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: 1,187 |  Reviews: 552
Photo of mjl21
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter. 2008 vintage. Comes in at 11%.

A-Pours a hazy, muddy brown with no head. Looks flat with a miniscule off white ring clinging to the glass. Tad bit of lace remains.

S-Citrus hops, predominantly orange, along with rum notes. Smells very much like a rum and orange juice fruit drink you would be served while sitting poolside in the tropics. Also a very yeasty smell comes out.

T-Honey, orange, yeastiness, a tad bit of alcohol. Sweet malt hits at the end. Pilsner malt definitely pops out and as it warms the citrus notes get sronger.

M-Very flat and is on the heaveir side of the body spectrum. Very sticky.

D-11% is very well hidden. Needs some more carbonation. Definitely one to sip and let slowly warm.

An interesting take on the style. This is one I would like to revisit with some age. Not too bad being priced at $4.49 for the bottle.

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Photo of ibbjamin
2.49/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked up a 12oz bottle of the 2008 vintage from Healthy Spirits in San Francisco, CA. Poured into a small snifter.

No head, no retention. Absolutely none. Opaque, murky brown color. No lacing, almost non-existent carbonation.

Quite a rummy, alcohol infused nose. Well balanced with some slightly sweeter malts, caramel and candied raisin.

Taste is quite strong. Alcohol could be better hidden. Similar in characteristic to the nose.

Mouth is full bodied with no carbonation. The lack of carbonation makes this extremely flat and difficult to drink. The mouth is murky and somewhat gritty. Lasting aftertaste.

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Photo of aforbes10
4.83/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle from the bottle barn in Santa Rosa. Pours blood red with some sediment falling in towards the end of the pour and a beautiful slow cascade that forms an eight inch head. Sticky, slothful lacing. Big malt and hop nose. Pine and citrus with mango, sweet caramel, alcohol. Flavor is a slow-developing masterpiece of deliciousness. Piney hops creep forward slowly along with strawberry, mango and a gentle bug solid backbone of sweet malt. Pine sap hop and prominent sweetness round out the finish with a touch of bitterness and alcohol for good measure. Creamy mouthfeel...a reasonably still beer, with just a hint of soft carbonation. Syrupy. Drinks wonderfully...i sipped this all evening and enjoyed every moment. A great, great beer.

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

Poured hazy orange-bronze with a short white head. Thick lacing. Earthy herbal hop aroma with heavy pine and some honey. Semi-viscous mouthfeel. Great taste. Lots of resiny goodness up front and throughout. Avoids the soapiness in some of these hoppy barleywines. Smooth, sweetened citrus and brown sugar flavor towards the back. This flows with tropical fruit overtones; pineapple, mango, kiwi, and some melon. Long finish, slightly sticky. Wish I had bought more.

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Photo of hophead247
3.94/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle....Limited head and lacing, but was expected in a barley wine. A nice reddish orange color that was a little cloudy with sediment. Very enjoyable smell that was sweet and fruity that made my mouth water a bit. One of the tastiest barley wines I've tried...not too boozy, had a nice floral and fruity flavor, and the malt and hops were nicely paired.

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

Finally got a couple of the HOTD's thanks Dyan

A= pours minimal head quickly to no head, very light brown/reddish clay type color

S= HOPS, wow, first HOTD and man alot of hops, then some fruit honey in the background

T= very sweet, with just the right ammount of hops in the back ground. VERY complex notes of honey

M= pretty thick in the mouth almost syrupy but not in a bad way

D= this one warmed me up for the point it hit my lips. Definatly a slow drinker. the ABV I feel is totally hidden. definatly looking to more HOTD

Warning let the bottle sit and dont pour the whole bottle, prolly 11 oz of beer 1 oz of sediment and or yeast in the bottle!

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Photo of rsmith03
4.59/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the best tasking barley wine beer i've had. Doggie Claws is full flavored with hints of pineapple, cinnamon, rum, and sweet ginger. The beer has nice dark brown color with little head on top. The sweetness of the beer makes the 11.5% smooth and refreshing.

