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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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1,013 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,013
Reviews: 529
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 10.79%
Wants: 397
Gots: 245 | 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 Halcyondays
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, 2006 Vintage, bottle has a dog with a Santa hat on it next to a couple of menorahs, 10.5% alcohol,

A: Pours a murky red-brown, with really no head except for a few bubbles, light ring around the perimeter of the glass.

S: Great smell as I am used to in many an aged barleywine. Dark fruit, raisins, sweet malt, molasses, fig juice, and booze.

T: Quite a complex amalgam of flavours. Dark honey, brown sugar, and fig form the main flavour, it is quite sweet. An earthy and minty hop overtone ends the brew.

M: Carbonation is practically nil, somewhat watery, and viscous, ethanol character.

D: Quite good for a high octane brew like this one. It is quite good now, in one or 2 years it could be absolutely fantastic.

Halcyondays, Jul 18, 2008
Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 bottle in a normal pint glass.

A- A dark copper color, fluffy one finger width head on top. Some of the sediment did end up in the glass and is floating around.

S- A nice fruity smell, hints of pineapple and the smells of fruit juice. The hop smell is a great smell to have tickle the nose.

T- Very sweet, nice slight bitterness from the hops. There is a hint of spicyness that comes though at the end of the taste. The pineapple taste is more of a full flavored taste. It reminds me of the Fred, but more on the sweet side with more pineapple taste.

M- A slightly thick and oily feeling. Sweet and viscous.

D- Easy to drink, but better off as a sipping beer. The flavors really come though as the beer warms up. Another great showing from HOTD.

Wetpaperbag, Jul 18, 2008
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 OWSLEY069
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage bottle 2002.
Pours a hazy orange/ copper color with an off white head. In the aroma, sugary and plum like, and alcohol presence and a small hop in there too. In the taste, hops, plum/ fruitiness, and a hint of alcohol in the end. A bitter, medium to big mouthfeel and a semi-dry hop and alcohol in the aftertaste. Nice hopp presence, bitter yet smooth, big in alcohol yet hides it well.

OWSLEY069, Jul 05, 2008
Photo of thickerfreakness
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to younger35 for trading me this one at DLD.

It pours a murky, dark orange with a beige head and leaves decent lacing on the glass.

Really vibrant smelling. Citrus hops, orange peel, caramel malt, pine.

Really similar to the smell with the orange peel and deep, caramel malts really coming through.

Thick, creamy mouthfeel with medium carbonation. A real sipper though.

A really great barleywine. I loved the intense orange flavor and mouthfeel of this one but it is a pretty high ABV and gets a little too sweet towards the end.

thickerfreakness, Jun 25, 2008
Photo of dsa7783
3.6/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Single, twelve-ounce bottle purchased from New Beer Distributors in Manhattan on Chrystie Street...
Beautiful appearance... A slow and steady pour yielded a hazy and murky orange hue with a gigantic foamy and frothy head that exhibited enormous staying power...
Smell replete with a nice combination of malts and hops along with a dose of honey in the nose...
Thick, creamy, rich, ultra-sweet taste, bordering on cloying... The taste was extremely sugared with loads of honey, caramel, a hint of vanilla, molasses, and super-sweet syrup...
Mouthfeel was thick and creamy as well...
Drinkability was average at best due to the high ABV and slightly cloying flavors...
Definitely a good depiction of the style, but certainly a sipper more than anything...

dsa7783, Jun 14, 2008
Photo of jjayjaye
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks going out to grumpy for the opportunity to consider this 2005 vintage!

Pours a bright mahogany amber with a huge stiff sand colored head that resists fading. The first half will stay clear for you. Be ready for substantial chunks of bottle aging from the bottom of the bottle. A good amount of lacing in it's wake. The smell is classic aggressive sweet molasses caramel. Visibly carbonated, the mouth feel is tangy between the hop and alcohol. Full bodied without being syrupy the sweet elements coat nicely and linger well. The flavor is malty sweet and creamy caramel. The 11.5% ABV is integrated well. An easy drinker. The last 2oz were way too chunky for me. Recommended.

jjayjaye, Jun 07, 2008
Photo of Floydster
3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2006 vintage, 12 ounce bottle purchased at Hi-Time Wines for about four dollars a few months back, my bottle's ABV is one percent lower at 10.5%, poured into my Port Brewing pint glass tonight

