Wednesday, March 21, 2007


When Brian Hunt of MOONLIGHT BREWING gave the thumbs-up to Portland, OR’s HAIR OF THE DOG in the interview we did with him, that was all the impetus a couple of us needed to start a deeper exploration of the beers from these mysterious Oregonians. I know their stuff has been around for a while, and where I live you can get a few bottles here & there if you look hard enough. Lately I’ve been noticing that their DOGGIE CLAWS barleywine has been winning some judgments from barleywine lovers as being one of this country’s best. Ergo, that’s the one I purchased and downed first, though I also have bottles of “Fred” and “Adam” sitting at home awaiting consumption. Have to say, I’m like that rogue sheep on the cover of the Minor Threat album on this one, totally out of step with the verdicts of my peers. I didn’t really like DOGGIE CLAWS. I found it way too sweet, and it tasted like a big sticky, candied, alcohol-loaded bomb that was going to do damage on my insides and to my liver if I drank it too fast. The feel in the mouth was one of being coated with candied, liquid fruit, low on carbonation and thus really overpowering. Maybe it would click in the proper setting – maybe by the fire with a bowl of tiramisu or something, I don’t know – but it really kinda disappointed me. I gave it a 5/10. I recommend going with MAD RIVER BREWING’s JOHN BARLEYCORN instead.


Anonymous said...

Didn't like this one either - poured it out actually. It's the sole disappointment I've had with Hair Of The Dog though - the rest of what they brew is pretty great. Have you tried the 2007 North Coast Old Stock Ale yet? Jesus, it's amazing! Surfs its 11% alcohol content like a pro.


KevBrews said...

Now you tell me . . .

Wonder if it would age well.

mumbly said...

Keep in mind that these guys do all sorts of small batches, many of them experimental, and that the ones you see winning in contests are not necessarily what you'll find in the bottle.

I've been hit and miss with HotD beers. Adam is still my favorite. And they do some great things with the aforementioned small batches on occasion.