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Old Horizontal - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Old HorizontalOld Horizontal

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,625 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,625
Reviews: 1,067
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: 1,625 | Reviews: 1,067 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of loosey
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz

pours deep ruby red glow, hazy with some floating sediment whirling around, a beautifully topped 1/2 inch of dirty suds

smell sugar sweet caramel and brown sugar, wildflowers and hops, then some fruit (raisins or figs?) the alcohol fumes are obvious too

complex...malts are prevalent, raisins, hops are there, something bitter and musty sits in the back seat, burnt toffee or coffee grounds

light carbonation is nice, breaks up the sugary sweet and high alcohol, which isn't obvious at first but sits there in your mouth after the bubbles pop away, this is a smooth 11%..the sweetness here is balanced well with the hops and carbonation, i actually enjoyed this despite my barleywine prejudice (i normally don't enjoy overly sweet)

fruit punch : cartoons :: old horizontal : the national spelling bee

i bet on 2 kids and they both went out early in the finals... id like to take my money back out of their rhodes scholarships

loosey, May 31, 2008
Photo of Lexluthor33
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours copper amber with a nice foamy lace.
The aroma is alcohol,malts and fruits. The taste is caramel,fruits,sweet malts and a supreme job of containing the beast in such a high ABV. The hops are pretty light and that is just fine as there are really no complaints here. Good smooth,dry finish and low carbonation to complete the balance of an above average Barleywine.

Notes: I had a "Fred" yesterday and while that may be a superior brew, in many ways this beer seemed just as easy to drink.
It was not too sweet,yet it contained all the balance. I could have two or three on a weekend and it just did not seem like 11%ABV.
I really find it hard to believe it. I felt that warming sensation,but the alcohol is just tamed. I fear this brew may be even better after a year or two.

Lexluthor33, May 29, 2008
Photo of mobyfann
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid around $2 for a single at Jungle Jim's...

Poured into a snifter with an amber-colored base with a 1/4" white head, 30 minute head retention and minimal lacing effects on the glassware. The aroma is like a fresh box of Raisin Bran Crunch. Sweet malty character with two scoops of raisins boasting a strong aroma, with a touch of alcohol.

The taste is indeed liquid Raisin Bran, now with alcohol (not noticeable during delivery) and a touch of cinnamon, low carbonation, full bodied. Feels smooth in the mouth thanks to the low carbonation and at 11.0% abv, wow, a nice barleywine as a session.

Final Thought: I thoroughly enjoyed this one, and the slower the better; the brew develops the longer it sits in the glass, give it about 15 minutes from pour.

mobyfann, May 26, 2008
Photo of MrMonkey
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to gford217 for hooking me up with this one.

Pours a deep copper/mahogany with bright red highlights when held to the light. A one-finger off-white head fades quickly to nothing. No lacing.

Smell is sweet caramel, toffee, apricot, and a hint of booze, with some floral hops in the background.

Taste starts off big and malty. It's sweet and fruity, with caramel, toffee, apricot and raisin flavors, before the warming alcohol starts to make itself known. A floral hop bitterness continues through the finish.

Thick and full-bodied; it coats the mouth, but dries out nicely in the finish.

Despite being 11%, this is quite drinkable. A very enjoyable barleywine!

MrMonkey, May 25, 2008
Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Victory Old Horizontal
12oz. brown bottle

Thanks to HBang for this one at GOBF.

A: pours a dark hazy orange amber color with a nice tan head on top with a good head retention for a barleywine. good lacing as well. some sediment as well.

S: smells of sweet sticky malts. some cherries and apricots as well as some raisins. I get a hint of tea as well. Some nice malts come through but nothing very overpowering.

T: alcohol is apparent in the taste off the bat. I am also pulling some brown sugar, cherries, figs, plums, and raisins. the hops are wonderful in this, as they tend to hang around for a while.

M: mouthfeel is thick but expected for the style and ABV. very smooth for the alcohol content. great carbonation level.

D: very drinkable and a very nice american barleywine. very enjoyable.

paulthebeerguru, May 24, 2008
Photo of Durge
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This barleywine is a nice copper color with a fair tan head and an even coating of lace. The aroma is very subtle, floral hops and some funky swamp water. I get a fizzy feel here, medium body with a decent malt theme and solid hop bitterness throughout. It has some dry bitterness to finish. Fairly drinkable for the style. A good blend of sweet & bitter, a solid choice for barleywine.

Durge, May 24, 2008
Photo of DIPAbrewer
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled this at the Victory Brew-pub on tap.

Great dark hazy orange with a thin tan head that disappeared quickly.

