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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Ratings: 1,189 |  Reviews: 553
Photo of stoutfiend27
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 bottle sent in the last care package from James...thanks bro..into the snifter

a-deep bronze/copper....huge three finger head..fell quickly to some chunky lacing..nice carbonation for the style

s-sweet malt and citrusy hops..some caramel..not much else to describe

t-sweet malt bill heads this one up..the typical west coast hop schedule comes into play rounding this one out and finishing on a bitter note..

m-thick and chewy the way a barleywine should be...really hit home on style..the carb was perfect as well as the effect on the palate

o-a great representation of the style and one i wish i had multiple vintages of the save...

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

Had on tap at Rattle N' Hum in New York, NY on 5/27/11.
Review taken from notes.

A - This beer pours a nice dark amber color. It has a small white head on it. The head has decent retention, and it leaves just a bit of lacing behind.

S - It smells of sweet caramel malts and hops mostly. There is also some light fruitiness, toffee, honey, and some booze.

T - It tastes of big caramel malts and a strong american hop presence. There is a candy-like sweetness to it, as well as some nice fruit notes. The hop presence really helps to balance this one out. The finish has some lingering hop flavor and a touch of booze. The booze is very well hidden for being 11.5%.

M - This has a medium body and good carbonation. It goes down smooth, and has a bit of a chewy quality to it. There is some sticky sweetness, and some lingering hop bitterness. There is also some alcohol warmth in the finish.

O - There is good drinkability here. It goes down good and the flavor is just awesome. It is a sipper for sure, but it tastes so good, you just don't want to put it down. Overall I think this is an excellent barleywine. I really enjoyed this beer, and I look forward to having more. I recommend trying this one.

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Photo of doughanson78
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got on tap at Bottleworks in Seattle, WA. The store was pretty dark so I could get a great appearance review but I did what I could.

A: Deep redish/purple. Not much head (due to the pour?), but what was there left awesome lacing. After I drank it down a ways and swirled it I was getting decent head. Lacing hung around forever.

S: Big grape smell. Fruity and sweet. Citrus and grapefruit. Faint alcohol. Light caramel. Very mild hop presence.

T: Faint bit of hop bitterness. Big grapefruit or sour grapes, but good. Hides the 11.5% very well.

M: Full-bodied. Lightly creamy. Dry

O: Very good. Anything that can have this much alcohol and not let it show is doing a good job. Very good desert drink. Winding the day down.

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

12oz into snifter. 2010 release. consumed on Easter 2011. From notes.

A: Pours a one finger head, that is off white and the body is a hazy copper hue. Slow, but steady carbonation levels. Great head retention as well as sticky lace.

S: A bold and crisp aroma, sweet notes and a classic Barleywine aroma. Strong use of malts, but still kickin' with an American hop aroma. The honey is profoundly evident in this well balanced Barley Pop.

T/M: Full bodied front of high malt sweetness, while hops are present. Not as much in the aroma. But none the less, a high West Coast pine and citrus hop notes. Honey adds a well rounded glossy mouthfeel. The lingering taste is strong, but not as prolonged as the overall intensity projects.

O: In drinkablity terms, this brew is an all star, with smooth start to finish texture, classic American hop flavor and aroma it really is a solid brew. And a nice addition from the honey.

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Photo of veinless
3.56/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks go out to AwYeh for splitting his only 12oz bottle with me.

Vintage: 2010

Pours a murky light brown with oranges mixed in. Looks like unfiltered apple juice. A large, foamy, rocky, soft, light tan head caps the body. Very lacy, leaving rungs of residue. Good looking beer.

Smells light, with a sweet floral character defining it. Jasmine and a touch of juniper make it springy and perfumish, while a little ethanol provides astringency.

Taste is hoppy, with a tempered lemon citrus to start, before moving to grain and lightly toasted malt. The roast malt then moves to a balanced malt/hops middle and a dry roast finish. Very balanced yet pungent, but the vodka-like ethanol I got wasn't too pleasant in either the nose or taste.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, with average carbonation. Pretty middle of the road. Drinkability is hurt by the excess astringency - this beer tasted, felt, and drank like straight vodka a little bit, although the good qualities in the beer far outweighed this one negative.

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

Pours a deep, deep amber/brown with a huge offwhite/tan head. Great coating/lacing as I swirl it around my stemmed Russian River glass. Aroma is massive on this one. I could smell it the minute I poured the beer. Aroma is filled with caramel malt sweetness, vanilla, citrusy hops, and burnt sugar. Some burnt wood/oakyness in the nose too. Flavor is filled with caramel/honey malt sweetness, cinnamon, clove, and other spices. Very mild earthy/herbal hop presence, but just enough to cut through the massive barelywine sweetness. Creamy/silky mouthfeel with a sticky sweet finish. Really enjoying this brew. Going to hold onto my other bottle for a year or two/three to see what time does to this one.

