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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

985 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 985
Reviews: 528
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11%
Wants: 389
Gots: 247 | 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:
"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: 985 | Reviews: 528 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BrewtalHonesty
3/5  rDev -28.2%

BrewtalHonesty, Aug 29, 2014
Photo of CityofBals
3/5  rDev -28.2%

CityofBals, Sep 12, 2013
Photo of yourefragile
3/5  rDev -28.2%

yourefragile, Jan 14, 2012
Photo of switzer
3.03/5  rDev -27.5%

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.

switzer, Dec 07, 2012
Photo of Rhettroactive
3.05/5  rDev -27%

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hyrid glass on 4/7/12
*From notes

-- Thanks to SirRuss for this one --

Vintages 2010

A: First off, I popped the cap, put the bottle down on the counter to grab a glass, and by the time I came back, it had oozed all over the place, soaking my bills, magazines, etc. God damnit. I ended up losing almost half the bottle. As for color, well it's a dirty shade of cloudy piss. One of the ugliest beers I've ever seen. Overly bubbly white .75 finger head and no lacing or real semblance of a collar.

S: Figs, sugar plums and some seriously candied hops.

T: Very concentrated amount of residual sugar and overall sweetness. Toffee and caramel dominate the fore to mid. Alcohol washes over the back. Even two years in, this is still hot. And considering the "Secret of the Ooze" that happened upon opening, I do not detect any signs of infection.

M: Overcarbed to the max. Like a viscous soda pop.

O: There is absolutely no excuse for exploding bottles. It's a sin I lost so much of this to the counter. And it isn't the first time I've had an issue with HotD beers. I simply wish they could find a consistency to their products. Now you know why it gets a 2 overall.

As for their Doggie Claws, it's a nice beer that's got a bunch of warts. If they'd take the time to touch this up and give it a bit of TLC, this could be great. As it is, it's just ok.

Rhettroactive, Apr 12, 2012
Photo of vurt
3.05/5  rDev -27%

12 oz. bottle of the 2006 Doggie Claws, purchased from Hi-Time Cellars of Costa Mesa in January 2007.

A- Before I pop the top, I can see a full quarter inch of murky sediment at the bottom of the bottle. As I open the bottle, there is hardly any indication of carbonation. This significantly viscous beer pours cloudy and still into my Piraat tulip and eventually clears up as it warms. The color starts as a mellow, peachy orange and deepens to a ruddy burnt orange. A vigorous swirl yields a thin skin of foam the color of white pepper.

S- A big, piney hop aroma cuts through a foundation of malt, burnt sugar and sweetened oat cereal, with notes of honeysuckle and alcohol and a whiff of blackberries. Very promising.

T- Very sweet and tart at first, like lemon curd. Then there's a strong dry herbal/floral note in the middle, like the smell of geraniums. The finish is full of earthy, herbal bitterness and it lasts forever. Through the middle and finish, the fruity character changes from lemon to something more tropical (notes of pineapple and guava). My tastebuds are tingling a full minute and a half after the first swallow.

M- This beer could really use more carbonation. The mouthfeel is milky and heavy like tepid canned nectar. It coats my mouth in a way I don't like very much. Feh.

D- Not very drinkable. The bombastic, long-lasting flavors are side-swiped by a lack of carbonation. It was a lot of work to finish 12 oz. of this, and I *really* like big beers. But I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of beer this turns into in a couple of years.

vurt, Feb 10, 2007
Photo of PatronWizard
3.1/5  rDev -25.8%

2006 vintage, courtesy of OlieIPA.

I can see about an inch of crap at the bottom of the bottle. What the hell is going on here? I crack it open and there is an accumulation of what looks like ear wax all over the mouth of the bottle. I'm not feeling to good about this right now. I carefully pour around the ear wax and manage to only get 2 floaties into my glass. Soft pour brings about no head and few bubbles. The fluid is actually a very nice shade of bronze.

Smells pretty decent. Barleywine caramel with a hint of pears? Something else too.

Well the taste approaches good but doesn't quite get there. Medium strength caramel flavor, some light bitterness, and a little other sweetness.

Fairly smooth, uncarbonated feel. It's just not very exciting. I don't think I'll be revisiting this one. Ever.

Overall: a far cry from my favorite barleywine.

