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

Not Rated.
Doggie ClawsDoggie Claws

Educational use only; do not reuse.

541 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 541
Hads: 1,119
Avg: 4.13
pDev: 16.46%
Wants: 392
Gots: 256 | FT: 16
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 541 | Hads: 1,119
Photo of santoslhalper
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearence: Desipte what the bottle says, it pours a dark ruby with floating yeast chunks with a giant beige head.

Smell: The smell is incredibly hoppy and complex with a spicy alcohol back to it.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste is also incredibly hoppy. The hops are floral, earthy citrusy and so much more. Odd focus for a Barleywine, but it works really well. The malts are present but not incredibly obvious, and the alcohol is very powerful. The mouthfeel is thinner than I'd hoped.

Drinkability and Overall: This is a wonderfully unique barleywine. The hops are crazy but they work. In a few years this one will be an absolute gem. But still, it's a breath of fresh air even when young.

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Photo of rkhaze
4.53/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep red amber color with a dense, creamy tan head. Great retention.
Roasted sweet malt aroma. Brown sugar, red fruit and fresh floral/citrus hops.
Wow! Big complex flavors. Rich roasted malt, dark caramel, toffee,chocolate and some charred red fruits. Finishes tangy with a lingering licorice and fresh hop bitterness. The alcohol was noticeable but well integrated.
Semi full bodied with a full round mouthfeel. Seemed to have a smidge too much carbonation but it sure helped lighten up the feel.
Great flavors and well hidden alcohol. This is a sipper and a real belly warmer. Great stuff.

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Photo of mattcrill
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Big thanks go out to weefisheads for the opportunity to sample this beer.

Note: I was seriously bummed as I sat down to see the bottle spilling it's contents profusely out. I'm not sure what happened as all I did was pop the cap and set the beer down on the table. I don't think I shook it or anything crazy like that. That being said, I was able to rescue most of it.

Appearance: Muddy, tea-like, and amber in apperance. Ridiculously huge creamy, fluffy tan head. I see little hop flecks floating in the beer...I am mezmerized.

Smell: Like a huge IPA. I'm very intrigued. Very pine-like with mild citrus notes. None of the dark fruits or alcohol notes that I've come to be familiar with in drinking barleywines. Still, this smells like a pine wonderland!

Taste: Like an IPA. Some pine bitterness kicks off the set, a hint of apples or peaches in the background, and then some alcohol and more pine to finish. This is truly a great taste. Again, I keep thinking "IPA".

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy with a dry finish. Leaves a little bit of the pine hops on the back of the palate.

Drinkability: Alcohol is hidden well and I'm sure this would be dangerous to drink more than one. Still, it would be enjoyable to try. This is great!

Thanks again to weefisheads for this lovely beer!

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Photo of oxmasterscream
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy, translucent orange topped by a fluffy, eggshell head that leaves thick lacing behind. Smell is pure candy–caramel and candy apples. Also solidly present, oranges, spice and honey. Hints of vanilla and cherries. The smell was intoxicating. First taste–yow. Searing hops, even after two years in the bottle. Spiced apples intermixed with vanilla and cherry. Mouth-drying, bittering that makes you want to suck the skin from the inside of your mouth. Grapefruit pith finish–amarillo hops in full effect. Beautifully balanced. Tightly knit, aggressive carbonation, makes your tongue feel like it's being electrocuted at times. Otherwise, it's full and smooth. Even silky at times. ABV is disguised well but obviously creeps up on you slowly and powerfully. Perfect for a winter's eve. Tasty stuff.