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

Original review January 31, 2011.

Body is a cloudy amber, sort of the color of unfiltered apple juice. I poured this beer ever so carefully and slowly, yet it exploded into a voluminous head. Eventually settles down, but has huge head production and retention, leaving foamy lacing on the glass.

Smells malty sweet, with floral hops and honey.

Taste is wonderful. Malty sweet with a honey kick, and an intensity of floral hops.

Body is medium and carbonation is light, but enough to give this a basically creamy mouthfeel.

This is a rich and decadent ale, very appropriate for the holidays.

Update: having a tasting from the tap at Hair of the Dog.

This was served from the tap in a 3 ounce tasting glass. Unlike the bottle version which had a voluminous head, this pour had a small head that dissipated to a fine ring, leaving nice lacing deposits on the glass. Other than that, this is tasting very much like the bottle version I reviewed earlier this year.

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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 cosmicevan
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to comfortablynumb1 for the smooth trade.

a - opened the 12oz bottle and filled my founders tulipy sniftery type of glass. The beer poured a deep murky reddish copper with a reasonable off-white head that was frothy and hung around for a while. Lacing was present but left mostly sparse evidence of where it had been after swirling the glass.

s - Nice caramel woody malt smell with a touch of hops in the background and an almost fresh spring water smell. I swear I smell notes of oak.

t - Big BOLD taste. Much like the nose strong vanilla caramel malts with a good hop backbone. Very nicely balanced and not too much in any one direction.

m - Leaves a nice tingle. Full bodied and rich.

o - If I didn't see the label on the bottle, I'd guess that this was a Deschutes reserve brew. It has that same delicious caramel/vanilla flavoring and is really subtle. This is a worldclass barleywine. Extremely tasty. I'd LOVE to have some of this to sit on. VERY pleased with this beer.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to hannydawg for sharing this treat. This is the '08 vintage.

A: this pours a big bold gold color with little head and no lacing.

S: the nose starts with a swift kick of pine hops followed by a huge caramel malt profile. The caramel smells sweet and the pine hops add an earthy dimension.

T: very sweet up front with notes of brown sugar, honey, and some raosted character in the background.

MF: medium body, low carbonation

O: Great brew. A little on the sweet side with a significant bit of heat on the finish. Overall this is quite tasty.

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Photo of Vdubb86
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter

Thanks to hannydawg for being a gracious host and providing more than he should have

2008 vintage

I'm not really sure how hops last in the flavoring and aroma of a beer for over 2 years, but here in the glass before me was an example of what appeared to be just that. This murky brownish liquid, smelled of hops. It didn't taste of them, but it surely smelled of them. There was an odd flavor combination of strong whiskey mixed with a maple syrup and a touch of mentholated cherry to finish off the palate. This was still on the boozy side even with the age. There was almost a spruce like character on the finish of this beer which didn't go well with it still tasting flammable. This was the only beer we had all night that could have used more time aging.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip glass.

Big thanks to hannydawg for sharing this bottle!

2008 vintage. Let me just say that I am firmly against dressing dogs up for the holidays (or pretty much any other time, as well). That said, this stuff pours a very lightly murky russet-amber topped by a half-finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises ruby red grapefruit, pine, mild menthol, and toffee. The taste brings in more of the same, though the toffee is much more pronounced, giving some more balance to the proceedings, and the alcohol stabs through quickly, smartly, and shortly. The body is a straight medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and an oily feel. Overall, a very nice barleywine, a nice side-by-side with the thicker and maltier Fred from the Wood. Good times.

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Photo of woemad
4.36/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle purchased at Bottles in Millwood, WA, for $5.69. 2010 vintage.

Poured a mostly opaque copperish color with a huge head that took it’s time dropping, looking like a glass of beige-colored milk. Tons of lace.

Huge hop aroma at the outset. Big citrus scent. I get strawberries as well as the vaunted Mt. Hood wildflower honey, plus some sharp, spicy tones. As it warms up there are caramelish malty notes as well.

While not so apparent in the nose, this has enough malts to be an equal partner to the hops. Superbly balanced, with a warming boozy bite in the background that steps forward a little as things warm up.

Fairly full bodied, with a coating, sticky mouthfeel.

