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

Doggie ClawsDoggie Claws
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Barleywine - American
Ranked #27
Ranked #2,136
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: 572 | Ratings: 1,241 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Treebs:
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Treebs from Illinois

3.91/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle served in a Deschutes tulip. 2011 vintage. Big thanks to mfavoino for hooking me up with this guy.

A: Pours a murky dark brown color that resembles a dull penny. A thick head forms on the pour. Light tan colored and about two fingers in height. It takes a while to die down, but it leaves thick sheets of sticky lace on the glass.

S: Definitely on the hoppier side of the barleywines I've had. They have a slight resin smell to them with some residual burnt sugars and a malty sweet ending.

T: The taste is just as hop forward as the nose. Resiny and grassy hops are the main hop flavor profile with a nice pale malt and whole wheat bread crust malt backbone. There is a nice flowery sweetness and a green bitterness on the finish. The booze is barely present.

M: Medium bodied with above average carbonation for the style. It makes it easy to drink and with a ton of flavor this is nice.

O: An easy drinking and flavorful barleywine is always great. The booze isn't noticeable at all and the flavors are pretty solid. I've got another one in the cellar and am excited for what a year or two will do to this as I'd like to see the carbonation die down and the hops ease back a bit.

Apr 04, 2012
More User Reviews:
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.75/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

my first beer from this fabled brewery. it is the 2011 vintage, and marked 11% abv on the 12oz. bottle. its hazy and caramel colored, dense looking, and showing less than an inch of white lazy froth. i smell a ton of toffee, sweet english malt and ale yeast, not dissimilar from so many other traditional barleywines. thick and syrupy is the feel, but the alcohol is impressively well hidden, perhaps this beers biggest surprise. its clearly malt forward, sweet enough for any palate, and grounded in an earthy brown butter cream type of desserty vibe that makes it a less than perfect preprandial libation, but which showcases a richness and simultaneous delicacy that really work. better when its warm, and still tame on the alcohol front, this is a well done beer, but probably not the best barleywine ive ever had, which i sort fo expected it to be given the hype on this brewery, or at least a few of its beers. happy with it, not overjoyed.

Dec 30, 2013
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BucannonXC5 from California

3.81/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Sea Smoke oversized wine glass
From: Whole Foods in Hillcrest (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $6.99
Purchased: Jan. 4, 2014
Consumed: Jan. 10, 2014
Misc.: N/A

Poured a brown murky color with about one finger of tan head that dissipated almost immediately. Seemed to be a lot of sediment at the bottom of the glass. Minimal lacing on the sides of the glass. Minimal retention on the tops of the glass.

Smelled a potent mix of hops and malts from the get-go. Got sugary caramel malts, brown sugar, Werther’s candy, toffee, honey, Amarillo hops (I think), earthy hops, grass hops and some type of liquor.

Tasted so damn smooth from the get-go, really the opposite of what I was expecting. Got Werther’s candy, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, honey, butterscotch and buttery malts.

Medium body. Oily texture. Soft carbonation. Long, smooth, warming finish. Alcohol was well hidden. Best part of the beer by far.

Nowhere as good as I hoped it would be, especially considering the $6.99 price tag on a 12-oz. bottle. Very smooth and a nice sipping beer though.

Jan 11, 2014
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jlindros from Massachusetts

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

Tap at the brew pub.

Big foamy head, fades slowly, nice lacing, murky auburn reddish color.

Nose big sweet candy, sweet reddish caramel malt, big crystal malt and toffee buscuit, , mild fruity esters, hint herbal hop background, hint of booze.

Taste big caramel, like caramel sugar daddee candy, toffee, toasty reddish malt, mild herbal spicy hop in the background, hint of booze warmth with fruity esters, candied fig and date, finish little sticky, mostly dry, hint more booze, long caramel toffee candied creams.

Mouth is thicker, creamy chewy like caramel creams, nice carb, hint of booze.

Sep 23, 2015
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BierJager89 from California

4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark, almost gray, nearly black, slightly purple tinted orange with a small tan head that fades to a ring.

S: Red grapes, green grapes, apricot, apple and maybe pear in the nose.

