Horn Dog Barley Wine Style Ale | Flying Dog Brewery

very good
831 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 831 | Ratings: 1,302
Photo of Mises85
1.57/5  rDev -59.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.25

Served this in a tulip at room temperature

Appearance: Abbey Dubbel like. Nice 2 finger head with some good lacing

Smell: When I took it out of the bottle it almost smelled like macaroni and cheese. Sniffed it and then got a MASSIVE raisin note. Brown sugar.

Taste; after 2 sips, I had to throw it out. This is one of the most cloyingly sweet beers I have ever tasted. Felt like just tasting pure brown sugar doused in alcohol.

Would not buy again. Unfortunate because Bigfoot was the best barley wine I have had to date.

 526 characters

Photo of moocey
1.8/5  rDev -53.1%
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.

 800 characters

Photo of kimcgolf
2/5  rDev -47.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

This crap was really bad. Very malty aroma, which was okay, poured to a brown with hints of red. However, the taste was a mixture of malt and rubbing alcohol, and it left a very bitter, bad aftertaste. The worst thing was, I had it as the third of 3 taste tests of Flying Dog, after a few beers on the golf course, and it still tasted this bad.

 344 characters

Photo of aaronh
2.04/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Dark reddish color with no head. Only a thin tan color. Aroma of malt. Period. Taste is an old grainy taste. Very astringent, mild sweetness. Not a surprise considering my recent run ins with the rest of the litter. Alcohol is very apparent and distracting. Mouthfeel is a bit thin. Drinkability is poor. I suffered through this one. One of my worst barleywines. Ack.

 367 characters

Photo of Brew33
2.09/5  rDev -45.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Wow! I was not ready for this!

I had been wanting to try a barley wine for quite some time. I should have fought the urge. I assume this is a beer for the true aficionodo.

This was terrible. This may have been the worst thing I have ever had. No nuance, no complexity, just the smell and taste of grain alcohol. This beer tastes like someone dumped gasoline and Newcastle into a bottle. On the bright side, it is a beautiful beer in the glass. It is very syrupy as well.

I am not ready for beer this strong or complex as a beer drinker. I'll stick to Porters and IPA's and leave this stuff for the Bros.

 610 characters

Photo of tewaris
2.16/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

09 Bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours much darker than the usual with a medium head. Aroma is a little too dark and it smells like an aged stout. Weird.

The taste is too heavy on roast with no sweetness and only a hint of malts. WTF?! Feels like a stout for all I can tell. Mouthfeel is alright for a Barleywine OR a stout.

Not a bad beer but thoroughly disappointing for an English Barleywine. Did Flying Dog mess with me here and bottle a blend that was heavy on the stout?

4, 3, 1, 4, 2

 494 characters

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.

 719 characters

Photo of Overlord
2.31/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2


Pours an amber brown. Off white inch of foam.

Smells way boozy and overly raisin-ed. Basically, like pureed raisins mixed with alcohol.

Really a harsh, boozy, overly sweet flavor. Just way too sweet. Borderline undrinkable. I poured quite a bit out.

Mouthfeel was okay, but the overall effect was cloying.

Flying Dog: not my fave brewery.

 348 characters

Photo of umustdrink
2.33/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - Aggressive pour to get a quarter inch head but quickly fades to splotches. Deep brown color, almost opaque.

S - Rich caramel smell very apparent alcohol.

T - Rich, caramel malt taste, also very bitter and more alcohol. Hints of prunes.

M - Fairly smooth but the alcohol presence almost burns.

D - The beers flavor doesn't suit my tastes very much. Also I think that for the style,Barleywines should be able to hide their alcohol presence better.

 462 characters

Photo of alpinebryant
2.38/5  rDev -38%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Purchased as part of multi 4 pack from Flying Dog. Curious about taste - first barleywine testing I have had.

A: Mild amber color with medium head.

S: Fruity floral smell

T: Had a winey malty flavor

M: Crisp but the alcohol was relatively overpowering. This is not a beer I could drink more than one of in a night.

