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Old Horizontal - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Old HorizontalOld Horizontal

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,606 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,606
Reviews: 1,065
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 10.34%
Wants: 93
Gots: 115 | 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: 1,606 | Reviews: 1,065 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of animal69


3.98/5  rDev -2%

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"...

04-14-2008 07:00:44 | More by animal69
Photo of gford217


4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

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.

04-13-2008 02:19:09 | More by gford217
Photo of kindacold


4.22/5  rDev +3.9%

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.

04-13-2008 01:34:16 | More by kindacold
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

4.03/5  rDev -0.7%

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.

04-12-2008 15:59:36 | More by avalon07
Photo of williamherbert

New York

3.55/5  rDev -12.6%

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%).

04-11-2008 23:41:18 | More by williamherbert
Photo of cswhitehorse


4.18/5  rDev +3%

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.

04-11-2008 03:34:02 | More by cswhitehorse
Photo of Nesued

South Carolina

3.48/5  rDev -14.3%

Appearance - Dark amber/orange coloring. A pour from a refrigeratred bottle provided an ample head. After a few minutes to equilibrate, a thick/dense tan/white head still retained its presence. Lively carbonation was the reason for this dense head.

Smell - When I first poured this, I quickly got a wiff of a hoppy presence. As I gave it a bit of time to warm, a warm candy/fruity presence revealed itself. Interesting.

Taste - Came on very strong, candy/malt opening and middle, with a with a hop bite finish.

Mouthfeel - Creamy, chewy body. Head retension is amazing on this. I'm halfway thru and still a dense head.

Drinkability - My first impression was that the 11% ABV was noticable. Wondering if I put a few up for a few years if this would mellow. I'll have to try that. Not my favorate American Barleywine, but not bad.

04-11-2008 01:21:13 | More by Nesued
Photo of Traquairlover


3.95/5  rDev -2.7%

12-oz bottle poured into a snifter. Dec 2005.

A = Medium dark chestnut brown, very light orange tan foamy head quickly dissipates leaving medium lace cover on surface.

S = Maple syrup, dried fruits, floral hops, slight smell of plastic keeps this from rating higher.

T = Good solid American barleywine tastes, very tart, bitter hops make and appearance early and continue solidly throughout including into a long, dry bitter finish but there is a good malt backbone underneath, too, which is also apparent at the front of the tongue and grows into the mid-palate before the bitter finish takes over. Malt flavors of maple syrup and brown sugar.

M = Medium-heavy to heavy bodied, great mouthcoating, good foamy carbonation on swish.

D = An extremely good American barleywine, I wonder what a couple more years would have done to it since I think the bitterness was still just a little strong, but I definitely recommend drinking this beer.

04-08-2008 23:36:35 | More by Traquairlover
Photo of number1bum


4.1/5  rDev +1%

My contribution to NEPA BC split #13.

Pours a cloudy, dark orange, sort of ruby brownish color with about an inch of creamy tan head. Head recedes to a thin lace and leaves minimal stick.

Smells of fruity, citrus hops, pine and a big dose of caramel malt sweetness. Bit of alcohol, too, but not too much.

Taste is rich and malty, good amount of caramel malt sweetness but not too much, and some biscuity and lightly toasted malt flavor, too. Also plenty of bitter, piney hops that are also quite fruity. Citrus comes through especially into the finish, and there is some dark fruit, too. Really not much in the way of alcohol, and it's nicely balanced overall.

Mouthfeel is full, it's a little sticky sweet, almost cloying, but it's chewy and smooth.

A sipper for sure, but quite drinkable given the fact that it's 11%. Very good barleywine that I'm sure will get even smoother with age.

04-03-2008 20:45:02 | More by number1bum
Photo of Boppar

New Hampshire

3.78/5  rDev -6.9%

On tap at the Capitol Ale House in Richmond, VA. Served in a tulip glass.

A: Dark, dark brown with a leathery two finger head.

S: Dark roasted malts, molasses, maple syrup, wood.

T: Tastes about the same as it smells, I was quite thankful that this beer avoided the major pitfall of most American Barlewines: over-hopping. this seemed to ally itslef more with the British camp: a nice strong malt backbone with sweet and rich malt character. the molasses and maple syrup started it off, and there was a pleasant mid-palate smokiness followed by very late-palate chocolate character and a dry, bitter finish.

