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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

1,681 Ratings
THE BROS
86
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 Wonka
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled Dec 14 04
Alc. 11% Vol.
Purchased at Shawan Liquors in Hunt Valley, MD

Appearance – clear orange-red; big bubbly head has a modest early life but its big air suffers before the AARP membership kicks in

Smell – floral, pleasant caramel sweetness; more actual barley than other barley wines I have taken in

Taste – spicy snap, smooth caramel, some fruit; bitter and some pine needles win out for the aftertaste; this could be an adolescent Schwarzenegger – there is growth potential here

Mouthfeel –some brutish crispness from the carbonation and the bitterness from the hops really push around the taste; this baby needs some cellar time

Drinkability – the end of the glass is smoother but the top ¾ is a bully; easy drinking but still green

With less than 2 month of seasoning, I can only ponder the development.

Photo of crookedhalo
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled Dec 14 04. Pours a deep orangey copper color with a thin khaki colored head. Strong, oily, piney hop aroma mixed with some biscuity, toffeeish malt and a fair amount of fusel alcohols. The melding of the malt and hops gives off nuances of tropical pinapple. A little malty and sweet, thoroughly hoppy, and downright tasty. A slight bit syrupy in the mouthfeel, but not unreasonable within the spectrum of barleywines. Always a good pick. One of the hoppier barleywines out there.

Photo of whartontallboy
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured my first Old Ho into a tulip, and the first thing I thought was, "Damn, this beer just looks cool!" Deep ruby color with nice lacing.
Nice malty scent with lots of alcohol in the nose. Some fruit and candy in there as well.
Sweet flavor with some prominent fruit notes. There's some interesting malt character in there as well, and obviously the alcohol is always right there. But for 11% ABV, it's surprisingly subdued.
Mouthfeel is as smooth as I've found in a barleywine. Chewy, but not overpowering and motor-oily. Like any beer this big, I don't want more than one at a time, but I really enjoy that one.

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

Purchased a sixer of this the other day. It is my first experience with this brew so was not sure what to expect as I have had some expectation-let downs on some Victory brews before. Not saying that they where not good, just based on reviews read I thought I was going to enjoy them more. Anyway back to the brew at hand! The brew pours to a crystal clear mild ruby color with a nice sized light tan/darker off white head. The lacing is very good as the head has great retention. This brew is heavy on the caramel like malt and hop characteristics, citrus. The first thing that I notice about this brew is the malt; a caramel flavor is most prevalent. Also heavy hop flavors around the mid to end that are not over baring (maybe it is but I have grown accustomed to heavier hop tastes) like I thought they would be, they are there but at a moderate level. Also I was expecting more of a alcohol taste but it also seems to be quite tame for the 11% it has. This is a very good brew, looking forward to see how it ages over the next year or so.

Photo of IrishMike
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 2004 and purchased from my local liquor store for $10.99 a six pack.

appearance- dark brown and hazy with an initial excellent head that fades into small floating pools on the top. Very little lacing on the glass. Looks like it's been aged for awhile, though that isn't the case. A very small amount of floating sediments can also be seen through the glass.

Smell- A nutty caramel blended with hops that assault the nose, this is a beer that first appears to be quite serious. But then.... it mellows out almost completely, with little or no alcohol to the nose that can be picked up. The malts and hops blend so completely in the smell that one could only hope that they'll come together as well in the tasting process.

Taste- and that they do. An almost immaculate blend of sweet malts, roasted nutty flavors, and strong yet subtle hops bring this together so well that no single flavor dominates yet none take the background. Starts with the sweet caramel blends when it first hits the mouth, then gradually changes over to earthy and roasted tones before finally ending in a pleasing hop bitterness. Mild hints of alcohol are picked up in the hop finish, but are hidden so well as to be a non-factor. Very thick and even more creamy. One sip kept bringing me back for more and more, up until the whole bottle is consumed. And that there is proof as to how much i enjoyed the taste of this.

Mouthfeel- Sticky, thick, and creamy makes this the ideal mouthfeel for a barleywine, well at least for me that is.

Drinkability- Well, it's probably not the BEST idea to make a session beer out of this, considering the high alcohol content. That said, i still believe it is quite possible to down quite a few of these at a time, despite what my better judgement might tell me. I find drinkability relative to how much one enjoys a beer, and considering i loved this, i do indeed find it quite drinkable.


This was the first barleywine i ever had, and with the possible exception of (the extremely expensive) J.W. Lees, this is still my favorite. Victory's winter line-up, with this, Storm King, and Hop Wallop, makes for a nice three hit combo that makes the company a force to be reckoned with. And for that i have their ut-most respect. A brilliant brew that should be tried by any fans of the style.

