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Old Horizontal - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Old HorizontalOld Horizontal

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,577 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,577
Reviews: 1,064
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 10.34%
Wants: 92
Gots: 110 | 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: 1,577 | Reviews: 1,064 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mdog


4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled January 2005.

Appearance: Deep red with a good sized head for its strength.

Smell: Sweet fruits.

Taste: Sweet, brown sugar but not annoyingly so, a little bit of smokiness at the end.

Mouthfeel: Smooth.

Drinkability: This stuff is so tasty it's dangerous.

I've had this bottle in my fridge for a year and a half. It's aged very well, as it is very smooth and sweet, but not too sweet. Good thing I've got some more in the cellar!

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2006 00:51:43 | More by Mdog
Photo of Enola

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Obtained in a trade with Skinnyelvis

The beer pours a cloudy brown into my Chimay glass. There was minimal head and only light lacing. The smell is of hops and brown sugar. The taste is quite a bit more bitter than others of the style. The bitterness is almost what you would expect from a DIPA. The mouthfeel is fair, the aftertaste does not last long. The drinkability is fair as well. This beer was bottled in Dec '05, but I think this beer could benefit from a year or so more of cellering. Overall, above average.

*Edit: As the beer warms, the aftertaste improves and the alcohol becomes more noticable.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2006 15:48:32 | More by Enola
Photo of egajdzis


4.78/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Draft 1998 (5.5 years old – 7/25/04) Very malty and harsh alcohol. Dare I say past its peak? I enjoy 3 - 5 yr olds best. 8 5 8 3 15
Draft 2000 (3.5 years old – 5/29/04) Simply Incredible!! Amazing malty and fruity nose and palate. Lightly hopped still. This is downright incredible, I love it!!! 9 5 10 5 19
Draft 2001 (2.5 years old – 7/26/04) Red amber no lacing. Intense nose. Taste of caramel malt, cinnamon, vanilla, and cherry skins. Soft sweet and malty, with warm alcohol. I love it!!! 9 4 10 4 17
Draft 2002 (1.5 years old – 7/26/04) Lightest of the three I had tonight though also the cloudiest, still with no lace. Malty and spicy with a harsh alcohol. 8 3 8 4 16
Bottle 2002 (1 year old – 11/13/03) Poured a cloudy brownish reddish color with a small yellowish tan head. Strong but sweet dark fruits, interlocked with a nice hoppy nose. Huge malty and hoppy taste. Fruity grape aftertaste, with alcohol being barely noticeable. Very fulfilling for this freezing November night. 8 4 9 5 17
Draft 2003 (8 months old – 7/26/04) Deep copper color, and a sweet aroma. Hoppy and husky dark fruits and malts. This was too intense when young, and I stand by my theory at Old Horizontal at 3 – 5 years is amazing!

Serving type: on-tap

08-26-2006 12:41:09 | More by egajdzis
Photo of BryanCarey


4.88/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Old Horizontal is a scrumptious barleywine that offers an intriguing scent; a beautiful head of foam that leaves lace as it recedes; and a body that is full and malty. This barleywine tends toward the sweet side with a taste that is complex and memorable.

Several tastes combine to make Old Horizontal the great brew that it is. There are flavors like baked bread, a little bit of caramel, some grain, yeast, candy, and fruit. The taste is quite complex and I find that each time I take another sip, I discover something else about Old Horizontal that I didn’t know about the first time.

Probably the most interesting characteristic of this beer is the fact that it isn’t very bitter. Most barleywine styles are known for the over- emphasis on the hops but Old Horizontal is actually more malty and sweet. The hops are obviously present (there are even some flakes in the bottom of the bottle) but they are not as pronounced as with other barleywine.

Old Horizontal is a delicious example of this style and it’s the type of beer I could sample over and over again and continue to find new and unique ways to describe its taste. This is a sure sign of a great beer and Old Horizontal is a beer not to be missed; a product with delicious, complex flavors and a flavor profile that keeps growing on you; getting better and better with each passing sip.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2006 04:09:52 | More by BryanCarey
Photo of murrayswine


4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is courtesy of oldirtysurfer.

