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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
92
outstanding
549 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Doggie ClawsDoggie Claws
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
549
Ratings:
1,163
Avg:
4.12
pDev:
11.89%
 
 
Wants:
404
Gots:
264
For Trade:
16
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 549 | Ratings: 1,163
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.

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Photo of billab914
3.92/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 vintage poured into my CBS snifter. It poured a darker orange brown color with just some trace bubbles scattered around the edges of the glass.

The aroma has a rich malty profile to it with both caramel and toffee really coming out. The honey is also pretty evident, giving it a bit of a floral sweetness. I get a little bit of a hoppy, grapefruit, citrus rind quality as well.

The taste also shows a lot of the malty, caramel flavors throughout. The honey shows more in the finish with more of the sweeter, floral flavor. The honey almost gives it a bit of a wheatwine like flavor that I really like. The finish has some more bitter, citrus rind showing through and helping it balance it out.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style with carbonation being almost non-existent. Overall it was a pretty good beer of the style. I really liked what the honey added to it and it was very smooth for the abv as well. Very solid beer, but it just didn't really wow me like some of the best of the style do.

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

Appearance: Murky ruby amber big tan head leaves thick patches of lacing throughout the glass. Aroma: Loads of citrus hop character mild pine cone accents some would say it smells like you should clean your floor with it, but I say it's a great hop aroma. Malts are solid and try to shine through in the citrus explosion but the yeast truly makes its mark with a bready dough tone. Taste: Alcohol very evident not overbearing but damn you know it's there all that alcohol tone is blended within copious amounts of citrus piney hops with rich robust malts that give a fruity edge to the already complex flavor. Mouthfeel: Full bodied good stuff evenly carbonated no complaints for this beast of a beer. Drinkability: In your face with citrus, loads of malts to balance all of those hops west coast b-wine at it's best.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber with a thicker creme head. Nose is a tight citric hoppy tone. I think the best way to describe it is definitely "tight". Flavor is hoppy, yes. Nice fruity thing going on there. Doesn't seem to be much dimension to it though as it's basically fairly straight forward. Minor brown sugar on the back side is about all else I can add. Smooth feel with a nice carbonation. This is nice, yes. I would go for this again (though the price is a bit too high IMO), but it wouldn't be the first barleywine I would go to.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike!

The appearance is dark brown with a thin head that leaves just a little lacing on the glass.

The nose brings a heavy dose of sweet malt, along with caramels and alcohol.

The flavor is quite sweet, with flavors of toffee and caramel chews soaked in alcohol. A nice, slow sipper on a cold day.

Medium to full in body, with alcohol content masked pretty well, given the 11.5% abv.

Not as complex or wonderful as Adam, but a very good example of the style nonetheless. I would definitely drink this again.

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Photo of stakem
4/5  rDev -2.9%
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 feloniousmonk
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear, light amber color, with voluminous head, puffy, lacey, creamy in color.

Aroma: sweet, sugary, and full of yeast, putting me in mind of a Belgian tripel, perhaps, spicy and fruity (grapefruit, peach, orange).

Flavor is full and hot, it's a charging rhino in the mouth, crashing down the gates, hoppy, tingly, tasty, with abundant malt and an air of ancient mysteries. There's an enormous alcoholic presence, that only widens, eventually conquering the palate.

Quite an unusual barleywine, this one, a unique flavor profile, and possessing incredible substance and staying power. Doggie Claws is a dream in a bottle!

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.49/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into my new Kate the Great tulip. 2011 vintage thanks to hopsbreath.

Appearance - Dark body with a reddish hue in the light. The one-finger head just fits in the glass. Good retention and, surprisingly, some lacing. Not bad for an 11.5% barleywine.

Smell - When it's cold, it just smells like caramel malt. Really boring. A it warms, it definitely develops into some fruit flavors and a substantial hoppiness. Lots of alcohol, though. Big whiffs give a slight burn in the nose, even.

