Old Horizontal - Victory Brewing Company
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Ratings: 1,577 | Reviews: 1,064 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Dantes:
4.7/5 rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
Package: 12 oz. brown bottle with metal cap. Label dated Nov. 13, '02; 11% ABV.
Cost: $10.49 for a 6-Pack at Bottle King in New Jersey
Served: In a Reidel brandy snifter at ~50º.
Appearance: Heavy "gunsmoke" upon opening. Developed a decent head for this type with a stiff pour, which lasted 45-60 seconds, resolving into a thick ring around the edge, with nice lace that slowly receded down the sides of the glass. Gentle swirling of the glass (involuntary habit) generated additional head. Exhibited beautiful auburn, russet tones, almost like a Madeira.
Smell: Exceptional aroma, with alcohol well-shrouded in notes of vanilla, roasted nuts, currants, chocolate, some sweetness and some spice (cinnamon, nutmeg?). Instantly brought to mind a steamed English Christmas pudding!
Taste: Slightly less impressive than the smell, if only because it could not possibly match the promise of its bouquet. Starts off very sweet, but this is quickly balanced by the roasted nut and hops edge that provides the backbone. Carbonation is pretty good for this style, further balancing the sweetness, while not cutting the viscosity too much. Don't quit on this barley wine, as it will reveal new things in every sip. Reminds me of a Banyuls or Madeira.
Mouthfeel: Viscous and tongue-coating. Warm and silky. So smooth that one has to concentrate on not swallowing too quickly!
Finish: Leaves a long 15-20 second finish, with the bitterness (I hesitate to use that word, it's more an edge) the last note.
Drinkability: Diabolically drinkable for 11% ABV! Maybe my palate has been burned by too much whisky, but I can't see how this could get much smoother! Takes real willpower not to drain the glass and go for another (if I can get up).
Backwash: After seeing discussion of this beer and reading some of the reviews, I was eager to give this a try. I have had Barley Wines before as categorized by this site, but primarily those with a lower ABV (i.e. Fuller's Vintage Ale, Young's Old Nick, Anchor Old Foghorn, and Thomas Hardy's (a class unto itself); and I would probably create a sub-category for the higher ABV brews. In any event, this beer was a revelation. So far, in a class by itself. The perfect beer to stand up with a strong cigar, Christmas pudding, chocolate dessert, or a platter of Stilton or Shropshire Blue. Makes me want to sit by the fire with a cigar, looking at the lake, reading Thackeray; or better yet stretched out on the sofa with someone special!
Serving type: bottle
12-24-2002 13:10:05 | More by Dantes
More User Reviews:
4.4/5 rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
APPEARANCE: The head foamed up big time when I first poured it and I had to wait a few minutes before being able to even get a good, 8 oz. pour into the glass. The retention was pretty solid, retaining a big, off-white, rocky in texture head. Underneath all of that was a typical mahogany Barleywine that may have landed slightly more towards the dark end of the spectrum than others of the style. The lacing was pretty solid, but heavy enough to slowly slide down the glass, remaining a consistent finger-and-a-half above the surface of the beer.
SMELL: Most of the Barleywine’s I have reviewed have smelled pretty similar. This one is different, and very complex with cherries, raisins and assorted berries. With a little brown sugar and banana underneath the fruit to remind you it is, in fact, a Barleywine.
TASTE: This is not the oaked variation, but there is something about this beer that makes it seem a little woody. The wood is not the dominant flavor, just the most interesting. Of course, there is also a pretty strong hop presence (more than expected at seven months old) that provides an excellent contrast to the sugary malt flavors and the big, wonderful, floral and fruit flavors. Cherries are, again, all over this beer. Orange, banana and raisins all come through as well.
MOUTHFEEL: Old Horizontal seems sweet at first, but the bitter, dry hops on the finish bring it back to the other side by the end of the sip, which makes for an interesting mouthfeel. This beer is not balanced all the way through, rather it is balanced in the same sense that both sides, the sweet and the dry, get equal time. Either way, this beer is big in body…really big.
OVERALL: What an incredible beer. I love a lot of what victory does and I love a lot of different Barleywines, but this beer ranks right up there near the top of both categories. Prior to this beer the only time I ever had it was when I had a 2009 Oaked variation in 2013, which was incredible. I thought I would be let down a bit by this, relatively fresh bottle, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it exceeding my expectations. The hop character that was all but lost on the 2009 created a fantastic compliment to the complex malt bill. I have two more bottles, which were both going to go in the cellar. After tasting this now, however, it’s drinking too good not to pull at least one more out of the cellar real soon.
Serving type: bottle
07-16-2014 07:09:59 | More by StoneTSR
District of Columbia
3.53/5 rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
About to go for a walk (Dave is still peeing).
The beer is dark orange / copper with a half inch of tan head. Smells hoppy, boozy, malty. Big beer. ¿Que hora es? Citrus soaked in alcohol. Notes of pine with some alcohol sugars. Good flavor, but the alcohol is too forward. I have trouble appreciating beers of this ilk, where both the malt and hop profiles are so grand that they seem to compete for dominance, rather than dance in harmony. Hop bitterness and alcohol longer on the palate. Overall, good, though not my cup of tea (beer).
Serving type: bottle
07-14-2014 05:57:33 | More by Huhzubendah
Old Horizontal from Victory Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,577 ratings.