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

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Doggie ClawsDoggie Claws
1,194 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:
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Ratings: 1,194 |  Reviews: 555
Photo of rallison
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from 2006. Purchased from Hi Time Wine Cellars. Consumed at cellar temperature in a New Belgium goblet.

A: Dark ruby brown with almost no head. Just a bit of lacing and some swirls that stay around. Also, be careful with the pouring of this one. The sediment is not tasty on this one (and I almost always love the sediment), so stop pouring the moment you start seeing floaties come through. Then, take a look at the bottom of the bottle. Never have I seen so much sludge!

S: Nice roasty caramel malts. A bit of earthiness. Didn't really notice much of a hop aroma.

T: Definitely a sweet barleywine. Sweet caramel, a dash of dark fruit, some vanilla, a bit of alcohol burn at the end. All these flavors carried by some brandy flavor. Some hops in the back bite at you, helping to calm the sweetness.

M: Thick, sticky and a bit syrupy. Carbonation is almost non-existent, although it does work with this beer. The alcohol burn at the end actually kind of makes up for a lack of any real carbonation.

D: While quite enjoyable, you just couldn't drink much of this. Share a bottle with a friend, and you'll do fine.

A tasty barleywine. I'd be interested to see what age does to it. Recommended.

Edit: I note that a review below mentioned subpar capping of the bottles. This applied to my bottle as well - just pushing up on the bottle cap let air escape. It was sealed well enough to prevent oxidation, but this may account for the lack of real carbonation (which, as also stated, ended up working fine for this beer). However, as a result, I'd be a little hesitant to age this for a long time - some oxygen could seep in.

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Photo of mbeerdino21
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Hopheadhiker
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, 2012 vintage bottling. Big crack upon opening, very highly carbonated. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy ruby red color with a 2-3 finger foamy light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings around the glass, with a large amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big tangerine, grapefruit, citrus rind, pine, pepper, floral, grass, caramel, toast, brown sugar, raisin, honey, herbal, and floral earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of hop and malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, orange zest, citrus rind, caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, raisin, honey, floral, grass, pine, herbal, and floral/toasted earthiness. Fair amount of earthy floral/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, orange zest/rind, pine, caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, raisin, honey, floral, herbal, and floral/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice balance and complexity of citrus/pine hops with dark malt/honey flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a moderately slick and fairly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent barleywine. All around great balance and complexity of malt and hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: poured a murky brown with pale yellow highlights that had basically no head and no lacing sticking to the glass.

S: the caramel and booze really pop out on the nose right away with citrus orange but it did have earthy leafy notes.

T: the citrus orange and caramel hit the palate first with a pretty good amount of booze, but it did still have eathy leafy accents, and catus like character as well.

M: the brew was medium in body with a low amount of carbonation which had a sweet, earthy, citric, boozy, and sticky finish.

D: it drank decent considering the ABV on the beer and was really tasty for being a barleywine. HOTD always comes through for me.

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Photo of teamizm
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 poured into a tulip glass.

A - A light burnt orange color with a small head with a little lacing

S - light floral hops with subtle dark fruits, caramel.

T - very well balanced between hops and malts. The hops are light and floral and the malt backbone (dark fruits, caramel, toffee) that is not overwhelmingly sweet.

M - very lightly carbonated and easy on the mouth. Very clean.

D - For an American barleywine, this is one of the most drinkable American barleywines I have had in some time. It's not too hoppy (like Old Guardian tends to be) and its not too sweet (like many English barleywines),

Overall, an awesome west coast barleywine. Only thing I would like is a bit more complexity.

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Photo of stevoj
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle from share on 11/12. Hazy brown pour with small tight beige head. Very malty all the way through, in both aroma and taste. Notes of caramel and a bit of hops finish this one off.