Taste - Caramel malt, some fruitiness, and definitely alcohol. Hops come through all the way. Faded grapefruit and a bitter finish. The finish is almost earthy, but the hops are a touch too bright for that characterization.

Mouthfeel - Despite the alcohol flavors in the smell and taste, it's quite smooth. It hardly even warms, which is strange. Hoppy bitter finish masks how sweet and syrupy this is. Not easy to drink, but doesn't drink like an 11.5% beer.

Overall - I really wanted to like this more, but it definitely lacks some complexity. Sweet, boozy, and a little uninteresting.

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Photo of johnnnniee
2.68/5  rDev -35%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

3-26-2009
Pours a murky brown color with a dismal off white head that dissipates instantly. Smells of citrus brown sugar caramel a bit of alcohol. Tastes of caramel and citrus, lots of lemon comes through. Some alcohol mixed with a mild astringency and some yeasty flavors round this one out. Sweet almost cloying but offset with the lemon and alcohol. The body on this is thinner than you'd think. Carbonation is very low. Mouthfeel is syrupy and sticky. Based on the other reviews I may have gotten a bad bottle. I will revisit this one as I have a couple more bottles, but as is this one is going to clean my kitchen sink.

1-25-2014
2013 Bottle from craft shack shared with HoppasaurusRex.
Pours a murky brown color with a couple of hollow bubbles floating on the top. The aroma is stagnant molasses, brown sugar, malt syrup and honey with hints of earth and citrus. The flavor is sweet sugary unfermented wort with hints of citrus. Sticky syrupy mouthfeel, marginal carbonation with a medium to thick body. This beer went down Todd's sink. I don't know why I can't seem to find a decent bottle of this beer, but I might just be done with HOTD altogether.

4/3/2015 2005 Bottle from Mike’s Barleywine tasting, thanks for the opportunity! Rich caramel light pitted fruits mild oxidation. A 10 year old bottle that held up better than my previous 2 attempts with newer vintages.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2009 of Doggie Claws consists of a reddish copper color hue. An enticing head with good lacing, but a very surprising bouquet of Christmas like spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, sweetness perhaps some earthy pine needles. The bouquet feels of a very sweet beer to come, but the surprise is in the honey like dominant taste that isn't as sweet as expected. Faint hop seems to come through on the aftertaste along with the honey.

Does not taste overpowering, feels very balanced.

Quite enjoyable.

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

Bottle shared by Amyliz4, thanks Amy.

Beer is brown and mostly clear with a thin pathetic head of tiny bubbles that somehow leaves some lacing on the glass.

The aroma of the beer is about what you'd expect except louder, sweet caramel malt and lots of alcohol, not burning though.

Beer is medium in body and really sweet at lead off. The follow up is strong and more candied sweetness, mild bitterness on finish. This was pretty much exactly what I expected from the beer, so that's another way of saying I wasn't disappointed.

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Photo of Billolick
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was glad to see this rare tap offering at the BTAH in NYC this past week. It poured an inviting hazy shade of light orangy amber with a thick tiny bubble head. The nose was a pungent melange of hops and more hops. Intricate and well developed lacing. This is a pleasantly strong and full flavor BW. "Yowza, yowza, yowza" came the description from one of my duly impressed table mates! Loads of malt, hops, flavor, complexity, alcohol noted but in check, very fine stuff. Seek it out on tap if you have the chance.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12/29/04- Purchased at Plumpjack Wines in San Francisco, CA

2002 Version, aquired in a trade with Jetsbeer.

Presentation- 12oz bottle, vintage 2002. 10% abv..a bit less than later years. Fourth in the series that I have tried. Poured into my Anderson Valley tulip.

Appearance- Somewhat murky and rust colored pour. Huge chunky head. Takes a good 10 minutes to die down to a 1/2 inch constant. Incredible gobs and streaks of lace left behind.

Smell- More caramel malt than anything else. A touch of hops, but pretty slim pickins.

Taste- Very laid back and creamy caramel malt. A limited amount of hops as it's been 4 years since the bottling.

Mouthfeel- A bit dry, medium carbonation, creamy and pretty smooth. Maybe just a touch on the skim side.

