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

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Doggie ClawsDoggie Claws

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

1,091 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,091
Reviews: 537
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.06%
Wants: 394
Gots: 256 | FT: 17
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: 1,091 | Reviews: 537
Photo of facundoCNB
4.14/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2012 bottle

a brown/amber in color with 2 fingers of creme colored head (probably the most head i've seen in a barley wine and i approve!), took a picture with flash and spotted a bunch of sediment chunks on the bottom of the glass.. gives it a nice homebrew feel.

the aroma up front has a bit of oxidation, some notes of soapy pine, caramel, brown sugar.. definitely getting a lot of barley juicyness from deep sniffs.

the flavor up front has a slight banana hint, raisins, caramel, barley sugary sweetness, goes into a darker brown sugar flavor with a nice biscuity maltyness, nutty, slightly toasted notes.. this is a wonderful tasting treat. the body is medium/full with a bit of carbonation that adds a little life and separates this from most beers of its style - for being 11%+, you get absolutely no alcohol burn.. this along with the flavor can be a deadly combination.

i really am enjoying this beer - couldn't wait another month to pop it open on christmas, but here's to a late celebration of life for my 2nd son. honestly after a stressful few weeks and a few more to come (hurdles in life, they happen).. this is a fantastic way to distract the mind.

Photo of jeff1973
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Hair of the Dog tulip. 2011 vintage, so 2yrs old at this point. Bought for $5.49 at Total Wine in Tustin CA.

A - Very cloudy (dirty) brown and not a pleasant shade;-) Off white head leaves excellent lacing.

S - Brown sugar, dates, cat piss (in a good way).

T - Again leads in w/ sweet brown sugar, dates and finishes in a slightly black pepper, spicy note w/ a dose of catpiss hops (after 2yrs!!). Everything is very smooth, no alcohol burn. All flavors meld nicely. Nothing overwhelms.

M - Full body and very creamy. Carbonation is soft and is perfect for the body and style.

O - Great beer! The age has really mellowed it in a great way. Would even let this age a few more years as it doesn't seem to have degraded and might get even better.

Photo of jrenihan
4.01/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage

Beer is a dark toffee brown. Just about zero head results from the pour,just a little bit of bubble.

Nose is heavy and rich. Deep, sweet malts, lots of toffee and caramel. Despite some age, there is a hop aroma- pine and resin stick out. A bit of wood. Some dark fruit but not a lot. Smells a bit like a heavy liquor, perhaps cognac. Nice.

Taste is similar. Heavy caramel and toffee flavours, extremely rich. There is some dark fruit, perhaps plum. Again, the hops present some resin and pine flavours. The alcohol is noticeable, particularly in the finish.

Full bodied, quite heavy and thick. However, despite the heavyness, there is an odd watery feel that is out of place. Quite sticky. Some heat.

Overall, a bit on the hot and heavy side, but pretty tasty.

Photo of jzeilinger
4.07/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer being reviewed is a 2010 vintage.

A - Pours an amber tan color with some slight chill haze and a very rock, billowing cream colored head and very nice carbonation. As the beer warms the haze slowly subsides to a nice clear, amber copper color.

S - Caramel, toffee, very slightly boozy, and a little vinous; because of the age there's no hop aroma in the nose. For 11.5% it doesn't jump out of the glass like I thought it would.

T - Sweet toffee and caramel malt with a small amount of oranges and ends with a boozy light pine bitter finish. Although it wasn't present in the nose so much the alcohol is definitely present with moderate warming in the back of the throat as it slides down. Slightly woody and malt forward. The orange comes through more after the finish as it coats the mouth over top of the lightly toasted toffee/caramel.

M - Thick and full bodied with very gentle carbonation. Has a nice lingering coating of oranges on the back end.

O - This definitely got better as the beer warmed to room temperature. Would seek out again and prefer to try a younger one next time to experience some of the hop bitterness, this was on the sweeter side. The aroma was pretty light but the taste made up for the shortfall.

Photo of Nugganooch
3.64/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Doggie Claws – 2012 Big thanks to brooklynbrews for this extra.