T: Slightly sour grape notes, alcohol is definitely present, but not off-putting. Some malt, some dark fruit, medium bodied, not overly carbonated but not flat, pretty good balance. Taste is very much like a quad to me. On later sips there are strangely placed, yet inviting and welcome notes of chocolate and roasted malt. As the glass empties I'm getting a very pleasant orange and papaya, and the nose is dominated by the scent of alcohol (a taster sized snifter). On a more vigorous second pour, I'm getting orange in the nose, as well as some papaya. Definitely complex, every sip has something different.

M: Medium-full bodied and smooth.

O: Really good, but everything I have by them makes me want to try their "From the Wood" beers. I don't think I can say much more about this beer than I've already said.

Jan 18, 2014
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EdwardAbbey from Washington

1.3/5  rDev -68.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I couldn't imagine this was the intended product. Entirely flat, skunky in smell and taste, this was, in a word, undrinkable. If you left apple cider sitting in a cupboard for a few months, forgotten and unrefrigerated, it might taste something like this. Or it might actually taste better. HotD makes some great beers, but needs to focus on their QC.

Sep 12, 2015
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GreesyFizeek from New York

2.28/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.75

This one pours a syrupy looking opaque brown. There's a small amount of bubbles on top, which is surprising, because this one is flat as can be. There's some sludge under the bottle cap and inside the neck of the bottle. Gulp.

Smells actually somewhat decent, piney and citrusy hops mainly, with a bit of caramel.

Tastes honestly atrocious though. This just feels unfinished, honestly. It's got a flat, stale cardboard flavor, almost like it's oxidized. The funny part is this is a 2014 bottle, though, so there's no way it'd be oxidized. There's a little bit of a old molasses flavor, and absolutely no hop flavor at all. This is strangely muted, and like I said, unfinished. Did it even finish fermenting? There seems to be so much unfermented sugar and dead yeast in here. Meh.

This has an intensely syrupy and unpleasant mouthfeel, with absolutely no carbonation, whatsoever, leading to an wholly undrinkable beer. I don't mind low carbonation, some styles require a lower level of carbonation, but this is just flat and dead.

This honestly felt like a shitty attempt at a barleywine homebrew. Not a great start to Hair of the Dog, as this was the first beer I've ever had from them. Ugh.

Mar 06, 2015
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Gusler from Arizona

4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A somewhat nebulous deep copper color, with a Mastiff sized head, spumescent in texture, the color a beautiful light tan and the resultant lace a fine sheet that covers the glass. Nose is hop floral, malt sweet, and a pleasure to sniff, start is thick malt, honey sweet, the top middling in its feel to the palate. “BAM” the hops bite like a great white in a feeding frenzy with the acidity quite delectable and the aftertaste alcohol bitter and long lasting. A must try for “Barley Wine Freaks”, but if you can’t “Run with the big dogs, stay on the porch”, as this bad boy will take the hide off an Armadillo.

Mar 30, 2003
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g00ey from California

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

May 30, 2018
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RedBrewer83 from Oregon

4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aggressive pour into goblet...

A: Pours a dark amber with hints of chocolate brown. Very viscous with absolutely no head at all...seems completely flat.

S: Huge fruit and malt aroma, lots of floral honey, sweet pears and just a hint of floral citrus hops.

T: Tons of fruit, pears, apples, honey, sweet citrus tangerine, lemon peel, caramel malt, booze comes through in a big way as well. Very complex and layered...very nice.

M: Heavy mouthfeel but very smooth and just a faint hint of carbonation, reminds me a lot of the JW Lees bw's. Booze detracts just a touch as it is a bit hot in the back of the throat.

D: This is a sipper for sure, take your time and enjoy the complexities. However at 11.5% it is fairly drinkable.

Jan 19, 2010
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muskiesman from New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Apr 01, 2012
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akang from California

4/5  rDev -4.3%

Dec 19, 2013
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RBorsato from Virginia

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

Nice light copper color with a nice full light beige head. Nice floral hop aroma considering the fact that I aged this one. Has a light sweet malt aroma backing it up. Nice balanced American Barley Wine with a lightly sweet flavor up front. Medium-full bodied.

