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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,196 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,196
Reviews: 809
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 12.21%
Wants: 57
Gots: 69 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-06-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,196 | Reviews: 809 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of maxpower
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2004 pours a bright dark amber with some floating yeast throughout, small creamy off white head that leaves some lacing in my glass. Aromas of sweet fruity plums. Dark cherry, chocolate and caramel flavors. Full bodied with mild carbonation makes for a creamy and soft mouthfeel, alcohol well hidden, finishes sweet.

maxpower, Feb 20, 2005
Photo of Beaver13
2.13/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle. Pours a copper-brown with lots of little floaties. It has a fine tan head that laces the glass. A very nice looking beer!

Alcohol dominates the aroma. There is also some dark fruits and cola. It smells kind of like a very strong rum and coke.

The flavor is some sweet dark fruit and subtle cola initially, followed by an overbearing strong sharp alcohol that masks a touch of hops. It is not well balanced at all. The mouthfeel is smooth, full and sticky.

Overall, way too much alcohol in the flavor and nose. I've had beers with more alcohol that masked it much better. It was more like drinking a mixed drink than a beer. Too bad I like beer, not mixed drinks. Maybe it will tone down with age.

Beaver13, Feb 17, 2005
Photo of warriorsoul
3.23/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Cornboy for this brew.
Pours a very cloudy, dark brown w/ almost a full finger of caramel head that lasted less than a minute...still impressive.
Sweet raisins grab my nostrils first w/ a hint of the alcohol. Also detecting cherries and grapes as well...top notch aromas.
Taste is not as impressive...at bit sour in its initial contact. Tastes less like raisins and more like prunes...this flavor doesn't leave the pallet too quickly either.
The mouthfeel is a bit unbalanced...it has a nice texture from what I would expect from a BW style, but its bitter aftertaste never really gets cleansed away after a fresh sip.
I doubt I would have another one of these, but certainly glad I had the opportunity to try. I'll stick to Flying Dog's IPA...it is more my style.

warriorsoul, Feb 14, 2005
Photo of IrishMike
2.4/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

bottled 2004 and purchased from the local liquor store at $7.99 a four pack.

Appearance- pretty damn dark, pours with a tiny tan head that doesn't maintain itself very well, leaving only a rim around the glass. A little bit of sediment floating around in the body upon close inspection, though it's hard to see due to it's murky body. Looks quite appealing.

Smell- Way sweet; the sweetness doesn't play well with the other nuances in it but rather dominates. In the far distance hints of cherries and other fruity characters can be picked up. Almost reminds me of bubblegum.

taste- Not exactly what i was hoping for. Initial hit of sweet sugar is far excessive, and also makes the alcohol presence that much more blatantly clear. These two characteristics take up so much of the palate that it's a struggle to find out what else is going on here. Some mild fruits, raisins, and a little caramel dance a little in the background. The huge malt backbone is still no match for the absolute unbalance of it's parts here, as any possible complexity is beaten to death by sugar and alcohol. No hops exist here as far as my mouth can tell.

mouthfeel- pretty thick and chewy, and quite sticky to boot. Still, that poorly masked alcohol doesn't sit too well in there.

drinkability- I wouldn't consider this by any means drinkable. High in alcohol (and you can TELL it is), with a taste that i don't find enjoyable by any means. Having one is more than enough for me, considering i've had less than that in one sitting (last time, i poured half the bottle down the drain).

This was the second time trying this brew, considering i bought i four pack, and the results this time were the same as last; definitely not to my liking. If this brew were to be aged for awhile to let the alcohol calm down and bring the malty characteristics forth, then it might very well be a decent drink. As it stands, i don't think i'll be finishing those other two bottles i have stashed away any time soon.

IrishMike, Feb 01, 2005
Photo of beerluvr
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a compact dark tan head sitting on top of clear deep ruby red liquid. Chocolate nose with a subdued yet noticeable fruitiness in the back. The taste offered a smooth, lush mouthfeel with notes of deep maltiness and light smoke and well balanced hoppy bitterness. Finishes smooth and balanced with some complexity, goes down easy. A nice offering from this brewery.

beerluvr, Jan 30, 2005
Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

$7.99 4/pack

Pours out a dark brown with purple tones throughout. The Head is typical of a high abv barleywine (not too much presence). There was a decent amount of free-floating yeast particles dancing around the glass. The aroma was heavy on raison and brown sugar. The sweetness at the front of the tongue spreads to bitterness on the side of the mouth. The back of the mouth is warmed with the alcohol presence. This is a nice example of an english BW and one that is not too intense for the beginner. I would like to lay this down for a year of so, but it is, by no means, too harsh in its production year.

