Horn Dog Barley Wine Style Ale | Flying Dog Brewery

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Horn Dog Barley Wine Style AleHorn Dog Barley Wine Style Ale
Very Good
1,320 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,320 |  Reviews: 834
Photo of JohnnyM2002
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 12 oz bottle, poured into a small glass at 55 degrees.

A - Pours a dark ruby that melts to almost a caramel-brown with a tan head.

S - Alcohol and wood-aged malt dominate the aroma.

T - A faint fruity-tartness compliments the alcohol-driven malt.

M - Very thick body, which helped the complex flavors blend together nicely. Since the alcohol, malt, and fruity-bitterness were all powerful flavors, the heavier mouthfeel helped mix them together nicely. Finishes like a heavy red wine.

D - I wanted to find a barleywine to keep on hand, and this is in the running for that selection. At $7/sixpack, I'd pick one up again for sure.

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Photo of benito
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I hung onto this bottle for over a year, and, having tasted a fresh version of this before, I'm happy to have opened this one when I did.

Darkish brown with a light head. A sweet bouquet with a light hop tinge, this is a restrained barley wine that shows more (though still slight) hop character as it warms to room temperature. Slightly cooler, it has flavors of walnuts and chocolate backed by a strong malt body. It's smooth and quite drinkable for the style. The aftertaste is a bit off--almost vinegary, but this is the only obvious flaw I found in an otherwise well-achieved brew.

In general, I'm not a huge Flying Dog fan, but Gonzo and Horn Dog are pleasant enough. It certainly isn't the most aggressive or well-balanced barley wine I've had, but it's worth a look: a strong product from an overrated brewery. It's also reasonably priced in a four pack...

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Photo of SixpointJMH
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad little barleywine from Flying Dog. This one pours a nice brown colour that is slightly murky and has a pretty nice (for a barleywine) head atop the liquid.

The aroma is woody and malty, with bits of alcohol and dark fruit mixed in throughout.

Flavour is again, like the aroma, woody and malty. Alcohol rings through most of the way but is never intrusive. The fruit flavour hits mostly in the middle of each sip. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and a bit slick and oily. Pretty good stuff overall.

Again, this one was enjoyable. A lot easier drinking than I expecting as barleywines aren't usually my thing. Definitely worth a shot.

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Photo of Byeast
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This review is of a sampling of an 06. The brew poured a dark brown / plum color with a small offwhite ring of a head that left some lacing. Taken to the nose , aromas of dark brown bread , slight chocolate , a hint of raisin or plum , a bit of buttery character, and some alcohol. Flavor is of very full , dark bready malt , some toffee, again some hints at a chocolate flavor , some slight candied dark fruit flavors , bitter edge and some alcohol presence in the finish. The mouthfeel is slick and viscous. This barleywine is quite drinkable , and has some very nice flavors that come out nicely with age.

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Photo of unclederby
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

horndog is light mahogany in color and capped with a tannish head that's quickly gone. bouquet is of caramel malts, toffee, prunes, ceder, cherries and a bit of diacytel and a hint of piney hops.. pleasing and complex nose. taste is big on toffee and prunes and there is a definite note of bitterness from the hop profile. it's a bit disappointing as it doesn't live up to the complexity of the nose. the bittering note is strong (albeit shortlived) and seems a bit misplaced - dominating the overall perception. the finish is shortlived and somewhat sour. mouthfeel is OK if not somewhat thin. lowish marks for drinkability because on the whole it just doesn't taste that good. it has it's moments, but never meshes into a solid whole.

in short, everything after the bouquet is a bit of a letdown.
i don't make a habit of drinking cough syrup and i won't make a habit of drinking this...

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

12oz bottle.

Dark brown body with virtually no head, only a few off-white bubbles. Transparent at edges when held to light. Aroma is bananas and sweet delicious malt. A bit of alcohol as well.

Creamy body tastes nutty and banana-y. It's very delicious. Super sweet malt profile and virtually no hops. Finishes with a caramel sweetness and a bit of banana.

Body is full, thick, and oily. Light carbonation. Perfect for the syle. Alcohol isn't too present even at over 10% and its awesomely good.

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Photo of terrabyte
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very hazy, dark burgandy color that just lets the light through.

The aroma is great. Sweet cherries, alcohol, and raisins.

The flavor is similar to the smell. Taste is very mute compared to something that smelled similar, like Dogfish Head's Raison D'etre. There is no alcoholic bite like the aroma was hinting at. This obviously makes it easier to sit back and enjoy.

It's a little thick, a little syrupy. Nothing negative (at first).

After a while, flavor starts to seem more and more like cough syrup. This started out great, but it slowly became hard to finish. Ended up being too heavy for my mood today. I think this would be a good one to split up to share with company before a meal. Leave them wanting more.

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Photo of MMansfield
3.31/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a bottle at Premier Wine & Spirits in Halifax. Vintage 2005.

Appearance: Pours a very murky rust clour with a nice tan head.

Aroma: Very sweet. Hints fresh berries a floral essence.

