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

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Doggie ClawsDoggie Claws
1,202 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

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Ratings: 1,202 |  Reviews: 560
Photo of longpondbeerman
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This barley wine (2002) pours a clear, bubbly and light gold, with an enormous frothy white head that looks like puffy, marshmellow fluff as it slowly recedes. The tangy, citrus aroma tingles my nostrils, and there's a touch of hops underneath, but little (almost no) malts or sweetness butting in. The taste is clean, slightly taut, and modestly floral. The alcohol sneaks through initially and then fades rapidly. The mouthfeel's a tad thin, but crisp. A good sipping ale for a cold night.

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Photo of freed
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This year's bottle is adorned with an even cooler label than last years. The silver is cool, and it seems to be made of vinyl or something. Yeast has settled on the bottom, and as I pour, the yeast goes with it. An immense head forms on top, and as it recedes slowly, it leaves thick, lace around most of the glasses. The rusty red liquid is quite hazy, and the yeast has finally settled on the bottom of the glass.

The aroma is quite powerful, and the immense hop aroma almost interested my wife. As the aroma of hops dies, more and more of the fruity malt and yeast smells creep up. A slight musk also comes out after the hop aroma & foam head dissipate.

The taste is quite something. It goes in several directions, and my tongue is somewhat confused. In fact, I've drunk most of the beer trying to figure out how to describe it. It has a very crisp, dry bite, and a green freshness from the hops. The hops also add their own layer of spiciness. The malt is equally robust, giving the beer a fruity roundness and tartness. The yeast adds a somewhat cidery flavor, which is finished by a crispness again from the hops and carbonation. Its really quite a spectacle of a beer. Certainly wonderful, but not for mass consumption.

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Photo of paranosis
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

great barleywine.

Appearance - a redish/orangeish cloudy color. immediately when opening, bottle began overflowing with foam, and poured an endless head, very careful while pouring this one. lots of sediment at the bottom, but not anything out of the ordinary for such a strong bottle-conditioned barleywine.

Nose - right off the bat the nose hits you with a fruity... i'll call it cherry/pine scent with a great alcohol tingle from the 11.5% ABV

Taste - man. great flavor. kicks in with a fruity almost brandyish warm flavor at the tip of the tongue that continues to a bite at the back of the mouth where the pine flavors really start to show. a yeasty hops taste throughout the mouth and a great, mild-bitter and sweet aftertaste.

mouthfeel - not clingy, but very silky. leaves a biting residue throughout the mouth that makes you want to take another sip.

drinkability - my only complaint (and not really one) of this is, as a small individual, it was so tasty but hard to consume with the 11.5% ABV. Man, it's tasty tho, so it really didn't matter much. overall great taste that compensated for the high alcohol pings. definitely a warm sipping barleywine.

overall - fantastically juicy beer, lovely to sit down and drink with friends or in front of a warm fire in snowy weather (here in portland, it snowed for once, and i decided to crack open this christmas present). i can't reccomend this enough if you can get it. a wonderful xmas present. thanks bro.

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Photo of jtfest
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Careful as you pour -- this one has a BIG head. Definitely bottle conditioned, there was a fair amount of sediment at the bottom. But the taste! Full mouth feel combined with a strong, but blended alcohol flavor. Tasted kinda' caramel-ly to me. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Suds
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2002 - has a Santa-dog chomping a cigar on the label. Bottle says it's made with Simcoe and Amarillo hops.
Pours a light and hazy orange color with a thick, rocky, blanketing off-white head. The head is actually remarkable considering the alcohol. The fresh-hop aroma is intense...extraordinarily floral...spicy, pine-needle (pine-sap even), and sharp. The aroma is like a very aggressive IPA. Alcohol is there as well, buy you almost have to fight through the hops to get it into your nostrils. Grassy and slightly acidic...the maltiness of the beer takes a back-seat all the way. Fairly dry. Alcohol warming and taste are pronounced. Finish isn't as bitter as I'd expected, considering the general forcefulness of the hops. Very good overall, but I'd like to have one after it's rested for a few more years.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.74/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A Christmas gift from weefisheads...Thank you! Love the Doggie Claws! This stuff is quite nice. Nice dark caramel brown color, very thick and deep with a fluffy tan head of tallness that resides slowly down to a thick fluffy skim mostly present throughout the glass and whispy strings of lace sticking. Aroma is nice and hoppy with a nice array of pine needles, herbs, spice, and resin with a nice roasty caramel malted backing. Has a certain sweet tone with some citrusy grapefruit peels too. Very nice nose! Good flavors and taste with a nice hop profile that has a nice creamy spicyness and herbal quality with nice tones of pine and grapefruit bitterness, those Amarillo hops are just lovely. Very toasty malt backing adding some twingy tang and lightly burnt notions. Feel is fairly sharp and filled with hop bittering tones and even a little bit of bittering burnness and alcoholic tinge going down late, overall a fluffy texture and full body with long lingering notes of bitterness from all those awesome hops. Calming and smooth with a creamy fluffyness with a very nice hop character. A fine, fine drinker, the sharpness of hops is a bit heavy but age will fix that I imagine and become calmer plus the alcohol is barely noticeable. Still, as a fresh beast this is very nice. Its not a malty thick or heavy barleywine in the least in my observation and sampling, its very IPA-like and was just what I needed for the holidays. Thanks again dB!

