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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.

540 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 540
Hads: 1,115
Avg: 4.13
pDev: 16.46%
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
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Reviews: 540 | Hads: 1,115
Photo of Impfan
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very nice deep copper pour with a ridiculously blooming head that takes up most of the glass, and takes forever to recede. Aroma of stewed red and brown fruits with a resinous background. Taste of caramel, toffee, candy sugar, resin, plum, cherry, kumquat, date/fig, and even a bit of kiwi. Very resinous, almost endless finish. Body is somewhat syrupy, but not overly so. Definitely one of the better barleywines I’ve sampled.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.49/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into my new Kate the Great tulip. 2011 vintage thanks to hopsbreath.

Appearance - Dark body with a reddish hue in the light. The one-finger head just fits in the glass. Good retention and, surprisingly, some lacing. Not bad for an 11.5% barleywine.

Smell - When it's cold, it just smells like caramel malt. Really boring. A it warms, it definitely develops into some fruit flavors and a substantial hoppiness. Lots of alcohol, though. Big whiffs give a slight burn in the nose, even.

Taste - Caramel malt, some fruitiness, and definitely alcohol. Hops come through all the way. Faded grapefruit and a bitter finish. The finish is almost earthy, but the hops are a touch too bright for that characterization.

Mouthfeel - Despite the alcohol flavors in the smell and taste, it's quite smooth. It hardly even warms, which is strange. Hoppy bitter finish masks how sweet and syrupy this is. Not easy to drink, but doesn't drink like an 11.5% beer.

Overall - I really wanted to like this more, but it definitely lacks some complexity. Sweet, boozy, and a little uninteresting.

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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.

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Photo of azdback
3.8/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage, poured into a Bruery Tulip. Beautiful, clear, light ruby red or coppery brown. Crazy carbonation leads to a large three finger head that is bright white and quite thin. The head lays down pretty quick and becomes a bit more thick and luscious as it gets smaller. No lace on this one at all.

Smell is very sweet of caramel and butterscotch. I think I even smell some wood or barrel but I don't think this one is barrel aged. I also get quite a lot of alcohol.

Taste is just as sweet as the smell. I am tasting caramelized sugar, there is some kind fruit pith, that lambasts the tongue but in a good way. The alcohol is almost non present.

Mouth is crisp but smooth. Carbonation is round to spritzy. The body is balanced and the finish is long and dry.

Overall I did enjoy this. I had a little higher expectations for it but am very thankful to matttYCE for the chance at this. A must try for any beer geek.

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Photo of Treebs
3.91/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle served in a Deschutes tulip. 2011 vintage. Big thanks to mfavoino for hooking me up with this guy.

A: Pours a murky dark brown color that resembles a dull penny. A thick head forms on the pour. Light tan colored and about two fingers in height. It takes a while to die down, but it leaves thick sheets of sticky lace on the glass.

S: Definitely on the hoppier side of the barleywines I've had. They have a slight resin smell to them with some residual burnt sugars and a malty sweet ending.

T: The taste is just as hop forward as the nose. Resiny and grassy hops are the main hop flavor profile with a nice pale malt and whole wheat bread crust malt backbone. There is a nice flowery sweetness and a green bitterness on the finish. The booze is barely present.

M: Medium bodied with above average carbonation for the style. It makes it easy to drink and with a ton of flavor this is nice.

O: An easy drinking and flavorful barleywine is always great. The booze isn't noticeable at all and the flavors are pretty solid. I've got another one in the cellar and am excited for what a year or two will do to this as I'd like to see the carbonation die down and the hops ease back a bit.

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Photo of brystmar
4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 vintage.

Nice pour, still has head with reasonable retention. Aroma is interesting and complex: surprisingly hoppy, tons of malt, toffee, caramel.

Sweet, hoppy, caramel-y, boozy, then slightly hoppy again to finish. This one aged quite well, really enjoyed it.

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Photo of Gyle41386
4.02/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage. Will update with a fresh bottle. Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

The pour is a red-orange color and almost still. There's just a tiny foam covering and ultra-thin rings with each sip.

Lots of sweetness in the nose. There are light traces of citric bitterness that lead me to believe this beer has a pretty sizable hop presence when fresh, but it's overpowered by honey and caramel. A side-by-side tasting may need to be done in the future.

