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

Not Rated.
Doggie ClawsDoggie Claws

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

536 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 536
Hads: 1,095
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 10.9%
Wants: 392
Gots: 258 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 536 | Hads: 1,095
Photo of dbmernin83
4.8/5  rDev +16.2%
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. (611 characters)

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2011.

poured into oversized snifter.

Appearance: Murky copper brown bodied beer with a small white head less than one finger tall. Recedes quickly to a ring around out side of the glass. The beer has a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: This is a big nose on this barleywine with a fairly assertive hop profile. Huge dark fruit notes mixed with traditonal caramel and toffee notes of most barleywines. Hops smell fresh; lots orange and pineapple with a little bit of pine and grapefruit in there.

Taste: Little bit on caramel, burnt sugar, and toffee right away. The malt profile is substantial and fairly rich; it is quickly interupted by the hops. Mild to moderate hops bitterness, the hops are not as strong as I was thinking they would be based on the nose of the beer. The hops have alot of pine notes, also tastes very leafy and almost have a green tea flavor to them. The hops are also fairly dank and musty. The balance between malt and hops profile is okay, but its a bit more hop heavy than I like my barleywines, but its appropiate for the American Barleywine style. It got a bit of a booze kick in the finish.

Mouthfeel: This beer is on the high end of medium bodied, really close to a full bodied beer. Almost moderate carbonation levels, but i gotta say the carbonation is low for a bottle conditioned beer. This beer is fairly syrupy, but has enough carbonation to break it up. The alcohol is a bit warming, but i would still consider this beer smooth. Once again the difference maker in this beer is the bottle conditioning. I wish that all craft beers were bottle conditioned, it just makes a beer than much better reguardless of the style.

Overall: I really do enjoy Hair of the Dog Brewery. They make great beers in styles that I enjoy. As far as Doggie Claws goes its a really nice American Barleywine, probably on of the better ones have had. While I still prefer the English Style Barleywines this beer holds its own. I will say I prefer Adam over this beer, it still worth a try for any fan of barleywines. (2,041 characters)

Photo of zaphodchak
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2007, on draft at HotD.

Swiss cheese lace and red-brown body.

Dank vintage malt nose, chewy already.

Aged American, honeyed hops and big malt. Hops have mellowed, but are not without bite. Classical barleywine with prune, date, etc.

Super smooth.

Darn good vintage barleywine, mostly American, but a bit English. (325 characters)

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 2011 Christmas gift from a wonderful wife.
appearance: Beautiful bronze, impressively thick tan head.
smell: Very hop forward. To be sure, this little doggie is freshly whelped and i understand these get better with age. There's a solid malt backbone but this smells more like a dipa than a barley at this stage.
taste: Ditto on the taste. Very nice though noticeably "green".
Thankfully, the wife of the year picked up several bottles and I'll be updating as time goes by.

edit 12/11/12: noticeable improvement after a year. not gonna change any scores yet but ageing nicely. (581 characters)

Photo of aasher
3.89/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This bottle is the 2008 vintage and courtesy of BrewerB. Thanks for hitting this want Brian! Opened on Christmas Day.

This beer pours a light to medium bodied pure copper in color with no head or lacing. The aromas are incredibly malty, featuring plenty of caramel, toffee, and sweet dried fruits with a citrusy faded hop character. It solid and to he expected from an '08. The flavors are very sweet and fruity. It's near all swerve malts. I get a lot of cherry and orange peel in the malt bill. It solid and has nice flavor. It's drinkable for the abv and is sticky yet not overly so. Overall this is a nice aged barleywine and pretty similar to the '08 Behemoth that I had earlier this year. (695 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out as a deep golden brown color with a thin white head on top. The smell of the beer was pretty strong smelling, it had a lot of malts and hops in there and a heavy boozy aroma too. The taste of the beer has some sweet caramel upfront that shifts into a hoppy bitter finish with a warming alcohol aftertaste. The mouthfeel is heavy, oily and has a light amount of carbonation. Overall this is a big beer, I'm excited to try it again one day. Possibly have it again after aging it for a little. (501 characters)

Photo of Chico1985
3.81/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Much thanks to cbutova for breaking out this 2010 vintage just in time for the holidays.