D: Not the most drinkable beer I have had. I have never had a barleywine before, and this was my first. Maybe my taste will mature in the years to come, but my tastebuds are not ready for a beer like this yet.

Serving type: bottle

 588 characters

Photo of neckbracesub
2.43/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Flying Dog’s version of a barleywine pours just like what you’d expect - a dark amber with very little foam head. The aromas are all there and create a big anticipation (especially if you love barleywines) but from the first touch of the taste buds this one is a major disappointment.

Much too bitter to even get into the ranks of even decent barleywines, Horn Dog does not go down smoothly, and the aftertaste is flat and almost to the point of irritating.

The description mentions flavors of chocolate and licorice are noticeable, but I could not sense any of this. I’d say pass on this one.

 603 characters

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.

 1,998 characters

Photo of scofielj
2.48/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Poured a deep amber with medium head. The head quickly disapated into a thin film that hung around.

S: Fruit smell maybe raisins.

T: Had a malty taste with an underlying taste of raisins. Also had some licorice after taste.

M: Was crisp but the alcohol was overpowering.

D: Low drinkability. First barley wine I had and not sure if I would have another.

 394 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle courtesy of Okbeer: Poured a deep brown color ale with a small foamy head with some retention and light lacing. Aroma of sugar is so pronounced that it gets quite gross and doesn’t allow for any other aspects of the beer to come through. Taste is also dominated by the sweetness and doesn’t allow much else to come through. I didn’t notice any large hops presence which could have mitigated some of the sweetness. Average body with some medium-low carbonation. Definitely not something that I feel the need to revisit anytime soon.

 541 characters

Photo of nlmartin
2.53/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from the bottle into a pub glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a dark brown to mahagany coloration. The head was high and a off ruby white coloration. The head was short lived. The beer tried to leave lacing behind in a desperate sort of fashion.

Smell: Sweet carmelly maltyness with small amounts of spicyness trying to pull the beer together.

Taste: This beer is very malty sweet. There is just a decided lack of balance with this beer. Undefinable sugary fruityness competes with not enough hoppy spicyness. In short I hate the taste.

Mouthfeel: This is almost meduim bodied beer that strives to be bigger. If there was more hops or more carbonation it may be better. Perhaps cellaring would help? Hell I am mostly convinced nothing could save this beer.

Drinkability: For me this beer is almost undrinkable. Nearing to sweet with not enough balancing factors.

I was sucked into Flying Dog by Gonzo Porter. Gonzo Porter is not representative of Flying Dog products.

 994 characters

Photo of DIM
2.53/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

a: The color here is a murky dark amber orange. It pours with a long lasting frothy white head.

s: Mild and one dimensional. moderately sweet plums and raisins.

t: Garbled flavors of sour over-ripe cherries and artificial sweetner. It has a dry floral finish.

m: This has a nice syrupy body and lush carbonation. This is the best part of this one.

d: Sweeter barleywines aren't my favorite to begin with, but when that sweetness brings little pink or blue packets to mind, it definitely isn't for me.

 504 characters

Photo of Jedimaster1
2.55/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: A purple, brownish color with a slight head that dissipates quickly.

S: Smell is of sweet malt -- very sugary sweet malt.

T: Oh boy. This brew is sweet! Too sweet for my taste. It isn't as bad in the first sip, but the subsequent tastings make this one hard to finish. The sweet malt is overwhelming, and without any hops to balance it out, it becomes almost undrinkable for me.

M: The alcohol is hidden well. The only alcohol that is noticeable is when it warms the body.

D: The ABV of 10.5% makes this one a two bottle maximum. And with the overly sweet malt, the drinkability is even more reduced.

I was very disappointed with this beer. I guess being spoiled with American-style barely wines, I could not take the tremendously sweet unbalanced malt. I drank one-and-a-half of these and the rest were dumped. Glad it was only a 4-pack.

 890 characters

Photo of beertastegood
2.55/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a deep deep reddish-brown, dark enough to not see through. small head fades quickly into large tan bubbles capping the surface.

Smell: intense phenols and esters, fruity aromas of fig and grape, raisins and a slight hint of cherry. I get a slightly minty hop aroma as well. Alcoholic. A bit of chocolate.

