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Horn Dog Barley Wine Style Ale - Flying Dog Brewery

Not Rated.
Horn Dog Barley Wine Style AleHorn Dog Barley Wine Style Ale

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very good

1,222 Ratings
very good

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Ratings: 1,222
Reviews: 814
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.98%
Wants: 59
Gots: 80 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Flying Dog Brewery visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-06-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,222 | Reviews: 814
Photo of gimmehead
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Note: I obtained this via trade, and though unconfirmed I believe it had around a year of age on it

Appearance: dark, murky amber with a very thin white head

Smell: very sweet and malty, almost sugary; not much hop presence, just a bit of spiciness to contrast the fruity sweetness; very like an old ale with dark fruit and raisiny notes

Taste: exactly like the nose; sweet and malty, lots of raisiny and dark fruit flavor; lots of alcohol in the warm, sweet finish; vinous

Mouthfeel: thick and full

Drinkability: a very tasty beer, I'll try to get a fresh one to confirm my susupicions of age

Photo of lagrin
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep russet brown, leaving almost no head and possessing a very light stream of bubbles.

Smell is a mixture of perfectly toasted marshmallows and malted milk balls.

Some of the marshmallow essence comes through in the taste. Slight warming alcohol and dried dark fruit is noticeable.

Texture is pleasant but lacking the malty heaviness and aggressive alcohol bite that I come to expect in a barley wine.

Overall a nice beer.

Photo of BeerManDan
3.18/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

When poured a very thick, dark copper brown in color with absolutely no foam. The smell of hops was of a pine nature with a hint of citrus. The taste had a flavor of a piney and citrus on the palate. It had a sour/sweet/bitter finish and was not that impressed. For a barley wine, it was just average compared to others.

Photo of Backer2004
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This may be the most available Barley Wine found in North Carolina and even though this may not be one of the best for the style, it's a great starter for the style. Unlike Stone's BW, this one does not pack such an overwhelming punch and not as many will back down. It's a milder, less alcohol infused brew that will become popular in this area. I will definitely share this one with others willing to try out new styles but may not have the palate that others (not yet me) may have. Nice artwork on the label.

Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.27/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2005 vintage. 10.3% abv

Poured a dark ruby color. Almost opaque but rays of light work there way through the bottom on the glass. Small head but a ring is left around the beer all the way down the glass.

Fairly simple smell. Mostly pear and apples with the alcohol noticeable in the aroma. Smells a lot like a pear wine or spike up apple juice. Welch's anyone? No detection of hops in the aroma.

Huge amounts of malt. Sweet and sticky. Cloying at times. Not much hop character, if any in this BW. I assume this is OK as an English BW instead of American. I think more hops could balance out the huge maltiness of this beer. Tones of vanilla. This alchohol becomes more apparent as the beer warms and starts to taste like rubbing alcohol.

Strangely, their is a slight hop bitterness in the mouthfeel. Barley, I mean barely (he he) noticeable, but definitely a little bit on the back of the tongue. Sticky and very sweet mouthfeel as well. Reminds me of a cough syrup, in a good way.

I think one of these beers is enough at one time. A bit too sweet for session consumption. Not my favorite BW.

Photo of nickss
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2005 Vintage

Pours a beautiful deep amber shade, with big chunky head. Tremendous head retention on this one.... gorgeous looking brew.

Smells of malt, sweet fruits, bananas, a strong backbone of alcohol. Mmm.

The taste is simply put, wonderful. Very complex, with a definite touch of bananas and a richness (most likely derived from the tremendous amount of malt). Definite alcohol flavor, but certainly not overwhelming... just a little bite to let you know its there. Delicious.

The mouthfeel is exceptional. A beer that fills the mouth and coats the tongue better than any I can think of off the top of my head. Very thick and imminently chewy.

I wish I could say the drinkability was higher, because honestly, I love this beer. However, with the abv at 10.3%, i think more than 3 of these would have me hurtin.
However, do not let this deter you from trying this beer.... top notch from Flying Dog... now to try Gonzo =P

Photo of brentk56
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear dark brown body with a surprisingly bouyant head that delivers good retention but leaves an unusual pointillist pattern of lacing on the glass

Smell: Rich, rum soaked dark fruit - figs, dates and blackberries

Taste: Starts out rather pleasant and fruity with a nice blend of dark fruit flavors and some burnt sugar; in the middle, the hoppy bitterness kicks in and turns increasingly bitter into the finish, leaving a somewhat metallic and unpleasant after-taste

Mouthfeel: Rich and viscous, with modest carbonation

Drinkability: If it weren't for the finish, this would be an exceptional barleywine

Photo of neonbrown82
4.47/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was pretty impressed by this rendition of an English Barley Wine, which is a style I don't usually care for too much compared to the American style counterparts. This was even more impressive considering it is from an otherwise average brewer (aside from a few exceptions, ie Gonzo).

