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

552 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Doggie ClawsDoggie Claws

Brewed by:
Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
Oregon, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
"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"

Added by mattmaples on 10-12-2001

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 552 | Ratings: 1,182
Photo of djeucalyptus
4.59/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cracked open a 2007 and poured into a snifter.

a. deep and complex orange lemon amber colors with a definite caramel haziness to it. Slightly dull and murky on the whole. As expected, a fairly thin but dense head bubbled to the top with an average pour, leaving behind some nice gummy lacing.

s. The depth of the aroma on this one is incredible. Initial notes are of sweet malt with some piney hops, coated with fruit. Mandarin oranges, pear, figs, and a bit of banana. There's also some subtle sweetness reminiscent of creme brulee or butterscotch pudding. As it warms, more of the pear, apple, raisin, and tangelo notes pull through, along with some sweet and pleasant alcohol esters.

t. Taste is a beautifully smooth blend of rich, almost citrusy malts and subtle but powerful citrus and floral hop notes. Very hoppy but not bitter, very malty but nauseatingly so. For aging less than a year, this one is pleasantly mellow for a barleywine with flavor profiles this strong. Some honey and caramel sweetness is definitely there, as is unidentifiable fruitiness akin to asian pears, persimmon and cherimoya. There are some beautiful flavors mixing together to create something pretty smooth and impressive.

m. Pleasurable is an understatement. Thick without tasting like sipping molasses. The carbonation escorts the thick barleywine down the tongue, making sure the tingling alcohol and bitterness from the hops is fully realized. Depth in mouthfeel is awesome and hard to come by.

d. Awesome, as most from Hair of the Dog tend to be... very well done. Malty and sweet but enough of the hops to remind you of an DIPA every now and then... which is perfect. This would definitely age beautifully, but at the same time, it's fairly impressive relatively fresh, which seems like a sign of a kickass barleywine in my books.

 1,826 characters

Photo of rsmith03
4.59/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the best tasking barley wine beer i've had. Doggie Claws is full flavored with hints of pineapple, cinnamon, rum, and sweet ginger. The beer has nice dark brown color with little head on top. The sweetness of the beer makes the 11.5% smooth and refreshing.

When poring from a bottle make sure you don't poor all the sentiments out.

 340 characters

Photo of BarrytheBear
4.59/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 into an eager glass

Coppery with a spotty soapy head that emerges and dies with rapidity

Smells phenomenal: woodsy pine, smooth rich caramel, and a monster smack of grapefruit with a background of pleasant vaporous malt booziness. Just an awesome smelling beer.

Damn is this is a nice hoppy barleywine. So creamy and smooth with a beautiful thick, oily mouthfeel. Quite a slippery beer that drinks like candied desert with a deceptive bite that seeps into the bloodstream but never beats you over the head. Hops and sweet fruits battle to a nice give and take, so neither side dominates overtly and can live in harmony.

Really fine barleywine and one I would seek out again.

 683 characters

Photo of meathookjones
4.58/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

As to be expected with all Hair of the Dog beers this one pours out with a monster head. After getting all the beer in the glass the tan head settled into a whipped cream kind of look, very interesting. The body was a murky brownish orange. The head stayed around until the end lacing the glass with clumps galore. This is about as perfect looking as it can get in my opinion. Aroma is full of malty sweetness with a nice ripe fruitiness about it. There are notes of caramel and alcohol in the mix as well. The taste is similar with dark fruits and sweetness upfront over a bit of chocolate. Earthy hops come in at the end before the fruity aftertaste with a bit of alcohol bite to it. Mouthfeel is full with a warmth and stickiness to it. Very drinkable stuff here, its solid all around and I will definitely be picking up some more.

 834 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.58/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured draft from the Luck Lab Bwine Tastival 2011. Vintage 2009 A+ 5.o all the way!

A: Poured a cloudy dirty brown color with cood carbonation leaving a dirty white cap

S: I got big citrus on the nose, caramel, earth

T: I got a big caramel malt, faded hops, mainly lots of citrus and oine to this. Lots of earthy notes, sweet and tangy and absolutely phenominal! One of the best bwines I have had to date.

M: So tasty, full, booze is just right just amazing. Sticky, sweet and excpetional

D: Will not find much to rival this. I could have drank this all day long.