12oz bottle into my FW snifter glass.
*Notes taken from 06/29/13.

A: Looks murky and lifeless with a dark caramel body and some ruddy brown hues. Virtually no head on it gives the impression of lower carbonation here. A little sediment floating and a watery edge to it. Almost looks like prune juice or something. Not stick or lace to speak of. Not the most attractive beer by any means.

S: Smells of booze met with sweet caramel malts and some underpinnings of dried orange peels. The aromas start to assert more stone fruit like esters on the backend as they segue into plum and date notes. Really takes on a vinous character. Representative of the style with some firm alcohol presence.

T: Tastes juicy with a big caramel malt toffee sweetness. There is a bit of raisin bread and spice with suggestions of candied citrus peel. The beer has a moderate amount of perceived bitterness and the alcohol is quite hearty adding a boozy spice. Finishes with some plumy esters and more toffee nougat. Nice Barley malt flavors and incredibly well balanced for such a big brew.

M: Feel is a little flat and watery with some light chew to it. Falls in the moderately heavy range with more of a wet finish. Alcohol warmth radiates. Rather clean overall.

D: Not my fav of the style with the slightly flat carbonation and higher octane. Does bring out some real nice malty flavors however. Not something I would pick up often. Makes for a nice seasonal sipper though.

Photo of Smurf2055
4.39/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage (reviewed Jan 2012)

Pours dark amber with a pretty good sized foam, two or three fingers. Head retains. Good carbonation.

Very malty, dark red fruit smell.

This is a real mouthgasm! Caramel, red fruit in the taste. Really sticky. A bit of pine.

It’s pretty damned good, I’m looking forward to aging some of this.

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2012 release, a 12 oz. bottle poured into a munique stemmed glass. The liquid portion comes out sort of a natural apple cider brown and just as hazy. There is a ton of setament floating around in this one. Not usually something I like , but when held up to the light it has a nice glow that I like. There's a tangerine citrus colored cap that erupts after a pretty hard pour, various different sized bubbles. Good amount of lacing and the cap sticks around for quite awhile.

Smell is awesome. The first thing to jump out at you is the hoppy smell, it's very hoppy, but it's certainly not overwhelming, probably because there's a lot going on. Hop aromas of pine and some slight citrus peel/zest and some nice floral notes going on too. It's very sweet smelling, it's almost like a candy coated date/nut blend then glazed with sweet holiday liquor. Good malt backbone and some honey sweetness as well. A touch of alcohol in the nose that warms and tickles, but not as strong as you'd expect on an ABV this high. Really nothing not to like about the smell.

Taste is just as outstanding as the smell, maybe the slightest big robust. Again, there's a great amount of sweetness, but not quite a sugar bomb that you'd expect by my description. Seriously, you can almost pick out some liquid sugar and/or honey. Still there is a super generous portion of hops and according to the label amarillo and simcoe (2 of my favorites). Not much of a taste even though it's a strong ABV. Everything blended together is quite nice, really a quality tasting beer, I'm getting upset that this beer is going away.

Mouthfeel is actually really good. As I said before, I'm not usually a fan of beers that arn't well filtered, but this is good. Full bodied in every sense of the word without crossing into the syrupy category. Sweet and smooth with a nice clean finish. Speaking of which, I can't believe how clean this beer seems to feel. Mainly because of the setament, it looks like it would feel dirty (in the bad way), but doesn't! Oh, and like most quality beers, the carbonation is done right, and there's not really a bite from the alcohol, more of a warming feeling (nice on a crisp night like tonight. A really drinkable beer too. I could have drank this a lot quicker, but I intentionally paced myself so I could enjoy this.

Really such a great beer, probably one of the best barleyywines I've ever had the privilege of trying. Thanks Gregg for a sending ANOTHER great beer. Now I'm going to hit the "review button" so I can enjoy the last ounce or two remaining.

Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Batch 2011 opened one in Mar 2013 and another in December 2014. I think the older version is better, as the hoppiness went away (a good thing in my opinion for a barleywine), so I am reviewing that one.

