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

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Doggie ClawsDoggie Claws

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536 Reviews
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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 merlin48
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2002 Vintage. Pours a cloudy apricot color, with a "whoa there", five inch tall, rocky, beige head. Label proclaims this to be a barleywine, but I've never seen an overcarbonated barleywine before. Big, patchy globs of lace are left all over the glass after the head eventually subsides.
Aroma begins with a brief vinous note, that is immediately swept aside by bitter hops of the pine family.
Mouthfeel is very lively, with strong carbonation.
Taste has some characteristics of an imperial ipa, with highly carbonated, major league hoppiness. Caramel malt emerges as this nears room temperature, but the hops run the show here. I keep forgetting to start barleywines off at room temperature, but it really makes no difference with this hoppy puppy. This ends with more malty flavors, like sweet applebread, trying to emerge, but the finish is citrus and pine hops, all the way.
Quite a contrast to the Hair of The Dog Fred, I reviewed earlier. "In Your Face" hops are dominant in this one, but it does conceal the alcohol much better. Very likeable, overall, especially if you're a hophead. (1,101 characters)

Photo of ark57
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2002. It is cloudy and a light copper in color. The head was huge and lasted for a long time. I have not had this beer fresh, but it must have been very astringent. The hop aroma is very strong with herbal and citrus/grapefruit notes. It has the right amount of maltiness to round out the simcoe and amarillo hops. It finishes with an herbal bitterness and a warming quality. (383 characters)

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

2002 vintage, 12 oz. bottle. Pours a brilliant copper-gold with a rocky white head that literally lasts a half hour. Aroma of fresh bread that's been dosed with serious hops and honey. Very appetizing.

This brew changes big time with temperature. Served chilled out of the fridge, there's not much body at all - it's all bitterness and apricot-malt with muted spicy, grapefruity hoppiness. Then it warms and the beer comes alive. More spice, the malt deepens in complexity with dark caramel, rye-like grains and faint hints of licorice as the finish grows, the alcohol blooming towards the end. When warm it finishes bitter, with graprefruit, white pepper and dried apricots melding into a very enjoyable aftertaste. The mouthfeel grows exponentially with temperature, but remains slightly fizzy throughout.

Excellent brew - serve it at cellar (not refrigerator) temperatore to really let it shine. Special thanks to my three year old, whose refusal to go to sleep pulled me away from the brew long enough for it to warm up. (1,030 characters)

Photo of watermelonman
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is different and of high quality. It poured to a nice bright-brown color with pretty normal head and carbonation. The flavor is very rich. Alcohol content is quite evident, but it goes down with a shimmer. I'm not sure how to describe it, but I like it. It's calling back to me, and amongst this style, that counts as high drinkability. (341 characters)

Photo of sulldaddy
4.65/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew came to me via Weefisheads. Thanks man!
I have a 12 oz bottle and pour it into my snifter. As I am looking at the glass, I realize the bottle is foaming out the top. Little too much activity in there?
Back to the sample. The beer is a dark amber color and is rather hazy, lots of sediment that got disturbed during initial pour. oops.
A beige creamy head foams up about 1.5 inches real easy and fades super slow, in fact there is a layer on the surface throughout my tasting.
Aroma is hop dominated. I am getting mostly sour citrusy scents like a fresh cut grapefruit, some fruity scents come through and just a mild hint of alcohol is allowed to pass as well.
First sip, whoa! Prickly small carbonation almost burns my tongue. Definitely some bottle condition action happening. The body is fairly thick on this brew.
Flavor is up front hoppy bite that receeds to a sweet caramel maltiness and ripe fruit for a second or two and then finishes sour citrus hops again. NIce to see the balance come through like that. I really like this well balanced drinkalbe brew. Wonder what it will be like in a few years??
Thanks again weefisheads!! (1,154 characters)

Photo of Fish113d
3.61/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Upon pouring the 2002 edition of the Doggy Claws, it poured a golden honey color w/ a 2 1/2 inch to 3 inch head which stayed very frothy and heavy, and clinged to the side of the glass for quite some time while I had it in my glass. I also noticed when I tipped my glass, much of the yeast settled in the bottom of the glass.

