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Old Horizontal - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Old HorizontalOld Horizontal

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,617 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,617
Reviews: 1,066
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 10.34%
Wants: 93
Gots: 117 | 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: 1,617 | Reviews: 1,066 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of byrd
4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours perfectly… wonderful reddish copper in color with a light tan head that perfectly fills the glass to the rim - carbonation rising to the surface. The head dissipates moderately slowly to a thick layer of lace that hugs the sides of the glass for a long time. The lace eventually becomes a thin scattering on top. BIG hit of aroma right out of the bottle… wonderful. Dark fruits, caramel malts, sweet molasses, slight alcohol notes. What a great barley wine! SO SO smooth with lots of malt in the start along with caramel and fruity sweetness. Never becomes too sweet however. Great hop finish. Lots of grapefruit and some slight roasted notes. Long aftertaste that just keeps reminding you how great this brew is. Incredibly well balanced and infinitely drinkable barley wine. While others are fairly harsh at this young of an age, this brew is begging to be enjoyed NOW. Don’t know how I’ll hold on to any of these long enough to put any age on them.

byrd, Jan 13, 2004
Photo of counselor
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer presents a full on assault for the senses. Visually, it pours a deep, glistening cherry color with de minimus head. aromatically, the beer revealed an initial hops onslaught with sweet, bourbon/cognac alcohol and some mild caramel follow-up. Next the mouthfeel; rich, chewy, all over sweet malt into the cheeks and well balanced sharp hop bite fills the gaps between my teeth. The flavors .... all of the above. Quality malt / hop balance and rich alcohol flavors that do not overwhelm, rather the alcohol sweeps in at the end, fillign your nasal passages and begging for the next sip.

I don't know if it is my increased appreciation for this style, or the 10 below Connecticut weather, but this beer is the right one at the right time. Most enjoyable

counselor, Jan 10, 2004
Photo of Gasp100
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby red, like dark cherry or Mahogany. I tried a very hard pour and got a decent tan head with light lacing down the glass. The smell was alcohol, sweet dark fruits, malt and a little hop presence. The taste was very sweet but not cloying, a strong full presence that warmed every inch but was "not filling ---- tastes great!" The alcohol was slighlty noticeable but actually helped to cut through some of the sweetness. This is my first Barleywine and I was floored. Two a night is what the Doctor ordered. I think this is very drinkable for the style, but no need to drink more than... 3 (on a weeknight). This case barely made it into my house before the first taste, so I'm intent on cellaring the last 12 until next year. I saved a few to drink out of my Goblet that I ordered instead of a pint glass -- I really want to agitate this brew to get the full effect. Another winner from Victory and I'm excited to have added another enjoyable style to my list --- that many more beers to choose from... Nice.

Gasp100, Jan 10, 2004
Photo of pheurton
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottled 15 Nov 2003, sampled 07 Jan 2004. clear dark ruby red with a small bubbly tan head. carmel coated dark fruity aroma. thick, lucsious body aided by a relativley low amount of carbonation...spot on for the style. huge malty flavor....caramel, blackberry flavors with a bready undertow. crisp floral hop flavors come in and prevent the brew from becoming cloying. alcohol hidden well, but still somewhat noticeable. could have another...

for being less than 2 months old, this baby is raw, untamed treat. i'd looking forward to seeing what a year in the cellar will do to this one. highly recommended.

pheurton, Jan 08, 2004
Photo of canoehornpoint
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep amber with thick tan head that lasted quite awhile. Aroma is lightly roasted malt (sweet). This has a taste of sweet malt with moderate to heavy alcohol undertones. This beer is full of body despite the alcohol content. This is, I'm sure a good beer for its style but is way too sweet for me.

canoehornpoint, Jan 05, 2004
Photo of yankeeheel
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful ruby-orange with a small, soft, dusky white head. Smells deeply of leather, fig, and malt. A real beauty in th glass.

The taste is phenomenal. Quite a bit of fruit sweetness up front with a real rush of smoky malt. This is followed by a nice dark fruit/leather/grape section nthat allows the carbonation to come up and open up your tounge. The ending has quite a zip of alcohol with just a hint of medicinal twang to it. Very complex and well balanced. The best barleywine I've tried since reviewing here.

I'm blown away how good this is for a barleywine that is only two months in the bottle. I have a second I'm going to let sit a year or two. A couple of these and you will be horizontal.

Thanks to PisskyNights for the trade.

yankeeheel, Jan 05, 2004
Photo of lackenhauser
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice orange-amber color.Aroma of malt.Slightly toffee-ish.Huge malt profile with residual sweetness.Not as sweet as some others Ive had.Caramel,treacle,buttery flavor.Slight hop bite-the 11% ABV is well masked.Velvety smooth-big bodied.A great beer-well done for the style.One to sip and one to lay down a bottle or 2 for a few years.

lackenhauser, Jan 04, 2004
Photo of edchicma
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hmmm...I had to remember this is a barley wine. I wasn't prepared for the extreme kick of this brew. So I settled back and remembered, this is a definite sipping brew. Nice caramel appearance, but the head didn't last too long. Piney smell with some malty sweetness. Taste was well rounded, malty, then hoppy, but balanced between the two. Mouthfeel had a slickness that was well done...I was expecting a dryer feel. Ended with a nice hoppy, alcohol presence. Very drinkable for such a high abv, altough it will definitely take me some time to finish it. Not a brew for every night, but one for every now and then when you need a kick in the butt.

edchicma, Jan 03, 2004
Photo of Foxman
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours a genuine, clear dark amber. I almost expected to see bugs embedded in it. A creamy off-white head kicks up quickly, with some pretty cascading, settling slowly with nice retention. There's extensive delicate lacing after each sip.

