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

551 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: 551 | Ratings: 1,181
Photo of porntipsguzzardo
3.49/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

 781 characters

Photo of Rutager
3.51/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

2012 bottle.

Appearance. Pours a murky deep brown with a little amber. Very still, no head ...hmmm.

Smell. Sweet caramel and piney hops with a little citrus, sweet spice, and light fruits.

Taste. Caramel, piney hops, brown sugar and oranges with a little light spice again and some bitter citrus rind in the finish.

Mouthfeel. Full body with just a little warmth and completely flat.

Overall. This is a tasty beer, no doubt of that. The lack of carbonation is just inexcusable from professional brewers, especially from one with such a reputation for a quality product. Very disapointing, I think this would have been amazing if it was done right.

 653 characters

Photo of kdahnke123
3.51/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a beer glass.
A - Pours a somewhat murky amber color (I poured it a little fast and there was a reasonable amount of sediment). The half finger of head slowly dissipates to a fine lacing.
S - Very hoppy with some malt and carmel in the background.
T - Somewhat off pine/resinous hop flavor up front. A little bit of malt in there but mostly hops, hop and more hops.
M - Medium mouth feel with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O - An average American style barley wine. Not very well balanced. Maybe in 3 years the hops would have dropped out some but here and now not very pleasing and I like barley wines.

 623 characters

Photo of trappistlover
3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(12oz bottle for Bruery Provisions). Pours hazy copper color with massive beige head and ample carbonation. Aroma has lots of caramel malt, maybe a little hop spice and plenty of pine. Taste is very sweet with a hop bite on the end. Full bodied with sticky texture. Finish is slightly bitter, but smooth. Nice beer, but very sweet.

 331 characters

Photo of DIM
3.54/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2008 version

a: This was an extremely dark mahogany color, almost opaque. Since the cap popped off with a barely audible "pffft", I wasn't surprised to see a weak looking, big bubbled head.

s: Very sweet overall, I got big notes of brown sugar and caramel, plus a little heat.

t: Here as well, this was quite sweet. Lots of brown sugar with a little caramel and some toffee. Pretty one dimensional frankly.

m: Big and viscous, but definitely under carbonated. I don't like a fizzy b-wine, but this was too still.

d: What can I say, this was a let down from a great brewery. I'll stick to Adam, this wasn't for me.

 619 characters

Photo of Brandywine
3.55/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance. Super murky brown. Very viscous but with absolutely no head. Nice lacing with big clear bubbles. Tons of big alcohol legs.

Smell: honey, over ripe fruits soaked in sugar, baked apples, subtle citrus from tbe hops. Total malt bomb.

Taste: hop bitterness right up front. Grapefruit and lime. Big honeyed malt backbone.

Mouthfeel: on the lighter side of full. There's pretty much no carbonation. Don't know if I got a defunct bottle in that regard.

Overall: this brew has potential but suffers from a lack of complexity and no carbonation.

 556 characters

Photo of Paincane
3.56/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Opaque copper colored brew with a creamy tan head. Excellent lacing and head retention. Yeast sediment is present.
S: Aromas of bread, toffee & brown sugar. Alcohol and yeasty notes dance on the nose.
T: Biscuity malt flavors with honey presence. Opens as it warms and becomes more intensely boozy.
M: Chewy and warming.
O: Full flavored & boozy.

 354 characters

Photo of veinless
3.56/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks go out to AwYeh for splitting his only 12oz bottle with me.

Vintage: 2010

Pours a murky light brown with oranges mixed in. Looks like unfiltered apple juice. A large, foamy, rocky, soft, light tan head caps the body. Very lacy, leaving rungs of residue. Good looking beer.

Smells light, with a sweet floral character defining it. Jasmine and a touch of juniper make it springy and perfumish, while a little ethanol provides astringency.

Taste is hoppy, with a tempered lemon citrus to start, before moving to grain and lightly toasted malt. The roast malt then moves to a balanced malt/hops middle and a dry roast finish. Very balanced yet pungent, but the vodka-like ethanol I got wasn't too pleasant in either the nose or taste.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, with average carbonation. Pretty middle of the road. Drinkability is hurt by the excess astringency - this beer tasted, felt, and drank like straight vodka a little bit, although the good qualities in the beer far outweighed this one negative.

