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

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Doggie ClawsDoggie Claws
1,198 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 1,198 |  Reviews: 557
Photo of SonicAlligator
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of SourNotes
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Exiled
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of John11486
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Photo of Travisnin
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Photo of Rollzroyce21
4.31/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

*Unless noted otherwise, all 12 oz. bottles

- 2010 vintage
- Poured into stemless wine glass on 2-Nov-11 (aged 1 year)
No tasting notes

- 2011 vintage
- Poured into stemless wine glass on 4-Dec-11 (fresh)
May be the best American barley wine that I've tasted fresh and that's non-BA.
Hot, but not as hot as other BWs are fresh and great balance b/t malts and hops. Aromas of pine hops w/citrus notes. .Smells like pineapple juice. Taste follows the nose a lot. Getting pineapple and malt. Not much heat either. Very well balanced.

- 2009 vintage
- Poured into stemless wine glass on 3-Nov-12 (aged 3 years / cellared 1 year)
The carbonation is almost nearly gone. No head and just a little fizz in the mouthfeel. This is unfortunate because the flavor is still intact. The bready malt blended real nicely with the pineapple citrus and pine notes from the hops. Real smooth balance. Notes of toffee/caramel. If the carbonation was there, this would've been perfect. Not sure if I'd age beyond 3 years until I try the other bottle little later this year.
UPDATE: Based on what I've read, it may just be this vintage. Cracked open another '09 bottle couple days later and same carbonation issue.

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Photo of ChaseT
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Photo of drpimento
4.74/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

BOOM! Big Beer! Would've given it an even better score had I noticed it was a gusher before half the beer left the bottle and therefore my mouth. What I did get had a thick, creamy, foamy, frothy, fluffy, billowy light tan head that lasts all the way down and some lace. Color is a cloudy amber brown. Aroma is yeast, caramel, toffee, hops, honey, fresh leather. Flavor is like nose but with sweet and bitter standing out most with enough tang to balance and then other flavors too fleeting for me to identify. Soft full, round body and excellent carbonation. Finish is like flavor, fairly long, and only a hint of alcohol.

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Photo of kzoobrew
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to camil1mj for this bottle.

2010 vintage

Pours a very murky, dirty bronze color. The body is full of sediment leading to a very opaque beer. Four finger vanilla pudding colored head. The head is rather stubborn, retention is phenomenal. Once the head eventually works its way back, heavy lacing clings to the walls of the glass.

Bold and assertive barleywine. The aroma displays a nice balance between the hops and malt. Heavily caramelized malt and raisin combines with resinous pine and citrus.

The flavor mimics the nose rather well. The malt rolls across the palate first. The caramel flavor is much lighter on the tongue than in the nose. Soft and sweet caramel transitions towards the darker fruit flavors on the back of the tongue. The hop flavor is less assertive than the aroma. The sweet citrus flavor is prominent, paired with a slight resinous flavor. The malt shines from beginning to end, but the hop flavor is one hell of a compliment. May not be evenly balanced but dare I say it is perfectly balanced. With a year on this bottle there is not much heat but a pleasant warmth on the back end.

Full bodied Barleywine, carbonation in moderate. Thick, nearly chewy texture. The finish is long as the heavy flavors dig into the tongue.

Doggie Claws is a very good beer. I am not ready yet to call it my favorite Barleywine but if it were readily available to me it would have room reserved in my cellar. The balance of the beer is incredible. A definite sipper but highly enjoyable. Certainly a beer to seek out, I am very glad I had the opportunity, I will be looking for more in the future.

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Photo of StoneTSR
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: Deep copper with an orange hue. The head is about a half-inch thick and off white. The retention is average at best, but this is still a lively, good looking beer.

SMELL: I was a bit disappointed at first. I expected a big, aggressive nose, instead I got nearly nothing until it aired out a bit. Once it opened up, there were some sweet spices, caramel and malty aromas present.

TASTE: This is an outstanding example of the style in terms of taste. It is a big and malty with cinnamon, sugar, caramel and molasses flavors along side banana, dark fruit and just a hint of apple. Hops are also present here, but they are more rounded and subtle than in some other big west coast beers.

MOUTHFEEL: The mouthfeel is rather pleasant. It is big, rich and oily, but by no means is it mouthcoating. In fact, the finish is rather dry.

OVERALL: This is an outstanding example of the style and it also happens to be an excellent beer to introduce someone to the style. Doggie Claws is solid.

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Photo of DaveHS
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2008 shared by nbree00.

A-Pours hazy, iced tea brown. There was a lot of chunky yeast in the bottom of the bottle, so pour carefully. No head.

S-Baked apples, cinnamon, mulled cider. Thin waves of toffee/caramel sweetness.