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Photo of mikeys01
4.44/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick and creamy light tan head blankets the Doggie Claws. Aroma is a mystifying mixture of grassy hops and vinous funky grapes, with a hearty helping of sweety toasty malt, toffee, and a bit of yeast. Crystal clear in its depths, colored like a burnt orange autumn sunset, well carbonated. Although young, this barleywine is loaded with complexity, and I wish I had many more than this single bottle to savor over time. Taste is a curious blend of fruity and herbal hops up front, late harvest grapes mingling with sharper pine. You’re soon transported to a sweet caramel malty playground with just a bit of bread popping up in the toaster. Finish brings out a bit of spice, warm alcohol, and a fresh, sweet hoppy finish. Nicely put together barleywine all around, full bodied without being overly syrupy sweet. Thanks to weefisheads for this one!

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Photo of Quaffer
3.91/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not available here in Wichita.

Appearance: This beer was a very hazy, amber-orange color. The foam erupted as soon as the liquid hit the bottom of the snifter and rose up to fill the majority of the glass. It was coarse and as it settled, became fluffy and web like. The bubbles clung tightly to the glass. Thick rings of lace were left behind in this brew's wake.

Smell: A very strong smell of sickly sweet, almost rotten, fruit right after the pour. This calmed down somewhat after awhile, but still remained the main component of the aroma. Huge amounts of raisins and dates combined with honey and molassess. It was almost like the smell was oozing thickly up my nose. Light amounts of alcohol and citrus hops in the background . . . way in the background.

Mouthfeel: Kind of thin for a barley wine, though it was a little buttery on the tip of the tongue. The high carbonation levels made it a little rough.

Taste: I was afraid the sweetness was going to be way overbearing due to what I detected in the aroma. While there was quite a bit of sweetness in the flavor, it was definitely not cloying, and it needed to be there to balance out the huge hop presence. Upfront was a strong caramel sweetness and a medicinal (almost like cherry cough syrup) flavor. In the middle was some light diacetyl that immediately got its ass kicked by a strong hops bitterness that punched through it and all the other flavors. The herbal hops lingered into the finish and well beyond into the aftertaste, where it seemed to get stronger. There was a reprise of caramel in the aftertaste as well, but this beer still finished on the dry side.

A really good beer, though the aroma was off-putting. I'm surprised that the hops flavor was still that strong after two to three years. I bet this beer was a punch in the face when it was fresh.

Thanks, Rob!

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Photo of ManekiNeko
4.48/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle lightly chilled and served in a Thomas Hardy's snifter on Mardi Gras 2K5.

Laissez le bon temps roulez!!!

Appearance: Clear reddish orange topped by a huge and frothy yellowed head. Streamers of carbonation support a thick layer of foam that almost never faded. Splotches and fingers of foam were left on the side of the glass.

Smell: Wonderfully intense hop aromas, but not of the piney, citrusy, or noble sort: Peppery and brassy. Lots of fruity yeastiness akin to oranges and such. Caramelized sugars to boot. Damn.

Taste: Bitter orange marmalade/peel. Mildly sweet. Peppery hops flicker about the palate, dancing with some subtle alcohol flavors. Wow.

Mouthfeel: A little thinnish at times for the style, but still a hefty and chewy beer. Very well carbonated, perhaps too much stylistically.

Drinkability: Temperature is very important with this beer. Too cold and the fruitness of the malt/yeast is overpowered by the hops. Too warm and the hops get lost. Very nice. A "Belgian" take on barleywine. Quirky. Why didn't I buy more?

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Photo of RedDiamond
4.62/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Phenomenal aroma -- fruit, spice, caramel and a sublime raw graininess akin to oats. There’s also a lush forest of hops that greets you from half a yard distant the moment the bottle is cracked. The color is carnelian sunrise in modest light, cinnamon-wood at greater depths. The Claws initially pours five fingers of head that takes some time to tame before it’s logistically feasible to drink and the presence of CO2 is notably high for a barleywine, though I didn’t find this intrusive. Eventually the head settles to a lumpy wash of sea foam. The body is so dense however, that bubbles must fight their way to the surface.

