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
Reviews: 831 | Ratings: 1,303
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.

 224 characters

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.

 681 characters

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.

 670 characters

Photo of stephenjmoore
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2011 Vintage

A- Brownish-amber with some transparency, just a hint of yeasty haze. No head to speak of, with just a few off-white bubbles on top of the body.

S- Sweet caramel malts, hints of dark fruits, slight nuttiness.

T- Really similar to the aroma, sweet malts up front with a blast of more sweetness, lots of caramel and dark fruit flavors, grainy bread. Any hops that may have been present have faded and this is a big sweet barleywine.

M- Big and sweet, but smooth enough for easy sipping. Low carbonation.

O- I feel like the aging made this one better, but it is certainly a big, sweet barleywine. The depth of the flavor is pretty good and worth a try.

 667 characters

Photo of CDAtkinson
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark amber hue with an off white head
S: Table grapes, juicy bubblegum, fresh mossy bark, burnt pineapple
T: Sharp red plum flavors, sweet malty notes, more bubblegum notes
M: Heavy mouthfeel (though not as heavy as a porter or stout), filled about 70% of the mouth
O: Big flavors, powerful brew, very drinkable, could put you under the table if you're not paying attention.

 385 characters

Photo of weeare138
4.14/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appears a dark opaque crimson times amber. A thick white cap slowly fades, and scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of cherries, honey, toasted barley, fresh bread, citrus, and pine sap.
Taste is of the aromas with a honey malt sweetness, followed by ripe fruit, bitter hops, and doughy yeast.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, chewy, viscous, and sweet with hot alcohol hanging on in the finish.

 412 characters

Photo of RollBounce
4.82/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Caramel, dates, malt, toast, buckwheat honey, liquid yeast, citrus, and sweet sherry, can be found on this long nose.

Front is rich, creamy, full, robust, with some citrus hops on the sides of my tongue. Plums and chocolate on the long balanced finish.

Overall; My mouth salivates every time i have this brew. Personal pick for best English style barleywine made in the U.S.A.. Balanced with great length. Looking forward to tasting after aging a few years. (vintage 2011)

 477 characters

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.79/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A 355ml bottle with a BB of Jan 2014, so it's just out of date. Given the strength and style, I'm hoping this has aged nicely. Bought ages ago from Trembling Madness in York. Ralph Steadman's label art is a joy, as always.

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Bottle conditioned. A deep, hazy reddish-amber hue with fine sediment and medium carbonation. Yields a large head of creamy off-white foam that lasts for a few minutes before reducing to a patchy surface layer. Slight lacing. Aroma of sweet, fruity malt with hints of raisins, dried fruit, caramel, brown sugar, faint pine, stewed hops and yeast esters. A warming whiff of booze in the background. Rich and bordering on cloying.

Tastes of sweet, sweet malt with a fruity character and a subtle bitter finish. Notes of raisins, dried fruit, brown sugar, caramel, faint grain, mild pine resin, a twinge of weed, stewed hops, fruity yeast esters and warming alcohol. A suggestion of sherry and light oxidation. Very sweet, accompanied by a restrained, hoppy bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with pleasant carbonation and good body for the style. Slighlty astringent, followed by an aftertaste of sugary, fruity malt and faint pine.

An impressive take on the style; nicely mellowed with time. Looks great, with a colour not unlike fortified wine. The aroma and flavour are very sweet and fruity, with a subtle hop character that has probably faded somewhat. The bitterness is pitch-perfect. Lovely body - silky smooth. My only complaint is that it's perhaps a bit too sweet, but without a fresh bottle to compare it to I can't judge the extent of the aging process. Nonetheless, a big beer that commands your attention - worth sampling if you have the chance.

 1,735 characters

Photo of Pegasus
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Hazy dark brown with reddish highlights and a modest off-white head. Sparse, scattered lacing adorns the glass walls.

Aroma: A strong punch of spicy alcohol dominates the aroma, as well as sweet caramel, dark fruits, and black bread.