Poured a ruddy brown/red into my Troublette tulip, with little to no head at all. (Havent found a head inspiring barleywine yet)

THe nose is lush with hops. This is a big beer! Layers of butter, rock candy, and toast give in to a boat load o hop character, and a touch os spearmint.

The taste is smooth at first, than directly hop ripped. The alcoholic bite is fairly prevelant and is tending to muddle the mouthfeel a bit. A little metallic, too, but I think that it need to sit a spell first and breath.

It finishes beautifully with butter pecan, brandy, and hop.
A very good Barleywine, I recommend it.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2006 18:00:19 | More by murrayswine
Photo of IntriqKen


4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled Jan. 6th, 2001...tasted August 9th, 2006.
Thank you to blitheringidiot of PA for sharing his private cellar with me.
Wow...where do I begin....
Poured a medium dark amber with a single finger tan head that melted to fine lacing lasting the entire drink.
Aroma is ...hey, perfect barleywine...raisins, sweet malt....dried sweet dark fruits.
Taste is a perfect balance of sweet, sweet malt, brown sugar, dried dark fruits like raisins, plums, and prunes.
Alcohol is absolutely non-existent in the taste...but definately there...I feel the warmth filling my insides comfortably after I swallow...and for a long time after each sip.
Something sharp and tingling with each sip...hops and carbonation extremely well hidden but not lost.
Wonderful...comforting....warming...solid offering.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2006 04:22:57 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of Toddv29424

District of Columbia

4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this from a good friend in NY...
Pours a reddish hazy-tinted amber color with terrific lacing that seems to last for the duration of the beer. Smell must be teased out with some swirling, but initially has a toasted malt taste with faint alcohol, and candied fruits throughout. Also a hint of sweetness, almost like caramel in the nose. The taste is amazingly cohesive for such a large beer. Dangerously smooth with a creamy body. The candied fruits make up most of the body, with toasted husks and alcohol making up the remainder. It’s clear that this beer has spent some time the fermentor, (or secondary, or tertiary…) because of the mellowness of the alcohol taste. There could be a little more of a hop presence, but that might take it to close to perfection. I imagine that it would mellow out nicely with age, but I’m too impatient for that.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2006 22:21:01 | More by Toddv29424
Photo of nortmand


4.9/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ruby red pour with some chill haze and a steady tan head.

Sensational smell. Caramel, chocolate, even a bit of pipe tobacco earthiness there. Very nice.

Slightly sweet up front, ends in a massive bludgeon of bitter, resiny hops. Tastes a bit oxidized, most likely due to the massive hits of American hops.

Huge bodied, and surprisingly smooth, this is not one to be missed.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2006 21:44:46 | More by nortmand
Photo of dustified1234567


4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow i have had this beer in my fridge for two months now waiting to try it and finally i did. I had it by bottle but i actually had it poured into a mug. The appearance was a nice dark brown that was beautiful. The smell was was of sugar and hops. The taste was accpected to be bitter but goes down smooth. The mouthfeel is a little thick but is fine to drink. The drinkability is a bit lower beacause I think that this is a beer to be savored considering also that it is in the top 100 on BA.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2006 23:20:55 | More by dustified1234567
Photo of doubleipa


3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As I love barleywines, I've been trying to track this one down for a while. Found it in Marcy, NY. Quite nice, one of my favorite barleywines. Not much of a head, but it did have good lacing. Aroma was of sweet malt and fruity. Taste was quite sweet and thick mouthfeel. I was a little unimpressed. Maybe my expectations were set a bit too high. Good, but not great.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2006 12:46:40 | More by doubleipa
Photo of mmmbeer


4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz., bottle-conditioned on 12/22/05 - served in a balloon glass. It pours a deep hazed crimson/garnet with a small tan head that reduces to a collar. There is a sweet, fruity aroma with grains, molasses, and a big dose of hops and heat. The body is thick and syrupy with light carbonation and it's slightly drying. On the palate it's green/piney/soapy/citric hops, sweet syrupy malts, and a medium bitterness that becomes stronger at the end. Pretty good, but I'd like to see what the cellar would do to it.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2006 22:32:01 | More by mmmbeer
Photo of akorsak


4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a 12 oz. bottle of Old Ho served in a tumbler glass. The ale has warmed to near room temperature.

