Old Horizontal - Victory Brewing Company

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Old HorizontalOld Horizontal

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1,681 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,681
Reviews: 1,073
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 10.1%
Wants: 101
Gots: 122 | FT: 7
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: 1,681 | Reviews: 1,073 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of flexabull
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle says, "Bottled Dec 09 05" So I guess this is the 2005 vintage.

Pours a really hazy amber/brown color with a decent head.

Beer smells REALLY malty. Almost like a bowl of warm cereal... grape nuts. There is also a hint of stewed fruits.

Flavor is very boozy... a lot of alcohol noted. Beer tastes like candied fruits, nuts, and with a bitter warming alcohol hop quality on the finish.

Mouthfeel is quite good. Very well rounded, full flavored, and thick in the mouth. Just like a barleywine should be.

Drinkability is very good for a high ABV beer. This is a well done barleywine. Very comparable to some of the other excellent examples of this style. I'll have to go grab a couple more of these for cellaring.

Yet another fine brew for Victory.

Photo of Erdinger2003
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours out a good 1/4 inch head and falls into a slight head with a good lacing. The color is a dark amber and looks nice. Smell is slightly sweet with earthy hops that work well together. Taste is smooth and mellowed earthy hops with fruityness that blends into a malty backround. The mouthfeel is good, but a little harsh. Overall I will have more of this fine brew!

Photo of BeerRun13
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy cranberry orange color. Thin off white head falls to a ring. Leaves some thick bubbly lace.
Wonderfull raisin/date aroma. Sweet malt and some alcohol.
Sweet raisiny, fruity, malty flavor. Some Alcohol. Wonderfull bittering quality and hop flavor. Not complex at all, just a straight forward good flavor.
Full bodied. Low to moderate carbonation. Syrrupy. Bittering finish that lingers on the tounge.
Good beer overall. Glad I recieved a few of these in recent trades to really enjoy.

Photo of montageman
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle is from December 2005. Poured into a chalice. Rich copper & red in color - this beer has some viscosity to it, not thin at all. Head quickly dissipates leaving some minor lacing. Caramel and fruit on the nose and the alcohol is evident as well. Taste is sweet with a nice almost chocolately dark fruit finish. The mouthfeel is very creamy and rich. There is also a warm feel as well. This is a very drinkable barleywine, dangerously so, in fact. Highly recommended.

Photo of rsyberg01
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

S - 12 oz bottled on dec. 22, 05. Thanks to CRJMellor for this tasty sampling.

A - Pours a hazy pale ruby with copper highlights. Quite viscous this be. Head is an offwhite and not as sticky as I thought it would be but still decent.

S - Nice balance of roasted malt, caramel, slight fruity notes in there as well, definitlely dark sultry fruits. Hop is well spoken for as well, even with about a year on this bottle, the hop character is still in your face, which is awesome.

T - Sugary sweet caramel, delicious roasted grain goes well with the sweetness. The bitter in the finish just puts the icing on the cake and balances this into an olympic balnce beam gold medal winner.

M - Viscous, syrupy, creamy, smooth, awesome.

D - Being 11%, this is extremely drinkable. Be careful though, too many and the name of the beer wont just be a cute spin on words, you will go horizontal in a matter of seconds.

Photo of blackie
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: The pour gives a one-finger, tan colored head that takes awhile to fall back and has decent retention. The beer is a clear, rich bourbon color.

smell: A blend of candied hops, woody booze, and moderately sweet caramel/toffee malts. A little bourbony, though obviously not from any type of barrel aging. A touch of hop tea and evergreen. Some caramelized sugars.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is a light medium, and the body full without being overbearing.

taste: Grainy malt sweetness with some caramel and lightly toasted notes. Pretty clean and straightforward. Light to moderate nondescript hop flavor, a touch of ethanol fume, and a creeping bitterness that comes out in the finish. Could use some more malt character.