PatronWizard, Feb 01, 2009
Photo of PatandDavid
3.13/5  rDev -25.1%

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.

PatandDavid, Dec 11, 2004
Photo of boogyman
3.15/5  rDev -24.6%

A- Pours a very murky dark brown amber color. Now, I was told this batch was over carbonated but I poured it like it was grape juice with no head to speak of. I guess we will see what happens as i drink it.

S- Smell is fairly weak. It has some dark fruit along with some almost caramel scents.

T- Very malty and only slightly bitter. Subtle fruity notes on the back end and that is about it. At being 11% ABV there is almost no boozyness to this brew which is surprising.

M- Very smooth going down and absolutely no alcohol burn.

D- I feel like even though I was told that this batch of doggie claws was over carbonated, I think that I might have gotten a odd ball since mine not only wasn't overly carbonated, it had no carbonation at all! But if you take that out of it, this was a very strong brew that I could have a few of without complaining too much.

boogyman, Nov 24, 2009
Photo of Erdinger2003
3.15/5  rDev -24.6%

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

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

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

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

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

Erdinger2003, Jul 13, 2006
Photo of billshmeinke
3.2/5  rDev -23.4%

Vigurous pour into pint glass. 2009 bottle.

A: Deep honey, amber in color. Bits of yeast floating about. absolutely no head or lacing. The tiniest bit of foam on top.

S: Brown suggar, candy apple, caramel and honey. Also, some tropical fruity hops. Good nose.

T: Mostly follows smells. Quite sweet. Barley, brown sugar, candy apple, honey.

M: I saw some reviewers saying their bottle had low carbonation, but mine was a total dud. Almost literally 0 carbonation. I'm usually not one to complain about this type of issue. I even enjoy the low levels of carbonation in Port Brewing/Lost Abbey's barrel aged offerings, but this was undrinkable. Maybe it was just a problem with my bottle or the particular batch, but I couldn't finish it.

D: This beer had a lot of promise based on smell and taste, but the carbonation issue ruined the beer for me.

I really hate to bash what many consider a good beer, but it was completely unenjoyable for me. And at $6 a bottle it makes me a little angry.

billshmeinke, Feb 01, 2010
Photo of daledeee
3.23/5  rDev -22.7%

I never met a barleywine I didn't like...until now.

I poured this into a large wine glass and wondered. No bubbles? I swirled it and got a few large bubbles. A cloudy brown body.

The Nose had hints of flower blossom at first then not much.

Taste was sweet and some hops but not much else. It does taste like some kind of fruit juice with a hops after taste.

I am wondering if this is just the batch. The mouthfeel was absolutely flat. Not very warming but the flatness made this harder to find appealing. This had to be batch specific because another person said the same thing, then older reviews speak of a big head and pine aromas. Not this one. Too bad, I don't go out west and won't be able to try another one.

daledeee, Jul 22, 2010
Photo of st9647v3
3.25/5  rDev -22.2%

st9647v3, Dec 26, 2013
Photo of nrs207
3.25/5  rDev -22.2%

nrs207, Jun 16, 2013
Photo of cherche
3.25/5  rDev -22.2%

cherche, Feb 09, 2014
Photo of lpotter
3.25/5  rDev -22.2%

lpotter, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of gueuzegossage
3.25/5  rDev -22.2%

gueuzegossage, Jun 28, 2014
Photo of nkersten
3.28/5  rDev -21.5%

Bottle courtesy of gregg, thanks! 2010 bottle is a bit of a gusher, luckily the darkness snifter was ready and i didnt lose too much. Hopefully this one isnt infected. Color is a nasty looking cloudy brown with lots of sediment floating around and a 3 finger thick light tan head that lingers. Smell is a good balance of sugary malt and alcohol, some simcoe hop bitterness, slightly metallic astringent quality, the amarillo is totally overpowered. Taste is very sweet up front, lots of sweet cherries and dark fruits, caramel malt, some fruity hops, slightly piney, some alcohol. Mouthfeel is a bit light for a barleywine with a medium carbonation - way off for the style, the alcohol seems to have thinned it out. Warm alcohol finish. Not a very drinkable barleywine, this one definitley needs a little time on the shelf.

nkersten, Mar 04, 2011
Photo of Cavery
3.28/5  rDev -21.5%

12oz Shared with Klym, poured into Stone Nonics.