When I spent time deciding what I was smelling in my beer I came to the conclusion that I got the scent of hops, sour lemons (which lemons AREN'T sour?), and even a bit of pepper. Upon tasting the first sip (which was served cold), the alcohol burn was very prominant at the front and remained for quite some time, but I got the taste of hops and some pepper, which hung around a while with the alcohol burn. However, as I let it warm, some sweetness came out a bit and I got the flavor of some molasses (not sure if this is what I really tasted, but an idea), but stayed pretty peppery as well. I have had many barleywine styles but this was very different than most others and was not nearly as sweet as other I have had in the past. The texture was pretty light, but the mix of hops and pepper did not make this my favorite ever. It is worth the try, but there are others I would rather drink. (1,226 characters)

Photo of HiroProtagonist
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Doggie Claws 2002 was served from a 12 oz. bottle. When poured into a Duvel tulip, a massive off-white head rose up and out of the glass then slowly receded, leaving numerous patches of crusty lacing and a tall rocky plateau formation with the consistancy of whipped cream. The beer itself was a hazy but vibrant orange-amber hue. The delicate nose was well composed, consisting of roasty candy malt with notes of orange peel and lime, and a tinge of alcohol. I found the taste to be problematic. While the flavor profile was characteristic of the style, it was lacking in strength and finish. I did enjoy the sweetness level, which was on the low end. Perhaps poor aging conditions overly subdued the big roasty flavors and the equally hoppy bitter finish that I look for in barley wines. The mouth feel was OK, but felt a little thin in the finish. As this wasn't really a big beast of a beer, it was quite drinkable, especially for the style. The 2003 effort was much better. (978 characters)

Photo of Realale
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazy (my fault - head exploded and I had to stop the pour which roused the sediment) mahogany with a huge, extremely fine rocky creamy beige head.

Huge (notice a theme?) hoppy nose of resinous pine, peach pit, apricot, wood, wet leaves, and a touch of clovey spice. No malt or alcohol evident on the nose.

Hops hit huge and hard from the millisecond it touches the tongue, and stay huge and hard thoughout the extremely long finish. There is a bit of sweet cakey malt that kicks in on the midpalate and lingers throughout the finish, but it has a hopeless task at this stage in the beer's development. Some yeasty/clovey notes add complexity. No alcohol evident on the palate.

Excellent mouthfeel, with the carbonation just enough to finally scrape the hop residue from the tongue in preparation for the next sip. May turn out to be a bit over-carbonated as the hops recede with time in the cellar. Drinkability now is hampered by the extreme bitterness, and the cloying sweetness of the malt that makes it through.

Its honestly a bit unfair to review this beer at this point in its evolution. It desperately needs a couple of years in the cellar to bring the hop bitterness under control, and form some semblance of balance. Its definitely built for the long haul, but when and even if all of the components will eventually become a coherent and pleasurable whole is unclear. Ratings are for drinking it now, but this beer has a definite upside. Reminds me of Batch 6000, but hoppier, and certainly much less obvious balance. (1,547 characters)

Photo of mickeymac
4.7/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Uh . . . wow. Hair of the Dog is always a hit or miss proposition in our part of the country. A few bottles seem to show up here and there every now and then. Sometimes they're at Trader Joe's for $1.50 or so a bottle; other times they're on small liquor store shelves at twice the price. After seeing Adam and Fred on more than one occasion, I finally had the distinct pleasure of being all scratched up by Doggie Claws.

