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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

821 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 821
Hads: 1,260
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 14.84%
Wants: 63
Gots: 100 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Flying Dog Brewery
Maryland, United States | website

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Horn Dog Barley Wine Style Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 821 | Hads: 1,260
Photo of AwYeh
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2012 bottle poured into snifter

A: Nice deep but clear mahogany color with a finger of fine off-white head that dissipates rapidly.

S: Dark fruit, most notably raisins, prunes/plums- there's a light tanginess although they're mostly sweet. Sweet bready malts, just a bit roasted. Booze totally hidden.

T: Dark fruit once again, big raisin flavor this time, caramel and toffee malts, molasses. Nice light bitter finish even if I can't place any hop flavors.

M: Medium-bodied, moderately carbonated; smooth, creamy, and sticky. I'm not sure that those aren't contradictory, but it's a nice mouthfeel that seems to lend more body to the beer than it would otherwise have.

O: Solid barleywine. I don't know if I agree with the label's claim that it tastes like licorice and chocolate, but I'll pick this up again.

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Photo of Mongrel
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This bad boy is five years old - vintage 2008. Poured from a cute 7 oz. pony bottle.

Appearance is a murky caramel brown with quickly dissipating head, Little to no lace. Interesting.

Smells herbal, with clove, cinnamon, brown sugar and plenty of dark fruit. A good whiff of booze too.

Taste is immediately sweet, but also brings some chai tea-like spices, like the aforementioned cinnamon and cloves, plus vanilla. Warm with booze and brown sugar, but also a touch of cool pine from hops.

Mouthfeel is thin -- very thin considering the gravity of this beer, but still coats the palate nicely.

Five years might have been too long for this beer. I just happened to have a fresh one on tap this evening as well, and it was much fuller in body, and ultimately more satisfying. The fresh one was also a much sweeter malt bomb. Two years on this beer might be better, to help temper some of the sweetness, but before it becomes too thin and herbal.

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Photo of MaartenvanDoorn
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A very nice beer. iIt was poured from the bottle into the glass. The appearance is very good: not black but dark brown, and with a very nice amount of foam. The taste is also great: a nice sweet taste, with hints of vanilla and coffee and nuts. Nothing to dominant, good balance. Very nice beer!

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Photo of Dsimenson
4.31/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a 16oz plastic champaign flute from BevMo. Poured conservatively, but it build a 1/2" head that degenerates to lacing after a few sips. Appearance is thick unfiltered honey. Rich, complex aroma. Flavor is bold, hops, some turpentine, and alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium thick, enjoyable. Overall I really enjoy this. I've only had Couple other barley wine style--I especially recall Bigfoot which I really enjoy. This one is very good, but a bit different in character.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, 2012 vintage. Pours very hazy dark reddish brown color with a small cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of caramel, molasses, toffee, toast, raisin, prune, biscuit, light chocolate, light roast, floral, and toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark malt and fruity notes; with good strength. Taste of caramel, molasses, toast, toffee, biscuit, nuttiness, raisin, prune, chocolate, light roast, floral, light pepper, and toasted earthiness. Minimal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, molasses, toast, toffee, biscuit, nuttiness, chocolate, raisin, prune, light roast, and toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Awesome complexity and balance of dark malt and fruity notes; with zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very creamy and slick mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent barleywine! Great complexity and balance of dark malt and fruity flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.46/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Burgundy pour with a small white light head. Nice lacings.

S: Dark dried fruits and rich sweet malt. Cherry kernel bitterness.

T: Follows the smell. They don't mess with the basics.

M: Sweet aftertaste. Fullbodied with no carbonation.

O: Fantastic, probably my bottle has been properly cellared for some time, but I think it would improve further with longer cellaring.

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Photo of brewski09
4.59/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

VINTAGE 09LL 12 oz bottle poured into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter from my beer fridge (so about 50 degrees).

