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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 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.

 1,335 characters

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.

 1,004 characters

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

 2,181 characters

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.

 1,363 characters

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.

 2,041 characters

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.

 1,454 characters

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.

 975 characters

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.

 683 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was surprised by the amount of sludge at the bottom of the bottle but I still enjoyed the beer.

The aroma is quite hoppy with some malt in there. The hop aroma overpowers the malt aroma to the point that its hard to tell whats in there aside from some delicious northwestern hops. The flavor was not nearly as bitter as the aroma would allow one to believe. There is some bitterness in the aftertaste but the initial flavor is sweet and some kind of a cross between an english barleywine and an american barleywine. Very interesting.

The beer had a heavy thick body to it that really made it smooth and enjoyable. Aside from the huge amount of dead yeast at the bottom of the bottle, it was a pretty good beer.

 716 characters

Photo of prototypic
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Many thanks to moosington for sending me this bottle a while back.

Vintage 2009

Doggie Claws pours a dark copper color. It's very hazy, and backlighting gives it orange and crimson highlights. A soft, tan head caps it and stands roughly a finger and a half tall. It's very slow to dissipate and leaves a sticky web of lace lining the glass.

The nose seems a little weak. More strength would help immensely. A heavy, sweet dose of caramel malts greet the nose early on. They're followed by a nice dark fruit scent. Raisin, plum, and fig are all present and accounted for. Yeast is notable. Despite this bottle's age, a few hop remnants are noted. They smell mostly piney and floral. Alcohol is noted, but has integrated well. It smells pretty good, but more strength would really improve it dramatically.

The flavor is very robust and impressive. Caramel malts give it a sweet, but incredibly sturdy backbone. A little bit of hop flavor follows. It's somewhat piney and floral. At this point, they're mostly gone, but they still add something. Dark fruit flavors of raisin, plum, and fig add quite a bit of depth and complexity. There's also an earthy or herbal quality to the flavor that adds a very refined flavor. It tastes a little like tobacco and leather. Nicely done. Alcohol is there, but has blended well over the past year or so. It's not hot or warm at all. Finishes sweet with a twist of dark fruit and tobacco.

Doggie Claws has a medium body that feels thicker and somewhat chewy with a little warming. That's not out of the ordinary for Hair of the Dog. Those guys routinely nail mouthfeel. Carbonation is moderate, but doesn't negate its smooth feel. Drinkability is good. This is a big beer, but it goes down nicely. I'm not sure I'd want more than a 12 oz. bottle, but I'd be tempted.

Hair of the Dog is one of those breweries that really knows how to do things right. It seems like every beer I've had from them has been absolutely packed with flavor. Doggie Claws is no exception. Yeah, the nose could use a little more muscle, but that's about the only slight jab I can take. This is impressive stuff. Find a bottle.

 2,142 characters

Photo of Intlpostman
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of RedBrewer83
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aggressive pour into goblet...

A: Pours a dark amber with hints of chocolate brown. Very viscous with absolutely no head at all...seems completely flat.

S: Huge fruit and malt aroma, lots of floral honey, sweet pears and just a hint of floral citrus hops.

T: Tons of fruit, pears, apples, honey, sweet citrus tangerine, lemon peel, caramel malt, booze comes through in a big way as well. Very complex and layered...very nice.

M: Heavy mouthfeel but very smooth and just a faint hint of carbonation, reminds me a lot of the JW Lees bw's. Booze detracts just a touch as it is a bit hot in the back of the throat.

D: This is a sipper for sure, take your time and enjoy the complexities. However at 11.5% it is fairly drinkable.

 729 characters

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

Received in a BIF from RobL, many thanks as its been on my wants list for a while! Vintage: 2011

A - A murky reddish brown with a beautiful light khakis head that subsides but never leaves, really good looking beer

S - dark fruits and sweetness, brown sugar, a burnt caramel almost, very inviting, some faint hop bring out some lighter notes

T - mmmm... sweet, very sweet roasted caramel with a lot of candied brown sugar, again some lighter notes of hops which balance it out and then hit with the warming of the alcohol, not quite hot enough to be labeled as a 'sipper' but its got some umph behind it

O - Really good beer, complex flavors that were very well balanced, very sweet without going overboard, stayed thoroughly delicious throughout the entire glass, would love to have it again

 796 characters

Photo of chanokokoro
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle (2012 vintage) into a Hair of the Dog Brewery & Tasting Room branded tulip glass

Pours a hazy deep, amber capped by a two finger off white head. Plenty of pine sap, caramel, toffee, and hints of citrus on the nose. Big caramel malt upfront, toffee, and grainy biscuit accents. Finishes semi-dry with pine sap and caramel coated grapefruit and citrus rind bitterness. Moderate carbonation, big full, silky yet syrupy body. Slight creaminess on the finish. An excellent American barleywine. The hops still make a huge statement, even after being cellared for a year.

 593 characters

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

ooo, this is a lovely one. Big, choppy seafoam head. Cloudy, orange beer. Looks like quite a meal. Smells good. A little like sweet cherries. This beer tastes very robust and full-bodied. The alcohol is apparent, but it still tastes very good. Pleasant mouthfeel and very, very drinkable for the style and abv. I'll be looking for this on tap.

 343 characters

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

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

 701 characters

Photo of tectactoe
4.14/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours thick and menacingly; a musky, cloudy, burnt tan color. Almost like completely opaque apple cider. Little bits of sediment float around and give this brew an even more unfiltered look. No holds barred, right here. A slightly off-white head caps this one off, leaving minimal lacing and receding rather quickly. Aroma is very sweet, maybe even a bit too sweet, but still highly inviting and manageable. Deep syrupy aromas, graham crackers, sweet brown sugar, warm molasses and burnt toffee. Heavy on the nose, leading me to believe this is gonna be one thick, badass barleywine.

Taste hits first with those thick and sweet syrupy flavors; molasses, toffee, caramel - all in a combination of being toasted, burnt, and extremely sweet. Crispy and toasty malts follow closely behind. Alcohol is noticeable, almost giving off a very slight nail polish remover flavor/aroma. Sweet fruits eventually join the party; sugar-coated plums, sweet candied black cherries, pears, and apples. Hops? Slightly grassy and earthy, even a bit ashy... but fuck 'em. This is a super-sweet malt bomb, and a decently crafted one at that. The body is thick, but not quite as syrupy as the taste or aroma may have you believe. Low carbonation, but fitting for the style.

Damn good barleywine. Very sweet and full of sugary flavors; malts, fruits, and just straight up sugar. Flirting with the line of being "too sweet" - don't know if I could have more than one of these. But split between our tasting group, the sample I had was perfect. I'd definitely go back to this one.

 1,556 characters

Photo of DLSheidy
4.14/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of IrishRedRock
4.14/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Been a while since I had me a solid, strong American barleywine, and this one fit the bill. $3 a bottle didnt hurt either.

Muddy brown color with all the aromas of true American barleywine arrogance. Very piney and sweet, with a pungent herbal aroma to boot. This is a thick, full bodied barleywine with a good blend of robust malts, December spices, and a smattering of hops. Alcohol warmth is ever-present and could use a little lightening IMO. No need to drop off the 11.5%, thats always good, just could be a little more well hidden. One I would go back to, though I dont see it very often, and Old Ho is much more prevalent. :-)

 637 characters

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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