Nice hoppy floral aroma backed up by sweet fruit.

Deep dark malt flavor is balanced well by vibrant hop flavors and sharp bitterness.

The mouthfeel is thick and oily but its drinkablity is good for those who enjoy American Barleywines.

DIPAbrewer, May 20, 2008
Photo of Riggo
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

--pours an opaque orange-amber color with a thin cap of tan foam.
--smells like orange candy, flowers, dark fruits (raisins, apricots), and caramel.
--sweet on palette with notes of orange and raisins balanced by cedary hops. alcohol hit is definitely there. finish is bitter and ends clean.

another great product from perhaps america's best brewery. a beautiful, floral, sipping beer. america does barleywine.

Riggo, May 16, 2008
Photo of Atron67
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to skinnyelvis for this as an extra

A- poured a foggy as hell copper brown with a tan head on top with big lacing all around, stayed a long while as well.

S- maltiness all over with a nice hop pinch as well. a little bit of a fruit note, maybe a light cherry... or light fig, idk. something good. has a great character.

t- huge malty character all over with a big harshness needed for any good barleywine needs. solid hop bitterness going with it that gives a a great finish and keeps it from getting too sweet for all that malt. theres a light piney character to it that is pretty nice as well. theres also a light wheat character to it as well, which might be why its so cloudy.

M- full creamy body with big carbonation and sticky to the tongue

D- pretty damn good

Atron67, May 12, 2008
Photo of rattech
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served into a chalice, best by 12/29/11; cellared about a year.

Appearance: Golden brown, tiny head, with a nice carbonation. There is a little bit of sediment floating around in the glass.

Smell: Sweet and malty, a little bit of hop bitterness. The overall small is fairly mild.

Taste: a little tart, bitter, plenty of roasted flavors. Not so much alcohol heat on the taste, but there is a little bit on the finish. It is good, but it isn't the best I've had.

Mouthfeel: Rich and heavy with a delightful mild carbonation.

Drinkability: For 11% alcohol is is quite drinkable.

rattech, May 12, 2008
Photo of halfP1NT
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark mahogany with ruby highlights. Thin, off-white head quickly dissipates.

Smell is sweet malts, fruit-cherry & raisin, bit of brown sugar. Alcohol comes through a bit.

Taste is lightly roasted malts, cherry, brown sugar. Alcohol is very apparent; coats my entire mouth with a peppery, warming feeling. Tingly carbonation, creamy mouthfeel. Sweet but not at all cloying. Really enjoyable and very drinkable for the ABV.

halfP1NT, May 01, 2008
Photo of BMoney575
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on 4-30-08

Pours a hazy orange/amber, with a filmy head and clingy lacing.

Smell is very thin, though I pick up some peat, and a little light fruityness.

Taste is tart and malty, with a pleasant hop bitterness to keep things even. The finish is soapy and bitter, but not in a bad way.

Mouthfeel is good, carbonation keeps the tartness up.

Drinkability is quite good, the abv could easily catch you off guard.

Overall, a very well-balanced barleywine. I've had better, crazier, but this one has a good session written all over it.

BMoney575, May 01, 2008
Photo of DontCallMeSurly
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Obtained in a BIF from ncvbc, thanks for the opportunity!

A 12oz bottle was poured into a standard 16 oz pint glass. The pour left a 1 inch rocky cream colored head, very thick. After about 3 minutes the foam receded into a faint ring at the top of the glass. The smell was dominated by caramel, apricots, and peaches. Reminds me of an ESB without the bread-like malts. Taste is filled with alcohol; this one is definitely potent, but insanely smooth albeit 11% right there to punch you in the face

DontCallMeSurly, Apr 30, 2008
Photo of paco1029384756
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby brown color with one finger of off white head and a smooth even lacing.

Scent is rich and sweet, fruits, sugars, and some nice malts. Fantastic stuff, and the alcohol is hidden well.

Taste of sugars, malts and fruits with a rich malty finish. Just a great barleywine overall.

Mouthfeel is full, but there is a little too much carbonation.

paco1029384756, Apr 30, 2008
Photo of jmacdaddy2008
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought this beer in Kentucky at dily deli gourmet.
Served in my snifter which opened up the strong malty aroma.
Good color rich amber with egg shell head. Alcohol present in smell and taste.
Has a nice feel on the palate, medium carbonation gives this a little bubbly quality
definitely could use some mellowing out but a good barley wine
Keeping back a couple to age for a year or two.

jmacdaddy2008, Apr 30, 2008
Photo of bigeyedfish
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 Edition (best by 2011 printed on the lower left hand corner of the label) acquired in the fall of 2007 at either Queen Six in Lancaster or Bells Beverage in South Philadelphia poured into a pint glass.