Appearance: The ale has a deep amber red color that comes across as slightly hazy. There is a decent ring of head around the glass that leaves a bit of lace.

Smell: The ale has a full-bodied malty sweet aroma. I was expecting a strong hop aroma but was pleasantly surprised when it did not appear.

Taste: The beer has an alcohol content that can't be hidden. Beyond that, there are deep malty flavors that tend to stray towards random alefruits and a slight hop kick, again though less than I was anticipating (again also, a good thing).

Mouthfeel: The malts add a fruity touch to the palate while the hops provide just a hint of bitterness.

Drinkability: A good representative of the style with a greater focus on the malts that some American Barley Wines lose.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2006 02:06:22 | More by akorsak
Photo of RedHaze


4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on date of Feb 04 05.

Pours a hazy dark copper with a frothy two finger head that settles very slowly to a thick cap that never really fades, leaving behind a dense webbing of lace.

Smell; a little bit sweet with brown sugar, caramel and toffee. There's some dark cherries, a touch of candied apples, with a sprinkling of cocoa.

Taste; initially fruity, with cherries and apples, and then is followed by the caramel, brown sugar and cocoa. There's definitely some hop bitterness, and a little bit of alcohol flavor present. With this being about a year and a half old the hops are a bit more toned down, and the alcohol is not quite as strong in the flavor profile as the fresh ones I've had before. I think this makes for a much smoother and blended flavor. Mouthfeel is nice and thick, with a good drinkability that would be higher if the abv were not so high.

I don't usually re-review beers, but I previously had a much younger version of this, and I felt with the age of this beer, and it's effects it had on it's flavor and appearance, it was warranted.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2006 02:21:52 | More by RedHaze
Photo of sopor


4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 12/22/05 Drank 7/1/06

A hazy (mostly due to chill, from being in a too-cold fridge) copper-orange to deep amber-ruby ale with a small sandy-goldenrod collred head leaving a thin film.

Seet and tangy-drak-fruity malt is strong on the nose with a strong backbone of hop bitterness, somewhat resinous.

Flavor starts out sugary sweet, with touches of dark fruit, raisins and plums, and white grapes and pear-juice. A hint of tartness follows the malt. Hops are spicy, and a little resinous, but blend very well with and dance over the whole malt profile.

Body is moderate, not as thick and oilly as I would like. CO2 is decently low, but a thicker body would have been more in balance with such a sweet malt profile and would enhance this beer a bit, IMO.

Tasty, but high enough ABV and lacking enough in body to not be supremely drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2006 23:56:05 | More by sopor
Photo of Georgiabeer


4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a very intriguing beer! The pour is nothing special, with a dark copper brown color and a medium mocha colored head that quickly dissipates.

The smell is another story. It starts off very sweet and rich, just an explosion of malt with note of burnt citrus and as it sits it develops a very distinct menthol aroma while the sweetness mellows considerably.There is an aroma of alcohol throughout.

The taste is remarkable. Citrus and hop notes quickly move into a growing bitterness that keeps expanding. This bitterness has an undertone of alcohol and malt, but it comes off rather like the flavor of blackstrap molasses. The slight sweetness falls away and you are left with an intensely tannic, minerally taste in your mouth that is tremendously appetizing to my palate. The finish almost tastes like Fernet Branca with some hops tossed in. Absolutely unique and wonderful.

The tannic finish creates a bracing dryness, despite the abv of 11%. It also has a graininess that coats your mouth, but not at all unpleasantly.