 1,023 characters

Photo of beergeek279
3.57/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Served in the 12 oz. bottle into a tulip. The color is copper, much lighter than any other barleywine I've seen, with a clumping foamy white head. The smell is very strong apple sweetness with a touch of alcohol. The taste is a lot drier than the smell suggested, with a slight touch of apple sweetness and a very strong bitterness, with a good bit of astringency in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is nice and creamy. As for drinkability, I'll have this one but not really one I'd look for again.

Unfortunately, this is a fairly disappointing barleywine. Though it smells absolutely fantastic, the taste is not all that great. Maybe it was mishandled by the bar, but I got it at KClinger's and they seem to know how to take care of beer. A terrible astringency in the aftertaste ruins what could have been rather enjoyable....maybe if I find another at some point, I'll make sure this isn't a bad bottle, but for now, I won't really bother with this one again.

 958 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.57/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From 6/12/10 notes. Thanks to nimbleprop for sharing this one. Vintage 2005.

a - a murky orange brown color no head light carbo

s - Smells of sweet fruit, caramel malts, and bready malts.

t - Tastes fruity malts, caramel malts, and swet fruit. Also some booze in the taste.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Some sediment in the beer.

d - This was an ok barleywine, but it was very sweet. It also had a lot of sediment in it, which I didn't really enjoy. Wouldn't look to have a vintage this old again, but would try a newer year.

 543 characters

Photo of bifrostguard
3.59/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a cloudy, deep amber color somewhat reminiscent of a thick apple cider with some solid particles floating about. Almost no head on an aggressive pour.

S - Citrusy hops is the first scent to hit the nostrils followed by a ripe citrus fruit sweet scent. Some spice and yeast are also present.

T - Tastes like a strong, sweet apple cider that brings some heat. There is a yeast presence and only some mild spiciness. Oranges and pineapples are some of the other fruits that can be interpreted.

M - Quite smooth and enjoyable. Enough carbonation to keep things interesting and not thick enough to be disgusting for this style.

D - I don't really enjoy this beer so I'm looking to the next with quite a bit of this left in my glass.

 741 characters

Photo of Fish113d
3.61/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

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

 1,226 characters

Photo of mrmanning
3.62/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of HogtownHarry- Pours a very still deep rusty bronze. Bose is big and fruity, fig and plum, some gold rum, hop resin, pine, lots of wood. Tastes of sweet caramel malts, earthy piney hops, grapefruit, bourbon, butterscotch. Nice. Still again in the finish, very warming, syrupy. A good sipper. Thanks Harry!

 323 characters

Photo of dsa7783
3.63/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Single, twelve-ounce bottle purchased from New Beer Distributors in Manhattan on Chrystie Street...
Beautiful appearance... A slow and steady pour yielded a hazy and murky orange hue with a gigantic foamy and frothy head that exhibited enormous staying power...
Smell replete with a nice combination of malts and hops along with a dose of honey in the nose...
Thick, creamy, rich, ultra-sweet taste, bordering on cloying... The taste was extremely sugared with loads of honey, caramel, a hint of vanilla, molasses, and super-sweet syrup...
Mouthfeel was thick and creamy as well...
Drinkability was average at best due to the high ABV and slightly cloying flavors...
Definitely a good depiction of the style, but certainly a sipper more than anything...

 753 characters

Photo of cavedave
3.63/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big thanks to black13 for the chance to try yet another fine NW brew. Vintage 2009.

Pours quite cloudy, quite dark amber, topped by an unexpectedly huge beige head that hangs around. Not like any barleywine I've seen, but it looks delectable.

The smell is light/med. for style, with candy, caramel, fig, rounded yeast notes, stone fruit, and some unidentifiable flavors that bond the bouquet into a light perfume. Not much for a barleywine but what there is pleases.

A figgy sweet ushers the palate along a path of caramel, light floral hop, candy, lightly fruity notes, and into a finish that is sweet and full of effervescent light bitter with hints of lemon. It tastes almost like a sweet BSA minus the tart, but very clean, and sparkly in the mouth. A bit too sweet, but quite delicious. Not as complex as Adam or Fred, but that same HOTD flare for the tasty.

