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

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Doggie ClawsDoggie Claws
1,193 Ratings
Doggie ClawsDoggie Claws

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

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
"a Barley Wine made in the West Coast style. Big malt and hops make this copper colored ale one of our most popular products. Produced in September and October and released in November, this Beer will improve for years to come. Alcohol: 11.5% by volume. IBU's 70"

Added by mattmaples on 10-12-2001

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,193 |  Reviews: 554
Photo of vkv822
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
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 -3.4%
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%
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 +1.4%
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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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
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 DovaliHops
3.92/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2009. Pours a very hazy amber color with almost no head whatsoever. Scent is honey, dark malts, dark fruits, caramel, and some candied dates. Taste is exactly like it smells....except sweeter. This beer is very sweet with candied dark fruit flavors galore. Amazing dark malt flavors as well with a nice honey profile. Mouthfeel is full bodied, but almost flat. Not much carbonation at all...almost still. Drinkability is fairly high, as this is a nice sipper perfect for dessert.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this one up while out in Cali for the Bruery Reserve Society party. Big thanks goes out to womencantsail for shipping this to me after I left. 2010 Vintage! Served from bottle into a Duck-Rabbit snifter. Poured red-orange with a three finger off-white head that subsided to two fingers very slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, citrus, citrus hop, and sweet fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, citrus hop, citrus, caramel, and orange zest. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this brew was quite excellent. I had been hearing lots about this one and I knew once I saw it on the shelf in Cali, I had to have it. The citrus presence in this one was nuts, and quite enjoyable. 11%!?!? You would never have any idea until you walked into something after a few... Pretty nice aroma here as well that also shows no signs of the booze. If you haven't tried this, get off your ass!

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.58/5  rDev +10.6%
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 nkersten
3.28/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of gregg, thanks! 2010 bottle is a bit of a gusher, luckily the darkness snifter was ready and i didnt lose too much. Hopefully this one isnt infected. Color is a nasty looking cloudy brown with lots of sediment floating around and a 3 finger thick light tan head that lingers. Smell is a good balance of sugary malt and alcohol, some simcoe hop bitterness, slightly metallic astringent quality, the amarillo is totally overpowered. Taste is very sweet up front, lots of sweet cherries and dark fruits, caramel malt, some fruity hops, slightly piney, some alcohol. Mouthfeel is a bit light for a barleywine with a medium carbonation - way off for the style, the alcohol seems to have thinned it out. Warm alcohol finish. Not a very drinkable barleywine, this one definitley needs a little time on the shelf.

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Photo of Trueant1
4.65/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage. Have had this in the fridge for over 6 months.

Pours an awsom, thick, frothy off white head. Honey brown color. Lots of large "floaties" all over the glass. Chunks of lacing sit on the sides of the glass!

Honey floral smells permeate the room! Alcoholic, almost chardonet wine smells. Off smells of wet paint. Because this brew smells so strong, wonderful, and fills the room, it is perfect.

Honey taste with a nice bitter afterbite. Alocoholic.

Mouthfeel is carbonated and sticky, very nice!

Great drinkability for this style.

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Photo of MrDanno96
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this as an extra in a recent trade with Doodler. Thanks!

A: Pours a reddish brown color with a surprisingly large amount of head: 2 fingers plus. A got amount of foamy lacing sticks to the sides of the glass. A good amount of yeast sediment settles to the bottom as well.

S: A whole bunch of aroma on the nose. The honey definitely shines through along with a ton of malty sweetness: cherries, plums, a little leather. Resins and floral hops too.

T: Very earthy up front with notes of tobacco and leather. A good dose of subtle dark fruit sweetness comes through towards the finish with a hint of honey and a little bitterness for balance. The flavor really achieves great balance. While it's a malt bomb, it's not overly sweet or hoppy like many American Barleywines.

M: Full bodied with a very subtle carbonation. The alcohol is hidden very well, but you can feel the warmth as it goes down.