There's more to the flavor than just sweetness. Sure, the caramel, honey, and citrus (I'll call it orange) are all dominant up front, but the finish is herbal and bitter. It reminds me a lot of a malt-heavy double IPA. Time has obviously removed a lot of the heat from the alcohol.

Body is medium-full. There's practically no carbonation left, giving it a slick, sticky, syrupy texture. Lasting flavor is herbal bitterness. Some good flavors in here. Curious to see how an aged bottle would compare to a fresh one. All in all, a solid drinking experience. A pleasant intro to Hair of the Dog.

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Photo of billab914
3.92/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 vintage poured into my CBS snifter. It poured a darker orange brown color with just some trace bubbles scattered around the edges of the glass.

The aroma has a rich malty profile to it with both caramel and toffee really coming out. The honey is also pretty evident, giving it a bit of a floral sweetness. I get a little bit of a hoppy, grapefruit, citrus rind quality as well.

The taste also shows a lot of the malty, caramel flavors throughout. The honey shows more in the finish with more of the sweeter, floral flavor. The honey almost gives it a bit of a wheatwine like flavor that I really like. The finish has some more bitter, citrus rind showing through and helping it balance it out.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style with carbonation being almost non-existent. Overall it was a pretty good beer of the style. I really liked what the honey added to it and it was very smooth for the abv as well. Very solid beer, but it just didn't really wow me like some of the best of the style do.

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

Doggie Claws
12 oz. bottle from 2011 sent generously by Ron. Thanks! 11% ABV. Poured into a snifter.

A good combination of malts and hops, Doggie Claws smells sweet and caramel like, yet floral-fruity at the same time... much like honey? Swirling lets the nuances of hops come forward and the pungent character of American hops is felt.

Taste is only moderately sweet and bitterness is medium but lingering. Age will certainly treat this beer well as the label claims. Having been on a barleywine kick for a while now, I find myself short of adjectives but suffice it to say that it's good. Notable and somewhat distinguishing features are: a sweetness that holds its own against hops that sometimes seem to overwhelm fresh American versions; strong citrus peel; and a floral character that is probably from honey. I am no expert on braggots but I have enjoyed whatever I have had, so I am certainly digging this floral sweetness. Hints of booze are only welcome.

The body is good but carbonation seems a tad high. Regardless, swirling and warmth will take care of it. I like this beer.

4, 4, 4, 4, 4

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Photo of Mar02x
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer pored in by Alan Sprints himself during the Alvinne Craft Beer Festival. What a fantastic moment.

A - A yellow beer with a white head.

S - A fruity hop scent; mango citrus.

T - There is fruity mango, pineapple, candy sugar, but the fluid is not crispy. Alan told me that it came because of the added honey. I didn't notice it though. I know it sounds stupid but I thought that I was drinking a Imperial IPA. Later I discovered it was a barley wine.

M - A soft carbonation and no real bitterness. This beer is beer lemonade!

O - A real nice beer, and so easy to drink. I know that I am nagging now, but a bit colder would have been nice.

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Photo of Drinkerofales
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours murky copper brown with red in the lights. A large light brown head forms and stays.

Smell is pungent hops, dark fruit, sweet roasted malt, toffee, and booze. Huge.

Taste is candied fruit, booze and roasted malts, hops are present as well.

Feels thick and creamy. While there is an alcohol presence, but it's not too to, just about right.

Nice beer, big and pungent. Gonna get some to age....


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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.

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Photo of dogfishandi
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to youradhere for the extra!

2011 Vintage. 12oz bottle, fridge temp., darkness snifter.

pours a cloudy ruby red copper/ bronze color, love the color. big creamy, billowy light tan head. three fingers worth off the pour that settles to a solid fingers worth of retention. lots of thick sticky lacing, and lots of visible carbonation bubbles.

resinous piney hops with lots of sticky carmelized malt, some hot booze, a bit of raisony dark fruits and tobacco leaves. a bit of sweetness, carmalized sugar like, comes through.

great taste and a good balance, but still tons of malt. piney, woody, resiny hops are quickly overcome by tons of sticky carmalized malt, molasses, a bit of burnt sugars and tobacco. some nice sweetness that gets cut by the hop bitterness in the finish. warming going down, but no actual taste of alcohol.

big, sticky mouthfeel, a little sweetness on the sides of the palate after the sip, but mostly resinous hop bitterness that lingers. flows over the palate so smoothly. carbonation looked like it would be high from the pour but settled out nicely.

definatly one of the better american barleywine's ive had. similar to bigfoot only with some better complexities. i would love to try this aged or out of a bourbon barrel.