For the style, a surprising amount of head. Two fingers of dark white foam with some decent sized bubbles sit on top of a cloudy, burgundy-colored body. The head pretty quickly reduces by about half, leaving a full but quickly receding ring of dish-water-esq lacing around the rim of the glass. A good looking beer- for the age i expected a little less in terms of head and a little cloudier. Having had some 06's and 07's this year without giving them much thought, however, this is a nice surprise as to how young it still appears.

Smells of everything a good, aged barleywine should. A lot of dark fruits in the nose, to the point where it almost smells like a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Where there once was a hop profile though, there is now a noticeable hole in the smell- there is a lot of dark fruit, some caramel malt components and some thing that can only be described as clean and crisp. Really interesting to see how something that isn't there (I remember hops being present when I had this years vintage) can still be there. Even some tangerine and pineapple juice hints, which is really nice. A lot of fruit in this one for sure.

And not much fruit on the palate. This is a really funny beer, come to think of it. On the nose, the hole from the fading of the hops really opened up the fruit elements, making it a very pleasant cornucopia on the nose. Tasting the beer produces the same sensation of the hops being not there and leaving a hole, only this time the beer suffers. It's not really haha funny, just kind of funny.

The most pronounced component of this beer's taste is the alcohol, which is not surprising for two reasons- the first being that there is a lot of it [alcohol] in the beer and the second being that the hops, which again I remember being present when fresh have faded, which means that alcohol is now the dominating flavor. There is still some dark fruit, but it almost comes off as diet coke-like. There is a lot of dark, syrupy flavors after the main alcohol taste. Some caramel/toffee components are there, as required by law for most non-IPA beers over 10% alcohol and are there, and pleasant but not overpowering and there is even a little bit of dark cocoa. Between the nose and the taste this is a beer that runs the gauntlet of flavors. But I can't possibly give this more than a 4. It's still too harsh to be truly smoothed out. If that makes sense.

This is definitely an easy beer to drink. While alcohol is the number one flavor, it's not that big of a deal- like the previous paragraphs have come to suggest, there are a ton of flavors going on with this beer, and so long term, mouthfeel wise, the main flavor is a sweet vanilla/caramel that kind of sits on the back of the palate. There is a momentary flash of hop bitterness on the finish ('where did THAT come from?') but it quickly fades leaving a nice, pleasant sweet non-particular taste to mellow out on the finish. Which eventually becomes a mild caramel/vanilla.

Even more now that it's had a year to settle itself, this beer is a sipper. It's closer to port now than it was a year old, and I can't wait to see where it goes next year (go away alcohol, come to me sweetness). For now, when it's still a little chilly in April it's a nice beer to kick back with. Until the winter coats are out again...

bigeyedfish, Apr 28, 2008
Photo of cameraman
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A deep amber color, with touches of a brown hue in the glass. A beige colored head, a quater inch high, lacing slowly down the glass. A dried fruit scent at first scent, then a strong malty, sugary fragrance, ending with a fairly potent aroma of alchol. The strong, hearty flavor of malt, blending to a mild grapefruit bitterness that grows gradually. It finishes with a earthy and bread taste. A medium feel at the front and gains weight quickly, as it rumbles across the palate. There is a tingle from the carbonation, a mild dryness, but nothing to strong from the alchol, that was surprise. A very good barleywine, a hearty flavor, the alchol is warming, which is great on a cold winters night.

cameraman, Apr 25, 2008
Photo of bluegrassbrew
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to RedHaze for this one!

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

This beer pours a very unnaturally murky brownish color. Minimal head drops to a ring around the glass.

Smell is slightly sweet. Hints of rum and tobacco.

Taste is where this beer finally steps up to its rep. Insanely smooth for 11%! Alcohol is noticable but only as a side note to the ripe fruit and almost candy-like malt sweetness.

Overall, this beer failed to get me out of the gate, but I soon changed my opinion. Looks off, but taste is quite good.

bluegrassbrew, Apr 21, 2008
Photo of Donnie2112
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is the first time I've had an "American Style BW" I'm rather used to the English style. I chilled this beer slightly and poured it into a large bowl red wine glass.

Appearance: Very nice, the colors are just beautiful, lots of deep maroons and ambers that only become translucent as it thins down in the glass. Head that dissapears even faster then I'm used to in a barley wine and absolutely no lacing, Interesting.

