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

Doggie ClawsDoggie Claws

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

929 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 929
Reviews: 528
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.98%


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: 929 | Reviews: 528 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of SPLITGRIN
SPLITGRIN

Kentucky

4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An inch and a half of fizzy deep tan head with nice retention and no lace. Body is a full burgundy brownish. Nose is big and lovely with slight sticky hops and lucious thick dark fruits with boozy tones. The first sip is monsterous with lots of intertwined attractive flavors. Mellow candied spices, a hint of juicy sharp hops, ripe plums, rum soaked raisens and homemade cherry pie all show up. The flavorful complexity swirls around the tongue with such grace you wouldnt know it was 11.5% alchol. Mouthfeel is thick and very enjoyable. Leaves quite a hue on the buds. A super sipper and a joy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2008 20:58:33 | More by SPLITGRIN
Photo of LilMatrix
LilMatrix

Washington

4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Hazy copper color that appears oily and viscous during the pour. Little to no head.

S - Aromatic hops and malty floral sweetness. Slightly grassy.

T - Delicious. The sweetness from the honey is wonderfully balanced with the aromatic hops. Up front the sweetness from the honey and malts are subtle and delicate, not overpowering at all. Then the fresh bite of the hops start coming through leaving the palate nice, refreshed, and wanting more Doggie Claws.

M - Has a full body and and wonderful mouthfeel

D - A quality brew from HotD. The high ABV is well hidden, this is a great beer that is warming and worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2009 18:32:23 | More by LilMatrix
Photo of GClarkage
GClarkage

California

4.78/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12/29/04- Purchased at Plumpjack Wines in San Francisco, CA

2002 Version, aquired in a trade with Jetsbeer.

Presentation- 12oz bottle, vintage 2002. 10% abv..a bit less than later years. Fourth in the series that I have tried. Poured into my Anderson Valley tulip.

Appearance- Somewhat murky and rust colored pour. Huge chunky head. Takes a good 10 minutes to die down to a 1/2 inch constant. Incredible gobs and streaks of lace left behind.

Smell- More caramel malt than anything else. A touch of hops, but pretty slim pickins.

Taste- Very laid back and creamy caramel malt. A limited amount of hops as it's been 4 years since the bottling.

Mouthfeel- A bit dry, medium carbonation, creamy and pretty smooth. Maybe just a touch on the skim side.

Drinkability- Easy drinker, abv was not even sensed as 10%. Another nice brew in the Doggie Claws line. Thanks for the brew Steven!

2003 Version

Presentation- 12 oz festive bottle with no expiration date. Poured into my Duvel chalice.

Appearance- Nice four fingered head which took about 10 minutes to settle before I could drink. This was a good thing because it came directly from the beer fridge, Nice copper coloring and decent to above average lacing. If it had just a bit more lacing it would have received a 5.

Smell- Very strong malt scent. A very nice amount of floral hops. Lots of toffee and caramel also.

Taste- Wow! Huge toffee flaovred malt with a perfect mix of semi-bitter hops. Not to bitter, not to sweet. About the best barleywine I have had to date.

Mouthfeel- Perfect level of carbonation. Silky smooth while nice and chewy at the same time. Warms your tummy nicely.

Drinkability- Incredible except for that little 11.5% barrier reef. Actually, I'm not feeling it yet after one, but I'm sure if I had another, I would be. This is definitely my favorite winter beer to date and my favorite barleywine. A bargain at the $3.49 I paid for it. Think I am going to make a special trip up to SF just to buy another 4 or so to age. Awesome brew!

2004 Version-

Same appearance
Same smell
Taste is more toffee flavored and less hop flavored. There are still alot of hops in the taste, but they are more mellowed out. Almost brandy like or some kind of liquor like flavor.
Mouthfeel still as smooth and thick as ever.
Drinkability may be even better than the 2003 version. This guy will age into a caramel-toffee malt bomb I have a feeling, which will be a very good thing. Rating stays the same though.

2005 Version-

Appearance- Extremely cloudy in appearance. Looks like someone liquified a caramello bar and poured it into a glass. Deep milk chocolate in color. No light coming through this thick murky pour. Huge billowy white head and big chunks of lace.

Smell- The hops literally burn your nose hairs in this years HOTD. Lots of sweet caramel malt and maybe a bit of butterscotch.