Taste: Very complex. Very sweet with mild tartness. Caramel and pine in the front palette. Extremely long finish with butter and fruit notes, very warming.

Mouthfeel: Very heavy and creamy. Carbonation is mild.

Final Statement: This was my first barely wine, and it's rather intersting. I wouldn't call myself a barley wine fan just yet. The flavours are very very complex, and will take a lot of getting used to. But this brew is pretty good, I will review it again at later date.

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Photo of pootz
3.35/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5


Poured a deep chestnut brown with ruby highlights into the glass. Fair sized tan cap that has good retention and laces the glass.

Aroma: nothing overly complex...buttery figs some cocoa almost like a standard doppel bock.

Rich malt spine, thick viscous mouth feel, malty-fruity character.

Big rich caramel/toffee malts in the front, very rich...midways some smoke, dried fruit and cedar, finish is chocolate truffle with liqeur center.

A nice malty barley wine but some harsh edges on this young sample. Needs cellaring a year or so.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.84/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Vintage bottle 2006, Sampled October 2006
Pours with a very dark, brownish amber color. It barely summons forth a wispy tan colored head, that quickly fades to a bare ring around the edges. The aroma is a mix of sweet concentrated fruit notes and alcohol. Notes of prunes, raising and concentrated brown sugar loom large in the aroma profile. The alcohol mixes with caramelized sugar notes and fruit to form a touch of something like rum or brandy. The hops are quite muted, in fact I can't pick out any individual hop contributions in the aroma. While not the typical nose on an American Barleywine, it is not to bad and even enjoyable.

The beer is quite sweet; concentrated notes of prunes and raisins are accentuated. This finishes with a touch of alcohol that adds just a touch of warming to the finish (it is not as detectible as it is in the aroma). A touch of dark grain astringency is found in the finish. The dark malt notes in the finish are also a touch toasty, a bit nutty, a touch burn and even a hint of chocolate. This is definitely thick and chewy, it would even be contemplative except for the fact that it is a bit too sweet and cloying. Some more dark malt notes, or even some ample hop rates would make this much better and would go a long way towards balancing the dominant sweetness.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

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Photo of Iguana
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been craving a good barley wine for a few days so thought i would give this one a try. As I poured it I wasnt expecting a beer this dark, a hard pour left only lacing for a head. Smell is a boozey brown sugar similar to dark rum, really interesting. Taste is rich sugary, followed by a blast of alcohol and finishing with pleasent hop bitterness. This is pretty damn good. Mouthfeel is full bodied, coats my mouth well, and leaves me wanting more. Drinkability is high for me for a barley wine, definitly gonna pick a few of these up and maybe lay a couple down for awhile. A really pleasent, easy to drink, affordable barley-wine.

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Photo of kirok1999
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy dark orange/brown. No head and no lacing.

Smells sweet and malty. Toffee and caramel.

Nice sweet caramel taste up front. Alcohol warms in the middle, and slight hop presence and alcohol burn in the end. Very mild carbonation lets the malt come through nicely.

Decent body but could be heavier. I like it but it's not my favorite. A good cool evening brew.

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Photo of Rudgers73
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle.

A- Fizzy head, settles to a collar. Deep brown. Faint carbonation.

S- Very powerful smell. Strong herbal tones amplified by the high alcohol. Woody, red grapes, nutty.

T- BAM. Assertive, and bold. Starts out slightly bitter with a warm merlot taste. Ends up very oaky and dry, with nutty tones. Leaves an burnt oaky taste in the mouth and a dry tongue.

M- A lot like a merlot. Coats the mouth with a dry wood suction effect. A little thick when it touches your lips but very smooth. A slight alcohol burn.

D- Nice for sipping. Not for pounding. Relax, share with company before/during dinner, maybe a nice coffee or chocolate porter after dinner to balance it out.

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Photo of acrawf6
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2005 vintage.

Pours out a dark but clear ruby-brown with a small slightly tan head.

Smell. Immediately i can smell the alcoholic presence. Under that is an almost brandy character to it. Small fruity aromas of alcohol soaked cherries, sweet aroma....Smells as if it will kick me on my ass.

Taste. An interesting little explosion in my mouth containing alcohol, yeast and malts. I do think for the high alcohol percentage, this beer hides it better than others can (but is still quite present). It also has a dry yeasty taste to it as well, accompanied by the malts, sweet with mild dark fruits. Also has a chocolate taste i do not really remember, like a chocolate extract, or a chocolate flavored candy. Aftertaste is surprising light and ok, alcohol goes down like a champ.

Mouthfeel is good. Full body, just slightly chewy. good amount of carbonation. Malts, of course, dominate, but balance is there.

Overall. I am mixed this beer. I like it 50% of the time, the other 50 i respect it. A fine beer, but not one i would want too often.

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Photo of WeisGuy
2.93/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

a - dark brown color with a reddish tinge, some sediment, small head with little retention, not much lacing

s - alcohol dominates but malt is evident as well

t - lots of malt up front with alcohol dominating the finish, fairly harsh taste, perhaps this could be thrown in the cellar to tone down a little

m - medium bodied, little carbonation, definite warming feel from the alcohol

d - not very, the alcohol was pretty intense and not very well masked, very slow drinker, one is enough for me

Fairly one dimensional english barley wine to me. The alcohol overwhelmed all the other flavors. Glad I tried it, but won't be going back here.