This is a somewhat challenging brew, so I don't know if I'd say this has a high drinkability quotient. I do love bitter flavors, so I'd be tempted, but I think I'd just have one in a snifter after dinner (or two if I was feeling especially bold.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2006 05:17:24 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of wingman14


3.43/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy dark brown with a tiny off white head. Smells of hops and citrus, and other tangy notes. The taste is powerful with a small sweet quickly followed by a tart or bitter characteristic. The aftertaste had a heavy alcohol emphasis with more bitter and plenty of citrus and hoppy notes. The beer is medium bodied with a harsh mouthfeel. This is an interesting brew, and worth checking out, yet I wouldn't find myself drinking these all the time.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2006 03:10:08 | More by wingman14
Photo of JayQue


4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

What a great Barleywine!!! I am a Bigfoot fan, but I can appreciate a more balanced and complex beer as well. This one pours a dark amber/orangy cloudy color. The head is tan, small and quickly disappears into a covering of the glass. Lacing was minimal. The strengths of this beer are smell, taste and mouthfeel. The smell is very inviting - hops and citrus and just strong enough. The taste is exceptional. An initial blast of hops and grapefruit/citrus taste followed by a mild malty finish. The rough taste that a fresh Bigfoot presents can turn off the typical BMC guy. This beer presents the same initial sensation but is balanced enough for a non-hophead to enjoy as well. The mouthfeel is incredibly rich and balanced. There is no indication of the high ABV. Drinkability for a barleywine (to me) is "would you like a second one"? The answer here is a big "YES!!!"

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2006 17:51:00 | More by JayQue
Photo of assurbanipaul


4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy burnt sienna with a ringed head. Aroma is malty, sweet and fruity with maple elements.

Taste is sweet and malty to begin. Lots of buttered toffee, a light orange element. Flavors turn slightly dryer and the sweetness subsides as it warms. Slight fruity aftertaste but not a trace of alcohol flavors or smells anywhere.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth and moderately heavy, leaving a slight stickiness on the lips. While it's not too very distinctive as a barleywine, drinkability is very high for a barleywine. I have another bottle, so I'll let it sit for a few years and report back.

Bottle on date "Jan 23 04"

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2006 02:29:22 | More by assurbanipaul
Photo of guitarmage


4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear, dark, amber, beige head with a nice lacing. Looks very inviting.

Smell: Big sweet malt, strong alcohol presence, also a nice leafy hops, also ripe fruit, molasses, a little chocolate.

Taste: Toasty malt, chocolate and molasses, huge warming alcohol kicks in, also some fruity esters, citrus, maybe orange.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, smooth and lightly carbonated, coats the mouth quite a bit, a little syrupy.

Drinkability: This is what barley wines are all about. Not something you can drink all night of course, but a good treat. Almost an after dinner apertif instead of a cognac.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2006 07:34:12 | More by guitarmage
Photo of bultrey

New York

4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass. Cinnamon colored, decent-sized head that reduces to just a wisp of creaminess on top of the beer. Swirling the glass reveals decent lacing... this beer's got some body. Smells of vanilla bean, bourbon, cedar, and perhaps a touch of maple. Exceptionally smooth flavor, with typical barleywine sweetness up front, including rum-soaked raisins, cocoa powder, and tobacco. The sweetness is quickly obliterated by a stunning wood-tinged dryness, with hints of cedar and a long, lingering gentle bitterness.

I remember having this stuff on draft last year and not being overly impressed. This stuff needs to sit for at least a few months in the bottle, and has the legs to age for a couple of years.

One of the best barleywines I've had in a while.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2006 02:16:30 | More by bultrey
Photo of kirok1999


4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Quite nice, one of my favorite barleywines.

Appearance- Ruddy gold, cloudy with great lacing that hangs on the glass.

Smell- Malty sweet, fruity esters, perhaps some chocolate?

Taste- Sweet fruit, almost butterscotch, like the smell a mild chocolate, Almost a Belgian quality.

Mouthfeel- Creamy! Bready, thick and smooth.

