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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

1,200 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,200
Reviews: 809
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 12.21%
Wants: 56
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: 1,200 | Reviews: 809 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of HappyHourHero
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big fat foamy, light brown colored head left a thick coat of lace. Dark brown beer, almost black colored with a ruby glow. Strong roasted barley aroma, a bit of malty alcohol. Smooth, almost creamy mouthfeel, bubbles float across the tongue. Chocolate malt flavor, finishes with a coffee bitterness. The body is middle of the road, not too thick. Lots of fresh barley in the aroma and flavor.

3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very typical head on a very typical pour. This stuff has a thick brown color, somewhat like syrup.
There is an initial hop presence which quickly yields to a buttery, bread-ish malt flavor. Very smooth buttery mouthfeel to go with the somewhat diacetyl characteristic of the beer. Aside from this there is a big, sweet malt presence with caramel flavors.
It all adds up to a sweet smooth barleywine that goes down well when it's warm. This would be a good after-dessert brew, methinks. Maybe with carrot cake or something. Mmmm cake.

Photo of coasterfreak75
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The pour was very dark chocolate brown with a slight red hue. A very short head that left a wisp of white lace around the pint. The smell is that of very strong alchohol with a hint of malt sweetness. It starts with a light hop kick followed by a quick surge of malt sweetness, then it ends with another hop kick followed by a light alchohol burn. All and all not a bad sipping beer, but I didn't find it refreshing in any way. This would be a great beer to sit with friends and talk about old times.

Photo of beergeek279
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in the 12 oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The color is dark brown, darker than any other barleywine I've seen, with a wispy ring of white head. The smell is a strong malt and alcohol with a very slight hop. The taste is very strongly malty sweet with a decent if not overpowering hop balance in the taste, and an alcohol that is just there in the taste that adds a warming quality. Mouthfeel is creamy. As for drinkability, a relatively mellow barleywine and one I could have a few of.

A nice and subtle offering from Flying Dog. Not necessarily a beer that will sledge you over the head, but still enjoyable, and one that I would have again.

Photo of Billolick
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, pours dark almond and cloudy. moderate head, settles into tiny bubble light film, and leaves average lacing. Very malty, with alcohol present. Medium bodied, finish seems abit thin. Hop wallop never really kicks in. What happenend to the hops? This is one reserved BWine, English in style perhaps is a usable excuse.

Photo of pezoids
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Vintage 2003 printed on the bottle. This beer poured out thick, syrupy and dark. An extremely deep and dark amber-brown color with a thin film of a head. Alcohol and sweet fruit malt nose, with the presence of molasses and licorice spice. The taste is strong and syrupy sweet, almost sticky. Dry alcohol presence is right along side. Full of flavor and full, as well, in body. This is a tasty sipper with some guts to it. Not great, but a semi-enjoyable strong ale.

Photo of tavernjef
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark and sludgy brown; somewhat of a brick-like red edging with a thin tan top of compact cappucchino-like frothyness, fades somewhat feverishly to a thin ring and very minimal spots of lace in a glaring clearish coat. Aroma is of subdued malts rendering some fairly heavy molasses tones mixed with some plum and raisin and bits of smokey-like toffee. Warmth subsides within as some brandy-like alcohol seeps into the nose. Taste has more of the same with a slightly weakened front end but fills up with a dark fruity malty presence across the palate where plum, molasses, and toffee leak into a substraining mix of lightly textured chocolate spices and sugared candy caramel towards the finish. The chocolate tones are light and late with a nice little effective dryness thats favorable and welcomed. Flavors need to be bolder, heavier, richer, what have you, there's not much happening and it's length is tempered. It's feel is comparable with a good medium body and texture and has just enough edge in what could be justified as a hop profile of somekind and its warming of alcohol is sufficiently present within bigger gulps with a slight stinging twinge. A bit tame by my standards, but not bad.

Photo of Imbiber
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep cherry red, light tan head, lightly carbonated. Aroma is fruity, alcoholic and a bit vinous, quite pleasant. Taste is quite sweet and malty with fruit and caramel notes coming through. Hops are in the minority but try to push through with moderate success. Bitter-sweet finish to an extent, with caramel lingering.