Doggie Claws is an uncommonly refined barleywine with the triumphant complexity of a Bach fugue. The malt platform is rotund and suggests a distant candied sweetness. The 11.5% ABV is noticeable in the aroma but is gracefully concealed to the taste. Simcoe and Amarillo hops invoke a fresh, green flavor that entreats the palate like a meadow of mythic wildflowers or an acre of forest in a bottle. The hops return when you belch for a special repeat performance.

Even at a relatively early date, Doggie Claws is eminently drinkable. In fact, it takes less time to drink than to wait for the head to recede. There’s no compelling need to age Doggie Claws as the bittering hops are already well contoured. But the possibilities for cellaring are enormous and this would no doubt make for a great buried treasure.

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Photo of shapudding
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured out an unclear homebrewed iced-tea color, dark amber almost. Thick and creamy white head settled barely into a think layer. Yeasy and musty wine cellared scents, vineous- more merlot. Got some caramel scent after it warmed up. Very nice aroma. Highly carbinated for me. Dark and unsweetened black tea tastes, dark fruits and raisins, fairly dry aftertaste. Taste of fresh rosemary -like when you have the fresh sprigs and just grab one and bite into it. The taste is pretty hoppy for a barleywine, -one of my beerbuds tried it and said that it tasted more like a double ipa than a barleywine. Nicely drinkable, good flavors and I could sit back and knock a few away quite easily.

Had this one at FlatRock in Manyunk with some fellow BA's, good times!

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Photo of beergeek279
3.57/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Served in the 12 oz. bottle into a tulip. The color is copper, much lighter than any other barleywine I've seen, with a clumping foamy white head. The smell is very strong apple sweetness with a touch of alcohol. The taste is a lot drier than the smell suggested, with a slight touch of apple sweetness and a very strong bitterness, with a good bit of astringency in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is nice and creamy. As for drinkability, I'll have this one but not really one I'd look for again.

Unfortunately, this is a fairly disappointing barleywine. Though it smells absolutely fantastic, the taste is not all that great. Maybe it was mishandled by the bar, but I got it at KClinger's and they seem to know how to take care of beer. A terrible astringency in the aftertaste ruins what could have been rather enjoyable....maybe if I find another at some point, I'll make sure this isn't a bad bottle, but for now, I won't really bother with this one again.

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Photo of mntlover
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy cloudy orangeish brown mixture with large head that falls to a finger size cap, light spotty lace.
Aroma of light malt caramel and toffee mixed some light floral earthy hops thrown in the mix but overall not strong and fades quite quick.
Taste is nice malty upfront with lots of carbonation mixed with toffee some light fruit orange mango mixture not really citrusy but almost. Finishes with some moderate bitterness that is earthy in nature more the anything with subdued lemon mixed with pear hints. Very intersting Barley Wine diffrent then the norm not bad just different.
Mouthfeel is good right side of medium approaching full a nice feeling beer.
Drinkability is good having hard time picking taste score can't decide its not bad wish we had a 3.75 to choose from. Would recommend trying this not bad you might enjoy this a little more then I did.

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Photo of Thrasher
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

To quote from the label: "Doggie Claws has a light copper color and an intense herbal hop character." The first statement is patently false. It is a deep, dark, rich rubied brown. The second phrase is an understatement. This is a truly hoppy beer; the aroma literally fills the room and my fingers feel sticky from handling the bottle and glass. The head is deliriously high and potent, and the beer goes down thick like candied sugar, only to be brutally scraped away by the severity of the antiseptic hops. My lips are wintry-chapped today, and it smarts to pour this hop beast across them. I would say yes, this is a barley wine; it has the thick viscosity and austere malt wood-varnish quality I find in many US barley wines but not too many IPAx2's. It's incredibly hoppy, though, and delightful for that. It's not as bright and flowery as Bigfoot, but the Simcoe hops (god I love them) lend an earthy complexity and taut suppleness that makes this a damn enjoyable bevvy. Aging should suit this beer just fine, but don't you want to try it now and get spanked by the violent hops? Admit it, bitch, you do. You do. It's HOTD's Xmas/Hanukah gift to us all -- it would be ungrateful of you not to try it.

