Horn Dog Barley Wine Style Ale | Flying Dog Brewery

very good
1,307 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

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Ratings: 1,307 |  Reviews: 832
Photo of hustlesworth
4.32/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- pours a murky swamp water brown with burnt golden highlights violet and cordovan qualities about it. the stream coming from the bottle however was like unused motor oil, an iridescent golden. it was shocking to see it accumulate into such a darkened bruise-colored hue. the creamy buff head on this one is small and short lived, but i didn't expect much anyway considering the style. lace forms in leopard spot fashion, very uniform and very aligned, slowly sliding their way down into the thin soapy ring that reforms itself with a good swirl. beautiful deep color with a very regal feel to it.

S- excellent aroma as well, enormously malty and fruity. akin to a good fortified wine but with much more depth, prune, date, raisin, fig, and noticeable (but not over the top) alcohol presence. brown sugar sweetness, even darker than that, like compressed pure can sugar, black cherries and port wine, earthy and herbal hops, somewhat piney and citrusy, pineapple, but i was surprised to discover that they are cascades as the huge malt presence transforms them into one hell of a different (but good) aroma.

T- very sweet up front with a complex and long lasting flavor profile. this B dub definitely moves in stages sweet> alcoholic> fruity> toasty> hoppy/herbal. i'll try to map it out. sugary rock candy syrup sweetness cloys the palate and is abruptly struck by a lightning bolt of grain alcohol esters. bittersweet chocolate follows with its sugar content being drained away resulting in a mish-mash of the aforementioned 'dark' dried fruits, mainly dates, like the sugar coated little bits in your healthy breakfast cereal, and dried figs. herbal anise, jagermeister to the max at this stage, bitter plum skin contributes its fair share and cascade bitterness drops by just in time to be overtaken by toasty german malts from all directions. some more sweetness builds up but this time instead of sugary sweet its more of an organic- fructose- natural- subdued sweetness accompanied by toasty but almost undecipherable malt bombs. in fact, the malts are so fruity that the transition would have gone unnoticed if not for the brief visit from ol' piney cascade. traces of grain and cascade fade out in the finish and i'm left with a clean noble hop-type bitterness and plenty of alcohol esters that could get a ticket for loitering. complexity= awesome, overall taste= eh.

MF- no doubt this is full of goodies, the feeling of particles between my teeth, a grainy film on the cheeks, tight fizzies above and medicinal beneath, raw yet refined, at times cloying and rough, i'll kindly stop thinking in poetry stuff, but i will compare it's consistency to that of orange juice or perhaps whole milk. yes that's hefty.

D- a really good review overall, its drinkability for me stems from the depth of aroma and complexity of flavor which constantly keep me searching for more intricacies, a world of taste yet to be discovered, although i wouldn't quite write my mama and tell her about this one. i assume cellaring for a few YEARS would totally reform and mellow this monster caterpillar into one bad ass butterfly but sadly this is my only bottle. powerful and sedative. one is enufff.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.52/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is rich and has hints of licorice, orange and chocolate; it lacks the alcohol nip that I have gotten from most barley wines. Color is a clear mahogany with a fairly thick and persistent yellowish-beige head. Flavor is mainly malty and has ribbons of burnt caramel, unsweetened chocolate and hops; alcohol bite is not very noticeable, which is a plus. Texture is very smooth, and aftertaste has equal amounts of sweetness and hoppy bitterness.

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Photo of drpimento
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

consensus here amongst buds is a very user friendly barley wine. Cant think of a more balanced barley wine than this. Poured with a nice head an plenty a lace. Would be great as a before/after dinner treat. Pleasing rich dark amber color. Fruity bittersweet. Balanced. A tad boozy in the finish. N 'ats it.

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Photo of ommegoose
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle. Stamped with the word "vintage." A year would have been nice. I'm guessing this is between 6 and 12 months old (the store . Served very slightly chilled.