Ages very nicely !!

Per label: 10%ABV & "Bottle Conditioned" & "In this year's release (2002) Simcoe and Amarillo hops harvested just weeks before brewing"

Per HOTD website: Produced in Sept and Oct and released in November, this Beer will improve for years to come. Alcohol: 11.5% by volume. IBU's 70

2002 Version
Tasted: 11/02/06

($3.99 / 12 oz. bottle)

Nov 13, 2006
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marcpal from New Jersey

4.74/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've traded for a few of these and apparently I have yet to review. God, I love this beer. I can say that I am not just influenced about my passion for HotD because in a previous improptu blind barleywine tasting, this came out on top alongside Foghorn. Much different indeed but both delicious.

12oz (2007) bottled poured into a big Delirium goblet.
Bottle Graphics: 9/10. HotD Classy.

A: Poured thick apple juice hazy peach color with a pretty thick off white head. The head was volumptious and did not go anywhere, nor did the lacing.

S: Intense sugar coated grapefruit right out of the gate. More of a mango aroma tickles the senses as it warmed up. The amount of hops can not be a joke here considering that their presence is more than blatant behind all those malts and sugars.

T: Not nearly as citrusy as the smell, the sweetness took over here. This is a roller coaster ride of flavor- it hits the mouth and it is sweet alcohol and malt, through the swallow it has a bit of tobacco and fruit and the aftertaste is laden with the bitterness. Terrificly complex with the closing out of toffee considerably dominating the caramel.

D: Dry with a resiny texture. More oily than creamy, albeit a full textured body. Can you tell this is weighing in at over 11%? Yes, but I don't care because I want to savor every single sip. This is a Mariano Rivera caliber closer for a night of smaller beers before it.

Another hit from the HotD house. I would love nothing more than to get a never ending supply in Jersey and will continue to trade to make it happen as much as possible. Hard to describe but it is one of those beers you drink and you know a lot of passion went into it.

This is a beer with a multiple personality disorder in that it is always changing with the flavors I am catching and love every bit of it.

Dec 28, 2008
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grilledsquid from California

4.29/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dec 22, 2014
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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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Chingringo from Florida

4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Aug 07, 2014
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brewdlyhooked13 from Ohio

4.7/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - pours a hazy dull orange, a thin but solid cover of off white, holding well.

Aroma - citrusy, orange and pine, estery vapors alongside. Smells potent.

Taste - huge, sweet malty opening, roasty coffee-like malts chiming in early as well. Followed by syrupy, citrus, juiciness. Light on the bitterness, though not the hop flavor. The swallow stays sweet and grows slightly bitter with peach, dark fruit, mandarin orange. Abv is well-masked but makes its presence known with a finishing warmth.

Mouthfeel - heavy and drapy with low carbonation.

Drinkability - what a wonderful bottle of beer. Fresh or aged, I imagine this will be a fine experience. Big thanks to udubdawg for parting with one of these for my sake at DLD08.

Sep 23, 2008
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porntipsguzzardo from Oregon

3.49/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Completely flat.

Look, it tastes good, but it sucks to finally find and buy a beer that you've been craving for some time, and look forward to having it all day, only to get home and have it be flat. Regardless of the taste, it's just such a disappointment.

I've googled it, and this seems to be a common problem with this beer - I bought it twice a few years ago, and it was flat both times then, too. I gave up on it for a while as a result. I know it's not supposed to be - I finally tried it again once earlier this year, and it was great - richly carbonated with a thick, sticky lace. I thought they had solved whatever problem they were having.

Cleary they haven't.

I love Hair of the Dog - they're one of my favorite breweries in the world. They can do better than this.

Jan 05, 2013
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ngeunit1 from Massachusetts

4.62/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a cloudy amber-brown with a finger of frothy khaki-tannish head. The head fades down fairly slowly leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet toffee and caramelized malts, brown sugar, some grapefruit, citrus, and pine hops, dark fruits, and a bit of booze.

