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Old Horizontal - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Old HorizontalOld Horizontal

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,619 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,619
Reviews: 1,066
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 10.34%
Wants: 93
Gots: 119 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-23-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,619 | Reviews: 1,066 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by russwbeck:
Photo of russwbeck
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Khaki head rests upon an amber pour. Some retention, but minimal lacing. 3.5

S: Smell is really interesting. Malty for sure, but some sort of dark fruit, and perhaps some alcohol and candied sugar mixed in as well. 4.5

T: Very sweet! Candied sugar, dark fruits, warming alcohol, lots going on, seems to have a malty finish. I'd have to say it's balanced out nicely though. 4

MF: Nice bite of carbonation, medium bodied. 4

D: A little sweet and alcoholy to drink over and over again, but it is pretty tasty. 3.5

1998 Vintage enjoyed on 4/15/12, picked up from Monk's Cafe Beers of the Cellar event.

A: The cap was difficult to pry off, and had a gook build up around the top of the bottle and underneath the cap. I cleaned most of it out and used my best pouring skills to save myself from the significant build up at the bottom of the bottle. The beer itself rests in my Golden Monkey Tulip a deep amber color with some bubbles, but no head. 4

S: The sweetness and booziness is very strong with this one. A mellowed amount of dark fruits and caramel malts are noted as well. Pretty much what you'd expect from a really old Barleywine. It borders on offensive, but I think still falls on the good side of things. 4

T: The taste is really impressive. I'm sure I like it more than when I had it fresh however long ago because I remember disliking its sweetness. It's phenomenally mellow, but still hints towards sweet. Boozy dark fruits and a big malt character come together much more nicely than I was expecting from this 13.5 year old beer. I think it's getting a bit watery, but it doesn't take anything away from it. A bit of a strange caramel-like flavor rests at the back of the throat. 4.5

MF: Medium body without carbonation. The beer rests on the palate pretty thick, but goes down smoothly. The booze is certainly noted, but the overall balance of the flavors keeps the drinkability pretty high. 4.5

O: I'd say this is a definite example of a beer improving with age...especially with this much age. Exactly what I like to see from a well aged Barleywine. It shines through as one of the better Barleywines I've come across, as it's a style I'm not always a huge fan of. 4.5

russwbeck, Mar 10, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

oberon, Jan 15, 2004
Photo of RoyalT
4.83/5  rDev +19%
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!

RoyalT, Dec 25, 2003
Photo of DanGeo
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

DanGeo, Apr 26, 2014
Photo of kaimcm
4/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

kaimcm, Feb 20, 2007
Photo of SIRIUS2
4.18/5  rDev +3%
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.

SIRIUS2, Feb 14, 2008
Photo of kcc
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

kcc, Feb 25, 2014
Photo of skybluewater
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
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!

skybluewater, Jan 23, 2005
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

orbitalr0x, Oct 08, 2004
Photo of blitz134
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

blitz134, Dec 07, 2005
Photo of nickadams2
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

nickadams2, Aug 21, 2010
Photo of JasonA
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

JasonA, Mar 08, 2007
Photo of daveshawley
4/5  rDev -1.5%

daveshawley, Aug 16, 2012
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

lordofthewiens, Dec 09, 2009
Photo of DaftPatrick
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

DaftPatrick, Mar 19, 2014
Photo of heddar33
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

heddar33, Sep 09, 2012
Photo of warnerry
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

warnerry, Feb 08, 2011
Photo of sponberg
4.63/5  rDev +14%
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.

sponberg, Feb 23, 2002
Photo of DougB19
4.75/5  rDev +17%

DougB19, Jun 20, 2014
Photo of Beaver13
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

Beaver13, Aug 12, 2005
Photo of muffguy4beer
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

muffguy4beer, Apr 13, 2007
Photo of Doomcifer
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Doomcifer, Dec 28, 2007
Photo of megamass
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

megamass, Jun 07, 2013
Photo of Jason
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

Jason, Oct 01, 2002
Photo of merlin48
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

merlin48, Apr 01, 2004
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Old Horizontal from Victory Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,619 ratings.