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Photo of tim007007
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of thebrownbagspecial
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of IntriqKen
4.11/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 vintage
A cloudy dark orange amber fills the glass with a full 2 finger tan head that melts very slowly leaving sticking lacing in it's wake. I poured completely so lots of yeast chunks floating around which settle quickly to the bottom of my goblet.
Very subdued aromas of faint malt and only a hint of hops. Let it warm and the sweet malts and soft, citrus malts make theirselves known.
The taste, however is something else entirely.
Candy sweet toasted amber malt with dark, candied fruits...raisins, plums, prunes...then surprisingly fresh, citrus peel hops on the tale end. Definately taste the simcoe an amarillo. Lots of grapefuit on the finish. There is more of a hops presence in this beer than I have had in any other barleywine.
Mouthfeel is thick with tingly carbonation and a decent alcohol warming.
Nothing sticky or cloying in the aftertaste...just grapefruit peel hops and alcohol warming.
"Tis the season", and this one fits in perfectly.
Thanks to weefisheads for getting me this bottle.

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Photo of Hopstout
4.11/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of brewandbbq
4.11/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2003 as reviewed on 6/9/06.

Pours murky mahogany, with cola-like carbonation release.
Yeast chunks make thier way to the bottom as any threat of a head fizzle out.
Medium sized bubble perculate to the placid surface.
Zero lacing with particulate matter clinging to the glass midway.
Rich and roasty malts dominate the aromatics, with dark fruit and mild oxidation.
Mild pine notes and dried bark with roasted figs underneath.
Alcohol is warming, and nose finishes spicey and dry.
Fullishly medium body, slickish and tacky. Slightly prickly carbonation.
Pallet is filled with sticky malt, alcohols, and bitter fruits.
Citrus-laded dried sap and caramel.
Mildly oxidized, resinous, and almost hot.
Bitterness is substantial, but not detractive, unlike the wet cardboard note.
Finishes long, warming, slightly mettalic, and lightly astringent.

Three years old and past prime?

Revisit, vintage 2004 as reviewed on 2/10/12.

This ones tasting pretty good, very light oxidation with plenty of plump, juicy malt and some shades of pine still coming through. Most of the hops have faded, just warming booze and sticky malt for the most part. A hint of celery seeds oddly step forward in the finish as the beer warms. This beer is still hands-down way better fresh. This vintage is holding up very well though for an eight year old.

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Photo of northwestmark
4.11/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just poured a 12oz bottle of the new 2009 Doggie Claws into a snifter. The first thing to stand out at me is that the carbonation level on this year's release is much higher than the 2007 and 2008 releases. Also the amount of yeasty stuff at the bottom of the bottle is much less then years such as 2005 and 2008.

Doggie Claws has always been one of my favorite beers and the flavor is that of perfect biscuity malts and a slight hint of tropical fruit with a sweet sticky honey finish that leaves you licking your lips. At this point the doggie claws is still a little hot with the 11% alcohol and you can tell this vintage will age well.

I just picked up a 2002-2009 vertical of doggie claws at the dock sale and it will be fun to see how all of them have aged over time. I have already tasted vintages of 2005, 2007 and 2008 in the past and so far the 2005 and the 2008 have been favorites.

I forgot to add that this year's vintage looks darker than Doggie Claws of the past, maybe similar to 2007.

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Photo of d_kizzle
4.11/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

9-4-09 - 2003 vintage bottle review. Pours into my glass a deep hazy brownish red with a half inch of light tan foam. Aromas of intensely deep sweet caramel malts dancing with dark fruits. Hints of cocoa and marzipan...fruitcake?? Citric, piney hops in the background and these things are still kicking after all these years.

First sip is dense rich sweet malts swirling with caramel and dark fruits. Hints of dark sweet breads, raisins and a touch of molasses. Flows down with a good kick of hoppy bitterness with citric and pine resin flavors. Big, rich and falling on the sweet side....tasty barleywine that has aged quite nicely!

Mouthfeel is big, chewy and malty. A super dense rich barleywine that makes itself known with each sip. Overall, I enjoyed this vintage quite a bit and look forward to the others in my cellar.

