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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 Bung
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.92/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2006 bottle shared with Swimsum and lynx1245 on 06-11-09. Poured into a New Belgium globe.

Appearance: Clear, bright, amber with absolutely no head and no lacing. No carbonation. No nothing. Looks very oily; similar to a cognac. (3.0)

Smell: Bourbon, caramel, honey, and candy of some sort (butterscotch maybe?). Really sweet. (4.0)

Taste: Straight-up honey. Tons of sugar with some bitter hop remnants and alcohol in the back. Very sugary but not cloying. (4.0)

Mouthfeel: Oily, sugary, syrupy, and warm in the finish. Dry too. Overall, alcohol is hidden quite well. Carbonation is very low. Finishes with a nip of sharpness. (4.5)

Drinkability: This was very nice to split, however I think an entire bottle might be a little much. Very good, just too much one-sided sweetness. (3.5)


2008 bottle sampled at the 2009 Central Coast BA Bacchanal (04-04-09).

Appearance: Hazy caramel body with small, white, foamy, halo. (4.0)

Smell: Lots of citrus, alcohol, tons of caramel and honey, candy, and a big dosage of herbal hops. Sweet, syrupy, and very fragrant. (4.0)

Taste: Tons of caramel malt, sweet syrupy citrus, and pine. Very smooth and sweet. Really packed with flavor! (4.0)

Mouthfeel: Very sticky and syrupy, yet creamy especially when swished. Well-carbonated and definitely smooth. Medium to heavy in body. Warm, but not as hot as I had expected. (4.5)

Drinkability: Not the best barleywine out there, but still pretty damn tasty. If this were more available, I would definitely buy it. (4.0)

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Photo of WilliamD
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A great pairing with Glaxo Babies. "Who Killed Bruce Lee," in particular.

Bottle states 2005 made. 10.5% rather than the listed 11.5%.
Poured into a pint glass. Murky amber with tons of yeast floating about. Thin, white head that slowly thins out. It looks pretty good overall.
Smellls nice. Strong hops presence, with sweet and citrus aromas accompanying.
Hops evident in the taste as well. Honey, pineapple and slight alcohol presence.
Slightly crisp mouthfeel, with bit of oiliness. Surprisingly, there is no discernable warmth from the alcohol.
One at a time for this one. Okay, if I had a six-pack I might indulge in another, but this one is meant to be savored.
My first Hair of the Dog brew, and I am impressed. I wish there was more from this brewery available in MN.

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Photo of SaucyA
3.84/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008. A generous extra.

A - Swampwater amber/brown with a nice little off-white head in the snifter. Caramel highlights. No real visible carbonation. Retention: blah.

S - Such a nice smelling barleywine. Bubblegum, cotton candy. Toffee sweetness. Citric hops. Musky incense notes on the back. Really a great nose on this brew.

T - Honey-like sweetness. Mandarin oranges and other citrus fruits. Alcohol heat on the way down. Rather sweet. Not as hoppy on the backend as I'd anticipated/hoped given the smell. All around a sweet barleywine. Yeast notes carry over into taste.

M - It's smooth and over-attenuated. I'm not a fan of the mouthfeel of this. It should be a bit bigger in my opinon.

D - Despite a few characteristics I'm not huge about, it manages to stay both tasty enough, and interesting enough to allow me to enjoy it.

Notes: Hair of the Dog does some super unique brews that really manage to challenge one's palate.

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Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a murky reddish brown color. nice rich khaki colored head. lower retention rate. great ringlike lacing.

S: a lot more hop aroma than I expected. big pine resin, lots of citrus, and a good variety of floral notes. grapefruit and blood oranges. lots of rich, sweet malts. some apples and light spices.

T: now that's a barleywine. I get a great malt backbone, some sweet flavors. vast array of grapefruits, blood oranges, figs, apples, possibly some dates. hints of maple syrup and honey. great use of amarillo and simcoe.

M: malt backbone is thinner than expected. I do get some mead like characteristics from the honey, with the higher ABV. relatively smooth for a barleywine. smooth carbonation level.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.48/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

This is one barleywine that I think tastes better fresh than aged. Pours a slight cloudy coppery brown color with amber hues throughout. A soft white head that settles to a thick rocky head with ok retention (hides to the edge of the glass) and good lacing.

The nose is a strong mix of malt and esters. A more sweeter aroma with a nice complex malt aroma. Some caramel and melanodian notes with noticeable sugar notes. More of a brown sugar type of thing with hints of molasses (a very slight coiny aroma). The yeast really comes out with noticeable esters and fruity notes. Big sugar plums, figs and pineapple. Some cloves and acetaldehyde/tart apple notes. Some minor mango/tangerine but seems more like a hop aroma that mixes with a grapefruit and citrus. There almost is a slight Belgian quality to it with all the esters/yeast notes.

The taste is more on par with a barleywine. The malt comes out more with a good melanodian and kettle caramel malt flavors. Rich complexity but does finish sweet. The esters are very much there but back off a touch compared to the nose. Plums, figs, pinapple, cloves and apple notes. Still some lingering Belgian strong notes but not as distinct. Big alcohol/fusel notes that is a bit offsetting and lingers into the finish. A big deterrent for sure. Some minor metallic notes as it warms.

The body is big and is enhanced even more from the sweetness. Would like to see a bit dry. The carbonation is light but ok. Overall this is a bit odd. As a barleywine the esters are over the top but there are some nice Belg Strong notes. Some off notes from the yeast as well leaves me wanting a bit more from this beer.

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Photo of mjl21
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
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 -39.9%
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 +16.7%
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 +1.4%
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 -4.8%
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 -3.4%
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 +10.9%
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 +2.9%
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 -3.4%
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 +1.9%
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 +7.5%
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 -4.6%
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 -24.9%
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 +18.8%
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 +1.4%
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 +4.3%
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 +3.1%
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 +15.2%
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 -5.3%
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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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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