The beer pours to a dark plum color with a thin tan head. Has a mild carbonation. Looks like what I would expect from a beer labeled as a barley wine. Has a hint of intimidation with it, though this beer is far from intimidating to this beer drinker.

Smells like a garden full of fruits. You name the garden variety fruits and berries, it's in there. I think I even smelled strawberries, which is a first for me in the beer world. Smells like a grape Jolly Rancher, or a Ring Pop. Reminds me of being a kid.

The taste is very vinuous. Has all of the fruit/berry components I touched on above coupled with a nice sweet malt. A little bit of hop bites in the end, even through all of the malty flavor. Not nearly as hoppy as an American Barley Wine, though I can't decide if that's good or bad. Either way, these guys got it right with this particular brew. A bit of an alcohol sting in the end, though it's quite well hidden for as large as it is.

This is probably the most drinkable barley wine I've yet encountered, at least until the next time Big Foot meets my lips.

Photo of SSGPat
2.86/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

To get this review started, I like a good barleywine. In fact, I have one on tap that I brewed because until about a month ago, you couldn't get one legally in the state of confusion (uh, I mean NC).

Opening the bottle up, the color was good. I thought that we were off to a good start. Not much head, but for a barleywine, that is very acceptable.

Nose has fruity alcohol smell (not like PJ, but the alcohol smell is intense). Almost like the smell of rubbing alcohol.

I believe that the taste was less than anticipated. Very heavy on the alcohol to an almost overwhelming point.

Barleywine is supposed to have a big enough mouthfeel that you don't notice the octane, and this one left me short.

Overall, I don't believe that it was a good barleywine. The drinkability of a barleywine is generally less than that of other beers to begin with... more of an aperitif (last beer of the day, but biggest and best). I believe that this one did not hit the mark.

Photo of AlexJ
4.43/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

An exceptional deal at $7.99/ 4-pack, this beer delivers with it's radient chestnut body and thick, creamy khaki head. Superb retention and more than adequate lace for a high-octane brew such as this.

Aroma is classical Barleywine, sweet malts, caramel, brown sugar, ripe fruits, a hint of spice, and delicate hops that are both floral and citric.

Flavor starts off with chewy caramel and scorched brown sugar, rum balls, fruit comes in the form of berry, peach, and melon. It has a perfect amount of floral and citrussy hops to provide balance. While I do love a hoppy barleywine, it's nice to drink one that actually allows the complex malt flavors to shine through.

Body is almost big, very smooth and velvet-like, with a creamy soft texture. A sessionable Barleywine in my book. An under rated one at that.

Photo of silver0rlead
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy, deep brown/burgundy with a nice tan head that doesnt retain that well but it is a barley wine so its forgiveable. Aroma is intensely malty, with scents of dark fruit (plum, currant, blackberry), molasses, and a light floral hops aroma. Flavor is similar with dark malt notes dominating, flavors of currant, plum, blackberry and grape with a sweet background of caramel and molasses, followed by a floral and mineraly hops flavor that quickly segues into a sweet and alcohol ridden finish. Mouthfeel is adequate though slightly light for the style and the alcohol is very noticeable. And drinkability is average. A good attempt at an english barleywine, the malt definately takes precedence though i think it could use some more hops . Interesting for sure, but not a remarkable brew.

Photo of dirtylou
3.13/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

these guys just arrived at 6-12 in Raleigh, so me and "the darkness" split a 4 pack. I was not impressed the first time around but barleywine in NC is about as rare as a republican worth talking to.

appearance: very deep burgundy/amber, slight head that leaves minimal lacing. Its a pretty attractive beer but I fear thats where its good traits are going to end.

smell: dark fruit, alcohol, quite malty. Nothing special but not bad

taste: sort of abrasive, alcohol hits you hard right up front. Underneath it is dark fruits, raisin, plum, caramel, and the sort. Just too much alcohol and almost no balance

mouthfeel: thick and chewy, alcohol not masked whatsoever

drinkability: a bit of a task

i dont really like flying dog beers. I guess I used to before I was turned into a beer snob or whatever. This stuff doesn't need to be purchased unless it is the only barleywine available

Photo of BEERchitect
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Intriquing beer. Pours a thick ruby or mohogany with a chunky tan head. Low carbonation and laced well. Smells malty, and of dark fruits. Hop aroma smells salty and earthy. Tastes of malt, cherries, figs, prunes, and dates. A bit nut like and hop bitterness. Thins a bit in the body. Finishes sweet and a bit cloying. Cut nicely by the hops. An aggressive beer--what you'd expect from flying dog, but there are better barley wines out there. Wonder how this one would fare in a year or so.