When poring from a bottle make sure you don't poor all the sentiments out.

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Photo of jgap
4.26/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge ups to Matt for bringing this aged bottle to our tasting. Pours a super cloudy light brown. Tons of yeast in the bottle and, despite Matt's pro-pouring skills, there is a lot of yeast in the glass. No head and only a slight lacing. Looks and smells like hard caramel candy with some hops present. It's very potent and pleasant. Taste has a ton of hops still but the flavor now blends well into the sweet maltiness and the crisp, piney hop bitterness has dulled. Taste is very sweet. Chewy toffee and caramel. Alcohol is definitely present but not as prevalent as fresh. This could easily go several more years. The strong taste mixed with the potent smell consumes your senses and really draws you in. It is easy to be enthralled by this beer. Mouthfeel is fairly thick for barleywine and there is a classic craft brew/homebrew feel to it.

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

12 oz. bottle tried 10 Jan 2009. 2008 version.

Poured in 0.3 L becker. One inch foamy tan head. Clear dark roux color. Aroma is very resiny, earthy, sweet, piny, lots of alcohol. First sip fills the mouth with pine, transitions to sweet candied ginger and pineapple. Finishes with warm rum and cinnamon. Aftertaste is somewhat strangly melony. Medium heavy body. Although certainly warming, alcohol feels less than 11%.

This would be a regular in my fridge except for the relatively steep price tag ($5.99).

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

Bottle from tasting at The Comet.

Poured reddish brown color with an average off-white frothy head that was mostly diminished with fair lacing. Moderate spicy malty and alcohol aroma. Medium body with a sticky texture. Medium sweet dark fruit flavor with a medium sweet & sour finish of moderate duration.

This is a standout beer.

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

12 oz. bottle courtesy of BrewerB - thanks!! Poured into a 12 oz. brandy snifter.

Appearance: Pours a reddish, dark amber, very hazy from all the suspended yeast - of which some solid, discrete clumps are observable. The half-finger of tan head has pretty good retention, about average, with the competing hop proteins and alcohol retardation probably evening out pretty solidly. The lacing is also pretty good, maybe even above average for a brew of this abv%, with dots and islands and blotches of

Aroma: Full, fresh, and fruity. This one almost smelled like freshly-squeezed juice, with strong overtones of orange and grapefruit zest and pulp, strong pineapple, honey, kiwi, and just a general heaping tablespoon of cane sugary notes. Pleasant.

Taste: Wow. An absolutely amazing flavor profile. As an initial matter, this one's sweet - sweet, sweet, sweet. It's almost like drinking hoppy fruit juice. But the sweetness is balanced by a measurable amount of bitterness and a fantastic hop profile. The hops are off the charts - tons of tropical fruits, cherries, grapefruit, bananas, pineapple, orange zest, pears, strawberries. Oy gevalt, this is tasty. If you like sweet barleywines, this one'll hit the spot.

Mouthfeel: An incredibly soft and subtlely carbonated body, despite the fact that the body itself is thicker'n'snail snot. It calms down a little as this one sits, but it's still exceptionally even and smooth.

Drinkability: This is one of those ones that had me wiping my face off after every sip to prevent the immense volume of sugars from drying to my face, leaving it sticky and gross. Also, yes, 11.5% abv is high. However, it's really completely undetectable, and if you like sweet beers - as I do - this one's completely for you. It's not entirely sweet, though, and the hop presence provides enough balancing bitterness - and enough fantastic flavors - to keep this one both drinkable and enjoyable. Just a really great brew, maybe my favorite from HotD thus far. Highly recommended.

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

Thanks to SuzyGreenberg for this extra and many great trades.

Pours a deep brown color that glows ruby when held to the light. Head appears to be another HOTD carbonation screw up, but rises and holds ok with a vigorous pour. Off white head hangs for a couple minutes and leaves ok lacing.