PS- Awesome label!

ALESwhatCURESya, Dec 07, 2004
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quite possibly the best beer from Flying Dog, Horn Dog barleywine offers a deep mahogany body capped by a short head of creamy ivory foam. The head retention is limited, probably due at least in part to its 10.5% abv, and it leaves little lace about the glass. The nose delivers a soft blend of yeasty, berry-like fruitiness and caramelish (even chocolatey) malt. It's soft and lightly creamy in the mouth with a very fine, moderate carbonation and medium-full body. In keeping with the English barleywine style, malt dominates the flavor profile; accented by hop flavors and anchored by bitterness. Its malt is caramelish and subtly chocolatey, and even has a cusp of roastiness to it. Yeasty fruitiness and some leafy, subtly piney, and fruity hops help to round it and give it depth while a firm bitterness grounds it and leads to a dry, lingering finish. What's so nice about this barleywine, however, is that it's not overdone - although the alcohol is a bit high for the style and does become apparent halfway through the bottle. It's quite enjoyable, and very drinkable. Well done!

NeroFiddled, Nov 23, 2004
Photo of merlin48
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Horn Dog pours into a tulip glass a murky, deep chestnut brown with a small, beige head that vanishes quickly, leaving a nice lacing effect.
Aroma has a powerful malt assault. Caramel and chocolate are in the front, dark fruits in the middle, and some ctrusy and pine cone hops are in the background.
Mouthfeel is thick and rich, with low carbonation and an alcohol presence.
The taste features thick layers of malt, with chocolate and caramel, essence of rum, some citrusy hops, and raw alcohol. Pine cone bitter hoppiness emerges toward the finish.
This is a decent barleywine, with waves of malt sweeping away most of the hops presence. Could use a bit more hops balance, but I would buy this one again.

merlin48, Nov 07, 2004
Photo of Chsyhkr
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours nice chestnut color with a light tight head. Head dissapates due to alcohol

Some hops in the background but malt and caramel dominate.

Dried fruit, figs, and raisins leap out with a slight hop flavor and gentle bitterness to offset some of the sweetness.

Rich, but not cloyingly sweet, with a drier finish than I would expect from a beer of this gravity.

An excellent example of an English Style Barleywine. A tad more hop flavor and aroma would be nice. But an excellent beer anyway. Not the west coast hop bomb I thought it would be.

Great Beer!

Too bad we cannot buy it in NC.

Chsyhkr, Oct 21, 2004
Photo of moocey
1.7/5  rDev -55.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Tonight I'm losing my barleywine virginity with this bottle of Flying Dog Horn Dog. I'm not a huge fan of Flying Dog in the first place, but I'm reviewing this with an open mind since this is radically different from all their other brews.

Appearance - Deep, dark amber/brown.

Smell - Malty and alcoholic.

Taste - Good Gravy. This is way too sweet for my taste. It reminds me of raisin-flavored ny-quil. Cloyingly sweet with no bitterness to balance it out. I detect no hops. This brew has a high abv, but I certainly can't tell from the taste. I absolutely detest the flavor of this, but if you love sweet and raisiny, then this might be right up your alley.

Mouthfeel - Pretty Thick

Drinkability - Hell to the No. Mainly because of the taste, partially because of the alcohol level.

moocey, Oct 20, 2004
Photo of bultrey
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Eh... OK, I guess, for a beer. But subpar for a barlwywine. I can't go into too long a description here, because nothing really impressed me. Yeah, it's a barleywine... and I like barleywine alot, but either the hops or the alcohol are out of control, in my opinion, though. If you're a hophead, then you might enjoy this. Me, I like a balance between my mad malt and mad hops. There's some vinous, fruity malt character, and then the hops kick in, just overwhelming the palate. Or maybe it's that the alcohol is not well-hidden at all. Regardless, drinkability suffers. Mr. Malt needs to stand up for himself here and stop being pushed around by big bad hops. Eh.

bultrey, Oct 10, 2004
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, reddish-brown. A barely-there tan head that quickly disappears in to the ether. Smell is a rich maltiness. Caramel and floral hops.