Taste- Very raw. Needs a good year or more to calm down. Alcohol burning hops scorch your pallet leaving a sleak caramel and milk chocolate trail behind. Hops linger and linger.

Mouthfeel- Carbonation needs to calm down a bit. Thicker than the previous versions I have tried...even though it's down from 11.5% to 10.5%.

Drinkability- A year away from being another outstanding brew. Right now just to raw to be that drinkable. Still consider 2003 to be the class of this brew.

2006 Vintage....

Presentation- 12oz bottle, 2006 release, poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Burnt caramel brown color. The lightest of head on the pour. Maybe an 1/8th of an inch if that. Small light white rim forms. Fairly nice lace sheeting.

Smell- The scent in this years batch is very restrianed. Has a weird medicinal vegatal nose. Maybe a hint of orange marmalade as well. Very odd.

Taste- Well, this certainly makes up for the smell. Incredible caramel milky flavor. Grapefruit hops come into play in the swallow and aftertaste. This tastes like a classic English style one to me. The flavor is wonderful. Maybe some orange liquor like Drambuie flavor comes through as well.

Mouthfeel- Damn creamy and silky smooth. This is very close to cask style. Caramel and orange coating. Wonderful.

Drinkability- This years hits you fairly hard. The taste is totally different than years past. This still remains right at the top of the list for me per style. Another perfect dessert brew. Score big time for 2006!

2008 Version-

Pretty much online with each year. This year seems very very smooth. Equal caramel and hops. Cross between english and american style. Very silky. One of the better vintages right off the bat.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2005 20:28:15 | More by GClarkage
Photo of Vancer
Vancer

Illinois

4.78/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Wow, I could smell the intense burst of orange and citrus upon opening the bottle. The amber copper pour produced no head on top of this heavy hitter. No lace, but you can see the oils slide around while swirling – gotta get all those goodies sitting on the bottom. No crap, there’s a 1/8 inch of yeasties down there.

A rich and intense BW bouquet greets those fortunate enough to sample this. Perfect blend of sweet malts (honey), balanced out with the simcoe/Amarillo hop-a-ramma.

I rate this as a superb sipper, the 10%+ is nowhere to be found. Life is good with one of these on the table.

!Muchas Gracias! to Dobbercody for this bottle, sent for my BA annv (2006) version – also have a 2004 from beerbeing awaiting trial.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2007 21:42:07 | More by Vancer
Photo of younger35
younger35

Minnesota

4.78/5  rDev +14.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2008 01:46:53 | More by younger35
Photo of zimmerbloke
zimmerbloke

Wisconsin

4.78/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Vintage, poured into a New Belgium globe glass.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2010 01:19:50 | More by zimmerbloke
Photo of PatrickSwayze
PatrickSwayze

California

4.78/5  rDev +14.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2012 03:08:35 | More by PatrickSwayze
Photo of tavernjef
tavernjef

Minnesota

4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A Christmas gift from weefisheads...Thank you! Love the Doggie Claws! This stuff is quite nice. Nice dark caramel brown color, very thick and deep with a fluffy tan head of tallness that resides slowly down to a thick fluffy skim mostly present throughout the glass and whispy strings of lace sticking. Aroma is nice and hoppy with a nice array of pine needles, herbs, spice, and resin with a nice roasty caramel malted backing. Has a certain sweet tone with some citrusy grapefruit peels too. Very nice nose! Good flavors and taste with a nice hop profile that has a nice creamy spicyness and herbal quality with nice tones of pine and grapefruit bitterness, those Amarillo hops are just lovely. Very toasty malt backing adding some twingy tang and lightly burnt notions. Feel is fairly sharp and filled with hop bittering tones and even a little bit of bittering burnness and alcoholic tinge going down late, overall a fluffy texture and full body with long lingering notes of bitterness from all those awesome hops. Calming and smooth with a creamy fluffyness with a very nice hop character. A fine, fine drinker, the sharpness of hops is a bit heavy but age will fix that I imagine and become calmer plus the alcohol is barely noticeable. Still, as a fresh beast this is very nice. Its not a malty thick or heavy barleywine in the least in my observation and sampling, its very IPA-like and was just what I needed for the holidays. Thanks again dB!