It comes in a 12 oz bottle with a somewhat festive but very interesting looking bottle. This is probably the only beer label in the world with a Menorah (actually two) and a bulldog in a Santa Claus cap. It pours a deep copper with a thick off-white head that lingers to the bottom. The smell is piney hops, loads of malt, just a bit of dark fruit, and-yes-alcohol. The taste is almost overwhelming yet somehow subtle at the same time. Hops seem to smack the hell out of the tongue on the first sip, but giant waves of malt immediately fill the mouth with hop bitterness and malt sweetness locked in a battle to the death. Fortunately for all the battle ends in a draw, leaving the promise of a re-match, or at least a return trip to the shop for more.

For a beer that approaches the abv of Pinot Noir, it's unbelievably drinkable. Seek it out: drink it, age it, introduce it to your friends, put it in the passenger seat of your car and take it for a scenic drive. This is a special beer. (1,418 characters)

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

This barley wine (2002) pours a clear, bubbly and light gold, with an enormous frothy white head that looks like puffy, marshmellow fluff as it slowly recedes. The tangy, citrus aroma tingles my nostrils, and there's a touch of hops underneath, but little (almost no) malts or sweetness butting in. The taste is clean, slightly taut, and modestly floral. The alcohol sneaks through initially and then fades rapidly. The mouthfeel's a tad thin, but crisp. A good sipping ale for a cold night. (491 characters)

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

This year's bottle is adorned with an even cooler label than last years. The silver is cool, and it seems to be made of vinyl or something. Yeast has settled on the bottom, and as I pour, the yeast goes with it. An immense head forms on top, and as it recedes slowly, it leaves thick, lace around most of the glasses. The rusty red liquid is quite hazy, and the yeast has finally settled on the bottom of the glass.

The aroma is quite powerful, and the immense hop aroma almost interested my wife. As the aroma of hops dies, more and more of the fruity malt and yeast smells creep up. A slight musk also comes out after the hop aroma & foam head dissipate.

The taste is quite something. It goes in several directions, and my tongue is somewhat confused. In fact, I've drunk most of the beer trying to figure out how to describe it. It has a very crisp, dry bite, and a green freshness from the hops. The hops also add their own layer of spiciness. The malt is equally robust, giving the beer a fruity roundness and tartness. The yeast adds a somewhat cidery flavor, which is finished by a crispness again from the hops and carbonation. Its really quite a spectacle of a beer. Certainly wonderful, but not for mass consumption. (1,233 characters)

Photo of paranosis
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

great barleywine.

Appearance - a redish/orangeish cloudy color. immediately when opening, bottle began overflowing with foam, and poured an endless head, very careful while pouring this one. lots of sediment at the bottom, but not anything out of the ordinary for such a strong bottle-conditioned barleywine.

Nose - right off the bat the nose hits you with a fruity... i'll call it cherry/pine scent with a great alcohol tingle from the 11.5% ABV

Taste - man. great flavor. kicks in with a fruity almost brandyish warm flavor at the tip of the tongue that continues to a bite at the back of the mouth where the pine flavors really start to show. a yeasty hops taste throughout the mouth and a great, mild-bitter and sweet aftertaste.

mouthfeel - not clingy, but very silky. leaves a biting residue throughout the mouth that makes you want to take another sip.

drinkability - my only complaint (and not really one) of this is, as a small individual, it was so tasty but hard to consume with the 11.5% ABV. Man, it's tasty tho, so it really didn't matter much. overall great taste that compensated for the high alcohol pings. definitely a warm sipping barleywine.

overall - fantastically juicy beer, lovely to sit down and drink with friends or in front of a warm fire in snowy weather (here in portland, it snowed for once, and i decided to crack open this christmas present). i can't reccomend this enough if you can get it. a wonderful xmas present. thanks bro. (1,480 characters)

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

Careful as you pour -- this one has a BIG head. Definitely bottle conditioned, there was a fair amount of sediment at the bottom. But the taste! Full mouth feel combined with a strong, but blended alcohol flavor. Tasted kinda' caramel-ly to me. Highly recommended. (264 characters)