M: Thick, heavy, and chewy. I meal in itself.

D: As tasty as this one is, it became apparent towards the end fo the glass that it drinks just like any other barleywine.

Solid. So go get one.

04-01-2008 04:54:25 | More by Boppar
Photo of BeerSox


4.33/5  rDev +6.7%

12oz bottle into 8oz snifter.

Slightly hazy ruby red hue with a thin tan head that settles to a ring around the glass.

Sharp hops and a sweet candy smell start this one off, along with a soft malt aroma that smells like dried grain. Some spiciness is in there as well.

Spicy hops mix with some bitter hops and a sweet candy taste that always shows up in this style. There is a light touch of grain in the background. As the beer warms, the alochol becomes a little more present, but never too overwhelming. Full bodied with good carbonation. The finish is the lingering bitter hops.

To me, although there are many bitter styles (DIPA, IPA, some Strong Ales, RIS), nothing has a balance between ultra sweet flavors and ultra bitter ones than an American Barleywine. This one makes a fine example of this. Recommended.

03-29-2008 04:33:55 | More by BeerSox
Photo of kurtissellen


4.47/5  rDev +10.1%

Poured this 2005 vintage bottle into an oversized wine glass with ½ finger yellowish orange head and a small amount of lacing present. Looked a dark copper and noticed lots of sediment suspended and at the bottom of the glass. Wonderful smell of grapes and molasses. Tasted similar to the smell very sweet with molasses, caramel, and grapes even noticed a little spiciness to it maybe some cinnamon. Thick and syrupy on the tongue. One of the better barley wines I've tried.

03-27-2008 04:36:12 | More by kurtissellen
Photo of jamie2dope


3.93/5  rDev -3.2%

This will be my second time trying this one from Victory. Poured in to my Duvel glass a strawberry coloration, with just enough head to show itself prominently. Smell is full of fruit flavors, honey, booze, and an almost port like sweetness. Taste starts off malty with a fruit backbone, becomes slightly tangy in the middle, only to end with a dry (but still juicy) hop bite. Mouthfeel is the most notable part of this beer in that it is slightly light in body for a Barleywine, but still has plenty of flavor profile, and a lot to offer in complexity. After drinking one of these, I am ready for another, but at the same time by no means is it a session brew. Victory did a good job on this one. I would lay one or two down to age, but I don't know if I have the will power. Cheers

03-25-2008 02:15:09 | More by jamie2dope
Photo of saintwarrick

South Carolina

4.63/5  rDev +14%

Malt sweetness hits the nose first, followed by some caramel and a twinge off alcohol. Malty, caramel sweetness, extremely smooth. Definitely an underlying of hop bitterness there keeps this beer from being too cloying, though it is definitely a sweet brew. A twinge of fruitiness is also there. Finishes really smooth, more so than most barley wines have had. Not nearly as hoppy as other American barleywines I have had, but sweeter and more drinkable than any of the English styles I have had.

Don't normally love a lot of barley wines, but this is a great brew.

03-21-2008 01:08:53 | More by saintwarrick
Photo of PhageLab


4.3/5  rDev +5.9%

Well, over three thousand of you voted and the unanimous winner for my 200th review was Victory's Old Horizontal! 2007 Edition poured into a tulip glass.

A - Opaque ruby coloration, large crimson head of froth, both lacing and retention were excellent.

S - Dark fruits, big malts, and even a nice touch of hops.

T - Wow, this stuff is potent, it tingles the mouth. The alcohol is definitely present here, but it doesn't really distract from the overwhelming amount of flavor. Sweet malt profile, but not too sweet. This one is both complex and balanced. Aftertaste of brandy.

M - Full bodied without a doubt, nice carbonation level, liquor-like feel on the palate.

D - Dangerously good. If more barleywines are like this, I'll be much more into the style. Flavorful and not too sweet, which was my major problem with Bigfoot. Excellent overall, and a must try.

03-20-2008 13:03:46 | More by PhageLab
Photo of stewart124


4.05/5  rDev -0.2%

2003 edition

Hopefully my cellaring techniques are adequate.