Nose is quite hoppy. There is defenitely some dark malt sweetness in there as well, but the nose is very hop dominate. hops of the west coast nature, grapefruit resiny action.

Wow. Taste is not at all what I was expecting. I was prepared for hoppy bitter obliteration after that nose, but this one is actually very smooth, and the hops do not have any palate raping bitterness, although their flavor is presented. Sweet dark fruit through the middle of the taste, caramel, candy sugar and Honey. The honey is done well in this beer, and by that i mean it is not overdone as it often is. Hop flavors increase towards the finish, flavor is strong, but the bitterness is so subdued. Kind of strange. The finish is very slick, and not what I expected at all.

Mouthfeel is quite viscous on this one. I like it where it is, but maybe just a touch too thick here. Increases the cloying feeling. But really nice to see one on this end of the spectrum rather than being too thin, as is often the flaw in a BW's mouthfeel. Somewhat undercarbonated as well.

Drinkability is ok, but really nothing special here. Kind of odd, and quite thick.

Overall an interesting and certainly tasty barleywine from Alan and the crew. I kind of want a bigger hop presence in here, or at least a bit more bitterness. This brew feels like it should be quite bitter, but just doesn't pack that punch at the finish. There is some bitterness, i just would really like there to be alot more, I think it would suit the brew better. Aside from that, a good barleywine that is defenitely in the american style. Wouldn't mind having a couple more of these to see what would happen with 2-5 years of age. A good beer.

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Photo of PatronWizard
3.11/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2006 vintage, courtesy of OlieIPA.

I can see about an inch of crap at the bottom of the bottle. What the hell is going on here? I crack it open and there is an accumulation of what looks like ear wax all over the mouth of the bottle. I'm not feeling to good about this right now. I carefully pour around the ear wax and manage to only get 2 floaties into my glass. Soft pour brings about no head and few bubbles. The fluid is actually a very nice shade of bronze.

Smells pretty decent. Barleywine caramel with a hint of pears? Something else too.

Well the taste approaches good but doesn't quite get there. Medium strength caramel flavor, some light bitterness, and a little other sweetness.

Fairly smooth, uncarbonated feel. It's just not very exciting. I don't think I'll be revisiting this one. Ever.

Overall: a far cry from my favorite barleywine.

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Photo of jim102864
4.92/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Acquired via a trade from Hoppymeal (thanks, bro!), and darn glad I did.

Opened the 12 oz bottle with a solid burst of carbonation. I poured it slowly but plenty of yeast made it into the glass which is fine by me. Brownish in color but somewhat cloudy from the yeast with a fair rain shower of carbonation and a one finger head which suprisingly, stays in a creamy pillow throughout the session.

The simcoe and amarillo hops were quite evident in the nose. Slightly grassy and herbal. Nice.

The taste scores an emphatic "wow!" as the fascinating herbal sweetness blends nicely with a mildly biting alcohol finsih. The hops are well hidden but you know they're in there doing their good work. Creamy head remains intact throughout. The word "great" comes to mind.

Mouthfeel is creamy and viscous. A perfect balance of taste and physical pleasure.

Surely one of the best if not the best barleywine I've ever had. A special treat, highly recommended! Thank you once again, Hoppymeal!

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

Pours a dark amber, almost brown color. Head is beige and dense. Hop aromas of grass and earth come through, while the more citric hoppiness blends with the intense honeyed malt character. Flavor is sweet with caramel and honey notes. Some raisin bread and an earthy finish with medium bitterness. Warming but not too viscous. Nice drinkability.