Well done, Victory!

Photo of Fish113d
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Note: ** Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz. bottle of the '04 edition.

Burnt-Sienna, the crayon, is the color I think of when i think of this barleywine; reddish-brown in color, poured with a 1cm head that quickly "fizzles" into slight edgelacing on my class, and a few bubbles floating around the top of my beer. Pretty carbonation bubbles rise to the surface through a slightly cloudy sea of reddish-brown hues. Smell is mainly of caramelized malts, berries, and a shot of alcohol to send through my sinuses. Also, the hops comes through on the aroma; a bright, sweet smelling hops as opposed to the usually floral bitter hops I am accustomed to. Taking the first sip, it tastes mainly of tart berries (my jaws even pucker), followed by a taste of the floral hops that smelled sweet, but are more floral and disguised in the aroma. Swallowing, I get a huge dose of alcohol that seems to shoot from even my ears! Wow! Overall, very sweet on the initial sip, but turns more floral and hoppy toward the end; interesting. Not too much carbonation as opposed to the alcohol burn. Full-bodied is how I would describe this one overall at room temperature. Wow! I should havelet this age and see what the alcohol does in 2-3 years! Very drinkable in my book...it has great character and style.

**NOTE: I did have a chance to sample 4 different years (vertical testing) at the brewery back in May of '04, and that was a very interesting experience...probably my favorite brew from Victory right now.

Photo of oxmasterscream
5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep, clear amber with cherry highlights and a thin off-white head. Huge smells of lightly toasted malts - big time fruity. As it warms, smells of vanilla, maple syrup and buttery pancakes are revealed. Taste is amazingly balanced and never harsh like some barleywines, even fresh. A monstrous caramel malt flavor, candy-like fruit with a smooth, escalating bitter finish that lingers but never overpowers the palate. Like Hop Devil on steroids. Mouth is big, thick and full with plenty of prickly carbonation. The ABV is big but barely noticeable, until you're finished your glass (obviously). No heat here. Amazing. Probably one of the best, if not the best American barleywine available.

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

Pours a faint ruby color with a light white head that sticks around for a while. Aromas are a bouquet of in your face hops giving off some earthy, piney, and woodsy like tones. There is also hints of carmelized sugars and some malts. This beer start off sweet with a nice mixture of caramels and some citrusy hops. There is also some carmelized sugar along with other sweet wonderful flavors. The body to this brew is just absolutely fantastic with a nice full mouthfeel. The finish is simply outright hoppy with a firm resinous character along with some citrus and pine tones and a nice bitterness that balances things out. Overall I'm truly impressed with this brew, perfectly balanced with a great body and great finish.

Photo of warriorsoul
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Big thanks to Victory for another fine brew.
A real nice mahogony color...just a half a finger of beige foam. Looks like one serious barleywine.
Aromas filled w/ raisins, caramel and a touch of alcohol.
Taste of cherries and figs as well. Nice malt backbone, but this is subdued beneath so much more. Mouthfeel is a touch bittersweet w/ a nice aftertaste...the alcohol is also present in the taste, but well hidden.
Drinkability...doubtful you would put down more than 2 of these in a night...good luck to you if you try.

Photo of skybluewater
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Jan 11, 2005 bottling. Pours a deep cherry color-this one's a beaut! Smells rather like pinecones, with a bit of alcohol present. Alcohol appears in the taste as well, which is most excellent. Big caramel malt, and that hop bitterness. As good as this is now, I'm betting it will be better in a year or so.

Overall, very tasty barleywine here. Even though it was bottled only a few weeks ago, it's not at all overwhelming (as opposed to that Old Crusty I had a while back).Watch that alcohol, though. It sneaks up on you!

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

From bottle in pint glass
Appearance: Much clearer than I have come to expect from a barley wine, this beer is a nice dark amber/copper color. Topped off with a rocky off white head that dissapates quickly.
Smell: Sweetly malty, intensified by the alcohol. Hops evident as well, but they seem to accent the sweetness more than adding much bitterness to the nose.
Taste: At first taste my mouth is beaten by the overwhelming flavor here. Sweet malt much like I smelled, but it goes hand in hand with the hops, right up front. Alcohol is rather noticable. Definitely seems hoppier than I remember from previous years, and to have drifted a little more into the mainstream American barley wine category, where in the past I would have considered it a strong English barley wine. Malt fades relatively quickly, leaving the bitter hops sticking to your tongue.
Mouthfeel: Fuller and heavier than I would expect from the clarity, with an oily hop character in the tail. Astringency is no more or less than I would hope for.
Drinkability: Very dangerously drinkable. The oily astringency leaves you thirsty for more without making it a sipping beer only. I've got to watch myself with this one.