T/M-Very light, thin carbonation. Mouthfeel is creamy and warming on the back of the throat. Baked apple sweetness layered on muted piney hops. A thin, concentrated sweetness provides the baseline, and provides a lingering sugary finish.

O-Another standout beer from Hair of the Dog. Very unique.

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Photo of sprucetip
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

08 vintage. Copper/amber, modest activity, and vaguely hazy. No head or lacing to speak of.

Smells of faded citrusy hops, caramel malty sweetness, and boozy esters balanced very nicely. This must have been a hop monster when it was fresh. Really nice.

Fruity and floral hops are still noticeable but definitely muted. They balance exceptionally well with the caramel malty sweet backbone. Mild boozy esters and light bitterness add some depth and complexity. Absolutely delicious.

Very low carbonation, super rich full body, high viscosity, and a hint of bitterness in the finish.

HOTD nails it (again). This is an exceptionally good beer. Wow. Yum. Thanks Adam ("you want this, I gotta get rid of some this..."). Often I review a big beer fresh or within a year or so, and think it would get better with age. With this one, I'd love to try it fresh and/or fresher and see what it's like with more profound hop character. But it is great 3 years out, just in case you are wondering.

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Photo of Gushue3
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage. Thanks to HuskinPDX for the smooth and ridiculously fast shipping job.

Holy fucking gusher. Thing exploded all over my table and laptop. I hastily dumped some into my glass to stop the carnage from getting worse. There's a foamy finger and a half head after all settles and leaves lots of lacing. The body is a murky brown orange hue and has some floaties hangin around. Looks good but the gushing really put a bad taste in my mouth.

Sweet bready malt with some mollasses and caramel. Tint bit of sharp hops but definately smells really sweet. Smells more like an english BW.

There's the hops. Nice hoppyness thats complimented nicely with sweet malt, really great combination. Hops arent over the but hang around really nicely to work with the other flavors. Some sweeter caramel and toffee come through in the middle. Hops settle down toward the end of the middle and leaves a nice light sweet ride to the finish. Great balance of hoppy and malty. Can't wait to try it fresh.

Feels to be on the heavier side of medium and somewhat syrupy. good amount of smaller carbonation bubbles.

Besides the explosion really enjoyable beer. Taste was pretty spot on, awesome balance and everything was real nice. This brewery keeps growing on me.

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Photo of kingcrowing
4.55/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

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Photo of stakem
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 offering care of both Joe and Brett. Thanks guys for the hookup on this one, unfortunately I don't know which one of you is responsible for this particular bottle but I am grateful to you both for allowing me the opportunity. Poured into my Hotd tulip care of Kegatron, thanks to you as well my friend!

Gusher warning here. The cap came off and I poured the brew carefully down the side of my glass. I only got a couple ounces into the glass before it was overtaken by a billowing yellowish stained tan head. What remained in the bottle slowly crept up, out and down the outside of the neck. It doesn't matter how careful you pour, the eruption of carbonation swirls the half inch of yeast that is on the bottom up into the brew and makes it transform from a clear golden to copper color into more of a clouded brown to amber color. A finger of yellowish tan head maintains a fingers strength throughout the entire duration with a constant stream of bubbles to the surface. Thick patches of lace stick all over the glass. When held to the light, a ridiculous amount of yeast trub lays on the bottom of the glass that includes some green hop break material. Thick chunks of yeast hang along the edges of my glass where the wall of the glass moves inward towards the base.

The smell of this brew initially had a bright citrus and fruited hop scent that was very reminiscent of something more accustomed to IPA territory. The bright hop character gives way to a yeasty quality along with toasted oats and grain that smells a bit burnt. There is a hoppy vegetative quality throughout that mixes with a lightly sulfuric yeast mixture which takes this brew in a unique direction. Across the back are some sweet scents like toffee.

The taste of this brew is as expected based off the aroma. It is a bold assault of hoppy bitterness that carries with it some resinous pine-like bite, along with fruity rind quality and more bitter fruitiness like grapefruit or orange pulp. There is a solid foundation of toasted malt that comes across like toffee. This brew is a constant struggle inside the mouth between sweet and caramel malts verse bitey aggressive hoppy bitterness. A yeast quality is present throughout the profile. The aftertaste is a constant struggle between sweet verse bitter with little to no alcohol impact for the listed 11.5%.

This is a medium to full bodied brew with an excessive amount of carbonation that is just way over the top. The sheer amount of yeast and carbonation that makes its way into the glass is quite distracting. However, for how over carbonated it was, instead of being prickly and bubblly inside the mouth, the overkill of yeast made it feel more thick and creamy, strange. As-is this was a solid take on the style, I hope my experience was just an off bottle or bad batch because I see this without the carbonation and yeast issue being a very solid brew. I will need to revisit this soon but let my review be a warning. I feel that my bottle literally could have burst if it was mishandled, there was that much carbonation.