Pours a hazy amber with a thick but quickly fading tan head.

Hops still pungent and but don't seem to be quite as sharp. Pine and citrus noticable with a sweet maltiness. Raisins are also detectable.

Taste is big but mellow and soothes the tongue. There is a sharpness in the end that lingers. This barleywine has almost a spiciness that could be from the hops and a complex malt bill. Alcohol is warming but does not take away from the beer.

Aftertaste is of pine, grapefruit and a caramel sweetness.

I thought this proper to drink on the last day of winter and I was excited to open this hidden-away 2003 batch.

03-20-2008 03:10:54 | More by stewart124
Photo of mecell2000


4.22/5  rDev +3.9%

A friend of mine and I went to Downingtown to visit Victory Brewing Company in February. Among the excellent array of beers they had on draught was Old Horizontal. We both had draughts and I bought a Growler to take back with me. This review is on the Growler draught pour.

Everytime I opened the Growler you could hear a fizz pop like the opening on a soda bottle.

Poured into the Old Horizontal glass that the gentleman at Victory's bar/pub let me borrow without the intent to return.

Appearance is a brownish-black and full-bodied, a light cream colored head was ever constant, never fully resigning.

The smell was excellent; chocolate, caramel and coffee notes from the Malts provide the base and a very light warming alcohol smell helped finish.

The taste was the absolute embodiment of a barleywine. A warming, creamy beer that has includes all of the scents mentioned above, plus nuts and toffee, rounded out by a subtle sweetness.

At 11% ABV, it might not be one that you'd have two or three glasses of in a night, but it will go very well as a desert drink!

03-18-2008 01:22:23 | More by mecell2000
Photo of cthulu81


3.95/5  rDev -2.7%

Mmmm. I do love Victory. They do a whole lotta beer styles and do them very well. I have yet to pick a 'desert island' brewery, but Victory is in the top runnings. Mr. Horizontal here is a mighty fine barley wine. Why? Well, glad you asked. Let's start out with appearance. Pours a rick amber topped with a desirable foam dome of an inch thickness. Aromas of subtle dark fruit, taffy(the saltwater kind) and light hops linger around the glass's rim. ON the tongue this gentlemanly sipper is at first a tinge hoppy, he is a young one after all, bottle a mere month or two ago. Once the initial bitterness subsides a rich malt, some might say slightly honeyed and caramelized, squeeks through, rewarding the drinker with additional fruit flavors of fig and raison. Everything finishes solidly and quickly, leaving a pleasant warming note down the throat. Lovely, complex and nuanced. The booze shows through with a youthful boldness, but believe me, I have had some of these from '04, and these suckers just keep getting better if you shut them away in the closet for a spell. Cheers.

03-14-2008 03:31:15 | More by cthulu81
Photo of wchesak

South Carolina

4.4/5  rDev +8.4%

Poured from bottle into a Chimay chalice. Upon opening the bottle noticed some decent hops smell.

Appearance - mahogany red color leaning towards the brown side, half inch of light creamy tan head, slightly bubbly at first pour but subsides soon after

Smell - hops hits the nose first, citric in smell; then picking up smells of dark fruits - raisins and plums; all the smells finish with the booze smell

Taste - the hop is noticeable only slight at the beginning before the darker fruity/chocolate flavors (again raisins, plums, caramel) take over finishing with a nice warmness that is felt as the beer moves down the throat

Mouthfeel - think the initial slight hop really balances the finishing flavors allowing the beer not to be as sweet as a normal barleywine might be. the warmness enables this beer to hold its one against most all winter offerings

Drinkability - was surprised by the easiness this beer went down, however with the ABV and the complex taste, it is better enjoyed at a slow pace; this gave me reason to decide on purchasing a few more for another time, one just wasn't enough.

definitely will take one and store it away

03-12-2008 23:29:54 | More by wchesak
Photo of Monkeyknife


4.22/5  rDev +3.9%

Poured from a bottle a deep, clear ruby color with a thin off-white head.

Aroma is dark ripe fruits, raisins, white sugar, malts, and booze.

Tastes of raisins, plums, black cherries, white sugar, and caramel. 11% alcohol? Yep, you can tell.