12-22-05 - 2005 vintage bottle. Brewed with Simcoe and Amarillo hops along with dark wild flower honey collected on Mt. Hood. Pours from the longneck a deep dark murky brown with hints of red. Only a ring of small bubbles around the top of the brew...seems a bit uncarbonated. Hopefully this is not a bad sign! Aromas of deep caramelly sweet malts along with a big wet cardboard oxidized aroma...damn. Brash herbal, citrusy hops lie underneath but they are shadowed by the off aromas. The hops smell fresh and juicy.

First sip brings a strong sweet caramel, raisiny maltiness upfront clouded again by the cardboard-esque off flavors. The hops still come through strong with a big herbal, citric bitterness all the way through each sip and on the way down. I really wish I could be tasting the full potential of this brew right now...as I'm imaging in my head it would be lovely. As of now...it's nearly undrinkable.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with little to no carbonation. Goes down smooth but the flavor just kills it. I'm hoping that the bottle I have in the cellar will not be as problematic as this one. I'll report back when I open it. In it's current state it's unfortunately not drinkable in the least. Damn. Thanks to weefisheads for the bottles..I'm gonna cross my fingers for the second one. A: 3 S: 3 T: 2.5 M: 3.5 D: 2.5 - Overall 2.8 C

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Photo of weareallfalafel
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jeonseh
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a 2006 bottle poured into a Snifter

A - Color is a deep copper with hint of gold within. There was no head at all within it and surprisingly there was a good bit of carbonation seen trailing upwards.

S - Smells of candied pineapple with a light smack of pine. There is also a big whiff of honey and toffee as well. There were hints of apple, figs and mango in there as well. This was one big and sweet nose!

T - The taste is rather sweet at first. There are hints of mango, sweet pineapple and honey and toffee. I can also taste some rum coming through and reminds me a bit of an rum soaked candy. As the beer sits in the mouth, there is a slight hint of pine that comes through as does the 11.5% alcohol. This is one heck of a malt bomb.

MF - Manages to be sticky without becoming cloying. The thick and syrups MF seems to fit the beer's flavor profile. Very light amount of carbonation in the MF which is surprising given the amount I saw in the inital pour

D - Overall this is one big and sweet beer. Definitely an American Barelywine in that it packs a ton of flavor in it and has the alcohol coming on strong. I think the nose is the best part of this beer as I just mind myself smelling this beer over and over again. I do like this and if I could find it easily, I could see myself buying one each year but I don't feel like I'd trade to get it again.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2011.

poured into oversized snifter.

Appearance: Murky copper brown bodied beer with a small white head less than one finger tall. Recedes quickly to a ring around out side of the glass. The beer has a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: This is a big nose on this barleywine with a fairly assertive hop profile. Huge dark fruit notes mixed with traditonal caramel and toffee notes of most barleywines. Hops smell fresh; lots orange and pineapple with a little bit of pine and grapefruit in there.

Taste: Little bit on caramel, burnt sugar, and toffee right away. The malt profile is substantial and fairly rich; it is quickly interupted by the hops. Mild to moderate hops bitterness, the hops are not as strong as I was thinking they would be based on the nose of the beer. The hops have alot of pine notes, also tastes very leafy and almost have a green tea flavor to them. The hops are also fairly dank and musty. The balance between malt and hops profile is okay, but its a bit more hop heavy than I like my barleywines, but its appropiate for the American Barleywine style. It got a bit of a booze kick in the finish.

Mouthfeel: This beer is on the high end of medium bodied, really close to a full bodied beer. Almost moderate carbonation levels, but i gotta say the carbonation is low for a bottle conditioned beer. This beer is fairly syrupy, but has enough carbonation to break it up. The alcohol is a bit warming, but i would still consider this beer smooth. Once again the difference maker in this beer is the bottle conditioning. I wish that all craft beers were bottle conditioned, it just makes a beer than much better reguardless of the style.

Overall: I really do enjoy Hair of the Dog Brewery. They make great beers in styles that I enjoy. As far as Doggie Claws goes its a really nice American Barleywine, probably on of the better ones have had. While I still prefer the English Style Barleywines this beer holds its own. I will say I prefer Adam over this beer, it still worth a try for any fan of barleywines.

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Photo of HipCzech
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Serving: 12 oz bottle poured into a 9 oz Libbey Embassy snifter. 2008 vintage.

