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

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Reviews: 831 | Ratings: 1,303
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aged it a half year which did not hurt. The initial barley and then full malting.Surprisingly high alcohol. Slightly sweet, hey there was a touch of candy, and significant caramel. little bitterness and understated hoppy.
2007 edition on tap at Fallen Rock, great aroma, sherry taste. Understated carbonation.That's my upgrade.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.32/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at the brewery after my tour. Awesome group of guys there and the beer was better than I had anticipated as I had only had their standard beers we get in Florida. This time I got to try the local release stuff.

A: no head on a slightly hazy orange-amber body.

S: tart and tangy fruit. light caramel malts

T: again very tangy and fruity. the malt character is still full despite the fruitness. minimal bitterness from the hops.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation. very smooth

Overall: this one is one of the more drinkable barleywines out there especially since it keeps the nice malt flavor. the alcohol is well masked. These characteristics are likely due to this being a 2009 or 2010 bottle from their "cellar".

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a 1 inch foamy dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. A nice latticework of lace forms around the glass on the drink down. Smell is very malty with some subtle caramel/toffee aromas and alcohol. Taste is of malt, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, and citrus zest on the finish. There is a very mild citrus zest bitterness on the palate that quickly fades after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good barleywine but has a better taste than smell in my opinion.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The Horn Dog was split with a couple friends of mine, none of them liked it at all. I didn't find much wrong with it. The beer poured out as a deep amber color with a light yellowish colored head. The lacing was pretty thick at first, then it died off. The smell was sweet, hoppy and had a hefty amount of booze on the nose. The taste was of sweet roasted caramel and alcohol up front that faded into a bitter hop aftertaste. The mouthfeel was pretty thick which is fine by me. The overall outlook I have on this is that it's a pretty decent barley wine. For someone who hasn't tried many you could give this one a shot and see what you think.

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Photo of metter98
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is very hazy brownish caramel in color. It poured with some lacing on the surface and a thick ring of large off white bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Complex aromas of butterscotch, molasses, raisins and toffee are present in the nose.
T: The taste is rather complex and the flavors are similar to the smell with the addition of malty sweetness.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation. There is a good amount of alcohol warming in the finish.
O: You would expect this to be a strong beer with all of the malts but the alcohol is nowhere to be found in the taste. It is very drinkable for the style and I would have no problem having a few of these (even if it came in a larger bottle).

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought this as part of a 4-pack earlier today ($9.49/4)

An above average barleywine for sure. Has some decent carbonation and a nice sweet taste. The high ABV is hidden well for the most part but does kinda sneak in at the end. The mouthfeel is very good with a nice smooth aftertaste and full body.

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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.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a clear dark amber hue, with one finger of soapy ecru head, which leaves some random lace in its short-lived wake. It smells strongly of caramel, toffee, raisins, and light citrus hops. The taste is big toffee malt, and earthy, weedy hops. The carbonation is light, the body sugary smooth and dense, and it finishes sweet, hoppy, and with a final broadside of boozy caramel.

A pleasant, warm sipper, built to share.

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Photo of brentk56
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear dark brown body with a surprisingly bouyant head that delivers good retention but leaves an unusual pointillist pattern of lacing on the glass

Smell: Rich, rum soaked dark fruit - figs, dates and blackberries

Taste: Starts out rather pleasant and fruity with a nice blend of dark fruit flavors and some burnt sugar; in the middle, the hoppy bitterness kicks in and turns increasingly bitter into the finish, leaving a somewhat metallic and unpleasant after-taste

Mouthfeel: Rich and viscous, with modest carbonation

Drinkability: If it weren't for the finish, this would be an exceptional barleywine

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Photo of kojevergas
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average given the brewery, which I don't remember ever making a serious impression on me. 10.2% ABV confirmed. 45 IBU.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

I'm worried it's going to be over-hopped like many English Barleywines. I'm hoping it isn't; I could go for a good barleywine.

A: Pours a three finger head of light khaki colour, nice cream, good thickness, and great retention for the high ABV. Colour is an unimpressive caramel-copper. Nontransparent. Seemingly opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Modest hopping alongside clean understated malts. Some cream. Perhaps even fig. Caramelization. Hints of toasted malt. A mild strength aroma, perhaps even muted.

