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

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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:
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Reviews: 549 | Ratings: 1,168
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2005- drunk in August, 2006.

This beer pours a hazy copper brown with a fairly small offwhire head. The head doesn't really stick around.

The smell is dark and rich like a fruitcake. Predominant flavors of liquor soaked fruit and lush malt.

The taste is very winey- sweet flovors balanced nicely with malt and hops are there and a spicy aftertaste.. Almost a fruit brandy finish. Warm alcohol flavors, but not hot- very well integrated.
A really pleasing barley wine.

The mouthfeel is good- if anything the carbonation has mellowed too much by now. Nice body, and despite all the malt not too sticky- very warming.

Great drinkability- definitely a sipper by the fire, although I'm enjoying it just fine on a cool evening in the summer in Palo Alto, California.

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

At the tasting room today. A bottle of the 2005 version of this excellent beer.

The 2005 DC pours a fairly light brown color, with very good head retention and considerable lacing. The nose is attractive, showcasing considerable brown sugar, vanilla, honey, caramel, white pepper and dry citrus. Despite the considerable brown sugar, malty aroma, the amount of hoppy bitterness/citrus lets you know that this is not your typical, English style BW. The flavor profile replicates the nose and is just fantastic. The added age/oxidation gave the beer something of a brandy and vanilla edge, but there was still plenty of brown sugar and caramel, as well as considerable hoppy bitterness. Despite the moderate sweetness, this beer still displayed a nearly astonishing amount of hoppy bitterness in the finish, leading to a dry, drawn out, bitter finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, and it's just amazing how well integrated into the flavor profile the alcohol is in this beer.

Always a great beer, but it's truly amazing how great this beer is with a few years on it.

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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.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage.

Pours a deep amber with a 1 finger head which quickly recedes. Lacing is good. Very complex aroma. Orange, tangerine, and sweet bready malt. There's a yeasty spiciness to Doggie Claws.

Pleasant rich and sweet malt is balanced by a low level of hop bitterness. The flavor, like the smell, is yeasty. Alcohol is quite pronounced but very welcome. The hops impart a citrus flavor to the beer, reminiscent of oranges. Some ripe apple is also noticeable. Finish is a long blend of all the aforementioned flavors with alcohol being the most dominant.

The beer is on the upper end of medium bodied, nearly full, and the carbonation is very low. Mouthfeel is very smooth.

A nice winter sipper. Actually, pretty great for any time of the year.

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Photo of Derek
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 Vintage.

A: Amber/merlot with an off-white, almost tan head. Although there's more head than most Barley wines, there's not much retention. It initially leaves a nice lace though.

S: Not a lot of aroma. Pine, toffee and alcohol, with hints of earth & bready malt in the background.

T: Nice bittersweet balance with a warming alcohol. Not nearly as much hop flavour as some American Barley wines (though there's plenty of pine flavour, earth, and a very slight hint of citrus). Toffee, caramel and a little cotton-candy-like fruityness. There's a little bit of that Amarillo-aspirin flavour too.

The yeast sediment had a nasty, earthy bitterness (which didn't seem to healthy).

M: Moderate body (fairly light for its strength); slight acidity. Carbonation is moderate.

D: Very approachable, starts to become a little harsher as it warms, but then the alcohol sets in & I love it more!

Wife's review: Caramel-coloured, tastes like hops! (and a little molases).

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Photo of weeare138
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004 bottle...
Appears a deep chestnut brown with a dark beige head that slowly fades into a mild cap. Scattered lacing is left around the glass. Moderate amounts of CO2 rises near the top.
Smell is of caramel, vanilla, toffee, cherries. roasted nuts, and light oxidation that's welcomed.
Taste is of the same aromas with vanilla, caramel, and brown sugar standing out among the flavors.
Mouthfeel is chewy, full bodied, syrupy, and sugary with moderate sweetness.

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Photo of dar482
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%

The beer offers lots of dark fruit flavor of dried dates, without being too deeply like caramelized dark fruit like a quad. This is surrounded by sweetness along with woody and earthy flavors.

The sweetness is almost too cloying as the beer tastes as if honey or a fruited syrup was added.

In general, good earthy and rich American barleywine flavors, but it is surrounded by too much sticky sweetness.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.37/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours with a five-finger+, bubbly light tan head that explodes out of the bottle, fades slowly and leaves a good lace. Cloudy amber color with chunky bits at the bottom. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is raisiny. Starts on the sweet side but some bitterness comes in and lingers. There are better barley wines like Dogfish Head's Old School. $4.25 for a 12oz bottle from Vintage Cellar Blacksburg, VA.

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Photo of corby112
3.72/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes:

2008 vintage received as an extra in a trade and consumed fresh.