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Photo of Thingus
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Live tasting 12oz. Bottle, 2011 vintage into Duvel tulip...

Appearance; pours a mahogany copper color with less than a finger of foamy light light copper colored head.. Retention is minute, with just a thin ring sticking around the edge of the glass... Lacing is essentially non-existent with just one spotty web stuck to the side of my glass...

Smell; starts off with a slightly bready aroma, all kinds of winter spices, raisins, prunes and figs...

Taste; slightly bready with caramel and vanilla hints of cinnamon, nutmeg... Notes of raisin and prunes sneak in... Alcohol becomes more prevalent as it warms, but it certainly doesn't detract from the flavors of this brew...

Mouthfeel; just a touch of carbonation, and you certainly wouldn't know it by looking at the beer which is nearly still in the glass... Full medium body goes down smooth...

Overall; a great Barleywine with a lot of complexity that I am sure would only become more pronounced with age!

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Photo of gkunkle
4.39/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a yellow/ brown color, which I found a little odd. The beer is hazy brown, but when held to light gives a yellow color. The head is mellow, rising to about 1 finger in my snifter. Lots of carbonation can be seen The smell is close to a DIPA smell, strong nose of grapefruit, raisin, alcohol. Taste starts with thick malt sweetness and alcohol, then I get a touch of fruitiness, maybe like a apple/strawberry. Toward the end of the taste I get a smooth malt that eases into a slightly sweet aftertaste. Mouthfeel is thick, with ticklish carbonation. This is a really great barleywine, I enjoy the assertive hops and the sweetness provided by the honey. I'm looking to tasting this again in a few years.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.38/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I didn't feel like re-writing a full review of the 2011 vintage, so I just changed the scores and amended a rolling update at the end of the review.


Chilled 2010 vintage bottle into a glass. Gold cap, if that matters.

A: Despite letting it settle for over a week and putting it in the fridge for a day, a moderate pour produces copious head that threatens to overflow my 22oz snifter. Retention is great; the beer collapses conically, leaving a volcano-like structure of suds in the middle, and sticky lace down the sides. Hard to beat, though the overcarbonation is actually a downside. The body is a reddish-amber color.

S: Pretty hoppy: grapefruit, pineapple, tangerine. Green apple, apricot, and a beautiful floral aroma that reminds me of jasmine and honey.

T: The malts dominate the taste at first, with sugar cookie, apricot, and pears blending on the tongue. I also detected honey and a light floral flavor. There are citrus hops for sure, in the fruit varieties noted in the aroma. A slight touch of grassiness. The aftertaste is malty, producing a grain-honey flavor. Doggie Claws is on the sweet side when young, though I know from drinking past vintages that it dries up with age.

M: Medium-to-full bodied. The carbonation scrubs the palate pretty well; it's only slightly sticky. Pretty well disguised ABV.

D: I was impressed with this one, but I still feel that Fred from the Wood as well as Adam and its derivatives are much better and richer in flavor. I'm content buying two bottles a season (one to drink, one to age).


A rolling vintage update from a vertical consumed in Feb 2012.

2011: Drank fresh (a couple of months old). Properly carbed, no gushing. The aroma isn't as vibrant as past vintages have been fresh. The dominant aromas are sugar cookie and grain, with a mild floral note. The taste is an unrefined sweetness with an undercurrent of bitter hops. It lacks nuance while the liquid is on the palate, but the exhalation brings out flavors of peach, jasmine, and honey. The finish is completely unsatisfying; weak and watery. (3.35)

2010: Drank with 1 year on it. Slightly overcarbed, though not a gusher. About a third of the snifter fills with beige foam that sticks around. Clear caramel-amber body. Even when I crack the cap slightly, an overwhelming aroma of jasmine, honey, grapefruit, pineapple, and tangelo reach my nostrils. These great aromatics translate well to the flavor, which is incredibly juicy. While sweet on the open, it finishes in balance with a lightly oily aftertaste and mild bitterness. There are hints of sherry oxidation. This is aging very well, and it is quite a bit better than the 2011. (4.2)