 570 characters

Photo of hoppymeal
4.58/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky light brown, a good amount of sediment, like unpasteurized apple cider, with a one finger cream head that slowly recedes. Aroma is big on the citrusy hops, tangerines, with some yeasty breadiness and sweet malty and caramel aromas as well. A booziness is evident, but not overly strong in the aroma. Taste is basically the reverse of the aroma. A big rich and sweet maltiness hits up front, very sweet caramel and raisin flavors. The citrusy hops come in middle to end of the taste and blend and balance the sweetness and linger with the richness into the aftertaste. Soft and full bodied, yet not overly cloying, a nice hoppy dryness in the finish. The alcohol is almost unnoticeable, incredibly balanced for its strength. An outstanding american barleywine, possibly my favorite hotd beer, the 2005 vintage is drinking wonderfully and probably will for the next year or two.

 890 characters

Photo of TheMadJack
4.57/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had the 2003 on tap at Lucky Baldwin's in Pasadena. Poured into a Saison Dupont glass. Review prepared from notes.

A: Murky reddish brown with a very thin, cream colored head.

S: Green apple, green grapes, pine, toasted rye and crackery malts.

T: BIG toasty, woody, grainy, bready malts which rise up to punch you in the nose (literally) at the finish, complimented by tart, fruity hops. Green apple and berry flavors round it out.

M: Weighty and slick. Coats the mouth evenly. The flavor experience involves the entire mouth at once, playing across the tastebuds, roof and cheeks.

D: This is a powerhouse beer with an impressive ABV, but I just can't get enough of them. Despite the challenge and strength of the flavors and character of this beer - which are hallmarks of the style, anyway - I'm giving this one a high drinkability score.

 845 characters

Photo of d0ggnate
4.57/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Merry Christmas BeerAdvocate! In celebration, I have opened up this years Doggie Claws. Mmmm!

A: Poured amber/brown from bottle, with heavy sediment left behind. Low carbonation and nearly no head left behind.
S: Nice hop aroma! Reminiscent of other HotD brews. After the hops, I notice a bit of caramelized malt smell.
T: Sweet malt and hop harmony abound. The hops have mellowed from their presence in the nose, but are still delicious. The honey flavor pokes through a bit.
M: Smooth and balanced. Lingering flavors. A very balanced beer. The alcohol has a warming affect, but is indistinguishable.
D: Ooooh damn. I could enjoy these all night long. I wish I had more than just one. I'll keep an eye open for more and look to cellar a few to see what it would become.

 773 characters

Photo of Risser09
4.57/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2004 Vintage • 12 oz bottle poured into a tasting glass

Appearance: Thick, honey-like appearance pours into the glass with minimal head and traces of lingering lacey bubbles. Considerable sediment floats at the bottom of the grog. Looks like thin caramel.

Smell: Aromatic vanilla and sweet floral tones. Smells of brown sugar. MMM

Taste: Very complex. Birch. Floral hops initially. Mango. Orange. Rose. Midtones consist of vanilla and sweet sugar. My tongue is overwhelmed with flavor. Finish is long and delicately balanced between malts and hops. Alcohol burn in minimal but evident. Warms the throat and stomach. As the beer warms I start to taste caramelized pears.

Mouthfeel: Buttery without very much carbonation. Dangerously creamy and begs for me to drink more. It's a shame I only got half a glass. Alcohol not present and well hidden.

Drinkability: Awesome. I could have 2-4 of these on a good night. I wish I could have more of this stuff. Ages extremely well. This is a testament to cellaring American Barleywines. I'll probably buy a bunch of different barleywines each year and pace them out. What an experience!

 1,145 characters

Photo of MisterClean
4.56/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at HOTD for OBF.

A - Pours copper with 3 fingers of off-white head. Dissipates slow and leaves beautiful lacing. Stellar.

S - Honey, cloves, coriander, and citrus.

T - Honey, cloves, coriander, citrus and light bittering hops.

M - Full-bodied, and malt dominated. Not overly dominated by malts as the hops do leave some balance.

D - Awesome. Another great beer from HOTD. Good thing I got a bottle stored away in the cellar.

 436 characters

Photo of BrotherDylan
4.56/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

 1,161 characters

Photo of kingcrowing
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a wine glass. 2010 vintage.

Pours a crisp and clear red with a small, but elegant white head with very thin Lacing i all around. The aroma is malty and sweet like honey, it's like a mix 90min and hopslam, very much like an east coast ipa.