A - Clear deep brown, not quite 100% or brilliantly clear. A nice 2cm tan head that is thick and tight. It begins to recede almost immediately, but leaves a heavy lacing on the glass. This looks really nice so far.

S - I get a good amount of oxidation already from this beer, just pouring it. But it is around 4 years old, so that's to be expected. Smells like there may be a light barrel aging on this one under the Sherry oxidation tones. Dark fruits like plum and cherries (lightly sour/underripened) dance sweetly around with the other aromas. Maybe a little licorice? No tobacco, which would have completed this profile wonderfully. Pretty sure there are figs in this one too, but its been so long since I've had a good, ripe fig.

S (update) - The oxidation breaths off like a good wine and gets a lot lighter, balancing the profile with more cherry and fig. Let this one sit for a few minutes as you are drinking it.

T - Licorice and sherry with a bit of cherry like a deep red wine, then back to the licorice. This one just keeps alternating back and forth, refusing to be nailed down into one place. That dry cherry kicks in on the back end again as the mouth starts to clear a bit.

M - Thick and velvety. This one is a palate coater, so don't start with it in a tasting. It isn't overly sugary, and it isn't resiny or oily either. It is just there the way it is. Maybe a bit heavy on the sugars once the end of the glass is near, but still enjoyable. Sort of like a nice Belgian Quad.

O - This was my first time drinking the Horn Dog, so I have no fresh example to compare it too, but I would have to say this was a great beer. It has a little bit of everything, except noticeable hop characteristics. I don't know if they were there, or just faded over the last several years. I'll have to pick up a fresh one and try it next release. Much of the "spices" referenced in the brewery description have aged out.

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Photo of Nightrain
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured in to a tulip glass
appearance: a dark brownish red with a 1/4 in whit head.
smell: burnt sugar, molasses, and caramel.
taste: sweet and malty up front that blends well with the hops with a slit bitter finish that lingers.
mouthfeel: medium body and mouth feel.

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Photo of scotorum
3.62/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

In Maryland looking for local brews I can't get at home. The name made me laugh and barleywine is a style I find interesting.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Snoopy and Woodstock ceramic mug. like I said I am on travel and forgot to pack a tulip glass.

a: Rich dark red-brown. Not much tan head but some lacing.

s: Dark malt and prunes.

t: Yup if they made a strong beer out of prunes, it might taste like this. Moderate to heavy alcohol and/or hop bite. The label says it should taste of chocolate and licorice. Do those add up to prune?

m: Beer! Smooth with low carbonation made up for by the dark fruiity-bite.

o: Similar to Brooklyn Monster as a dark whallop, but tastes better with the prunelike fruitiness, although the funky who-soaked-gym-socks-in-the-wort in Monster is hinted at here too. At my age prune flavor is appealing LOL.

I'd buy this again, and may on my way back to Mastadonachusetts.. Another good store lined up for the voyage home tomorrow.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Flying Dog goblet. Vintage 12cc near the barcode.

pours a dark reddish brown color with a slight white head. Smell is classic barleywine with sweet alcohol and fruits on the nose. Taste is big on the plums and dates and figs up front with a sweet candy taste on the back end. wow. impressive and quite easy to drink. alcohol is very faint and hidden well. heavier side of medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall a fairly complex and pleasant example of a barleywine. Got this for $4.99 / 4 pack and am definitely impressed. Will enjoy drinking the other 3.

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Photo of cbutova
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the very few mini-bottles I have come across. 2011 vintage I believe, "Vintage 0811."

A- Poured into a snifter from the bottle with a dark amber, opaque body. Very small hiss when opening the bottle foreshadowed the formation of just a small cloud and single bubble ring atop the beer, almost no head action. No lacing to speak of as this ends up looking more like a nice glass of wine.

S- Very strong aroma immediately upon opening the bottle. The snifter allows it to really hit me with strong fruit and old caramel notes. Some vinous sherry and port hints along with those of dusty basement, molasses and slight alcohol.