Transparent burgundy color. Quarter inch of frothy creme-colored head. I swirled frequently to dig up more aromas, which refreshed the head every time. When I let it be, it left an even sheet of lacing on the drinking side of the glass.

Big rich malty smell, but more than hint of booziness. Raisin and molasses sweetness. Vanilla. Smells appealing, but too much hotness.

Sweet malt flavors are reminiscent of dark plums, raisin, vanilla, dark caramel, brown sugar. Chocolate is a stretch. Any roasty, burnt, or smoky flavors are very subdued. A little bit of leafy hop in the back gives some needed balance. Finishes a little spicy (nutmeg, clove). Very yeasty, bready aftertaste. Not as boozy as it smells, but it's definitely present.

Mouthfeel is too thin for the style. For this abv, I would expect a more viscous feel. Has some thickness, but falls short. Improves a bit to the end when the carbonation fades. I think it would pay to let this sit and breathe before drinking

Alcohol hits about halfway through. A slow drinker. Kind of kicking my butt right now. Maybe I'm on an empty stomach. This is an enjoyable beer to have one of, just not interesting enough to demand sip after sip. Generally I'd prefer a nice doppelbock.

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Photo of glid02
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this at Green's in Atlanta.

Pours a slightly cloudy dark brown with a one-finger dark tan head. The head sticks around for a while before dissipating into a wispy layer of bubbles on top and a thin ring around the glass. There's not much lacing.

Smells very sweet. There's also a tiny bit of chocolate aroma along with some alcohol if you really get your nose in there.

Tastes very sweet as well, but not too cloying. There's also some molasses that I can detect, and some dark chocolate. Alcohol is well-masked.

Mouthfeel is very nice. It's got a great thickness and it goes down very smoothly.

Drinkability is good. The alcohol is hardly noticeable, which is admirable.

Overall this is a solid barleywine, and a pretty good deal. Worth a shot.

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

Served from a 12 oz. brown bottle with "Vintage '07" printed on the label.

Pours a hazy, reddish-brown/dark copper hue with a thin tan head that fades quickly to nothingness and leaves a fairly clean glass.

The usual sweet nose of dark fruits, raisins, and figs makes itself clear, and is quite enticing.

Mouthfeel is somewhat thick, teetering on the edge of syrupy but not quite there. The dark fruits are apparent on the palate, along with rich, sweet malt, and a faint tinge of bitter hops in the background. Finishes fairly sweet with a slight alcoholic warming on the way down.

Despite the high 10.5% ABV, I'm not really feeling too much from this beer, and feel that I could drink another.

Perhaps not really the right beer for these hot Georgia summer nights, but I'm of the opinion that there's no perfect season to enjoy a beer -- a good beer is a good beer, and though this is not groundbreaking as far as the style goes, it is most definitely a good beer.

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Photo of jbphoto88
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dull beer bottle brown with almost no head. Thick beverage that has an opaque body and only a thin collar of oily hazy bubbles over the surface.

Smell is caramel, maple syrup and beefy malts. Lightly boozy but engaging. It smells like a beer you want to drink... or at least one that I want to drink.

Taste is not a let down. Like the nose there are caramelized malts and sweet fruity flavors that all play well with each other and even elude to a dark bitter chocolate. Combined with a nice biting astringent finish that ties everything together as a well balanced beer.

This full bodied beer is not for the faint of heart. It has a lot of flavor, excellent bite, balanced carbonation and a better then decent nose. All of which mask the over 10% ABV although you can feel the warmth in your throat after the first few sips. A fine offering from Flying Dog.

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Photo of SLeffler27
4.32/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The thin off white head still has remnants of froth, more akin to lather, while fine carbonation clings to the snifter, in a dark plumb liquid that passes little light. What head there is, leaves blotches of lace, until coated by a thin film of legs deposited by gently swirling the glass.

Raisins leap to the front, while the alcohol fumes carry brandy and dried fig. This is no wet dog, as it is sweet and malty molasses with cherry/vanilla in the middle. The complexity keeps building as it warms.