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Photo of GreatPondBrewer
4.69/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2002. This beer was exceptional. Poured a cloudy dark golden color with a very plush and frothy white head that left lace everywhere on the glass. Smell was very complex with a strange affinity for a Double/Imperial IPA with all the juicy hops floating about. There was also a slight sting of alcohol sweetness that lingered after every sniff. Taste was heaven in a bottle. Tons of juicy hops along with a woderful warming syrup undertow with the alcohol just tugging at the edges of the brew. Mouthfeel was wonderfully chewy as it is bottle conditioned there was little carbonation. This has aged wonderfully in the cellar and is everything that a barley-wine should be. Mellow, yet explosive, full of flavor and complex, yet easy to drink. This capped off a perfect christmas eve.

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Photo of ADR
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
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

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Photo of BierReise
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2002 12oz Bottle As with the other two beers from this brewery that I've tried, this one also poured with a huge amount of foam. Had to wait a few minutes to get the whole bottle in a glass. Anyway, huge frothy head on a cloudy unfiltered orangish golden brew. Retention couldn't be better. Smooth medium body and carbonation evens out quickly. Aroma of cookie dough, sweetmalt and a good dose of hops. Even though this is not to style, it's an excellent beast in my opinion. Flavor is fantastic, doughy malt and grapefruit with a hoppy sweet flavor like an Imperial IPA. Wow I wish I had more of this stuff

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Photo of francisweizen
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This special 11.5%ABV 2003 version of doggie claws poured out a very subdued, and slightly cloudy burnt caramel colour with a small head, that had decent retention and nice lacing. The aromas are very heavy on the hops this year, and you can really smell those amarillo hops, big time! The taste is a nice hoppy blast of sweet malt flavor, with a uniquely herbal hop character, and a very spicy holiday feel. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth and improves as this beer begins to warm. The drinkability is top notch. For a barley wine of this size, this beer is quite an accomplishment from the folks at hair of the dog!

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear, light amber color, with voluminous head, puffy, lacey, creamy in color.

Aroma: sweet, sugary, and full of yeast, putting me in mind of a Belgian tripel, perhaps, spicy and fruity (grapefruit, peach, orange).

Flavor is full and hot, it's a charging rhino in the mouth, crashing down the gates, hoppy, tingly, tasty, with abundant malt and an air of ancient mysteries. There's an enormous alcoholic presence, that only widens, eventually conquering the palate.

Quite an unusual barleywine, this one, a unique flavor profile, and possessing incredible substance and staying power. Doggie Claws is a dream in a bottle!

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2002 Edition. WOW! If not for the overly enthusiastic bubbly head, this might be a top ten beer. It pours a brassy/copper with a BIG rocky off-white head. A really floral whole hop aroma is very reminiscent of whole fresh cannabis buds (not that I would know). The substantial malt body houses a very potent hop bitterness. Grapefruit, orange peel and a fairly strong camphor astringency, (made up word?) blend and mix with a cherry liquor flavor, along with spices and lots of warming alcohol. A faint dark chocolate flavor finishes this complex and tasty seasonal offering. Unfiltered!

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Photo of Elemental
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - darker copper color with tons of little bubbles floating to the top. A huge (3 figures) amount of head that won't die down....a little to much if you ask me.

Aroma - wonderfully bitter and aromatic, its only downfall was the slight sour smell.

Taste - once you get past the supper bitter head, the taste of the barley wine was really nice. Not overly heavy and has a bit of an alcohol bite to it. Bitter up front with a slightly sweet finish. Slightly spicy.

Bottom line: a very nice seasonal worth drinking early.