Photo of Sephiroth
3.41/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a deep, burnt, amber. It smells of alcohol.

The taste is of sweet malt followed by moderate alcoholic overtones. I don't mind the alcoholic presence, but there isn't enough malt to back it up. I detect cherry and grape infused with an ever so slight hop presence. Ever so slight. The mouthfeel is thinner than I expect from this style. Drinkability is only limited by the fact that there are better barleywines both out there and in my cellar. And I must... not... drink...my ...cellared...beers...yet. This brew is well priced, even though it may only be mediocre. I might buy more to cellar for a short time.

Photo of Domingo
3.81/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A terrific barleywine. It's tough to find barleywine outside of a bomber, so seeing a 6'er of this made me buy it.
Flavor is smooth - a terrific balance of malt, hops, and the signature barleywine sweet edge.
It smells a bit of bourbon, but again, with the hoppiness that Flying Dog is known for.
Color is a nice reddish brown.

A wonderful brew for a summer evening.

EDIT: Had this again in May of 2008. Caramel sweetness reminds me of a doppelbock. This is still a winner!

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.82/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the somewhat scary labeled bottle a viscous dark brown, bordering on black with a small tan head that fades to a ring around the glass. Deep blood red tones shine through when held up to the light. Rich, sweet caramel malt along with huge dark fruit aromas rise up into my nose. A hint of toffee and a touch of cocoa along with some pine resin hops. Quite lovely.

First sip brings a sweet rush of burnt caramel and dark alcohol filled fruits (cherries, grapes). A bit burnt with some molasses and a touch of bitter piney hoppiness on the way down. Slight cocoa flavors weave in and out. The alcohol is noticeable in the finish and actually leaves me with a vodka-esque aftertaste that is unfortunately not too pleasant. A big brew overall that brings a rich mix of flavor.

Mouthfeel is fairly thick and slightly syrupy. Coats the mouth as it goes down. Definetly a sipping brew. The drinkability is hindered here by the apparent alcohol. Drinking one after a hard day of work is great...but I can't see much more than that. Worth a try!

Photo of Quaffer
3.57/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2001C (no idea what the "C" means, unless it indicates 3Q). I don't think this is available here in Wichita, though some of the Flying Dog brews are. Thanks, Rob!

Appearance: This beer was dark brown, though some amber and red hues came through as the light penetrated the edges. With a rough-as-hell pour, I was only able to produce a thin layer of beige foam. This was gone quickly, leaving nothing behind, including lace.

Smell: Sweet and heavy on the malt. Caramel, toffee, and molassess were thick in the nose. Some plum and dark cherries added a bite, along with a hit of alcohol. No hops to speak of in the aroma.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and very smooth. It had a lightly coating character and the alcohol numbed the mouth quite a bit.

Taste: Compared to the nice round aroma and the good mouthfeel, the taste was a little weak, though not unpleasant. There were some deep caramel malts that emerged upfront, but these were quickly overpowered and ended up just lingering in the background. Tart cherries and dark fruits emerged immediately in the middle and dominated the flavor. A strong alcohol component rose up on the finish and provided a nice warming effect. The alcohol was rather strong, but it didn't come across as too strong, especially for a beer with an abv of 10.5%. There might have been just a hint of old hops on the finish, but they were hard to detect (if I wasn't just imagining them).

This beer was chock full of malt, as evidenced by the aroma and the fact that it left my lips sticky. However, it just didn't come through enough on the flavor, especially for and English style barley wine. It was not bad, though, and really very drinkable.

Photo of BrewMan13
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I must say that in general, I prefer the low-hoppiness of the English b-wines. Not long after I 1st enjoyed Old Salty, I bought this bad-boy. Very enjoyable as well. Definitely darker than Old Salty. I liek how Flying Dog has a little hoppy/malty scale and dark/light scale on their beers.
Anyway, I'd say its a dark brown with a small to moderate head. Very malty-sweet brew, but with a touch of hoppy bitterness at the finish. On the full side, as a b-wine should be. Alcohol is not really noticeable even at a hefty 10.5%. This is one beer that is at its peak as it warms a little; though thats natural for b-wines.
But also as most b-wines, you wouldnt want to have more then 1 or 2 tops in an evening.

