From the Hair of the Dog Brewing Company in Portland comes this rollocking bottle of fun, full of the 2007 vintage Doggie Claws barley wine style ale (try saying that after you’ve have a few). Let’s not beat around the bush – this is one hell of an ale, kicking you where it hurts with it’s 11% ABV and a mouthful of sugary sweetness that lets you know you’re diving right in at the deep end of the creek without a paddle.
Bottle-conditioned to keep things changing over the course of its life (if you keep it correctly), first impression of the pour is of a deep red-brown ale with a creamy head frothing on top and a bright layer of carbonation keeping things busy in the glass as it tries to settle down. You can smell this ale from a mile off, the alcohol rubbing burly shoulders up against some sweet molasses and fruit, the hops a distant presence in the background.
Taste-wise is stands up well, the alcohol clearly in the fore along with a sweet stickiness that’s helped down by the bubbles and a decent hit of hops and malt that provide an ale you can almost chew on. Clearly one for sipping and not a monster session, here’s a barley wine you should lay down a case or two of and enjoy on those cold winter evenings by your fire for years to come. Thoroughly enjoyable.
JBB6 Rating: For the Win