Flying Dog’s labels first caught my eye a few months ago. Their designs are quite different – a dirty, graffiti-type design which almost reminds me of the original Ren & Stimpy animation styles. It looks so alien and different compared to the symmetrical, badge-shaped ables of the beer around it. So on a cold rainy day, the dog caught my eye, and I thought a barley wine would be a nice warming brew to enjoy while watching the grey day end. (On a side note, tomorrow is supposed to be in the nineties, something I am really looking forward to – I am eager to get a summer Beer Babe picture…)
I poured this and was delighted to see that it was dark and malty, with little head and a nice sweet smell that almost reminded me of maple syrup. (I get nervous when barleywines pour transparent…) This would not be a hoppy brew, no, this would be a malty barleywine as they are meant to be. I tasted it and was not disappointed. It had a great maltiness to it and the warmth and twinge of alcohol that I really wanted. It warmed me immediately. I took care to taste this with all of my attention, because I was really looking foward to a complex brew. I like this one a lot and it is not overly sweet or even nauseatingly malty like some other barleywines and wheat wines that I’ve tried recently.
I found out on Flying Dog’s website that this is also aged for 3 months before bottling – a great idea for a brew like this. I think the aging adds a great balance to the brew and ups the alcohol to a hefty 10.2% ABV. This is a good one to experiment with aging, and I might keep a few bottles of this around to see if the horn dog gets hornier with age.
This is my first review from this brewery, and I’m quite encouraged by the quality of this barleywine. I think the next time I go back to the bevy I’ll try to pick up a few more to play with.