Horn Dog Barley Wine Style Ale | Flying Dog Brewery

very good
828 Reviews
Horn Dog Barley Wine Style AleHorn Dog Barley Wine Style Ale

Brewed by:
Flying Dog Brewery
Maryland, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-06-2002

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Reviews: 828 | Ratings: 1,297
Photo of woodychandler
4.16/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

The eradication of the Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody continues, now embarking on a Flying Dog horizontal which I had intended to commence with the K-9 Winter Warmer a couple of days ago.

From the bottle: "The first thing you notice is his enormous horn, Then you see he has a cute face, nice body, and a charming personality. But mostly you just notice his enormous horn."; "'Good People drink Good Beer.' - Hunter S. Thompson".

A 2014 vintage (!) bottle today. I kid you not, I am swimming in beer here & stuff just continues to surface as I plow through it all. At least, it allows for some nice horizontals.

I Pop!ped the cap & despite a very gentle pour, it was still coming out with a very milky cast, forcing me to stop and regroup. An in-glass swirl raised a brief finger of foamy, fizzy, light-tan head that quickly reduced back to wisps. Color was a lightly-hazy Brown to Dark Brown (SRM = > 22, < 27), leading me to wonder if it might have been a chill haze that was clearing as it warmed. Nose smelled like dark chocolate; dried dark fruits, leather, and a fusel alcohol burn to remind me to be easy with it. The mouthfeel was medium, but fairly flat, as though the original carbonation had been leached away. OMFG! The taste was fantastic, with a biscuity fruitiness that immediately conjured thoughts of Fig Newtons! I have not eaten them in years, but suddenly, I want a package of them. The aging had produced a smoothness that made it dangerously eminently drinkable. Whee! Warming, I began to taste notes of sherry. Oh my! Finish was dry, but more due to its hot alcohol presence. What a great beer on a chilly, if not cold, winter's evening. I really must get in the habit of buying two (2) each of Barley Wine Style Ales as they come available. One to drink & review initially & another to drink down the road. Man, but this was tasty in all-new & unexpected ways.

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Photo of MacMalt
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into snifter glass. It pours maroon-brown with one finger of eggshell-colored head and lacing with good retention. It smells of roasted malt, caramel, and brown sugar with discernible alcohol. It has a classic Barleywine taste: caramel, apple, raisin, brown sugar, and a fair amount of booze especially at the finish. This ale is medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. You can definitely taste and feel the 10.2% ABV. Overall, it's a nice English Barleywine. It's certainly not Sucaba, or even Insanity, but it is quite good.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.31/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Dark brown and red appearance, thin off white head on it, 1/6". Massively boozy and red malt caramel feels throughout the aroma.

Taste imparts a little more roasting than your average barleywine, definitely comes across as not American Barleywine, although that is primarily via the absence of hops relatively speaking. Mildly sweetened caramel, a hearty bitterness in the 60 ibu range I'd say. Would not repeat but if you want to get your warmth on, this will do the trick.

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Photo of SawDog505
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a 13 oz Weyerbacher tulip glass vintage 2015 at close to room temperature. Pours a breathtaking amber, with a nice inch and a half sticky white head that leaves behind tons of lace.

Smell is caramel, prune, vanilla, brown sugar, bubble gum, toffee, biscuit, and a little warming alcohol.

Taste vanilla, caramel, dark fruit, brown sugar, toffee, biscuit, and once again booze is warming but aggressively around.

Mouthfeel is about medium, moderate life and in this case not a bad thing, on the dry side, and very drinkable.

Overall this is a very nice English Barleywine that really has tons of complex flavor and leaves it's mark as a Barleywine should.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2015 vintage served cold in a snifter

Appearance: ruddy brown with a tan head. Thin look

Nose: dark fruits, fresh, bready, sweet alcohol, no hops

Taste: sweet, fruit, raisins, cherry, fresh fruit, malty sweetness, slight boozy

Overall: great English Barleywine. This should improve well with age

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2014 vintage poured from the tap into a snifter. Pours deep red with a small off white head. Smells of deep raisin and grapyness. Tastes of slight grape with thick caramel and raisin. Beer is full bodied with good carbonation, nice finish for a sipper. Overall, a very good beer.