T- A very big flavor packed into the small bottle. Reminds me of JW Lees and Old Stock in ways with a huge dried fruit/raisin/vinous fruit quality and that good aged caramel feel that comes in Old Ales. Malts lend molasses, brown sugar, toasted nut and the aforementioned caramel. Somewhat sweet overall and no hops to speak of at this point.

MF- Fairly silky despite a low overall carbonation. Body itself has a thick, oily consistency and does well with the strong flavors at hand. Slight alcohol warming but for 10% this ABV is well hidden.

A good malt complexity and very well hidden ABV along with some aged characteristics I see in my favorite Old Ales. Nothing to complain about and a Barleywine that fans of the style should give a shot.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Horn Dog Barley Wine Style Ale
Flying Dog Brewery
Style: English Barleywine
ABV: 10.20 %
Vintage: 2013

LOOK: Clear amber with ruby hues. A solid pour yields a good few inches of foam, where the retention is excellent.

SMELL: Malty and fruity aroma, alcohol is also apparent. Toffee, caramel and toasted malts emerge more as it warms.

TASTE: Very fruity upfront reminiscent of fruit snacks. Hops are leafy and mild, lending only a slight bitterness, Fruity and a bit boozy, with notes of strawberry and date. A bit of toffee and rich caramel are around the edges. Becomes more nutty as it approaches room temperature.

FEEL: Full bodied, medium carbonation, drinks smooth and easy. Malty flavors linger on the palate, with a restrained sweetness.

OVERALL: A solid American Barleywine, and easier drinking than most. For 10.2% alcohol, there is only a slight evidence in the taste, This was pretty good overall.

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Photo of gillagorilla
3.74/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a Flying Dog goblet

A: It is a deep brown with tinges of deep amber in there around the edges. There is even a bit of light lacing. The head is only about a finger, but disappears as soon as it appears.

S: You get a very light pine scent right before the malt sweetness powers through along with a bit of sugary chocolate. There is also a nice toasty roast in there as well.

T: The taste on this BW is very mild and even. I don't get much complexity and the sweetness is there but quite faded and subdued. It really tastes exactly like it smells. There are no hops that I can really place, but to me it seems they are what tie the whole thing together as a nice simple package that leaves a very subtle mouthfeel that is almost nonexistent.

M: There is almost no carbonation and it is deceptively smooth. Unless you were focusing on the mouthfeel, you wouldn't notice it, since it is so minimal. Also, you feel it most when you hold it in your mouth to warm up a bit.

O: This was my first English BW. I wasn't blown out of the water by this, but it is a decent and solid BW that is very drinkable. It is up against stark competition with Bigfoot, however that one is an American BW. There is nothing stellar about this BW but it has no alcohol burn unlike some other ones, which make it ready on day one.

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Photo of roundthewaygirls
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

poured into a tumbler

A: brown with an orange hue. murky. a little light gets through. no head.

S: smells great. dark fruits, figs, dates plums. grape, vinous sourness. alcohol. very pungent. a slight grainy hint.

T: sweet, fruity, sticky. i'm hit with a vinous tang. grape tannins. booze is ever present. maple syrup finish. grains or burnt toast on top.

M: viscous, coats the mouth. booze.

O: sweet and tangy. multi-dimensional. BOOZY. i'm very surprised. i like flying dog well enough, but this is a very memorable barley wine in my opinion.

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Photo of JamesMN
4.04/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep mahogany and one of the darkest Barleywines I've seen. Thin cap of off-white, almost tan, foam.

Aroma: A very rich and interesting bouquet of raisin, plum, molasses, and a touch of black liquorish.

Taste: Starts with a mix of dark fruit juices and a base of amber and caramel malts. The flavor stays pretty consistent throughout but has enough complexity to it that it never becomes repetitive. Perhaps the most immediately shocking component is that the 10.2% ABV is really not present in the flavor. It simply adds a liqueur-like heat to the finish which really brings out the raisin and fig flavors. There isn't much for hop character besides a persistent bitterness. At 45 IBUs it's not much more powerful than a Pale Ale but is definitely enough to make your palate take notice. A real nice balance between all the components.