Very hazy rusty orange with lots of carbonation, big beige head sticks around big time, is it me or is HotD always either over or under carbonated?

Lots of sweet malts, and a good dose of earthy and fruity hops in the nose.

Big honey, sugary, caramel, bready malts but still pretty big hops, grapefruit, earthy, slight citrus. Very sweet but lots of hops to back it up.

Big malty mouthfeel, alcohol is decently hidden.

This reminded me alot of Fred, both are very sweet and both took some time to grow on me. Quite enjoyable but I wouldn't really want a 12oz solo. (659 characters)

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

Review #800!

2010 vintage shared last night. Reviewed from notes. Only had this one other time and it was about 8 months old at the time.

A- Murky dark orange hue with a massive frothy and creamy textured white head. Tons of thick lace coast the glass.

S- Dried apricot, peach, orange and citrus zest with hops being sort of up front here, even after a year. Floral and herbal hints as well but mostly West Coast feel. Big barleywine caramel and musty oldness comes through eventually.

T- This starts off more like an old ale/Barleywine with the complex sugars and some oxidized caramel, often found in HOTD beer. Some sort of yeast spice/influence as well I have noticed in HOTD beers. Hops are a bit more laid back but bring the same kind of notes as above.

MF- Highly carbonated body which usually isnt the case with this brewery. Oily feel and a bitter hop finish. Silky and creamy.

Has that HOTD feel like a different version of Fred. Sweet and hoppy with the big caramel Barleywine body. (999 characters)

Photo of lechowski
4.85/5  rDev +17.4%
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! (507 characters)

Photo of jdense
3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage shared at Twelve Beers of Christmas tasting, 12.18.11.

Nary any head, a thin ring of tan head surrounded the edge of the glass, minimal lacing. Fairly sweet nose, some dark candi sugar, huge hop notes, citrus more than floral, I detected a bit of rye. Taste is hugely hoppy ala Fred, the candi sugar is fairly pronounced but not cloyingly sweet, good balance. Mouthfeel is medium, decent effervescence, leading to a sticky finish. The ABV was tamed a bit in this aged version, newer bottles can run a wee bit hot. Looking forward to doing a vertical tasting of this special holiday offering. (605 characters)

Photo of waltersrj
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage.

Pour: Deep, dark mahogany brown with some red flecks and a frothy tanned head.

Nose: Honey, big, citrusy hops, sweet, sticky toffee, cherry, raisin, and some alcohol.

Taste: Wow, sweet toffee, raisin, prune, cherries, west coast, citrus hops, alcohol, and some anise.

Mouthfeel: Slightly oily but also very creamy, velvety smooth really with good lacing.

Overall: This is such a fantastic barleywine both aged and fresh. I love Doggie Claws but the 2011 is incredibly well done, smooth, and lacking in alcoholic heat. Fantastic. (547 characters)

Photo of Chaney
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm finally popping this 2010 that I bought online about a year ago.

A: The marketing speak says this one is copper in color, but I would best describe it as Christmas red. The head is absolutely the biggest and frothiest one I've ever seen on a Barleywine.

S: Glorious! This is a hop bomb for sure, and with the distinctive cherry and apple "Jolly Rancer" quality that I commonly get in West Coast Barleywines. Additionally, I did get some of the honey poking through - this really set it apart from many others I've tried in this style.

T: Super sweet, yet hoppy at the same time, and I got a bit of a licorice/Twizzle combo in there as well, in addition to a hop wallop that is so ridiculous that it has to be sampled to be believed!

M: My snifter looks like it just went through a car wash and my palate is thoroughly wrecked with hoppy, syrupy goodness. Thanks Hair of the Dog...

