Doggie Claws
Hair Of The Dog Brewing Company / Brewery And Tasting Room

Doggie ClawsDoggie Claws
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Barleywine - American
Ranked #26
Ranked #2,248
4.18 | pDev: 11.72%
Hair Of The Dog Brewing Company / Brewery And Tasting Room
Oregon, United States
Doggie ClawsDoggie Claws
Notes: "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"
Reviews: 575 | Ratings: 1,247 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of zac16125
zac16125 from South Carolina

4.44/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

poured into a snifter
2020 Vintage
Reviewed Nov 2021

A: Pours a dark copper, some amber hues when held to light, a big tan colored head builds slowly, almost in a delayed fashion like a nitro pour, interesting. Dissipates fairly slowly. Leaves some nice lacing. 4.75

S: Aroma is a great mixture of fruity esters, sweet malts, and bitter hops. I get huge apple, equally huge caramel, some bubble gum, and burnt sugar. Hits all the notes that an American Barleywine should. 4.5

T: Taste follows, is a bit more hop forward, and notably less fruity esters. Caramel is there, and burnt sugar. American hops are prominent and take center stage. It’s less balanced and less complex in the taste than the nose implies, but still quite good. 4.25

M/D: Unique combination of aggressive flavor profile yet remarkably smooth mouthfeel. Carbonation is perfect. It definitely has a whole body warming effect, but it’s not hot or overly boozy. A lingering bitterness from the hops is somewhat distracting and keeps it from being a perfect 5.0 in this category, but still mighty fine. 4.75

O: Overall, a fantastic beer. I’ve been exploring HotD beers recently after learning they can ship to my state and have tried several of their big dogs (see what I did there). Somewhat surprisingly this is probably my favorite to date, even above several of the very highly rated/regarded beers. It’s just all the things a great American Barleywine should be. I am very excited to see how this one has aged, and will be exploring older vintages soon. Great beer. 4.5

Nov 10, 2021
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beergoot from Colorado

4.26/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Burnt orange color; cloudy; thin yet persistent head, bone white in color. The beer exudes a rich, deep malt note; dark pitted fruits such as figs and dates; toasted caramel. Initial taste is rich with caramel sweetness; boozy notes soon follow; phenol bitterness offsets the sweetness; nougat. Heavy, chewy body; viscous; oily smoothness; alcohol warmth permeates through the residual sugar texture.

This is an awesome barleywine, rich and satisfying on many levels.

Poured at 68 °F; 2018 vintage.

Jul 19, 2021
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mushroomcloud from Texas

4.01/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle 2020 vintage. Opened 7-4-21.
3.75/4/4/4.25/4 (4.01)
Limited visible carbonation upon pouring. Some bubbles slowly rise and form a ring and island.
Brown-amber with orange glowing when held to the light and decent clarity. No lacing.
Big resinous hops, brown sugar, candied citrus peel, and sweet malt in the aroma.
Rich, sweet malt followed quickly by a big punch of bitter hops from the floral, piney, and leafy/earthy spectrum.
Medium + body and low carbonation. Slick, oily mouthfeel. Hot. Very long bitter and sweet finish.
Very Good to Outstanding.

Jul 05, 2021
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jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2018 bottle, so 2 years old. 12 oz bottle

dark orange amber in color, fairly clear, thin white head. aroma and taste are still fairly boozy. Flavors of mild caramel and rum soaked fruit. medium bodied, sticky feel

Dec 25, 2020
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Roguer from Connecticut

3.79/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty much no head production. Murky brown in the glass. Not an attractive beer overall.

Smells like malt soup, with a minor sour note. Quite complex; a little musty.

On the palate, it's thick, malty, hoppy, boozy. There's a big, bark-and-citrus-and-pine hop tone on the finish, but somehow ... balanced? Lots of caramel, caramel, brown sugar, leather, and grapes. Only a touch of bitter chocolate; moderate notes of prunes and raisins, which emerge more as it warms.

Mar 29, 2020
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BBThunderbolt from Kiribati

3.99/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Beav for this one, a 2011 vintage. 12oz bottle poured into 14oz teku. Poured a solid, and slightly muddy, dark mahogany color with about 1/2 inch of tan head that had decent retention and no lacing.

Malt, stone fruits, and some alcohol in the nose.

Pretty similar on the tongue, with a hint of fig showing through.

The body, as expected, was full and smooth, with a touch of alcohol heat on the back end.

Drinkability was great, as it always has been.

Overall, another great brew from HotD. A must-try.

