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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

1,616 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,616
Reviews: 1,066
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 10.34%
Wants: 92
Gots: 117 | 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: 1,616 | Reviews: 1,066 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Nice moderate use of hops and head that disipitates. Brown/amber. Unique in It didn't seem like 11%. Malt and alcohol winter warmer. Hint of orange citrus Not so positive: somewhat syrupy,Somewhat dry and bitter aftertaste.
Over 6 years later, aged bottle, came out great. Complex, good aromas, good mouthfeel..

Sammy, Mar 25, 2004
Photo of t0rin0
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%

This is one of my favorite barleywines (granted I've only tried about 30 and still have a lot more to try) and I always enjoy drinking this stuff.

The appearance was a nice deep red color that was very clear. There was a small amount of white head but thats alright. The taste was pretty complex. I tasted a moderate amount of hop bitterness with a sweet dark malt background. There was a tiny bit spice that people keep mentioning but what I really noticed was the fruitiness. Its really a good flavor for a barleywine.

I really enjoy this stuff but I wish it was more accessible.

t0rin0, Jan 15, 2008
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%

Thanks to silverX for sending me this one!

Best by 11/8/15.

Pours a slightly murky iced tea color with a 2 inch puffy tan head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Small chunks of foam dot the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, brown sugar, toffee, candied fruit, and citrus zest. Taste is of toasted malt, biscuit/bread, brown sugar/toffee, dark fruit, citrus zest, and alcohol. There is a medium level of bitterness after each sip along with an alcohol warmth in the back of the throat. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good barleywine that I can see aging into something awesome. However, it is drinking just fine at the moment and I am glad I was able to try a bottle of this one.

UCLABrewN84, Nov 23, 2011
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -1.5%

djrn2, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Reviewed from notes. Bottle was 9 months old.

Pours a moderate copper brown with a very alight head that quickly receded. Nose brought sweet dark fruits, caramel, and a bit of citrus. Taste was mostly sweet malt with some booze. Mild fruit throughout. No specifics really detectable. Medium body and a bit boozy. Drinks pretty well at this age bit it could definitely use a bit longer.

Thorpe429, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

nmann08, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

zestar, May 05, 2014
Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev -1.5%

A: The beer is clear dark amber in color and poured with a finger high creamy beige head that quickly faded away. A light amount of carbonation is visible from the rising bubbles.
S: There are aromas of citrus and spicy hops in the nose, along with some notes of alcohol and dark fruits.
T: The overall taste is dominated by malty flavors that have a light amount of sweetness, although these are balanced to some degree by some hop bitterness. There also are some notes of dark fruits and hints of alcohol.
M: It feels full-bodied, creamy and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The alcohol lends some warming sensations in the finish.
D: Considering its strength, this beer isn't that difficult to drink because most of the alcohol is masked from the taste.

metter98, Nov 26, 2010
Photo of brentk56
4.11/5  rDev +1.2%

Appearance: Pours a cloudy medium amber body with a small head (despite a hard pour) that shrinks quickly and leaves a few sparks of lace around the glass

Smell: A touch of caramel and maple wafts along with some piney hops

Taste: A rather mild caramel flavor at the start though the hops become quite assertive by the middle; after the swallow, the caramel and rum-soaked raisin flavors build; very balanced in the finish

Mouthfeel: A bit light bodied for a barleywine but with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Scores well in this category as the brew is well-balanced and nothing is over the top

brentk56, Apr 22, 2006
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%

Burnished cherry-orange-bronze with a soft, warm glow that I hope will be reprised in my belly in a few short minutes. The thick, milkshake creamy head of pale caramel brown looks like it won't be departing any time soon. Likewise, the pocked sheets of lace currently coating the glass are in it for the long haul. Nothing about the appearance says 'special', but Old Ho is still a looker.

Although the nose is primarily rich and malty, there's no shortage of fruit and hops. Since this bottle hasn't yet celebrated its first birthday, I had hoped that it would be wall-to-wall hoppy. If the nose is any indication, it isn't. There's very little alcohol in the aroma; amazing for such a relatively young 11%'er.

