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Hair of the Dog Doggie Claws

Let's talk Hair of the Dog, and specifically Doggie Claws for a while, because why the hell not?

This is a barleywine weighing in at an impressive 11.5% ABV, and is definitely one you should age. However, for comparison purposes -- for you, if you like -- I kind of had to crack one open. And it was worth it, as it is pretty glorious, even now.

Just by the color you can see Doggie Claws is something else. Deep, dark amber, with just a slightly off-white head, it looks like the type of beer that is not about to take crap from anyone.

The nose confirms the suspicion. There's a lot going on here. Different dialects of sweetness pull your nose into a citric potpourri of hops. It's one of those beers you can keep sniffing and constantly pick up on different nuances.

Finally, the flavor hits it all home. This is insanely flavorful; very boozy, but not in a bad way. The presence of caramel is welcome, and it helps take the edge of the initial punch. Keep tasting, and a nice aftertaste of fresh grapefruit will linger and round out the sweetness and booze.

I like a good barleywine, which Doggie Claws clearly isn't -- it's a great barleywine. Age this sucker, and I imagine the flavors will play even better together when you finally crack it open.

Doggie Claws takes no prisoners with its booze profile, so stay away if you're not a fan of big beers. It's hard to find any faults with it, however, if you like a bit of a punch.