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

I almost had to cry I went to put this 2005 vintage bottle that thethrone sent me in the cellar for another day and heard it hissing so I quickly chilled it down and poured it into a snifter that was a close one. We did have a gusher, so I won't get to much into the appearance, big tan head hazy apple cider colored yes floaties as well good thing I like Belgians. My score reflects giving it the benefit of the doubt

But the aromas made up for the whole gusher moment one of the best Barleywine noses I have ever had the pleasure of drinking. Sweet caramel, wait is this a melted sugar daddy ;-) toffee, candy sugar, fruity as well

A nice sweet sipper even more enjoyable as the glass goes on. the flavors folow the nose to a T. The warmth of the alcohol is still present and helps this brew from being to coy. This barleywine is medium in the mouth and sticky on the tongue.

I must say some of the brews I have had on my want list I have tried and thought wow that was a waste of space. This is not one of them, this brew is truly a must try for any barleywine fiend. Thanks again Adam, I didn't plan on drinking this tonight but I am glad I did. Drinkability that is answered simply by saying I want more

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

I've not been disappointed by HotD yet, so when I saw this at Vendome Toluca Lake, I had to pick it up. 2008 vintage. Love the bottle art...santa hat on Roswell and the hanukiah's on the front.

A: Pours a dark reddish-amber...almost brown. Tons and tons of sediment, so it ends up pretty hazy, to the point where you can't really see through the beer at all. Guess I shoulda been more careful with the pour. No head to speak of, but the lacing is damn impressive.

S: The nose is quite heavy with citrus and pine hops, but there's certainly a lot of sweetness to this brew as well. I note some apricot, mango, passion fruit and fig. Smells like quite a nice barleywine.

T: Opening is quite malty and sweet. A bit bready, some caramel, plenty of the fruitiness detected in the smell as well. Hops come out strong in the finish, citrus/grapefruit dominant and lingering on the tongue.

MF: Syrupy thick mouthfeel with pretty low carbonation. This works well, IMO. There's ENOUGH carbonation, but it doesn't really detract from the flavor. Warming is massive...just a huge hot alcohol feel with the beer...yet it doesn't taste or feel boozy.

D: Like the other "big" HotD brews I've had, this one would probably benefit from a little aging. It's still really hot. That being said, I like the hop character I get from this, and I imagine it would lose some of that with aging. Quite a strong brew, and a sipper to be sure. Drinkability is pretty good for the style. Very nice stuff.

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Photo of LilMatrix
4.77/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Hazy copper color that appears oily and viscous during the pour. Little to no head.

S - Aromatic hops and malty floral sweetness. Slightly grassy.

T - Delicious. The sweetness from the honey is wonderfully balanced with the aromatic hops. Up front the sweetness from the honey and malts are subtle and delicate, not overpowering at all. Then the fresh bite of the hops start coming through leaving the palate nice, refreshed, and wanting more Doggie Claws.

M - Has a full body and and wonderful mouthfeel

D - A quality brew from HotD. The high ABV is well hidden, this is a great beer that is warming and worth a try.

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

2008 vintage

A - Hazy red orange amber body. No head forms but some off white bubbles on the rim of the glass. A little sticking to the sides

S - Malt, candied fruit, and some mellow hops. Some orange citrus in the back as well.

T - Malty and sweet. Mellow with some decent fruit notes especially some noticeable citrus and possibly some apple. A little bitter hop on the back end.

M - Medium body with very little carbonation. Almost like drinking a light syrup.

D - Very easy to drink and damn enjoyable. A little age and some carbonation would really make this beer better.

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Photo of bifrostguard
3.59/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a cloudy, deep amber color somewhat reminiscent of a thick apple cider with some solid particles floating about. Almost no head on an aggressive pour.

S - Citrusy hops is the first scent to hit the nostrils followed by a ripe citrus fruit sweet scent. Some spice and yeast are also present.

T - Tastes like a strong, sweet apple cider that brings some heat. There is a yeast presence and only some mild spiciness. Oranges and pineapples are some of the other fruits that can be interpreted.

M - Quite smooth and enjoyable. Enough carbonation to keep things interesting and not thick enough to be disgusting for this style.

D - I don't really enjoy this beer so I'm looking to the next with quite a bit of this left in my glass.