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Photo of mlockman
3.35/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

While the aroma and appearance are okay enough, the flavor really falls flat. Neither malt nor hops have a significant profile in this beer and the palate is really just an off amalgamation of flavors that borders on unpleasant on the finish. Drinkable, but certainly not anything to savor; one would be much better served by Anchor's Old Foghorn if searching for a quality English Barleywine.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep reddish mahogany color with a fingers worth of head that fades down to a thin ring of lace

S: A good dose of sweet maltiness up front along with some fruity alcohol/ester and cherry pit/almond notes. Pretty standard fare for English BWs

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with some sweet caramel maltiness and goes into some moderate fruity notes from the alcohol. The cherry/almond notes are still present underneath the general fruitiness from the alcohol. Finishes with a touch of bitterness and sweetness

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A solid English barleywine that is a good sipper for the cold weather. Nothing spectacular or stand-outish about it, but it's nice and sticks to the style very well. Would be interesting to lay some down

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

(12 oz bottle, code VINTAGE15AA, left out almost 1 hr before opening - poured into Stella goblet)

L: deep tawny hue, mostly clear, but with a mild haze... only a little foam springs up on the pour, falls down fast into thin collar

S: fig and caramel most dominant, with an overtone of vine-y greenery... soft whiff of clean alcohol... overall, very muted aromas, booze buzz to the fore

T: plush crystal malt wrapped, lightly-doughy dinner roll with a caramel thread within... peppery bitterness nipping up front, but way more balanced toward malt sweetishness, mild vinous esters in the background... the finish is a wash of malt sludge and mildly-acetone ethanol... plant-like, flowery aftertaste as if one had eaten a handful of flower petals, aftertone of wet bread crust... densely malty but very little definition in character, and the abv could easily be 1-2% lower than listed

F: medium-full-bodied, built like a lummox... there's little-to-no (dimension in its) viscosity, but you'd wish there were... bit of a hot flame in the end, stays lit, but it's pleasant and mellow

O: beginning to find that this Stella goblet does not enhance a beer's appeal, but I don't think it mattered here... the flavors are fuzzy, but I don't see why not to buy a bottle or two to age - who knows what'll happen... nothing distinct about the taste, though

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Photo of gopens44
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I went ahead and reviewed a 2009 vintage one because it seemed to turn out just fine. First off, no marking it down for appearance because it still looked fairly nice. Decent finger size head on top this dark purple brownish beer. Nose was extremely nice with big fig, caramel and plum. Taste was equally nice but even more complex as it begins bitterly but opens up to raisin, a ton of molasses, carob, burnt toffee and black cherry. Overall the body was thin but that's likely more a product of age and not intent, so no marking down there. Finish has some heat in it as well as a tiny bit of tart on exit.

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Photo of SpicyHippo73
4.6/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Vintage. (Lucked out and found 8 shelf turds that were in an optimal spot, back of the shelf, no light)

Pours deep mahogany with little to no head.
Great aromatics... Winter fruits, vanilla, and caramel
Massive Fig and raisin taste followed by sweet caramel and toffee.

Not gonna lie 7 years has given this an almost identical flavor profile as Utopias without the alcohol heat. No foolin.


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Photo of Jeffwildcat
4.74/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is an awesome beer....no question. This beer does bring a punch. You get the figgy pruny taste and very much reminds me of bcbw. A little less of a bite though.

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Photo of headbangingteacher
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I'm biased as a MD resident and big supporter of Flying Dog. In addition, I like barleywines. This is a solid, if not really nice take on it. In the light, it almost has the look of sun tea. The taste is pretty standard barleywine fare, but the balance is good and each flavor discernible. The cherries sticking on the palate throughout is a big plus for me.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Brilliant deep mahogany under a 2” off-white foam collar that grips the sides of the glass leaving intricate lace patterns.
S: Sugary malt, wine and port
T: The big alcohol gives the rich malts sherry and port flavors with prunes and rum finishing with bitter hop accent.
F: Thick and chewy, medium low carbonation, just enough to know its there but not too much so as to get in the way.
O: This beer is big in several dimensions but it achieves a balance that prevents it from being cloying or syrupy.

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Photo of ilikebeer03
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage. obviously no hop character left (if there was any - first time having the beer) tons of dark fruit! malty sweetness, dates, figs, plum. Really good.

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Photo of njtmayhem
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Not as strong as I am use to from a barley wine, good flavor from the stone fruits and light bitter finish. Not boozy at all but I kinda like that about a barley wine. Overall not a bad drink, worth having but def not a goto for the style.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, deep, dark, completely opaque, mahogany color with an eighth of a finger of white-colored head that quickly and completely dissolved away into no head what-so-ever.

Aroma: Wow! Very aromatic! Tons of dried stone fruit such as dates, figs, raisins and prunes, followed by tons of candied sugar, toasted malt, toffee, vanilla and a touch of chocolate.

Taste: Jesus, what a delicious, awesome beer! Massive flavors of dried stone fruit, such as dates, figs, raisins and prunes, followed by tons of candied sugar, toffee, toasted malt and a slight hint of hops.

Mouthfeel: Chewy and smooth as hell, as there is no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 10.2%, I’m surprised at how little, like none at all, alcohol there is on the palate. The alcohol is really, really, dangerously masked.

