Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

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

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
549 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 549 | Ratings: 1,168
Photo of corby112
3.72/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes:

2008 vintage received as an extra in a trade and consumed fresh.

Pours a dark, murky golden orange/swampy brown color with burnt orange hues and a one finger off white head that quickly fades. I poured half of the bottle out and there are large chunks of yeast floating in the glass. This beer looks pretty awful.

Earthy soil like aroma with hints of leathery malt, dirt, alcohol solvency and lots of earthy piney hops.

Medium bodied with lots of alcohol sweetness up front. This is counters by a blast of resinous, earthy hops that give off a nice bitter, dry pine needle flavor. There is also a decent amount if citrus flavor especially grapefrut and orange peel. This is again countered mid-palate by a prominent earthy, leathery malt presence. This beer Looked and smelled like swamp water but the malt flavor is actually quite pleasant and there is a great balance of earthy, bitter and sweet flavors.

 922 characters

Photo of CowsandBeer
3.72/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottled gifted from Bretthead. 2013 bottle per the label. Poured into a Hair of the Dog tulip.

Appearance: Pours a dark, burnished copper with a bubbly film and a few yeast specks. Looks like it has little or no carbonation. Body is very hazy with no lacing.

Aroma: Worn leather, oxidized malts, brown sugar, raisins, marshmallowy malts (not unlike that in an aged Bigfoot), fading piney American hops.

Taste: Nice American hop presence hanging around up front, gooey honey, brown sugar, soft alcohol, roasted barley. What I want from a seasonal barleywine.

Mf: Medium body for a beer which equals more of a thin feel for a barleywine. Almost zero carbonation. Very slick and syrupy. Hardly any heat.

Overall: A very nice barleywine with a sweeter, dark take on the style and a dry hoppyness. Even a dab of carbonation could of really helped this beer. The hop presence is there to cut the sweetness but with the stillness it’s just hoppy, syrupy sweet malt water. Well worth it if you think it might be carbed, otherwise just stick to Bigfoot or Hog Heaven for a hoppy American barleywine.

 1,122 characters

Photo of clvand0
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes. Pours a cloudy orange color with a small head that falls fast and doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. The aroma has a lot of US hops and a backbone of pale malts. The flavor has a lot of alcohol and a lot of sweetness as well as a lot of citrus and pine US hops. Very complex and interesting, but not really my thing. The mouthfeel is thick and the drinkability is not so great because of the higher alcohols.

 425 characters

Photo of HiroProtagonist
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Doggie Claws 2002 was served from a 12 oz. bottle. When poured into a Duvel tulip, a massive off-white head rose up and out of the glass then slowly receded, leaving numerous patches of crusty lacing and a tall rocky plateau formation with the consistancy of whipped cream. The beer itself was a hazy but vibrant orange-amber hue. The delicate nose was well composed, consisting of roasty candy malt with notes of orange peel and lime, and a tinge of alcohol. I found the taste to be problematic. While the flavor profile was characteristic of the style, it was lacking in strength and finish. I did enjoy the sweetness level, which was on the low end. Perhaps poor aging conditions overly subdued the big roasty flavors and the equally hoppy bitter finish that I look for in barley wines. The mouth feel was OK, but felt a little thin in the finish. As this wasn't really a big beast of a beer, it was quite drinkable, especially for the style. The 2003 effort was much better.

 978 characters

Photo of cooch69
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer pours a very murky orange with some tan highlights. It's got an awesome small head. When you swirl this beer it sticks to the sides as easy as a melted marshmellow.

Smell is like a fresh garden of mixed wildflowers in the middle of an evergreen forest. It's definetly got that honey character in there as well. I'd say it was orange blossom honey if I had to guess.

Taste is a nice mild but very noticable hoppiness.( note this is a 2009 edition). Followed up by a huge sweetness that is full of both malts, oranges and mangos. In the finish I also get some spices, most notably corriander and even a wee bit of thyme. The alcohol shows through in the finish as well but not 11%. It is very well hidden.

This beer was much too sweet for me to fall in love with, but I did appreciate the intricacy and flavors that it showed off. I'll try to find a 2010 bottle to see if the hops dry it out a bit.

 912 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

my first beer from this fabled brewery. it is the 2011 vintage, and marked 11% abv on the 12oz. bottle. its hazy and caramel colored, dense looking, and showing less than an inch of white lazy froth. i smell a ton of toffee, sweet english malt and ale yeast, not dissimilar from so many other traditional barleywines. thick and syrupy is the feel, but the alcohol is impressively well hidden, perhaps this beers biggest surprise. its clearly malt forward, sweet enough for any palate, and grounded in an earthy brown butter cream type of desserty vibe that makes it a less than perfect preprandial libation, but which showcases a richness and simultaneous delicacy that really work. better when its warm, and still tame on the alcohol front, this is a well done beer, but probably not the best barleywine ive ever had, which i sort fo expected it to be given the hype on this brewery, or at least a few of its beers. happy with it, not overjoyed.