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Photo of Drew966
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Horn Dog Barley Wine pours a very dark brown (but shine a flashlight through it and it's red) with a half inch light brown head that quickly dies down to a ring around the edge. Comes in a twelve ounce brown bottle. The aroma is appropriately malty and vinous. Nice full mouthfeel. Flavor is malty then vinous, supported by a nice balance of hops toward the end. Some chocolate or roasted notes are present in the backgrouond. Nicely balanced, it has a fair amount of alcohol warming that is noticeable too. Fairly dry finish. The bottle says this is a 2006 vintage. Recommended.

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Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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 cproioi
2.58/5  rDev -33%
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.

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

Refridgerated at the World of Beer in Clearwater, FL.

A: Copper brown, off-white head, good retention and lace.

S: Sherry (fortified wine), alcohol is apparant, prune, figs, brown sugar.

T: Alcohol is up front, but not overly aggressive. Sherry, prune, fig, dark bread, spicey (like a Christmas cake), brown sugar, pleasant bittersweet balance, warming.

M: Fairly full body (though it's not syrupy, it's well attenuated); creamy. Carbonation is moderate.

D: Quite good.

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Photo of mjc410
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a La Moneuse tulip...

A strong pour coaxed a luscious one finger head out of this beast, which receded to surface bubbles and a ring in a minute or so. The head's color is parchment tan. The beer's body, when not backlit, appears a mysterious deep ruby-brow. This is a very dark ale, and a light behind penetrates just enough to produce a fiery glow. Deep and rich malt greets the nose, as well as juicy cherries, molasses, and toffee. The taste is somewhat raisiny, with port coming through, and a whole slew of dark fruits, as well. Very sweet, and quite alcoholic. I can't comment on hop flavor or bitterness, but I imagine they are here, keeping the malt from absudity. Somewhat dry at the very start of the sip, but this doesn't last. Carbonation is almost non-existent, and the huge body leads to a syrupy thick mouthfeel. A marvelous, joy-inducing barleywine.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.19/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Time to give these guys another chance. Very much disliked their bland Tire Bite.

Horn Dog pours a very dark caramel brown, shot through with some ruby tinting. Head doesn't pour out big, nor does it stay anywhere near thick, just a thin layer across the top, and then almost nothing. Par for the style.

Huge, rich, syrupy aroma, lots of molasses, liqueur, vanilla, caramel and alcohol coming through. Mmmm...wonderful.

Flavors mirror the aromas, with bubblegum emerging as it warms. Good balance: not too spiky, not too thick, alcohol is present but not dominant, nice and warming, dessert-y and confectionery. Plenty of hops too, though not astringently piney. Also well-balanced. And you know that cereal Corn Pops, or is it Corn Puffs? This has something that recalls that, but not at all in a bad macro-corny way.

As for drinkability, like many barley wines, it's not an everyday beer, nothing you can kick back a few of without feeling incredibly woozy. So, an occasional treat.

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Photo of Dizzy
3.18/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass, dark reddish brown with tan head. Smells like alcohol mainly, with malt and some hops behind that. The taste is caramel with significant hop bitterness and alcohol burn going down. I think I will let a few sit awhile and see if that mellows. The mouthfeel is thick and sticky,with little carbonation, as you'd expect with a barleywine. At this time I would rate drinkability pretty low because of the alcohol and the bitterness. Maybe it will get better.

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Photo of rebel1771
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque dark reddish brown with a small head.

Aromas of fruit and caramel dominate with a heavy alcohol note.

The flavor is similar to the smell with candied fruit flavors coming through along with a caramel flavor and a pungent alcohol punch in the end.

Pretty good brew would have been better on a cold winter night instead of the middle of summer though.

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

12 oz bottle. Fantabulous artwork. Vintage 2005.

Pours almost flat, dark cherry. I know it's 10.5% and all, but it'd be nice to see at least a few bubbles.

Smells woody. Light hints of fruit from age along with a creeky old hop that gives the nose the electric zing of a good trippel. Still, not very complex or strong.

Big fruit. Lots of yeast, surprisingly. The yeast fades to a dark, belgiany malt that zips and zings all over your tongue. The hops, where are the hops? Tastes more like a dubble than an EBW.

A solid beer, but not a great example of the style and it could have used some more complexity. The bottle has aged about a year, but for a 10.5%er that shouldn't be anything.

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Photo of gnoff
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from 12 fl oz bottle courtesy of a friend, traded from the USA.

Red-brown color, tan head.
Lots of alcohol in the scent. Malty and sweet, spicy.
Taste is fresh spicy and a bit fruity, with "classic Barley Wine" taste as well.
Big mouthfeel.
Feeling of warming alcohol.

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Horn Dog Barley Wine Style Ale from Flying Dog Brewery
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 1,320 ratings