Smell: I'm swirling and and trying to get some aroma out of it, not a lot there even out of the large bowl wine glass. That said what I did get was nice, hints of cherry and vanilla and whole grain bread, maybe a bit of rum. But because of the lack of overall aroma even with the large bowl that should encourage some aroma I'm marking it off a bit.

Taste: There isn't a great deal of sweetness in this compared to what I'm used to in Barleywine (English) but the hop bitterness is snappy and bitter like black tea. The malt that is there is slightly sweet like a little bit of maple syrup but you have to look for it. Also there's something in the aftertaste that makes me think of sourpatch kids for some reason.

Mouthfeel: Rather heavily carbonated and then slightly astringent at the finish. I'm going to say just average.

Drinkability: Well it's a barley wine but I'd say that the great thing about this one is that it's not overly sweet and the bitter finish makes it refreshing even without being cold.

I really do like this brew. I haven't had a lot of this style but I'm up for sampling more. I am wondering how this would respond to aging and also how this compares to other American Barleywines. I'm definately willing to revisit this one.

Donnie2112, Apr 18, 2008
Photo of animal69
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

my first barleywine BB date nov. 2012; pours a viscous copper color w/ a thin light tan head which dissipates very quickly leaving a moderate lacing in my nonic ; a sweet cereal grain smell mixed w/ a piney hop, some dark fruits & caramel also ; a robust, sweet nutty flavor well balanced w/ a mild citrus hop bite, some raison/dates midway finish is alcohlic and brandy-like, and a bit metallic as well ; a full body and well carbonated this brew sticks around like cotton candy ; a great beer, drinks much better than most 10% ABV beers, although after a few of these you could end up in an episode of "cops"...

animal69, Apr 14, 2008
Photo of gford217
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Nice brownish ruby color with a thick foamy one-finger head that dissipates fairly quickly. Carbonation continued to rise to the middle throughout which led to significant head regeneration.

S: Sugary molasses and malts with a strong representation of sweet dark fruits. Slight burning in the nostrils from the alcohol.

T: As with the smell, sugar and malts dominate the taste with a very pleasant fruit taste. The alcohol also makes its presence felt at bit. Aftertaste of caramel and sticky toffee.

M: Significant carbonation and alchol left the tongue tingling after each sip. Definitely a sticky, syrupy sweetness throughout.

D: Despite the alcohol content and it's presence in the taste, this is a very drinkable barleywine. Definitely a sipper, though.

gford217, Apr 13, 2008
Photo of kindacold
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured the bottle into one of those new Sam Adams glasses. There was no head, but the smell was sweet and hoppy.

Color is a deep amber when held to the light.

Taste is a bit more bitter than I expected, but still good. There are abundant hops, and the bitterness sticks to your tongue and the back of your throat.

After the beer warmed up a little more, I could taste more of the sweetness and complexity.

Great beer, I'll definitely be buying it again. If I can find it on tap I'd be curious how it would be different.

kindacold, Apr 13, 2008
Photo of avalon07
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: When poured from a bottle to a pint glass, had a rich amber color and typically thick texture. Lots of sediment and a decently large head.

S: There was a sweet smell, possibly caramel, along with roasted malt. A large hops presence as well.

T: Not as sweet as other barley wines, but complex nonetheless. Lots of hops, some caramel and malt. There's a big hit of alcohol, so beware.

M: Good carbonation rate and a somewhat syrupy finish. Full-bodied, as you'd expect from the style.

D: This is drinkable example of a barley wine. It has a pretty high alcohol content, but goes down fairly easy.

avalon07, Apr 12, 2008
Photo of williamherbert
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark cherry color, mahogany red with hints of brown. Short lasting head. Glassy and shiny, but also thick and murky.

The smell is heavy sweet red wine. Some sweet (but grainy) barley too. Hints of liqueur, but not sharp or unpleasant.

Taste is heavy sweet barleywine flavor (heavy on the "wine" part). Has the tart, sour pungence of a sweet red wine. Also the grainy barley base. Strong! But well-balanced. Has some hard liquor.

Feels thick and chewy. Alcohol bite on the way down, a real burn. It's a strong beer, but limited in that its heavy and loaded with alcohol taste (11%).

williamherbert, Apr 12, 2008
Photo of cswhitehorse
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Old Horizontal poured a hazy looking strawberrry red, with a quick dissipating foam head and no lacing.

The aroma was spicy with caramel. The taste was barley wine sweetness, apple fruitiness with the alcohol well hidden behind the scenes.

The brew stuck to the sides of the mouth and left a tickle for a long long while. Overall a very enjoyable late night sipping beer.

cswhitehorse, Apr 11, 2008
Old Horizontal from Victory Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,625 ratings.