 946 characters

Photo of craytonic
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear straw-orange, not nearly as opaque as I expected. Well carbonated, decent head and lacing.

Smell & taste: Hoppy with lots of grapefruit, grass, orange and tangerine. Some honey also. Sweeter than expected; also not as big or intense as anticipated. Lots of malt, not my favorite barlywine.

Mouthfeel: medium-full; alcohol is a bit hot

Drinkability: very drinkable and approachable.

 402 characters

Photo of mzwolinski
3.77/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2002 edition. The first thing I noticed about this beer was the unusual hop aroma – stemming, I suppose, from the rather unusual choice of hops. The scent is mostly herbal, with a bit of an orange, citrusy note. A whiff of alcohol makes its way through too. All this is undergirded by a subtle, caramel malt aroma. The end result is quite terrific, and improves as the beer sits. In appearance, the beer has a light copper color and a formidable creamy head which leaves good lacing down the glass. The flavor struck me a bit harshly. There’s just a tiny hint of sweetness up front, and then it’s right into a mostly herbal, somewhat medicinal hop-dominated flavor, and a mild alcohol warming, building to what struck me as an extremely bitter finish. Medium bodied and dry, this is a decent beer, and improves when it sits. I’d like to set one of these away for a year or so and see how it smooths out.

 907 characters

Photo of lackenhauser
3.77/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2002. Hazy, off amber sort of color. Fairly carbonated. Malty aroma with a subdued hop presence. Label says simcoe and Amarillo were used. Good solid malt flavor. The hops are quite muted after almost 5 years. Still has a lingering bitterness. Somewhat creamy and sweet malty mouthfeel. Some astringency-alcohol or hops. Very enjoyable and drinkable 5 years later.

 372 characters

Photo of Overlord
3.77/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This (apparently) unfiltered barleywine ale is overly sweet, but at least it ain't an alcohol bomb (my biggest pet peeve with any barleywine-esque product). Nice fruit flavoring, with apple, cherries, and a host of others I couldn't put a name to rounding out an ale that's surprising flat and watery. I've had a few different vintages of doggie claws, and it's a remarkably inconsistent product.

Fairly drinkable. I wouldn't say it is an attractive beer (murky, actual bits of fruit/yeast floating about ... at least in the one I tried), but it's good.

 555 characters

Photo of bobsy
3.77/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a clear coppy with an 0ff-white film of a head that left a few lace spots. A little darker than I thought it would be, but more or less a typical barleywine appearance. Sweet brown sugar aroma blends in with raisins, sherry and alcohol. Considering this is around 6 years old, the alcohol is still very prominent. Due to the aging, the hops have largely died down, pushing this beer more towards the English than American interpretation of the style. Big caramel and dark fruit notes with some honey and a big hit of booze. Medium-full mouthfeel with a restrained carbonation, which is highly appropiate to the style.

Certainly a slow sipper due to the evident ABV and high sugar content, and perhaps seemingly a little young even at this point. Perhaps fresh (where the hops balance things out), or even older (with added mellowing) would be better for this beer.

Thanks to viggo for sharing.

 901 characters

Photo of ADR
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2003 version...

Opaque dark brown appearance, fine bubbled head with dark drips mixed on top. Smells like hop tea, and a strange sense of what reminds me of warm dryer lint. Spritely carbonation and medium to full body. Flavor is a war zone of a melange of hoppy tones, some resins mixed with bright orange rinds. Malt is sweet and balances OK for this big beer, it just doesn't speak as a separate flavor. Becomes more gravelly on warming with some ragged notes of alcohol and smoke. Not bad young, this beer has potential to age well, like some of the Fuller's Vintages Ales...

Source: Liquid Solutions

 610 characters

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

This is beer #1 from the blind beers BIF. Sent to me by MMAJYK Reviewed totally blind.

Opened and poured completely flat. The beer is incredibly, overwhelmingly muddy and murky. It's a silty brown. The bottom of the bottle had a TON of sludge.

Malts, dark and dried fruits, caramel, apple cider. It still smells pretty good despite it being flat and looking sludgy. There is a little bit of toffee, a touch of chocolate and a bit of hops. Alcohol is prevalent.