Taste: Opens with alcohol-soaked raisins, other dark fruits, dark caramel, and spicy alcohol. As the taste progresses, the caramel flavors intensify, as does the spicy alcohol. Dark bread, molasses, and caramel are also prominent. Hops seem absolutely, totally absent. Finishes with a lingering note of spicy alcohol and dark bread dipped in molasses.

Drinkability/notes: A very nice, over-the-top example, quite pleasing.

Presentation: Packaged in a twelve-ounce brown glass long neck bottle, with a pop-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

 806 characters

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 NeedBeerHere
3.34/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours out a dark maroon in color with a tiny brown head with little retention and no lacing. sweet is of nice sweet caramel malts, candy sugar, dark malts, and maybe a little toffee. Taste is very sweet from the candy sugars, definitely some sweet malts that seem to be malt forward but as many barlywines it is pretty sweet. Mouthfeel is medium thin or maybe a tiny bit thicker. Really this is a decent beer but a little too malty for my taste. Great beer but just a little too malty.

 485 characters

Photo of Mongrel
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This bad boy is five years old - vintage 2008. Poured from a cute 7 oz. pony bottle.

Appearance is a murky caramel brown with quickly dissipating head, Little to no lace. Interesting.

Smells herbal, with clove, cinnamon, brown sugar and plenty of dark fruit. A good whiff of booze too.

Taste is immediately sweet, but also brings some chai tea-like spices, like the aforementioned cinnamon and cloves, plus vanilla. Warm with booze and brown sugar, but also a touch of cool pine from hops.

Mouthfeel is thin -- very thin considering the gravity of this beer, but still coats the palate nicely.

Five years might have been too long for this beer. I just happened to have a fresh one on tap this evening as well, and it was much fuller in body, and ultimately more satisfying. The fresh one was also a much sweeter malt bomb. Two years on this beer might be better, to help temper some of the sweetness, but before it becomes too thin and herbal.

 951 characters

Photo of MaartenvanDoorn
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A very nice beer. iIt was poured from the bottle into the glass. The appearance is very good: not black but dark brown, and with a very nice amount of foam. The taste is also great: a nice sweet taste, with hints of vanilla and coffee and nuts. Nothing to dominant, good balance. Very nice beer!

 295 characters

Photo of Dsimenson
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a 16oz plastic champaign flute from BevMo. Poured conservatively, but it build a 1/2" head that degenerates to lacing after a few sips. Appearance is thick unfiltered honey. Rich, complex aroma. Flavor is bold, hops, some turpentine, and alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium thick, enjoyable. Overall I really enjoy this. I've only had Couple other barley wine style--I especially recall Bigfoot which I really enjoy. This one is very good, but a bit different in character.

 492 characters

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.

 1,280 characters

Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.46/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Burgundy pour with a small white light head. Nice lacings.

S: Dark dried fruits and rich sweet malt. Cherry kernel bitterness.

T: Follows the smell. They don't mess with the basics.

M: Sweet aftertaste. Fullbodied with no carbonation.

O: Fantastic, probably my bottle has been properly cellared for some time, but I think it would improve further with longer cellaring.

 376 characters

Photo of brewski09
4.59/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

VINTAGE 09LL 12 oz bottle poured into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter from my beer fridge (so about 50 degrees).

A - Clear deep brown, not quite 100% or brilliantly clear. A nice 2cm tan head that is thick and tight. It begins to recede almost immediately, but leaves a heavy lacing on the glass. This looks really nice so far.

S - I get a good amount of oxidation already from this beer, just pouring it. But it is around 4 years old, so that's to be expected. Smells like there may be a light barrel aging on this one under the Sherry oxidation tones. Dark fruits like plum and cherries (lightly sour/underripened) dance sweetly around with the other aromas. Maybe a little licorice? No tobacco, which would have completed this profile wonderfully. Pretty sure there are figs in this one too, but its been so long since I've had a good, ripe fig.

S (update) - The oxidation breaths off like a good wine and gets a lot lighter, balancing the profile with more cherry and fig. Let this one sit for a few minutes as you are drinking it.