O: I still give the edge to "Adam," but this is both tasty and infinitely memorable. (975 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2011)

Texas Liquor
Carlsbad, CA

Dark brown and dark ruby with just the slightest bit of sediment running throughout the beer. A small khaki colored head quickly forms and quickly recedes. This beer leaves sheets of sticky lace down the glass. Gorgeous.

Wonderful aroma consisting of dark cherries and raisins, floral and citrus hops, sweet freshly baked bread, sticky caramel candy, and just a bit of warm, stinging alcohol. Phenomenal.

The flavor is nearly as good as the aroma as the caramel and toffee flavors really emerge, accompanied by sweet, tart, and dark cherry flavors. There's a bit of warming alcohol but nothing overpowering. Delicious.

Medium to full mouthfeel with low to moderate carbonation.

A fantastic barleywine. I'm surprised at how good it is fresh, brewed just 2 months ago. (814 characters)

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

poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip.

pours a deep brown, slightly murky. reasonable head, good lacing. nose is alcohol-forward, a bit nutty, serious malt-bomb.
tons of caramel and alcohol on the palate. it's a bottle of the '11, so a still more-than-minimal hop presence. excellent body on this thing, great consistency on the palate.

very close to the perfect cold, winter night beer. (392 characters)

Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 12oz bottle courtesy of Vendome Liquors. Into an Epic Brewing Snifter. This is my first ever HotD beer.

A: Pours a nice copper color with an enormous sand colored head. The initial pour yielded a good 3 inches of foam on top of the beer. Excellent lacing is left behind. The head is incredibly dense too, I bet I could float a quarter on this stuff. Fantastic looking beer.

S: I can tell at one point in time, probably about a year ago, this was a really hoppy beer. Those have since faded into a faint citrusy hop profile that melds with an enormous caramel and toffee and massive bready smell. No real alcohol smell, which is nice for an 11.5% beer.

T: Very tasty barleywine here, massive malt profile caramel, toffee, and a nice honey flavor as well. I'm sure the honey was completely fermented out, but there is a distinct honey flavor. Bitterness is present, but not overbearing. Faint bit of alcohol in here as well. Faded hops are barely hanging on here, but still enough to hang out and be noticed. Sweet, but not cloying. Really a nice barleywine.

M: First and foremost, the carbonation is way too strong in this beer. No boozy warmth. Sticky on the lips, and finishes with just the right amount of sweetness. Knock the carbonation back about 50% and this would be spot on.

O: Tasty stuff here. I'd love to have regular access to this beer for the winter months, as this would be a perfect Friday night beer to sit down and have two while watching a movie. I would love to try this fresh as well, just to see how hoppy it really is. (1,556 characters)

Photo of beerandcycling88
2.87/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A Pours a dark cloudy brown color topped off with a pretty thick white head.

S Lots of hop type notes. Lots of pine and a bit of citrus. Also a hint of a sweet malt type note.

T Maybe its just this bottle but there is definitely an off taste here that I just can't put my finger on. I don't know what it is but it keeps me from enjoying what seems to be a hoppy piney barley wine.

M Thick almost syrupy like a barley wine should be.

Overall I would have liked this one a lot more if it wasn't for that unpleasant off note that just kills the flavor for me. (608 characters)

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

12oz bottle, 2010 edition, picked up last summer at the tasting room in Portland, along with the t-shirt they didn't have in my size...

This beer pours a muddy dark bronze hue, with an eruption of billowing tight foamy light beige head, which sits on its laurels for a spell, eventually settling to reveal some nice latticework lace around the glass. It smells strongly of bitter citrus rind and pine resin, over a complex, stratified malt, exhibiting caramelized brown sugar, hard toffee, and mild treacle notes, with a slight, shadowy warming lurking behind it all. The taste is big, and strong like traktor; the still sturdy pine and citrus essences digging in against a rising caramel cream sweetness, bolstered by some dark sugary fruit esters, and simmering, but not hot, alcohol. The carbonation is soft, and just a bit tingly, the body medium-full in weight, a tad syrupy, and genuinely smooth. It finishes fairly sweet, with the lingering of the main malt notes, but not without the nicely offsetting bitter hops.