Old Horizontal is a very good barleywine. Having said that, I fully expect to have better. The granite sturdy malt backbone is the obvious focal point, just like in the nose. The beer tastes like caramel-drizzled, raisin and cherry-studded, dark rum-soaked clafouti. It isn't overly sweet, but neither is it overly bitter. How about... balanced.

There's a little too much unintegrated alcohol for me, an indication of a still tempestuous youth. It's an age-old dilemma: the excitement of a young ho versus the experience of an old ho (are we still talking about beer?) Cellaring it in order to mellow the alcohol, however, would bring about an unacceptable further diminishment of the hops. The obvious solution is to add more hops on the front end. Victory, are you listening?

The mouthfeel isn't all that sticky or thick, but it is full of rounded, silky smooth edges and goes down like a dream. One isn't limited to sipping, as with some high-ABV beer. However, the alcohol has a tendency to yank on the reins with authority if things get out of hand.

For some reason (reputation probably) I expected Old Horizontal to be a taste bud swamping, syrupy flavor bomb, but that isn't what I'm experiencing. It's undoubtedly good beer and is a good representation of the style, but I'm not tempted to exclaim mightily over the brewer's genious with every sip. Even though it failed to meet my probably unfairly high expectations, it's still a far, far better barleywine than most breweries can manage.

BuckeyeNation, Nov 16, 2005
Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Bottle: Poured a clear light brown with a small head and very little carbonation. Aroma is very sweet with a subtle touch of alcohol. Taste is bit too sweet (candi sugar-like?) for my liking; I would have preferred a more subtle sweetness (plums). Alcohol gives you a nice warm feeling at the end that I did enjoy very much. Great balance with above average body. Nice one from Victory.

Phyl21ca, Jan 19, 2006
Photo of BEERchitect
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%

Sometimes mid-summer demands a mid-winter's drink. Thus the Old Horizontal. The beer pours a rich, thick, copper-amber hue with a fair amount of haze. A firm medium-sized head forms and lessens to 1/4 inch then stays true. Sturdy aromas of melanoidin-rich malts, candied fruits, and noticable citrus/pine hop scent. Flavors are quite a bit more intense than the aromas. The malts dominate the brew with a big sweet boost of toffee and caramel. The beer is very estery with mostly cherry flavors, but berries, figs, plumbs, prunes, dates, and grapes lend a hand as well. Sweet licorice, toasty, meaty flavors round out the flavors without getting into cough-syrup flavors. Hops give a deep herbal note along with moderate citrus and pine flavors that time hasn't completely eroded yet. Textures are richly malty giving a full palate and decadent richness. Moderate numbing and warming gives indications of alcohol strength but these attributes aren't as intense as most. The beer has a long sweet finish decorated with toffee and esters-mostly cherries and figs. The beer is immensely enjoyable, even if a bit too sweet and worty at times.

BEERchitect, Jul 31, 2008
Photo of mikesgroove
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%

A 2006 vintage bottle that I had in the fridge for a few months. I decided to take it out and use it for a nightcap last night. Allowed to warm up to around fifty degrees before decanting, this twelve ounce bottle was poured into an over sized wine glass. Consumed on 11/06/2008.

The pour was more then decent. A nice hazy, and cloudy ,mixture on this one. A nice reddish tinted light brown is what was immediately apparent in the glass, with a touch of white foam on the top that reached a height of around an inch and a half before finally settling down into a thin covering across the top of the glass.

The aroma was nice and rich. Classic Barley wine here with a nice caramel sugar, toffee and just sweet candy like malt flavors. Some light notes of alcohol, but again nothing that was terribly off. Some light notes of fruit as it started to warm. The flavor was more of the same, though a little plain for my palate on here. Some nice notes of caramel, toffee again, some light fig like fruit flavors as well, but nowhere near the level that I would have expected. Nicely hidden alcohol profile, especially for being around 11%, nice medium feel with a tight carbonation profile that kept it from feeling dull in anyway and that light syrup like thickness that wrapped it all up very well. A smooth sipper, again the alcohol very well hidden, let this one deceptively creep up on you.