Feb 15, 2020
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thebeers from Pennsylvania

3.94/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Tawny brown with a finger of light tan head and lots of floaters. The head has good retention and leaves solid sheets lacing.

Leather, fig, plum, vanilla and toffee in the nose.

Somewhat similar flavors, but they’re stepped on a little by a nutty quality and some strong alcohol heat. There are hints of cherry, chocolate and tobacco ash in there, too. Moderately bitter finish with a nice piney impression.

Medium bodied, silky feel.

I wish more elements from the aroma shined in the taste, but the “American” qualities overpower them to my taste. That said, it’s still a quality barleywine with lots of depth.

Dec 31, 2019
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kemoarps from Washington

4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

2019 bottle opened 'fresh.'
I'll be honest. This is not an aesthetically appealing beverage. Muddy brown liquid with a couple of stray wet bubbles... Oh well. It doesn't push me away from the drink, but it's nothing to celebrate. Good thing appearance is only a small part of the drinking experience.

Nose is much more enjoyable. Rich layers of leather and caramel and some fig and sweet honey notes. I'll let it sit for a minute as it's still pretty cold.

First impressions are actually hoppier than I expected. It starts to lead in to the rich caramel and leather before a big wave of citrus rind hops take over. This blending with the above gives it an impression of tobacco and candied orange rind. I enjoy it, and it makes me very excited for what the bottles I have aging could look like in a couple of years. The big bitter hops aside (they really are front and center and the big stars of the show, so setting them aside is just digging for depth, really), there is a nice honey sweetness balancing it out, and elements of leather and raisin that I love in barleywines.

Almost completely flat, but it actually works better than I'd expected. It's very smoothe and a little oily.
This is a very American barleywine. Big hops, lovely supporting malts. I love the addition of the honey. This is one that is good now, but I am excited to crack into the ones I have aging, because I expect it will be fantastic once it's sat down for a while and mellowed in.

Dec 15, 2019
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justintcoons from Pennsylvania

4.36/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.
Vintage 2018.

Murky, yeasty ruby red. No head to speak of.

Caramel, brown sugar, toffee, chocolate, earth, and molasses.

Caramel, toffee, and brown sugar. Sweet cigar, molasses, and earth. Subtle chocolate notes.

Medium-light bodied, silky, smooth, and warming with a well balanced sweetness and some residual bitterness.

Decadent, sweet, subtle, and complex. An exceptional Barleywine!

Oct 17, 2019
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Oh_Dark_Star from Washington

1.64/5  rDev -60.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.25

Good on tap, but the bottle quality control on this one is unforgivable. Have had 3 bottles bad all bought an different occasions, different years even.

May 06, 2019
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Buck89 from Tennessee

4.34/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A hazy copper color with a thin but sturdy light tan head. Caramel, plum, brown bread, and floral hops on the nose and on the palate. The bitterness seemed in between the big American levels and the restrained English standard. The malty notes shined with burnt caramel and toffee up front. Hop notes were piney and floral. Outstanding beer.

Apr 10, 2019
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Bouleboubier from New Jersey

4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(2018 bottle... decanted into a snifter)

L: fairly-clear, deep crimson-garnet colored liquid (some flecks of sediment snuck in); spongy pad of foam on the pour, collapsing into a messy, bubbly cap and collar... thick sludge of sediment left in bottle

S: hops have rather powerfully fresh, leafy clarity to them - mashed fleshy citrus rind, black tea, tobacco, and piney notes - and in their aromas blended with the lightly leathery, dark caramel, dark chewy bread notes of the malts, we seem to have a robust, inviting west-coast barleywine beckoning

T: malty citrus liqueur, with an ethanol burst, herbal residual bitterness, and mellow sugary sweetness vaguely reminiscent of an amaro... the aftertaste after the first sip ends up relatively dry, with a perfumy, almost earl grey tea essence lingering... after the second sip, some mild caramel and aged(?) hops emerge in the aftertaste - I can't tell if there was too aggressive a fermentation, the hops were a bit oxidized/old, or there's just a ton of green-leafy and boozy character coloring this - it doesn't taste 'bad', it may just be the slight absence of firm underlying sweetness exposing the other parts

F: slight bounce to its medium+ silky body, strident ethanol seeming to thin out the viscosity, shave the edges a bit, also beaming a bright light to the back/top of the palate, which in turn opens up the sinuses and loosens the eye sockets

O: happy to have found some HOTD in Philly after having not seen it around much in recent years, hopefully this availability will continue... haven't had a barleywine quite like this, quite as vibrant and raw in power, in awhile - looking forward to perhaps getting another bottle or two of this and/or waiting for Bigfoot

Dec 31, 2018
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patre_tim from Thailand

4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ruby and filtered with a light haze, moderate slow rising carbonation, and not a head but a beige foam.