drinkability: easy enough, and a good b-wine

bottled Jan 11, 2005

12-18-06: Drinking a bottle with a date of Nov. 18, 2003 printed on the label. I think I received this in my first ever trade have been holding onto it for well over a year. Pours a flat looking ruby brown with a disappearing head. Smells great...possibly approaching the 4.5 range. Aromas of boozy malt candy, bourbony wood, and aged hops abound. More complexity, though subtle, is found here than in my fresher sample. Smooth, soft mouthfeel. Well rounded malts on the tounge, just a touch of ethanol, and an aged hop flavor. This one has definately aged better than I expected after my experience with the above review. (nothing extraordinary, though)

Photo of mjc410
3.03/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottled 12/14/04 - before I was even 21

The pour into my big ol' crystal snifter (after warming and breathing for a half hour) raises a one finger head in spite of the alcohol content. It's big bubbled, a solid tan, and falls quickly to a ring and surface bubbles. Lacing still happens to a small extent. The beer's body is a murky, barely translucent amber with significant red highlights. The nose is sweet, peppery, perhaps even having some peppermint. There's also a distinct caramel note. The bouquet is finished by a bit of acid, and lots of alcohol. I don't notice any distinct hop scents. The taste is remarkably mild, after the aroma. It has a bit of sweetness to it, and definite, but not extreme, alcohol flavors. A real disappointment here. It's not bad at all - there's just so little to it. The only commendable aspect is the masked ABV. The mouth is pretty thick, with (virtually) nonexistent carbonation. Overall, an easy drinker, but without much to lure me back.

Photo of jackorain
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A very nice selection in the beer club. Thx Ron

A-Nice brown cloudy appearance. 1/2 inch head . Settled to a ring and skim in about 2 minutes nice left.

S-This thing smell great. Sweet carmel malts, raisins, maybe prune juice. There is also a hop prsence but it is obscured by the other scents

T-Malt overload, carmel, bread, buscuit, raisins, prines, other dried fruits and brown sugar. A nice green hop bitterness pushes through in the middle that mixes well on the finish with these big malts. Alcohol esters also linger long on the finish. Really complex.

M-Nice chewy/creamy medium body. There is a good bit of fizz though that detract from the otherwise nice texture.

D-The high alcohol holds this back from being a real drinker.

Photo of joedon
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Old Horizontal is my favorite "American Barley Wine". I enjoy this when I can get it but realized I had never submitted a review to BA.

Luxurious dark amber-brown color with a tan head that falls away to leave heavy lace on the glass.

Aroma has lots of malt and sugar with a bit of hoppy background.

The taste is exactly to style. Huge malt foundation with plenty of complex sugary flavors. Also vanilla, toffee and caramel. There is also enough hop bitterness and flavor to hold the malt in check.

Mouthfeel is also great for a huge beer. Chewy body and very smooth. No alcohol bite at all.

Excellent sipping beer for tonight when the temp. is falling through 10 degrees.

This beer can be found sometimes in Minnesota but I usually have to lug home a six-pack from some distant city.

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

Almost a one-year-old bottle. I just re-read my review from February, I think I was drunk when I wrote it, because it does not make any sense...sort of, trying to be too poetic. Not entirely sure aging has helped this beer. Flat body, not jump out of the glass. Nose is still pleasant, orange and clove mixed with some spicy notes. All things considered, the hop profile and balance has remained strong. Sweet on the tongue, a little too much so. I rated the drinkability low because my tongue was "numbed" after the first sip.

Photo of rustymoore
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Victory is an impressive brewing that I wish I had more readily available in my area (which is almost desolate as far good beer goes!) and this ale is no exception. Pours a reddish amber with a nice thick head into a snifter. Make sure you pour this one aggressively to get the maximum aroma. Smells of sweet malts and caramel with hints dried fruits. The alcohol aroma is very faint for an 11%. Taste is slightly oppresively bitter at first but calms down as the ale warms. Quite sweet with a nice warming feeling. Mouthfeel is smooth and warm. Drinkability is high on taste but lower on the high alcohol content being a bit too potent for most drinkers

Photo of doppelmeup
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jdoolin for sending me this prize!

The bottle has a bottled on date of Dec something, so I can only assume it was bottled about a year ago.