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Photo of dgilks
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear red colour with a nice creamy light tan head. Good head retention and some great lacing.

Big robust toffee aroma with some notes of honey and lots of fruit. Great esters with pear, apple and stonefruit all coming through.

Big malty sweetness with lots of caramel and some toasty toffee. Big fruity esters again with some great pear and peach notes. Really delicious.

Full body with moderate carbonation. Really solid and a great example of a barleywine.

A really great Barleywine. Alan really knows how to make big malt flavours sing with the addition of some hops for balance and great yeast character. A stunner.

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Photo of warbird07
4.37/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage..poured into my largest snifter, because these HOTD beers can get out of hand with the carbonation..

Appearence is nice..pours a deep ruby red..substantial head with a gentle pour, boatload of sticky lacing...this is has all the look of intense brew..

Smell is frankly, quite nice..very strong...where the hops were, I imagine, is the nice sort of sweet ice tea nose..malt heavy, smells like a young barleywine..

taste is intense, Malty, sweet, fig, dark fruit, some hop bitterness..very heavy on the toungue.a bit of a boozy presence, but it is to be expected....

Mouthfeel is odviuously nice and substantial, for this style, and for HOTD, abundance of carbonation and heavy malt make for a bit of a chewy presence, which I enjoy immensely..

overall this is a sipper, but IMO a marvelous example of how a heavyweight American Barleywine..I am dying to try this fresh...

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Photo of jm1229
4.07/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2nd review on BA.

12 oz bottle opened on 8/3/11 at 10pm pst. 2010 vintage poured into a nonic tasting glass. Served at 55 degrees.

A- Pours a dark/golden amber. It's a little darker than I had expected. Lots of creamy head on this one, sticking to the sides of the glass like it's grasping for its life. Maybe I'm trying too hard here, let's just get to the beer.

S- I immediately get the smell of the malts followed closely by some citrus-y hops. The hops are lingering in my nose and my mouth is watering. I'm getting some mango and pineapple now. Some pine there, too. Smells very nice.

T- Big taste of malt, bread, and caramel. Surprisingly well-hid alcohol in this. Lots of fruit coming in afterwards, just like the smell.

M- Less carbonated than you'd think after all the head from the pour. Very smooth, great sipper.

O- Really great beer. This is my first beer from Hair of the Dog and I'll definitely be coming back to this one, maybe grab a few and put them in my cellar to age. I can't imagine what some aging will do to this one.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Darkness snifter.

Year Made: 2010

A- I opened the bottle and turned away for a sec which was not very smart, the beer started flowing out of the top, such a waist of beer. Luckily not a lot came out. Really carbonated beer, from the pour 3 finger frothy head, that dissipates slowly, dark burnt orange almost brown color, a lot of sediment on the bottom and flowing throughout the beer, really nice lacing.
S- Really nice aroma, nice hoppy aromas, pine citrus, as well as spice and malt. Looking forward to trying this one.
T- Really well brewed beer, pretty sweet, slight bitterness, nice hoppy notes, pine and citrus some grapefruit, big malt presence, nutty, bready, some spice notes as well, really tasty.
M- Medium mouthfeel, well carbonated, smooth drinking, crisp finish.
O- Solid brew from HOTD, love what they do with their beers, making them unique and different from other beers of the same style. Really impressed.

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Photo of claspada
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 release. Pours a nice clear golden orange/amber with a ridiculous amount of white foamy head, way way more than I have ever seen in a Barleywine. Leaves some nice lacing as well.

Aromas begin with tons of sweet honey and toasty bready and much lesser caramel malts. Fruity hops join the party next with citrus and some lesser tropical fruits as well. Smells become more intense and pleasant as it warms and once the head recedes so you can actually get a good whiff of the liquid itself.

The tastes begin with sweet honey, bready and butterscotch malts, caramels emerge more as it warms. Nice balance of light bitter hops with adequate amounts of fruit flavor hops as well. Quite fruity overall (balanced fruit though); nice pineapple and orange mainly. Finish is nice and dry from the higher ABV and adequate carbonation. Nice dryness and crisp finish.

Overall I really enjoyed this Barleywine. It is much more balanced in the hop department and doesn’t linger into that hazy DIPA/American Barleywine category that most west coast breweries seem to love now (Stone, Green Flash, Sierra Nevada, etc. which are all too heavy on the bittering even with aging). This is perfect after about a year of aging and from what I have read is one of the style which is better consumed in the 6 mo - 1 year range. Highly recommended; I also enjoyed this more than my first 2 HotD beers (Fred and Ruth).

