Old Horizontal - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Old HorizontalOld Horizontal

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,792 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,792
Reviews: 1,099
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 9.88%
Wants: 100
Gots: 160 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-23-2001

Massive amounts of barley malts, combined with fresh harvest American hops make it aromatic and spicy on the nose. Floral, fruity aromas slide into honeyed malt depth with lingering sensations of candied and citrus fruit. Late warming alcohol brings all of these flavors into wonderful harmony to finish.

Malt: Imported 2 row German malts
Hops: Whole flower American hops
Food Pairings: Meat pies and English cheese
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,792 | Reviews: 1,099
Reviews by dwilson01:
Photo of dwilson01
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a bottle into my new belgium glass, a nice sandy slightly yellow head tops the brew, dissipates quick to a thin layer. The body is a deep amber red color, looks great when held up to the light.

The scent is nice, it's got an intermingling of spices, fruits, and esters. I get some darker fruits like cherry and raisin as well as a bit of the sweeter citrus types. The spices are there just tingling to nose like cinnamon and a tad of vanilla and clove.

The flavor is interesting , it's like it took the nose and went a belgian dubbel route. The dark fruits come out a lot, plum, cherry, raisin, and date all hit my taste buds. The alcohol is faint on the backburner after the swallow but it is there. Very little hop contribution

The mouthfeel is thick like I would expect from such a malty brew, I like it it's creamy and lightly carb'd but the spices give it a little extra kick.

Definitely drinkable, more of a sipping brew for me, let the flavor wash over the taste buds and let it last.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish/orange with a light wispy head,aroma has a definent hoppiness to it a little piney and slightly nutty.Taste is intense and chewy with some decent fruitiness with a resiny,hoppy hop flavor that comes on real strong in the finish.A real well made beer,but maybe just a tad hoppy for my liking for the style.After drinking a few sips,oddly it seems to become more drinkable.

Photo of RoyalT
4.8/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance – This was gorgeous. The body is a mystical sort of orangish-brown and very thick. The head came up nicely, went down slowly, then stopped and left little puddles all over the top of the body.

Smell – Oh, does this smell terrific. The solid malt base laced with caramel and sugar is there, but the beautiful hop smell stands out. It’s mostly pine and very sharp. The combination and play that they got between the malt and the hops is incredible.

Taste – The sugary malts come out more so in the taste. I thought the aroma favored the hops, even after warming, but the taste is definitely evenly balanced. I love LBB’s “fork in the road” analogy. What impresses me is how everything comes together.

It’s hard to describe how good the flavor is of this ale. The quality of ingredients here is beyond reproach. This is an amazing treat.

Mouthfeel – Full in the body with a little carbonation and very chewy. Not much warning of the 11.0 ABV.

Drinkability – This was so good I’ll have to log off the site. I couldn’t possibly follow this one with another bottle.

Comments – I had broached a trade with OldFrothingSlosh for some SKS and he threw a couple of these in for good measure. How cool is that? This BW, along with SN Bigfoot, sits atop the heap of my Barley Wine Ratings. What an amazing brew!

Photo of kaimcm
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 bottle poured into a Duvel tulip

A: deep ruby body with a fine and creamy head. easily agitated back, subsides to a soft dusting. light splotchy lace stuck to the glass. depending on how the light shines through, this beer looks like black tea or a precious jewel.

S: first huge wave is fruit and carmelized malt. pears, raisins, even bananas. sugar, wet grain, rum, butterscotch. on a deep inhale theres a tinge of alcohol but surprisingly absent from a casual sniff.

T/M: chewy up front and at first, but the mouthfeel mellows as the glass empties and turns softer and slicker. big malt profile hits the front of the tongue, like wet pastries, rum cake, etc...fruit pulls through and mid palate a light candy quality. sugar dies out on the finish and a dry, but barely hoppy finish progresses. can be a bit astringent at times. both maple syrup and a woody quality abound, along with candy and fruit. dense. alcohol barely perceptible in taste but warming in the belly.

D: for so much alcohol its scary easy to put down, however the weight and residual sugar make this a solo night cap for me. not uncommon at all for barley wine.

Overall: this is a tasty treat but at this point, way too young. this beer is chaotic, struggling for cohesion and direction. with a few years on her, she'll be drinking damn fine and with serious purpose. at this point? one ackward youth with no conviction of her own.