2009: 2 years old, blue cap. I remember these were the "flat" half of the batch. This one is lightly carbed now, so maybe the yeast went to work. This year, like the 2010, has a floral, honey-backed aroma. Its oxidation is evident in moderate sherry character. Some of the citrus hops are fading in nose and taste, with an accompanying stale hop flavor. I'm sure the batches vary, so it's not a direct comparison, but I don't like this as much as the 2010. (3.8)

2008: 3 years old. This looks more ruby than the other batches; it definitely borders on maroon. Low carbonation, and the bubbles vanish into nothing (not even a collar). It's mildly floral, with stronger citrus, but the hops are definitely fading out. Sherry oxidation is quite strong. I can see the trend here, despite the batch variation. The stale hop flavors I picked up in the 2009 have died down. The beer has a mild sugar burn in the finish. (3.5)

2002: 9 years old. Thanks to writerLJBerg for this one. Pours a maroon body with a pinky finger of large-bubbled beige head. An aroma of oxidized sherry fills the area as I crack the cap. It persists in the glass; this is dominated by a smell of oxidation and stale hops, with little else. The aromatic citrus hops have faded out; there are no floral notes. The taste reveals mostly sherry oxidation with a stale, slightly sour grain flavor in the finish and mild biterness. It's interesting, but not very appealing. I think J.W. Lees is a far better showcase for age than Doggie Claws. (2.8)

Result: in the future, I'm not aging this longer than 1 year. I don't like where it goes.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.11/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2003 as reviewed on 6/9/06.

Pours murky mahogany, with cola-like carbonation release.
Yeast chunks make thier way to the bottom as any threat of a head fizzle out.
Medium sized bubble perculate to the placid surface.
Zero lacing with particulate matter clinging to the glass midway.
Rich and roasty malts dominate the aromatics, with dark fruit and mild oxidation.
Mild pine notes and dried bark with roasted figs underneath.
Alcohol is warming, and nose finishes spicey and dry.
Fullishly medium body, slickish and tacky. Slightly prickly carbonation.
Pallet is filled with sticky malt, alcohols, and bitter fruits.
Citrus-laded dried sap and caramel.
Mildly oxidized, resinous, and almost hot.
Bitterness is substantial, but not detractive, unlike the wet cardboard note.
Finishes long, warming, slightly mettalic, and lightly astringent.

Three years old and past prime?

Revisit, vintage 2004 as reviewed on 2/10/12.

This ones tasting pretty good, very light oxidation with plenty of plump, juicy malt and some shades of pine still coming through. Most of the hops have faded, just warming booze and sticky malt for the most part. A hint of celery seeds oddly step forward in the finish as the beer warms. This beer is still hands-down way better fresh. This vintage is holding up very well though for an eight year old.

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Photo of PatrickSwayze
4.77/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Doggie Claws 2009: 

A: Pours a beautiful rich copper that is clear and effing beautiful.

S: All i can smell is deep rich cherries and lovely caramel notes that bring out complex notes on the nose

T: This thing is deep and complex of rich cherries and caramel just like the smell.  Unreal how smooth this beer is. Im blown away by the apple, cherry caramel flavors.Kind of rreminds me of yummy Julian apple cider (not the alcoholic cider)

M: Rich and dry that packs retarded amounts of depth on the tongue with low carbonation.

O: This one was incredibly smooth with beer at 2 years aged. One of the best barley wines i have ever enjoyed next to aged "big foot". Way more fruit flavors though then caramel notes.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.42/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best paired with a good plain bread, like baguette.

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

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Photo of Brez07
3.45/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed as part of the Blind Beer BIF #6. 2005 vintage served into a snifter

A: Pours a dark honey color. Second glass looked cloudy with some sludge. Pour leaves a 1 finger head but this goes within minutes (3.5)

S: Nose has some oak, vanilla, light caramel. Not barrel aged though. Citrusy, piney in the background. Honey? (3.5)

T: Very sweet upfront, but finishing with a dry bitterness. Definite caramel, some butterscotch. There's a slightly off putting plum presence. Starts to get a pinesol flavor from what I'm guessing is old hops (3.5)

M: Medium bodied. Lighter carbonation. Smooth finish (3)

D: This beer is drinkable, but seems like it's going through a weird phase. I don't mind it, but not something I'd seek out again... at least not right now (3.5)

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Photo of Retail1LO
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Firestone Walker tulip.