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

Another amazing beer from Victory. Pours a very attractive cherry red color, and smells of fruit, candy, and slight spicy alcohol

Taste is amazingly complex with a full, smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Malt is very thick but the hops keep it subdued. As it warms, the alcohol is more present, but still very well hidden within the smooth complex body.

Finishes with a long, full sweetness.

Easily one of the best barleywines I've tasted to date.

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

Huge, dense foamy khaki colored head leaves some scattered lace as it slowly fades. Transparent ruby colored beer. Aroma is lighter then I expected, there's some piney hops, caramel, and a bit of alcohol and dark fruit. Fairly sweet up front, a bit of piney hops, caramel malt, and dark fruit. Hops become bitter in the middle, and increase until they dominate the finish. The alcohol isn't all that noticable until it warms your stomach. Thick and chewy beer just slathers on the flavor. A big beer, lots of alcohol and pretty bitter, yet still quite approachable.

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

Old Horizontal pours a cloudy amber color. It is opaque and produces a tannish finger-thick head. The smell is both of fruit and bread. The taste is smooth, fruity and has a citrusy bitterness which comes out towards the middle of tasting producing a dry aftertaste. This beer leaves a good velvety, silky coating on the mouth. As the name implies, you should take this beer seriously. It's good to sip in front of a warm fire.

Photo of asabreed
2.68/5  rDev -34%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Runs about $37-$40 a case around the PA area, and though I'm drinking it now, I'm pretty glad I didn't throw that much down on a case.

This guy's from the December 2004 run, so it may be a little green and unripened, but here it goes nonetheless.

Appearance: Pretty nice, a copper, lager-like color. Thin and barely-laced ring around the top after a vigorous pour. Few bubbles gurgling up to the top of the glass.

Smell: Alcohol up front, for sure. Wouldn't have expected this from Victory. It's fruity also, but the alcohol is overpowering. Trying to discern the different fruits in the nose, but it's no use; it's too unbalanced.

Taste: Expected more. Much more. It's too unbalanced overall. There are hints of fruit, but it can't be discerned, just like the taste. It's whacky. The sweetness hits at first, and then the extreme bitterness comes, but like I said, the balance just is not there.

Mouthfeel: Pretty below decent, if you will. The alcohol presence is there and gets into the nose and tastebuds and body pretty quickly, and that kills any semblance of complexity and yearning for more.

Drinkability: Well, I have to say, it's pretty bad when the highest rating is on appearance. However, this is the first highly rated beer that I disagreed with, and I DO have a few more, so maybe it IS too green after all. Regardless, this is 11%, so you don't want to mess around. However, don't be too quick to purchase a large amount before you try it; I'm glad I didn't.

Photo of santoslhalper
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled: 12.14.04
---
Tasted: 12.29.04

Appearence: Pours a deep copper with a nice off-white head. Massive amounts of carbonation shoot up to the top.

Smell: Smells sweet and malty, with an almost sickening raison smell. It's not bad, just a bit overpoewring.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste is great considering its only 2 weeks old. Very strong alcohol presence mixes with ultra-sweet hops creating a joyous fusion of flavors. This is just about how a barleywine should taste in it's early age. The mouthfeel is chewy and creamy.

Drinkability and Overall: Once again, Bill and Ron have outdone themselves with this fine ale. Strong, sensitive, and enough alcohol to tame a wild boar. I put 12 bottles away to age, and will be doing reviews every few months or so for a while. This is a great beer, one of the best I've had in a while. Thanks Victory!!

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

Wow. A fine barley wine. Cellered for well over a year, this bottle of barley wine pours a nice amber color. The head was extensive and thick, a pleasant treat. The smell was of hops and contained hints of alcohol. Both the taste and mouthfeel were very nice, being smooth and with little indication of the high ABV. Certainly a beer to be enjoyed. But beware, this brew is way to easy to drink. Enjoy!

Photo of Boto
4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draught @ Victory: Nice reddish color, poured with a small head. Big sweet, fruity aroma, and the alcohol is well hidden. The taste just warms you to your feet. Some hoppiness with the malts & fruit. Also, I get a hint of roasted and chocolate malts. It might have been better with age, but why wait!


7-2-05: Had vintage 02 and 03 brews on-tap at Victory. This beer is absolutely stellar. Without a doubt, the 2002 was the best of the lot.