Appearance – Pours a dark ruby copper color with a medium head that leaves a nice lacing. A little bit of sediment as well that wasn't there in the younger version.

Smell – Honey, raisins, caramel, and a sweet booze.

Taste – Caramel, honey, malt, and some booze. The three year aged version had less hoppiness and tastes better in my opinion, as this allowed the other flavors to come through more.

Mouthfeel – Very smooth and creamy; lightly carbonated, though the 11.5%abv was noticeable.

Drinkability – A nice, very drinkable barleywine.

Photo of Trystero
4.31/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Logged from notes circa 8/10/2012 at Neighborhood in San Diego. 2011 release

Appearance: Murky ruby hues and slightly caramel colored. Milk froth head.

Aroma: Toasted caramel, sugared candies, breakfast pastery with very pronounced bitter hop profile.

Taste: Sweet, rich caramel and candied sugar melds into thick citrus and bitter hop notes. Amazingly balanced and well rounded. It's aged remarkably.

Mouthfeel: Slightly viscous with strong residuals.

Photo of timc100
4.64/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2011 vintage

Pours a dank murky brown with a creamy beige head that sticks around. Aroma is intense of huge sweet caramel and grapefruit citrus, bitter pine and raisin - definitely can tell it is on the fresher side. Taste is incredibly sweet - butterscotch, toffee, grapefruit, dark fruits and honey. There are some slight floral notes as well. Lighter body than expected - medium and chewy.

Overall this is fantastic, the best American style barleywine I've had. There is a big fresh hop presence but does not over power.

Photo of Uncle_Jimmy
3.69/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Ruddy Reddish brown and opaque with 2 fingers of witeish brownish head some lacing and some floaters (yeast?)

Aroma- baked bread burnt carmel brown sugar

taste carmel toffee plum and prune. like a boozey dr. pepper. More drinkable than Fred I think would like to have tried this one barrel aged of cellared for a bit like the label suggests. Hops are peppery and well balanced.

Mouthfeel - syrup-y and full bodied bordering on cloying . the booze gives you a bit of a hum at the end

Overall- I think this is more drinkable than the Fred its a big beer and one that I could have only a few of. also it seems like it may be a holiday beer in which case I could see it pairing well with heavy holiday foods like turkey and prime rib(the game-ier the better) maybe even lamb. The mouthfeel is a bit sticky, but i have only really came across one cloying beer (sneaky pete).

Photo of tectactoe
4.14/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours thick and menacingly; a musky, cloudy, burnt tan color. Almost like completely opaque apple cider. Little bits of sediment float around and give this brew an even more unfiltered look. No holds barred, right here. A slightly off-white head caps this one off, leaving minimal lacing and receding rather quickly. Aroma is very sweet, maybe even a bit too sweet, but still highly inviting and manageable. Deep syrupy aromas, graham crackers, sweet brown sugar, warm molasses and burnt toffee. Heavy on the nose, leading me to believe this is gonna be one thick, badass barleywine.

Taste hits first with those thick and sweet syrupy flavors; molasses, toffee, caramel - all in a combination of being toasted, burnt, and extremely sweet. Crispy and toasty malts follow closely behind. Alcohol is noticeable, almost giving off a very slight nail polish remover flavor/aroma. Sweet fruits eventually join the party; sugar-coated plums, sweet candied black cherries, pears, and apples. Hops? Slightly grassy and earthy, even a bit ashy... but fuck 'em. This is a super-sweet malt bomb, and a decently crafted one at that. The body is thick, but not quite as syrupy as the taste or aroma may have you believe. Low carbonation, but fitting for the style.

Damn good barleywine. Very sweet and full of sugary flavors; malts, fruits, and just straight up sugar. Flirting with the line of being "too sweet" - don't know if I could have more than one of these. But split between our tasting group, the sample I had was perfect. I'd definitely go back to this one.

Photo of jvillefan
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: A very hazy brown with a head that dissipates very quickly (too be expected from 11% ABV)

S: Roasted malts are at the front of this aroma with an almost bourbony aroma.