D: A really great American Barleywine, and that's coming from someone that typically doesn't really enjoy barleywines. It's obvious that a lot of thought went into this brew, as opposed to some American Barleywines, which I feel are largely just a ton of everything dumped into the brew pot.

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Photo of philbe311
4.52/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - A gingers worth of thick rich and creamy of slightly off-white colored head... Moderate retention gives way rich inviting slightly splotching lace with a thick collar... The color is a murky mix of red, brown, and orange... A bit of sluggish carbonation can be seen climbing along the sides of the glass...

S - Spectacular aroma that can be smelled without even bringing your nose in proximity of the glass... A delectable malt bomb... Bursting with dark fruits... Raisins... Dates... Cherries... Caramel... Toffee... A touch of brown sugar... Slightly medicinal... A bit musky... A very restrained subtle piney hop presence...

T - Caramel... Brown sugar... Dates... Fig... Some candied sugars... Short bread... Cherry... Raisins... Toffee... A bit of piney hoppiness... Loaded with complexity...

M - A bit of creaminess to start... Thick and slightly viscous... Medium to full bodied... Quite sturdy... Lively carbonation... Dense and heavy... A bit chewy... Surprisingly smooth...

D - I do love me a monstrous Barleywine bursting with flavor and character and this one fits that description... A sipper... Rich and sophisticated... Hair of the Dog has never provided anything less than a superb beer... Terrific all the way around...

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Photo of AdamGarcia
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served in Darkness Snifter. 2009 vintage.

A: A slow gusher. Pours a murky orange/brown color. Billowy head from initial pour that sticks around for a while. Leaves a little lace.

S: Sweet maltiness. Slightly estery. Nice amount of hoppiness to balance out the sugary sweet malt. Floral. Slightly spicy. Sweet bread. Some dark, candied fruit. Layered and intense.

T: Similar to smell. Loads of sweet malt with just a bit of hops to add some balance. Tobacco and leather. Notes of plum and fig. Lots going on. Rich and complex. 11%abv is not hidden, but not more noticeable than appropriate. A slight astringency in the finish.

M: Full bodied. More carbonation than some barleywines. Soft, but viscous feel.

D: Big and complex, this is certainly a sipper. Very interesting as it changes with each sip. Could drink more than one serving of this over the course of an evening.

Very enjoyable. This is one I'll be one the lookout for when in season. I'd love to lay a few down to see how the flavors develop with more age.

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

At Stumbling Monk in Seattle WA

Poured into a Tulip (a little too quickly). I had to wait for the foam to go down, I just didn't realize how easily this beer would foam! But Oh, what a foam. Just a gorgeous, thick persistent head and a mahogany colored ale.

Smell is a very floral hop with a hint of the alcohol coming through.

The taste is honey-sweet to begin, and holds through with malt sweetness balanced by a bitter hop middle, very smooth on the tongue with a medium body. Carbonation bite refreshes and hop taste at the end finishes pretty cleanly.

I expected the beer to be more hoppy in flavor, possibly more bitter based on it's aroma, but it was quite balanced, perhaps even a tad sweet for my palate, but I'd definitely have another. Lovely beer.

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Photo of SirRuss
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage: 2010

A - Wow! I've not been this genuinely awestruck by a beer for quite some time. Immediately the pour lathers-up an insanely impressive head that displays the eruptive power and luxurious creaminess of an aerosol shaving foam. The body oozes decadence, as an opulent chestnut brown, rich with bottle-conditioned sediment, seats itself with majestic elegance. Eventually the Lacing finds room to prove its worth, and results in a layer of foamy superiority that could challenge many-a-barley-wine's head to a one-on-one and still come arise victorious.

S - Extravagance flows forth in a raucous mingling of honeyed malts, fresh floral notes, and cool resinous hops with citrus overtones. Rarely does a beer offer this intensity of character, and equally remarkable complexity on the nose alone.