Rum marinated pears and similar dried fruits round out earth tones, as warming alcohol and distilled wine provide a quick snap of bitterness, followed by gradually receding sweetness in the finish.

This is a full bodied, very syrupy, and softly carbonated, with a touch of alcohol sting, reminding one to tread lightly. The texture is indulgent as it defines smooth.

A delicious desert on it's own, and an excellent match for conversation, as it unfolds with warmth. Keep the romance alive with a glass of this stuff.

Two years mellowing imparted a nice character to this already fine offering from Flying Dog.

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Photo of changeup45
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep brown/amber color, some haze and a moderate head that settles to a pretty nice foamy ring on top. Aroma is sugary with alcohol, sweet malts and some oak. The flavor is sweet raisins and plums with maple sugar and honey with some alcohol noticeable. Finishes with some spice and hops. Not complex but good. For whatever reason, while not as complex, this reminds me a little of Dogfish Immort. Pretty easy drinking for a barleywine even as it warms. Not spectacular but I liked it.

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Photo of Thunderball
4.39/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this offering into a wine goblet. This amber brown opague liquid produced a very slight head that decided not to hang around for the party. The smell was quite pleasant with the raisin and cherry dominating the nose. The taste was very much like the smell, raisin and plum like characters with some brown sugar and caramel to go along with the malt. Finishes with a slight bitter twang, and a bit of carbonation to the back of the palate. Flying Dog is one of my favorite breweries, and this example of there fine work has not let me down.

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Photo of MmmIPA
4.06/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark brown body with a thick white head that goes away slowly.It leaves a nice ring and some lacing.Nice little bubbles make the ring and a small patch in the center of my glass.When swirled, the head looks like a pancake as its cooking,all the little bubbles in it.

The smell is sweet with raisin also.I cant smell any hop notes but I wouldn't expect to.

First sip...sweet,oily,some booze and raisin.

Not much carbonation but that's fine because the beer is so thick that carbonation wouldn't cut through it.

Its times like these that makes me glad that I started drinking better beer.This beer is elegant and its a sipper and I could sip it all day and be happy without the hoppiness.Great beer from Flying Dog.

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

Appearance: Reddish-brown, fading head.

Smell: Sweet raisin, caramel, booze.

Taste: Very sweet caramel, cherry, plum flavors. Not overly sweet. Alcohol is well hidden, no burn.

Drinkability: Easier drinking than expected for a strong beer. Usually reasonably priced.

Finished off the Flying Dog mixed 4 pack. Horn Dog is definitely an English Barleywine, on the sweet side but not over-the-top. A nice sipping beer.

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Photo of scottyshades
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Date of Review: 08.23.2008
A: Pours a deep rich amber/brown color that leaves a 1.5 finger off-white head. There is decent retention and good lacing around the glass

S: Strong notes of dark fruit; figs, raisins, grapes, and cherry. Also, there is definitely a presence of hops and alcohol

T: Sweeter tasting beer than the nose had indicated. Notes of figs, dates, raisins, and cherry. Also, molasses, caramel, and brown sugar to balance the other hop flavors

MF: Good carbonation in this beer, gives a little "tingly" feeling. Clean finish with a raisin/plum aftertaste which is pleasant

D: Good for a beer of this power and style. The alcohol is decently hidden so watch out

This was my first barleywine style brew and I was a little apprehensive at first, but now I am glad that I tried it

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.37/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz Steven picked up for me at Bottleworks about a year ago now. Not sure of the year, but it says "VINTAGE" printed into the label on the bottom right corner... no year though. Poured into my New Belgium snifter.

1" head dies leaving a good collar and spotty lacing every time I swirl the glass.. brew is dark walnut.. Deep brown/dark ruby highlites show slightly when held to a bright light.

Aroma is thick toffee and caramel along with a dusting of cocoa... very malty and only a moderate amount of dried fruitiness ...sorta smells like a box of raisins... maybe a little tawny port.

