Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Horn Dog Barley Wine Style Ale | Flying Dog Brewery

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Horn Dog Barley Wine Style AleHorn Dog Barley Wine Style Ale
Very Good
1,308 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,308 |  Reviews: 833
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.

 707 characters

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.

 1,054 characters

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.

 652 characters

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.

 579 characters

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.

 327 characters

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.

 447 characters

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.

 484 characters

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.

 881 characters

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.

 996 characters

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.

 480 characters

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.

 375 characters

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.

 699 characters

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.

 288 characters

Photo of kimcgolf
2/5  rDev -48.1%
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 hoppymeal
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown in color with hints of red and a cream to tan colored head that fades to a ring around the glass. Smells of sweet fruit, plums, caramel malt, dry red wine, and a litlle boozy. My first impression of the taste is that it is fairly hoppy for an english bw, more an american style imo. There is a medium bodied cola - vanilla sweetness up front followed by a slight peppery and smoky tingle on the tongue which finishes with a nice hop bitterness and a little alcohol. Overall, an enjoyable hoppy strong ale/barleywine that I would drink again.

 560 characters

Photo of Erdinger2003
2.9/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Served in a John's Grocery Tulip glass.

The head is foamy and pillowy with a lacing that sticks nicely to the glass leaving it's footprints behind as you go. The head doesn't stay thick, but still stays.

The smell is very fruity and the hops are slighty mellow and flowery leaving room for the fruit flavors to come through very nicely.

The fruit flavors are abundant, but the hops have become a little dank and wet leaving the coffee flavor behind...not the greatest combination I have ever had...it's very earthy.

The mouthfeel is smooth and wet leaving a good resinence on your tongue that gives you that coffee flavor at the end of the dank hops.

Overall I like the fresh stuff much better for this year.

 725 characters

Photo of dfried
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Just the slightest film and ring of head, but an amazing color, deep brown with a slight burgundy tinge. The smell is of a strong malty and fruity character, with noticeable floral and citrus hops. Initially, I couldn't figure out if I liked the taste much for the first part of the beer, but by the end all of the flavors became a bit more noticeable. This is a quite sweet and fruity barley wine, with a lot of deep flavor like plums and wine grapes which helps mask the alcohol like a liquour. Definitely some deep caramel and almost red malt flavor, with some spicy hops in the finish. Decent mouthfeel. Consume with caution, these puppies are good, but strong.

 665 characters

Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.52/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single for $2.29 at Woodman's West here in Madison.

Pours a nearly opaque rusty garnet hue beneath a few fingers of capuccino froth, leaving a sheet of soapy lacing trailing down from the gold rim of my Gulden Draak tulip. Nose is fruity up front, with notes of cherry cider, white grape, and fig over sopping grapefruit hops. Taste is cherry yogurt, brandy soaked raisins, over caramel malt with a light herbal hop finish. Mouthfeel is creamy and luxurious yet not chewy enough to bog you down. The alcohol is there, but there's enough complexity in the nose and palate to balance it out. A top notch barley wine here, caught me a little off guard as I had, until now, yet to be impressed by the Flying Dog I've had outside of Gonzo. One of the best barley wines I've had to date.

 796 characters

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Funky Flying Dog label artwork is repeated on this offering, the Horn Dog, has well erm a dog with a horn on it. Sealed with a dark blue crown cap which has the Flying Dog logo on it, and the words ‘Cut the Leash’. Not much information on the main label, but it does have the word “Vintage” printed on a small white rectangle in the bottom right hand corner of the label, no year though.

Appearance: Pours with little to no head, what does appear, fizzes like a cheap Cola and quickly disappears. Though finely dissolved, the carbonation is in tune though and it doesn’t seem to contribute anything to the appearance. Dark mahogany body with deep red flashes when backlit but it is clear and portrays a classic Barleywine look. A constant light brown halo ring remains throughout though.

Nose: Baked figs and prunes with a toasty alcohol accent in the caramel background. Sweet malts embalmed with a caramelized raisin edge.

Taste: Maltose feel in the start benefits from deep rich malts which are heavily accentuated with bonfire toffee, parkin and a soft caramel backbone. Mid-way through, my nose picks up the heat from the vaporized brew as I accidentally inhaled with the beer in my mouth, it warms the nose and burns a little. The alcohol is much softer on the tongue though, almost gentle. Ending has some caramelized pears and spicy hops right in the finish. Bitterness in the swallow gives this one a West Coast Barleywine feel. Enjoyable and very attractive!

