Saturday, September 12, 2009

Horn Dog Barley Wine Style Ale

I was reading this article recently about the crazy and amusing things that people do to money. It's not just marking a number on the top bill to help with counting anymore. The article shows how people deface money in support of gun owners, gays, and fishermen. People also show their disdain for IBM and Starbucks in the examples they show. But my favorite is the $20 bill where someone with too much time on his hands turned Andrew Jackson into Gene Simmons. Great art work and classic stuff. Of course they also warn you that there are potential penalties for your expressions, should you choose to partake.

This article reminded me of a couple of punks I worked with summers in a parking lot in New Jersey. We handled lots of cash every day, and these guys used to write on the singles "Sex is Violent" from the Jane's Addiction song. They knew that they'd be able to turn every one of their artistic dollars over to the public before needing to make a deposit with the bosses, so why not. These dudes were so funny, and the same ones that got arrested for stealing a "Turtle Crossing" sign, the same guys that shaved their sideburns every day from puberty to have them come in super thick, among many other antics. Funny times.

I got started a little late for a weekend day. I'm just opening up Horn Dog Barley Wine Style Ale brewed by Flying Dog Brewery in Denver, Colorado and under special agreement, Frederick, Maryland. To start, there is a psycho dog on the label with a giant horn coming out of his temple. I guess I wouldn't expect anything less from this brewery. And of course the story, calling this beer a "malty monster" and "such a robust beast that [they had] to keep it caged and contained at the brewery for a couple months before letting it integrate with the public." I guess I know what I'm getting myself into. I've been fairly warned.

A lot going on in the aroma. It is very malty with chocolate, some coffee and sweet yet alcoholic scents. Flavors start out with some dark fruits, mostly plums and raisins. Again, like the aroma, it's very malty. You also will taste black licorice and chocolate as the label suggests. Finally a label that didn't exaggerate. Well, at least not on those two components. There is a light spiciness as well. However, I have yet to mention the key feature of Horn Dog, the 10.2% alcoholic content. It's not disguised (and I wasn't expecting it to be) and gives a very brandy-like coating to your mouth. It gave me that "shot shiver" the first sip I took, but I was OK after that. Definitely a warming burn, lasting all the way to the end, with still a little raisin mixed in the aftertaste. Powerful and in-your-face, I can see me drinking this again, and although it's hard core, I suggest you check it out to at least say you did.

Nothing's Shocking


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