Flavor is again pretty raisiny.. with big biscuity and bready malts that mix seamlessly into the caramel. Huge flavor profile across the board... the fruitiness moves into cherries mid palate and then into plum in the finish... lighter chocolate essence and dark caramel .. very rich .. thick flavors none bigger than the others. Body is viscous and smooth.

I think I may have screwed up on this tonight... I thought I grabbed a newer bottle, instead I am pretty sure this is an older one. It's been in MY cellar for a year, but I've had Horn Dog before, and this one seems well aged for alot longer than a year. I am pretty sure I poured something older than expected, I just have no Idea how old it was.

That said, I am going to go finish my last half glass and enjoy it very very much.

Edit: I KNOW this is an older English BW... just way too complex for a younger brew.... anyway, thanks Steven.


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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.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.87/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on 8-17-08
2007 Vintage

Pours a deep reddish brown, with countless tiny yeast floaters. So many floaters it takes on an almost cloudy appearance, which isn't a bad thing.

Smell is very sweet, with a sharp fruitiness and a very pleasant booziness. Very good.

Taste is sweet, dark fruit at first, followed by a boozy bite. Very tart in the middle, with a balancing , sweet hop bitterness. Very old ale in flavor.

Mouthfeel is very slick, low carbonation keeps the flavors thick and syrupy.

Drinkability is good, but this is a very strong beer.

Overall, an English barleywine without the annoying English flavors. Very good, and satisfyingly different.

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Photo of ewright
3.82/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured into an oversized Waterford snifter. Dark brown, slightly hazy, with little head that rapidly dissipates. Moderate lacing present.

S: Dark and musty, with raisin and plum up front. A faint yeasty note rises up from behind.

T: Malt forward as befits an English barleywine. Notes of tropical fruit and dry dark fruits: papaya, raisin. Hops are subdued in the flavor department, but provide decent balancing bitterness. Alcohol is obvious but not overbearing.

M: Just a bit heavy and cloying. Carbonation is appropriately light.

D: I prefer hop-forward American Barleywines. However, this one is just sweet enough that I will sip it as befits such a large beer rather than rushing through it.

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Photo of bobhits
3.72/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A. Dark brown virtually no head (as if that matters). A bit darker than most barley wines but nothing special.

S. Sweet fruity hint first (ok smells like bubble gum to me) and then finishes with some slightly more earthy sweetness.

T. This beer is fairly cold and it tastes like bubble gum with some more caremell malt to finish. I'll wait for it to warm before I make any final decisions. As it warms the booze effects finishes stronger and stronger, warming the body. This is an interesting brew to say the least. There is a nice bit of hops to finish this but the alcohol kick seems to over power. As it warms the malt flavor reminds me almost of grapes. It's a very interesting taste.

M/D. This beer toys with being a sipper and being a drinking beer. The flavor would love to have you drink playfully, but the alcohol kicks in and forces you to sip. That said it's almost too strong based on only being 10%. I've had stronger beers that had less kick. That said I enjoy the thickness and am enjoying sipping.

All and all this is a very sold beer. Well worth trying, but not something that I'll make a habit of drinking often.

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

A: Poured a dark brown color. Little to no head with nice lacing around he sides.

S: Nice and fruity with some sweet caramel notes. A slight hop scent as well.

T: Strong sweet malt taste. Some nice hop bitterness along with a pungent alcohol taste you expect from a barely wine.

M: Very full and robust feel. Not a lot of carbonation.

D: I'm no flying dog fan but this was pretty good. It was a well balanced barely wine. It wasn't overly alcoholic and had a nice hop and malt balance.

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Photo of ryrust5301
4.57/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - A very deep brown color with gold and red hues. Head was thin and almost slick looking, typical of a barleywine.

Smell - Huge sweet malt smell all the way to the bottom of this one. Carmel and some fruitiness give it almost a quad note.

Taste & Mouthfeel - Slick with virtually no carbonation. It just glides all the way through the mouth and down the throat. Lots of caramel and fruit to this one that gives it a deep sweetness with a robust flavor. Once again it reminds me of a boozy quad, and thats a good thing.