A nice beer, but maybe not quite big enough on flavour (especially hop bitterness) for the style.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep murky brown hue with a nice sized bubbly tan head leaves behind fine specks of even lacing. Aroma: Deep layers of sugary malts just amazing stuff here, leaves not much hops this is a malt monster. Taste: Flavor contains viscous rich tones of sugary mix of pine sap and caramel malts with candi like tasting sugar very big and complex. Mouthfeel: Full bodied so very full great to sip don't try to handle to much big ol' mouthfeel. Drinkability: Beware high abv loads of malts and complexity great tasting barleywine, a bit one sided on the malts for my likings like a bigfoot without all of the hops.

Photo of filabrazilia
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark amber with a small off white head. Good lacing sheets the glass.

There are elements of chocolate, carmel and hops in the nose. There is an alcohol presence in the nose that is a little distracting.

The alcohol presence persists in the flavor and dampens what could be a very good barleywine. There are roasted malts, chocolate and plums present in the flavor.

This is a fairly creamy barleywine with a dry alcohol finish. Again, the alcohol detracts a bit from the overall experience.

This is a fairly drinkable beer that could benefit from more aging. The alcohol is too prominent for my liking and diminishes the quality of this beer. I believe a little time in the basement should mellow this into a fine beer.

Photo of avylover
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark hazed brown with mahogony highlights. Aroma of a sweet somewhat fruity maltiness. Hops prevelant along with tons of malt. Taste starts off with a heavy dose a caramel maltiness, then a good dose of bittering hops takes over, drying out the tongue and balancing out the hefty sweetness. Think of a west coast barleywine on the malty side. The makes for a good mix. Good thick mouthfeel. By style not too drinkable, this is a heavy brew.

Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Easily the best Flying Dog brew that I've had. The dark mahogany body was too briefly capped by a thin tan head. Very little lacing noted.

The nose is very light but gives off subtle fruit notes along with rich butterscotch and toasted malts. This follows in the very warming flavors that blend nicely to produce a very rich fruity overlay to the rich malt base. Quite sweet and cloying the brew nonetheless satisfies with its richness and high alcohol sense. The alcohol is not buried here but rather celebrated within the barley wine depth.

The mouthfeel is full, creamy and smooth with a bit of bite from the high alcohol finish. Limited drinkability due to the sweet richness and high ABV.

Photo of marc77
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy dark chestnut. Thin, but persistent beige head leaves loose lace. Pronounced butterscotch along with burnt toffee hit the nose upfront, then are ensued by pungent, earthy hop and searing ethanol heat. Mellow cocoa notes and bubblegum esters surface as the beer breathes. Buttery brittle and caramelized flavors are the dominant malt components. Permeating alcohol presence melds with residual sweetness to lend a black licorice and pepper undertone. Mild hop bitterness and singed biscuit surface mid palate and attempt dryness, but are readily overrun by rich, sugary caramel. Understated earthy, woody hop combines with static alcohol lending a burning, ozone like sensation. Full bodied, with a viscous, creamy, luscious mouthfeel. Sour plum esters arise late and add a sublt tart contrast. Finishes with palate enveloping ethanol heat, buttery and oaky bourbon notes and dryish unsweetened baker's chocolate. A unique, raw barleywine with assertive sweetness and marginal hop bitterness. Heavy on the palate and a true belly warmer. Tasty and rough, but not offensive like their K-9 Cruiser.

Photo of ngandhi
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Spicy nose with very volatile hops. Tastes of baked apple, touch of grain -- fruity and floral. A reasonable interpretation of the style and one of the easiest to drink -- alcohol is hidden very well -- but comes to be a bore on the palette after a while (which is pretty hard -- good or not -- for a barleywine).

Relax, relax.

Photo of Ellbert
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

The apperance on the brew is good. It is a deep blood red color with a slightly off white head. The head faded pretty fast but looks nice as there is a beautiful lace and a small layer of foam still on the top. The color is very dense and cannot see through it at all.

The smell is mostly hops, almost like an IPA with a touch of spices. The spices almost make it smell like a Belgian dark ale.

The taste is very fruity. Grapefruit and prunes have a taste in here and there is also a grainy taste. Alcohol seems hidden very well in this brew at fist but after a few sips you can really taste it closing each drink.

The mouthfeel is thick and chewy, very nice.

A decent brew however not very easy to drink at 10.5%. A good winter warmer.

Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2002 vintage bottle, tasted 11/16/03. Poured nice layer of pinprick bubbles, like a nitro pull, that dissolved into a thin layer of bubbles posing as a head. Dark reddish-brown body. Big smell of coffee malts, raisin and plum flavors, very chewy, with a subtle hop balance. Still, none of these makes for a great barleywine compared to the others, but then it's a style in which there's a lot of competition to go "bigger," innit?