Overall not a bad barley wine, admittedly not my favorite, but not bad a at all,. I would have no issues with this one on tap, and cannot wait to have this years come out.

mikesgroove, Nov 11, 2008
Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Texasfan549, Jan 20, 2014
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -1.5%

kjkinsey, Jan 20, 2014
Photo of womencantsail
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%

A: The pour is dark amber, perhaps copper, with a finger of off-white head.

S: A surprisingly sharp grapefruit aroma to this one with a lot of floral notes to it as well. Some slight booze, but otherwise a nice malt character. A bit of brown sugar, toffee, and caramel.

T: Some citrus hop notes up front with a mild bitterness, but this is a pretty sweet barleywine. Lots of toffee and brown sugar sweetness with a slight creaminess to it, maybe a bit of molasses.

M: Medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation.

O: A pretty nice barleywine, especially for one that is pretty much always available.

womencantsail, Jul 20, 2011
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

ygtbsm94, Feb 24, 2014
Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

spycow, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev -1.5%

A: single finger off white head with excellent retention on a murky dark amber brown body.

S: overall somewhat light on the nose. grainy, malty, some earthy hops and booze.

T: dark fruits mostly apple, figs. Maltiness is strong and thus provides a terpentine like note.

M: thick body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: A little too strong with the booze. The flavor is pretty complex with the right amount of sweetness. Not bad but again a touch too boozy.

kylehay2004, May 08, 2012
Photo of jaydoc
4.1/5  rDev +1%

jaydoc, Friday at 03:26 AM
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.98/5  rDev -2%

(I'm being told this in an '05 bottle.)

Appearance: Pours a clearish, orangey-brown body with a medium, off-white head.

Smell: Heavy caramel malt aroma with notes of brown sugar, honey, and a spiced tangerine fruitiness.

Taste: Succulent sweet taste of caramel and honey. Hint of brown sugar. Bright tangerine marmalade flavor jumps in. Any hop bitterness has long since faded (now I'm being told it may be a bit older). Boozey, surprisingly fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Med carbonation. Approaching syrupy.

Drinkability: A lovely barleywine (regardless of how it may or may not be) with a luscious sweetness that only Wilford Brimley could hate.

ChainGangGuy, Nov 02, 2007
Photo of Knapp85
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

This barley wine poured out as a deep reddish brown color with some orange highlights. The head was decently sized and lasted a little while giving off a good lacing. The smell of the beer was a booze and sweet sugary combo with a big barley aroma too. The taste is of figs mostly, there may be some yeast and barley in the mix. The finish is a little hoppy and pretty dry. The mouthfeel for this beer is a tad over medium I think and has a balanced feel to it. Overall it's a pretty nice brew for the style and worth looking into.

Knapp85, Jun 07, 2011
Photo of oberon
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%

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 TMoney2591
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Another VDubb recommendation. This one pours a translucent ruby garnet topped by about a finger of ecru foam. The nose comprises orange rind, ruby red grapefruit, rich toffee, spicy cinnamon, graham crackers, and some light flowers. The taste sharpens the fruits and heightens the flowers, creating a decently powerful hop-blast; behind that, the toffee finds a soul mate in the graham crackers and newcomer honey (let's just chalk it up to a stereotypical Mormon situation), and they settle down amidst the hop fields (so many columns...). The body is on the lighter side of heavy, with a light carbonation and a nearly chewy feel. Overall, a very nice American-style b-wine, a healthy sipper to warm up those chilly nights. Word.

TMoney2591, Aug 14, 2010
Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Appearance: 12 oz bottle received from dyan about 4 months back. Into an 8 oz clear plastic water cup, I'm crunkin this bitch up ghetto style dogg. The beer pours a hazy dark brown with a solid tan head that retains well, lace clinging to the sides of the cup.

Smell: Tons of malty sweetness, molasses, butterscotch, fruit cake, etc - smells like a barleywine.

Taste & mouthfeel: Rich caramel malt and fruitcake up front, some pleasant undertones of toast and nuts along with a hint of fusels. The mouthfeel is big and chewy, appropriate for the style, and sweet from start to finish. There's a moderate hop bitterness, but age has mellowed this beer quite a bit. Pleasant stuff all in all, not my favorite style by any means but I enjoyed it all the same.

largadeer, Oct 06, 2008
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Old Horizontal from Victory Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,616 ratings.