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Photo of filabrazilia
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a semi-clear light copper with a nice beige head that crowns the top. The lace drapes the glass like silk curtains.

There is a slight aroma of malt, unusual for the style because you expect it to be more pronounced. The floral hops brush the nose ever so slightly.

Hops define the flavor--lightly acidic and citrusy with a parting bitter bite at the finish. The malt is present but remains as a supporting cast member as opposed to the star. This tastes like a fine IPA. I really don't detect any alcohol presence in the taste--this is really nice.

The mouthfeel is the most unique element of this beer. It is pretty thin in the beginning, but maintains a great deal of body in the swallow. While the hops are assertive in the flavor, they aren't as assertive in the feel. Don't get me wrong, they grab the tongue, but not like other hopped up beers.

This is a very solid offering from Hair of the Dog. Not a traditional barleywine but very nice to drink on a cold winters eve.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.37/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours with a five-finger+, bubbly light tan head that explodes out of the bottle, fades slowly and leaves a good lace. Cloudy amber color with chunky bits at the bottom. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is raisiny. Starts on the sweet side but some bitterness comes in and lingers. There are better barley wines like Dogfish Head's Old School. $4.25 for a 12oz bottle from Vintage Cellar Blacksburg, VA.

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Photo of PatandDavid
3.08/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was a hard one to review for me...while I thought it was fine, I didn't think it was much finer than that. I will assume with aging that this one takes off, but I have to review the young version that I has, so here goes. Dark crystal amber when served, no head. Aroma was the wackiest element...initially it seemed like dark fruit would win the day, but several deep whiffs later, I noticed an acrid note. Some finishing pine tree aromas later led me to think: acrid = someone pee'd on a pine tree. Sorry, but I gotta call 'em as I drink 'em. Moving on, I admit for being a young big beer, it is surprisingly smooth. It flows on malt, and ends with faint pine and fir notes. Some faint smoke in the background as well. Probably a killer with aging.

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Photo of schemb
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bizarealicious. Nice choclate color hints at whats to come. I haven't had a beer before with such a strong rose flavor. Starts out roses goes to rapidly to choclate and cycles between them. Chewy mouth feel but not overly so. Hops flavor and bite right at the finish, not detectable before then (except in balancing out some of sweetness for the whole ride). The alcohol hides out right to the very end, going up to your sinuses and reminding you this is a pay-the-next-day H.O.D. brew. A good one to curl up with by the fire while alternately chewing on your favorite squeeze toy.

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Photo of Truh
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had no choice but to put Old Yeller down with this one on 12/4/2004. 10.5-oz. goblet pour at Redbones.

Thin sheeting of carb with some moons and stars, and one large cratered bubble at eleven o’clock. Nice lacing throughout. Deep core of almost Macoun apple red with just a touch of brown to hue. Hoppy fruitiness to nose, a surprise, with a center of alcohol sweetness, almost a raspberry schnapps. Good god, a hoppy barleywine with a warmed bite of the nectar up front followed by the usual malt chuminess that seethes with an alcohol whip at the end. This is one, given its hop character that balances out the treacle, that I could dangerously drink many of without realizing it. This offering simply cannot be leashed.

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Photo of gentlebubbles
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap at Redbone's

A hazy reddish caramel swirls under a nice off-white barely yellow head, a color somewhere between old bones or chicken fat or beeswax. Lots of caramel and toffee mingle with pine resin in the syrupy body. Even more grapefruit in the finish and the aroma and the sticky stuff on the lips.

Just a sample totally overwhelmed my better judgement and I ordered a full glass. Dangerous stuff.

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Photo of weefisheads
4.9/5  rDev +18.6%
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.

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.

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.

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?

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%!

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.

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?!)

