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

Not Rated.
Doggie ClawsDoggie Claws

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

1,036 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,036
Reviews: 530
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.03%
Wants: 398
Gots: 249 | 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:
"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: 1,036 | Reviews: 530 | Display Reviews Only:
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Photo of slayer3604
4.95/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2006 vintage from the bottle.

a- cap comes off with a weak "pifff", a pour of modest strength renders no head, and small pockets of bubbles jettison their way to the surface. Lots and lots of sediment, murky reddish brown body, with the occasional co2 bubble making its way up the glass.

S- Deep sherry, rum, raisen, fig, almond and a slight snap of citrus! This is one of the best noses ive had in a while! so much to it!

T- There is slight traces of carbonation, but nothing that can be called 'a normal amount'. Tangy spicy whips of grapefruit conjoin with a thick, heavy toffee, nutmeggy, roasted fig netherverse! WOW!

M- Heavy with no carbonation. i dont know if the lack of carbonation helps this one or not, but what they've done is create one of the most extraordinary barleywines ive had in months!

D- I had a 2008 DC and had poured ALL of the sediment into the cup and it was over run with tart AA, and grimy hop leaves, so thanks to that one i knew not to pour EVERYTHING into the glass. This saved the day. Very fine beer, and one i hope to drink more often!

Photo of jim102864
4.93/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Acquired via a trade from Hoppymeal (thanks, bro!), and darn glad I did.

Opened the 12 oz bottle with a solid burst of carbonation. I poured it slowly but plenty of yeast made it into the glass which is fine by me. Brownish in color but somewhat cloudy from the yeast with a fair rain shower of carbonation and a one finger head which suprisingly, stays in a creamy pillow throughout the session.

The simcoe and amarillo hops were quite evident in the nose. Slightly grassy and herbal. Nice.

The taste scores an emphatic "wow!" as the fascinating herbal sweetness blends nicely with a mildly biting alcohol finsih. The hops are well hidden but you know they're in there doing their good work. Creamy head remains intact throughout. The word "great" comes to mind.

Mouthfeel is creamy and viscous. A perfect balance of taste and physical pleasure.

Surely one of the best if not the best barleywine I've ever had. A special treat, highly recommended! Thank you once again, Hoppymeal!

Photo of PDXHops
4.93/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2005 vintage, 12 oz bottled poured into a Duvel tulip.

As great as this beer is overall, the thick (1/3 inch) sediment in the bottle makes for an 'interesting' appearance unless you're reeeal careful pouring it out. Looking past the murky brownish amber body, things are actually pretty good, with a finger of creamy and cream-colored head with good retention and lacing.

This beer demands attention, with smells practically jumping out of the glass and into your nose. Massive toffee and caramel malt. Plentiful dark fruit and floral aromas. Bigtime fruitiness, especially orange and pineapple.

Tastes incredible. Once again the malt is massive. So much going on here. Black strap molasses, carmelized sugar, tobacco, leather, honey and a bunch of fruit- pineapple, lemon, grapefruit and tangerine. This much flavor in one bottle is probably illegal in some states.

An endless supply of the tiniest bubbles creates a substantial mouthfeel that is fluffy without being fizzy. Soft and soothing.

Overall impression: Incredible beer that only gets better with age if you can summon the patience and willpower to age it. Also, potentially 'exhibit A' of why the appearance score is weighted too heavily. This is a world-class beer IMO regardless of how the appearance rating pulled down my overall score.

Photo of weefisheads
4.9/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review #2. Thought I probably shouldn't wait until the 1 year anniversary of #1!

Sampled from 12 oz. bottle purchased from the brewery at their release of Doggie Claws 2004.

Appearance
As I don't review all that often (!), I'm not sure if the appearance was really Exceptional or just marginal, but looking at it made my mouth water, so I reckon it must be pretty high. A gorgeous dark amber - kinda Scotch Ale-ish, but certainly less opaque than most barleywines.

Smell
Lovely!! I'm used to a sweetish smell from barleywines, but this was DEFINITLY hops - upfront, and in your face. Reminiscent of some grand Imperial IPAs I've had.

Taste
Blimey - I've gone to heaven. Hang on, though - this is definitly NOT what I expected. Instead of the usual barleywine raison, plum, complex taste, I get hops. Loads of 'em! But plenty of malt and other flavors so that the hops aren't bitter and overwhelming. Once again, I'm confused - Barleywine or Imperial IPA?