T - Licorice and sherry with a bit of cherry like a deep red wine, then back to the licorice. This one just keeps alternating back and forth, refusing to be nailed down into one place. That dry cherry kicks in on the back end again as the mouth starts to clear a bit.

M - Thick and velvety. This one is a palate coater, so don't start with it in a tasting. It isn't overly sugary, and it isn't resiny or oily either. It is just there the way it is. Maybe a bit heavy on the sugars once the end of the glass is near, but still enjoyable. Sort of like a nice Belgian Quad.

O - This was my first time drinking the Horn Dog, so I have no fresh example to compare it too, but I would have to say this was a great beer. It has a little bit of everything, except noticeable hop characteristics. I don't know if they were there, or just faded over the last several years. I'll have to pick up a fresh one and try it next release. Much of the "spices" referenced in the brewery description have aged out.

 2,032 characters

Photo of Nightrain
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured in to a tulip glass
appearance: a dark brownish red with a 1/4 in whit head.
smell: burnt sugar, molasses, and caramel.
taste: sweet and malty up front that blends well with the hops with a slit bitter finish that lingers.
mouthfeel: medium body and mouth feel.

 280 characters

Photo of scotorum
3.62/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

In Maryland looking for local brews I can't get at home. The name made me laugh and barleywine is a style I find interesting.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Snoopy and Woodstock ceramic mug. like I said I am on travel and forgot to pack a tulip glass.

a: Rich dark red-brown. Not much tan head but some lacing.

s: Dark malt and prunes.

t: Yup if they made a strong beer out of prunes, it might taste like this. Moderate to heavy alcohol and/or hop bite. The label says it should taste of chocolate and licorice. Do those add up to prune?

m: Beer! Smooth with low carbonation made up for by the dark fruiity-bite.

o: Similar to Brooklyn Monster as a dark whallop, but tastes better with the prunelike fruitiness, although the funky who-soaked-gym-socks-in-the-wort in Monster is hinted at here too. At my age prune flavor is appealing LOL.

I'd buy this again, and may on my way back to Mastadonachusetts.. Another good store lined up for the voyage home tomorrow.

 976 characters

Photo of Axnjxn
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Flying Dog goblet. Vintage 12cc near the barcode.

pours a dark reddish brown color with a slight white head. Smell is classic barleywine with sweet alcohol and fruits on the nose. Taste is big on the plums and dates and figs up front with a sweet candy taste on the back end. wow. impressive and quite easy to drink. alcohol is very faint and hidden well. heavier side of medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall a fairly complex and pleasant example of a barleywine. Got this for $4.99 / 4 pack and am definitely impressed. Will enjoy drinking the other 3.

 581 characters

Photo of cbutova
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the very few mini-bottles I have come across. 2011 vintage I believe, "Vintage 0811."

A- Poured into a snifter from the bottle with a dark amber, opaque body. Very small hiss when opening the bottle foreshadowed the formation of just a small cloud and single bubble ring atop the beer, almost no head action. No lacing to speak of as this ends up looking more like a nice glass of wine.

S- Very strong aroma immediately upon opening the bottle. The snifter allows it to really hit me with strong fruit and old caramel notes. Some vinous sherry and port hints along with those of dusty basement, molasses and slight alcohol.

T- A very big flavor packed into the small bottle. Reminds me of JW Lees and Old Stock in ways with a huge dried fruit/raisin/vinous fruit quality and that good aged caramel feel that comes in Old Ales. Malts lend molasses, brown sugar, toasted nut and the aforementioned caramel. Somewhat sweet overall and no hops to speak of at this point.

MF- Fairly silky despite a low overall carbonation. Body itself has a thick, oily consistency and does well with the strong flavors at hand. Slight alcohol warming but for 10% this ABV is well hidden.

A good malt complexity and very well hidden ABV along with some aged characteristics I see in my favorite Old Ales. Nothing to complain about and a Barleywine that fans of the style should give a shot.

