown with a very dense, creamy head.

Aroma is caramel, toffee and a huge blast of citrus and resinous hop bitterness. Alcohol comes on hot and strong.

Taste is amazingly rich and interesting. Caramel and toffee comes on strong. Plenty of brown sugar, orange tangerine, and raisin to keep it interesting. A touch of musty basement. Finishes with a dry cedar quality and earthy hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Smooth and silky.

So many layers of flavor in this one. Aroma is nice, but the flavor is incredible. This is a must try.

Photo of bashiba
4.49/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a very cloudy and dirty orange with a huge and thick fluffy tan head.

The smell was huge with big giant toasted malt nose and a light honey sweetness.

Wow the flavor really caught me off gaurd, a huge blast of sweet honey and bready malts with a nice mild orange and lemony citrus hop finish to balance it out quite nicely. Almost no alcohol taste at all, but a long lingering hop quality builds the more you drink.

The mouthfeel is thick and oily, yet it finishes very lightly with a bit of resin.

Shockingly easy to drink for a beer this big, very unusual overall. Really like it.

Photo of Phelps
4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Winter 09 edition.

Doggie Claws pours from the bottle a sediment-laden burnt orange with half finger head of fuzzy light tan foam that becomes thick lingering ring, leaving little lacing. There are some big, corn flaky chunks in here, but I'm willing to partially ignore them because the color is gorgeous.

In the nose: lots of bright lemon and lime, a mild toastiness, crackers, Christmas trees, apricot and a bit of vinegar and vodka. It's like Sprite, citrusy and sweet.

Tastes like Sprite spiked with caramel apple cider. Lemon, lime, caramel, lavender -- it's an exquisite blend of very sweet and smooth citrus notes that meld into a lovely whole. A very sweet finish without much lingering bitterness follows the game plan the middle established. This is outrageously smooth.

Feels nearly uncarbonated. The soft body is just a shade under medium in fullness. The alcohol numbs the tongue but is unnoticeable amidst so much flavor.

I've never had a beer from Hair of the Dog I didn't find outstanding, and Doggie Claws is no different. Very smooth, very flavorful, and drinkable to the point of irresponsibility.

Photo of ChadQuest
2.28/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Beer pours with no head, dispite an aggressive pour. Its petty clear and a very attractive color, but looks like a dark fruity bourbon with the completely still surface. A stiff swirl gives nothing either.

I can tell by the taste and aroma that this beer has so much potential. It fares heavily on the citrus and dark fruits side of the Barley wine spectrum, and other then the brightness of citrus didn't have much in the way of Hop flavors or aroma, maybe the flatness is causing this notion. This drinks alot more like a bright Old Ale then a BW.

The slick and flat mouthfeel is what really brings this beer down. it ruins the appearance, diminishes the palette ability to perceive the flavors, and doesn't carry the aroma up and out.

I have a feeling this would be a totally awesome bottle with some bubbles going on, but from reviews it looks like the carb levels have been all over.

Photo of alleykatking
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a murky darker amberish copper color. There is some light orange highlights when held to the light. One and a half finger tan head shows good retention. Sticky web style lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Lots of caramel malts in the front of the aroma. Darker fruits mix in next with notes of plums, figs, and raisins soaked in light alcohol. Some light hops in the backing show some piney aroma. There is a light yeasty aroma when the beer warms up which kind of brings everything together.

T- Caramel malts come through first with a hint of hop bite. The hops although not all that big give way to a nice darker fruit middle. Caramel malts show up in the middle again with the darker fruits along with a light alcohol flavor. Toward the end there is a earthy leathery flavor that I haven't really noticed in barleywines till now. The ending overall is caramel malts with a hint of darker fruits and warming alcohol that doesn't go over the top.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is a little light for the beer I thought but didn't ruin it. Caramel malts and darker fruits are left on the palate and long into the aftertaste with alcohol coming along for the ride in the aftertaste. Medium drying on the palate from the alcohol. Flavors are well balanced in the style with hops surprising me being as balanced as they were.

D- I have been sitting on this one for a couple of years and am glad to see it turned out well. Hair of the Dog really makes good beers. The ABV is really well hidden but soft when coming out. A nice barleywine for the winter season or really anytime!

Photo of grittybrews
4.62/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opened 12/2010.

Poured a murky orange-mahogany into a tulip with a finger of long-lasting off-white head. Strong hop-forward aroma with pine, spice, traces of orange and grapefruit, and some vanilla caramel sweetness to balance.