Mouthfeel is the expected thick, but it is fairly light on the palate, the bright flavors fight palate fatigue the sweet might otherwise cause. Lower carb. than the look predicts, decent finish. A bit of a buildup of the lemony notes is my only criticism.

Drinkability, due to ABV and thick feel of the sweet isn't so good as it might be, or even as it may yet be with some age.

Impression: Hair Of The Dog produces some amazing barleywines. This is a good one, but not one of their best.

 1,358 characters

Photo of Nugganooch
3.64/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Doggie Claws – 2012 Big thanks to brooklynbrews for this extra.

12oz bottle into my FW snifter glass.
*Notes taken from 06/29/13.

A: Looks murky and lifeless with a dark caramel body and some ruddy brown hues. Virtually no head on it gives the impression of lower carbonation here. A little sediment floating and a watery edge to it. Almost looks like prune juice or something. Not stick or lace to speak of. Not the most attractive beer by any means.

S: Smells of booze met with sweet caramel malts and some underpinnings of dried orange peels. The aromas start to assert more stone fruit like esters on the backend as they segue into plum and date notes. Really takes on a vinous character. Representative of the style with some firm alcohol presence.

T: Tastes juicy with a big caramel malt toffee sweetness. There is a bit of raisin bread and spice with suggestions of candied citrus peel. The beer has a moderate amount of perceived bitterness and the alcohol is quite hearty adding a boozy spice. Finishes with some plumy esters and more toffee nougat. Nice Barley malt flavors and incredibly well balanced for such a big brew.

M: Feel is a little flat and watery with some light chew to it. Falls in the moderately heavy range with more of a wet finish. Alcohol warmth radiates. Rather clean overall.

D: Not my fav of the style with the slightly flat carbonation and higher octane. Does bring out some real nice malty flavors however. Not something I would pick up often. Makes for a nice seasonal sipper though.

 1,529 characters

Photo of pmarlowe
3.66/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 vintage. Tulip glass.

A: Pours an extremely dark, opaque, red-tinted amber with a finger and a half of dense beige head. Some nice swaths of lacing and good retention.

S: Lots of plum juice at first, which mellows out more as it warms, revealing honey and floral notes, and caramel and crystal malts.

T: Similar, quite dry up front and with a moderate amount of bitterness, which is cut at the back end by lingering honey sweetness.

M: Honey smooth, medium-full body and medium carbonation. Goes down easy and alcohol is almost completely hidden. Slightly sticky mouthfeel.

O: Overall, an OK beer but not overly enjoyable. I can see a barrel treatment doing wonders for this beer. I remember having one with a few years of age on it, and that seemed to mellow and integrate the flavors much better. It seems to be in a bit of an awkward stage 6mo out or so.

 868 characters

Photo of mntlover
3.68/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy cloudy orangeish brown mixture with large head that falls to a finger size cap, light spotty lace.
Aroma of light malt caramel and toffee mixed some light floral earthy hops thrown in the mix but overall not strong and fades quite quick.
Taste is nice malty upfront with lots of carbonation mixed with toffee some light fruit orange mango mixture not really citrusy but almost. Finishes with some moderate bitterness that is earthy in nature more the anything with subdued lemon mixed with pear hints. Very intersting Barley Wine diffrent then the norm not bad just different.
Mouthfeel is good right side of medium approaching full a nice feeling beer.
Drinkability is good having hard time picking taste score can't decide its not bad wish we had a 3.75 to choose from. Would recommend trying this not bad you might enjoy this a little more then I did.

 875 characters

Photo of chugalug06
3.68/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Super Foamy! Very alive... I think i shouldn't have opened this one quite yet, perhaps it's ALIVE!!!

Great head, amber color with murky yeast tints... a few bottom feeders. Spotty lacing

S - Smells like a sugar bomb. Maybe some funk going on too??? Hops are not cohesive together.

T - Yep, a definite funk in this one... Quite good , but it's thrown off a bit by something I can't put my finger on. Very sugary and hoppy, hop schedule could stand a change. The hop schedule could be causing the unique funk???? It almost has a Vodka flavor...

