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

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Reviews: 551 | Ratings: 1,181
Photo of Uncle_Jimmy
3.69/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

Aroma- baked bread burnt carmel brown sugar

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

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

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

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Photo of tectactoe
4.14/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours thick and menacingly; a musky, cloudy, burnt tan color. Almost like completely opaque apple cider. Little bits of sediment float around and give this brew an even more unfiltered look. No holds barred, right here. A slightly off-white head caps this one off, leaving minimal lacing and receding rather quickly. Aroma is very sweet, maybe even a bit too sweet, but still highly inviting and manageable. Deep syrupy aromas, graham crackers, sweet brown sugar, warm molasses and burnt toffee. Heavy on the nose, leading me to believe this is gonna be one thick, badass barleywine.

Taste hits first with those thick and sweet syrupy flavors; molasses, toffee, caramel - all in a combination of being toasted, burnt, and extremely sweet. Crispy and toasty malts follow closely behind. Alcohol is noticeable, almost giving off a very slight nail polish remover flavor/aroma. Sweet fruits eventually join the party; sugar-coated plums, sweet candied black cherries, pears, and apples. Hops? Slightly grassy and earthy, even a bit ashy... but fuck 'em. This is a super-sweet malt bomb, and a decently crafted one at that. The body is thick, but not quite as syrupy as the taste or aroma may have you believe. Low carbonation, but fitting for the style.

Damn good barleywine. Very sweet and full of sugary flavors; malts, fruits, and just straight up sugar. Flirting with the line of being "too sweet" - don't know if I could have more than one of these. But split between our tasting group, the sample I had was perfect. I'd definitely go back to this one.

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Photo of jvillefan
4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: A very hazy brown with a head that dissipates very quickly (too be expected from 11% ABV)

S: Roasted malts are at the front of this aroma with an almost bourbony aroma.

T: Deep malt flavor. Very complex. There are very strong caramel and wood flavors in the front of this beer. There some great bittering qualities present in this beer probably from Simcoe hops.

M: Heavy but not as heavy as I expected from an 11% ABV beer. Low carbonation.

O: A very good beer. Not an everyday beer but worth picking up.

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

2012 vintage

A: Dark amber colored with a light bronze hue visible around the edges of the glass. Highly carbonated, had to pour slow, great lacing and head retention.

S: Smells like big floral hops, piney and fruity, almost estery bubblegum but could just be overall sweetness/sugar.

T: Very hoppy with fruity citrus and dark pine flavors dominating, almost a spice like quality, not sure what. Rich malty backbone supports this interesting flavor combo, dark and deep with a dry finish.

O: One of my favorite barleywines lives up to it's reputation once again. Like all American Barleywines this beer greatly improves with cellar time.

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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 porntipsguzzardo
3.49/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Completely flat.

Look, it tastes good, but it sucks to finally find and buy a beer that you've been craving for some time, and look forward to having it all day, only to get home and have it be flat. Regardless of the taste, it's just such a disappointment.

I've googled it, and this seems to be a common problem with this beer - I bought it twice a few years ago, and it was flat both times then, too. I gave up on it for a while as a result. I know it's not supposed to be - I finally tried it again once earlier this year, and it was great - richly carbonated with a thick, sticky lace. I thought they had solved whatever problem they were having.

Cleary they haven't.

I love Hair of the Dog - they're one of my favorite breweries in the world. They can do better than this.

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

2012 bottle.

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of JCam9981
3.36/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12oz 2012 vintage, poured into a a Raleigh Beer Week snifter.

A: Pours a murky brown with no head. If I hadn't poured it, I'd have thought someone handed me a glass of farm made apple cider. It's hazy and there's no penetration even when held directly up to a light. When tilting the glass, the beer leaves streaks of carbonation on the side.

S: Smells of alcohol, toffee and apple skins, although the latter could be my mind playing tricks on me.

M: Thick. Yet another comparison to apple cider.

T: Alcohol up front and a slight burn on the finish. I'm getting a lot of malt, almost a bit salty.