Drinkability- Easy drinker, abv was not even sensed as 10%. Another nice brew in the Doggie Claws line. Thanks for the brew Steven!

2003 Version

Presentation- 12 oz festive bottle with no expiration date. Poured into my Duvel chalice.

Appearance- Nice four fingered head which took about 10 minutes to settle before I could drink. This was a good thing because it came directly from the beer fridge, Nice copper coloring and decent to above average lacing. If it had just a bit more lacing it would have received a 5.

Smell- Very strong malt scent. A very nice amount of floral hops. Lots of toffee and caramel also.

Taste- Wow! Huge toffee flaovred malt with a perfect mix of semi-bitter hops. Not to bitter, not to sweet. About the best barleywine I have had to date.

Mouthfeel- Perfect level of carbonation. Silky smooth while nice and chewy at the same time. Warms your tummy nicely.

Drinkability- Incredible except for that little 11.5% barrier reef. Actually, I'm not feeling it yet after one, but I'm sure if I had another, I would be. This is definitely my favorite winter beer to date and my favorite barleywine. A bargain at the $3.49 I paid for it. Think I am going to make a special trip up to SF just to buy another 4 or so to age. Awesome brew!

2004 Version-

Same appearance
Same smell
Taste is more toffee flavored and less hop flavored. There are still alot of hops in the taste, but they are more mellowed out. Almost brandy like or some kind of liquor like flavor.
Mouthfeel still as smooth and thick as ever.
Drinkability may be even better than the 2003 version. This guy will age into a caramel-toffee malt bomb I have a feeling, which will be a very good thing. Rating stays the same though.

2005 Version-

Appearance- Extremely cloudy in appearance. Looks like someone liquified a caramello bar and poured it into a glass. Deep milk chocolate in color. No light coming through this thick murky pour. Huge billowy white head and big chunks of lace.

Smell- The hops literally burn your nose hairs in this years HOTD. Lots of sweet caramel malt and maybe a bit of butterscotch.

Taste- Very raw. Needs a good year or more to calm down. Alcohol burning hops scorch your pallet leaving a sleak caramel and milk chocolate trail behind. Hops linger and linger.

Mouthfeel- Carbonation needs to calm down a bit. Thicker than the previous versions I have tried...even though it's down from 11.5% to 10.5%.

Drinkability- A year away from being another outstanding brew. Right now just to raw to be that drinkable. Still consider 2003 to be the class of this brew.

2006 Vintage....

Presentation- 12oz bottle, 2006 release, poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Burnt caramel brown color. The lightest of head on the pour. Maybe an 1/8th of an inch if that. Small light white rim forms. Fairly nice lace sheeting.

Smell- The scent in this years batch is very restrianed. Has a weird medicinal vegatal nose. Maybe a hint of orange marmalade as well. Very odd.

Taste- Well, this certainly makes up for the smell. Incredible caramel milky flavor. Grapefruit hops come into play in the swallow and aftertaste. This tastes like a classic English style one to me. The flavor is wonderful. Maybe some orange liquor like Drambuie flavor comes through as well.

Mouthfeel- Damn creamy and silky smooth. This is very close to cask style. Caramel and orange coating. Wonderful.

Drinkability- This years hits you fairly hard. The taste is totally different than years past. This still remains right at the top of the list for me per style. Another perfect dessert brew. Score big time for 2006!

2008 Version-

Pretty much online with each year. This year seems very very smooth. Equal caramel and hops. Cross between english and american style. Very silky. One of the better vintages right off the bat.

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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.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage poured in to tulip.

A - Very murky dark brown; swampy. Next to no head formed on the pour; just a few scattered bubbles around the edges of the glass.

S - A big hop aroma up front with some citrus and pine notes that immediately give way to a big sweet malt profile with caramel, toffee and brown sugar. Some fruity aromas in the background as well.

T - Good balance overall with a sweet malt base and a big hop presence coming together nicely. Lots of dark caramel, brown sugar and toffee from the malt bill and some citrus and piney hop flavours come through as well. Lighter candied raisin flavour in the background.

