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

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Doggie ClawsDoggie Claws

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

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

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

"a Barley Wine made in the West Coast style. Big malt and hops make this copper colored ale one of our most popular products. Produced in September and October and released in November, this Beer will improve for years to come. Alcohol: 11.5% by volume. IBU's 70"
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,079 | Reviews: 536
Photo of timtheenchanta
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to lou91 for a chance to try this brew.

Deep copper red with a thin orangish white head that doesn't hold very long. That 10.5% must be kickin'!

Big nose with surprisingly fruity hops that make me think rose petals and grapefruit. Slight alcohol twang and a sweet malty balance. There's also a hint of metallic twang but as I sip I notice it doesn't carry over into the taste.

Big mouth feel. Sweet caramel taste quickly gives way to fruity hops. Lots of simcoe more than the amarillo but still delicious. A dry bitterness from the amarillo after swallowing. Slight alcohol heat in the taste and definitely present after swallowing.

Solid brew with a lot of flavor. This one makes a great night cap. I'd love to have a few more of these sitting in my fridge.

Photo of Matthew
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2006 bottle.
Pours a deep ruby amberish color with nearly no carbonation whatsoever, just some tiny bubbles on the top of the beer.
Fresh fruity hops are up front in the nose along with a honey sweetness wrapped with hints of caramel and a very light roasted malt character.
Very sweet maltiness up front, flavors of english toffee, light fruits that show as the beer warms a bit, along with a crisp hoppy bite just before the alcohol warming shows up.
The mouthfeel is largely viscous and smooth over the palate but would have like atleast a bit of carbonation in this one. If the mouthfeel wasn't so big and smooth the lack of carbonation really would have made me dislike the mouthfeel of this beer.
For a big beer like this one its tasty and its flavors blend together nicely and allows you to sip this beer easily.
I have a few more bottles that I hope have better carbonation. I can also certainly see this one growing into a different and very interesting beer after a year or two.

Photo of MSchae1017
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was tasted in a snifter from the 12oz bottle dated 2004.

This beer pours a brownish amber wiht a creamy tan head that holds amazingly well and laces nicely. The smell gives off fruity esters along with some nice pale and caramel malts along with some subtle piney hops. The taste bursts forth with tons of malty sweentess from the combination of pale and caramel/crystal malts. The aging of this beer has also given it a distinctly fruity taste. The beer finished with a nice hop flavor that compliments the over all taste and which seems to have mellowed out over time. The mouthfeel is full bodied and creamy with a nice conditioned carbonation. Overall, one of the top barleywines no doubt and perfect for this time of year.

Photo of RBorsato
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice light copper color with a nice full light beige head. Nice floral hop aroma considering the fact that I aged this one. Has a light sweet malt aroma backing it up. Nice balanced American Barley Wine with a lightly sweet flavor up front. Medium-full bodied.

Ages very nicely !!

Per label: 10%ABV & "Bottle Conditioned" & "In this year's release (2002) Simcoe and Amarillo hops harvested just weeks before brewing"

Per HOTD website: Produced in Sept and Oct and released in November, this Beer will improve for years to come. Alcohol: 11.5% by volume. IBU's 70

2002 Version
Tasted: 11/02/06

($3.99 / 12 oz. bottle)

Photo of DrJay
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2004: Clear, deep coppery red colour topped by a fluffy, light brown head. I rinsed the glass before pouring and there are definitely legs reaching up the glass. Moderate, chunky lacing to start and this carries through the rest of the bottle. I can't believe the hops are still so dominant in the aroma! There's a ton of caramel, malt, and toffee, but my nose was still hit first with a big burst of hops - piney and a bit powdery. The texture is like oil as it hits the palate, heavy and with fairly low carbonation. Lots of malt sweetness, but the hops still hold up here as well. The hop character is quite resinous with a bit of grapefruit that provides depth. By the mid, there's a rich fruitiness that appears. By the finish, alcohol has taken over the show and the warmth lingers for quite some time, accompanied by flashbacks of caramel and pine. A little sticky, but the mouthfeel is definitely appropriate for such a big beer. I can't imagine what this would have been like fresh - either a disaster or an epiphany. As it is, this is still a bold, aggressive beer that should only get better as it ages. Thumbs up!

