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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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1,080 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,080
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: 1,080 | Reviews: 536
Photo of Flyer
4.49/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

Photo of nbrown
4.44/5  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.

Photo of TheBlackMallard
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

Photo of tpd975
3.82/5  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.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Photo of JDV
1.99/5  rDev -52.2%
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.

Photo of rye726
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Photo of Stoneman78
4.37/5  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

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Photo of KJH
4.48/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

Photo of benito
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Photo of younger35
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
4.16/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of tiffanya
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Photo of t0rin0
4.12/5  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.

Photo of tayner
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

Photo of ccrida
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Photo of emerge077
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sample courtesy of Kmpitz2...

Poured with a generous amount of frothy, creamy foam. Tawny orange/brown body, hazy with yeast. Aroma was nice, some spruce and sweet dried apricot, mixed with some subdued yeast esters. Taste followed the aroma with a big malty toffee body. Alcohol was hidden enough not to interfere, but definitely present. The bottle was shared, but I would happily drink one of these as an occasional treat.

Photo of BeerTruth
4.51/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks to whoever sent this one, I apologize for completely forgetting.

2006 vintage.

Pours a murky chesnut hue with a hint of amber. No head at all with this one, but a few bubbles make an outside ring. Needless to say, no stickiness present either. Smell is a pleasant bouquet of caramel, fresh flowers, cider, and dark fruits. Strong apple aroma in the nose with a hint of cinnamon. A vanilla sweetness scent as well. Smooth caramel apple sweetness up front with a drying wood flavor midway. The label says simcoe and amarillo hops were used, but the year + of aging has seemd to quiet these down a bit. Aftertaste is a semi-sweet molasses with some brown sugar flavors as well. Mouthfeel isn't as heavy as I had anticipated, but that's what I like about it. Medium body with a absent carbonation. So slick and smooth on the tongue, very enjoyable. I have no clue where the 10.5% abv. has disappeared, but I have another one I plan to drink on New Year's Eve '08. When I first looked at this beer I became worried, but at first sip I knew this was going to be a damn good beer. Wow...

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

2005 Vintage 12ox bottle poured into a Goblet

A – Poured a very nicer and very full deep caramel brown with tons of thick foamy tan head dripping down the sides of the glass, literally dripping. Lots of sediment coming out of the bottle and much of it residing on the bottom of the glass when it was empty. Great retention and tons of side glass lace. The color was pretty much opaque as well. Could not have really asked it to look much better, very nice, and good to see the carbonation holding up after a couple years.

S – The aroma was very sweet, almost sickingly so. Lots of caramel and sugar was apparent and very strong up front, with a slight hint of alcohol in the middle of it. Not very strong, but still a hint of some mellow alcohol tones in it. There was a slight smell of earthy and grassy type hops that tried to lighten it up, but were beaten back by a sugar malt assault. Towards the end I started picking up some slight notes of what seemed to be cola, which I thought was interesting.

T – The flavor was very robust and pronounced, with a thick sugar front that dominated from the first sip. The alcohol had defiantly mellowed as it was hardly detectable in the flavor. The overall flavor seemed to have a very mellow feel to it. Very sweet with lots of sugar and caramel. The distinctive hop finish I find in all of the HotD brews was there, but it had quieted a good deal, but still contributed a nice dry finish and a bit of an undercutting grassy note as well. Very nice aged barley wine this flavor was very nice.

M – Very full bodied and creamy. This was defiantly not a lighter barley wine but was more of the thick syrupy kind, much like a good few year old Bigfoot. Very filling and very nice carbonation.

D – This was an awesome sipper, albeit pretty strong and lended itself very well to a nice night in front of the fire. The flavor was very full and filling, but it was still easily sippable and made for a very nice night. Very well rounded, although I really couldn’t see having more then one in a sitting, that ABV will catch up to you.

Overall I thought this was outstanding. I have had a lot of really highly hopped barley wines recently and it was nice to get back to the thick malty monsters. I thought it held up very well for the age, and easily had a few more years in it. Would love to see what other flavors come out in a couple years and will have to try and get a hold of a few others to find out. Definitely recommend this one, a classic good brew.

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

2007 Release

Sneak one and cellar the rest.

Good news is this will enhance with age. Bad news is in its current form it is pretty damn good.

Head is thin. Color is golden with orange highlights. Swirls with nice lace pattern.
Initial aroma is sweet, buttery and citrus....grapefruit. Taste is sweet...a little fruity...nice hop finish.
11% is hidden well. IMO this one goes down just a bit to easy.

One of my favorite barley wines of the year. I could use a few more. ;)

Photo of sinistermadman
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


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

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

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

2007 vintage, freshly released this past week. Poured from the 12oz bottle into a Maudite snifter. Body is a deep garnet color with dark orange highlights, topped by a very thin, off-white head. Strong hoppy aroma is balanced by a sweet, slightly dark malt with a hint of caramel. Palate is initially sweet from the malt, with the piny hops emerging mid-palate to provide a bracing bitterness. The sweetness continues on the finish, along with a good bit of warming alcohol and a hint of nutty flavor.
Body is thick and a touch creamy, but fairly still and devoid of carbonation. The alcohol on the finish is pretty intense and leaves a sticky, hoppy residue on the tongue. This is a highly enjoyable vintage of this beer, and a definite improvement from the past couple of years. I'm looking forward to seeing what a few months of aging will do for it.

Photo of rsyberg01
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

S - 12 oz. bottle, '06. Much gratitude towards sneagrams13 for this delectable treat.

A - Pours a deep copper. Head is beautiful, the entire process takes about three minutes, the head rising alone takes about 20 seconds then reduces to a patchy surface on the beer.

S - Fruit that I cant describe. Seems to be a light fleshed fruit, something tart yet sweet. Toasty caramel, good amount of spice..nutmeg, alcohol burn a wee bit.

T - Sweet but not cloying, fruity, almost vineous, caramel, hop profile is perfect, somewhat of a dry finish with a touch of sweet to polish it all off.

M - Coats the palate well with the dryness of the finish evening it all out. Mighty Fine.

D - For being the abv it is I gave it a 4 because the flavor isnt taxing, though over 5 or 6 of them it would be, but then again why the hell would you drink 5 or 6 in one sitting unless you're Alan Sprints and can do so without flinching.

Photo of Wasatch
4.44/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. 2006 Vintage

Poured into a chalice a cloudy copper color, nice carbonation, no head, no sticky lacing afterwards, but a couple of tiny islands. The nose is malty, hoppy, good dose of caramel. The taste is pretty sweet, hoppy as hell, malty, with some caramel notes. Nice warming effect from the ABV, but hidden pretty well. Medium body. Very drinkable, another great beer from HOTD.

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Doggie Claws from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
93 out of 100 based on 1,080 ratings.