Photo of Wolfsdenbrew
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a thin tan head, deep ruby brown, with just a small line of lacing clinging to the edge. Was a bit hazy with tiny bubbles rising during the entire session.

Aroma was composed of a nice big hop bouquet and a hint of dark fruits underlying the hops.

Taste was full of prunes, figs, cherries, and raspberry, lots of sweet malts and a piney big hop bite that lingers to the finish. Nice balance of maltiness with hopiness.

Nice carbonation level for the style and a medium to heavy body.

Photo of WesWes
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thin offwhite head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a rich and complex malt scent along with a solid hop aroma. It boasts of pale, crystal, and roasted malts. The taste is good. It has a very bitter hop taste along with a sloid malty base. It's rich and dark with a warm finish; very flavorful. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a fine barley wine. It is hoppier than most and I like it; good drinker.

Photo of Vancer
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2004 - *Cut the leash* !! First barley wine, and what a treat. Everything that the BA description noted. From the mahogany brown pour with small tan head to the lite malt, clerry aroma, I knew this type would be up on my preference list. Oh the taste, a malted whiskey that slides down smooth, even with the strong alcohol. Thick and chewy, warm and drinkable. Great sipping stuff!

Photo of rajendra82
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer was poured out of the 12 oz. bottle, with a psychedelic and a bit disturbing label. The pour was deep reddish brown, with a thin and short lived head. Lacing was very good, although the carbonation was quite limited. The aroma was typically English. Restrained, earthy, and spicy hops in the nose were tempered by fig, and vanilla scents. The taste was malt driven, and was primarily sweet and buttery. Dry fruit flavors of fig, raisins, and a bit of toffee, was mixed in with soy saltiness, and a chalky mineral dryness. The hop bitterness was not match for the sweet palette, but did provide a decent backdrop at the end of each sip. Alcohol was hot with a peppery aftertaste, but otherwise well hidden under the layers of complimentary flavors. Thick and soothing, this is a very good nightcap sipper.

Photo of maccroz
2.71/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Eh...this beer is okay. It starts out promising with a nice dark pour, but as it slides up the pint glass, no head accumulates. After a mildly violent pour, I could still see the brown of my beer through the thin, borderline non-existant head.

The smell doesn't really cause any excitement.

The taste? It's not BAD per se, it's just not what you'd expect. It's awfully sweet and has a very heavy taste. It's surprisingly uncomplex for the alcohol content, I'd expect a much more lingering taste.

I won't buy this again, and I don't recommend it.

Photo of RBorsato
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber/mahogany with a nice light brown head (w/ vigorous pour) and slow carbonation. Strong malty aroma with lots of alcohol notes and almost doppelbock-like. Strong malty flavors (much like it smells) with traces of chocolate in both nose and mouth. Full bodied and warming with a light alcohol burn at the end.

Per FD website: brewed with prized malts and flaked oats.
Original Gravity: 26 Plato
Alcohol by Weight: 8.5%
Alcohol by Volume: 10.5%

Vintage: 2003 B
Tasted: 02/11/05

($6.99 / 4-pack)

Photo of Skidz
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2001C

Pours out a slippery dark orange-brown and sits a deep, semi-opaque amber-brown in the glass with a small off-white head, fading to a bare surface, holding to the sides. Some minor lacings initially, but fall back into the glass.

Smells assertively malty, packed with tons of raisins, dates, prunes and a sharp vinous background. Deeply roasty, offering hints of coffee and toasted pecans. Acidic hop tang delivers stale aromas of lemons and grapefruit.

Tastes rich and malty up front, loaded with dark fruits. Rasins and dates are predominate and hold onto some stem-ish flavors. Boiled apples and prunes are also present. Nice roasted character, though a bit rough around the edges. Wooden, bitter sides also offer some scorched flavors, bordering burnt. Dark caramel sticks to the sides. Hop flavor is subdued and now grassy, though fairly brown tasting. Some mild citrus is noted, mainly lime. Finish is smoothly bittered with much lingering roastedness.

Slick and viscous in the mouth. Carbonation is low but firmly present. The full, oily body is the shining point of this beer.

I'm not very enthusiastic about this beer. While it does have some fine qualities, it lacks a great deal of character. Still, it's quite drinkable as it is just fine and dandy in the mouth.

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Horn Dog Barley Wine Style Ale from Flying Dog Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 1,222 ratings.