T - There is little point considering the transitional qualities, as this brew owns the palate from the get-go. However, its domination is executed with the exculpatory exuberance of Churchillian oration that will bend any skeptic of the aromatic argument into complete compliance. Big malts mercilessly release Figgy and Sticky Toffee Pudding payloads, while lighter caramel notes barrel-roll around, and a spitfire spice scuttles the tongue. The resinous hops resist by slicing through the soft malt underbelly, and a citrus infantry provide light, supporting fire from hidden flanks. Despite the allusions, this brew is more akin to WWI than WWII, as the absence of clear victor/vanquished warrants double celebratory cigars, whose presence is reflected by a dense tobacco undertone that ultimately lends this Bulldog's Doggie Claws an unforgettable dimension.

M - Amidst the chaos, boozy gusts blow an intimidating warmth into the brew, although they are well tempered by the malt. The carbonation is also vivacious, but with the multifaceted onslaught it faces it should be deemed as no more than reasonable force. All-n-all, the outcome is agreeably vibrant.

D/O - Big. BIG! It's as easy to describe this as overly alcoholic one moment, too sticky the next, and too bitter the one thereafter. But this is Doggie Claws' true beauty - it's all of these things in the most excessive way that it can be, and yet it still works. It represents a world where America, Russia, and China have all evolved as equally capable, war-hungry superpowers, and yet despite irreconcilable differences, the world is somehow a better place.

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Photo of Elendinn
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage, served in a tulip glass at the Hair of the Dog tasting room.

Pours a cloudy, honey-infused, dark mahogany, with two fingers of frothy, off-white head and thick, sticky lacing that stubornly adorns the glass (and winds up remaining stationary throughout most of my tenure there). When held against the light, it becomes a gorgeous, hazy amber.

Smells hoppier than I remember the previous vintage smelling, but the hops aren't excessively-aggressive. Pine and citrus are definitely prevalent (I feel like I've ambivalently wandered into the produce section of a grocery store), but beneath that is a nice, malty, fruity (grapes, apples), honey-like foundation, with hints of raisins, figs, and bread.

Upon my first sip, hops, again, are immediately discernable -- I'm reminded of fresh produce. The malt, honey, and dark fruits attempt to subdue the resinous, pine flavors, and, though they put up a pretty good struggle, are ultimately over-powered. Right now, this beer is tasting more like a well-balanced double IPA, with only the faint birthings of what this beer will likely become given another year or so of age.

The carbonation is a little more exuberant than I'd expect from the style, but not overbearing. The body is medium-to-full. Not as smooth or as syrupy as I'd like it to be, but it's probably better suited for the flavor profile.

I love Doggie Claws with age on it, but, when still relatively-fresh, it just doesn't seem to represent the style quite as well. No doubt, hop-lovers will enjoy it this way, but I'll definitely be holding onto my bottles for another year or so before I even contemplate opening them. It's still a great beer, but slightly more difficult for me to drink at this stage in its development. I'd still recommend acquiring these, if for no other reason than to cellar, as I'm sure they'll blossom into something extraordinary.

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Photo of corby112
3.72/5  rDev -10.1%
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 beergod1
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010. Very deep amber in color with a long lasting beige head, good lacing. The aroma is very rich with lots of malt, caramel, Christmas spice, light alcohol, dark fruits. Silky palate with loads of nice fruity notes,Brown sugar, A light burn on the finish, maybe a touch of hops. Full body, a little sweet right now, give this one some time....a year or so, then I will re-rate. I bet this will be great.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into snifter glass. Pours clear brown - amber with nice big foam head and lingering lacing. Aroma is loaded with good hops, light sugary - honey notes, citrus-grapefruit fruits, caramel - typical holiday spices. Where the whole charm of this beer comes to life is in its taste especially when approaching room temperature. All the hops come together with the malts for an amazing experience. All is terrifically well balanced. The bitter hops is balanced out with the hops and the sweet addition of honey - brown sugar, making this beer an extremely smooth and sweet beer. I am cellaring another bottle for a year or two and see what this is all about!

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Photo of 2xHops
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It looked like it's tasty. The head didn't develop as much as I thought it would. It may be the way I poured the beer that caused the lack of head. It had a full-bodied coloring and definitely not transparent. The color's rich caramel (right word?)