Photo of beveragecaptain
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle. Pours an amber color with a slowly rising off-white head that grows quite large. Held up to the light, this beer is red. Sweet aroma of malt and candied fruit. The flavor is sweet and malty with a harsh alcoholic kick. Finishes hoppy, much more so than most barley wines, but the malt still dominates. The mouthfeel is full, almost syrupy. Great barley wine, but I doubt I would ever want to drink more than one at a time.

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

12 oz brown bottle.

Foamy light tan head with very good retention. Ringed and spotted lacing with good strength. Dark amber with a reddish tint in color.

Big malty sweetness with a touch of caramel. The aromatics are most centered around malty-fruity esters: apple, orange, grapefruit, and cherry.

Citrus flavors: grapefruit and even lemon provide a sharp and quick lasting tart flavor. This is soon followed by a smooth chocolate and toffee toned maltiness. A very light hop bitterness with hints of alcohol. The aftertaste is toffee, grapefruit, and alcohol all evenly balanced. Very complex and flavorful.

Full bodied; very mellow and smooth: an accomplishment for a barleywine so flavorful and high in abv.

Pretty drinkable given the 11% abv. Maybe not a session barleywine, but one of the best I've had of the style.

Photo of granger10
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on Jan 6, 2001

Ok, this beer is almost 4 years old and yet it seems as if its in its prime! Pours a dark ruby red with orange highlights around the sides. Heads is there but small and fades a bit quickly. Carbonation is apparent though and there is some lacing. Smell is amazing. Very aromatic, I notice hop flowers, sweet caramel, and some dark sticky fruity flavors. The flavor in this beer has melded together so well. The body is rather thick and holds a lot of flavors in it. Lots of caramel malts upfront and then a sweet fruity flavor takes form. It's like gummi bears dipped in honey, thats a good thing. Alcohol is definitely noticeable but its flavorful, i think if i had this any younger it might be a little too hot, but as it as, beautiful. Hops are there but I can tell they've fallen off a bit. They seem to offset the gummi bear flavor and the alcohol but don't really provide any bitterness. There might be some hop flavor in the finish but I mostly notice alcohol warmth and then some residual sugars coating my mouth. I think im happy with one, but two or three wouldn't be bad either. If you have this beer dated in 2001 I'd recommend drinking it now as it seems near perfection.

Much thanks to feloniusphil for 3 bottles of this great beer!

Photo of maltedmilk
3.03/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I am disappointed.

The beer pours a clear dark amber with a nice light tan head. It smells wonderful…fruity and slightly sweet. But it tastes too much like medicine to me. Perhaps it needs to age some? A bad batch? I don’t know. Certainly not as good to me as the ratings here suggest.

This is only my second barleywine. I tried a Sierra Nevada Big Foot awhile ago. and I didn’t really like that either. There may be other barleywines out there that don’t have as noticeable an alcohol taste .

This one didn’t do it for me.

bottled 12/03/04

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

Poured with an exceptional head in Belgian tulip glass. Nice brown color common to barleywines. Smells of sweet, sweet malt and nice hops. The taste, mellowed for about a year, is nicely balanced. Would go very well with a good funky cheese. Very drinkable for a high-alcohol brew. Very good for sipping, but this beer would go very well with food.

Photo of goodbyeohio
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

appearance/pour: nice dark amber with a surprising stream of carbonation rising from the glass bottom etch. head which dissapates to a nice ring with small foamy clusters. thick lacing and a dense sound while pouring- sounds thick.

aroma: an assortment of fruits with mild alcohol esters.. a combination which reminds me of cough syrup yet still appealing. some cinnamon and licorice too.

flavor: festive and explosive without causing me to cringe. all the spices come out upon drinking, with licorice running ahead of the pack. warming!! surprisingly, drinking reforms the head.. this beer has surprising carbonation for a barleywine (those americans!) not too sweet, which is a big plus for me and something that turns me off to this style.

like my hop wallop review, this year's is better than last.

(served from the 6 pack, in an oversized duvel tulip)

Photo of AlexJ
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep red/brown with a moderate beige head that has good retention for a beer this strong. The head leaves sparse, intricate lacing as it settles.

Big upfront sweet malt aroma of caramel and honey followed by piney hops, dates, candied fruit and cherries jubilee. An almost rum like alcohol presence warns me that I should sip this one.


It has a well balanced flavor, sweet at first with creamy toffee malts, figs, dates, cinnamon, and spice fading into pinecone drenched hops. Tastes as good fresh as aged which is rare. Aging brings out the creamy maly character. Despite the warming aroma, the high ABV is well disguised. Has a port-like finish followed by sprucey hops. A very nice American barleywine!

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