Pours a dark, murky golden orange/swampy brown color with burnt orange hues and a one finger off white head that quickly fades. I poured half of the bottle out and there are large chunks of yeast floating in the glass. This beer looks pretty awful.

Earthy soil like aroma with hints of leathery malt, dirt, alcohol solvency and lots of earthy piney hops.

Medium bodied with lots of alcohol sweetness up front. This is counters by a blast of resinous, earthy hops that give off a nice bitter, dry pine needle flavor. There is also a decent amount if citrus flavor especially grapefrut and orange peel. This is again countered mid-palate by a prominent earthy, leathery malt presence. This beer Looked and smelled like swamp water but the malt flavor is actually quite pleasant and there is a great balance of earthy, bitter and sweet flavors.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.03/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hyrid glass on 4/7/12
*From notes

-- Thanks to SirRuss for this one --

Vintages 2010

A: First off, I popped the cap, put the bottle down on the counter to grab a glass, and by the time I came back, it had oozed all over the place, soaking my bills, magazines, etc. God damnit. I ended up losing almost half the bottle. As for color, well it's a dirty shade of cloudy piss. One of the ugliest beers I've ever seen. Overly bubbly white .75 finger head and no lacing or real semblance of a collar.

S: Figs, sugar plums and some seriously candied hops.

T: Very concentrated amount of residual sugar and overall sweetness. Toffee and caramel dominate the fore to mid. Alcohol washes over the back. Even two years in, this is still hot. And considering the "Secret of the Ooze" that happened upon opening, I do not detect any signs of infection.

M: Overcarbed to the max. Like a viscous soda pop.

O: There is absolutely no excuse for exploding bottles. It's a sin I lost so much of this to the counter. And it isn't the first time I've had an issue with HotD beers. I simply wish they could find a consistency to their products. Now you know why it gets a 2 overall.

As for their Doggie Claws, it's a nice beer that's got a bunch of warts. If they'd take the time to touch this up and give it a bit of TLC, this could be great. As it is, it's just ok.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.62/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a snifter)
A-This beer pours a deep brown with a mahogany hint and a gentle carbonation. The head is a thin wispy tan that last for a bit

S- This beer has an intense floral hop nose with some earthy resiny notes. There is a nice malt character along with the hops, more caramel to brown sugar aromas. Very nice.

T- The sweet caramel tastes are quickly followed by a burst of fresh vibrant hops. Some roasted malts come through and a nice warm alcohol finish last almost as long as the hop bitterness.

M- This has a nice velvety mouthfeel with a gentle alcohol warmth. No astringency from the hops.

D- This is a leader in American barley wines and it is ready to drink now. The amazing aroma has fresh hops and great malty notes. This is a must try brew.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 Edition.

A muddy rusty coloured brew, it has a fine 2 finger head of foam and some good lacing. Bottle conditioned brews almost always strike my fancy.

I reckon the smell is top notch. Loads of caramel malt with a nice sharp hop bite of grapefruit and pine. Overall, super strong and at the same time balanced. Wow.

Big time taste as well. Huge caramel malt sweetness without getting too much out of control thanks to some bitterness from the hops which is more of a tropical fruit taste than citrus or pine. Still....the malt bill is, again, HUGE and the alcohol is right there. This one should be an excellent beer to cellar, me thinks.

Medium, close to full bodied with medium carbonation.I'd bet a little less carbo would give me a better mouthfeel.

Head retention turns out to be excellent with very stubborn sticky lacing.

Drinkability? I'm glad this is only a 12oz bottle. Being as "hot" as it is this fresh doesn't give the brew a chance to exactly scream drinkability. That being said, I do enjoy it a lot. I'd love to me hands on one with a few years on it.

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

12oz bottle from who knows where, maybe VA trip Summer 2004.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 2" beige head over the clear, effervescent, bright copper brew. Head is static, regenerating itself for quite some time before finally dwindling (10+ minutes), and lacing is heavy, foamy ,and impressive, especially for the style. Aroma is sweet malts, coupled with some vinous fruitiness. Taste is somewhat sedate for what I was expecting. Light sweet notes, passing through dim fruitsville, and then closing down for the night at a crisp slightly hoppy note. However, mouthfeel and drinkability bring us back to the land of awe. One of the most drinkable 10% brews I've had in a long time. Age has done this one good.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.07/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer being reviewed is a 2010 vintage.

A - Pours an amber tan color with some slight chill haze and a very rock, billowing cream colored head and very nice carbonation. As the beer warms the haze slowly subsides to a nice clear, amber copper color.

S - Caramel, toffee, very slightly boozy, and a little vinous; because of the age there's no hop aroma in the nose. For 11.5% it doesn't jump out of the glass like I thought it would.