Appearance: Deep mahogany, starting clearing, increasingly hazy towards the bottom of the bottle. Scarcely any head with just a few fleeting bubbles along the still surface.

Smell: Burnt caramel and oxidized sherry; deep and complex.

Taste: Deeply rich toffee, dark honey and salted caramel along with surprising hop notes: bitter leafy notes at the start, earthy tea in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and soft carbonation.

Overall: Deep and flavorful, waves of complex caramel and surprising hop notes after 9 years in the bottle.

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Photo of mklisz
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of 99bottles
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: This beer has a deep reddish brown body and is topped with an ample head of off white fluff that is very sticky. If you've ever had HOTD beer, you know that you must pour it slooowly to avoid having too much head.

Smell: A sharp boquet greets the nose and smells of mostly simicoe and amarillo hops, fresh cut pine, summer grasses, and slighty sweet esters.

Taste: This is more rich and malt based than the 2002 version. Actually, this is a better example of a barleywine, but I think I like last year's hop-soup better. This version has a huge amount of malted barley that gives a more pronounced richness to the flavor. Sweet cherry, raisin and other vinous fruits exude throughout the mouth as the heavy hop prescence comes out in the finish and in the aftertaste. Spicy, juicy hops linger, but are balanced out by the maltiness.

Mouthfeel: Full and rich, this slides down easily and puts you to sleep. It's got some serious weight, but I'd be hard pressed to guess 11.5% ABV.

Drinkability: I like this, but I prefer the 2002. Maybe I'm just turning into a hophead, or find myself measuring it against the version that I had first. I'd drink this often, as it is a great barleywine. However, as I can't find it near me, I'll have to content myself with the other 2 I have in the cellar. I have a feeling those will not live to see very old age.

Super-mucho thanks to BA Weefisheads for sending me these West Coast delights.

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Photo of zekeman17
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of pikemark
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up at the foodery.

Says 2004 on the label, so I guess they store their barleywines a year before selling them.

Poured a dark chestnut, not as amber as I would have thought for a barleywine. The lacing was very evident as well as the roasted caramel smell. Hoppy for sure, but not as hopful as the bottle boasts.

The taste was coffee and sweet at first and then the hops hit you full force. Finished with a very phenolic aftertaste, very apple-ish. The mouthfeel was very very thick and creamy and not as thin as say a Sierra Nevada.

As a barleywine fan I must say this one is very cool. Cant say I would pick this one as my top, it made me pass out, but for the style it is very different.

 717 characters

Photo of Chaney
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm finally popping this 2010 that I bought online about a year ago.

A: The marketing speak says this one is copper in color, but I would best describe it as Christmas red. The head is absolutely the biggest and frothiest one I've ever seen on a Barleywine.

S: Glorious! This is a hop bomb for sure, and with the distinctive cherry and apple "Jolly Rancer" quality that I commonly get in West Coast Barleywines. Additionally, I did get some of the honey poking through - this really set it apart from many others I've tried in this style.

T: Super sweet, yet hoppy at the same time, and I got a bit of a licorice/Twizzle combo in there as well, in addition to a hop wallop that is so ridiculous that it has to be sampled to be believed!

M: My snifter looks like it just went through a car wash and my palate is thoroughly wrecked with hoppy, syrupy goodness. Thanks Hair of the Dog...

O: I still give the edge to "Adam," but this is both tasty and infinitely memorable.

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks going out to grumpy for the opportunity to consider this 2005 vintage!

Pours a bright mahogany amber with a huge stiff sand colored head that resists fading. The first half will stay clear for you. Be ready for substantial chunks of bottle aging from the bottom of the bottle. A good amount of lacing in it's wake. The smell is classic aggressive sweet molasses caramel. Visibly carbonated, the mouth feel is tangy between the hop and alcohol. Full bodied without being syrupy the sweet elements coat nicely and linger well. The flavor is malty sweet and creamy caramel. The 11.5% ABV is integrated well. An easy drinker. The last 2oz were way too chunky for me. Recommended.

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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 1,194 ratings
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