Quite good tasting. Raisins, oak, bourbon, toffee, dried fruits and lots of alcohol. Some chocolate comes around on the finish and lingers with a touch of hops and lots of spicy alcohol.

Totally flat, full body with lots and lots of alcohol warmth.
Even though this beer is flat, the taste and smell are good enough to make this decently enjoyable.

So this turned out to be a '06. Ive heard of capping issues with some HoTD stuff. Despite that, this beer was awesome.

 933 characters

Photo of bitterdestroyer
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

appearance: copper brown, slight head, tons of lacing of honey and ferment.

smell: fruit, floral hops, booze, and a sweet hint of honey

taste: powerful taste of hops and malt. nicefinish of booze and sweetness

mouthfeel: ok carbonation, slightly slick.

drinkability: not bad. i bit high in abv. wouldn't advise more than one w/o a good meal in your belly.

 367 characters

Photo of charlzm
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 bottle, consumed 04/12/09.

Pours into a tulip a cloudy light caramel. Small head dies fast, leaving a circle of lacing to coat the inside of the glass. Significant sediment.

Aroma is hot with alcohol and sweet cane sugar. Apricot notes.

Still and viscuous in the mouth. Coating. Syrupy, almost.

Flavor is strong and sweet. Apricots and sweet, sweet malts. No bitterness to note, but some heat on finish. Slight pine character.

Pretty damned drinkable, but not an everyday beer, that's for sure. I put a bottle away without any drama.

 543 characters

Photo of Retsinis
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm building a vertical of this beer, so will have to revisist this review when I do eventually have those. This review is based on the 2009 that I recently tasted. (which I also had when it first came out, but was not reviewing then)

A: The beer pours a cloudy dark copper brown with a half inch of dark tan head, nice lacing.

S: I get notes of oak, light vanilla and bourbon, along with rich caramel and toffee.

T: The flavor mostly mirrors, sweet caramel malt, light vanilla, oak, and just a kiss of bitterness to balance. The flavors are not as well blended as a I like, and would go as far to say it's a little muddled to me to be honest, as the a little heat gets in the way.

M: Medium body, oily, lightly carbonated.

O: I like it, as it's a Malty barley wine, as oppoosed to a hopped up barley wine. It's good now, but needs some more time to age for my preference. It's 11.50% so it will keep.

 910 characters

Photo of OldSock
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – 12 oz bottle dated 2004 from Sam’s. In my snifter it is dark brown, in fact much darker than most barley wines. The head is creamy and tan with great retention and sticky lacing.

Smell – Perfume like alcohol up front with a light citrus hop and toasted malt backing. A good barleywine smell, adds a bit of floral complexity, but doesn’t stray far from the standard formula.

Taste – Definitely alcohol warming with lots of great flavor. At a year old this beer has great balance, if anything it leans towards the malt side. The malt has a slightly roasted edge, something that many barleywines do not have. The hop presence is enough to balance the big malt sweetness, but it does not add too much complexity aside from some citrus. There is a bit of dark fruitiness, but not enough to be more descriptive than that. The alcohol fusels, particularly in the aftertaste, are unwanted, but are not too intrusive to the overall experience.

Mouthfeel – Full mouthfeel, but with too much carbonation for me.

Drinkability & Notes – The fusels take away from what is otherwise a sip-able barleywine. This is a solid effort, but there are lots of better choices out there for American Barleywines.

 1,220 characters

Photo of azdback
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage, poured into a Bruery Tulip. Beautiful, clear, light ruby red or coppery brown. Crazy carbonation leads to a large three finger head that is bright white and quite thin. The head lays down pretty quick and becomes a bit more thick and luscious as it gets smaller. No lace on this one at all.

Smell is very sweet of caramel and butterscotch. I think I even smell some wood or barrel but I don't think this one is barrel aged. I also get quite a lot of alcohol.

Taste is just as sweet as the smell. I am tasting caramelized sugar, there is some kind fruit pith, that lambasts the tongue but in a good way. The alcohol is almost non present.

Mouth is crisp but smooth. Carbonation is round to spritzy. The body is balanced and the finish is long and dry.

Overall I did enjoy this. I had a little higher expectations for it but am very thankful to matttYCE for the chance at this. A must try for any beer geek.

 923 characters

Photo of Chico1985
3.81/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Much thanks to cbutova for breaking out this 2010 vintage just in time for the holidays.

Very hazy rusty orange with lots of carbonation, big beige head sticks around big time, is it me or is HotD always either over or under carbonated?

Lots of sweet malts, and a good dose of earthy and fruity hops in the nose.