M - Medium to full body. VERY light carbonation.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: poured a murky brown with pale yellow highlights that had basically no head and no lacing sticking to the glass.

S: the caramel and booze really pop out on the nose right away with citrus orange but it did have earthy leafy notes.

T: the citrus orange and caramel hit the palate first with a pretty good amount of booze, but it did still have eathy leafy accents, and catus like character as well.

M: the brew was medium in body with a low amount of carbonation which had a sweet, earthy, citric, boozy, and sticky finish.

D: it drank decent considering the ABV on the beer and was really tasty for being a barleywine. HOTD always comes through for me.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Matt for sharing this beer at thirdeye11's tasting.

2007 vintage. The beer pours a murky orange color with a white head. The aroma is awesome, with caramel and piney hops. The flavor is pine and orange hops with a nice semi-sweet, caramel malt backbone. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz 2009 vintage silver capped into a tulip glass watching Damages. This was 'cellared' in my basement for all of three days, I could not wait.

A melted copper penny shine with some reddish outlines, This looks quite different from Fred. With about five ounces poured my tulip exploded with a caramel, off white, creamy colored mass of foam that made noise and was active, almost like molten lava. Fingerprints of lace around the base of the glass.

I've had a 9 year aged version of this and this semi fresh version is much bolder with ripe hops bursting out west coast style. Smells of grapefruit and some papaya. Citrus blast indeed, doggie has a sweet caramel touch with slight chocolate and bread from the malts. The malts come out with big warming as well as some alcohol.

Doggie digs it's claws with grapefruit mixed with some booze and some semi dark fruit action. The flavor is just so rich and something that i'm enjoying alot. Light sugar mixed with a little more caramel rounds out the sweetness with a small candi like vibe. Some molasses and brown sugar adding to the sweetness. The chocolate is real minimal or perhaps im imagining that. A big toastiness from the malt addition with a splash of alcohol.

This stuff really is a marvel on the mouth. When cold the citrus hop burst does it's thing without wrecking the tounge, or palette. With warming the malts do their thing and claws becomes a more sweet barleywine with the hop bite fading, but never fully. An above medium bodied beer that may have a bit to much carbonation, I like it, but it's huge, but I think it works. I've heard of complaints on carb on this vintage, but not from me.

Insanely drinkable, while the alcohol is noted and felt, I just kept picking up my glass. I did not care for Fred at all (perhaps it was the added rye) but doggie has a style all of it's own, this is the bomb. It's not far off from any other well crafted American Barleywine in taste, smell, feel, but this is damn good and just a pleasure. I thought this would be a boozy mess at this semi young age, but I was surprised at the complexities and togetherness of this beer.

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

Bottled 2002, Sampled May 2004
Pours a bold copper color, it is highly carbonated with a cream colored head. There is a citrus hop aroma with apricot notes, obviously has been muted over time but it is still front and center in nose. There is a bit of oxidized character in the nose as well. Overall this has a pleasing balanced aroma. The taste is lightly sweet with a nice balancing bitterness in the finish. There is still a lot of hop flavor in this beer. I notes that the finish has a bit of alcohol in it. This beer has definitely started to oxidize, but the hop character suppresses this quite a bit, it allows the oxidation to just be an addition to the complexity. As I get into this beer I can taste notes of bergamot, apricot and pear. This is still quite good after two years. I can imagine that the hops have toned down quite a bit, but the hops are still a huge part of this beer. I am really enjoying this beer right now.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.44/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. 2006 Vintage

Poured into a chalice a cloudy copper color, nice carbonation, no head, no sticky lacing afterwards, but a couple of tiny islands. The nose is malty, hoppy, good dose of caramel. The taste is pretty sweet, hoppy as hell, malty, with some caramel notes. Nice warming effect from the ABV, but hidden pretty well. Medium body. Very drinkable, another great beer from HOTD.