A-Color is a see through amber that might be more on the orange side, very small 1/8 inch bubbly white head, went away immediately, no retention or lacing

S-Sweet malt, orange peel, red grapes, earthiness, booze, caramel, oddly a few different kinds of spices, floral hops, faint toffee, cherries, and whole grains

T-Glad to see that dry accents were the first thing I noticed, then some caramel and citrus in the middle, some sweet toffee and a little booze in the finish, lots of grapefruit in this one actually and it was not recognizable in the aroma, got a little sweeter as time went on, not syrupy like I was afraid of at first, probably more in favor of hoppiness when fresher, but this still was balanced well, by the end when it had warmed there was dark fruits and spiciness in addition to everything else previously mentioned

M-Dry and sweet mouthfeel, thin body especially for the style, taste lingered quite a bit, carbonation had seemed to mellow out a bit, probably more when it is fresh, also chewy at times

D-Could drink a few more ounces of this and the bottle went down easy, smooth, alcohol is well hidden for a barleywine, light on the stomach, not too sweet

Have not been disappointed with Hair of the Dog yet, this what I expected except that lots of the hops are still present with some aging, would drink again although it is hard to find down here in these neck of the woods, recommended

Floydster, Jun 05, 2008
Photo of Flyer
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dirty oramge color with lots of cloudiness. Huge aroma of sharp bitter peach, citrus, and classic English-ale mustiness. There's an amazing alcohol burn that hits early and lasts long, sharp and stimulating. Some toasty caramel in the background, but the citrus-and-peach hoppiness ultimately dominates the flavors. This is great, a truly great beer.

Flyer, May 24, 2008
Photo of nbrown
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drinking a bottle from 2007. Pours a nice brown with a little orange. Mine didn't have that much of a head and there is mot much lacing. There was also quite a bit of yeast t the bottom of the bottle. Tasted very good. Very malty but not too much in the hops department. That is how I like my barleywines. Good mouthfeel and high drinkability. If I'm not careful I will be in trouble.

nbrown, Apr 26, 2008
Photo of TheBlackMallard
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been wanting to try this for quite awhile. 2005 batch.

Pours a nice hazy orange, there was quite a bit of yeast in the bottle. Nice creamy white head.

Smell: Pine, grapefruit, orange, spice, and caramel.

Taste: Wow, starts with smooth caramel which gives way to a pine and grapefruit explosion and ends with a dry finish with a lingering sweet pine aftertaste. Mmm, Simcoe and Amarillo.

I need to stock up on HOTD.

TheBlackMallard, Apr 12, 2008
Photo of tpd975
3.83/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 Vintage, picked up at Whole Foods in NYC.

A: This one is a brownish amber color with tones of red showing thru. The head was rather puny but did leave behind some lacing.

S: Nice bold sweet aromas right up front. Tons of caramel and toffee with hints of darkened brown sugar. The hops come next mostly in the citrus variety.

T: Rather sweet with tons of malt. The caramel, honey, and toffee comes thru nicely. The simcoe hops really shine in the middle though they don't linger or bite at the tongue. The finish has tinges of rum and oak.

M: is medium to full-bodied with low levels of carbonation.

D: I usually like to sip my Barleywines by the bomber, but this one is fine as a 12 ouncer.

Overall: Not bad at all, middle of the road I would say. I like my Barleywines with a bit more hops and less malt.

tpd975, Mar 26, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber with a thicker creme head. Nose is a tight citric hoppy tone. I think the best way to describe it is definitely "tight". Flavor is hoppy, yes. Nice fruity thing going on there. Doesn't seem to be much dimension to it though as it's basically fairly straight forward. Minor brown sugar on the back side is about all else I can add. Smooth feel with a nice carbonation. This is nice, yes. I would go for this again (though the price is a bit too high IMO), but it wouldn't be the first barleywine I would go to.

RblWthACoz, Mar 22, 2008
Photo of JDV
2/5  rDev -52%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours opaque muddy brown with suspended yeast as well. Looks exactly like muddy water. Worst looking beer I've ever seen by far. ZERO carbonation and head. Unpleasantly chunky, gritty, thick palate. Smell is of alcohol and muddy, earthy hops. Flavor is overly sweet with a mild earthy bitterness and earthy, herbal hop flavor and touch of alcohol following. Tastes, feels, and looks like tree bark smashed up in sugar water. Doesn't resemble beer at all, excessively sweet, and an unenjoyable drainpour. To me, very overrated.