Taste: Pepper!?! Not too impressed with that...phenolics really take over and give the tongue a lashing. Slight candied fruit sweetness followed by a metallic hops bitterness that fades into a tin-like slick taste on the tongue. Not that fun to drink...

Mouthfeel: Medium body, medium carbonation. Warming.

Drinkability: No, not really.

I don't mind English barleywines, but this one is all out of whack. The requisite flavors are there, but they are jarring and clashing with each other, not melding like they should. I am going to lay down a bottle or two to see if it improves with time. But I generally like my barleywines somewhat fresh to get the most out of the hops...and this is one that should not be drunk right out of the gate.

 1,065 characters

Photo of cproioi
2.58/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is one of the two beers that Flying Dog has came out with that I haven't been too crazy about.

The beer was a very dark brownish red color that had a very small head. The smell was way to sweet and malty for my liking. The taste goes hand in hand with the aroma. It was way to sweet with an extremely sweet finish that just sits on your tounge for a couple of hours.

It was a slow drink but I really couldn't tell that the abv is high.

 447 characters

Photo of goochpunch
2.6/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours out a murky and strangely purplish-brown color. Slight ring of head is all that remains after a hefty pour-induced 1/2 cm head. Smells pruney with a background of hops and alcohol. Tastes overly medicinal. The prune/raisin aspects are great (what I look for in a barleywine) but this particular beer tastes as if NyQuil made a prune flavored formula. Alcohol comes in at the end to pour salt in the wound made by the cough syrup flavors. Slight hop presence in this but way out of whack. Nothing wrong with a barleywine that leads more towards showcasing the malt, but Flying Dog throws any semblance of balance to the wind with this concoction. Carbonation is full and slick enough for a barleywine, but towards the finish, the carbonation shows up and kind of foams up a bit.

I picked up a case of this for under $30, thinking it'd be a great deal. Flying Dog: 1; Goochpunch: 0

 889 characters

Photo of mactrail
2.69/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Nice enough appearance with a firm foam on the dark amber brew. Winey mouthfeel, more like sherry, with a distinct taste of sweet vermouth. Decent foamy mouthfeel.

Really sweet at first sip. More than a hint of sorghum syrup. Also quite a bitter aftertaste. Reminds me of a Grand Cru with a hint of bacteria. Odd fruity, faintly sour smell. The sugary taste along with the bitterness is not one of my favorites. Not a very good example of the style.

Says "VINTAGE 12 CC" on the label but I think it's over the hill already. Bought the 12 oz bottle from Best Damn in San Diego.

 578 characters

Photo of PittBeerGirl
2.69/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

appearance is dark brown-root beer in color with some white lacing. Smells like alcohol and raisins. The taste is very strong of alcohol but after having a few sips carmel toffee and grapes can be tasted. Mouthfeel is good-medium body with light carbonation. Not very drinkable due to the high alcohol content and the insescent taste of alcohol.

 345 characters

Photo of DIPAbrewer
2.7/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Deep brown color with a light cream colored head that recedes quickly. There is an intensely sweet aroma with notes of raisons and cinnamon. Notably lacking in hop aroma.
The taste is super sweet, cloying malt. Not enough hop bitterness to balance all that malt. I can't pick up any hop flavor.
I was a disapointed by this beer, I'd much rather have a Bigfoot. I bought two so I'll let one age for a while. Until then I'll stick with Double Dog.

 446 characters

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.

 554 characters

Photo of Crosling
2.76/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Deep burgundy hue. Astonishingly alcoholic and malty nose providing a suggestion of chocolate, black licorice and pit fruit, but mainy just a huge spark of alcohol. Flavor is heavily rich, but still relatively light in body and texture. Sweet and malt accented with sugared fruit flavors and a mild chocolate hint. The unfortunate combination of low hop flavor and bitterness matching an overly sweet barley wine with poorly hidden alcohol. I’m not sure what this is trying to be.

 481 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Horn Dog Barley Wine Style Ale from Flying Dog Brewery
3.84 out of 5 based on 1,302 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.