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Photo of faernt
5/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The Simcoe and Amarillo hops ( harvested just weeks before brewing) are still sticky in this bottle. The smell is as if I were in the brew. You can't get a fresher hop aroma and taste. This beer is "right now ready" and, I'm sure, it will age well but, this is the most "drink now" Barleywine I've ever had. I'm doing you a favor by not describing this beer further. Go get some. This is as good as it gets

2002 Edition once again two and one half years later... It's blended now. I'm drinking from the same acquisition as my original review. The head is still nearly unmanageable. It took three pours to get it into the glass and there was still the yeast hit in the bottom of the bottle. The hops have mellowed but are still present. The mouthfeel is still creamy. It still rocks. I must take the pilgrimage back to Portland. .

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Photo of Mitchster
3.87/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Made with Simcoe and Amarillo hops. Pours out to a murky dark caramel with orange accents, forming a large meringue-like dark beige head with excellent retention and lacing. Chunks of yeast quickly settle to the bottom of the glass. Carbonation is moderate-firm. Aroma is abundant with resinous and herbal hops, a fruity ferment with apple, pear and pineapple, rosehips, a light dash of caramel, and raisins. Very nice aroma, and good looking too. Mouthfeel is vibrant..starting fizzy, melding into syrupy, and ending lightly ruddy. Taste begins with a gush of hops..very herbal and also very resinous with lots of pine overtones; this melds into a raisiny amber malt body with the lighter fruits mentioned earlier, followed by a firm herbal bitterness intermixed with peppery alcohol. The finish is ruddy and gives the impression of bitter wet cardboard steeped in prune juice.

This started nice, but the off-flavors and crummy mouthfeel at the end kinda ruined it for me. There are better barleywines out there, and this one is kinda a chore to finish due to it's tainted finish.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.58/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

As to be expected with all Hair of the Dog beers this one pours out with a monster head. After getting all the beer in the glass the tan head settled into a whipped cream kind of look, very interesting. The body was a murky brownish orange. The head stayed around until the end lacing the glass with clumps galore. This is about as perfect looking as it can get in my opinion. Aroma is full of malty sweetness with a nice ripe fruitiness about it. There are notes of caramel and alcohol in the mix as well. The taste is similar with dark fruits and sweetness upfront over a bit of chocolate. Earthy hops come in at the end before the fruity aftertaste with a bit of alcohol bite to it. Mouthfeel is full with a warmth and stickiness to it. Very drinkable stuff here, its solid all around and I will definitely be picking up some more.

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Photo of danadeny
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The body has great carbonation, a nice frothy off white head, and a nice caramel color. The smell is classic, clean, fresh, fruity malty barely wine. The taste is strong alcohol and fruit up front. Smooth middle, and a mild clean finish. Good fruit bite. The mouth feel is nice carbonation on the tongue, and the drinkability is good because of it's smoothness.

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Photo of Rastacouere
4.21/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2002: It initially pours orange, almost clear with a monstrous off-white head, bubbles could be better cut off though. When pouring the (lots) yeast, it becomes a dirty river light brown, very cloudy. Aroma is heavily hoppy (spruce, grapefruit, coniferous, herbal, flowers). Big notes of pepper also. Well-hidden alcohol (best hiding from HOTD imo)Bread, orange and pepper are followed by a considerably dry bitter finish and a spicy aftertaste. Overall good, but not as interesting and unique as the other Hair of the dog products I've had, perhaps a little straightforward.

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Photo of Crosling
4.53/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Ruby Brown.

Quite fragrant in its bouquet. Odd, difficult to describe, with notes of dried herbs, cinnamon, rotting red apple, hot sauce and peppers.

The hops are enormous in this barley wine. They don't really come into play until the mid-palate, but when they do huge flavors of pine, lemon, wood and herbs come about, along with an incredible, overpowering bitterness. The malts are full of caramel and sweet sugar glazed dark fruits. Daunting, griping, textured, full body.

Just an incredible beer.

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Doggie Claws from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
92 out of 100 based on 541 ratings.