Photo of Suds
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2002 - has a Santa-dog chomping a cigar on the label. Bottle says it's made with Simcoe and Amarillo hops.
Pours a light and hazy orange color with a thick, rocky, blanketing off-white head. The head is actually remarkable considering the alcohol. The fresh-hop aroma is intense...extraordinarily floral...spicy, pine-needle (pine-sap even), and sharp. The aroma is like a very aggressive IPA. Alcohol is there as well, buy you almost have to fight through the hops to get it into your nostrils. Grassy and slightly acidic...the maltiness of the beer takes a back-seat all the way. Fairly dry. Alcohol warming and taste are pronounced. Finish isn't as bitter as I'd expected, considering the general forcefulness of the hops. Very good overall, but I'd like to have one after it's rested for a few more years. (810 characters)

Photo of tavernjef
4.74/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A Christmas gift from weefisheads...Thank you! Love the Doggie Claws! This stuff is quite nice. Nice dark caramel brown color, very thick and deep with a fluffy tan head of tallness that resides slowly down to a thick fluffy skim mostly present throughout the glass and whispy strings of lace sticking. Aroma is nice and hoppy with a nice array of pine needles, herbs, spice, and resin with a nice roasty caramel malted backing. Has a certain sweet tone with some citrusy grapefruit peels too. Very nice nose! Good flavors and taste with a nice hop profile that has a nice creamy spicyness and herbal quality with nice tones of pine and grapefruit bitterness, those Amarillo hops are just lovely. Very toasty malt backing adding some twingy tang and lightly burnt notions. Feel is fairly sharp and filled with hop bittering tones and even a little bit of bittering burnness and alcoholic tinge going down late, overall a fluffy texture and full body with long lingering notes of bitterness from all those awesome hops. Calming and smooth with a creamy fluffyness with a very nice hop character. A fine, fine drinker, the sharpness of hops is a bit heavy but age will fix that I imagine and become calmer plus the alcohol is barely noticeable. Still, as a fresh beast this is very nice. Its not a malty thick or heavy barleywine in the least in my observation and sampling, its very IPA-like and was just what I needed for the holidays. Thanks again dB! (1,452 characters)

Photo of GreatPondBrewer
4.69/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2002. This beer was exceptional. Poured a cloudy dark golden color with a very plush and frothy white head that left lace everywhere on the glass. Smell was very complex with a strange affinity for a Double/Imperial IPA with all the juicy hops floating about. There was also a slight sting of alcohol sweetness that lingered after every sniff. Taste was heaven in a bottle. Tons of juicy hops along with a woderful warming syrup undertow with the alcohol just tugging at the edges of the brew. Mouthfeel was wonderfully chewy as it is bottle conditioned there was little carbonation. This has aged wonderfully in the cellar and is everything that a barley-wine should be. Mellow, yet explosive, full of flavor and complex, yet easy to drink. This capped off a perfect christmas eve. (782 characters)

Photo of ADR
3.78/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2003 version...

Opaque dark brown appearance, fine bubbled head with dark drips mixed on top. Smells like hop tea, and a strange sense of what reminds me of warm dryer lint. Spritely carbonation and medium to full body. Flavor is a war zone of a melange of hoppy tones, some resins mixed with bright orange rinds. Malt is sweet and balances OK for this big beer, it just doesn't speak as a separate flavor. Becomes more gravelly on warming with some ragged notes of alcohol and smoke. Not bad young, this beer has potential to age well, like some of the Fuller's Vintages Ales...

Source: Liquid Solutions (610 characters)

Photo of BierReise
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2002 12oz Bottle As with the other two beers from this brewery that I've tried, this one also poured with a huge amount of foam. Had to wait a few minutes to get the whole bottle in a glass. Anyway, huge frothy head on a cloudy unfiltered orangish golden brew. Retention couldn't be better. Smooth medium body and carbonation evens out quickly. Aroma of cookie dough, sweetmalt and a good dose of hops. Even though this is not to style, it's an excellent beast in my opinion. Flavor is fantastic, doughy malt and grapefruit with a hoppy sweet flavor like an Imperial IPA. Wow I wish I had more of this stuff (607 characters)