Mouthfeel: Full and viscous in body with a velvet-like smoothness despite somewhat disruptive carbonation. Easy drinking for such a big beer.

Final Thoughts: Flying Dog's Horn Dog English Barleywine is a pretty great beer. However, it lacks the certain special quality that sets pretty great beers apart from world class brews. If you enjoy Barleywines and Scotch Ales I'd highly recommend seeking this one out because it is sure to please your palate. Would I drink it again? Yes.

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Photo of ksimons
4.21/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-a dark amber with ruby highlights and a thin layer of light tan head that quickly disappears to leave a bit of lace on top

S-a large amount of caramel malt sweetness, rum soaked raisins, and light dark fruits

T-tastes similar to the smell, taste is heavy on caramel and dark fruity sweetness, finishes with a slight hops bitterness and alcohol warming

M-medium body, good carbonation, slight bitter aftertaste

Overall I like a lot of malt in my beer so I really enjoyed this. Really nice caramel and fruit sweetness with a little bit of an alcohol kick. I will gladly have again.

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Photo of Greywulfken
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

7 oz bottle (tiny!) from 2008

A: in a tulip, dark brown beer with a slim tan head, temporary minor lacing

S: dark fruit malt aromas, toffee caramel sweetnesses, some earthy, musty notes

T: sweet dense bread and dark chewy fruit, caramel and holiday spice

M: medium weight, smooth, slippery, no real carbonation, little sticky, little coating

O: a decent barleywine, but nothing to rave about - nothing wrong with it, but for a 5-year-aged brew, I guess I'm expecting something more.

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Photo of MickeyBeer
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle that I picked up at the Deli Lama

A- Pours a beautiful deep red color with about a finger of light tan head. Beautiful lacing left behind.

S- Aroma is of barley, hops, caramel, and a little bit roasty. Nice nose on this one.

T- Taste has a good deal of hops and barley and is balanced with a good deal of sweetness. Makes this beer very smooth.

M- Full bodied, smooth, with a slightly dry finish. The combination of sweetness and hops covers the 10.2% ABV really well.

O- Really tasty barleywine. Well balanced with a nice finish. This is one of the best barleywines I have had for the price.

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Photo of 1up
4.57/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

13oz Brandy Snifter

A - Dark Brown with slight red highlights
S - Not overpowering. Bread, toffee, caramel, vanilla
T - Same as smell but stronger
M - Medium bodied, feels right for the style
O - Looking forward to aging this, the malts are already complex and excellent. One of my favorite English Barley Wines and way underrated.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.87/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vintage '13 BB. Poured into a tulip.

Looked like it was going to pour pretty flat, but the contours of the tulip glass gushed forth with a last minute purge of almost three fingers of tan head. The beer is a lovely crimson brown color with decent clarity. Excellent retention.

Great English-style barleywine aromas of dried fruits, cherry, and toffee. Phenolic and elixiry with medicinal cough syrup notes and herbal and tea-like hops noticeable. Don't get me wrong with some of those descriptions, this is what I look for. Horn Dog has a sweet and fruity nose of a pretty high standard considering this barleywine is super fresh.

RIch flavors of fig, cherry, burnt toffee malts, plum, English hops, and raisin. Super-duper malt bomb with lots of caramelization present. Complexity is held in check, but lies in the maltiness, as the prominent flavors are right upfront. This would age like a champ. A little too sweet, and that drags out the finish a bit too much. More of a tea-like hop presence and a slight medicinal note in the front-middle.

Mouthfeel is decent, if not a little sufferingly average. Body is medium. Drinkability is dangerously high. Carbonation is fine and puffy. It's just too unassuming. I guess I'm looking for heft and chunk, even though it's not needed. I need a reason to sip this one and not guzzle it down at the speed that I'm enjoying it... sigh. I feel like I'm bitching for no reason. Too fit for me, perhaps.