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2003 21:37:52 | More by tavernjef
Photo of beerceller99
beerceller99

Louisiana

4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2003 from the cellar.
Beautiful clear garnet hue with a light brown head. Strong smell of caramel, raisons ; think cinnabon roll. Medium bodied with a full mouthfeel. Taste is a strong raison, roasted pecans, figs, dates with a pleasing alcohol finish.
The intense flowery hop essence of a fresh sampling is gone, but the classic old ale flavors have emerged in good form. Exceptionally drinkable.
Excellent.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2005 14:44:22 | More by beerceller99
Photo of goodbyeohio
goodbyeohio

Oregon

4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2006 03:45:55 | More by goodbyeohio
Photo of libertygrails
libertygrails

Oregon

4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
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!

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2006 06:28:05 | More by libertygrails
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
brewdlyhooked13

Ohio

4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - pours a hazy dull orange, a thin but solid cover of off white, holding well.

Aroma - citrusy, orange and pine, estery vapors alongside. Smells potent.

Taste - huge, sweet malty opening, roasty coffee-like malts chiming in early as well. Followed by syrupy, citrus, juiciness. Light on the bitterness, though not the hop flavor. The swallow stays sweet and grows slightly bitter with peach, dark fruit, mandarin orange. Abv is well-masked but makes its presence known with a finishing warmth.

Mouthfeel - heavy and drapy with low carbonation.

Drinkability - what a wonderful bottle of beer. Fresh or aged, I imagine this will be a fine experience. Big thanks to udubdawg for parting with one of these for my sake at DLD08.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2008 15:54:30 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of marcpal
marcpal

New Jersey

4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've traded for a few of these and apparently I have yet to review. God, I love this beer. I can say that I am not just influenced about my passion for HotD because in a previous improptu blind barleywine tasting, this came out on top alongside Foghorn. Much different indeed but both delicious.

12oz (2007) bottled poured into a big Delirium goblet.
Bottle Graphics: 9/10. HotD Classy.

A: Poured thick apple juice hazy peach color with a pretty thick off white head. The head was volumptious and did not go anywhere, nor did the lacing.

S: Intense sugar coated grapefruit right out of the gate. More of a mango aroma tickles the senses as it warmed up. The amount of hops can not be a joke here considering that their presence is more than blatant behind all those malts and sugars.

T: Not nearly as citrusy as the smell, the sweetness took over here. This is a roller coaster ride of flavor- it hits the mouth and it is sweet alcohol and malt, through the swallow it has a bit of tobacco and fruit and the aftertaste is laden with the bitterness. Terrificly complex with the closing out of toffee considerably dominating the caramel.

D: Dry with a resiny texture. More oily than creamy, albeit a full textured body. Can you tell this is weighing in at over 11%? Yes, but I don't care because I want to savor every single sip. This is a Mariano Rivera caliber closer for a night of smaller beers before it.

Another hit from the HotD house. I would love nothing more than to get a never ending supply in Jersey and will continue to trade to make it happen as much as possible. Hard to describe but it is one of those beers you drink and you know a lot of passion went into it.

This is a beer with a multiple personality disorder in that it is always changing with the flavors I am catching and love every bit of it.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2008 00:49:30 | More by marcpal
Photo of bargerking
bargerking

California

4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

08 vintage poured into a snifter.

A Pale ruby. Very thin head. Thin lace. Low carbonation. This is an 08 though...

S sweet and juicy. Faded hops. Hints of pear. Lots of candi sugars. Dominate honey smell.

T Very sweet. Kind of thick. A little burn going down.

M Tons of honey from start to finish. The aftertaste is even stronger. Not boozey at all and really sweet.

D Great and deadly drinker. Canttaste the booze at all. Really sweet though. If you like honey and Bwine, this is the best it gets.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2010 04:31:35 | More by bargerking
Photo of boMD
boMD

Oregon

4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Have had many different vintages of Doggie Claws. It's exceptional fresh, and exceptional with some time on it.

This is a review of a 2002 vintage bottle I had enjoyed. Prior to 2003 and forward vintages, this had been brewed with Ahtanum and Vanguard hops opposed to Simcoe and Amarillo.

Poured a deep amber with a thick, long lasting, off-white head. Deep barley and alcohol aroma with a roasted and berry quality. Very smooth and still retained a good carbonation but very soft on the palate. Dark fruits like grapes or dates, vanilla and a whiskey like booze character. Roasted caramel malts. Not much in hop flavors left on this one. Also notes of smoked oak and lactose. Very rich, complex and a joy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2010 21:31:40 | More by boMD
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. 2010 vintage. Huge thanks to black13 for this one!