Mouthfeel
Brilliant. Very smooth, and despite the overt hop profile, very well balanced. What makes this beer - and any great beer, IMHO - great is how well it makes you forget the alcohol and focus on the flavors. Quite unlike the previous iterations of Doggie Claws, I hardly even noticed the alcohol - all 11.5%!

Drinkability
Even though it's not a session beer, this is truly is a barleywine that I could have "several" of. However, because of it's high alcohol content, I can't give it above a 4.5 as I think very few folks could actually drink more than just one.

Overall
Egad - how to rate this!? As a beer to enjoy, this really is one I'd have over and over again. However, I really think the boys at HOTD have mislabled this one as, to me, it's more of an Imperial IPA than any barleywine I've ever had. Beer styles and categories be damned - this is one of HOTD's finest. And for them, that's pretty impressive!

(Chrikey - why do all my reviews have the same SCORE?!)

Photo of lechowski
4.88/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2011 Vintage 12oz bottle poured into a Russian River sniffer.

A - Dark roasty amber/brown, khaki colored 2 finger head, very little lacing

S - Sweet, juicy, raisiny

T - Extremely complex! Strong currant notes coming through. Cherry, raisin, a little bit of funk, hoppy. Toffee towards the end

M - Velvety smooth, medium to high body. A little bit syrupy.

O - A great mystique to this brew, it's constantly evolving from first sip to last, never disappointing. My only complaint is I wish I had another!

Photo of mattmaples
4.85/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

If you thought Fred was barley wine you aint seen nothin' yet. I got a sneek peak last night at the brewery and man what a throughly enjoyable barley wine. The one I tried had already been aged for a year and it was great. Bold up front hops without being braceing or brash with substantial malt backing. Sorry about not being more spacific but Allen waited until later in the evening before breaking it out and ... well...you know! I feel sorry for those of you to far away to get some maybe next y

Photo of aforbes10
4.85/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle from the bottle barn in Santa Rosa. Pours blood red with some sediment falling in towards the end of the pour and a beautiful slow cascade that forms an eight inch head. Sticky, slothful lacing. Big malt and hop nose. Pine and citrus with mango, sweet caramel, alcohol. Flavor is a slow-developing masterpiece of deliciousness. Piney hops creep forward slowly along with strawberry, mango and a gentle bug solid backbone of sweet malt. Pine sap hop and prominent sweetness round out the finish with a touch of bitterness and alcohol for good measure. Creamy mouthfeel...a reasonably still beer, with just a hint of soft carbonation. Syrupy. Drinks wonderfully...i sipped this all evening and enjoyed every moment. A great, great beer.

Photo of Arenbeer
4.83/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks a million to Loki83 for this great brew!

2008 Vintage !2oz bottle into my DFH snifter

A- Pours a super cloudy golden yellow due to all the sediment with no head just a off white bubbly rim around the outside of the glass.

S- Strong sweet caramel malts with a touch of honey an a slight hop note. Alcohol is there if you look for it but blends in nice with the overall aroma.

T/M- Smooth creamy caramel malts create the base with hints of honey and an overall sweetness. After it goes down you get a bitter but not to dry pine, almost citrus hop flavor that lingers and leaves you wanting more and more. As it warms the alcohol comes out a little bit more but I must admit, HOTD did a great job hiding it behind the awesome flavor this beer has.

Overall this is probably on of the best barleywines I've had so far. Such a great smooth flavor and very easy to drink. No boozy harshness or over prominent flavors. Perfectly blended and well made.

Thanks again Loki83 I'll probably be bugging you for more of this!!!

SkÅL!

Photo of dbmernin83
4.83/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2011 on the bottle.
Pours a deep mahogany with head that won't quit.
Hops, booze, caramel malts, and oak literally punch you in the nose.
Holy mother of God! This is just stupid. The level of delicious is through the roof! Big hops, sweet caramel, wood, toffee, and booze all have equal turn making love to every single one of your tastebuds.
Thick and sticky, but great carbonation.
This beer is amazing. I recently had a 2010 and it was just as amazing. Still hoppy, but everything blended together even more. This is a magical beer. I'm going back tomorrow to buy as many as possible to drink now and age.

Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.8/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

Photo of LilMatrix
4.8/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

Photo of zimmerbloke
4.78/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

Photo of GClarkage
4.78/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

Photo of Vancer
4.78/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

Photo of PatrickSwayze
4.78/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

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.

Photo of Boozecamel
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

Doggie Claws from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
93 out of 100 based on 1,036 ratings.