Overall: This is a phenomenal barleywine!! Absolutely, fantastically awesome!

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Photo of Immortale25
4.52/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Funky Buddha Brewery snifter. 2012 vintage.

A- Pours a medium brown color with a 1/4 inch tan head that retains a bit before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a half sheet of sheer surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves small clots behind.

S- Toasty, burnt sugar, caramel, dark fruit, very sweet.

T- Incredibly well-balanced between the big sweetness, toasty malt flavor and dark fruit notes. Alcohol is very well-masked even after multiple sips. Slight hop bitterness shows up after a while. The drinkability on this is dangerously high.

M- Moderately viscous, somewhat syrupy and a tad sharp from the alcohol. Medium-low carbonation and a fullish body.

O- Age has treated this beer well. This is pretty much exactly what I look for in a barleywine. Bold flavors of sweetness and an alcohol presence that's noticeable but subdued enough to make for a smooth drink. Outstanding.

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Photo of Dodo2step
3.61/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

P- Thanks to Colm for this beer

A- a maroon hazy color with no head and no lacing.

S- plum and toffee come through first. then I get some butterscotch....mmm

F- toffee and red plum fruit hit first grainy booze and spicy hop bitterness.

M- boozy and plumlike..heavy bodied and toffee coating in the mouth.

O- a good barley wine..at time the butterscotch and plum don't mix but good overall.

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Photo of bubseymour
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%

So I've had many tries at different barleywines and have yet to find one that wasn't a drainpour. This one by Flying Dog is the first that actually tasted good to me. No booziness. No extreme bitter finish. No medicinal aspiriny aftertaste. This one was a winner. Highly recommend.

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Photo of JamieDuncan
4.58/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Beer guru brought a year old aged bottle and it really seemed to have mellowed. Very underrated but if you age it even more so. Flying dog did not disappoint this time.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.62/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dad got this one for me in New York a while back. Cheers dad!

From a bottle into a snifter
Vintage: 2014

APPEARANCE: Pours a small, medium looking, off-white head with decent retention. Head fades to a thin wisp and ring. Maroon read in color, hazy, with no visible carbonation. A ring remains until the end but leaves no lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Lots of toffee, caramel, some butterscotch and earthy hops on the nose. Bold enough with notes of red fruits as well. Nice stuff.

TASTE: Toffee and bready malt flavors up front. Butterscotch and caramel sweetness at the swallow with a bold and lingering aftertaste of sweet toffee, caramel, red fruits sweetness, spicy alcohol and just a hint of hop bitterness that tries to provide balance. Could use a bit more bitterness .

PALATE: Medium body with medium carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down fine and finishes a touch mouth-coating. A bit of heat lingers as well.

OVERALL: Okay. A bit too sweet without the balancing bitterness perhaps, but this is stull full of interesting and complex malt flavor. Definitely a beer for fans of the malty-sweet barleywines, which I am, though even I would like to see a bit more bitterness offered here. Still, a good brew that I rather enjoyed. Give it a try if you have access to it. Thanks again dad!

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Photo of seedyone
3/5  rDev -21.9%

From bottle at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Not the most impressive barley wine I've had. Aroma is OKHead & lacing are non-exisistant & the next thing along that impresesses is the ABV. Super strong but the flavor is in the back seat.

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Photo of bylerteck
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%

2005 Bottle from pushkinwow.

A - Pours an almost black, deep deep brown and murky colour. Half finger of beige head on top with mild carbonation.

S - Lot's of boozy dark fruit. Syrupy and sweet aromas.

T - Boozy dark fruit, sort of spoiled fruits, but a nice intense alcoholic/fruit mix. A bit of oxidation maybe. Raisins, brown sugar, red wine, medicinal.

M - Mild carbonation, medium-full body and a boozy fruit finish with a bit of an off flavour.

O/D - This is probably past it's prime, but also quite complex and interesting. As it warmed it opened up with much more interesting flavours. Enjoying this one slowly, but the medicinal and syrupy sweetness are a stretch.

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Photo of alphagnome
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep reddish mahogany body and a decent light brown head. Plenty of lacing and retention.

Tons of sweet, dark fruits with dominant raisin. Bright brown sugar and a hint of cinnamon. Caramel malts. Quite pungent but in a good way.

Follows the nose closely but with some added surprises, mainly in the form of a lot of tropical fruit. Sweet pineapple and peach laced with raisin and fig and roasted caramel. A bit boozy on the end, but works well.

Smooth and easy to drink. Medium body and light carbonation. Sweet finish.

An awesome beer that packs a punch and plenty of flavor. A must have for fans of bold, dark beers.

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Horn Dog Barley Wine Style Ale from Flying Dog Brewery
3.84 out of 5 based on 1,297 ratings.
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