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Photo of beerguy101
3.88/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Doggie claws in the woods was available at the 2002 Oregon Brewers Festival. Light brown color. A medium bodied barleywine ale. Malty with a fairly strong alcohol overtone. Citrus and orange flavor. Complex undertones. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is malty.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – Dark, rich orange color with a monstrous head that overstayed it’s welcome. Some cool lacing on the glass as well. A nice looking ale.

Note: How did francisweitzen manage to pour a bottle of this stuff without getting a head? Mine foamed over when I popped the cap.

Smell – Big yeast and alcohol, a trademark of this brewery, along with some complex fruits. I can pick out (rum soaked) pineapple, blood orange, cinnamon-apple, and something dark like raisin or prune.

Taste – This one has some kick. The darker fruits come out more on the taste, but the yeast/alcohol flavors are what make up the backbone of this body. There is also some tremendous balance with firm, floral hops. This one has it all.

Mouthfeel – Lightly carbonated. The various flavors though kind of stumble over one another, and the high (10) ABV is noticeable the entire way.

Drinkability – Alcoholics will love this brew. I enjoyed the complexity and sharpness of the flavors, but would have liked to see it all smoothed out a bit.

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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.

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Photo of TXHops
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2002 Bottling
-ABV: 10%
-Hops: Simcoe, Amarillo

Well, this is a bit odd. I didn’t really know what to expect from this beer, other than strength. The beer pours a considerably lighter color than I expected from a barleywine: hazy gold, like a Belgian Tripel. The fluffy white head gave off fresh, crisp, yeasty aromas when the beer was poured and when the glass was swirled, but hoppiness oozed through when the beer was still. The body was effervescent, though quite substantial. It felt exactly like you’d expect a bottle-conditioned barleywine to feel. I’m not talking about the standard “unfiltered”, force carbonated offerings—this one felt like a tripel without any candi sugar in the grist. Plus, this beer used hops :) The big, PacNW hoppiness was abundantly evident—pine needles meet citrus fruit, ending in a sticky, lingering, but not astringent bitterness. The maltiness was sweet, fresh, fruity and generous, though overshadowed somewhat by the sticky, lovely hoppiness and the bottle conditioned character. Now this is the kind of beer that I can really get into—it’s experimental without being stupid. It’s a pale-colored, bottle conditioned barleywine. That’s cool! It’s not a 25% ABV monster finished with champagne yeast, or an uncarbonated port-beer, or any other gimmick-type beer. It’s thinking outside the beer box, but within the massive, overarching “this is still beer” box.

After a bit more warming occurs, the fruitiness really stakes a claim to a position as a major flavor component. I can taste something like peaches in heavy syrup, but not quite so sweet. All the while the pungent, resiny hoppiness mingles with the crisp yeastiness to remind me that I’m not drinking every other barleywine. A touch of alcoholic heat comes through after the hoppiness begins to subside, creating a sensation similar to finishing a restaurant peppermint. Adding the remaining yeast/trub pancake adds a touch of grit, but doesn’t otherwise change the flavor.

Great beer. I could have done without quite as much fluffiness in my barleywine, but offsetting the standard 90 weight viscosity of other beers in this genre was a welcome change of pace. I was impressed.

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Photo of marc77
4.62/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

2002 version. Tremendously thick, off white, inpenetrable, virtually static, mountainous head leaves intricate lace. Hop polyphenol laden hazy, peachy light bronze hue. Pungent wafts of ripe, juicy mango and pseudosweet clementine like hop oils with a resiny pine contrast. Subdued medium lovibond caramel malt adds a sweet, mildly toffeeish component. Subversive, ominous ethanol sear is discernible with concentration. Intense and appetizing in aroma. The flavor begins transiently balanced, but citrus laced hop bitterness dominates after a brief deliberation. Caramel malt struggles to assert itself, but does manage token, candyish sweetness. Malt balance is nearly acheived, however, mostly due to the ample residual sugars and dextrins from the high original gravity. Hop flavor emerges in earnest mid palate once the caramel malt presence is forgotten, and is akin to sugar dusted grapefruit albeit with round, floral and melon like notes. Moderate in body, and dangerously soft and crisply dextrinous in mouthfeel. Finishes with a snap of biscuit yielding to continuing, satiating hop bitterness and nearly forgotten ethanol warmth. A delicious, hop driven brew with sufficient malt balance. Not quite a barleywine. This is easily the most drinkable double IPA I've had. The hops shine, and the malt backbone is there, but unlike many "barleywines", Doggie Claws sits dangerously light on the palate. Delicious and addictive, if you love brightly hopped brews. Nearly the epitomy of a double IPA. Watch out...