Moderate carbonation and lively, creamy mouthfeel. Very sweet up front with sugar cookie and caramel followed by full-bodied honey, orange, and some floral, spicy hops on the lightly bitter finish.

A sipper due to the sweetness, but the high alcohol is amazingly well-masked. By taste alone I'd peg this at 7-8 percent, not 11!

Blue cap, opened 09/2011. Just a thin film of white head. Carbonation was more muted than the 2010 bottle, but I encountered no flatness issues as some had reported with this batch. A little less hop aroma than the 2010 with a subtler honey character. Taste followed suit with a smoother feel, less hop spice, and some nice orange and vanilla on the finish. Sugar cookie and caramel sweetness remained but seemed to blend more with the honey flavors. Alcohol still completely hidden -- very tasty and easy-drinking!

Photo of caskstrength
3.42/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2008 and 2009, extras from ramnuts (great extras), excited to try these tonight.

2008 was flat. I dislike flat beer. I'll leave it at that. Drain got a healthy pour.

2009 was a gusher. (Just wasn't my night for HotD seasonal barleywines.) Lost about 1/3 of the beer on the kitchen table and floor.

the remaining 2009 I ended up drinking was chunky because of the agitation from the explosion mixing in the sediment. Honey sweet pine on the nose, tastes followed. Thick and sweet. Not all that complex, actually, but still enjoyable. Wasn't as impressed as I was expecting. Pretty straightforward smells and tastes.

I don't know what to think about HotD. I've had a good Fred, flat Adam, flat DClaws, and gushing DClaws. Is this normal?

Photo of greygooose
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage. 12 oz. bottle

A: Poured a beautiful deep dark brown with reddish tones. Nice looking ½ inch head that showed some staying power throughout the session. Great legs graced the sides of the tulip glass I was drinking it out of.

S: The first big whiff I took upon pouring the bottle in the glass I was met with an intense burst of sweetness, raisin bread, and even detected a hint of pear on the end.

T: Initial flavor consisted of the well known barleywine sweetness, bittersweet chocolate, balanced by a slight resinous hops backbone. Subsequent sips brought a warming honey sensation that was quite enjoyable.

M: Full body with adequate carbonation. A great creamy warming mouthfeel that feels like a soft blanket enveloping your tongue (no joke).

D: Doesn't feel like your drinking such a high ABV beer. Definitely could knock down 2 or 3 of these in a session.

I'm not particularly a huge fan of barleywines but this one really stands out among the many I've tried. A great balance between sweet and bitter and a nice mediumish finish that leaves you wanting another sip.

Photo of boMD
4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Have had many different vintages of Doggie Claws. It's exceptional fresh, and exceptional with some time on it.

This is a review of a 2002 vintage bottle I had enjoyed. Prior to 2003 and forward vintages, this had been brewed with Ahtanum and Vanguard hops opposed to Simcoe and Amarillo.

Poured a deep amber with a thick, long lasting, off-white head. Deep barley and alcohol aroma with a roasted and berry quality. Very smooth and still retained a good carbonation but very soft on the palate. Dark fruits like grapes or dates, vanilla and a whiskey like booze character. Roasted caramel malts. Not much in hop flavors left on this one. Also notes of smoked oak and lactose. Very rich, complex and a joy to drink.

Photo of steve8robin
4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got this bottle in a trade. Been waiting to try this one for a while. Thanks Beachrez! 2009 vintage. 12oz bottle...

A: A murky caramel color with absolutely no head. Decent.

S: I get a nice floral hop blended perfectly with a great sugary malt upfront. Some toffee / caramel in the middle with some faint apple on the backend. Very good.

T: Floral hops upfront quickly settled by sweet caramel malts and some booze bite. Iced tea quickly follows. This almost tastes like a sweet and hoppy Long Island Iced Tea. I like this brew. Good.

M: Thick body with an awesome carbonation. Very good.

D: The drinkability on this is incredible. I feel like I'm just drinking iced tea. No booze wall at all! For 11.5%? That's incredible. Perfect.

All in all, this is a solid brew. Glad I got to try this one. At a year old, this is drinking awesome! If you like barleywines, hops, and enjoy iced tea, then this is sure to please. Good beer.

Photo of Gobzilla
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Doggie Claws from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
93 out of 100 based on 1,079 ratings.