A very tasty beer, and at under $6 a steal. Man, I wish I lived in Portland. I’ll be heading back to Bottles to see if I can grab a few more of these.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Had this on 2011-04-17 in Columbia, PA from a 2009 bottle. Had this again on 2014-10-09 and 2015-12-31 from a 2009 bottle.

My ratings are based on the 2014 tasting, which may have been the brew at it's peak of perfection - 5 years in the bottle after production.

Review from 2011-04-17

A - Hazy, copper-caramel with a 2-finger tan head and excellent lacing.

S - Rich smells of dried fruit, honey, earthy spice, molasses and some alcohol.

T - This has aged and mellowed nicely since I first tried this 2009 vintage. There's less forward honey taste, which is present but more integrated into the brew. This is a very malt-rich barleywine with a bit of yeasty funk. Not hop forward at all. There's an engaging brown sourdough bread flavor covered in raisin preserves. While the alcohol is noticeable it doesn't taste boozy. The aftertaste is sweet and sour, molasses and raisin. This is also where you notice a fair amount of lingering bitterness. It dries out moderately.

M - Medium-heavy body, light carbonation. Smooth and sticky feel.

O - I like this brew. Not my everyday style by any means. Interestingly, I liked it better as I proceeded through the glass more than the first sip. It's a big flavor without hitting you over the head and it rewards the sipper with long-lasting flavors in the aftertaste. I look forward to further tastings as my supply ages.

Notes: 2014 - Tasting better than ever. Still carbonated and yielded a 2-finger head from an aggressive pour. My tastes have evolved over the years and I now more appreciate the barleywine style after having tasted many others. This is a particularly good one. This 5-year old bottle is incredibly smooth and delicious. The hop bitterness has mellowed a lot but hasn't disappeared. The honey sweetness is still present. The mouthfeel is sublime. I raised my attributes in some categories to reflect my 2014 impression of this brew, which right at the moment as I'm tasting it; is pretty darn great.

Notes: 2015 - Plenty of carbonation. 3-finger head with an aggressive pour into a 16oz glass. The aroma is still strong and very malt forward of course. Similar impressions to 2014 but this bottle seems a little oxidized so not as glowing a report as last year, which was sublime. Still some bitterness in the finish. It's a lot of fun to taste this over the years. Glad I got a case back in 2009. Still have 5 bottles left.

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

Poured into a HotD Tulip on 4/16/11.

Pours a an opaque syrup amber color with tons of brownish off white head(had to let it settle for a few minutes before pouring the last half of the 12oz). Beautiful looking beer, not perfect but damn good looking.

Smells of tons of sweet malts as well as fruity hops. Lots and lots of complexity to this one. I smell honey, citrus, and carmel. Smells wonderful.

Taste is of sweet malts, honey, molasses, and hop fruit taste. Again very nice this beer is impressive.

Mouthfeel is great as well. Not very much bite on this one. Alcohol comes out slightly more when its warmer but its very smooth other then that. Sweetness sticks to the lips, and mouth leaving the sweet tastes all over.

Overall this is one hell of a brew and it lands in my category of "never pass this one up". I could see doing a huge trade for this so I can have it all the time. Very good.

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Photo of Retsinis
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm building a vertical of this beer, so will have to revisist this review when I do eventually have those. This review is based on the 2009 that I recently tasted. (which I also had when it first came out, but was not reviewing then)

A: The beer pours a cloudy dark copper brown with a half inch of dark tan head, nice lacing.

S: I get notes of oak, light vanilla and bourbon, along with rich caramel and toffee.

T: The flavor mostly mirrors, sweet caramel malt, light vanilla, oak, and just a kiss of bitterness to balance. The flavors are not as well blended as a I like, and would go as far to say it's a little muddled to me to be honest, as the a little heat gets in the way.

M: Medium body, oily, lightly carbonated.

O: I like it, as it's a Malty barley wine, as oppoosed to a hopped up barley wine. It's good now, but needs some more time to age for my preference. It's 11.50% so it will keep.

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Photo of GrahamWalters
4.07/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a 16 oz. tulip glass.

A: Cloudy dirty brown color tinged with red. Bottle conditioning causes a good amount of cloudiness. Over-carbonated bottle, with a long sustained head. Beautiful lacing.

S: Strong hop aroma, pineapple, pine, with a caramel malt sweetness in the background.

T: Extremely smooth with almost none of the hops from the nose. Strong malt flavor, tastes of butterscotch, caramel, and cotton candy. Raisins or figs are present, with a touch of nuttiness.

M: Overly-carbonated mouthfeel, almost stings the the mouth. Even with a vigorous pour, carbonation remains strong. Worth letting sit for a while.