T - Starts off with a mix of lots of sweet toffee and caramelized malts with some grapefruit and citrus hops and some hop bitterness, and a bit of sweet dark fruits. Through the middle, some pine and grassy hops come through with some more bitterness alongside some brown sugar and some more sweet caramelized sugars. The finish is a mix of rich sweet caramel and caramelized malts, grapefruit and resiny pine hops, hop bitterness, and some booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet, bitter, and warming finish.

D - Very drinkable. Big rich and bold malt character, but the body and hop really balance out nicely. Fantastic barleywine.

Oct 20, 2012
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s1ckboy from Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Dec 21, 2011
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hockeypuck from Maine

4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Feb 25, 2014
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TXHops from Texas

4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2002 Bottling
-ABV: 10%
-Hops: Simcoe, Amarillo

Well, this is a bit odd. I didn’t really know what to expect from this beer, other than strength. The beer pours a considerably lighter color than I expected from a barleywine: hazy gold, like a Belgian Tripel. The fluffy white head gave off fresh, crisp, yeasty aromas when the beer was poured and when the glass was swirled, but hoppiness oozed through when the beer was still. The body was effervescent, though quite substantial. It felt exactly like you’d expect a bottle-conditioned barleywine to feel. I’m not talking about the standard “unfiltered”, force carbonated offerings—this one felt like a tripel without any candi sugar in the grist. Plus, this beer used hops :) The big, PacNW hoppiness was abundantly evident—pine needles meet citrus fruit, ending in a sticky, lingering, but not astringent bitterness. The maltiness was sweet, fresh, fruity and generous, though overshadowed somewhat by the sticky, lovely hoppiness and the bottle conditioned character. Now this is the kind of beer that I can really get into—it’s experimental without being stupid. It’s a pale-colored, bottle conditioned barleywine. That’s cool! It’s not a 25% ABV monster finished with champagne yeast, or an uncarbonated port-beer, or any other gimmick-type beer. It’s thinking outside the beer box, but within the massive, overarching “this is still beer” box.

After a bit more warming occurs, the fruitiness really stakes a claim to a position as a major flavor component. I can taste something like peaches in heavy syrup, but not quite so sweet. All the while the pungent, resiny hoppiness mingles with the crisp yeastiness to remind me that I’m not drinking every other barleywine. A touch of alcoholic heat comes through after the hoppiness begins to subside, creating a sensation similar to finishing a restaurant peppermint. Adding the remaining yeast/trub pancake adds a touch of grit, but doesn’t otherwise change the flavor.

Great beer. I could have done without quite as much fluffiness in my barleywine, but offsetting the standard 90 weight viscosity of other beers in this genre was a welcome change of pace. I was impressed.

Jun 17, 2003
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OWSLEY069 from Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage bottle 2002.
Pours a hazy orange/ copper color with an off white head. In the aroma, sugary and plum like, and alcohol presence and a small hop in there too. In the taste, hops, plum/ fruitiness, and a hint of alcohol in the end. A bitter, medium to big mouthfeel and a semi-dry hop and alcohol in the aftertaste. Nice hopp presence, bitter yet smooth, big in alcohol yet hides it well.

Jul 05, 2008
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tewaris from Minnesota

4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Doggie Claws
12 oz. bottle from 2011 sent generously by Ron. Thanks! 11% ABV. Poured into a snifter.

A good combination of malts and hops, Doggie Claws smells sweet and caramel like, yet floral-fruity at the same time... much like honey? Swirling lets the nuances of hops come forward and the pungent character of American hops is felt.

Taste is only moderately sweet and bitterness is medium but lingering. Age will certainly treat this beer well as the label claims. Having been on a barleywine kick for a while now, I find myself short of adjectives but suffice it to say that it's good. Notable and somewhat distinguishing features are: a sweetness that holds its own against hops that sometimes seem to overwhelm fresh American versions; strong citrus peel; and a floral character that is probably from honey. I am no expert on braggots but I have enjoyed whatever I have had, so I am certainly digging this floral sweetness. Hints of booze are only welcome.

The body is good but carbonation seems a tad high. Regardless, swirling and warmth will take care of it. I like this beer.

4, 4, 4, 4, 4

Mar 16, 2012
Doggie Claws from Hair Of The Dog Brewing Company / Brewery And Tasting Room
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 1241 ratings