 1,382 characters

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

Horn Dog Barley Wine Style Ale
Flying Dog Brewery
Style: English Barleywine
ABV: 10.20 %
Vintage: 2013

LOOK: Clear amber with ruby hues. A solid pour yields a good few inches of foam, where the retention is excellent.

SMELL: Malty and fruity aroma, alcohol is also apparent. Toffee, caramel and toasted malts emerge more as it warms.

TASTE: Very fruity upfront reminiscent of fruit snacks. Hops are leafy and mild, lending only a slight bitterness, Fruity and a bit boozy, with notes of strawberry and date. A bit of toffee and rich caramel are around the edges. Becomes more nutty as it approaches room temperature.

FEEL: Full bodied, medium carbonation, drinks smooth and easy. Malty flavors linger on the palate, with a restrained sweetness.

OVERALL: A solid American Barleywine, and easier drinking than most. For 10.2% alcohol, there is only a slight evidence in the taste, This was pretty good overall.

 915 characters

Photo of gillagorilla
3.74/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a Flying Dog goblet

A: It is a deep brown with tinges of deep amber in there around the edges. There is even a bit of light lacing. The head is only about a finger, but disappears as soon as it appears.

S: You get a very light pine scent right before the malt sweetness powers through along with a bit of sugary chocolate. There is also a nice toasty roast in there as well.

T: The taste on this BW is very mild and even. I don't get much complexity and the sweetness is there but quite faded and subdued. It really tastes exactly like it smells. There are no hops that I can really place, but to me it seems they are what tie the whole thing together as a nice simple package that leaves a very subtle mouthfeel that is almost nonexistent.

M: There is almost no carbonation and it is deceptively smooth. Unless you were focusing on the mouthfeel, you wouldn't notice it, since it is so minimal. Also, you feel it most when you hold it in your mouth to warm up a bit.

O: This was my first English BW. I wasn't blown out of the water by this, but it is a decent and solid BW that is very drinkable. It is up against stark competition with Bigfoot, however that one is an American BW. There is nothing stellar about this BW but it has no alcohol burn unlike some other ones, which make it ready on day one.

 1,334 characters

Photo of roundthewaygirls
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

poured into a tumbler

A: brown with an orange hue. murky. a little light gets through. no head.

S: smells great. dark fruits, figs, dates plums. grape, vinous sourness. alcohol. very pungent. a slight grainy hint.

T: sweet, fruity, sticky. i'm hit with a vinous tang. grape tannins. booze is ever present. maple syrup finish. grains or burnt toast on top.

M: viscous, coats the mouth. booze.

O: sweet and tangy. multi-dimensional. BOOZY. i'm very surprised. i like flying dog well enough, but this is a very memorable barley wine in my opinion.

 553 characters

Photo of JamesMN
4.04/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep mahogany and one of the darkest Barleywines I've seen. Thin cap of off-white, almost tan, foam.

Aroma: A very rich and interesting bouquet of raisin, plum, molasses, and a touch of black liquorish.

Taste: Starts with a mix of dark fruit juices and a base of amber and caramel malts. The flavor stays pretty consistent throughout but has enough complexity to it that it never becomes repetitive. Perhaps the most immediately shocking component is that the 10.2% ABV is really not present in the flavor. It simply adds a liqueur-like heat to the finish which really brings out the raisin and fig flavors. There isn't much for hop character besides a persistent bitterness. At 45 IBUs it's not much more powerful than a Pale Ale but is definitely enough to make your palate take notice. A real nice balance between all the components.

Mouthfeel: Full and viscous in body with a velvet-like smoothness despite somewhat disruptive carbonation. Easy drinking for such a big beer.

Final Thoughts: Flying Dog's Horn Dog English Barleywine is a pretty great beer. However, it lacks the certain special quality that sets pretty great beers apart from world class brews. If you enjoy Barleywines and Scotch Ales I'd highly recommend seeking this one out because it is sure to please your palate. Would I drink it again? Yes.

 1,334 characters

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