2009 vintage

A: Poured CLEAR (yes I said CLEAR) bubbles with no head formation at all. This one is looking quite rough. There's a murky toffee/carmel body that looks a bit redeeming, but the lack of head has me concerned. Obviously there's no lacing to speak of. This reminds me of so many "brandy barrel aged" offerings I've had. However, I don't think this thing has ever seen a barrel.

S: For all of you that live near the border of mexico, this thing smells exactly like Baby lucas. Tamarind and lime salts with some deliciously forward mexican spices. Ancho chile power, coriander, and some cumin. This thing has quite a stellar nose. What in the world could this taste like? Could this possibly forgive the lack of head?

T: This thing gave me mad shivers. This is alcohol infused tamarind tea. Super sweet lime salts and tamarind make for the funkiest flat mexican cocktail this side of tijuana. I mean really Hotd, this is just missing the flavor of tequila. Meant to age for years? I think this barley wine should be consumed fresh. Absolutely no hop presence to speak of whatsoever. This is expected considering the age, but this tastes so incomplete. This is like diet crystal mole; the carmel color is but a mind game.

M: So flat it hurts my skull. Very watery iced tea with not even the slightest pinch of carbonation. Fresh hops and lively carbonation would greatly improve the experience of this beer. I am left wanting in the mouth, I have to will myself to the next sip.

O: Either the 2009 batch was no good, or this is too long for this beer. This had without a doubt the weirdest pour I have ever seen. Clear bubbles? what the hell. I thought I poured some bubble bath into my nonic. This thing looked like you could blow bubbles with it. The smell and taste was so interesting, that I feel cheated. This beer was swiss cheese; there were some holes that I can't neglect. This is on my most wanted to retry list -- and I need a fresh sample. The flavor was far too compelling to ignore, don't bother with the 2009. Oh my god I will not forget this nose.

Cavery, Jul 16, 2011
Photo of Tupperwolf
3.28/5  rDev -21.5%

2005 'vintage'.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tupperwolf, Mar 26, 2006
Photo of isualum12
3.3/5  rDev -21.1%

pour- is dark brown with a little head.

smell is nuts and bourbon, plenty of alcohol smell with a little roasted toffee.

taste is thick, creamy, caramel, brown sugar, dark cream, some malt, spiced.

I could handle a beer or two but that is it. I was really was not looking forward to this beer prior to drinking it but this beer plain out surprised me. This beer was good.

Serving type: bottle

isualum12, Dec 17, 2009
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.33/5  rDev -20.3%

2006 release, acquired from Viggo courtesy of Birthday Club 2, so a big Thank You goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color, with no head and no lacing which can happen with this type of beer when it's got some age one it.

S: The aroma is of brown sugar, caramel, bourbon, alcohol and a decent amount of hops.

T: The taste is sweet up front with flavors of caramel and brown sugar, there's a strong alcohol burn that follows along with a toned-down but complimentary hops presence. The malt character is very hearty. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium-to-heavy body, very little carbonation, finish is sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, strong kick, decent representation of style, I've certainly had better barleywines, but I have a strong feeling that this beer would be much better fresh.

