Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hair of the Dog Doggie Claws

Somehow this winter seasonal slipped into the back of my tasting queue and I find myself only now drinking it… in June, although undoubtedly this is being read in July. Oh well, when I drank this, it wasn't all that warm that day, so maybe a barleywine isn't the most horrible thing to put on the menu.

When I opened this bottle I did a double take when I didn't hear the normal hiss of carbonation and eyed it cautiously when I saw almost no bubbles in my glass.  This beer is certainly lacking in carbonation, glad to see that these kinds of mistakes can happen to the experts too!  Well it certainly puts a damper on my review to go on too much about the taste without the appropriate carbonation, but I'll give you an idea of the taste.  It's a very sweet beer, as barleywines tend to be, the richness of the caramel reminds me of the old stock's syrupy body.  The taste does bend round into an earthy, slightly isyprobyl alcohol, and bitter flavor, much the way you might do if you were trying to mentally steer your desparately hit golf ball back on course.  The 11% alcohol tastes very hot, especially on your throat, although I've come to somewhat expect this from higher gravity beers such as this.

Overall, really not something I'm enjoying, but the whole experience amounts to a foot faul given the lack of carbonation.  The beer is meant to be aged, but I'm glad I didn't; if I had opened this to zero carbonation in a matter of years rather than months I would have been pretty upset.  I give it one and a half stars for now, with the footnote that I had a bad bottle.  I certainly owe Hair of the Dog a second chance on this one.

Doggie Claws: *1/2

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