Flying Dog Wild Dog – Barrel Aged Horn Dog

This is a beer I’ve been looking for a long time and when I was offered it during a beer trade, I jumped on it.  Each Year Flying Dog puts out a new beer in their Wild Dog Series, several years ago they barrel aged some of their Horn Dog English style Barleywine in Oak Whiskey Barrels.  You may be asking why am I reviewing this beer instead of saving/cellaring it further.  I asked Matt Brophey, Head Brewer of Flying Dog, should I drink it now or cellar, he eluded to drinking it now since it was already several years old.  He also said it had a lot of vanilla when it was originally packaged, so that is something I’ll be looking for.flyingdog_bahorndog

ABV: 10%

Bottle: 12 oz capped.

Bottled: 2007

Appearance:

A pretty dark beer with some mahogany highlights, I thought it would be a bit lighter.  It poured with a small head and that quickly dissipated leaving a small collar of a sandy colored foam.

flyingdog_bahorndog2

Aroma:

This beer had a big boozy nose, lots of sweet raisin, whiskey, and vanilla.  Unfortunately there was a hint of cardboard coming through.  Overall the aroma was lovely, but that bit of cardboard is a tell tail sign of oxidation.  Not the breweries fault, but a capped beer to last over 3 years is pretty tough even under the best conditions.  But, like I said the aroma was really nice.  I spent several minutes just smelling the beer and loving it.

Taste:

flyingdog_bahorndog3A big concern going into tasting a beer that is a couple years old is the oxidation and how well it was stored.  Since I only received the beer in the mail a couple days ago, I was not sure what to expect – I was basically on pins and needles.

WOW! So smooth, like butter! It is oxidized for sure, but quite frankly it is a very solid beer.  The vanilla and whiskey have held up very well and the malty sweetness of the barleywine has blended well.  Up front there is a significant malty chocolate caramel sweetness which quickly melds into the vanilla and whiskey treat.  But the whiskey and vanilla flavors are so integrated into the feel of the beer they don’t disrupt the flavor of the beer.  The beer is so incredibly smooth and blend that even the 10% abv on the finish is a nice marriage into the beer.   There is a slight sherry flavor in the finish of beer, most likely caused by oxidation, but it compliments the vanilla whiskey flavors nicely.

Calories: At 10% abv, due to the sweetness, I would error on the high side of my Calorie Chart and estimate 310-325 calories per 12 oz.

Glassware: Goblet or Wine Glass

Overall Impression:

I wish I could have drunk this beer a couple years ago to compare.  But even though this beer was 3 years and a bit oxidized, I really enjoyed the flavors and how smooth this beer was.  I’m interested to hear what others thought of this beer.

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4 Responses to “Flying Dog Wild Dog – Barrel Aged Horn Dog”

  1. Derek Says:

    You had me at sweet raisin, whiskey and vanilla! Bummer about the oxidation. I am hypersensitive to the dry dusty paper/cardboard aromas and it really sucks. Congrats on getting your hands on a bottle of this.

  2. Simply Beer Says:

    Thanks Derek it’s not an easy beer to find, it also had a pretty hefty trade value. But, it was a beer that I wanted. I’m sure I can get the beer I traded for it again so it was well worth it.
    I’m not a fan of oxidation either, but the cardboard in the aroma was really a minor part of the whole aroma. And the sherry in the flavor really was integrated in to the vanilla and whiskey well, so the oxidation in this beer was really not a detraction from the overall. Also considering the age, you’d be hard pressed not to find one without some oxidation.

  3. Don Says:

    Perhaps your trader suspected it had oxidized. Might have been dumping it. But all in all it sounds like a pretty tasty brew. Do they still make it? Is it something they bottle annually? Wondering if it might appear on store shelves ever again.

  4. Simply Beer Says:

    This was a one off lets try this kind of beer in 2007. I knew the risk of oxidation going into the trade, but even the BJCP say the Oxidation is ok in an aged barley wine, within moderation. In the end I don’t feel I got the short end of the trade. I’m extremely satisfied with the beer. I would love to see this again on the shelves with a current Horn Dog vintage, but who knows if they will…


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