The smell's very aromatic. the smell wafered around my nose with ease, and I could smell some floral notes along with the hops.

Taste - I can't remember what a barleywine beer normally taste like, so forgive me if I give the beer a good grade for something that may or may not be accurate. However, I do enjoy the flavors this beer had to offer.

Mouthfeel - The alcohol definitely came alive when I swished the beer. The carbonation's there, and it isn't too thick or thin. However, the alcohol may be just tad overpowering.

Drinkability - It packs a powerful punch, so it's not very drinkable on regular basis, especially if you wanted to drink more than one pint of beer. For the more experienced beer aficionado, this will be a fun sample to try.

I'll drink it again, but I think I prefer Adam or Fred from the brewery.

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Photo of charliedvrs
4.62/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage with a little bit of a year of age on it. Saved this one for the first big snow storm of the year. Thanks msubulldog25 for this one, last of my HtDs!

A - Pours a nice slightly hazy, copper orange. Lots of carbonation bubbles and a creamy, white head. Some yeasties float around in the glass but most lay stuck to the bottom of the bottle.

S - Sweet caramel, molasses and sugars with a bit of alcohol. Earthy hops in the background but definitely present.

T - Oh, what a treat! Tons of sweet malty flavors that come across and blend with the yeast to give a nice, cohesive taste full of sugary caramel, molasses and honey mixed with sweet dark fruits like cherries, figs and dried prunes. Even a year after bottling the hops are still all over this one and round out the taste with strong grass and pine notes.

M - Full bodied, which fits well with the honey and caramel sweetness, with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Great sipping beer for a cold winter night. Makes an even better post or pre shoveling drink! High ABV and full body would keep me from having more than one, but that ain't the point of this one. Great beer, thanks again Brian!

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Photo of pmccallum86
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful amber brown colored body with a thick and bubbly tan head. Very nice looking Barleywine

The smell is of big sweet caramel malts and floral pine hops. Very nice aroma

Taste is of huge malts with a bitter pine hop finish. The alcohol is slightly detectable, but not too bad considering it's 11.5%. Good Barleywine, nothing mind blowing but very good.

Mouthfeel is very full with high carbonation.

Just above average drinkability, nice barleywine.

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Photo of Flightoficarus
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter!

A - Pours a muddy, brown-amber, with a massive tan head, with excellent head retention and lacing. A very active beer that took a few minutes to calm down before drinking!

S - Smell is of dark and citrus fruit drizzled malts, with sweet honey, molasses, and spicy, piney hops.

T - Complex! Taste is of thick, bready malts, loaded with flavors of cherry, apple, apricot, orange, honey, toffee, caramel, and spicy hops. It's a mouthful, and a tasty one at that for sure!

M - Full-bodied. Uber-rich, almost chewy texture. Medium carbonation. Glorious.

D - It's a sipper, but it's quite the sipper!

Overall - This is an absolutely fantastic Barleywine! Highly recommended

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Photo of sweemzander
4.73/5  rDev +14.3%
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 liddytime
4.64/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


That most wonderful time of the year....second only to when the kids return to school. So for December 24th, I thought I might sample Hair of the Dog's Doggie Claws. It is festive enough on the label with the bulldog wearing the Santa hat. Heck, there's even a pair of menorahs on the label! This should be one multi-denominational beer!

My bottle is dated 2007 and I can't remember, for the life of me, where I purchased it... it has been cellared for a bit..

I decanted her into a tulip snifter. Hazy, toffee brown. Soft, scant, foamy head. Aroma of alcohol, figs, prunes, rum, cardamom and raisins. Have I mentioned that I LOVE barleywines?!

What a great beer. Huge mouthful! Big body. Massive holiday fiesta of dried fruit, spices and spicy hops in your mouth.

This is everything a winter sipper should be. Another quality brew from Hair of the Dog!

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Doggie Claws from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
Beer rating: 4.14 out of 5 with 1,193 ratings
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