A stellar west-coast American barley wine - grandiose flavours, with a silky drinkability that comes as the biggest surprise, even more so than the seemingly AWOL booze. Handle with care, this is one bitch of a siren of a beer. (1,252 characters)

Photo of xnicknj
3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 and 2009 bottles poured into snifter - this review is based on the 2010

Pours an opaque amber color with some brighter golden tones. Some lingering floaties in there too, especially towards the latter third of the bottle. A frothy beige head rests on top, fading into some spotty lacing and retaining with some layered film.

Stiff barleywine nose riddled with pine and citrus tones. Layered, rich maltiness with a decent sweetness. Caramel and burnt sugar with syrupy honey. Soft alcohol warmth.

Decent punch of citrusy pine up front - some of the hops are still hanging onto this bottle a year later. Plenty of rich malty character with caramel and bready notes. The honey is prevalent, creating a feeling of sticky sweetness. Finishes with some more citrus peel and a decent alcohol warmth.

Fuller body, decent carbonation, sticky and coating on the tongue. This is a really nice barleywine...I definitely preferred this to the 09, which I found a bit too sweet. I'd like to get some of the most recent vintage and see how it compares. (1,049 characters)

Photo of litheum94
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage. Reviewed 11/4/11.

Opaque, umber body. One finger, light tan head. Very dense. Large compact bubbles produce a nice, protective cover.

Lots of citrus and floral hop aromas. Biscuit malts and some honey sweetness. Caramel covered green apples.

Lots of caramel sweetness, with some fruit flavors. Apples and tart apricots. Loads of juicy citrus hops, with a touch of holiday spice. Boozy and warming on the finish. Perfect carbonation.

Wasn't blown away by this, but it's a solid and tasty barleywine. (516 characters)

Photo of Rollzroyce21
4.31/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

*Unless noted otherwise, all 12 oz. bottles

- 2010 vintage
- Poured into stemless wine glass on 2-Nov-11 (aged 1 year)
No tasting notes

- 2011 vintage
- Poured into stemless wine glass on 4-Dec-11 (fresh)
May be the best American barley wine that I've tasted fresh and that's non-BA.
Hot, but not as hot as other BWs are fresh and great balance b/t malts and hops. Aromas of pine hops w/citrus notes. .Smells like pineapple juice. Taste follows the nose a lot. Getting pineapple and malt. Not much heat either. Very well balanced.

- 2009 vintage
- Poured into stemless wine glass on 3-Nov-12 (aged 3 years / cellared 1 year)
The carbonation is almost nearly gone. No head and just a little fizz in the mouthfeel. This is unfortunate because the flavor is still intact. The bready malt blended real nicely with the pineapple citrus and pine notes from the hops. Real smooth balance. Notes of toffee/caramel. If the carbonation was there, this would've been perfect. Not sure if I'd age beyond 3 years until I try the other bottle little later this year.
UPDATE: Based on what I've read, it may just be this vintage. Cracked open another '09 bottle couple days later and same carbonation issue. (1,203 characters)

Photo of drpimento
4.74/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

BOOM! Big Beer! Would've given it an even better score had I noticed it was a gusher before half the beer left the bottle and therefore my mouth. What I did get had a thick, creamy, foamy, frothy, fluffy, billowy light tan head that lasts all the way down and some lace. Color is a cloudy amber brown. Aroma is yeast, caramel, toffee, hops, honey, fresh leather. Flavor is like nose but with sweet and bitter standing out most with enough tang to balance and then other flavors too fleeting for me to identify. Soft full, round body and excellent carbonation. Finish is like flavor, fairly long, and only a hint of alcohol. (623 characters)

Photo of kzoobrew
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to camil1mj for this bottle.