T - Sweet toffee and caramel malt with a small amount of oranges and ends with a boozy light pine bitter finish. Although it wasn't present in the nose so much the alcohol is definitely present with moderate warming in the back of the throat as it slides down. Slightly woody and malt forward. The orange comes through more after the finish as it coats the mouth over top of the lightly toasted toffee/caramel.

M - Thick and full bodied with very gentle carbonation. Has a nice lingering coating of oranges on the back end.

O - This definitely got better as the beer warmed to room temperature. Would seek out again and prefer to try a younger one next time to experience some of the hop bitterness, this was on the sweeter side. The aroma was pretty light but the taste made up for the shortfall.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle of the 2011 vintage, so 2 years old at this point. Thanks Doug for bringing this one over. Poured into a Toppling Goliath snifter today, 2/5/2014.

App- Very hazy, cloudy medium-dark brown body. Looks like muddy water, kind of disgusting actually. Minimal head, minimal retention, no lacing.

Smell- Dark fruits, molasses, sugar, tart fruits- perhaps freshly cut apple or pear- caramel, toffee. Hints of earthiness.

Flavour- I assume this has mellowed out really well. Molasses, brown sugar, caramel, toffee dominate. A little bit of what I perceive as vanilla. Slight earthy backend.

Mouthfeel- Thick bodied, somewhat creamy, good carbonation despite being 2 years old. Interestingly, the backend is sweeter than it is early.

Overall- Nice drinking barleywine. I'm going to have to get a bottle to try fresh, but I can already say that 2 years of age definitely has to have helped this beer; at the very least it didn't hurt it.

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Photo of DrJay
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2004: Clear, deep coppery red colour topped by a fluffy, light brown head. I rinsed the glass before pouring and there are definitely legs reaching up the glass. Moderate, chunky lacing to start and this carries through the rest of the bottle. I can't believe the hops are still so dominant in the aroma! There's a ton of caramel, malt, and toffee, but my nose was still hit first with a big burst of hops - piney and a bit powdery. The texture is like oil as it hits the palate, heavy and with fairly low carbonation. Lots of malt sweetness, but the hops still hold up here as well. The hop character is quite resinous with a bit of grapefruit that provides depth. By the mid, there's a rich fruitiness that appears. By the finish, alcohol has taken over the show and the warmth lingers for quite some time, accompanied by flashbacks of caramel and pine. A little sticky, but the mouthfeel is definitely appropriate for such a big beer. I can't imagine what this would have been like fresh - either a disaster or an epiphany. As it is, this is still a bold, aggressive beer that should only get better as it ages. Thumbs up!

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Photo of RBorsato
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice light copper color with a nice full light beige head. Nice floral hop aroma considering the fact that I aged this one. Has a light sweet malt aroma backing it up. Nice balanced American Barley Wine with a lightly sweet flavor up front. Medium-full bodied.

Ages very nicely !!

Per label: 10%ABV & "Bottle Conditioned" & "In this year's release (2002) Simcoe and Amarillo hops harvested just weeks before brewing"

Per HOTD website: Produced in Sept and Oct and released in November, this Beer will improve for years to come. Alcohol: 11.5% by volume. IBU's 70

2002 Version
Tasted: 11/02/06

($3.99 / 12 oz. bottle)

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2011.

poured into oversized snifter.

Appearance: Murky copper brown bodied beer with a small white head less than one finger tall. Recedes quickly to a ring around out side of the glass. The beer has a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: This is a big nose on this barleywine with a fairly assertive hop profile. Huge dark fruit notes mixed with traditonal caramel and toffee notes of most barleywines. Hops smell fresh; lots orange and pineapple with a little bit of pine and grapefruit in there.

Taste: Little bit on caramel, burnt sugar, and toffee right away. The malt profile is substantial and fairly rich; it is quickly interupted by the hops. Mild to moderate hops bitterness, the hops are not as strong as I was thinking they would be based on the nose of the beer. The hops have alot of pine notes, also tastes very leafy and almost have a green tea flavor to them. The hops are also fairly dank and musty. The balance between malt and hops profile is okay, but its a bit more hop heavy than I like my barleywines, but its appropiate for the American Barleywine style. It got a bit of a booze kick in the finish.

Mouthfeel: This beer is on the high end of medium bodied, really close to a full bodied beer. Almost moderate carbonation levels, but i gotta say the carbonation is low for a bottle conditioned beer. This beer is fairly syrupy, but has enough carbonation to break it up. The alcohol is a bit warming, but i would still consider this beer smooth. Once again the difference maker in this beer is the bottle conditioning. I wish that all craft beers were bottle conditioned, it just makes a beer than much better reguardless of the style.