T: Fig is indeed there, with some hints of dark plum. Almost reminiscent of a quad in that sense, to its credit. Hints of raisin. Impressively yeasty, adding welcome biscuity complexity. Some cream. The malts are unobtrusive yet add a full body, which I dig. Some spice. I look for licorice and chocolate per the label, and find only a buried hint of licorice that could be me mind playing tricks on me. Nicely layered. I like the way its built, and the balance is nice. The hops are backgrounded nicely, not intruding on the flavour profile - thank God. Quite a nice barleywine.

Mf: Nicely thick. Smooth and wet, with enough coarseness to allow the flavour to come through. Carbonation is good but not ideal. Suits the flavours nicely.

Dr: A nicely drinkable little barleywine from Flying Dog. It's well caught me fancy. There's not a great deal of complexity or subtlety here, but damnit there's enough. I do like it. Hides its ABV quite well. I'd get this again, but wouldn't reserve it for aging. The quad-esque fruit and yeast touches are quite pleasant indeed.

Low B

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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.

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Photo of oline73
3.44/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2008 bottle poured into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a dark reddish amber/mahogany with hardly any head at all.

Smell: Not a bit surprise, this one is quite sweet. Caramel with lots of dark fruit, raisins and dates. Just a touch of alcohol warmth.

Taste: This one may be a touch past its prime. I picked it up a few weeks ago, so I can't be sure about how it was stored, but I'm fairly confident that care was taken. Very smooth, but seems to be breaking down a bit. Sweet malt with dark fruit and a slight bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: The body is just on the thick side of medium with the slightest tingle of carbonation and a very dry finish.

Overall: A solid barleywine but not spectacular. I would have another one if it was fresher.

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Photo of zeff80
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a cloudy, burgundy color with a good deal of carbonation. It had a tan, soapy, one-finger head that left minimal lace.

S - It smelled malty, sweet caramel, and some boozy notes.

T - It tasted sweet and malty. Notes of toffee, caramel, licorice with an underlying alcohol flavor.

M - It was soft and smooth with a warm alcohol presence. A medium to full bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good barleywine style ale. I don't think I could have more than one at a time.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.67/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a snifter. The color is a moderate copper with a slight white head that fades away quite quickly. The nose is a bit of sweetened malt, light fruits, cherries, and moderate caramel. A bit of booze there as well. The flavor is a bit of sweetness and caramel with mild fruit and booze. Feel is big enough to handle a good dose of alcohol. Drinks well enough but needs some age to really shine.

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Photo of mothman
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Please note that this is my first barlywine I have ever had.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, vintage 2008, into a Sam Adams Sensory glass. Pours an orange/amber brown with a decent layer of head. Very nice lacing.

Smell is of a dominate licorice and alcohol. Very malty with caramel flavors. The alcohol is present in this beast. The hop and malt balance seems to be pretty good hear. Also, a big carmel flavor.

The drinkability of this brew is alright. I have a feeling I couldn't handle more than one of these in a single session, because of the high alcohol content. As for it being my first barlywine, it was a fun beer to experience, reminded me slightly of a porter, but I will be only drinking these on occasion.

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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 oberon
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deepslightly hazy amber with a thinner off white head that is gone pretty quickly,aromas are juicy fruity with raisin/prune note as well with a real noticable alcohol tinge as it warms.This is more of an English style barley wine for sure flavors of dark fruit that of raisin prune a little plum with some brown sugar in the finish with alcohol burn becoming more noticable as I drink more.Not bad a pretty solid offering from FD but not up to par with its Colorado bretheren Old Ruffian ( but what barley wine is),and Hog Heaven.

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

Reviewed again, instead of original 7oz fresh sampler, here is a year + old '09 12oz bottle.

A: Decent head that fades slowly, reddish copper maroon brown color with a rosy hue, hazy with some sediment and yeast chunks.

N: Nose of some nice dark fruits, plum, raisin, etc, as well as sweet sugar, lots of dark malts, molasses, sweet sugars, and a nice barleywine style aroma. Hints of earthy hops. Some light oak and vanilla coming through.

T: Taste starts sweet with rich sugars, some raisin and plum taste, plenty of red and darker malts, some heavy crystal malts and more ripe fruit, nice barleywine taste, a slight biscuit, and a touch of alcohol. Warming booze and heavy sweetness also beset this. A bit of earthy bitterness from a nice hop addition. Some biscuit malts as well, a little bready, as well as some herbal UK style bittering hops. As it warms and I drink more, I get quite a bit of oak and vanilla coming through, then it fades to a bit of acetylalahyde, an alcoholic like acidic taste which gets a little iffy on the finish.