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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.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 vintage 12oz inflatablechair picked up in Portland for me and SAS... much appreciation... It's been in the fridge for a couple of weeks.... tonight is the night. Poured into my New Belgium snifter.

1" head good lacing and hazy lite amber brew...

Aroma is thick malts with American hops.. some citrus and pine with more than enough caramel and toasty malts.

Flavor mirrors the aroma but with a big punch of yeasty frutiness and citric hops .... caramel and dark fruits.. rummy but in a good way.. big American hops.. but still there is an earthy hop component.. Huge complexity.. There is a bunch going on with this brew. Body is viscous but creamy carbonation.. a sipper but I will always want another drink. Very fine... loving what HotD is brewing.

3.5/4/4.5/4.5/4

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Photo of aasher
3.89/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This bottle is the 2008 vintage and courtesy of BrewerB. Thanks for hitting this want Brian! Opened on Christmas Day.

This beer pours a light to medium bodied pure copper in color with no head or lacing. The aromas are incredibly malty, featuring plenty of caramel, toffee, and sweet dried fruits with a citrusy faded hop character. It solid and to he expected from an '08. The flavors are very sweet and fruity. It's near all swerve malts. I get a lot of cherry and orange peel in the malt bill. It solid and has nice flavor. It's drinkable for the abv and is sticky yet not overly so. Overall this is a nice aged barleywine and pretty similar to the '08 Behemoth that I had earlier this year.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.19/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, 2006 Vintage, bottle has a dog with a Santa hat on it next to a couple of menorahs, 10.5% alcohol,

A: Pours a murky red-brown, with really no head except for a few bubbles, light ring around the perimeter of the glass.

S: Great smell as I am used to in many an aged barleywine. Dark fruit, raisins, sweet malt, molasses, fig juice, and booze.

T: Quite a complex amalgam of flavours. Dark honey, brown sugar, and fig form the main flavour, it is quite sweet. An earthy and minty hop overtone ends the brew.

M: Carbonation is practically nil, somewhat watery, and viscous, ethanol character.

D: Quite good for a high octane brew like this one. It is quite good now, in one or 2 years it could be absolutely fantastic.

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Photo of biegaman
4.48/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer isn't much to look at. It is murky and utterly flat. Its colour, a muddied russet, is drab and dirty. Holding it up against the light brightens things up considerably but clarity is a lost cause and its head is beyond repair, neither bubbles nor a string outline can be noted. But let's not jump to any conclusions, not everything is about looks...

Smells matter too, and it just so happens that this beer smells perfect. The hoppiness, even after three years of aging, still smells about 20 stories high. It is a tsunami of lupullin that crowds your senses like a cloud of smoke. A flower-infused punch, the brewer surely shook the citric fruits off hundreds of branches and drained a forest worth of its resins.

The beer enters your mouth like a bull in a china shop. It is loud and obnoxious and shatters the taste buds. Sappy, sticky, resinous hops, citrusy and piercingly acidic hops, grassy and herbal hops - the beer has its fare share of bitterness. But it's more so resoundingly sweet; the wild flower honey is both obvious and outstanding and quite a compliment.

And the beer goes down your throat like a bull in a china shop as well. The sweetness is resounding, the hoppiness choking, the alcohol warming (if not, outright burning). This beer has no reservations about its strength, but it wears it well, with a suitable and supportive cast of flavours that include orange peel, green tea and the wild flower honey.

I still can't get my head wrapped around the extent of this hoppiness! The amount of citrusy zest still present after three years of aging is nothing short of phenomenal. And yet, I also marvel at how well proportioned and balanced the beer is; if I made a barleywine I'd want it to be exactly like this. I'll have to hire a spy to steal the recipe.

Barleywines (at least the obnoxiously hopped up ones) are an American original - they stand for freedom, rebellion against the system; they are solid, defiant, and supremely cool, the barleywine is the All-American icon of resilient individuality and freedom (at least according to this Canadian). And Doggie Claws is one of the best ones I've ever tried...

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Doggie Claws from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
92 out of 100 based on 549 ratings.
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