Photo of SIRIUS2
4.11/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Deep clear dark amber color with very small off-white head. Short retention and minimal lacing.

S: Sweet malty smell of molasses.

T: The smell is very accurate to the taste; sweet heaviness with a clear taste of dark molasses.

M&D: Heavy sweet mouthfeel with a nice carbonation. Definitely hides the strength of this brew perfectly. Even with a deep pull there isn't much immediate warming. Smooth and fulfilling.

This goes down so smooth that it's sneaky! It's easy to forget the strength of Old Horizontal because it really doesn't taste like it should be this strong. Although quite sweet it isn't really cloying. I would have expected more in the way of aroma but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Definitely started feeling this one by the time I got through the bottle. Very good.

Photo of skybluewater
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Jan 11, 2005 bottling. Pours a deep cherry color-this one's a beaut! Smells rather like pinecones, with a bit of alcohol present. Alcohol appears in the taste as well, which is most excellent. Big caramel malt, and that hop bitterness. As good as this is now, I'm betting it will be better in a year or so.

Overall, very tasty barleywine here. Even though it was bottled only a few weeks ago, it's not at all overwhelming (as opposed to that Old Crusty I had a while back).Watch that alcohol, though. It sneaks up on you!

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a deep opaque amber/red with a small tannish head to it. Looks like a damn fine barleywine from here. Head retention is minimal, but that is expected. The smell is a wonderful mix of deep caramel notes with some candy fruits and alcohol as well. Some piney hop notes hit my nose as well. Damn, I must say I love smelling barleywines....

The first sip is simply luscious. A rush of caramel nutty goodness passes over my palate. This one has quite a bit of sweetness and the malt is rockin. The piney hops are there as well and provide a nice biterness on the back of the palate. All I can say is, Yum! Alcohol is well hidden in the flavor as well.

The mouthfeel is quite full and it has a great body...there's no complaints here! Drinkability is good as well. On a cold winters night I could make it through a few of these. However, this is a brew that is best sipped and enjoyed over a length of time. All my thanks to blitheringidiot for allowing me the pleasure of partaking in such a wonderful brew.

Photo of blitz134
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful crimson red with a 3/4" white head on top. Head reduces to a thin layer which tries to stick to the glass. A nice appearance for a beer with this abv level.

Aroma has a strong caramel and brown sugar sweetness. Lots of dark fruits like plums and raisins come through. Taste follows suit with the aroma except with a little more alcohol. This barleywine is really smooth though and one of my favs. A very simple flavor that works well together.

Mouthfeel is smooth and heavy on the tongue. Coats the mouth well. Drinkability is good for this style of brew. A nice overall sweetness which isn't overdone and a smoothness which is hard to come by makes this a highly drinkable barleywine...even if you do have to sip it.

Photo of nickadams2
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A_Pours a dark ruby red. Almost blood red with a huge billowy beige head.Thick spotty lacing.

S_Sweet caramel malt,hops,and dark fruits.

T_Smooth caramel malt that's not overly sweet or cloying.Bitter slightly citric hops. Dark fruit,cherry,plum,and figs.A more balanced barley wine.

M_Thick and creamy. Coats the mouth.

D_Definite sipper.

Photo of JasonA
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish copper little to no head. Pleanty of lacing, head does have staying power.

Im not very good at walking through BW smells. That ... and I have a cold. Sweet, some hops. Is that grapefruit?

Not super sweet. Definately hoppy. Moreso than most BWs. Nice finish. No real bite.

I like the mouthfeel because it is not as syrupy as most BWs. A nice treat to have one a bit drier.

Solid. Not sure moves into special category, however I would enjoy having it again. Well balanced, like mentioned earlier more hoppy than used to for a BW which I would prefer.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled beer with Enjoy by Nov 6 2014 on the label. In a snifter the beer was a hazy cherry amber color with a rim of tan head that lasts all the way through. It had a sweet, toffee aroma, as well as some alcohol. A little bit of fruit, some toffee, and the alcohol. I enjoyed this beer, but thought it was a little hot. Probably letting it sit would improve it.

Photo of warnerry
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tulip; best by Nov 15 2015, so pretty fresh

A - pours a very deep amber/red with three fingers of light tan head. Head has pretty good retention and leaves some lacing.