Tastes of rich caramel malt. Fruity plum and spiced raisin. Citrusy hops in the finish and aftertaste. Sticky and rich in the mouth. Not bad. I like my barleywines a bit bolder and a bit more complex. This one is really smooth however and does have a nice fruitiness to mix things up. Not one I would drink over and over but solid.

ViveLaChouffe, Oct 05, 2004
Photo of TastyTaste
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoyed this beer, I haven't really had a barley wine I haven't enjoyed. I believe this is due to the fact that if you take the time and effort to brew a berley wine, you probably know what you are doing. Anyways, this poured an extremely deep, but visibly brown, brow. Smelled of raisins and rich roasted malts. Taste was very malty and vinous, good hop presence. Very drinkable, not bad of a deal (4 for $7.90). I would recommend this beer.

TastyTaste, Oct 03, 2004
Photo of sulldaddy
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

I am drinking this brew at room temp in a snifter. The bottle opens with a nice hiss. Pours a rich mahogany color with a light beige colored head foaming up and fading quickly to an edge layer. Aroma is ripe pears, plums and raisin. SOme piney hops and huge alcohol profile. Perhaps a whif of bourbon in there. First sip reveals a syrupy textured brew with mild, almost non-existent carbonation. Flavor is hard candy sweet up front with toffee and ripe fruit mixing in. Slightly astringent alcohol bite dominates the finish and predicts the strong warming sensation in my throat and belly. Not very smooth or easy to drink, but a decent overall beer.

sulldaddy, Sep 10, 2004
Photo of Southernbrew
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours brown with ruby hues and a miniscule head.

Nose is all malt with some sweetness and fruit.

Full bodied and quite smooth. Definitely of the English variety barley wines. Lots of sweet malts as well as caramel and a very apparent alcohol. The alcohol makes a strong appearance mixed with caramel, rum and fruit flavors.

An OK barleywine, it seems the flavors are not mixed especially well and the alcohol is very apparent. I would drink this again but I can think of others that are much better.

Southernbrew, Sep 02, 2004
Photo of Tballz420
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew is a dark purple/black colored brew, with a small tan, foam head on top. Big syrupy scent. The taste has a chewy malt base, bitter hop, some alcohol detectable. Got that great barlywine flavor, its just not as well blended or full tasting as the greats. The alcohol is a little too apparent.

Tballz420, Aug 24, 2004
Photo of Gusler
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer after its release from the 12-ounce brown bottle resides in the glass a murky brown with ruby high lights, the head is generous in size and semi-creamy in texture, the color a winsome light tan and as it slowly dematerializes the resultant lace a thick blanket to conceal the glass. Nose is sweet with malt, hints of fusel alcohol, caramel and a nice crisp clean nose overall. Start is cloyingly sweet, thick with malt and the top medium to full in feel to the palate. Finish has a brisk acidity with the hops pleasing in their spiciness; the aftertaste continues the sweetness with a hint of alcohol bitterness, maybe just a bit too sweet for me.

Gusler, Aug 10, 2004
Photo of mntlover
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark red with no real head just a half finger of foam that lasts the whole glass. Aroma is malt lots of malt with a dark fruity aroma almost wine like grapes, raisins ect. Taste is big on malt lots of chewy delicious malt, flavored with touch of dark fruits along with a small hop flavor and lightly bitter finish. Mouthfeel is big and full almost a meal. Drinkability is too good could throw back a few of these they are so good and go down so smooth could be dangerous.

mntlover, Aug 06, 2004
Photo of cbl2
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2003.


Pours mostly still, and predominantly opaque dark ruby brown, with a faint hazy film on top.


Mildly sweet grapey malts predominate the nose.


Mouthfeel is strikingly smooth at first tempered by a tartness due to alcohol as the fluid hits the back of the mouth. Flavors are mainly malt with some wine like aspects. Not that thick, but I feel like wanting to chew this one.

Not the best barley wine I've ever had, and not the worst either. It suffices, but doesn't inspire devotion like some I've sampled.

cbl2, Aug 03, 2004
Photo of aaronbeach69
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. vintage: 2003A from sams wine in chicago, served somewhat more chilled than necessary, but I let it slowly warm as I drank from goblet.. just didn't feel right taking it in normal glass.. anways the amazing smell begged for a glass that would trap and amplify the aroma.

appearance, dark .. not brown, but so dark red almost no red without light. Very tempting..