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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 popery
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2008. Freaking delicious. I'm not giving this beer a perfect score because it needs room to improve as it ages. That said, this is a great barleywine already. It has a big flavor (with West Coast hops still very much present), a luscious feel and good drinkability for the alcohol. I am an unapologetic fan of barleywines, both American and English, and Doggie Claws is one of the best that I've had. I disagree with a number of recent reviewers, so let's get down to business.

There are a lot of complaints about the head, but I got a good-sized head with a lot of lacing from a nice vigorous pour into an over-sized red wine glass. It's a nice wide glass, and the lacing is refusing to dissipate. There are still bot fine and small to medium bubbles sitting atop the majestic red-amber liquid.

Next, I see a few apple cider notes for the smell that are confusing the hell out of me. What kind of apple cider am I missing out on? This beer smells like excellent barleywine, caramel, sugar, grain, with an excellent grapefruity west coast hop influence.

The taste is fantastic. It's sweet and full. I enjoy the bitterness of the hop finish, still present in the recent vintage. The barley character is just delicious. I don't really know what else to say. I can imagine the sherry notes that will come to this beer with a bit more age on it.

The feel is wonderfully sticky and coats the mouth very pleasantly. I can understand calling it syrupy, but I like the flavor so much that I refuse to consider that a negative. Also, the alcohol is not overt. It's certainly there, particularly in the front of the flavor, but it will dissolve to nothing with age. The feel is very full.

This beer hits a lot of notes for me. I almost wonder if I will prefer it fresh to aged. It's just a great barleywine that warms you right up. It's fresh, elegant and delicious.

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Photo of slayer3604
4.94/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2006 vintage from the bottle.

a- cap comes off with a weak "pifff", a pour of modest strength renders no head, and small pockets of bubbles jettison their way to the surface. Lots and lots of sediment, murky reddish brown body, with the occasional co2 bubble making its way up the glass.

S- Deep sherry, rum, raisen, fig, almond and a slight snap of citrus! This is one of the best noses ive had in a while! so much to it!

T- There is slight traces of carbonation, but nothing that can be called 'a normal amount'. Tangy spicy whips of grapefruit conjoin with a thick, heavy toffee, nutmeggy, roasted fig netherverse! WOW!

M- Heavy with no carbonation. i dont know if the lack of carbonation helps this one or not, but what they've done is create one of the most extraordinary barleywines ive had in months!

D- I had a 2008 DC and had poured ALL of the sediment into the cup and it was over run with tart AA, and grimy hop leaves, so thanks to that one i knew not to pour EVERYTHING into the glass. This saved the day. Very fine beer, and one i hope to drink more often!

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Photo of Silenus89
2.97/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 12oz bottle. 5 bucks for a 12oz? I guess.

A. Deep amber orange color with no head at all

S. Malt sweetness, different spices and earthiness. Perhaps a cherry sweetness too

T. Holy sweetness, the malts are so sweet, my first sip was not good nor were the ones to follow.

M. The taste in my mouth is horrible from this, no carbonation. The alcohol is hidden well which is a bad thing for this beer.

D. One was to much of this. Definitely a sipper, if that.

I'm disappointed with this beer, especially since it was 5 dollars.. Way to sweet for me. Wont be getting this again

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

Poured from a 12 oz. 2008 little layer of sediment in the bottle.

Pours a dark gold/amber with zero head, some legs, very clear.

Smells of dark malt, little dark fruit, american hops, small alcohol edge to the aroma.

Upfront dark malt flavor, medium bitterness with small amount of american (citrus) hop flavor. Medium sweetness lingers on the pallet, very small amount of alcohol warming, alcohol in general is hidden very well in this. Aftertaste is a pleasant sweetness.

Overall very impressed with this, the carb was a little low on this bottle, going to leave a few more in the cellar and see if that improves. Highly reccomended if you dont mind the $5.50 pricetag for 12oz of beer.

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Doggie Claws from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
4.12 out of 5 based on 1,187 ratings.
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