Drinkability - Definitely one of the sweeter, smoother barleywines i've ever had. Way more depth than I would have expected out of a flying dog brew. A diamond in the rough, and a total surprise.

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Photo of Spidey13
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Horn Dog pours a hazy, deep brick brown color, pretty close to the color of a beer bottle. A small off-white head leaves a good amount of lace behind.

There is a lot of sweet malt on the noce, along with spicy hops and alcohol. Some raisin and prune notes also show up. The taste starts with very sweet honey; almost candy-like. This is followed by a mild alcohol burn and a bit of bitterness. It gets a bit sticky sweet after a while but it isn't that bad as long as you eat something to break it up. I ate Wheat Thins.

The mouthfeel is nice and full, though a bit slick and syrupy in the back.

For a barlywine, this beer is very drinkable and I enjoyed it very much.

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Photo of JasonA
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 07A. Thanks to a trade, I was reminded I had some of this from 07. Perfect timing as I put my newly acquired 08 in place of this 07.

Pours a transparent carmel syrup with a single finger head. Carbonation dissapates quickly to reveal lots og lacing considering. Quick jostle releases lots more head.

Fermented carmel, malt, honey ... in a good way. Roasted malt, full bodied. I would wear cologne of this smell. I would date a woman who sweat this smell. NOM NOM NOM NOM

Syrup, smooth, sweet ending with some hops. Hop finish is quite nice.

Sits so well in the mouth. ABV is high, but the malt just engulfs it with flavor.

I love this beer. BW is my favorite style by far. Give me more.

Note: This is an english BW. I tell ya, show me the guy who decides which style a BW is, thats the guy who knows his stuff. Such subtle differences.

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Photo of cvstrickland
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12-ounce bottle poured into my squatty li'l Delirium Tremens tulip yields a hazy dark chestnut-tinged amber body with a thin beige cap that retains at a creamy ring. A few flecks of lacing stick on the glass.

The smell of the drink is liquory and sweet with a touch a warm brown sugar, fruit, and cocoa.

The drink is marvelously smooth with a dry malty woodiness and a sweet mouthful of chocolate covered fresh Ranier cherries. Not those syrup-filled jobs from the sampler, mind you, I'm talking actual fresh cherries drizzled with actual baker's semi-sweet chocolate. In an English barleywine?!? Super good, and very surprising.

Soft and silky. Sticky a bit, but not obnoxiously so. Great linger upon the palate. Superb sipper, as per style.

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Photo of Pencible
4.57/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This poured a hazy, muddy brown with almost no head. It smelled like molasses and caramel with barley malt. It tasted very complex with many layers of citrus hops, caramel malt, barley, raisin bread, bitter chocolate, and alcohol. It was slightly thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a brief surprisingly sweet aftertaste. Overall this was much better constructed than I anticipated, with intricate and delicate flavor that was still fairly easy to drink. Well done!

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

Hmm ... this is an interesting Barleywine. I'll take it. Unfortunately what's interesting is that it's like other barley's but less. The other descriptions are fair enough. It's opaque, makes almost no foam and has the smallest of bubbles, is true to the style, IMO. Looks, smells, tastes like it should. Hides alcohol well.

I wasn't set on the mouthfeel, though. It was thick, but I wanted it to be either thicker or brighter--probably brighter with more fruit. Or maybe more of a presence of alcohol. Nor did I like the nose--a good, full barleywine should make you sorry you nosed it. I was sorry it didn't.

Nevertheless, it's a good beer that I don't regret drinking.

The oddest thing about it was that the first sip was a creeper. Tasted like nothing, took a minute to fill out. Strange.

Last but not least, this is one of the good ones in from a brewery that makes a lot of ordinary beers. Good job on this one, "dogs."

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Horn Dog Barley Wine Style Ale from Flying Dog Brewery
3.84 out of 5 based on 1,307 ratings.
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