JDV, Mar 15, 2008
Photo of rye726
4.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


Well, I just had a 2002 JW Lees that has held up quite well. I wonder if this 2002 Doggie Claws can compare... no

Light woody brown color with a tan head.

Powerfull nose. Big fruity bouquet of malts and alcohol. The hops smell and bit stale.

Again alot of malts with some mellowed hops. This one is a little past age, so keep that in mind.

Good medium body with ample carbonation.

rye726, Mar 06, 2008
Photo of Stoneman78
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 Vintage, purchased from the NYC Whole Foods and shipped back to SD, contents poured into a Duvel tulip glass

Appearance is a murky ruby red/amber hue with a modest layer of creamy white head, fair lacing on the glass

Smell is a range of hops, mostly floral/grassy/citrus, sweet toffee and caramel malts, dark fruits, brown sugar, oak, and booze

Taste is initially dark fruits, booze, brown sugar, vanilla, oak, and caramel malts, transitions to sour and piney hops, finishes with sweet honey and raisins with alcohol warming

Mouthfeel is full-bodied, thick and oily texture with a prickly feel from the carbonation and alcohol presence

Drinkability is moderate, this is a lighter yet more flavorful barleywine than what I'm used to, a great mix of taste sensations in the overall profile and a not-overwhelming alcohol presence, another solid offering from HoTD

Stoneman78, Feb 23, 2008
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, '07 edition, served in a standard pint glass.

A - hazy, orange/amber color with a fluffy tan head of foam that left globs of sticky lacing on the glass.

S - citrus hops and sweet malts blended in the aroma.

T - hoppy bitterness upfront followed by malty sweetness, finishing somewhat sweet tasting.

M - full bodied brew with a sticky, dry mouthfeel, light carbonation.

D - one is very enjoyable, but a little too much alcohol to drink all night.

JoeyBeerBelly, Feb 16, 2008
Photo of KJH
4.53/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Doggie Claws 2007

Very drinkable for a fresh barleywine.

Pours a dark amber and has pleasant aromas.

Slight citrus note with a very full mouthfeel. Moderate to heavy hop tones (this is not a basd thing).

No alcohol tones are present. One of the better barleywines I've drank this year.

KJH, Feb 11, 2008
Photo of benito
4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 2005 Vintage, opened to celebrate the decision to move to Portopia and lots more great Hair of the Dog beer. I picked up this bottle over 18 months ago at Bottleworks in Seattle.

Beautiful orange-amber with good head, clarity, and carbonation; unfiltered with large yeast chunks floating about in the brew. This is one of the lighter barley wines I've seen, but it is a gorgeous looking beer. Bouquet of honey and stewed fruit; the honey carries over into the flavor and is dominant. The honey is matched with nice flavors of lavender and clover (both other honey flavors, I know), and a nice warming from the alcohol. I imagine that the hop presence was more assertive at one point, but it has mellowed with time, and there remains enough lingering bitterness in the finish to impart a nice balance to the brew. Good sweet, malt flavors with a heavy mouthfeel to back it up. The balance ups the overall drinkability, since the flavors are smooth, harmonious, and fruity.

Given its age, this barley wine has stood up well and MUST be peaking. How could it possibly get much better? It's more than sippable--a great, strong beer that shows why some brews deserve to be laid down before opening.

Good luck finding this vintage--if you do, you're in for an incredible treat.

benito, Feb 04, 2008
Photo of younger35
4.78/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a couple bottles of this nectar from Bottle Works in Seattle while helping my buddy move into his new apartment. Drank this while waiting for everyone to get ready before we went to the Sonics game (courtside tickets, row 1 - Had to throw that in). Drank from my new Stone Indian Pale Ale specialty flute glass. 2007 Edition.

