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

Doggie ClawsDoggie Claws
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American Barleywine
Ranked #19
Ranked #1,864
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: 567 | Ratings: 1,228 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of justintcoons
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!

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Photo of Oh_Dark_Star
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.

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Photo of Buck89
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.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
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

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Photo of patre_tim
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.

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Photo of bret717
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.

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Photo of rypkr
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.

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Photo of 57md
3.97/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | 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. The body is a touch light for the style.

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Photo of hman43
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.

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Photo of wmartin
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.

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Photo of Lingenbrau
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.

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Photo of Treyliff
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

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Photo of HipCzech
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.

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Photo of LeRose
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.

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Photo of BEER88
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!

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Photo of bshefftz
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.

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Photo of ThickNStout
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.

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Photo of BrotherDylan
4.56/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Vintage (tasted on 1/22/2016)

The beer has one of the most gorgeous colors of any barleywine in the world. It is incredibly hard to describe. The color shifts between a honey amber-glass orange and a mahogany shade of caramel. The beer is beautifully clear, which makes the color glow.

The nose is subtle and inviting. There is a boozy, almost cider like sugary nose. Loaded with soft sherry notes.

The flavor is a decidedly malty but the body is relatively thin and there is a clean hop backbone (even after 8 years!) that makes this beer not cloying at all. The aging makes it like it has been conditioning in sherry barrels. Every caramel note and dark honey flavor is worth savoring time and time again.

The beer is a work of art. It tastes better 8 years later. Brewing a beer designed to taste great 8 to 10 years down the line is a real art form and no-one understands how to anticipate the flavor changes as well as Alan Sprints. The most shocking flavor is the hops. The beer STILL has bitterness and its super clean. No astringency what so ever, just clean, bitter hop mouthfeel.

If you see it, buy it. Its worth every cent and every sip.

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Photo of unclekeith
4.52/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 into a chalice

L: Murky brown with a thin off white head following an aggressive pour
S; Toffee, leather,?some hops, waves a dark fruit
T: follows the nose, nice bitterness
M: very nice, to style
O: excellent example of this style

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Photo of stevoj
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle from share on 11/12. Hazy brown pour with small tight beige head. Very malty all the way through, in both aroma and taste. Notes of caramel and a bit of hops finish this one off.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This pours a pleasant caramel color.
Light notes of toffee and toasted coconut, and a light chocolate note. Nice sweet finish. Another tasty brew from Hair of the Dog.

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Photo of rarigney
2.22/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Seems that I join many of the other reviews, having obtained a bottle from 2015 and looking forward to trying it, only to be disappointed by what must be a quality control issue. Absolutely flat, zero carbonation. About the only taste I can describe is a bit of alcohol. Very muddy appearance. Not a pleasant experience.

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

It seems fresh from the tap makes the difference with this one. Glad I had it on tap in one of those beautiful taster glasses.

A: Bronze with a light tan foam that stuck around for a while. Light lacing.

S: Heavy malts and brown sugar, dark fruit, caramel, apricot. Some booziness.

T: Goes down like a champ: strong, sweet, not cloying. Caramel, burnt sugar, light bourbon, honey, toffee and dark fruits. Let it warm for even more punch.

M: Medium to heavy wit medium, chewy carbonation.

O: This one clawed its way to my taste buds. A sipper from barleywine heaven. Damn fine.

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Photo of mynie
2.03/5  rDev -51.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Glugs out of the bottle like some kind of weird cinnamon tea. Very thick and uneven looking. Just... unappealing, even for the style and strength.

Smells okay but not great. Very thick, lots of hops and malt syrup.

Tastes like garbage. Crazy malt, way too thick, and then some bright hops--challenger, maybe--kind of fix things near the end.

I don't know what they were going for here. It falls way short of what I consider decent for an American Barleywine, though.

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Photo of KensWorld
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2015 vintage bottle. Pours a very non impressive flat looking cloudy brown. No head nor carbonation, 2.00. Smells much better then it looks Dried fruit on the nose with unique apricot type aromas, 4.50. Taste is mellow, semi sweet. The way a good Barleywine should be, not to sweet and overpowering. Hard to believe it's 11%. No burn at all just tasty complex malty delishiousness. 4.50

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Doggie Claws from Hair Of The Dog Brewing Company / Brewery And Tasting Room
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 1228 ratings