M - Slightly over carbonated, but great coverage.

D - Not a brew to drink cold... Very good, I'm glad I tried this one!

Cheers, thanks Steve!

 695 characters

Photo of Uncle_Jimmy
3.69/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Ruddy Reddish brown and opaque with 2 fingers of witeish brownish head some lacing and some floaters (yeast?)

Aroma- baked bread burnt carmel brown sugar

taste carmel toffee plum and prune. like a boozey dr. pepper. More drinkable than Fred I think would like to have tried this one barrel aged of cellared for a bit like the label suggests. Hops are peppery and well balanced.

Mouthfeel - syrup-y and full bodied bordering on cloying . the booze gives you a bit of a hum at the end

Overall- I think this is more drinkable than the Fred its a big beer and one that I could have only a few of. also it seems like it may be a holiday beer in which case I could see it pairing well with heavy holiday foods like turkey and prime rib(the game-ier the better) maybe even lamb. The mouthfeel is a bit sticky, but i have only really came across one cloying beer (sneaky pete).

 888 characters

Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.69/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2006 vintage. From notes 8/6/09. Bottle had 1/2"-2/3" of sediment at the bottom. Served with some Cambizola and sesame flatbreads.

Pours a stunning copper color with ruby highlights into a tulip. Barely any head, a few bubbles. No pfft sound upon opening, nice legs, but am worried about carbonation and oxidation at this point.

The aroma begins with herbal and floral hops which are surprisingly present. Oxidation is moderate but tolerable. Malts are toasted and nutty in character with caramel flavors. Raisins, dates, alcohol and a slight smokiness.

Taste follows the flavors found in the aroma. Low bitterness and a caramel sweetness are present. Hints of vanilla and toffee.

Mouthfeel is coating, smooth but allows its ABV to be felt. Became more and more hot as it warmed, but overall was not too imposing and about average for its style/abv. Very low carbonation.

Next time I get some of these, I will definitely wax them and make sure they are stored properly. A friend of mine bought this for me off the warm shelf and it clearly had suffered from some bad storage.

 1,085 characters

Photo of freeeekyyy
3.69/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

'08 bottle. For sipping, not gulping. Looks like unfiltered apple cider. Smells like it too. Big chunks of yeast floating around in the bottle look like dandruff. Fairly high in the hops category, but still nothing compared to some double IPAs. Big malt. A very well balanced beer. If it weren't so high in the alcohol, or masked it a little better, drinkability would be great too. I definitely plan on getting another bottle, and aging that one.

 447 characters

Photo of Realale
3.7/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

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

 1,547 characters

Photo of Auracom
3.7/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2012 Vintage at the Hair of the Dog's brewpub in Portland. 2 oz. served in a taster tulip on November 29th, 2012.

A - Slightly lighter version of Adam, white thin head with great lacing and marginal retention.

S - Plentiful piney hop resin. Touch of caramel and candied sugar underneath.

T - It's actually better balanced than anticipated. Initial tropical fruit and pine sap meld with toffee, rye bread, and honey at mid palate. Lingering bitterness into finish.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, semi-dry finish.

D - Yeah, it's a solid American barleywine here in its super fresh state. Absolutely need to try an aged version to see how it transforms.

 663 characters

Photo of Docer
3.71/5  rDev -10%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2009 fresh 12 oz. bottle.

- Heavy pour leaves no head at all. Hardly a bubbly in sight. Very flat. Thick murky brown.. little bit of haze, and drifting sediment.

- Nice floral honey scent with a bit of strong alcohol... but not too heavy. Citrusy and floral hopping. Sweet and nectar-like.

- Very sweet honey flavor... not strong in alcohol at all.. some tea flavors, flowers... nectar... and a sweet citrus, and pine hopping. Would have to say I do love the flavor... but its flat.

- Little heavy, chalky... overall creamy smooth. absolutely no carbonation though which is very disappointing.

- Great flavor, hides the alcohol well... but no carbonation. A little bit of light carbonation, or some head and lacing would have made this brew much better. Perhaps next year.

 777 characters

Doggie Claws from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
4.12 out of 5 based on 1,181 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.