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Photo of Shiredave
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a big, hairy dog with slobbery jowels. Dense, creamy head stands 4 inches above the rim of my glass, and as it slumps, a blanket of thick lace remained behind.
Smells are as confusing as they are complex; Yeasty, phenolic, evergreen and citrus hop aromas along with carmalized sugar and some old Bruin sourness slaps you in the face as you bury your nose in the glass for more. Full bodied, bready malt and flavors of tart grapes and sour cherries get busy with earthy, juicy hops and searing alcohol. Mouthfeels was a little tinny - Im not sure this bottle ( 2002 vin) was treated properly, as the astringency and sour notes were a slight distraction from the rich, malty base and complex hop flavors. Aftertaste is tart fruit, piney hop and the slow burn of alcohol. Very different. Very Hairy.

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Photo of Gusler
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A somewhat nebulous deep copper color, with a Mastiff sized head, spumescent in texture, the color a beautiful light tan and the resultant lace a fine sheet that covers the glass. Nose is hop floral, malt sweet, and a pleasure to sniff, start is thick malt, honey sweet, the top middling in its feel to the palate. “BAM” the hops bite like a great white in a feeding frenzy with the acidity quite delectable and the aftertaste alcohol bitter and long lasting. A must try for “Barley Wine Freaks”, but if you can’t “Run with the big dogs, stay on the porch”, as this bad boy will take the hide off an Armadillo.

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Photo of mzwolinski
3.77/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

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Photo of Denali
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Split Thy Skull event at Mugs Ale House in Brooklyn, New York.

Appearance: Opaque orange-amber with thick tan head. Effervescence was clearly visible as tiny bubbles of carbonation were percolating to the top. It was looking at me saying "drink me" so I did cause that's what I do (Note that the comment "cause that's what I do" is a tribute to slander).

Smell: Glorious apricot aroma. Hops aroma was also present.

Taste: Hops flavor up front along with a very fruity apricot-like flavor. Sweet malt flavor then follows, along with cloves, and finishes with a hop bitterness. Aftertaste is very complex, first dominated by apricot, but banana was also detected. Lots of flavors going on here.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy with good carbonation.

Drinkability: So delicious its almost quaff-able, even for a barley wine.

Comments: My favorite barley wine at the event. What flavors! The aftertaste lasts forever. Oh my! Woof Woof!

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Photo of nomad
4.48/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2002 vintage - which seems a bit better than some of the vintages below - this beer was a smash hit at a barleywine festival

Poured a beautiful apricot/peach color. Swung this easy puppy up to my eye and it was easy to kick up a head of tiny little bubbles - all fun to watch. Fast sliding lace. Altogether the appearence was almost like a hefe-weiss profile. (Truly though! I had a Weisenstephaner next to it, so the comparison is fair) Appearance was like no other barlweyine I've seen.

Nose was of wild grapes, floral, like a peach wine almost, astringent pine, and lemon. Scents were very uplifting due to the underripe apricot and peach. Tasted like wild grapes, hops, and a flavor that almost tastes like eating edible flowers, if you've ever done it. Nice balance of sour and salt. Citrusy but uniquely so from the unripe peaches. Among the palate it had a great middle where all these taste came together nicely. Very drinkable with a mouthfeel that was fairly and not thin nor oily nor etc.

Extremely tasty and a great and different take on barleywine. A unique type of alcohol in general, like a magical fruit concoction – and wasn’t even aged!

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Photo of BeerBuilder
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2001 Release

Orangish-copper in color with a thick, mountainous head with excellent lacing. The aroma is herbal, alcoholic, fruity, and somewhat bready. The flavor is alcoholic throughout; it attacks the whole mouth. It has a herbal and sweet maltiness like that of candi sugar. It reminds me of a Belgian ale. I even detect a slight fig flavor. It has a pecular smell that I have never smelt before. It must be the choice of hops in this one. It was my first Barley Wine of the year, and I found it to be extremely complex in the aromas and flavors. A very good beer that I would definitely sample again.

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Photo of Dogbrick
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2002 Bottle: Hoo-yeah, this is a potent beer! Dark murky amber color with an insanely thick off-white head. As with other HOTD beers, this one took awhile to pour. Aroma of hops and pepper resonates throughout the glass. Definitely has some Imperial IPA qualities in the flavor, with strong hops, alcohol, and some fruit. There is enough malt in the flavor and in the finish to balance it out and to make for a nice seasonal Barley Wine.

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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 1,202 ratings