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. amber bottle. Typical funky graphics characteristic of the brewery on the bottle. Listed as vintage 2003A.

Poured a deep, dark tan in color. Just the tiniest of wispy head on the edges of the glass. This ring of lace tries to leave some lace but falls short. Aromas are of alcohol-soaked dark fruit and something else...tough to identify. For some reason, "murky" comes to mind. Almost an earthen-"dusty" scent. It wasn't unpleasant, just a strange combination of aromas. Flavor is rather uninspired. Starts out with a good dose of dark fruits mixed with the medicinal alcohol flavor but began to break down. Almost a gritty...chalky flavor sets in. Not a hoppy bitterness, though. Finished with a semi-sourness that unfortunately lingered on the palate. Mouthfeel was very thin for the style. Low-medium body. Drinkability is decent. Alcohol is present, but not oppressive. A nice beer to drink on this cold winter's night. I'd be curious to see how this ages and see if the flavor comes together.

Photo of budgood1
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

my bottle states the vintage as 2001C.
this horn dog starts out by pouring out a somewhat dark and murky ruby red..bordering on brown with sediment shaken and stirred in. thin but dense head appear and reduces down to a fine lace. malted fruit aroma...hopping evident...slightly solvent, lots of nose to this one! this is one big and bad brew...tastes of thick and luscious port...lots of grape and wine characteristics, followed by muted tones of chocolate and caramel. alcohol very evident. definite hop and spice bitterness balances out the massive and quite chewable malty mouthfeel. in fact the hops really seem to linger on the tongue and do a delicate balancing act for attention with the brutish alcohol. sublimely smooth...easy sipping, and the welcome warming effect make for an awesome barley wine. horn dog indeed!


re-review vintage 2003A

pours out a deep and dark scarlet/ruby colour. short lived head and practically no lace. intense vinous, fruited, malten aroma. cherry, plum, raisin and other fruitcake aromas behind a definite alcohol sting. more choco and caramel flavours make themselves apparent...as do the spicy, liquorice alcohol notes again. this seems intensely boozy. i guess it should. it would be my guess that this recipe hasn't changed, and that some cellaring would be advantageous. i have three of the 2001, and and now three of the 2003 laid down. a little goes a long ways! let it warm and sip accordingly.

Photo of bigbubba
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful dark mahogony color but not much head on it. The smell is good but not as enticing as other barley wines. A lot of alcohol in this beer, but it is still very easy to drink. Too easy. I see why they sold it in 4 packs not 6.

Less hops than other American microbrew barley wines but probably truer to the original style. It seems to need more hops or less alcohol to really balance properly.

The long time it takes to savor one of these lets you taste the difference as it warms from fridge temperature to much warmer. It tastes great in the mid 50's but if you start there it may well be room temperature before you finish. Start cold and take your time.

Photo of nomad
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark brown color with a body so viscuous it slid about in th glass like a hammock, leaving no traces behind.

Smelled of highly winey malt, caramel, apple, toffee, roasty notes with some dry spice, and woody chocolate - a load of harvest scents. Some licorice notes too, this was a very woody and earthy version of a barleywine.

Taste is juicy and fruity with a wonderful burn to it. Vinuous as all hell, but roasty and with a sharp hop and alcohol turn. Definitively complex though immature, it also had oud-bruiny cherry flavors, big woody shots, and some unctuous grapefruit juice as it opend. A thirst quenching beer, it had a juicy, bitter and then drying hop profile toward the end. A funky orchestra of flavors capped off by a minty spiced hop leaf finish.

A gnarly and complex beer, with some aging I think this will be great, so I've put two in the cellar... oh wait, never mind on the cellaring.

Photo of ManekiNeko
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle served at approximately cellar temperature in a Trois Pistoles goblet.

Appearance: Dark ruby brown with a slow-forming and frothy tan white head. Head eventually goes away to a film and a ring of foam at the edge of the glass. Wee bits of lace are left on the glass.

Smell: Caramel and pruny malts with some intense floral and peppery hop aromas. Piney hop notes.

Taste: Toasted, slightly smoky, caramel malts are quite prominent. Sweet molasses overtones. Herby and peppery hops on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick and viscous with long-lasting aftertastes.

Drinkability: Not quite and American-style barleywine, but close. I don't think this one will stand extended aging.. maybe just from year to year. Still, pretty good if you're willing to plunk down the $$$. The label art rocks, too.

Horn Dog Barley Wine Style Ale from Flying Dog Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 1,200 ratings.