Medium mouthfeel, warming, dry, and lightly carbonated.

A very nice, slow-drinking barleywine from Victory. Curl up by the fireplace and enjoy.

03-08-2008 23:41:51 | More by Monkeyknife
Photo of charlzm


3.8/5  rDev -6.4%

Bottled, consumed on 01/24/08.

Pours a deep reddish hue. Head disappears fast without much replenishment from the low carbonation. Slightly thicker than water (but no chewier or smoother). Sweet cherries and alcohol tickle the nose. Flavor is bold and complex: yeasty, fruity, acidic and even a little sweet with some chocollate/coffee notes then bittering hops near the end. Finishes with some warm spices and alcohol vapor.

Reminded me more than a little of some imperial stouts I've had!

03-08-2008 02:36:27 | More by charlzm
Photo of barleywinebrewer

New Hampshire

4.13/5  rDev +1.7%

2006 vintage
A - nice reddish brown color, solid light tan head that lasts quite a long time!

S - dark ripe fruits, raisins, caramel, citric hops and a light warmth note.

T - similar to the nose, nice balance of flavors

M - full bodied, nicely carbonated, smooth warming finish.

D - a sipper that has matured nicely!

03-03-2008 17:36:41 | More by barleywinebrewer
Photo of Hojaminbag


4.53/5  rDev +11.6%

Serving from a growler.

Dark ruby color with an off white head. Leaves a good amount of lacing on the side of the glass.

Smells sugary and fruity, grapes with a good touch of malt.

Tastes malty, with caramel and chocolate touches. Mellow grape flavor, finishing with hop and alcohol flavors. Hides the %10.5 ABV well. Malty, hoppy and sweet, great balance.

Feels good on the tongue, some barleywines are too sweet, this is just right.

An excellent example of the style, extremely well-balanced and drinkable.

03-01-2008 06:35:34 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of Proteus93


3.8/5  rDev -6.4%

This one is being based on a vertical of 04/05/06, with a bit of a leaning towards the freshest on the overall ratings

A: [2006] Ruby pour, a moderate, light tan/pale orange tinted head with nice retention (4)

[2005] A murky reddish brown, moderate head on this one (poured much more gently to avoid sediment). (3.5)

[2004] Not so much of a red hue anymore... more of a murky tea-brown with a reddish highlight to it, perhaps. Quite a bit of sediment that slipped in, regardless of how gently it was poured. (3.5)

S: [2006] Spicy alcohol, some raisiny scents, a bit of citrus, and some caramel + smoky notes (4)

[2005] Dark fruits, sugary (some caramel/toffee aroma), spiciness, less citrus, lost some of the 'edge' (4)

[2004] Deeper alcohol aromas. More peppery, otherwise similar to others. The caramelized smell appears a bit richer (4)

T: [2006] Sugar & spice, raisin dark fruit, almost a bit of a rum & butter flavour (4)

[2005] Similar to 2006. A little warmer on the finish, perhaps. A little more of a solvent, chemical flavour, a bit medicinal

[2004] Warmer, boozy, more wine-like. A little syrupy, maybe a little more prune like than raisin

M: [all] A rich body to accompany a quite full flavour, a bit of a tingle, a warm alcohol finish. As it ages, it seems to become a little more syrupy and spicy, but not by a huge amount.

D: [all] High ABV and full body means that the drink needs to be sipped & taken one at a time with some liberal spacing between.

Notes: I kinda felt that the 2005 was about just right for my palate, with the 2004 almost being on the verge of cloying. Fresher has a nice brightness that I can appreciate, though the mellowness has its place, as well. A nice experience, either way.

02-26-2008 04:48:26 | More by Proteus93
Photo of FtownThrowDown


3.78/5  rDev -6.9%

12oz bottle, Dec'05 bottling.
Pours a nice brown in color with some red highlights. No retaining head to speak of, plenty of billowing carbonation though.
Smell is malts, but there are some signs of the former existence of hops. The taste is a very good old ale. The alcohol is pretty aparent in the taste. Very smooth with just the perfect hint of hops. This will be a cold weather staple. Ages nicely.

02-25-2008 23:35:08 | More by FtownThrowDown
Old Horizontal from Victory Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,606 ratings.