Big honey, sugary, caramel, bready malts but still pretty big hops, grapefruit, earthy, slight citrus. Very sweet but lots of hops to back it up.

Big malty mouthfeel, alcohol is decently hidden.

This reminded me alot of Fred, both are very sweet and both took some time to grow on me. Quite enjoyable but I wouldn't really want a 12oz solo.

 659 characters

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.81/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Sea Smoke oversized wine glass
From: Whole Foods in Hillcrest (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $6.99
Purchased: Jan. 4, 2014
Consumed: Jan. 10, 2014
Misc.: N/A

Poured a brown murky color with about one finger of tan head that dissipated almost immediately. Seemed to be a lot of sediment at the bottom of the glass. Minimal lacing on the sides of the glass. Minimal retention on the tops of the glass.

Smelled a potent mix of hops and malts from the get-go. Got sugary caramel malts, brown sugar, Werther’s candy, toffee, honey, Amarillo hops (I think), earthy hops, grass hops and some type of liquor.

Tasted so damn smooth from the get-go, really the opposite of what I was expecting. Got Werther’s candy, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, honey, butterscotch and buttery malts.

Medium body. Oily texture. Soft carbonation. Long, smooth, warming finish. Alcohol was well hidden. Best part of the beer by far.

Nowhere as good as I hoped it would be, especially considering the $6.99 price tag on a 12-oz. bottle. Very smooth and a nice sipping beer though.

 1,084 characters

Photo of tpd975
3.82/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 Vintage, picked up at Whole Foods in NYC.

A: This one is a brownish amber color with tones of red showing thru. The head was rather puny but did leave behind some lacing.

S: Nice bold sweet aromas right up front. Tons of caramel and toffee with hints of darkened brown sugar. The hops come next mostly in the citrus variety.

T: Rather sweet with tons of malt. The caramel, honey, and toffee comes thru nicely. The simcoe hops really shine in the middle though they don't linger or bite at the tongue. The finish has tinges of rum and oak.

M: is medium to full-bodied with low levels of carbonation.

D: I usually like to sip my Barleywines by the bomber, but this one is fine as a 12 ouncer.

Overall: Not bad at all, middle of the road I would say. I like my Barleywines with a bit more hops and less malt.

 816 characters

Photo of WetCoaster
3.84/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

*2006 edition, fresh

Appearance: A somewhat cloudy oxblood/mahogany with a coffee-and-cream head with fair retention. No lace and pretty tame carbonation.

Smell: Holy crap. Like diving off a 30-meter platform into a diving well of pine oil and orange juice. My GOD is this hoppy. Once that wave breaks over you, a chewy, sticky honeyed malt base comes through loud and clear, with a bit of plum for good measure. I have GOT to taste this.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Oddly, given the 40 pounds of hops that must be crammed into each bottle, the taste starts off almost maple syrup sweet -- maybe this is where is the honey comes in? Soon sucked into a whirlpool of orange juice, which is soon superceded by a spicy, piney bite. The mouthfeel is smooth and syrupy, a bit on the dead side.

Drinkability: A mighty brew to be sure, but not quite happening yet, a bit disjointed and hard-edged, although not bitter or alcohol hot. Still, might come together famously in a few years and, since there's about a half-ounce of yeast in the bottle, an excellent cellar candidate.

 1,070 characters

Photo of Jessefive
3.84/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a 2004, purchased at the Foodery in Phila, 1/07

The aroma was sweet and malty. Very thick body. The flavor was sweet and thick, with raisin, grape, fig, bread, and molasses. There was a very noticeable bitterness that balanced the sweetness nicely. Some alcohol in the finish.

As with most of the Hair of the Dog beers I've had, I would recommend and drink this again and again. I plan on trying to collect some vintages of this and cellering them for a bit.

 473 characters

Photo of SaucyA
3.84/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

 936 characters

Photo of shapudding
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured out an unclear homebrewed iced-tea color, dark amber almost. Thick and creamy white head settled barely into a think layer. Yeasy and musty wine cellared scents, vineous- more merlot. Got some caramel scent after it warmed up. Very nice aroma. Highly carbinated for me. Dark and unsweetened black tea tastes, dark fruits and raisins, fairly dry aftertaste. Taste of fresh rosemary -like when you have the fresh sprigs and just grab one and bite into it. The taste is pretty hoppy for a barleywine, -one of my beerbuds tried it and said that it tasted more like a double ipa than a barleywine. Nicely drinkable, good flavors and I could sit back and knock a few away quite easily.

Had this one at FlatRock in Manyunk with some fellow BA's, good times!

 761 characters

Doggie Claws from Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room
4.12 out of 5 based on 1,168 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!