S - Fruits dominate the aroma. Raisins and some vinous aromas and cherries come through. Also a lot of caramel malts. Did not detect any real hop presence in the smell.

T - Similar to smell, fruits and caramel malts dominate. The hops start to come in half way through and provide a nice bitterness on the finish. For being fresh, this isn't really harsh at all and has a pretty nice flavor profile. Alcohol is actually pretty well hidden, though there is a very slight medicinal taste near the finish. As I get through this one, the alcohol and bitterness become more apparent on the finish, but by no means overwhelming.

M - mouthfeel is somewhat thick and creamy.

D - Pretty drinkable for a fresh barleywine, but one is definitely enough. I thought this might be a bit more harsh fresh, but was pleasantly surprised.

Photo of sponberg
4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brew: Bottle, cellar temperature (55 degrees). Pours with a thin head.

Beautiful deep orangey auburn color. Nose is malt with spice and pine. Big flavor, with round malt and hints of pine or spruce, coriander, orange blossom, raspberry, slight toasty-chocolatey malt flavors, and that everloving warming surge o' alcohol. The aftertaste is close to perfect with all of the flavors melding, plus a slight alcoholic burn on the back of the tongue.

If someone were to take a Anchor Christmas 2000 and cross it with a hoppy barleywine, it would taste close to (but not quite as good as) this. An exceptionally good barleywine.

Photo of Beaver13
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle dated Jan 6, 2001. Pours a deep copper red with a creamy whitish tan head that retains well. There's lots of yeast at the bottom of the bottle.

The aroma is sweet and spicy caramel and molasses, and some figs with a touch of alcohol.

The flavor is similar to the nose - spicy and sweet caramel with some citric hops and dark fruits. Some hop bitterness comes out in the finish. Normally I don't care for noticable alcohol, but this has a strong but surprisingly pleasant alcohol warming. The mouthfeel is full bodied and very smooth and creamy.

Overall, an excellent barleywine - the best I've had to date. Very well made and superbly balanced. A real treat to drink! I'll have to try this fresh sometime as I'm sure it is much hoppier.

Photo of muffguy4beer
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into shaker pint glass.

Appearance: amber in color, small head, strong lacing.

Smell: pungent malt aroma, roasted malts, caramel, sugar.

Taste: very different than the smell, abrasive alcohol is very present in the first sip. this mellows out a good deal by the end of the glass. hoppier than i expected but that is lost in the alcohol and the maltiness. very malty brew that will age well.

Mouthfeel: medium to high body very smooth.

Drinkability: one of these when its cold really hits the spot. i bought a sixpack, drank 2, and will age the rest for next year to see if there is any change.

Photo of Doomcifer
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber with a beauteous, tan head that retains very nicely. Good lacing.

Smell is sweet malts, cherries, some citrusy hop smells, figs.

Taste is more malty sweetness, raisins, figs, honey, cherries/amaretto, hop bitterness in the finish as well as some alcohol present.

Mouthfeel has a good body, semi-dry finish, good carbonation.

A couple of these @ 11% abv and you'll be feeling it. Not extremely drinkable but pretty damn tasty.

Photo of Jason
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck bottle, with no freshness date … does that matter at 11.0% abv?

Appearance: Pours a reddish mildly hazy amber colour with a lacing work to be proud of..

Smell: Rustic toasted malt with hints of mellowed solvent and ester alcohol aromas with a rip candied fruit nose. Nearly a butterscotch and caramel aroma.

Taste: Alcoholic character is still high but mellowing out in most ways. Succulently smooth, with a creamy body. Maltiness ranges from light caramel to chocolaty tones to a toasted husk flavour. Hops are mild in comparison. Big chewy sweet palate with ample toasted husk in the finish.

Notes: Not a bad Barleywine, it has mellowed out a bit though let’s see how another year or two do for it.

Photo of merlin48
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jables pretty much nailed the character of this one. It pours a clear, copperish red, with a small, filmy, head that lasts the distance. Attractive, island lacing is left all over the glass.
Nose is sweet and spicy. Overcooked, caramel apple dipped in sherry, kinda sums it up.
Mouthfeel is impressive, with massive hops and malts struggling for supremacy.
Taste is smooth and fruity sweet, but not cloying, by any means. Hops seem both floral and fruity, in the complexity evident here.
As I learn to appreciate barleywines, I'm beginning to prefer those with a nice hops presence that stands up to the malts. This one is worthy. Well done by Victory.

