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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

1,069 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,069
Reviews: 534
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 10.82%
Wants: 400
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: 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: 1,069 | Reviews: 534 | Display Reviews Only:
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

2010:
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!

2009:
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.

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 prototypic
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Many thanks to moosington for sending me this bottle a while back.

Vintage 2009

Doggie Claws pours a dark copper color. It's very hazy, and backlighting gives it orange and crimson highlights. A soft, tan head caps it and stands roughly a finger and a half tall. It's very slow to dissipate and leaves a sticky web of lace lining the glass.

The nose seems a little weak. More strength would help immensely. A heavy, sweet dose of caramel malts greet the nose early on. They're followed by a nice dark fruit scent. Raisin, plum, and fig are all present and accounted for. Yeast is notable. Despite this bottle's age, a few hop remnants are noted. They smell mostly piney and floral. Alcohol is noted, but has integrated well. It smells pretty good, but more strength would really improve it dramatically.

The flavor is very robust and impressive. Caramel malts give it a sweet, but incredibly sturdy backbone. A little bit of hop flavor follows. It's somewhat piney and floral. At this point, they're mostly gone, but they still add something. Dark fruit flavors of raisin, plum, and fig add quite a bit of depth and complexity. There's also an earthy or herbal quality to the flavor that adds a very refined flavor. It tastes a little like tobacco and leather. Nicely done. Alcohol is there, but has blended well over the past year or so. It's not hot or warm at all. Finishes sweet with a twist of dark fruit and tobacco.

Doggie Claws has a medium body that feels thicker and somewhat chewy with a little warming. That's not out of the ordinary for Hair of the Dog. Those guys routinely nail mouthfeel. Carbonation is moderate, but doesn't negate its smooth feel. Drinkability is good. This is a big beer, but it goes down nicely. I'm not sure I'd want more than a 12 oz. bottle, but I'd be tempted.

Hair of the Dog is one of those breweries that really knows how to do things right. It seems like every beer I've had from them has been absolutely packed with flavor. Doggie Claws is no exception. Yeah, the nose could use a little more muscle, but that's about the only slight jab I can take. This is impressive stuff. Find a bottle.

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 Ryan011235
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter on 9/13/10

2008 Vintage

Many thanks to PDXHops for the chance to try this

Rusty & copper in color, Doggie Claws is fairly dark & kind of murky (I was able to keep most of the sediment in the bottle). Carbonation seems impressive for 11% abv, raising a one finger head that thinned to a layer of bubbles. A few tight lines of lace turn splotchy once swirled.

Even at two years, the aroma is potent. Hops are appreciable but I imagine they've broken down quite a bit at this point. There's subtle Simcoe citrus & pine while the Amarillo kick is more noticeable. Malts are prominent with notes of toasted bread, toffee, brown sugar, raisins & hints of port-soaked dark fruit.

Alcohol heat washes o'er the tongue & lasts throughout. Simultaneous flavors of toasty sugars & dark fruit sweep in immediately. Raisins, plum, maybe figs, brown sugar, toffee, caramel & candied fruits. Slightly vinous. The hops seem well in process of giving up the ghost; shadows of citric notions remain. Warmth seems to make the flavors more cohesive.

Doggie Claws is full bodied, gritty & moderately low of carbonation. The feel is good, though there's a lot of boozy heat causing a numbing sensation. Residual sugars linger momentarily on the finish; the numbing sensation lasts much longer.

Though a bit more boozy than I'd prefer (a small gripe in the long run), it's a pretty solid beer. I wonder if I would enjoy this more were it fresh. Simcoe & Amarillo are two of my favorite hops & I'd like to try this beer with their full character intact. Otherwise, it's very good & worth a shot.

Photo of Pahn
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Bottled September 2009. Big thanks to psiweaver for including this bottle as an extra in a trade.

Appearance: Steady pour down the side of the glass yields a two inch frothy off-white head that dissipates slowly (a one inch head lingers for about five minutes, leaving a small ring). Pours an opaque/hazy copper. Leaves thick swatches of short lived lacing that ride the beer's big legs back into the liquid.

Smell: Fig, banana, tropical fruit / pineapple hops, some sugary caramel, pine, and fresh bread. Some leather and smoke as well. These smells sound disparate, but they marry beautifully. The aroma is strong, inviting, and stays complex and good for the whole bottle.

Taste: First sip: smooth caramel malt, with some fruity hop flavor and light bitterness at the end. Aftertaste is toasted bread. Nice complexity in the malt; more creamy, sugary, bready than the dark fruit expected from the smell. A muted but definitely present warmth comes up at the end, minus any solvent taste.