M: Pretty thick with good carbonation, bordering too much carbonation for a heavy barleywine, with a slight touch of warming booze.

F: It finishes sweet and bitter, some hops come though pretty well on the finish as it finishes surprisingly clean for a barleywine, the alcohol comes out a little more on the finish but is still masked well. It starts to get just a bit of a green malty earthy slightly oxidized flavor very late on teh finish, especially as it warms, but not much.

Final thoughts: This is much different than I remember, much more like a nice barleywine and less like an experiment. Thick and rich, pretty sweet but not overly, which masks the booze well, some roast and red malts, toasty and tasty.

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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!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a medium brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, fruit, bourbon and some hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel, bourbon and fruit. Then a hearty malt character comes in along with a toned-down alcohol sting. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer worth sipping on for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

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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.

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

Appearance: Pours an opaque, dark reddish-brown body with a scattered, off-white head.

Smell: Sweet-smelling, malty aroma with notes of toffee, roasted grains, ripe plums, and with a full, everpresent, evergreen pine scent.

Taste: Sweet maltiness tasting of toffee candy. Plum fruitiness. Slight roasty coffee and woody hints. Piney, resinous hop character and moderate bitterness which hits right about the time the warming alcohol does. Finishes that's all at once bitter, sweet, warming, and that roasty touch that won't go away.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Well, I will say it's one of the better beers in the Flying Dog line-up.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Murky chestnut with cranberry and gold edges. The beer falls just short of opacity, but then most barleywines aren't light sinks. The toasted ecru crown was on the small side (allowing me to get the entire bottle into the glass in one pour) and has maintained one finger of thick creaminess. The color is a bit unusual, but I like it just fine.

The nose is 'brown' as well. I smell figs and dates and cherries macerated in port wine and brown sugar syrup, along with a not-so-subtle shot of creme de cacao. The aroma isn't exactly chocolate-like, but it's close. Most importantly, HDBWSA smells like good beer.

I wish I had some idea what the dating code means, because I'd love to know how old this bottle is. My best guess is closer to one year than two. I don't know what it was like fresh, but right now Horn Dog is a gloriously smooth, surpremely sippable, fantastically delicious version of the style. Unless my mind changes by the time I've drained all twelve ounces (highly doubtful), this is my favorite Flying Dog beer.

If you like your barleywines to be sweet and malty rather than hop-filled, this puppy is just what you've been looking for. I love hoppy beer of all styles, but can still appreciate one as well-brewed as this. Like the nose, I'm still getting much more chocolate than is typical for the style. It works very well, though.

The flavor profile is dominated by dark caramel, dark brown sugar, mild molasses, date paste, cherries and chocolate fudge. This might just be the darkest barleywine that I've ever had (the color should have been a tip-off). It's also one of the most complex. I can taste a little spiciness as well, but seriously doubt that spices were added.

The mouthfeel is full and chewy without being overly thick and sticky. A fraction more heft would be good, but it's hard to argue when the beer goes down like winter-weight silk. A restrained amount of carbonation gives it a lush creaminess that becomes even lusher and creamier with warming.

If I had known how good Horn Dog is, I would have cracked the crown on this pooch long before now. I remember seeing 4-packs at a local beer store recently. Looks like I'll have to stop in and buy a few for the cellar. This is Flying Dog's best beer... paws down.

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Photo of russpowell
4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a deep mahogony with a bubbly sand colored head. Great head retention an d lacing that stuck all over the glass

Smell: Oakiness/bourbon-like, alcohol & frutiness, a real nose full

Taste: Dryness up front with fruittienss, licorice and sweetness following up. Later comes smokiness and a trace of vanilla
and alcohol

MF: Thick, chewy and well balanced, despite big hop presence, this worked for me

This effort was superior to last year's sampling IMHO. Very drinkable for its strength. I will have to go buy anither 4 pack to lay down

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a thick, opaque dark chocolate brown with a cream colored head that would not fade. Smell was Spicey and citrusy hopped, with hints of caramel and chocolate and jus tabout anything else you could think of. Taste was very very sweet, almost like candy, with hints of alcohol and a dry hoppy finish. Very smooth going down, but the high ABV could sneak up on you. All in all this is a good Barleywine, I will definatly drink this again, just not too many in one sitting!!

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Horn Dog Barley Wine Style Ale from Flying Dog Brewery
3.84 out of 5 based on 1,303 ratings.
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