This is truly an amazing beer. Alcohol level is high, so it is noticeable and the carbonation is a bit rough but all the other amazing flavors make it worth it. On th bottle it says there's honey from mt. Hood which I instantly thought was kind of a bs thing because usually honey just gets all fermented out and all the honey flavors are gone but not with this guy. It's very rich and complex, a nice finish with lots of lingering sweetness.

 709 characters

Photo of LittleBreeze
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 Release

Sneak one and cellar the rest.

Good news is this will enhance with age. Bad news is in its current form it is pretty damn good.

Head is thin. Color is golden with orange highlights. Swirls with nice lace pattern.
Initial aroma is sweet, buttery and citrus....grapefruit. Taste is sweet...a little fruity...nice hop finish.
11% is hidden well. IMO this one goes down just a bit to easy.

One of my favorite barley wines of the year. I could use a few more. ;)

 474 characters

Photo of OneDropSoup
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Made in 2009, per the label.

Poured into a stemmed tulip: Three fingers of glistening, warm khaki head over a deep russet body with some burnt orange highlights. Leaves swathes of lacing. This looks like a big, solid beer.

Smell is definitely hop-forward, but a mild hop that smells like pine- or "holiday"-scented candles. This is backed up by a potpourri of orange peel, a little spicy cinnamon, juniper, toffee malt -- definitely complex, & very evocative.

Very welcoming taste that encompasses much of the elements of the smell, plus some peppermint, licorice, ginger, wrapped up in a woody flavor with some bitterness underlying just enough to stimulate. This is pretty amazing, there are so many notes associated with a warm, holiday atmosphere. I'm not sure how they pulled off such a context-specific feel, but they really nailed it. A sweet, baked taste like warm molasses cookies emerges. This is kind of incredible.

Big, full mouthfeel that pulls you in with warm flavors & keeps it just bitter enough that it doesn't get cloying or complacent.

Wow -- I wasn't sure what to expect from this, but I'm really impressed. From the aroma, I thought I was stepping into Bigfoot territory, & while this is comparable, it's a totally different animal. This is just as vivid a sensory experience, but it's so much more intimate, bringing to mind a fireside with family more than fireworks. And it's freakin July right now! Any beer that can stir me this much emotionally is worth a lot in my book. It's substantial, to be sure, but what a great beer.

 1,559 characters

Photo of NCSUdo
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, 2007 bottling

A: Deep brown, hazy (I poured the yeast, so no problem there), under a small white head. Some lace and retention.

S: Very nice blend of sweet, caramel, toasted malt and citrus, grapefruit hops. Balance is really key here. Just when you think the sweetness is taking over, the hops jump back in.

T: Wow, excellent taste profile. Sweet again up front, with caramel and candied fruits, plums, raisins, very rich. Again, hops balance it out in the middle and finish. Bit of tangy citrus and a decent bitterness in the finish, but not overwhelming. Bit of drying alcohol and slight warming on the way down.

M/D: Full bodied, carbonation is a bit prickly at first but doesn't hurt the body. Drinkability is fine. A very solid barleywine.

 763 characters

Photo of Donnie2112
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2007 poured into an oversized wine glass.

so I spilled the yeast but it appeared to be a nice orangish hue with good carbonation and good head retention for the style. I dumped the yeast though and so now it's a cloudy burnt orange. still a very good looking beer

so much sweet citrus in the nose, mandarin oranges, grapefruit a bit grassy and herbal as well. The hops and the malts combine to create a citric nose experience.

caramelly, molassy malts just a bit of clovey yeast and plenty of snappy lemon zest hops. Absolutely wonderful

the carbonation is awesome, wonderful full body, smooth and oily just the right amount of cleansing astringence

this beer is very drinkable for the style and I enjoyed it a bunch! This brewery alone warrants a trip to Portland! I must go!


Put another 3 years on this beer, very good stuff. At this stage the beer is completely flat though. Still incredibly drinkable, great winter warmer for the great white north

 965 characters

Photo of popery
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2008. Freaking delicious. I'm not giving this beer a perfect score because it needs room to improve as it ages. That said, this is a great barleywine already. It has a big flavor (with West Coast hops still very much present), a luscious feel and good drinkability for the alcohol. I am an unapologetic fan of barleywines, both American and English, and Doggie Claws is one of the best that I've had. I disagree with a number of recent reviewers, so let's get down to business.