Mouthfeel: Warming tones are comforting rather than annoying; the temperature is decidedly toasty rather than hot. The alcohol builds and supports the chewy thickness but is never cloying. Sweetness still adds some body and it is the one aspect that will reduce with age I suspect. Nice to go now though. High end feel.

Drinkability: Sips nicely, a warming fireside brew that is great to cuddle up to on a night. The whole 12 ounce tops up the snifter nicely. Went well with a plate of aged Irish cheddar at the end of the night. Incredibly easy to get along with.

Overall: I wanted to get a chance to try this one for a while. Thanks to Gentlemen BA BigHuge I now had the opportunity to do so. Worth waiting for, and one of the better offerings from Flying Dog.

 2,270 characters

Photo of VoodooBrew
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 vintage.

Sweet malt on the nose, with moderate hops. Flavors open up with a good dallop of malt and caramel, showing also toasty notes, before finding nice balance with a bitterness that, while adequately firm, resists the temptation to throw things out of whack. Bitterness perks up again in the finish, before things close out sweet and cola-like, but not viscous or cloying.

Not the most adventurous or daring of examples (could it be my bottled has mellowed this much already?) but altogether fairly balanced and pleasant. Some among us (myself included) would like more hops, but there are certainly enough BWs out there to fill that need (see Hog Heaven!).

 675 characters

Photo of HopsHops
4.69/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I am not much of a reviewer but this one is just great...

A - I poured a shot for a friend who isnt much of a beer drinker and it was lightly carbonated and very dark ..and i suppose there wasnt much lacing ....i guess that doesnt necessarily have to determine anything...

S - VERY NICE ..i really like the sweet aroma this beer gives off...
just plain good

T - Wow.. totally sweet with such a low carbonation and i didnt think i was going to like it but after my first sip i know ill be back for more of this one

M F - I really like it..goes down so easy and isnt as heavy as i had expected... exquisite

D - Ok fellers lets be honest here... this IS a barleywine which in all forms and brands tends to be pretty damn strong so i am not going to say id drink these all night but i have sure had no trouble taking down 3 of them tonight.... i totally like this beer i think all beer lovers should try it once. i will definitely be getting it again as soon as i see it..try it with foods... i had nachos with it and it went surprisingly well with that ...i love it love it love it

 1,094 characters

Photo of doppelmeup
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a snifter glass full while sitting on my deck this evening.

Typical Barley-wine look. Very little head, and a slight ring which remained throughout the glass. Golden amber color. Looked very much like a glass of sherry.

A definite sweet, malty aroma. Alcohol and dark brown sugar, candied dates with some citrusy, fruity aromas in the background.

The taste was pretty good. Sweet, with a sharp bitterness from the alchohol. Not a bad flavor, but I prefer Sierra Nevada Old Foghorn over this beer.

Mouthfeel is not as thick as I was expecting, but is slightly syrupy and warming from the high alcohol. Minimal carbonation.

This is definately a sipping drink. Warms the palate nicely, especially outside on a cool evening. Couldn't drink a lot in a row, however, but one glassfull hits the spot.

 815 characters

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

12oz bottle: This one pours a caramel brown color. It was pretty much devoid of head. The aroma is sweet, but not overly so. Mainly caramel notes, but also some alcohol coming through. Maybe some plums also. The taste is OK. Not the best barleywine I’ve had, but far from the worst. The taste is caramel malt, with some dates and plums. Also some of the alcohol comes through. A suprisingly lighter body than I would expect.

 425 characters

Photo of madmarkas
3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a thick dark brownish amber. The smell is like a butter scotchy carmely beer cake which masks most of the smell of alcohol. The taste is strong but smooth and is what you would expect from a beer modeled like a wine. It feels creamy in your mouth and you can taste every grain.

I split this beer with a buddy and I believe this is all I could drink. The horndog is tasty but its not your grandmaws beer. If you drink this beer you are a memeber of my new special club.

 488 characters

Photo of Crosling
2.76/5  rDev -28.3%
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

Horn Dog Barley Wine Style Ale from Flying Dog Brewery
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 1,308 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

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