2010 vintage

Pours a very murky, dirty bronze color. The body is full of sediment leading to a very opaque beer. Four finger vanilla pudding colored head. The head is rather stubborn, retention is phenomenal. Once the head eventually works its way back, heavy lacing clings to the walls of the glass.

Bold and assertive barleywine. The aroma displays a nice balance between the hops and malt. Heavily caramelized malt and raisin combines with resinous pine and citrus.

The flavor mimics the nose rather well. The malt rolls across the palate first. The caramel flavor is much lighter on the tongue than in the nose. Soft and sweet caramel transitions towards the darker fruit flavors on the back of the tongue. The hop flavor is less assertive than the aroma. The sweet citrus flavor is prominent, paired with a slight resinous flavor. The malt shines from beginning to end, but the hop flavor is one hell of a compliment. May not be evenly balanced but dare I say it is perfectly balanced. With a year on this bottle there is not much heat but a pleasant warmth on the back end.

Full bodied Barleywine, carbonation in moderate. Thick, nearly chewy texture. The finish is long as the heavy flavors dig into the tongue.

Doggie Claws is a very good beer. I am not ready yet to call it my favorite Barleywine but if it were readily available to me it would have room reserved in my cellar. The balance of the beer is incredible. A definite sipper but highly enjoyable. Certainly a beer to seek out, I am very glad I had the opportunity, I will be looking for more in the future. (1,624 characters)

Photo of StoneTSR
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: Deep copper with an orange hue. The head is about a half-inch thick and off white. The retention is average at best, but this is still a lively, good looking beer.

SMELL: I was a bit disappointed at first. I expected a big, aggressive nose, instead I got nearly nothing until it aired out a bit. Once it opened up, there were some sweet spices, caramel and malty aromas present.

TASTE: This is an outstanding example of the style in terms of taste. It is a big and malty with cinnamon, sugar, caramel and molasses flavors along side banana, dark fruit and just a hint of apple. Hops are also present here, but they are more rounded and subtle than in some other big west coast beers.

MOUTHFEEL: The mouthfeel is rather pleasant. It is big, rich and oily, but by no means is it mouthcoating. In fact, the finish is rather dry.

OVERALL: This is an outstanding example of the style and it also happens to be an excellent beer to introduce someone to the style. Doggie Claws is solid. (997 characters)

Photo of DaveHS
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2008 shared by nbree00.

A-Pours hazy, iced tea brown. There was a lot of chunky yeast in the bottom of the bottle, so pour carefully. No head.

S-Baked apples, cinnamon, mulled cider. Thin waves of toffee/caramel sweetness.

T/M-Very light, thin carbonation. Mouthfeel is creamy and warming on the back of the throat. Baked apple sweetness layered on muted piney hops. A thin, concentrated sweetness provides the baseline, and provides a lingering sugary finish.

O-Another standout beer from Hair of the Dog. Very unique. (531 characters)

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

08 vintage. Copper/amber, modest activity, and vaguely hazy. No head or lacing to speak of.

Smells of faded citrusy hops, caramel malty sweetness, and boozy esters balanced very nicely. This must have been a hop monster when it was fresh. Really nice.

Fruity and floral hops are still noticeable but definitely muted. They balance exceptionally well with the caramel malty sweet backbone. Mild boozy esters and light bitterness add some depth and complexity. Absolutely delicious.

Very low carbonation, super rich full body, high viscosity, and a hint of bitterness in the finish.

HOTD nails it (again). This is an exceptionally good beer. Wow. Yum. Thanks Adam ("you want this, I gotta get rid of some this..."). Often I review a big beer fresh or within a year or so, and think it would get better with age. With this one, I'd love to try it fresh and/or fresher and see what it's like with more profound hop character. But it is great 3 years out, just in case you are wondering. (988 characters)

Doggie Claws from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
92 out of 100 based on 536 ratings.