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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,213 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,213
Reviews: 814
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.98%
Wants: 56
Gots: 75 | 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: 1,213 | Reviews: 814 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

"Ten year of brewing" stamped cap. Dark dim "bottle matching" hued pour with golden glints of light peeking through the bottle coated with a thin layer of tan suds with some suspended chunks in the glass.

Standard barleywine aroma of raisins and cake malts.

First swigs: Deep yet balanced molasses malt overdrive and American hops kick back recoil. Oatmeal & brown sugar with some touch of maple syrup rummy awl-kee-hawl. Dry yet lingering date & flour aftertaste. Relaxed 10.5 % ABV.

Sticky lip smackin' thick syrup feel, with crisp carbonation. Medium to full body that falls onto the sugary side at the end.

Last swigs: Molasses and biscuit flour American Barley wine. Looking forward to cellaring. Subdued hops near dead ringer for SNBF.

Photo of maxpower
3.8/5  rDev -1%
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.

Photo of Beaver13
2.18/5  rDev -43.2%
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.

Photo of warriorsoul
3.29/5  rDev -14.3%
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.

Photo of IrishMike
2.46/5  rDev -35.9%
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.

Photo of beerluvr
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
3.99/5  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!

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
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!

Photo of merlin48
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

Horn Dog Barley Wine Style Ale from Flying Dog Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 1,213 ratings.