T: Deep malt flavor. Very complex. There are very strong caramel and wood flavors in the front of this beer. There some great bittering qualities present in this beer probably from Simcoe hops.

M: Heavy but not as heavy as I expected from an 11% ABV beer. Low carbonation.

O: A very good beer. Not an everyday beer but worth picking up.

Photo of DimensionX
4.73/5  rDev +13.7%
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.

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

2012 Vintage poured in to tulip.

A - Very murky dark brown; swampy. Next to no head formed on the pour; just a few scattered bubbles around the edges of the glass.

S - A big hop aroma up front with some citrus and pine notes that immediately give way to a big sweet malt profile with caramel, toffee and brown sugar. Some fruity aromas in the background as well.

T - Good balance overall with a sweet malt base and a big hop presence coming together nicely. Lots of dark caramel, brown sugar and toffee from the malt bill and some citrus and piney hop flavours come through as well. Lighter candied raisin flavour in the background.

M - Medium to full body. VERY light carbonation.

Photo of porntipsguzzardo
3.49/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Completely flat.

Look, it tastes good, but it sucks to finally find and buy a beer that you've been craving for some time, and look forward to having it all day, only to get home and have it be flat. Regardless of the taste, it's just such a disappointment.

I've googled it, and this seems to be a common problem with this beer - I bought it twice a few years ago, and it was flat both times then, too. I gave up on it for a while as a result. I know it's not supposed to be - I finally tried it again once earlier this year, and it was great - richly carbonated with a thick, sticky lace. I thought they had solved whatever problem they were having.

Cleary they haven't.

I love Hair of the Dog - they're one of my favorite breweries in the world. They can do better than this.

Photo of Rutager
3.51/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

2012 bottle.

Appearance. Pours a murky deep brown with a little amber. Very still, no head ...hmmm.

Smell. Sweet caramel and piney hops with a little citrus, sweet spice, and light fruits.

Taste. Caramel, piney hops, brown sugar and oranges with a little light spice again and some bitter citrus rind in the finish.

Mouthfeel. Full body with just a little warmth and completely flat.

Overall. This is a tasty beer, no doubt of that. The lack of carbonation is just inexcusable from professional brewers, especially from one with such a reputation for a quality product. Very disapointing, I think this would have been amazing if it was done right.

Photo of JCam9981
3.36/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12oz 2012 vintage, poured into a a Raleigh Beer Week snifter.

A: Pours a murky brown with no head. If I hadn't poured it, I'd have thought someone handed me a glass of farm made apple cider. It's hazy and there's no penetration even when held directly up to a light. When tilting the glass, the beer leaves streaks of carbonation on the side.

S: Smells of alcohol, toffee and apple skins, although the latter could be my mind playing tricks on me.

M: Thick. Yet another comparison to apple cider.

T: Alcohol up front and a slight burn on the finish. I'm getting a lot of malt, almost a bit salty.

O. In reading the other reviews on here, it appears that about 1 in every 10 has the same experience I did. Not sure if this is due to bottle storage - I drank mine just a few days after delivery - or if I just drank this bottle too soon, but it's definitely one of the stranger beers I've ever had. I've got about half a bottle left, and I can't decide if I'll finish it.

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

one of my first barley wines . . .

2012 bottle poured into a sniffer style

A: hazy deep orange. big head, but was poured relatively warm, so to be expected. very nice lacing the whole way thru

S: can't quite place the smell , but enticing, if not a bit boozy since it's warmer than i'd usually pour. i can see why a few here mention leather, i can sense a faint bit.

T: smooth, surprisingly, since i usually don't care for some of the strong ones as they warm. the malts seem entirely more smooth and complex than what i'm used to, which i like. hops seemed mutedi'm looking forward to putting a few of these on the shelf and trying them next year, lots of potential.

O: in spite of a less-than-fair initial try, this did very well. i'm looking forward to experiencing it aged and served properly.

update dec 2013 - still awesome :)

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

12oz bottle (2010 vintage) into a tulip. Pours a clear amber/mahogany w/ a huge thick fluffy white head, great retention & lacing. Looks like whipped cream.