Smells of creme brulee, cherries and a slightly stinky foot.

Tastes of creme brulee, candy glass, cedar bark, cinnamon and a hint of stone fruit.

Medium, syrupy body, light carbonation.

Not getting any honey, but a well done barley wine in deed. Got this in Petaluma, drinking in Redding, Dec 24th, 2018.

Dec 25, 2018
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bret717 from Pennsylvania

4.44/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottles, reviewed at cellar temp (~60 degrees)

Look- really nice looking translucent ruby/orange liquid with a 2 finger off white head that recedes slowly, leaving a ring of foam around the edge of the glass. Spotty lacing

Aroma- sweet pipe tobacco, figs, caramel and a bit of booze

Flavor- An amazing blend of leather, smoke, figs, pipe tobacco and vanilla just weaving in and out of each other. It's not very sweet as the nose suggested, and it's a bit bitter and boozy.

Feel- medium-full bodied and sticky with a surprisingly dry finish; there's a moderate amount of bitterness and a little alcohol tingle in the finish

Overall- this is a phenomenal barley wine, perhaps my new favorite.

Dec 23, 2018
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Fordcoyote15 from Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Per style, its remarkable. I personally am not a fan of most American barleywines as I feel like they taste like stale massive ipas. This one, with its bitterness doesnt taste like stale hops like a bigfoot etc does.

Nov 29, 2018
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57md from Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque muddy brown with a thin layer of head. There is some maltiness on the nose but it is overwhelmed by the alcohol which borders on the unpleasant. The flavor has bold notes of molasses and bread.

Update March 2020: Sampled a bottle of the 2018 vintage, so this offering had about one and a half years of age on it. The alcohol really mellowed out, especially the nose. The bready qualities on the nose seemed more appreciable with age. I also thought that the finish had a dry oaky quality but, based on the label, this offering was not barrel-aged. The yeast from the bottle conditioning really comes out at the bottom of the glass.

Jun 21, 2018
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hman43 from North Carolina

4.49/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: The color is dark amber with a tan head. There are ruby highlights that can be seen. It is quick clear. Head retention is fairly low.

Smell: There are sweet malt aromas with a sherry like quality. There are citrus aromas in the background with low levels of caramel and bread.

Taste: It starts malty sweet with rich caramel flavors. Molasses flavors and citrus are in the background. There is a low bit of orange with some noticeable alcohol.

Feel: It has a full body with pleasant alcohol warming. The warming is quite smooth.

Overall, strong malty rich beer with quality hop and other flavors.

Apr 06, 2018
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wmartin from North Carolina

4.46/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a 2017 bottle today, so minimal age on it. Still a very good BW. One of the best I've had, with typical over-the-top bitterness, and a little more sweetness than some others. Additional sweetness edges this towards the American Strong Ale side of things on the beer style spectrum. Would love to get more for storage/aging purposes, but it is somewhat difficult to get. Would like to try the BA version even more, if I ever come across some.

Feb 04, 2018
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Lingenbrau from Oregon

4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2016 from a 12 oz bottle (1 year old):

Doggie Claws pours a lovely deep chestnut brown with brick red hues. Clean, yet syrupy. A cream colored thin ring of foam persists around the glass, but is mostly still.

Heavy caramel, roasted nuts, and biscuits compliment a floral and earthy hop profile in both aroma and flavor. A light citrus comes through as it warms, along with mulling spices. That last part might be in my head, but I'm going with it.

This is wonderfully bold, rich, sweet, and bitter. The slick and full feel are perfect for the initial sweetness that finally fades to a long lasting bitter finish. Syrupy is again a good word to use here. Real Vermont maple, none of that Log Cabin or "insert your other childhood bullshit corn sugar enhanced substitute here" syrup.

When it comes to barleywines that aren't barrel aged, I believe you'd need to look no further than Doggie Claws. It's a perfect middle ground for the fans of the ultra bitter American style and the sweet and boozy English. Fresh is wonderful. Aged, even better, and never a disappointment. Cheers!


2019 from the bottle (fresh):

Completely flat, more red than previous batches (that I can remember at least). Burgundy meets mahogany.

Dark fruits of fig and raisins. Jammy and boozy aromas with plenty of pine. Even smells bitter.

Dark fruits quickly overcome by leather, and dirty, bitter dried pine. Very spicy.