Further into the glass, the figs from the nose and the mild hops (flavor and bitterness) penetrate the taste from start to finish. Every sip is a long, beautifully balanced mix of everything described above. As the beer warms, some small solvent taste comes out at the end.

Mouthfeel: Fuller side of medium bodied. Smooth and creamy with a decent tingle of both carbonation and hop bitterness.

Drinkability: This beer is a delicious sipper, that would be good fresh from the brewery (great hop flavor), or with a few years on it (huge malty depth). The tiny problems (solvent rains on the other beautiful flavors a bit) really don't bother me at all. Another beer that I don't see myself ever saying no to.

Like Fred, Doggie Claws has a huge, beautiful depth of flavor, but unlike Fred, Doggie Claws is decidedly an American barleywine. It fits right in with Old Ruffian, Old Guardian, Hog Heaven, etc. Familiar malt flavors characteristic of the style, but deeper than usual. The hop notes are unique, but all told they're pretty mild (I know this bottle is a year old, but the hops in Old Guardian, for example, have a lot more to say after a year than those of Doggie Claws). I'd love to have a nice 5 year vertical of this beer.

Photo of GarrettMD
4.2/5  rDev +1%
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.

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

2009 Vintage, poured into a New Belgium globe glass.

A: Pours just under an inch of creamy, light khaki head. Liquid is almost the same color as the brown bottle it poured from, but has a slight reddish hue. Beer almost slides around in the glass, leaving very thick, viscous legs.

S: Smells muted, even warm. Buscuity caramel... smells very sweet with a hint of dark fruit. Primarily oakey finish with a slight bit of citrus. Very nice, if mild.

T: Wow! Just fantastic... all in all, a rather sweet drink, but in a good way. Dark sugars and English malts meld extremely well... almost an aged smoothness, even in a young bottle. Very little bitterness, even in the finish, but the sweetness still isn't cloying or overpowering. Cannot taste the alcohol (even at 11%) in the least.

M: First thought... perfect! Silky smooth, coats the tongue and fades slowly and pleasantly. Thick and delightful, but balanced.

D: I'm not sure if I could drink more than one of these, but boy, does it go down easy! Extremely high drinkability, almost dangerously high, given the 11% abv.

Wow, wow, wow... such a fantastic barleywine! I think I've had two barleywines in the same league as this beer, a 2007 Stone Old Guardian and the Oak Aged Behemoth, which really puts it in impressive company. Extremely well balanced and strong on pretty much every front. Nothing unique, but one of the best examples of the style I've ever had. Just delicious. My first HotD beer; I'm really excited to try more.

Photo of 7ways
3.86/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

One inch of almost beige foam that just won't quit. Quite a surprise. The color is red and plum, almost purple. It's quite extraordinary when viewed in the proper light. The only detractor is the spectacular amount of suspended crap, even after a very careful pour.

Smells like tobacco and cake. Really, it smells like a fruity Adam. I can only detect the most laid back tropical hop aroma, which makes me really happy. It's a great scent, but it is really quite difficult to pick up without swirling the glass right under my nose.

Is this supposed to be a holiday beer? If so, the taste nails it. Cake, Christmas/plum pudding, buttery rum, raisin, and a dash of mint and other spices. It pushes just to the point of too sweet and malty, but pulls back on the finish, which is warm and satisfying. Thank god there is no massive hop bitterness to ruin this.

Mouthfeel could be a bit thicker. The carbonation seemed to be too much at first, but got under control in just a few minutes. It works.

I didn't notice the holiday theme on the bottle until the end of this review, which basically tells me this was bottled 8-10 months ago. I think I'd be disappointed if I had a fresh one, as this was pretty close to perfect.

Photo of zeff80
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
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 daledeee
3.21/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I never met a barleywine I didn't like...until now.

I poured this into a large wine glass and wondered. No bubbles? I swirled it and got a few large bubbles. A cloudy brown body.

The Nose had hints of flower blossom at first then not much.

Taste was sweet and some hops but not much else. It does taste like some kind of fruit juice with a hops after taste.

I am wondering if this is just the batch. The mouthfeel was absolutely flat. Not very warming but the flatness made this harder to find appealing. This had to be batch specific because another person said the same thing, then older reviews speak of a big head and pine aromas. Not this one. Too bad, I don't go out west and won't be able to try another one.

Doggie Claws from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
93 out of 100 based on 1,069 ratings.