Horn Dog definitely surprised me. I love the style, and Horn Dog is a fitting example. Recommended.

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Photo of barczar
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage.

Pours an opaque deep brown with garnet highlights, chunks of sediment, and a foamy quarter inch khaki head that dissipates fairly quickly.

Raisins, prunes, booze, sweet figs, and molasses start the aroma. Toffee, earthy notes, and a hint of sherry add complexity.

Flavor is exceedingly sweet initially, with toasted caramel malt, figs, and prunes eventually giving way to underpinnings of tart dark cherries and a hint of grapefruit, finishing slightly dry and a touch bitter. Subsequent sips reveal a flavor reminiscent of St Joseph children's aspirin, along with woodiness.

Body is thick, with minimal carbonation and fair alcohol warmth.

Overall, this has aged fairly well. Lots of fruity esters have emerged, and though the balance is sweet, there's enough bitterness left to round out the finish. Not extremely complex.

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Photo of Phelps
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A tiny bottle calls for a tiny glass, so this was poured into my Three Floyd's tasting snifter.

Decidedly darker than the usual barleywine -- a deep chocolate-brown. The head is less retentive, fizzling away after a few seconds.

Herbal hops, dark chocolate, dark cherry, orange, booze. Young and bright.

Flavor is sweeter. Good amount of toffee, orange peel, brown sugar, maple, raisin. Very smooth blend.

Velvety medium body is just a touch thin. Carbonation is much lighter, just a soft fizz.

Well-blended, enjoyable flavors. Flying Dog just recently pulled out of AZ, so it's nice to still get to try their beers.

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Photo of sjones5045
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The look of this beer reminds me of a flat coke. Carmel color with very minimal head. The smell come through as an intensely sweet barley wine. The taste is actually better than the look and smell which is alway a good thing. It is a very sweet fruity style barley wine that I definitely can see you have to be in the right mood for. Overall it's pretty good for what it is. It is smooth and it is easy to drink this 10%abv that is pretty hidden. Not great but something worth trying.

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Photo of brod25
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky, deep dark brown color. Kinda looks like dark apple cider. Has a small light tan head.

Aroma of grapes, dark fruit and a little booze.

Taste starts with grapes, raisins and figs and finishes with a sweet malt, vanilla and light alcohol flavor. Hides the booze pretty well for the ABV.

Mouth feel is medium bodied with a low to medium carbonation.

Overall a tasty, balanced Barleywine.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.76/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a dark burgundy color with little specks of yeast floating in an otherwise clear body. The head is a two finger mocha color with fantastic texturing - it's one of the thicker heads I've seen, and after several minutes, a thick collar remains planted on the glass. Lacing is spotty but beautifully uniform where it does appear.

S: It's a typical barleywine aroma - dried dark fruits, licorice, leather, tobacco, and earthy hops. Other notes include marzipan and perhaps vague peanut brittle. Well executed if textbook to a fault.

T: Initially, the flavor profile is slightly nutty, and then the dark fruits make an appearance en masse. It finishes with lots of leafy tobacco and mild bitterness. The said bitterness helps cohesively counter what could have been a very sweet barleywine. Booze does appear to a degree on the aftertaste...luckily, the booze is pleasant instead of oppressive. Flavor-wise, it unfolds into something less sweet and more savory over time. It could use a little extra malt-driven complexity, but otherwise it's hard to complain about this one.

M: Wow, I'm impressed with how soft and delicate this is on the palate. A very syrupy and 'wet' brew with a long, lingering aftertaste. Carbonation is only detectable when one concentrates for it - after all, isn't that how it should be in something like this? Its texture inspires one to swish it around in the tongue rather than gulp it down.

O: This doesn't break ground, it's just a rock solid no-frills barleywine. It hits a good balance between being easy to drink and easy to savor. Hey Flying Dog, can we get a barrel-aged version, like, right now?!

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Horn Dog Barley Wine Style Ale from Flying Dog Brewery
86 out of 100 based on 821 ratings.