Pours a cloudy orange red into a snifter glass. Minimal offwhite colored head (as to be expected), with a nice layer of foam remaining on the beer.

Aromas are quite nice. Sweet malts, some brown sugar and caramel, a distinct hoppiness that is not overpowering.

Very nice flavor. Luxurious sweetness from the malts balanced by a good bit of hops. Slightly fruity, slightly dry. Very nice!

A relatively light(for a barleywine) mouthfeel with a dry finish. Warms going down, but the 11% ABV is extremely well hidden.

Overall this is one of the better barleywines I've had. Highly recommended!

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

Appearance: Hazy copper in color, with a small,dense and persistent off-white head, and scattered, fine lacing.

Aroma: Rather sweet aroma, with honey, caramel, toasted malts, dark fruit, and vinous alcohol. The hop presence is fairly restrained with a flourish of mild herbal aromas.

Taste: Opens with caramel, and yeast notes, hints of chocolate, and a fairly pronounced, sweet, warming alcohol notes, although considering the ABV of eleven percent, it seems very restrained. Later in the taste, the hops rise to ascendency, but gracefully. Finishes mildly dry with a slight, but lingering metallic and earthy hop note.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, fairly full, pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: Surprisingly mild for an American-style barley wine, but very pleasing, nonetheless.

Presentation: Packaged in a standard twenty-two ounce brown glass bomber, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

Photo of ByTor2112
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice rusty colored orange witha few thin bubbles. Aroma is toasty, alcohol is there, a deep inhale gets some hops that are deeply layered. This brew hits the palate like the big bad barleywine that it is! heavy malt, bready with the alcohol letting you know it is there. Hops flavors are subtle. Alcohol is warming and not overbearing. Mouthfeel is very thick First barleywine I've had in a while. Not sure when Victory releases theirs but this may be a 2005 or an early 2006 depending on release, it has aged nicely. A gentle roll on the palate really releases some unique flavors=bubblegum! Alcohol is also present even at the finish yet still pleasing. Awesome barleywine and an excellent standard of the style.

Photo of velo343
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance - A wonderfully thick dark caramel. Fairly thin head that disappears quickly.

Smell - Bready malt, with a hint of hops, like fresh cut grass.

Taste - Just like the smell, quite malty with a well balanced taste of fresh hops. At the finish, the hops really come through with a nice citrusy flavor.

Mouthfeel - Fairly thick, leaves a slightly acidic taste in the top of the mouth.

Drinkability - This beer is an extremely well-balanced barleywine that really hides the alcohol. I feel like I could drink a few of these in a night, but not sure how good of an idea that would be. Will be getting this again.

Photo of psinderson
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into goblet-type glassware. Bottle says "Bottled December 22, 2005".

Appearance: Hazy amber/brown color, a little like freshly squeezed apple cider. Almost no head to speak of.

Smell: Bready and caramel like. A little bit of bubble gum and apples..very complex aroma.

Taste: Sweet and hoppy up front. A great mixture of brown sugar, apple cider and peppery hops. This hides the alcohol very well, with only a showing at the end.

Mouthfeel: Thick and yummy. The pungent hops leave the mouth a bit oily but it's not unpleasant.

Drinkability: I suppose for a Barleywine, this is decently drinkable.

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

Bottled 12/29/04. Nice amber/red color with caramel and plum aroma. Had small amount of off-white head. Tasted somewhat sweet, yet bitter. Finished bitter with slight taste of alcohol, but certainly not overwhelming. I found myself liking this more and more with every sip. Of course with something this strong, you won't be drinking more than one very often. I’ll definitely be saving the rest of these to see how well it ages.

Photo of BelgianAleSlut
4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into Chimay goblet. Being a seasonal beer I had to wait for it to reach my local beer source since reading about it in August.

The color is gorgeous, dark carmel center to dark peach around the edges. Light carbonation ring around the outside - the etched center of the Chimay glass leaves a small faded cloud of carbonation in the center. Definitely need a clear drinking glass for this one.

Love the warming characteristics of barley wines and with most high alcohol beers, drinkability seems to increase for me as I go along. Good time fuzzy beer.