Though it's flat, it still has a tingle that seems derived from the intense spicy bitterness. An initial dash if sweetness succumbs to that same mentioned bite.

Though this is great, Doggie Claws definitely benefits with some age. Lesson learned, but not at all regretted. Cheers.

Dec 26, 2017
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Treyliff from West Virginia

4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage
12oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a deep Amber-ruby color with a one-finger off-white head that has good retention long after the pour

S- surprisingly, there are still some faded hop aromas sticking around; orange peel, pine & faded floral notes. A bit of oxidation is complimented by some earthy bacon and leather, undertone of toffee

T- fruity and peppery up front with a distinct orange marmalade flavor emerging, as well as fits zest. Mid-palate is slightly sweet with notes of tobacco, bitter herbal tea, peppery spice and caramel. The finish is clean, with hint of mint, tea and citrus peel in the longer

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that continues into the finish, alcohol is hidden very well at this point

O- seven years later, this is one fine beer. Oxidation is minimum and a distinct orange/citrus note has emerged, very good

Dec 25, 2017
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HipCzech from Texas

4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Serving: 12 oz bottle poured into a 9 oz Libbey Embassy snifter. 2008 vintage.

Appearance: Deep mahogany, starting clearing, increasingly hazy towards the bottom of the bottle. Scarcely any head with just a few fleeting bubbles along the still surface.

Smell: Burnt caramel and oxidized sherry; deep and complex.

Taste: Deeply rich toffee, dark honey and salted caramel along with surprising hop notes: bitter leafy notes at the start, earthy tea in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and soft carbonation.

Overall: Deep and flavorful, waves of complex caramel and surprising hop notes after 9 years in the bottle.

Dec 09, 2017
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LeRose from Massachusetts

4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Decants a fabulously clear chestnut brown color with a third cup of off-white, foamy head.

The smell wafts across the room...malty, boozy, almost a vinegar note, lots of honey, some dark fruit, caramel, earthy, and a nice floral with mild citrus top note.

Holy cow is this ever tasty. Waves of flavor. Awesome wild honey notes, mild citrus, nice level of bitterness, caramel, peppery, pine, dates, brown sugar, floral, earthiness, slightly sweet, and hello alcohol but just a bit. The citrus is coming through as tangerine or orange. For carrying so much flavor, this beer is not coating the tongue...pretty clean with a pleasant and evolving taste after the fact. Some citrus, very mild peppery spice. Alcohol hit in the back of the throat, not shy at all. Very intensely aromatic after the swallow which just adds to the experience. The wild honey flavor comes back balanced by tangerine...weird sounding but it is certainly a pleasing effect.

Overall I highly recommend giving this beer a try. Worthy.

Sep 25, 2017
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BEER88 from Washington

4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle with a year made 2012 on the label. After all that time in the bottle it still poured a murky brown with a solid head and good retention; lacing rings the glass when consumed! Smells is raisins, dark fruits, licorice, molasses, burnt sugar, subtle tropical notes. Taste starts with dark fruits to burt sugar to raisins to chalky bitterness. The feel is full and slick leaving a coating in your mouth! Overall this wasn't bad at all, i kinda wish i had a cigar to go with it!

Jul 25, 2017
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bshefftz from California

5/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had another one of these from 2015 that confirmed the rating - an excellent and unique barleywine with a big hop sweetness going head to head with the hop bitterness. Very enjoyable.

May 24, 2017
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ThickNStout from Georgia

4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12oz botttle from seavercm (thanks man!). 2016 vintage. Served in a Barrel and Barley teku.

Pours a muddy chestnut with two and a half fingers of beige head. That froth crackles away to some wisps that quickly spring to a full veneer with a brisk swirl of the glass. A persistent collar deposits only a couple scattered specks of lace.

Floral and earthy aromas up front. Leather, caramel, stone fruit, bread and honey. Far less hoppy than the typical American barleywine but still quite different than an English iteration.

The flavor of wildflower honey is distinct and sweet on the tongue. Pine roots, caramel, wet, yeasty bread, peach fuzz, faint melon rind and a surprisingly subtle tingle of booze. This is an enchanting display of malty harmony with just the right kiss of hops.

Lush, full feel with modest carbonation. Stone fruit, caramel, honey and bread linger in the finish.

Hair of the Dog knows big, flavorful beer. Doggie Claws is one of the best "non-DIPA" American barleywines I've had. From the pour to the finish this beer delivers on every front. Now that I've tried this I might find myself paying handsomely to acquire more online.

Apr 26, 2017
Doggie Claws from Hair Of The Dog Brewing Company / Brewery And Tasting Room
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 1247 ratings