Photo of IntriqKen
4.11/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 vintage
A cloudy dark orange amber fills the glass with a full 2 finger tan head that melts very slowly leaving sticking lacing in it's wake. I poured completely so lots of yeast chunks floating around which settle quickly to the bottom of my goblet.
Very subdued aromas of faint malt and only a hint of hops. Let it warm and the sweet malts and soft, citrus malts make theirselves known.
The taste, however is something else entirely.
Candy sweet toasted amber malt with dark, candied fruits...raisins, plums, prunes...then surprisingly fresh, citrus peel hops on the tale end. Definately taste the simcoe an amarillo. Lots of grapefuit on the finish. There is more of a hops presence in this beer than I have had in any other barleywine.
Mouthfeel is thick with tingly carbonation and a decent alcohol warming.
Nothing sticky or cloying in the aftertaste...just grapefruit peel hops and alcohol warming.
"Tis the season", and this one fits in perfectly.
Thanks to weefisheads for getting me this bottle.

Photo of Toddv29424
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

*My girlfriend thinks this beer tastes like cough syrup, and doesn’t think that anyone would ever give it a good review. I'll keep working on her ;)*
Pours a hazy brown color with an interesting cascade. The taste is amazingly complex and well-balanced. Mostly a fruity malt mixture with a hint of hops. There is also a hint of yeast, that I happens with many big beers. There are hops fused into every sip of this beer, but amazingly it never becomes intrusive on the balance.

Photo of afinepilsner
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle

2005 edition

Doggie Claws was a hazy deep copper color. It had a small light tan head with good retention and left a little lace behind. The aroma was good, lots of malt with plenty of floral hops. The taste had tons of hop flavor over a huge malt base. It started out a little sweet with a lightly bitter finish. The throat warming alcohol becomes much more apparent as the beer warms. It's a full bodied beer with moderate carbonation. This is a huge beer with tons of flavor, not for the timid. A great beer - must try.

Photo of WetCoaster
3.84/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

*2006 edition, fresh

Appearance: A somewhat cloudy oxblood/mahogany with a coffee-and-cream head with fair retention. No lace and pretty tame carbonation.

Smell: Holy crap. Like diving off a 30-meter platform into a diving well of pine oil and orange juice. My GOD is this hoppy. Once that wave breaks over you, a chewy, sticky honeyed malt base comes through loud and clear, with a bit of plum for good measure. I have GOT to taste this.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Oddly, given the 40 pounds of hops that must be crammed into each bottle, the taste starts off almost maple syrup sweet -- maybe this is where is the honey comes in? Soon sucked into a whirlpool of orange juice, which is soon superceded by a spicy, piney bite. The mouthfeel is smooth and syrupy, a bit on the dead side.

Drinkability: A mighty brew to be sure, but not quite happening yet, a bit disjointed and hard-edged, although not bitter or alcohol hot. Still, might come together famously in a few years and, since there's about a half-ounce of yeast in the bottle, an excellent cellar candidate.

Photo of murrayswine
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is courtesy Weefisheads, a good man and a good trader.

Pours a murky dark, rather intimidating burnt sienna haze. Kind of off from the barley wines I'm used too.

The smell is huge. Buttered rum, brandy, toffee, hops, hops, more hops, and a side of hops.

The taste is beautiful, it hits you with sweetness, then it moves to hops, glorious hops mixed with a malted toffee,and a rye finish.

Very creamy mouthfeel, smooth and easy, not a tongue destroyer.

Pair with a bread pudding, sweeter scones, and sweet breads.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2005- drunk in August, 2006.

This beer pours a hazy copper brown with a fairly small offwhire head. The head doesn't really stick around.

The smell is dark and rich like a fruitcake. Predominant flavors of liquor soaked fruit and lush malt.