Taste is not complex but certainly has rich maltiness. Feels nice on the tongue - not heavy but does seem to coat it well. Recommended, especially on those cold Midwestern nights.

Photo of vwcraig
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. Bottled on 12/22/05

Sampled this from a tumbler. Medium brown with creamy looking one finger high head.

Smell is amazing; citrusy grapefruit and resiny hops. Big hop smell.

Taste an instant bitterness from hops and alcohol very pronounced.
Taste the smell character of the hops.

Heavier mouthfeel and little carbonation.

Drinkability is definintely high if you prefer sippers.

Photo of bort11
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle courtesy of SkinnyElvis.

Poured into an Imperial pint glass. Very quick and thin head that quickly recedes to a sticky and filmy lace. Color is a murky brown, with orange tinge around the edges when held to the light.
Smell is of hop oil, bittersweet.
Taste has a smooth bitterness, not overwhelming of hops. Very full flavor that envelopes the taste buds. Slight caramel malt notes.
Mouthfeel is very warm and full. It's a joy to hold a mouthful. A definite warmth, but not a real burn.
What a wonderful beer.

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

got this bottle in a recent trade with Aprilluvsbeer. thanks april!

pours a hazy brown with a scant head that quickly fades to a ring around the glass.

aroma is nice. roasty malt and a little alcohol. caramel and a bit of lingering sweetness. hint of bittersweet chocolate. slightly vinous.

taste is great. fairly bitter kick to start, then a really nice full malt body. biscuity malt. caramel. a little bit of raisin. really well balanced.

mouthfeel is great. nice and full bodied, and a moderate carbonation level.

drinkability is good. the 11% is hidden fairly well and the bitterness isn't over-the-top. overall this is a really nice barleywine.

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

I really like this barleywine! It pours a nice cloudy amber. Its smell is balanced between malt hops and alcohol. It packs a heck of a kick! The hops are a bit grassy and it blends well with the sweetness of this brew. This is an excellent barleywine, and would recommend it and buy it agian.

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

i don't even remember where i got this. clear amber ruby with a tan head up top. i see some bubbles, and they're enough to sustain a bit of a head

smells like deep, highly concentrated malts. some relatively innocuous hop aromas. they're from the NW but seem to be playing the balance role

it's not as chewy as some others. the real enduring quality comes from hops. they're all over the taste map and the bitterness is bigtime. the flavors are not mostly of the fruity variety: toffee and other malty flavors. i also detect some spice. this is nice

Photo of Sephiroth
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on 12/22/05: Bottle courtesy of JHop. Pours with slight head, no lace, color is amber with the slightest haze. Smells pretty hoppy, I'm sure with plenty of malt to go along.

Taste is definitely on the hoppy side, bitter citrus notes with a hint of grass. Caramel toffee malt is there as backup. Thick and chewy mouthfeel, good and drinkable.

Photo of msubulldog25
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12 oz. bottle to a snifter. BB date: Jan 24, 2011.

A: Warm garnet/red, very clear. A sliver of tan head, which faded quickly. I was surprised that there was almost nothing lingering nor any lacing. Still, a pretty beer...even when still, it has the look of bourbon.

S: Big sweet caramel & toffee married with generous citrus hops. Slightly medicinal smelling alcohol blend with cherry and ripening fruits. Some warm fall/winter spices and a touch of brown sugar. Yum.

T: [cough]...strong bitterness initially...perhaps this needs more age(?) I thought. It did not seem very mellow - the wonderful smells were burdened by a heavy burnt-tasting bitterness and a wallop of alcohol. As it warmed some, I picked up some toffee sweetness, dark chocolate and toasted nuts. Some of the cherry and spice crept in, too, as did raisin. It's a good beer, maybe with more time it nears greatness?

M: Medium/full body, slightly sticky mouthfeel. Bitterness lingers a while...

D: A good sipper, nice & warm. Big ABV means one is enough. A nice nightcap/dessert beer. I felt like the snoozing crescent moon on the label once I was finished with this one... Will get a couple more and age them a year or more...

Old Horizontal from Victory Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,681 ratings.