(A)- Pours a hazy reddish sienna brown color that produced a huge foamy off-white head with superb retention. Tons of lacing around the entire rim of the glass as it took forever to dissipate. Extremely impressive due to the ABV level of this.

(S)- Some rich fruits of raisin, fig, and maybe even dates. Some hints at cherry & cocoa with some caramel or toffee sweetness.

(T)- Just like the smell predicted. Some rich fruits of raisin, fig, date, with hints at dark chocolate covered cherries. A light spiciness with a honey or caramel sweetness. Has a dry, almost bread-like finish with hints of peat.

(M)- A great carbonation level and balance. Rich and quite strong this fresh, but a complex one at that. Mildly bitter with a mild boozy warmth.

(D)- A world class Barleywine. Tastes great now fresh, but I can only imagine what a year or two would do to this. I need to acquire more of this to find out! It still is a bit too strong to have more than one of these at a time, but it sure hit the spot on this cold New Year's Day!

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2011 19:05:37 | More by sweemzander
Photo of drpimento
drpimento

Wisconsin

4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

BOOM! Big Beer! Would've given it an even better score had I noticed it was a gusher before half the beer left the bottle and therefore my mouth. What I did get had a thick, creamy, foamy, frothy, fluffy, billowy light tan head that lasts all the way down and some lace. Color is a cloudy amber brown. Aroma is yeast, caramel, toffee, hops, honey, fresh leather. Flavor is like nose but with sweet and bitter standing out most with enough tang to balance and then other flavors too fleeting for me to identify. Soft full, round body and excellent carbonation. Finish is like flavor, fairly long, and only a hint of alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2011 01:17:19 | More by drpimento
Photo of DimensionX
DimensionX

Oregon

4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage

A: Dark amber colored with a light bronze hue visible around the edges of the glass. Highly carbonated, had to pour slow, great lacing and head retention.

S: Smells like big floral hops, piney and fruity, almost estery bubblegum but could just be overall sweetness/sugar.

T: Very hoppy with fruity citrus and dark pine flavors dominating, almost a spice like quality, not sure what. Rich malty backbone supports this interesting flavor combo, dark and deep with a dry finish.

O: One of my favorite barleywines lives up to it's reputation once again. Like all American Barleywines this beer greatly improves with cellar time.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2013 22:53:34 | More by DimensionX
Photo of mickeymac
mickeymac

California

4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Uh . . . wow. Hair of the Dog is always a hit or miss proposition in our part of the country. A few bottles seem to show up here and there every now and then. Sometimes they're at Trader Joe's for $1.50 or so a bottle; other times they're on small liquor store shelves at twice the price. After seeing Adam and Fred on more than one occasion, I finally had the distinct pleasure of being all scratched up by Doggie Claws.

It comes in a 12 oz bottle with a somewhat festive but very interesting looking bottle. This is probably the only beer label in the world with a Menorah (actually two) and a bulldog in a Santa Claus cap. It pours a deep copper with a thick off-white head that lingers to the bottom. The smell is piney hops, loads of malt, just a bit of dark fruit, and-yes-alcohol. The taste is almost overwhelming yet somehow subtle at the same time. Hops seem to smack the hell out of the tongue on the first sip, but giant waves of malt immediately fill the mouth with hop bitterness and malt sweetness locked in a battle to the death. Fortunately for all the battle ends in a draw, leaving the promise of a re-match, or at least a return trip to the shop for more.

For a beer that approaches the abv of Pinot Noir, it's unbelievably drinkable. Seek it out: drink it, age it, introduce it to your friends, put it in the passenger seat of your car and take it for a scenic drive. This is a special beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2004 06:41:15 | More by mickeymac
Photo of smuttanator
smuttanator

Massachusetts

4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 vintage

Holy hell this beer is good. Full of hops and honey this beer really doesn't pull any punches. The honey compliments the generous amount of hops and malt beautifully. While I wouldn't call this anywhere close to drinkable, I don't think its intended to be. Perfect for a winter night.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2009 23:06:54 | More by smuttanator
Photo of alpinebryant
alpinebryant

Connecticut

4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

-2009 vintage -
Poured into snifter an overflowing light tan / white head that continued to pour out of the bottle like a melted ice cream would fall off of a cone. Quite possibly the thickest most sticky head I have ever poured. Lacing was obviously present all over the lass and the head stuck around for a while.