The taste is very winey- sweet flovors balanced nicely with malt and hops are there and a spicy aftertaste.. Almost a fruit brandy finish. Warm alcohol flavors, but not hot- very well integrated.
A really pleasing barley wine.

The mouthfeel is good- if anything the carbonation has mellowed too much by now. Nice body, and despite all the malt not too sticky- very warming.

Great drinkability- definitely a sipper by the fire, although I'm enjoying it just fine on a cool evening in the summer in Palo Alto, California.

Photo of stephendr
4.52/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Amber color- tan head – malt, hop, mint, brown sugar, tobacco nose - malt, chocolate, tobacco, slight sour, over ripe apple - medium body- aftertaste malt, earth Amber color- tan head – malt, hop, mint, brown sugar, tobacco nose - malt, chocolate, tobacco, slight sour, over ripe apple - medium body- aftertaste malt, earth Amber color- tan head – malt, hop, mint, brown sugar, tobacco nose - malt, chocolate, tobacco, slight sour, over ripe apple - medium body- aftertaste malt, earth

Photo of cbl2
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

9/27/2005 $4.29 12 oz. 11.50% Brewed 2004 printed along with "will improve well with age".


Pours a murky brown with plenty of carbonation that leads to about an inch of tight tan white head.


Sweet malt character with a strong slightly bitter hop profile (hints of pine).


If you were to look up balanced in the dictionary, a picture of this beer should be there. Strong sweet malts are nicely paired with fresh in your face hops (mainly pine). Another excellent offering from Hair of the Dog. This is more DIPA than barley wine, but I don't care, it is superb.

Photo of Erdinger2003
3.21/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The head is fluffy and thick, but falls away quickly leaving a beautiful lacing. The color is clear and copper.

Slightly musky with hoppiness, apples and raisan. It is slightly fruity underneath a musky hoppiness.

Taste is hoppy and slightly fruityit holds all of the same flavors as the smell. It is complex, but somehow it holds want. It seems mistreated.

Mouthfeel is smooth, medium to full bodied and it feels great on the palate.

Overall pretty good, but a little lacking, I think a fresh bottle would be better.

Photo of doubleipa
4.67/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh my god! Had this ON A HAND PUMP at KClingers (Hanover) - go figure. Big frothy, brown head. Very strong malt aroma. Taste was very sweet and incredibly malty. I've had only a very few barleywines on cask, so this was a special treat. Could not taste the alcohol at all. Color was surprisingly clear. This was th ebest beer we had all afternoon at KClingers. I was even able to buy some bottles of this and Adam at the bar.

Photo of bennetj17
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brewed in 2005. Poured in a snifter, the foamy head is nearly thicker than the beer, with amazing retention. Very clear, deep glowing red/amber with tiny streams of carbonation. Glass has spotty lace. The aroma is intense and infatuated with hops. Deep, grassy, citrus aromatics dominate with only a hint of caramelly malt nose and an earthy spice. The flavor has a strong caramel malt and resiny hop blend, which hides the alcohol well for a barleywine. There is a slight astringency and moderate lingering bitterness. This brew is still very hop focused overall. Mouthfeel is quite foamy and medium thick. Quite quaffable as it's not overpowering for the style. It's hard to really determine the line between this and a maltier Double IPA. I certainly enjoyed it...