Overall: I really do enjoy Hair of the Dog Brewery. They make great beers in styles that I enjoy. As far as Doggie Claws goes its a really nice American Barleywine, probably on of the better ones have had. While I still prefer the English Style Barleywines this beer holds its own. I will say I prefer Adam over this beer, it still worth a try for any fan of barleywines.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.73/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. 2010 vintage. Huge thanks to black13 for this one!

(A)- Pours a hazy reddish sienna brown color that produced a huge foamy off-white head with superb retention. Tons of lacing around the entire rim of the glass as it took forever to dissipate. Extremely impressive due to the ABV level of this.

(S)- Some rich fruits of raisin, fig, and maybe even dates. Some hints at cherry & cocoa with some caramel or toffee sweetness.

(T)- Just like the smell predicted. Some rich fruits of raisin, fig, date, with hints at dark chocolate covered cherries. A light spiciness with a honey or caramel sweetness. Has a dry, almost bread-like finish with hints of peat.

(M)- A great carbonation level and balance. Rich and quite strong this fresh, but a complex one at that. Mildly bitter with a mild boozy warmth.

(D)- A world class Barleywine. Tastes great now fresh, but I can only imagine what a year or two would do to this. I need to acquire more of this to find out! It still is a bit too strong to have more than one of these at a time, but it sure hit the spot on this cold New Year's Day!

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

I grabbed a couple of these when I was in SF over Xmas this past winter. I figured 6 months would be enough time to have the trub settle out. I'm not the biggest barleywine fan, but I love what Alan does. 2008 vintage.

A: In my snifter, DC pours a clear, bright, ruddy orange with a thin, tan head with decent retention. Lacework is nice too. For a 11.5% beer, the retention is quite amazing

S: On the nose, this has a very rich character. Malty with a lot of toffee, nougat, and a candy sweetness, this is good on it's own, but the mildly faded hop character lends a balance by way of citrus and floral character. This smells like orange blossom honey, a little diluted. Swirling results in more hop character coming out, earthy and herbal in character. Very, very good. One thing to be noted is the fact that the alcohol heat is absent. Nothing. Zero. Just incredibly smooth, rich and decadent.

T: Wow. Time has morphed this almost into an English barleywine. The malt depth is very enjoyable - candy, toffee, nougat, caramel, with dried fruits, figs and plums. The balance leans towards the candy-like sweetness and the fruity character. Hops aren't as noticeable, but they do lend a mild bitterness and citrus character, especially towards the finish. It makes me think of an orange marmalade with honey. The finish is pretty incredible - long, sweet, and complex with a little bit of honey

M: Awesome. Big in body with soft carbonation, this beer dances on my palate. The finish is great, too, with great malt character

D: I'm not a big fan of the style, but this is an incredible beer that I'll be sad to see gone. I can tell that this one is for the ages, it really does strike me as a beer that one can cellar for years on end with only good results.

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Photo of Viggo
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served in a 1.5 liter bottle, took an eternity to finish seemed like. Pours a very hazy orange/light brown with a small head that lasted the whole day. Very strange colour, had some proteins floating around in it. The smell is sweet, fruit juice, nectarines, orange. Taste starts off very sweet but then gets easier, sweet and sour, lots of fruit apples, peaches, mandarin orange. Was very smooth and creamy, had perfect carbonation, very pleasant and I would definately try this one again. Thanks for the opportunity to try this one sammy.

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

Deep mahagony tone. Airy, light beige head with a yellow tint to it. Retention is better than average. Lace is quite full for a barleywine. Aroma is of pineapple and passion fruits, light caramel malts and alcohol. The flavor is a little alcoholic to start with, but this subsides. The passion fruits really play a big part with pineapple and banana as well. Rummy tones are evident and figs and dates too. Caramel malts are pretty big as well. All in all, a very nice barleywine.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle opened on 11.26.12

2012 Version

A - Pours a murky light brown with a huge explosive tan head that doesn't fade.

S - Hoppy citrus, then sweet malts, toffee and carmel.

T - Oranges, carmel, grass.

D - Lots of carbonation and a medium body.

O - Hoppy and a bit unbalanced, at first. Then it warms to almost room temperature and I am in heaven. Great beer.

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Photo of Bung
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. Bright orange/amber pour with a small amount of off white head. Quite a bit of bubbles throughout and nice lacing. Sweet malt and candied fruit aroma. Just hints of citrus and pine. A less lively mouthfeel than it appears, quite sticky. Taste has much sweet malt and candied fruits. Brown sugar and piney citrus accent it. Finish is lingering candy as well. Thought it would be just a bit more drinkable with some more carbonation. I think this is a pretty unique take on the style though, and definetely worth trying. 2nd good brew I've had from HOTD in 2 tries.

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Doggie Claws from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
4.12 out of 5 based on 1,168 ratings.
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