Smell of strong grassy , citrusy, grapefruity hops. Pellet hops were actually still present on the top of the head as it settled. Pine ever present in the nose, I really actually enjoyed the dry hopping that I believe actually occurred directly before bottling. Chewy has been given more meaning with hop particles actually present in my glass... Caramel and caramelized sugars very present in this high abv 12 oz bottle. Sugar cookie, Caramel, cotton candy, you name it, if kids were allowed to drink beer, they would probably apprecciate this one fresh. This is a sweet tooth drinkers brew, so if you do not have a sweet tooth, just send me your doggie claws.

Glad to have tried this one fresh, now to get a couple more and age them to see what a few years do to transform the flavors....

I hated to take points off for appearance, but this one literally overflowed from the bottle before I could pour it into my glass. Lesson learned for next time, but everything else was great.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2010 01:43:38 | More by alpinebryant
Photo of GreatPondBrewer
GreatPondBrewer

California

4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2002. This beer was exceptional. Poured a cloudy dark golden color with a very plush and frothy white head that left lace everywhere on the glass. Smell was very complex with a strange affinity for a Double/Imperial IPA with all the juicy hops floating about. There was also a slight sting of alcohol sweetness that lingered after every sniff. Taste was heaven in a bottle. Tons of juicy hops along with a woderful warming syrup undertow with the alcohol just tugging at the edges of the brew. Mouthfeel was wonderfully chewy as it is bottle conditioned there was little carbonation. This has aged wonderfully in the cellar and is everything that a barley-wine should be. Mellow, yet explosive, full of flavor and complex, yet easy to drink. This capped off a perfect christmas eve.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2003 17:48:33 | More by GreatPondBrewer
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kbub6f

New York

4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Three fingers of yellowy-tan, coarse head and a dark, dark red-brown, clear body. Cloudy on the last pour with lots of floaties. The nose shows sugar aplenty, with grapes and prunes, spice (nutmeg?) and major piney hops. Wow. Hops and hard sauce dominate the front, but step aside for tons of sweet, malty cream in the middle. Rich, rich, rich. Big hops and spice make a comeback in the finish. This beer tastes just like plum pudding with hard sauce. Delicious. It has a great sweet/spicy/malty/hoppy balance.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2004 15:41:29 | More by kbub6f
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Thorpe429

Illinois

4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice dark caramel with a fairly nice tan head. Not too much lacing.

S: Loads of caramel and brown sugar alongside bits of alcohol, and then even more sweetness and a few fruits.

T: Very strong sweet malt presence, without being completely overdone. Plenty of brown sugar and caramel. A few ripe fruits.

M: Pretty full mouthfeel with little carbonation and just a bit of alcohol heat.

D: Very, very drinkable, especially for the style. While I did enjoy this one slowly, I could have consumed it a lot faster. A beautiful sipper that I'd love to always have on hand.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2010 00:21:28 | More by Thorpe429
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sulldaddy

Connecticut

4.68/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew came to me via Weefisheads. Thanks man!
I have a 12 oz bottle and pour it into my snifter. As I am looking at the glass, I realize the bottle is foaming out the top. Little too much activity in there?
Back to the sample. The beer is a dark amber color and is rather hazy, lots of sediment that got disturbed during initial pour. oops.
A beige creamy head foams up about 1.5 inches real easy and fades super slow, in fact there is a layer on the surface throughout my tasting.
Aroma is hop dominated. I am getting mostly sour citrusy scents like a fresh cut grapefruit, some fruity scents come through and just a mild hint of alcohol is allowed to pass as well.
First sip, whoa! Prickly small carbonation almost burns my tongue. Definitely some bottle condition action happening. The body is fairly thick on this brew.
Flavor is up front hoppy bite that receeds to a sweet caramel maltiness and ripe fruit for a second or two and then finishes sour citrus hops again. NIce to see the balance come through like that. I really like this well balanced drinkalbe brew. Wonder what it will be like in a few years??
Thanks again weefisheads!!

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2004 04:32:25 | More by sulldaddy
Doggie Claws from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
93 out of 100 based on 929 ratings.