I have really enjoyed the various beers that Flying Dog puts out. I was a bit irritated when they moved the brewery to Maryland, but oh well - just means I have to make a longer trip to visit. I think I have tried almost all of their standard varieties, but not a lot of their speciality beers, as we don't get a whole lot of them in Albuquerque. Fortunately, Phoenix is just a few hours away and they have get WAY more beers than we do. So, on a recent trip out there, I stumbled upon the Flying Dog Horn Dog Barley Wine. I think I've had one or two barley wines before this one, so was looking forward to seeing how this one compared to the others I've tried. I must say, I was pretty pleased.
The beer looks absolutely beautiful from the first pour and giving it a bit to settle. There is a really rich rubycolor with a light head. The coloring was really unique and pretty mesmerizing. The fruity aroma was apparent, but not overly sweet smelling. There was some good malt in there too which was a nice addition. The malt was much more evident in the taste - a rich malt flavor that sticks around a bit. I got some licorish, chocolate, caramel, cherry, alcohol, ... The flavor builds as it goes, so the full flavor profile will take a little bit to kick in. The beer is very smooth and velvety, with an enjoyable aftertaste. Not terribly carbonated, but that added to the smoothness. The 10.4% ABV keeps this from being a regular beer, but it was enjoyable for the occassional brew.
Appearance - 4.5/5.0 - beautiful rich brown color, light head, but color is awesome
Smell - 3.0/5.0 - fruity but not overly so, little malt, ok, but nothing special
Taste - 4.0/5.0 - rich malt flavor, sticks around a bit, licoricsh, little chocolate, full flavor takes a bit to kick in
Feel - 4.5/5.0 - smooth and velvety, some aftertaste but enjoyable
Drinkability - 4.0/5.0 - not regularly otherwise I'd be an alcoholic, would definitely have again though