There are a lot of complaints about the head, but I got a good-sized head with a lot of lacing from a nice vigorous pour into an over-sized red wine glass. It's a nice wide glass, and the lacing is refusing to dissipate. There are still bot fine and small to medium bubbles sitting atop the majestic red-amber liquid.

Next, I see a few apple cider notes for the smell that are confusing the hell out of me. What kind of apple cider am I missing out on? This beer smells like excellent barleywine, caramel, sugar, grain, with an excellent grapefruity west coast hop influence.

The taste is fantastic. It's sweet and full. I enjoy the bitterness of the hop finish, still present in the recent vintage. The barley character is just delicious. I don't really know what else to say. I can imagine the sherry notes that will come to this beer with a bit more age on it.

The feel is wonderfully sticky and coats the mouth very pleasantly. I can understand calling it syrupy, but I like the flavor so much that I refuse to consider that a negative. Also, the alcohol is not overt. It's certainly there, particularly in the front of the flavor, but it will dissolve to nothing with age. The feel is very full.

This beer hits a lot of notes for me. I almost wonder if I will prefer it fresh to aged. It's just a great barleywine that warms you right up. It's fresh, elegant and delicious.

 1,861 characters

Photo of Pahn
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Bottled September 2009. Big thanks to psiweaver for including this bottle as an extra in a trade.

Appearance: Steady pour down the side of the glass yields a two inch frothy off-white head that dissipates slowly (a one inch head lingers for about five minutes, leaving a small ring). Pours an opaque/hazy copper. Leaves thick swatches of short lived lacing that ride the beer's big legs back into the liquid.

Smell: Fig, banana, tropical fruit / pineapple hops, some sugary caramel, pine, and fresh bread. Some leather and smoke as well. These smells sound disparate, but they marry beautifully. The aroma is strong, inviting, and stays complex and good for the whole bottle.

Taste: First sip: smooth caramel malt, with some fruity hop flavor and light bitterness at the end. Aftertaste is toasted bread. Nice complexity in the malt; more creamy, sugary, bready than the dark fruit expected from the smell. A muted but definitely present warmth comes up at the end, minus any solvent taste.

Further into the glass, the figs from the nose and the mild hops (flavor and bitterness) penetrate the taste from start to finish. Every sip is a long, beautifully balanced mix of everything described above. As the beer warms, some small solvent taste comes out at the end.

Mouthfeel: Fuller side of medium bodied. Smooth and creamy with a decent tingle of both carbonation and hop bitterness.

Drinkability: This beer is a delicious sipper, that would be good fresh from the brewery (great hop flavor), or with a few years on it (huge malty depth). The tiny problems (solvent rains on the other beautiful flavors a bit) really don't bother me at all. Another beer that I don't see myself ever saying no to.

Like Fred, Doggie Claws has a huge, beautiful depth of flavor, but unlike Fred, Doggie Claws is decidedly an American barleywine. It fits right in with Old Ruffian, Old Guardian, Hog Heaven, etc. Familiar malt flavors characteristic of the style, but deeper than usual. The hop notes are unique, but all told they're pretty mild (I know this bottle is a year old, but the hops in Old Guardian, for example, have a lot more to say after a year than those of Doggie Claws). I'd love to have a nice 5 year vertical of this beer.

 2,263 characters

Photo of Beertracker
4.54/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

HOTD Doggie Claws (2004) is reknown for its bold, assertive flavors as a young beer, but let's see how it has held up after five years of cellaring? This vintage of Doggie Claws pours up with a modest effervescence that creates a tightly bubbled, beige colored head that blankets the murky, dark copper-ruddy brown body. DC's kind of an ugly mutt and not known for its social graces anyway. The aroma showcases a bigtime sweet grainy character with notes of burnt sugar, caramel-swirl bread & fireweed honey. The hops have become more subdued offering a complex grassy, herbal notes interlaced with a tinge of fruitiness (dried orange, grape seed, oroblanco) that barely escapes the huge sweet toasted maltiness. The flavor is quite multi-layered with a caramel & honey sweetness upfront followed by a firm toastiness (graham crackers, gingerbread snaps) with barely a hint of chocolate. The hop bitterness is still very firm creating a balanced, but chewy finish. This dog's strength becomes more evident towards the finish, but never becomes rabid. Very complex stuff! I'd have to report that this bottle-conditioned barleywine has held up remarkably well over the seasons and is certainly a testament to the American craft brewer's spirit. Don't turn your back or the Claws will bite you!