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Photo of CooperEllis
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from 2009 into Duvel snifter - from Hopsbreath a while back, just getting to this now. Thanks!

The pour is lovely, with a color that is deep, with dark brooding core with shadows that dance along the edges like bronze patina. Head billows and leaves clouds of lacing before settling thick across the pour.

A hopforward nose with strong notes of honey/mead. The hops notes are largely floral with a smattering of bitters hidden underneath the sticky honey.

A rich flavor, malt and honey, with strong bitterness in the finish cutting through an otherwise cloying sweetness. The mouthfeel is remarkable, so light compared to the aroma and taste, medium bodied. Would prefer that there was a touch less bitterness at the end but otherwise this is delicious.

Very good. I'm not sure why I just think this is a 4.0. It's very "this universe just kind of feels like a 'B'" in my mind. It's good, not exceptional on the whole, although many of the individual parts are nearly perfect. There is almost 0 booze in this, which is remarkable given the 11+% abv.


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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle split and poured into a Sierra Nevada tulip.
11% ABV, 2010.

Thanks to Beerwolf77 for sharing this one (off my wants I believe).

A - The rusty orange brew is hazed over and has little doggies turds that sink to the bottom. Mmm, sediment. Massively carbonatedm the tan foam last quite a while and leaves very thick lace behind.

S - Fruity hop notes accent the brew with gooey honey and malt galore. Toffee, caramel, and toasted bread provides a great balance and complexity. Hop balance pops back in at the end with earth and citrus.

T - Fruity, sweet honey explosion in the flavor; mango, citrus, pineapple sweetness. Big malt balance of toffee and toast. Potent and tasty!

M - Full-bodied to the max, this one is both sweet and bitter at the same time. The finish is subtly warming and well-balanced throughout.

O - Big and well-brewed, Doggie Claws would be a fantastic winter brew, especially with some age on it. Awesome across the board!

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Doggie Claws on tap at Pony Bar, NYC, looking and tasting MUCH better than last time at Blind Tiger!

Smell: Goes up to 4.0 from 3.5, with everything you expect from the style... sweet and muscular, raisin, bubblegum, sugar.

Taste: Goes up to 4.5 from 3.5, classic barleywine taste. Caramel, toffee, honey, sugar. Sweetness. Bit of wood, even bourbon. Mellow hop around the back. Love it!

Mouthfeel: Goes up to 4.5 from 3.5. Chewy, sticky, low carbonation, great for the style. Full body and flavor.

Overall: Goes up to 4.5 from 3.5, because this truly is a great barleywine all around. Eight ounces were mighty drinkable (even though the alcohol is more than noticeable) and I was left wanting more. Maybe what I had at Blind Tiger was not right, or an older, lesser vintage (have heard bad things about 2009)? This, I love. Cheers!


Doggie Claws on tap at The Blind Tiger, NYC, 8 ounces for 9 dollars. WTF!

Appearance: The Claws look very dark, more like a brown ale than a barleywine. Mahogany overtones, but mostly a dirty opaque brown, almost black.

Smell: Not a lot going on in the nose. Chocolate, hops, kind of reminds me of Stone Sublimely. Black ale, brown sugar, cocoa powder. Sour funk. Strange! Not quite a barleywine in my book.

Taste: Lots of stuff here for sure! Chocolate, mushroom, dirt, freshly unearthed black truffles. Musty hops, some farm aromas. A bridle path after a copious rainfall. Sharp booze at the end, it burned me as I sipped. Is this melange of complex favors a good thing? Not necessarily. I find it to be confused, as if the brewers had try to gather as many intense and earthy flavors as they could.

Mouthfeel: Just about average for a barleywine, with full-but-funky flavor, full body and medium carbonation.

Overall: I love Hair, but totally don't get this ting. Feels like they were going for something completely different and ended up creating something new indeed but not quite succesful.

Too hoppy for a barleywine, too funky, too... weird! I like adventure, but this ain't right. Overtly boozy, not very drinkable or enjoyable. And at this price, it is a no-no! Would love to try this aged, though.

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Photo of beerwolf77
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to sweemzander for tossing a bottle of this my way. 2010 vintage. Split into tulips.

A: Amber orange hue. Huge three fingers of tan head form and slowly fade. Thick lace rings collect around the glass and a cap forms.

S: Earthy hops come through with a good amount of caramel malt. It has the typical sweet tart aroma I get from most quality Barley wines. Dark fruits and piney hops.

T: Rich sweet caramel malt, sugar drizzled white toast, dark fruits, piney and citrus hops blend well together. Nice balance of both. Not much heat at all.

M: Medium to full body. Mild carbonation.

O: A very well balanced and flavorful BW.

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Doggie Claws from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
Beer rating: 4.14 out of 5 with 1,198 ratings
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