Beer pours a cloudy garnet red with a nice two finger foam head. While the head dissipates quickly, it leaves behind copious amounts of lacing. The nose is a lovely blend of gentle hops, lush caramel and vanilla, and a decent malt background. I also detect some dark fruit. Plums, figs, and such. The taste is lovely as well. All of the aforementioned scents are detectable on the palate. A nice conversion from nose to mouth. This has just a shade of sweetness to it. The only drawback, is that this is one boozy motherfucker. That 11.5% is front and center. The mouthfeel is decent, but again highlights the booziness. Otherwise it's quite smooth with little to no lingering aftertaste. Overall, this is a solid barley wine, and one that I'd visit again, although I don't envision myself throwing up and ISO for the stuff.

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

2011 bottle enjoyed on 1/15/12.

Appearance: Pours a rich dark brown with a significant head that had incredible retention.

Smell: Toasty caramel notes with some piney hops as well to balance things out.

Taste: This is one of the best beers I've enjoyed in quite some time. Taste follows the nose nicely with delicious caramel sweetness, some subtle fruity notes, and fresh tasting hops that don't bite too hard. Alcohol hits as it finishes, although I would say the taste is subdued considering the ABV.

Mouthfeel: Heavy, thick, creamy. Average carbonation.

Overall: My first offering from HOTD, and it has inspired me to try the rest of their beers. This is worth tracking down, especially if you're a barleywine lover. I think I'm going to grab another bottle and see how it does after a year.

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

Score is an average of the following two vintages consumed on the same day.

2010 bottle. Pours a salmon/ruby with a very large head. Nose is big caramel malt, honey, red apple, some dust and cardboard. Mouth is big, sweet, chewy and juicy, malt forward with honey, sweet apple, perhaps a touch of toffee, and and moderately hopped finish with some alcohol burn. A light cardboard on the finish that I'm surprised with a bottle this young, which detracts quite a bit. 3.4

2009 bottle drank beside the 2010 pours a ruby/copper with a small head. The nose is not as malt aggressive, with rich tones of sap, red apple, and a nice malt complexity. Super rich, silky feel in the mouth. Flavor has a lot of the qualities of the 2010 but in a far more refined package that allows the burnt sugars, toasted marshmallow to shine. Some pine sap bitterness on the finish, and none of the oxidation of the 2010. A great vintage. 4.2

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2011 thanks to MrVonzipper for sharing this one with me

Look: Orangish brown in color with a 3/4 inch head and great retention

Smell: Piney hops dominate the nose on this guy. Hidden behind the hops is a touch of toffee on the nose

Taste: Toffee and caramel malty goodness up front. Mid palate there is a touch of alcohol but not in a bad way. The beer then finishes with a nice hoppy character

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body and a fair amount of carbonation

Overall: I really enjoyed my pour of this guy. I can't really say it reminds me all that much of a barleywine because of how hoppy it is but it is still a damn good beer. I would like to try some older vintages of this one because I think then it would be a bit more like the barley wines that I have come to love

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. 2009 vintage.

4.5 A: Unlike a lot of HOTD I've had, this is plentifully carbonated and perhaps a bit too much so. Transluscent just-darker-than ruby red color. A full three fingers of creamy/frothy off-white head. Retention is nothing short of amazing for a beer this big. Plentiful lacing left behind.

4.5 S: This is still hoppy as hell. Really wonderful aroma on this. Tons of herbal hops with pine undertones. The barleywine underneath all the hops is toasty with caramel and plentiful fruitiness in the form of apple and overripened peach.

3.5 T: The taste, however, is a bit unrefined, though this is still good overall. The hops seem to be in an awkward state at the moment. The flavor is herbal as well. Caramel with toffee and plenty of light fruitiness.

4.0 M: Heavier medium to lighter heavy body. Good moderate carbonation. Good creaminess.

4.0 D: I think I should give this a go fresh...or aged longer. I think I might have drank this at a bad time. Oh well.

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Doggie Claws from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
92 out of 100 based on 540 ratings.