Photo of francisweizen
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This special 11.5%ABV 2003 version of doggie claws poured out a very subdued, and slightly cloudy burnt caramel colour with a small head, that had decent retention and nice lacing. The aromas are very heavy on the hops this year, and you can really smell those amarillo hops, big time! The taste is a nice hoppy blast of sweet malt flavor, with a uniquely herbal hop character, and a very spicy holiday feel. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth and improves as this beer begins to warm. The drinkability is top notch. For a barley wine of this size, this beer is quite an accomplishment from the folks at hair of the dog! (620 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear, light amber color, with voluminous head, puffy, lacey, creamy in color.

Aroma: sweet, sugary, and full of yeast, putting me in mind of a Belgian tripel, perhaps, spicy and fruity (grapefruit, peach, orange).

Flavor is full and hot, it's a charging rhino in the mouth, crashing down the gates, hoppy, tingly, tasty, with abundant malt and an air of ancient mysteries. There's an enormous alcoholic presence, that only widens, eventually conquering the palate.

Quite an unusual barleywine, this one, a unique flavor profile, and possessing incredible substance and staying power. Doggie Claws is a dream in a bottle! (642 characters)

Photo of BeerResearcher
4.23/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2002 Edition. WOW! If not for the overly enthusiastic bubbly head, this might be a top ten beer. It pours a brassy/copper with a BIG rocky off-white head. A really floral whole hop aroma is very reminiscent of whole fresh cannabis buds (not that I would know). The substantial malt body houses a very potent hop bitterness. Grapefruit, orange peel and a fairly strong camphor astringency, (made up word?) blend and mix with a cherry liquor flavor, along with spices and lots of warming alcohol. A faint dark chocolate flavor finishes this complex and tasty seasonal offering. Unfiltered! (587 characters)

Photo of Elemental
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - darker copper color with tons of little bubbles floating to the top. A huge (3 figures) amount of head that won't die down....a little to much if you ask me.

Aroma - wonderfully bitter and aromatic, its only downfall was the slight sour smell.

Taste - once you get past the supper bitter head, the taste of the barley wine was really nice. Not overly heavy and has a bit of an alcohol bite to it. Bitter up front with a slightly sweet finish. Slightly spicy.

Bottom line: a very nice seasonal worth drinking early. (536 characters)

Photo of beerguy101
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Doggie claws in the woods was available at the 2002 Oregon Brewers Festival. Light brown color. A medium bodied barleywine ale. Malty with a fairly strong alcohol overtone. Citrus and orange flavor. Complex undertones. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is malty. (296 characters)

Photo of RoyalT
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – Dark, rich orange color with a monstrous head that overstayed it’s welcome. Some cool lacing on the glass as well. A nice looking ale.

Note: How did francisweitzen manage to pour a bottle of this stuff without getting a head? Mine foamed over when I popped the cap.

Smell – Big yeast and alcohol, a trademark of this brewery, along with some complex fruits. I can pick out (rum soaked) pineapple, blood orange, cinnamon-apple, and something dark like raisin or prune.

Taste – This one has some kick. The darker fruits come out more on the taste, but the yeast/alcohol flavors are what make up the backbone of this body. There is also some tremendous balance with firm, floral hops. This one has it all.

Mouthfeel – Lightly carbonated. The various flavors though kind of stumble over one another, and the high (10) ABV is noticeable the entire way.

Drinkability – Alcoholics will love this brew. I enjoyed the complexity and sharpness of the flavors, but would have liked to see it all smoothed out a bit. (1,038 characters)

Photo of dwarbi
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

ooo, this is a lovely one. Big, choppy seafoam head. Cloudy, orange beer. Looks like quite a meal. Smells good. A little like sweet cherries. This beer tastes very robust and full-bodied. The alcohol is apparent, but it still tastes very good. Pleasant mouthfeel and very, very drinkable for the style and abv. I'll be looking for this on tap. (343 characters)

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