Photo of UnionMade
4.01/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2002 edition 12oz bottle that I'd been cellaring for some time.
Pours a beautifully clear, surprisingly pale golden amber. Plentiful carbonation bubbles. A giant puff of eggshell white head forms, shrinking slowly, coating the glass with thick clumps of lace. I'm amazed how good the head retention is. Drinkng this out of a snifter, I have a thick puff of head, like an island, sitting in the middle of a silod misty coating. Absolutely perfect presentation. That said, what an odd aroma. Sweetish and candy-like, full of pale malt and robust fruitiness. More in line with a double IPA than a barleywine. No caramel malt or roasty touches, just straight, lightly kilned malt. Just a hint of honeyish oxodization, with dull, restrained hop presence. Some metallic notes, as well. Taking the first sip, my palate is assaulted by huge amounts of carbonation, as tends to happen sometimes with aged beers. Rich pale malt immediately slathered with hop oils. Do I detect a hint of smoke? Probably my imagination. Green raisin and peachy fruit, finishing off with ample hop bitterness and generous boozy heat. Slightly metallic and papery, mostly an herbal, resiny juiciness, still intensely bitter after four years. Large, oily, slick body. Pretty smooth drinking, sans the 'roid-raging carbonation. Enjoyable, but I know this promises more.
This one didn't age as well as I'd hoped. Had i known it were so pale and delicate on the malt front, I would have popped it earlier. It doesn't feel like there's a lot of room for oxodized flavors, as they all show up in the finish and sully what should be a kick-ass good time with the hops. The carbonation levels are a turn off, but settle down to a dull roar after a half hour or so. I'd recommend this one fairly warm, as the malt gains some control and the carbonation seems to settle down quicker. My (circa early 1800's stone walled and dirt floored) cellar perhaps isn't the best place to age beers, as the temperature fluctuates, and I'd expect this could be kept better. A moudlering shelf and cobwebbed stone wall look real cool stacked with beers, but New England summers aren't the kindest.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle – 2004 vintage drank in 2006 (Courtesy of Xproudfoot): Poured a deep burgundy color ale with a medium off-white foamy head with good retention. Aroma of powerful sweet malt with some figs and prunes characteristics. Taste is really sweet probably to the presence of honey with some figs and dry prunes also thrown in there. Hops are also present though not overly which suite me just fine (aged bottle may have affected presence of hops). Body is above average and alcohol is very well hidden. Very good stuff and I would love to get my hand on some more of it.

Photo of Derek
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 Vintage.

A: Amber/merlot with an off-white, almost tan head. Although there's more head than most Barley wines, there's not much retention. It initially leaves a nice lace though.

S: Not a lot of aroma. Pine, toffee and alcohol, with hints of earth & bready malt in the background.

T: Nice bittersweet balance with a warming alcohol. Not nearly as much hop flavour as some American Barley wines (though there's plenty of pine flavour, earth, and a very slight hint of citrus). Toffee, caramel and a little cotton-candy-like fruityness. There's a little bit of that Amarillo-aspirin flavour too.

The yeast sediment had a nasty, earthy bitterness (which didn't seem to healthy).

M: Moderate body (fairly light for its strength); slight acidity. Carbonation is moderate.

D: Very approachable, starts to become a little harsher as it warms, but then the alcohol sets in & I love it more!

Wife's review: Caramel-coloured, tastes like hops! (and a little molases).

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

Had both the 2003 and the 2001 one on-tap at Lucky Baldwin's Barleywine Festival this year.

The 2003 happened to be my favorite as I believe the 2001 ended up leaving a more metallic flavor in my mouth and I believe was a little bit past its prime. The 2001 poured with no lacing and almost no head. There was a nice hop finish and a malty front. The problem with the 2001 is that the fruit got lost in the aging and it just didn't finish well...leaving this barleywine fanatic a little upset.

The mouthfeel was nice but did not make up for the difference in taste on my end. It was smooth, but bold. It left a slight warming sensation in the throat as I drank.

As for drinkability, I really did like the beer and would choose it again. I would pick the recent aged beer but I do think that the 2001 was still a very excellent selection...I just missed the fruit front.

Photo of AaronHomoya
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2004 edition, 12 oz bottle.

I had this in May, 6 months or so I guess from when it was released.

Poured into a glass this is a beautiful beer. Dark amber color and a thick, smooth head that lasts.

Aroma is sweet and you can tell the alcohol is there.

The flavor is sweet, warming, complex and with a very smooth hops bitterness at the finish. It's full of lots of malt, lots of roastiness, and balanced all perfectly with just the right amount of hops.

Mouthfeel was also exceptional - full, smooth and delicious.

Drank the bottle with no problem, but probably good I didn't have two. Very easy to drink, but at that strength I guess I can't give it a 5 in drinkability. I just hope to find some more of this someday.