Drinkability- One of the best barleywines ever. I'm more of a bitter ale fan, but this one has the great taste to win me over. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2006 00:07:15 | More by kirok1999
Photo of mrasskicktastic

New Jersey

2.55/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - A hazy burgundy with about two and half fingers of creamy tan head. Carbonation is visible through the haze. After the head vanishes, an ordeal that takes about four minutes, a monsterous ring of lacing is left behind. A damn nice look for this beast of a brew.

S - A very sharp pine dominants over caramel and chocolate malts. As it warms it is easy to notice some alcohol on the nose.

T - Alcohol! It is very hard to make much out underneath it. There is a sharp pine flavor which amplifies the alcohol, but adds little in the way of worthwhile flavor. A caramel sweetness is there too but only for an instant. The aftertaste is simply alcohol burn and a potent bitterness.

M - Froths up in my mouth a bit, but apart from that thin. A little bit of a sting from the alcohol (feels more like acidity though), along with thecarbonation this makes it very harsh. Slightly refreshing, if you can get past the bitterness that is.

D - Well, it isn't that easy to drink because of the more potent bitterness, not to mention the oppressive alcohol, which makes sessioning a bad idea. Food pairing is about the same as it would be with hop juice and low quality brandy (which might not be that scanty, I'm going to try it with pork roast), which is about where I place this on the flavo-meter. Not something I'll look for again.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2006 01:41:14 | More by mrasskicktastic
Photo of SwillBilly


4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this one cellared for almost 3 years now, bottled date is 08/03. Time to review:

Appearance: Poured agressively into a chalice, Old Ho is a dark, ruby hue when held up to light. A deep, dark rich color with a respectable 1" tightly foamed head that dissipates rather slowly. Yeast particles cleary visible.

Smell: Big and fruity on the nose. Hints of a sweet maltiness dominate. Dark, rich, fruit with a slight hint of some citrusy hops. Possible overtones candied apples and caramel as well.

Taste: A sweet maltiness dominates the beginning with an apple like fruitiness, the middle picks up with a slight bitterness of hops then finishes again with the malty sweetness but also the alcohol makes an appearance as well, as it lingers long on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Rich and creamy with low carbonation.

Drinkability: I've sitting on this one for quite sometime as its the last of a sixer I picked up almost 3 years ago. I should have reviewed a one fresh and compared. Anyway, Old Horizontal is a fine barleywine. Nicely balanced with plenty of malty sweetness and hints of hop bitterness. Definitely a sipper, as this would be perfect on a cold winter night or what the hell, an 85 degree night in June. Even after sitting for almost 3 years, the alcohol is very present in the taste profile, which I thought would have mellowed a bit. Not a bad thing, considering its 11 % abv but still surprising nonetheless. I do think the cellaring mellowed some of the hoppiness that is usually present in a barleywine. Seek out Old Ho as its a must try and well worth it. Another great beer from the folks at Victory.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2006 00:42:41 | More by SwillBilly
Photo of mfg143


4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

As I poured this beer into it's glass I immediately can smell a complex recipe that is dominated by rich citrus hops and alcohol.

The first sip is a symphony of flavor. Begining with the citus hops, that characterizes the Victory Brewing company, it moves next the a wine like alcohol flavor.

The carbonation is not to intense but not flat either. The rich malts give the beer a full body and thick consistency. Next comes my favorite part, a buttery butterscotch after taste that will allow you to taste the beer for minutes to come.

The only drawback to this beer is it's decreased drinkability caused by high alcohol content and complex flavor. Fantastic for a bottle or two but I wouldn't want to down a six-pack.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2006 04:07:57 | More by mfg143
Photo of Naerhu


4.68/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to BroJohn for bringing this bottle all the way to Japan.

A - Thin off-white head and nice dark crimson body.
S - Small tabacco like aroma.
T - Nice tabacco, dates and earthy malts with leather and port wine. Great complex bitterness tht lasts forever. Light sweetness to balance the bitteness. Jason pegged it perfectly by calling it "rustic."
M - Delicate yet powerful, like an iron fist in a silk glove.
D - While an extremely intense beer, the alcohol is well integrated and this is a great after dinner beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2006 00:33:51 | More by Naerhu
Old Horizontal from Victory Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,577 ratings.