TheManiacalOne, Nov 19, 2008
Photo of Arbitrator
3.35/5  rDev -19.9%

I didn't feel like re-writing a full review of the 2011 vintage, so I just changed the scores and amended a rolling update at the end of the review.

~~~

Chilled 2010 vintage bottle into a glass. Gold cap, if that matters.

A: Despite letting it settle for over a week and putting it in the fridge for a day, a moderate pour produces copious head that threatens to overflow my 22oz snifter. Retention is great; the beer collapses conically, leaving a volcano-like structure of suds in the middle, and sticky lace down the sides. Hard to beat, though the overcarbonation is actually a downside. The body is a reddish-amber color.

S: Pretty hoppy: grapefruit, pineapple, tangerine. Green apple, apricot, and a beautiful floral aroma that reminds me of jasmine and honey.

T: The malts dominate the taste at first, with sugar cookie, apricot, and pears blending on the tongue. I also detected honey and a light floral flavor. There are citrus hops for sure, in the fruit varieties noted in the aroma. A slight touch of grassiness. The aftertaste is malty, producing a grain-honey flavor. Doggie Claws is on the sweet side when young, though I know from drinking past vintages that it dries up with age.

M: Medium-to-full bodied. The carbonation scrubs the palate pretty well; it's only slightly sticky. Pretty well disguised ABV.

D: I was impressed with this one, but I still feel that Fred from the Wood as well as Adam and its derivatives are much better and richer in flavor. I'm content buying two bottles a season (one to drink, one to age).

---

A rolling vintage update from a vertical consumed in Feb 2012.

2011: Drank fresh (a couple of months old). Properly carbed, no gushing. The aroma isn't as vibrant as past vintages have been fresh. The dominant aromas are sugar cookie and grain, with a mild floral note. The taste is an unrefined sweetness with an undercurrent of bitter hops. It lacks nuance while the liquid is on the palate, but the exhalation brings out flavors of peach, jasmine, and honey. The finish is completely unsatisfying; weak and watery. (3.35)

2010: Drank with 1 year on it. Slightly overcarbed, though not a gusher. About a third of the snifter fills with beige foam that sticks around. Clear caramel-amber body. Even when I crack the cap slightly, an overwhelming aroma of jasmine, honey, grapefruit, pineapple, and tangelo reach my nostrils. These great aromatics translate well to the flavor, which is incredibly juicy. While sweet on the open, it finishes in balance with a lightly oily aftertaste and mild bitterness. There are hints of sherry oxidation. This is aging very well, and it is quite a bit better than the 2011. (4.2)

2009: 2 years old, blue cap. I remember these were the "flat" half of the batch. This one is lightly carbed now, so maybe the yeast went to work. This year, like the 2010, has a floral, honey-backed aroma. Its oxidation is evident in moderate sherry character. Some of the citrus hops are fading in nose and taste, with an accompanying stale hop flavor. I'm sure the batches vary, so it's not a direct comparison, but I don't like this as much as the 2010. (3.8)

2008: 3 years old. This looks more ruby than the other batches; it definitely borders on maroon. Low carbonation, and the bubbles vanish into nothing (not even a collar). It's mildly floral, with stronger citrus, but the hops are definitely fading out. Sherry oxidation is quite strong. I can see the trend here, despite the batch variation. The stale hop flavors I picked up in the 2009 have died down. The beer has a mild sugar burn in the finish. (3.5)

2002: 9 years old. Thanks to writerLJBerg for this one. Pours a maroon body with a pinky finger of large-bubbled beige head. An aroma of oxidized sherry fills the area as I crack the cap. It persists in the glass; this is dominated by a smell of oxidation and stale hops, with little else. The aromatic citrus hops have faded out; there are no floral notes. The taste reveals mostly sherry oxidation with a stale, slightly sour grain flavor in the finish and mild biterness. It's interesting, but not very appealing. I think J.W. Lees is a far better showcase for age than Doggie Claws. (2.8)

Result: in the future, I'm not aging this longer than 1 year. I don't like where it goes.

Arbitrator, Feb 25, 2012
Photo of TheBungyo
3.35/5  rDev -19.9%

I’ve had various vintages of this beer and if the others bottle of this years vintage are like this bottle then this must be the weakest of all. I was troubled when no lacing appeared after I poured the scarlet and caramel bodied brew into my pint glass. No head and no lacing. As the 7337 kiddies say these days “WTF”?

The ball gets rolling a bit with the nose. The hops leap out first with pine leading the charge. Bitter grapefruit brings up the rear with buttery not-too-sweet caramel hand in hand. The finish reminds for some reason of rose petals and rich honey. It’s very nice. Though this tastes great I find the thin mouthfeel distracting. No lie, this beer has the consistency of water. Now I’m a water drinker myself. I don’t drink any fruity or sugary drinks to quench my thirst, I’m a water guy. When I opt for a beer, I want a mouthfeel that reflects that. Not only does this fail but it flunks with flying colors.

I’d consider buying this again just to see if this bottle was a fluke. It tastes very good but the thin mouthfeel just kills it. A shame. I rated the drinkability low because of the mouthfeel. I considered making this a drain pour with every sip.

TheBungyo, Dec 10, 2006
Photo of jdhilt
3.38/5  rDev -19.1%

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.

jdhilt, Dec 13, 2004
Doggie Claws from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
93 out of 100 based on 985 ratings.