smell: amazing.. very fresh smell of some hops.. but more malty fruit.. choclaty, lotta carmel malt smell, actually an amzing smell, one of the my favorite smelling beers of all... wow.. so fresh smelling

taste: cold it tingles so much on the tip of the tounge, and as it mellows in teh middle into a hearty somewhat roasted flavor.. then the bitterness grabs the back of your tounge to remind what you are dealing with.. leaving a varying landscape of taste across your tounge...

mouthfell: fullness is almost a none issue until you are past the tip of tounge, which is paralyzed by the immidiate bite of this beer.. awesome.. followed by a full but not syrupy feeling.

drinkability: slowly, amazing... but will numb your mouth if you drink too quickly .. great to finish over about 10+ mins.. just enjoy and enjoy with patience

a very good beer... of the two barley wines I have had (horn dog and bigfoot) this is better.. (of course my own opinion, probably based somewhat on my immature understanding of the styles and the difference between english and american styles, also I have found my self to appreciate hoppy bears, but to truly love dark, more malty beers) my love maybe cuz of the great tingling bit on the tip of the tounge or the darker, somewhat roasted attributes

aaronbeach69, Jul 12, 2004
Photo of ppoitras
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12ozer purchased as a single from the Spirit Haus, Amherst, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" beige/light tan head above a somewhat cloudy reddish-copper brew. Head hung around for a reasonable amount of time, and laced ok. Aroma is kind of busy with a malty, somewhat fruity, definitely alcohol-y. Makes things interesting for the nose. Taste is sweetly malty, then fades into a boozy warmth that carries through the mouth and down the gullet. Mouthfeel is extremely smooth for a barleywine, which scares me, and drinkability is excellent, from both a multiple serving and interest-piquing viewpoint. The best Flying Dog I've had, by far. Not sure if that's saying much, but this was a good brew.

ppoitras, Jun 22, 2004
Photo of meathookjones
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Though a lot of their other beers are average I always have a hard time turning down a barley wine I haven’t tried. This on pours a deep brown color with reddish highlights and a slight white head that fell to a collar fairly quickly. Smells of fruit sweetness with a bit of alcohol and a touch of hops, fairly pleasant smelling overall. The sweetness starts the taste out here before a hop bitterness and alcohol kicked in for the finish. This is defiantly a thick barley wine with a great mouthfeel. This is easily my favorite beer from the brewery and a good barley wine in its own right.

meathookjones, Jun 15, 2004
Photo of ark57
3.18/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It pours a somewhat murky, very dark brown (almost black) with ruby tinges and a thin light tan head. The aroma is yeasty, malty, fruity (cherry), and hoppy (mint and herbal). The very sweet malt is up front in the taste and it has some fruitiness as well. It is a bit harsh from the high ABV. Theer is ample bitterness (herbal, minty, earthy) and then a peppery alcohol punch in the finish. Not a bad beer, but it is a bit harsh for my tastes.

ark57, May 10, 2004
Photo of Mitchster
4.65/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

OG=26 P, 10.5% ABV.
Pours out to a semi-hazy dark brown, forming a small light-tan head with poor retention and nice lacing. Carbonation is mild to moderate and requires a hefty pour to coax a head out of this. Aroma is what you would expect for a barleywine...lots of hops, lots of sticky roasted malt, vanilla, cocoa, caramelized sugar. Mouthfeel is creamy and soft with a medium-dense body. Taste is better than expected...the aroma is overdone with hops, but they are nicely held in tow by the big malts. There is a nice milk chocolate thing going on in the aftertaste with some interesting notes of licorice and some pleasant lingering cookie-like sweetness with dark fruits. Very nice. The finish is smooth with a touch of bourbon and dates. Bitterness is minimal. Cleanly fermented with no off-flavors. Alcohol is imperceptable. I just love this aftertaste! Sippable or gulpable...you choose.

Not being a fan of their other brews, I give kudos to Flying Dog on this one. It rich, and smoother than most in the style. The balance is well-done and it's spot-on for the style. One of the best Barleywines I've had, believe it or not.

Mitchster, May 10, 2004
Photo of Stubbie1
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Much surprised with this offering. Nice deep dark mahogany color. A thin tan head on top fades away to nothing. Sweet aroma, plums and sugar come to mind along with figs. There is a slight hint of a bitterness in the aroma…hops? The taste is warming and smooth malt start mild bitterness and a sweet finish. Watch that 10.5%, it will sneak up on ya. Other than that, it is easy to drink. This is a very nice offering from the Flying Dog.

Stubbie1, May 10, 2004
Horn Dog Barley Wine Style Ale from Flying Dog Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 1,196 ratings.