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
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 552 | Ratings: 1,182
Photo of ThickNStout
4.45/5  rDev +8%
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.

 1,162 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 unclekeith
4.52/5  rDev +9.7%
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

 237 characters

Photo of stevoj
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

 185 characters

Photo of elNopalero
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

 167 characters

Photo of rarigney
2.22/5  rDev -46.1%
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.

 320 characters

Photo of brewskifan55
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

 593 characters

Photo of mynie
2.03/5  rDev -50.7%
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.

 473 characters

Photo of KensWorld
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
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

 388 characters

Photo of snaotheus
3.33/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle of 2014 served in a tulip. Bottle opened with surprisingly, disturbingly little gasp.

Beer pours flat, brown, muddy looking. Smell is wood, smoke, very oaky.Alcohol. Taste is very sweet, lots and lots of that oaky characteristic. Some strange buttery characteristic.

Mouthfeel is slick, thick, oily. Not a fan. I've had it other times, and thought it was good. I suspect I got a bad bottle, based on the butteriness and the lack of pressure when I opened the cap.

 488 characters

Photo of zratcliff
1.18/5  rDev -71.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Just making this review to add to some below.

2015 bottle

Opened the cap (popped doesn't count here as I will note below). Zero sound.

Did aggressive pour into a snifter. ZERO carb.

Off Smell - I can smell a little bit of BW here, but more apple cider vinegar.

Taste - absolutely awful - and this is coming from someone who has grown to love English style BWs. Vinegar and cardboard.

I am guessing there was an issue with the seal of the cap or the bottle conditioning itself. Maybe both.

As another poster said below - quality control or lack thereof, ruined this beer for me.

 598 characters

Photo of CowsandBeer
3.72/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottled gifted from Bretthead. 2013 bottle per the label. Poured into a Hair of the Dog tulip.

Appearance: Pours a dark, burnished copper with a bubbly film and a few yeast specks. Looks like it has little or no carbonation. Body is very hazy with no lacing.

Aroma: Worn leather, oxidized malts, brown sugar, raisins, marshmallowy malts (not unlike that in an aged Bigfoot), fading piney American hops.

Taste: Nice American hop presence hanging around up front, gooey honey, brown sugar, soft alcohol, roasted barley. What I want from a seasonal barleywine.

Mf: Medium body for a beer which equals more of a thin feel for a barleywine. Almost zero carbonation. Very slick and syrupy. Hardly any heat.

Overall: A very nice barleywine with a sweeter, dark take on the style and a dry hoppyness. Even a dab of carbonation could of really helped this beer. The hop presence is there to cut the sweetness but with the stillness it’s just hoppy, syrupy sweet malt water. Well worth it if you think it might be carbed, otherwise just stick to Bigfoot or Hog Heaven for a hoppy American barleywine.

 1,122 characters

Photo of Jimmys
2.69/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle. 2013 vintage. kept at cellar conditions since obtaining in 2013.

A: pours like all hell. dark brown and super hazy. tried to keep most of the conditioning yeast out of the pour, but it was challenging. head is super frothy and has great retention.

S: smells like a glass of raisins. oxidation too. virtually no hops. this thing is pretty cooked and despite being held at cellar conditions, didn't age nicely.

T: see aroma.

M: a positive from this, the carb is great. full bodied brew.

D: see aroma. truly, I kept this in good condition and it really is nothing to write home about. should have drank sooner as I could only imagine fresh would be much better.

 680 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.36/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

 598 characters

Photo of EdwardAbbey
1.3/5  rDev -68.4%
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.

 355 characters

Photo of Mehinaman
3.43/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Have to admit I was really disappointed in this one as it came highly recommended. It just seemed to be really flat to me. Almost to the point where I am wondering if I got a skunked bottle. I don't think so though. I realize this beer has a lot of fans so I will simply say it is not for me

 291 characters

Photo of kacytennic
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Good beer, complex flavors that were very well balanced, Nice hoppy ness thats complimented nicely with sweet malt, really great combination. Hops arent over the but hang around really nicely to work with the other flavors.

 223 characters

Photo of VashonGuy
4.08/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2013 bottle, into a snifter.

Look: clear amber, modest head, with some lacing that lasts.
Aroma: dark fruits, caramel, some alcohol
Taste: sweet, malty, a little boozy. I get just a bit of hoppiness. No bitterness to speak of at all.
Mouthfeel: still some carbonation. Very smooth.
Overall: a tasty barleywine that hits the spot for me. Not the best I've ever had by any means, but quite good, and well worth having again.

 432 characters

Photo of hopsolutely
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 2010 legend received via CanBIF; thank-you tmappins!

Has held up remarkably well after 5 years of bottle aging. Pours a dusty amber with a thin-bubbled beige head that has good staying power. An impressive amount of carbonation for a purposely "flat" beer after such a length of time. The sludge under the cap was a bit disconcerting, but no harm that I've yet found.

Aroma started with a dark fruit palate but has become slightly oxidized as it warms. As that's a characteristic I attribute to faded hops in many barley wines, I believe it's as expected. Mouthfeel is creamy and fulsome, with the +11% scarily well hidden i.e. very little alcohol burn in the finish. Malt spectrum in the taste ranges from a sweet body to a nicely dry finish, with prunes and other dried stone fruit predominant.

 806 characters

Photo of Hop_God
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So I reviewed a 2015 in 2015 of this and hated it.

This is a 2010 drank 10/6/16

A: deep amber to ruby. Thin khaki head

S: sweet dark fruit. Vanilla. Oak. Caramel. Candied fruit.

T: oaky. Sweet fruits. Candied orange. Vanilla. Oak barre. Lots of burnt caramel.

F: creamy. Oaky. Smoky. Bitter bite.

O: well with 6-7 years of age this is awesome. Fresh was not anything to be excited about.

 400 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
2.28/5  rDev -44.7%
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.

 1,196 characters

Photo of mabermud
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: No head. Medium brown body. No legs or residue.
Smell: Caramel, coconut, maple, and Playdough.
Taste: Caramel, coconut, doughy/bready sweetness, and maple.
Feel: Nice coverage. Low carb. Nice soft body.
Overall: I would say it is kind of flat, but I like it too much to say that. HotD makes great beer. I will have it again.

 341 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.26/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2013 vintage. Poured in a snifter, the beer is a muddled, opaque, nut brown coloring with no head. Aromas of raw honey, chocolate, molasses, rich toffee, booze, and earthy notes. Flavors are rich and smooth forward, with toffee and molasses sweetness. Creme highlights and earthy notes blend to help balance the booze. Date, fig, and raisins round out the rich characteristics. Smooth, creamy, robust bodied, with a rich, layered, sugary sweets, old world fruit aftertaste. The finish is smooth, creamy, and warming, with a molasses and cream linger.

 550 characters

Photo of Wayne17
2.33/5  rDev -43.4%
look: 1 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Wow this is a let down. Had to be the least appealing beer I've ever seen. Looks like diarrhea to be quite honest and smells vaguely barley wine-ish. Taste isn't AWFUL but it's certainly not good. A weird plastic-y aspect to this that doesn't sit well. And still looking at it is giving me the willies. Bottle says its a 2013 in case anyone cares.

 352 characters

Photo of Nietzsches_Horse
2/5  rDev -51.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Perhaps beyond my current palate, but I don't think so...It looked, smelled, and tasted bad (like medicine or some kind of stale/infected cider more than beer). Still, I recognize I'm in the minority on this verdict. Maybe you'll love it! (Edit: refers to 2014 batch, which may have had "issues.")

 299 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
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.