Aroma is sweet and fruity. Candi sugar, toffee, rum-soaked dates, floral hops.

Taste, like nose, is fruity & complex. Residual sugars, dark candied fruits, warming booze. Hops balance the sweetness expertly. A Belgian-style American barleywine.

Mouthfeel is balanced and smooth. Good carbonation, lingering aftertaste.

Overall this is easily one of the best barleywines I've had. Drinkable, balanced, delicious. Not sure why I waited to long to open one. Will be buying a lot more of these from now on. Glad to already have a 3-year vertical going.

Photo of bitterbeerguy
4.41/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2010

A: ruby red meets rusty orange. Small 1 cm head, and clear as can be- left a little sludge in the bottle

S: can smell from across the room. Leather and fig notes with some booze. Slight bourbon oak aroma

T: boozy and pleasant! Really really smooth. I am surprised about the leather flavors, with raisins and some mild mulling spices. Not a pinch of hops.

O: really really solid Barleywine. So smooth! Would love to try fresh!

Cheers!

Photo of kawilliams81
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Half Acre snifter.

A- pours a dark amber with a 1 finger tan head. Small bubbles of lacing rim the glass.

S- brown sugar, toast, citrus, pine, candi sugar.

T- big amber malts and brown sugar, oranges, pine and spicy hop bitterness.

M- full body and medium carbonation. Some dryness but there's enough sweetness to balance it.

O- good Barleywine, reminds me of Bigfoot but sweeter and better.

Photo of Googs
4.62/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage poured into a Hair of the Dog tulip.

A: Lovely. Auburn/amber color with an off white one finger head. It's very frothy and dissolving slowly into a good 1/4 inch head thats not going away. Alcohol legs sticking to the glass.

S: First, I'm getting sweet malts. Heavy raisin bread and caramel mixed with some earthy, floral hop aroma. Slight citrus notes, orange or grapefruit. I could sniff all day.

T: Taste follows suit to the smell. Rich caramel malts with a touch of honey soaked biscuit. This vintage isn't very old so the hop aroma and bitterness is still quiet present. A nice fruity bitterness. I'm even getting a slight dark chocolate in the after taste. Delicious. A complex brew, that shares some characteristic with other HoTD beers. I believe it's the Scottish yeast strain that Alan Sprints uses.

M: Medium body with moderate carbonation. There's a really nice creaminess to it, which makes it easy to drink and not something I have to sip necessarily. Flavors coat the mouth and linger nicely. Alcohol is present, which is not surprising me for the ABV of the beer. You can feel the warming down the throat and in the stomach. I like my big beers.

O: This is my second time having this beer and I must say, I love it. It's great holiday Barleywine and by far one of the best American style Barleywines. The first bottle I had was a 2010, so it had two years of age on it. It was a more balanced, with less bitterness and less heat from the alcohol, which goes to show that this beer ages gracefully as the label suggests. I'm planning on doing a vertical of this one. Get this if you can, really. But consider cellaring a few.

Photo of switzer
3.01/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

2012 bottle purchased a day ago.

i think i need to try another bottle. in reading the other reviews (other than one that seemed to have the same issue i did) this looks like a tasty brew. i couldn’t get over the feel, thick, no carbonation whatsoever, no head at all. the taste was good but i didnt get the right experience and i didnt finish the glass.

Photo of Auracom
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2012 Vintage at the Hair of the Dog's brewpub in Portland. 2 oz. served in a taster tulip on November 29th, 2012.

A - Slightly lighter version of Adam, white thin head with great lacing and marginal retention.

S - Plentiful piney hop resin. Touch of caramel and candied sugar underneath.

T - It's actually better balanced than anticipated. Initial tropical fruit and pine sap meld with toffee, rye bread, and honey at mid palate. Lingering bitterness into finish.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, semi-dry finish.

D - Yeah, it's a solid American barleywine here in its super fresh state. Absolutely need to try an aged version to see how it transforms.

Doggie Claws from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
93 out of 100 based on 1,091 ratings.