Appearance- Pours a yeast filled dark brown/copper with a huge two finger off white creamy head. Leaves a fairly decent cap and a nice thick collar for the entire duration of the brew. Some thick creamy lacing is left that slowly washes down the side of the glass.
Smell- Very crisp and clean Barley Wine with a big citrus American hop presence. The Simcoe dirtiness is fairly detectable with a very grassy, piney hop nose. Plenty of grapefruit and candied orange on top of the sweet toffee malt. Oak, Rum and dark boozy raisins add to the brown sugar like backbone. The alcohol is definitely not a stranger either.
Taste- Hmm, amazing. I was expecting a huge gush of raw hops followed by boat loads of sweet grainy sugar. I'm found with a meticulously balanced gem of a Barley Wine that starts just slightly sweet with a soft caramel tinge. Booze soaked raisins and prunes add a dark fruitiness that I've come to expect from all the HotD brews. Plenty of raw brown sugar and the honey lend a bit of sweetness before the lightly bitter citrus comes out. Grapefruit is the dominating bitterness that combats everything leaving me with ridiculously good beer. The alcohol is of course present but not as hot as I expected considering this beer has no age on it.
Mouthfeel- Rich and creamy with a smooth thick feel and light prickly carbonation.
Drinkability- For 11% ABV I couldn't imagine a beer being any easier drinking and any more balanced (for how big it is). The honey adds a nice gentle twist on the style that I really enjoyed. Fantastic beer from an absolutely fantastic brewery.

younger35, Feb 03, 2008
Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 Bottle my brother brought back for me as a thank you for recommending this brewery as a place to visit. He still owes me...

A - Not head on a rich copper body. Eh.

S - Very dense and appealing, lots of citrus fruits and malt sweetness, with caramel, white chocolate, all spice, black current, and just enough alcohol to be sturdy. Very nice.

T - Starts out strong, with lots of that distinctive barleywine flavor. That melts away to allow a slight strawberry like tartness dominate an interesting combination of flavors, and with the more subdued alcohol take one to a nice, balanced dry finish.

M - Pretty standard body and mouthfeel for the style. The alcohol burn was quite restrained for 11.5%.

D - An great example of the style. My only complaint is that the finish seemed to fade quickly. Aside from that this was dense and delicious.

SammyDavisJrJrJr, Jan 18, 2008
Photo of tiffanya
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2007 vintage. Served cold from the fridge; allowed to naturally warm to room temperature while sipping.

Poured into large Dogfish brandy snifter.

Aroma: Strong hops.
(Will it taste that bitter!?)

Taste: Malty sweet complemented with hops. Sweet, sugary. Fruity esters. Brown sugar, molasses, homemade sugary caramel. Bittering citrus hops. Hint of hot alcohol. A little rough as a young beer, but shows good potential to meld and mellow with age; can't wait to try an aged Doggie Claws!

Next time I will try this starting at room temperature as I've had recommendations to drink this beer without chilling.

tiffanya, Jan 17, 2008
Photo of t0rin0
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was surprised by the amount of sludge at the bottom of the bottle but I still enjoyed the beer.

The aroma is quite hoppy with some malt in there. The hop aroma overpowers the malt aroma to the point that its hard to tell whats in there aside from some delicious northwestern hops. The flavor was not nearly as bitter as the aroma would allow one to believe. There is some bitterness in the aftertaste but the initial flavor is sweet and some kind of a cross between an english barleywine and an american barleywine. Very interesting.

The beer had a heavy thick body to it that really made it smooth and enjoyable. Aside from the huge amount of dead yeast at the bottom of the bottle, it was a pretty good beer.

t0rin0, Jan 15, 2008
Photo of tayner
3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 bottle
poured hazy brown with very little head, but was a careful pour to keep sediment to a minimum.

nose is mostly hops with a sweet edge and slight alcohol background.

This is certainly an american barleywine as opposed to the english, less hoppy version.

I am surprised on first taste. By smelling it i was expecting a giant hop bomb, but instead i get some hops right up front, but then they are quickly balanced with a heavy dose of the pilsner and british crsytal malts (listed on the label). the honey in it also adds to the sweetness some. the 11% is well hidden and could easily sneak up on me.

The mouthfeel is good, coating, thick, and sugary.

I expected less with this beer than i got, and i am completely suprised and happy in the quality of this barleywine. Even though these are obviously ready to drink now, i have a couple more i am going to lay down for a bit and try them in 6 months and 12 months and see if the flavors meld together even more.

I am overall impressed with this offering from HotD.

tayner, Jan 15, 2008
Photo of ccrida
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

ccrida, Jan 12, 2008
Doggie Claws from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
93 out of 100 based on 1,013 ratings.