O: Overall, an enjoyable very complex beer. Over-carbonation lowered the overall score, but still very enjoyable. I wish HOTD ditributed to MA.

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Photo of trappistlover
3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(12oz bottle for Bruery Provisions). Pours hazy copper color with massive beige head and ample carbonation. Aroma has lots of caramel malt, maybe a little hop spice and plenty of pine. Taste is very sweet with a hop bite on the end. Full bodied with sticky texture. Finish is slightly bitter, but smooth. Nice beer, but very sweet.

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Photo of chugalug06
3.68/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Super Foamy! Very alive... I think i shouldn't have opened this one quite yet, perhaps it's ALIVE!!!

Great head, amber color with murky yeast tints... a few bottom feeders. Spotty lacing

S - Smells like a sugar bomb. Maybe some funk going on too??? Hops are not cohesive together.

T - Yep, a definite funk in this one... Quite good , but it's thrown off a bit by something I can't put my finger on. Very sugary and hoppy, hop schedule could stand a change. The hop schedule could be causing the unique funk???? It almost has a Vodka flavor...

M - Slightly over carbonated, but great coverage.

D - Not a brew to drink cold... Very good, I'm glad I tried this one!

Cheers, thanks Steve!

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Photo of Trilogy31
4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage pours a cloudy brownish orange with a sticky frothy head. Aromas of spicy candied pralines, red hots, licorice and lots of citrus esters and also honey after some time in the glass. Taste is very sweet balanced by hoppy bitterness. Taste comes across as candied nuts, a hint of citrus balanced by a hoppy finish and a slight touch of heat. Very tasty now but will be curious to see how the hops and alcohol fades and whether more fruit and secondary flavors come through over time. Very nice beer overall.

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Photo of birdypowder
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I opened a 2009 vintage and unfortunately it was flat. However, everything else about the beer was great and I will buy this beer again another year and review it. Had this beer been carbonated properly it would have been rated higher.

Sadly, no carbonation meant no head. Beer looks strange when you pour it in a glass and no head forms. It looks naked. My named doggie claws displayed a deep amber color, almost brown with decent clarity. No lacing.

A variety of wonderful aromas rose up including tropical fruits, honey, tea, sweet sweet maltiness, wood, rum, caramel, dark malts and slight vanilla. The hops were subdued.

The honey really comes through nicely and lingers pleasantly in the finish. Alcohol, some molasses and more fruit. Very sweet.

As it should be, viscous and thick, but again, lacking carbonation.

An amazing beer it would be if only it had a bit of fizz.

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Photo of vkv822
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into tulip snifter.
2010 vintage.

A - Cloudy amber brown, with good amount of carbonation rising up to a gigantic off white head that leaves wonderful lacing.

S - The aroma is of pine hops, with a faint citric touch as well. I am also picking up some malt notes in the backing, though the hops are the focus.

T - Thankfully the bready malt notes are a bit more prominent in the taste, there is also an almost sweet honey note blended into the malts. There is still definite pine and floral hop character, but it takes a bit more of a backseat.

M - Fairly thick, resiny bodied, with soft, yet suitable carbonation.

O - A really enjoyable beer, whether it be fresh or aged. You definitely know it's a barleywine, but the honey is a nice touch that helps give it some uniqueness.

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

2009 Vintage (Blue cap, in case anyone cares)

A: The pour is amber in color with a short lived khaki head that is initially about a finger high.

S: Great caramel and brown sugar aromas to the nose. Surprisingly, still a fair amount of hop content. I pick up some grapefruit and tropical fruit aromas. Sweet and malty, and excellent.

T: Caramel, molasses, and brown sugar provide a nice sweet base. Some definite fruitiness in the form of pineapple, grapefruit, tangerine, and peaches. A slight warming alcohol feel comes into play as the beer warms up.

M: Medium to full in body with a moderate carbonation and smooth feel on the tongue.

O: One of Hair of the Dog's best beers. I look forward to it each year.

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

Pours with a nice rich head. An extremely layered color once it settles after pouring from the 12oz bottle. Reddish at the top and brownish at the bottom of the snifter. Very intriguing appearance as I wait for it to warm. Great lacing action once I began to drink it down.

Nose is really fruity, sweet and hoppy. Smells pretty delicious.

Oh nice complex taste. Beautiful hops at first, then a sweet malt bomb in the middle and finishes with fruit and bananas. Almost like the perfect balance between an American BW at the start and an English BW at the end.

Fluffy yet full with a nice bit of heat in the finish.

Highly drinkable. Downright excellent brew. A must try for BW lovers. Cheers!

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Doggie Claws from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
4.12 out of 5 based on 1,189 ratings.
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