O. In reading the other reviews on here, it appears that about 1 in every 10 has the same experience I did. Not sure if this is due to bottle storage - I drank mine just a few days after delivery - or if I just drank this bottle too soon, but it's definitely one of the stranger beers I've ever had. I've got about half a bottle left, and I can't decide if I'll finish it.

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

one of my first barley wines . . .

2012 bottle poured into a sniffer style

A: hazy deep orange. big head, but was poured relatively warm, so to be expected. very nice lacing the whole way thru

S: can't quite place the smell , but enticing, if not a bit boozy since it's warmer than i'd usually pour. i can see why a few here mention leather, i can sense a faint bit.

T: smooth, surprisingly, since i usually don't care for some of the strong ones as they warm. the malts seem entirely more smooth and complex than what i'm used to, which i like. hops seemed mutedi'm looking forward to putting a few of these on the shelf and trying them next year, lots of potential.

O: in spite of a less-than-fair initial try, this did very well. i'm looking forward to experiencing it aged and served properly.

update dec 2013 - still awesome :)

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Photo of draheim
4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle (2010 vintage) into a tulip. Pours a clear amber/mahogany w/ a huge thick fluffy white head, great retention & lacing. Looks like whipped cream.

Aroma is sweet and fruity. Candi sugar, toffee, rum-soaked dates, floral hops.

Taste, like nose, is fruity & complex. Residual sugars, dark candied fruits, warming booze. Hops balance the sweetness expertly. A Belgian-style American barleywine.

Mouthfeel is balanced and smooth. Good carbonation, lingering aftertaste.

Overall this is easily one of the best barleywines I've had. Drinkable, balanced, delicious. Not sure why I waited to long to open one. Will be buying a lot more of these from now on. Glad to already have a 3-year vertical going.

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Photo of bitterbeerguy
4.41/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2010

A: ruby red meets rusty orange. Small 1 cm head, and clear as can be- left a little sludge in the bottle

S: can smell from across the room. Leather and fig notes with some booze. Slight bourbon oak aroma

T: boozy and pleasant! Really really smooth. I am surprised about the leather flavors, with raisins and some mild mulling spices. Not a pinch of hops.

O: really really solid Barleywine. So smooth! Would love to try fresh!


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Photo of kawilliams81
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Half Acre snifter.

A- pours a dark amber with a 1 finger tan head. Small bubbles of lacing rim the glass.

S- brown sugar, toast, citrus, pine, candi sugar.

T- big amber malts and brown sugar, oranges, pine and spicy hop bitterness.

M- full body and medium carbonation. Some dryness but there's enough sweetness to balance it.

O- good Barleywine, reminds me of Bigfoot but sweeter and better.

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

2011 Vintage poured into a Hair of the Dog tulip.

A: Lovely. Auburn/amber color with an off white one finger head. It's very frothy and dissolving slowly into a good 1/4 inch head thats not going away. Alcohol legs sticking to the glass.

S: First, I'm getting sweet malts. Heavy raisin bread and caramel mixed with some earthy, floral hop aroma. Slight citrus notes, orange or grapefruit. I could sniff all day.

T: Taste follows suit to the smell. Rich caramel malts with a touch of honey soaked biscuit. This vintage isn't very old so the hop aroma and bitterness is still quiet present. A nice fruity bitterness. I'm even getting a slight dark chocolate in the after taste. Delicious. A complex brew, that shares some characteristic with other HoTD beers. I believe it's the Scottish yeast strain that Alan Sprints uses.

M: Medium body with moderate carbonation. There's a really nice creaminess to it, which makes it easy to drink and not something I have to sip necessarily. Flavors coat the mouth and linger nicely. Alcohol is present, which is not surprising me for the ABV of the beer. You can feel the warming down the throat and in the stomach. I like my big beers.

O: This is my second time having this beer and I must say, I love it. It's great holiday Barleywine and by far one of the best American style Barleywines. The first bottle I had was a 2010, so it had two years of age on it. It was a more balanced, with less bitterness and less heat from the alcohol, which goes to show that this beer ages gracefully as the label suggests. I'm planning on doing a vertical of this one. Get this if you can, really. But consider cellaring a few.