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

Year 2005 Made

Pulled the cap off and curiously began reading the label and bubbles began oozing down my hand. Whoa, this stuff is screaming to be let out. Okay then....

Deftly poured into my Trappist Achel Goblet. An amazing carmel colored, earthy brown brew with one of the most dense, foamiest cappuchino-esque, tan colored heads i've even seen out of a bottle.
Cloudy yeasty looking sediment clumps quickly and settles to the bottom of the grail.

Coffee, caramel, estery hopps, earthy yeast all enter the nose immediately.

Earthy malts and estery hopps blend perfectly. A sincere delight.

Mouth is perfect. I could die and go to Beer Heaven right now. In fact this is quite honestly one of the best Barley Wines i've yet to taste. Strange. This reminds me of Trappistes Rochefort 10 Quad.

If i find this again, i will buy as many as are on the shelf. Sadly, don't think i'll have much luck. I count myself lucky just to have found this bottle!

Photo of goodbyeohio
4.74/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

says 2004 in the red box. 12oz.

amberish browny red with creamy head of foam.. luxurious and barleywinesque for sure in a 3 phils chalice.. hazy pour leaves a peppering of lace all down the glass. hard-core.

smell is freakin outstanding.. nutty base mingles with an alcohol-bearing caramel sweetness, blanketed gently by a dusting of bittersweet cocoa. yes folks, this is a goldberg's peanut chew in a glass. good u.s. hop choice enables 2 years to leave behind some residual candied orange wafts that simply add to the party goin on inside this glass.

taste? get outta here. this is freakin butter. hops become brown sugar.. this transforms into an alcohol twist, good and hearty like a single malt. carbon-y flavors of burnt rock candy leave the mouth salivating, partly thanks to the flavor-dominating hops that add juicy peach tang and little-to-no bitterness. ladies and gentlemen.. this is what a barleywine should be. a big punch in the nuts, with that alternating sweet and succulent side.

i could drink two bottles, but at 11+ i probably shouldn't. don't get me wrong.. i love the hoppy ones like behemoth, and the english ones give me a bit of a headache but resonate strong still. this is the mix i've been looking for. dare i say it.. a near perfect beer.

Photo of Tupperwolf
3.26/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2005 'vintage'.

Pours a hazy mahogany brown; The head is very slow and small, so I begin to force-pour, which is my downfall. The head suddenly erupts. Look out!

After getting things stabilized in my Stone Old Guardian glass, I'm left with a two-cookie-thick yellowish head atop a hazy, dark brown body. The head leaves behind a sticky inch-thick ring that completely covers, then trails off in vertical lines down the side of the glass.

Alcohol, tree sap, slight cardboard earthiness - but none of this is really bad, mind you. These are merely notes I pick out amidst the burnt caramel malts and the explosive hops (which seem to need some time to mellow).

Distinctive grassy, grilled vegetable flavor, bready and slightly caramelly malts - blended all together with a bigass wallop of piney hops, more, perhaps even than Bigfoot '06. I like trying barleywines when fresh because the hops are still present - but I think this will be a bit better when mellowed.

The mouthfeel is very, very, very sticky. It's like someone took some honey and mixed it with water, so that you could drink it - but not very easily. I find this takes a very long time to drink not because the alcohol is overpowering or anything - it's definitely not - but because the mouth is so sticky that after you take a sip, it's easy to sit there for ten minutes without wanting to take another sip. You can still taste the last sip, so why go back for more?

Final thoughts - a tricky barleywine. It's good, but might be better later.

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

2002 bottling. This beer pours an attractive orange amber color with a 1/2 inch creamy head that sticks to the glass. Aroma is malty and spicy with a nice whiff of herbal hops. My first taste is a big blast of malt with notes of honey, caramel and winter spices, along with a hoppy bitterness in the finish. There is also a nice warming alcohol that made my face flushed after I had finished about half of the bottle. This beer was very warming and really hit the spot for me. My only regret is that this is my last bottle. I wish I had bought a case of this stuff instead of only 2 bottles. Maybe Doggie Claws will make it's way to NC.

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