CHEERS! Beertracker

Trader's Note: Many thanks to beerhandy for this fine elixir.

 1,376 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.54/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a medium red-orange amber with a one finger fine to medium white head. Nice retention and massive lacing. Looks great. Fantastic aroma of herbal hops and sweet malt, light fruit. Wonderful complex flavor dominated by herbal and citrus hops with a solid sweet malt body and dark and light fruits and honey. Finishes nicely with malt and a hop kick. Creamy medium body. Very well made and tasty. This 2010 bottle was perfectly carbonated, no sign of the over carbonation reported by others for 2010.

 537 characters

Photo of davexisxrabid
4.54/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Doggie Claws 08 poured into my Bruery tulip.

Poured a copper mahogony color with minimal head and retention. Looks oily on top. Left yeast in the bottle. Light visible carbonation.

Aroma of pine with a sweet and sour smell. Kind of a cooked caramel malt smell, like when grains are steeping.

Very nicely balanced flavor. Really mellow, no alcohol heat but with a good sweetness of light brown sugar with a nice slight bitterness. Really good; the hops have mellowed out and aren't mouth puckering and in perfect balance.

Light lingering flavor on the palate but not heavy. Full bodied and lightly carbonated, a delicate balance done right.

Awesome drinkability. I could drink these all night til I puke on myself. Hopefully I wont...

 740 characters

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle says vintage 2004.

This is truly one of the most beautiful beers I have had the privilege of drinking. Sitting in my little Spaten mug this beer displays a spectrum of color running from the edge of the glass to the center. On the outside, it's gold, then a glowing burgundy and finally a dark brown in the middle. Truly a wonder to behold. The head is slightly golden and mildly persistent.

The smell is primarily big barley, a bit of alcohol and a well fitting citrus orange. Very nice.

The flavor is extremely dynamic and surprisingly dry like a stout but the citrus flavor is still there with a great warming from the alcohol in the finish. The malt flavor starts out strong in the beginning, but then gives way to the dryness and citrus. Very fun to drink and just sit back to watch all the flavors wiz by.

The mouth feel is a bit thin for my liking but I think that it augments the varieties of flavor quite well. I don’t think the flavor would be as dynamic if it was any thicker. Even the carbonation seems well paired with the flavor.

This is an awesome beer. Highly recommended.

P.S. Finished off the decanted bottle out of principle and the yeast added a smooth nutty taste, much like a Belgian. Didn't expect that.

 1,257 characters

Photo of rkhaze
4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep red amber color with a dense, creamy tan head. Great retention.
Roasted sweet malt aroma. Brown sugar, red fruit and fresh floral/citrus hops.
Wow! Big complex flavors. Rich roasted malt, dark caramel, toffee,chocolate and some charred red fruits. Finishes tangy with a lingering licorice and fresh hop bitterness. The alcohol was noticeable but well integrated.
Semi full bodied with a full round mouthfeel. Seemed to have a smidge too much carbonation but it sure helped lighten up the feel.
Great flavors and well hidden alcohol. This is a sipper and a real belly warmer. Great stuff.

 604 characters

Photo of Crosling
4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Ruby Brown.

Quite fragrant in its bouquet. Odd, difficult to describe, with notes of dried herbs, cinnamon, rotting red apple, hot sauce and peppers.

The hops are enormous in this barley wine. They don't really come into play until the mid-palate, but when they do huge flavors of pine, lemon, wood and herbs come about, along with an incredible, overpowering bitterness. The malts are full of caramel and sweet sugar glazed dark fruits. Daunting, griping, textured, full body.

Just an incredible beer.

 511 characters

Photo of sinistermadman
4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


Pours an orange-amber color while yielding a nice, creamy head. Generous lacing on the side of my glass. Crisp, earthy malt aroma with some subdued hop notes as well. Nice! Taste is so soft and delicate. Caramel and faint chocolate with a mild residual sweetness (wildflower honey collected on Mt. Hood apparently doing its part). Stellar! Mouthfeel is flawless. Quite smooth but semi-full. This is pure joy to drink. Alcohol never intrudes. Quite the drinkable brew.

I am kicking myself for not making the trip to the brewery a few weeks ago to get the barrel aged stuff. Maybe a bit to uninvolved for some barley wine aficionados, but to me this strikes a perfect balance between complexity and drinkability. Cheers to Alan for a great brew.

 750 characters

Doggie Claws from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
4.12 out of 5 based on 1,182 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.