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Photo of switzer
3.01/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

2012 bottle purchased a day ago.

i think i need to try another bottle. in reading the other reviews (other than one that seemed to have the same issue i did) this looks like a tasty brew. i couldn’t get over the feel, thick, no carbonation whatsoever, no head at all. the taste was good but i didnt get the right experience and i didnt finish the glass.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of matttttYCE
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage. Can't remember who it was from. Big thank you, whoever it was.

Light tan colored head, a little more than a finger high. Light on lace, but retention is decent. Deep and murky amber brown colored liquid. Looks appealing for a barleywine. Even for a 2011 this is still quite a hoppy smelling barleywine, which is awesome. Bitter and fruity/grapefruit and citrus (orange) hops but they aren't overpowering. Behind that are caramelized malts, sweetness, toffee, dark fruits, lots of dark fruits, peanut brittle, and honey. Awesomely complex. Taste is great like the aroma. Hoppy and resinous but you can tell it's mellowed. Wonderful malts, sweetness, candi sugar, toffee, dark fruits, maple syrup, touch of brown sugar, man this is good. Maybe some honey also from the nose. Medium full body, medium carbonation and consistency, and a smooth lingering finish.

This is a great barleywine. I might be a bit biased as I really enjoy barleywines, but this one is definitely one of my preferred ones that isn't barrel aged. I can only imagine a bourbon barrel aged version of this. Case in point, I think this rivals SN Bigfoot one of the best hoppy barleywines.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of jmarsh123
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours rusty brown with a small tan head that fades almost immediately. No lacing.

The caramel/toffee malt has definitely taken over after a year. Burnt brown sugar and some booze complement.

A little bit of faint citrus hop remains, but is quickly enveloped by toffee and brown sugar even more so as the beer warms. Booze coats the tongue and it finishes with a nice alcohol burn and an earthy bitterness. Much different than the hoppy profile of a young Doggie Claws, but both are enjoyable.

Fairly full bodied with medium to low carbonation. Very warming as the booze sting is felt a bit, but tamed down a bit from a fresh bottle.

Getting harder to find this one as HOTD is scarce in IN anymore, but I love the various stages of this beer. Bright and hoppy in its youth, after about a year, this one is more of a boozy English style barleywine at this stage.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to FalconA for sharing.

A: Pours a hazy ruddy brown color with a large tan head on top. Very slow dissipation with streaky lacing down the sides.

S: Wow, surprisingly hoppy, would not guess it a barleywine if I didn't know. As it warms there is some citrus fruit, caramelized sugar, brown sugar, and a little bit of alcohol.

T: Initially very hoppy, just like the aroma with some nice citrus fruits, but as it warms a bit of caramel and toffee come out, a bit if sugary/sweet malt, and a little vanilla.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Rather smooth, slightly warming, but a bit booze kick is missing, a good thing.

O: A very nice (and hoppy) barleywine. Can only imagine what happens to this beer over time. Can see it being a very interesting beer to vertical.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.39/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got a bottle of this on a wim from Boozecamel. Cheers for the hook-up man!

From a bottle into a snifter
Vintage: 2011

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, medium looking, off-white or cream colored head with good retention. Head fades to a splotchy wisp and ring. Opaque roosewood red in color with medium levels of carbonation. A ring remains until the end but leaves no lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Very hoppy nose on this one. Caramel and toffee for sure, with lost of piney hops and citrus grapefruit, lemon and orange peel on the nose. Very fruity and very hoppy for the style, though the malt backbone is still part of the show. Great stuff.

TASTE: Caramel, toffee and bready flavors up front, with lots of floral and citrus notes at the swallow. Grapefruit, lemon and orange peel again. Big and lingering aftertaste with plenty of citrus, toffee and brown sugary sweetness, as some nice floral bitterness. Very flavorful with a touch of alcohol as well. Great stuff again.