Photo of Billolick
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap at the Gingerman/NYC
Hazelnut in color and hazy, 1/2 inch head down to a tiny bubble film. Full bodied and complex, burnt plums, alcohol, brandy notes. Load of hops, resin, pine ,citrus. Mellow and smooth, long and lovely finish, 11% brew packs a wollop, top stuff!

Photo of warriorsoul
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Big thanks to Victory for another fine brew.
A real nice mahogony color...just a half a finger of beige foam. Looks like one serious barleywine.
Aromas filled w/ raisins, caramel and a touch of alcohol.
Taste of cherries and figs as well. Nice malt backbone, but this is subdued beneath so much more. Mouthfeel is a touch bittersweet w/ a nice aftertaste...the alcohol is also present in the taste, but well hidden.
Drinkability...doubtful you would put down more than 2 of these in a night...good luck to you if you try.

Photo of tigg924
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: huge head--2 inches plus, high carbonation, red-orange color, clear

Smell: hops, pineapple, pine, citrus, caramel, and tobacco

Taste: the taste is complex. hops, pineapple, pine,citrus,caramel, tobacco, and alcohol

Mouthfeel: The first taste was gripping--very hoppy as my mouth got accustomed. Afterwards, it became more smooth, sweet, and syrupy and the bitterness just held itself to the end. Very low carbonation on the tongue.

Drinkability: I found this to be more and more complex as I drunk it...Initially I was blown away by the hops, but after the first blast, more flavors are apparent--very much like Old Godfather, but better--I want to have this again, but due to the high abv--it will have to be in another sitting.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to HopHead101 for sending me this beer.

Bottled 12/3/04 and drank 7/14/10.

The beer pours a brown color with a white head. The aroma is toffee, oranges and leather. The flavor is toffee, chocolate, dirt and caramel. There is no alcohol presence. The beer is very mellow and shows no signs of oxidation. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation.

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Winter 2003 edition:

My first barley wine-style offering and it's from Victory! This bodes well my friends.

Presentation: Dark brown bottle...and 11% alcohol. Yikes.

Appearance: Poured a dark amber with an initial micro-bubbled head that reduced to a tiny layer of creamy smoothness perched on top of the beer.

Aroma: Vanilla and caramel are apparent with a fruity alcohol-type smell thrown in for good measure.

Taste: Wow. For 11% alcohol, this baby sure hides it well. It was so very smooth and creamy. Ends with a mixture of bitterness as the alcohol starts to warm the stomach.

Mouthfeel: Even though this is my first sample of this style, I was amazed at how well hidden the alcohol was, letting the creamy character cover the mouth.

Drinkability: A perfect night to try this....about 10 degrees outside and windy. It was excellent.

4.25 / 5

Winter 2004, sampled 6/8/04:

Damn....this one has aged very nicely. Very smooth and balanced. Some more smoky/oaky flavors than I recall. If possible, the ABV is even more hidden. Flavor is softer, with a finely balanced sweetness offset by a leafy/earthen bitterness.

I can only imagine what the '98 and '99 I have must be like by now.

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the stash & from 12/05. I prefer this beer aged a bit and it has aged wonderfully. Rich carmel color. Lovely malty nose. Easy to drink even with the ABV. Rich flavor of carmel & malts. This is one of my favorite barleywines and beers in general. Another gem from Victory.


Photo of 1Adam12
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours burgundy. Small head. Beautiful color. Amazing nose. Caramel, fig, malt. Smells very sweet. Not much hint of alcohol on the nose. The taste: Man, this could've been really good, but IMO the alcohol killed it. Way too much alcohol on my tongue. Awesome flavor though. Caramel, figs, sweet malt, maybe a hint of vanilla? I wonder if age would mellow out the alcohol? Despite the alcohol, this still has a smooth, creamy mouthfeel that keeps me wanting to sip on it all night. I'm very glad I finally got to try this one. I'd buy it again, and I'm definitely going to let a bottle or 2 sit in the cellar for a few years to see if the alcohol mellows. Still, overall this is a very good barleywine.

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Old Horizontal from Victory Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,792 ratings.