PALATE: Medium body and carbonation. Enough weight and very creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth with a bit of a scratch and finishes quite sticky on the palate. A bit of heat at the back. Good feel, nicely creamy, though I'd hoped for a touch more weight for top marks here.

OVERALL: Great beer. HotD impresses yet again. Some might say this is too hoppy for the style, but that's fine with me. Lots of hops in this one, but the barleywine malt base shines through nicely as well. A slightly heavier palate here and you'd have a real monster. Thanks again for the chance at this Boozecamel. This was excellent.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.62/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a cloudy amber-brown with a finger of frothy khaki-tannish head. The head fades down fairly slowly leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet toffee and caramelized malts, brown sugar, some grapefruit, citrus, and pine hops, dark fruits, and a bit of booze.

T - Starts off with a mix of lots of sweet toffee and caramelized malts with some grapefruit and citrus hops and some hop bitterness, and a bit of sweet dark fruits. Through the middle, some pine and grassy hops come through with some more bitterness alongside some brown sugar and some more sweet caramelized sugars. The finish is a mix of rich sweet caramel and caramelized malts, grapefruit and resiny pine hops, hop bitterness, and some booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet, bitter, and warming finish.

D - Very drinkable. Big rich and bold malt character, but the body and hop really balance out nicely. Fantastic barleywine.

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

Poured into a shortglass from a 12oz bottle. (*made in 2011)

A- Very somber brown and cloudy. Tan khaki head that settled quickly and capped the beer. A little bit of semi-sticky lacing. Some decent carbonation hugging the sides of the glass too.

S- Caramel malt, honey, some dark fruit... this is a year old bottle, so I didn't pick up much hop aroma, but there was a little grassy/citrus notes... Also there is a little bit of alcohol on the nose that is covered up decently enough underneath all the sweet aroma!

T- Starts out sweet. Roasted malt, caramel, dark sugar. The hops were really mellow. The finish really brings it with dark fruit flavors (plumbs mostly), and POW, a big alcohol kick. I don't think it is very overwhelming, the alcohol is definitely there and you know it, but the balance of flavor helps a lot.

MF- Very heavy/thick body. sticky sweetness that coats your lips and the roof of your mouth... A nice dry finish on the back of the tongue that leaves a warming feeling all over from that 11% alcohol!

O- Fantastic. I liked every part of this beer. I haven't tried many barleywines, but this is definitely one of the best I have tried so far. Worth the try, worth the buy! I will definitely have this again.

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Photo of hmph
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received in a BIF from RobL, many thanks as its been on my wants list for a while! Vintage: 2011

A - A murky reddish brown with a beautiful light khakis head that subsides but never leaves, really good looking beer

S - dark fruits and sweetness, brown sugar, a burnt caramel almost, very inviting, some faint hop bring out some lighter notes

T - mmmm... sweet, very sweet roasted caramel with a lot of candied brown sugar, again some lighter notes of hops which balance it out and then hit with the warming of the alcohol, not quite hot enough to be labeled as a 'sipper' but its got some umph behind it

O - Really good beer, complex flavors that were very well balanced, very sweet without going overboard, stayed thoroughly delicious throughout the entire glass, would love to have it again

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass from a 12oz bottle.
Vintage: 2011

Pours a murky yet very attractive muddy water brown with some nice orange hues. Very oily, thick and viscous liquid. A nice 0.25 inch head forms that is a light cream color and is pretty dense and has some good retention as well.

Aroma of resinous hop notes. Tons of stuff going on in there with some nice caramel malt sweetness in there. Intense hop resins with some citrus and some nice intense grassy pine notes. There is some boozy notes as well.

Taste starts off with some nice intense hop notes. Nice caramel notes that are very well balanced with the hops. There is some nice sweetness that includes some nice raisin notes and some good bitterness. There is some boozy notes but they aren't overwhelming. I think 1 year has curbed some of the heat. Very good Barleywine. Mouthfeel is nice and sticky.

Good barleywine. Great sweetness and nice hop balance.

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