The aroma delivers citrus and pine from the hops, some grapefruit notable, but none of the hops is overstated. There's a strong, solid malt presence, smelling sweet, with a hint of caramel and berries, leading to an enticingly balanced overall aroma. It's strong, but not pungent or assaultive.

The hops lead the way in the flavor, with more citrus and pine, lemons and grapefruit coming to mind, as well as a substantial malt sweetness. There's more hint of berry, maybe apple, and a caramel undertone. There's a shot of spice as well, reminiscent of pumpkin pie, with nutmeg and clove springing to mind. The alcohol warms the palate and the belly as it goes down. Dry hops finish glowingly along the tongue and back of the mouth.

It's a heavy beer, slick and coating, almost lubricating, and it leaves hop tingle everywhere it goes. It feels as good as it tastes.

It's sweet, it's hoppy, and it's big. It kicks hard, but the ABV is well balanced against the full, warm flavor. The sole drawback is the alcohol, as it is there in spades, and not shyly. And by design, it is not something you would want to guzzle wantonly. But in front of a crackling fire, trusty hound at my feet, loved one snuggled at my side, and a good book in my hand, I'd revel in the Dickensian splendor of my surroundings and partake willingly and freely of this wonderfully charismatic brew.

Foxman, Jan 02, 2004
Photo of bditty187
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hazy brown hue with beautiful reddish-gold influences, especially with a lit backdrop, the off-white head reached a solid three-fourths of a finger in height then it dipped to a tight cap, mostly of small bubbles, this held well. It’s a very pleasant beer visual, especially if you factor in the subsequent spotty lace. The potency on the nose was surprisingly high, a powerful smack of sweet, caramel maltiness dominates at first, and then a note of apple and sweetened tangerines wafts past then there is a citrusy hops finish. The bouquet is very impressive and inviting. I can sum-up the palate in one word: yummy. The majority of the taste is a well-constructed mixture of sweet caramel malts, red apples, oranges, raisins, maple syrup and molasses. Towards the end the citrusy, mildly piney hops firmly entrench themselves. The bitterness produced is absent but the balancing effect is perfect. At the finish the alcohol warmth and sting is detectable. Slightly hoppy aftertaste. As a whole, the maltiness is big and chewy. I am tremendously impressed with this bad boy barelywine, thank you sulldaddy. Medium-full body, low, reserved yet noticeable but unobtrusive carbonation, the mouthfeel is filling and pleasant. It is a sipping beverage for sure. Savor it. Old Horizontal is absolutely tasty, devilishly drinkable with such a high abv. This is inarguably one of the two or three best barelywines I’ve quaffed. I wish I could get this regularly and if you can, screw you! Highly recommended.

Thanks again sulldaddy!

bditty187, Dec 30, 2003
Photo of rkhaze
4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled Dec. 17 2002. Poured a hazy red/amber with a quickly dissapating head. Sweet caramel and malt in the nose. There was a bit of fruit and a mildly citrus hop aroma.
Big sweet malt flavor upfront. Brown sugar, caramel and fruit with a nice tangy hop bitterness. Some nuts, yeast and tea in the finish. Great overall bittersweet flavor. There's a Brachs orange toffee in there somewhere. Alcohol was hidden really well.
Rich round full mouthfeel with a bit of viscosity and good carbonation. Great drinkabilty and a nice tummy warmer.
My first barleywine of the season. I can't wait until Toronado's Barleywine festival in February!

rkhaze, Dec 30, 2003
Photo of BeerResearcher
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This very strong Barley Wine pours an orange-hued amber. The smallish off-white head fades to a lasting rim and thin coating. A big wallop of alcoholic fume is released upon opening. The scent of sweet malt and hops follow and hang around for awhile. The full malt body has plenty of sweet caramel and tastes of fresh bread. Grapefruit bitterness and a lemon-lime sourless mix together nicely. Slightly peppery spices add a nice complexity to this flavorful brew. Without a doubt, the big upfront warming alcohol is the most noticeable part of this BIG brew. But, unlike some other highly alcoholic barley wines, these ingredients meld well together. The alcohol is an obvious result of the brewing process and not at all obtrusive and overwhelming.

BeerResearcher, Dec 30, 2003
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a clear amber brownwith a yellow/tan off-white head which lasts and lasts. The aroma is citrusy hops and sweet caramel malts. The flavor is malty and hoppy. The hops are citrusy and well balanced with by the malts. The finish begins sweet and then dries out with lasting hop flavor. The body is full and viscous.

Bottled on Nov. 18, 2003.

GCBrewingCo, Dec 29, 2003
Photo of beernbbq
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage November 02. Suprisingly mild for a product from Victory but I think that age may have mellowed this a bit. Clean caramel appearance with a mild toffeeish smell. Not a dominance of hops but a slightly sweet flavor that dries at the end. Nice on the tounge and the alcohol is not overpowering. I will be curious to try other vintages.

beernbbq, Dec 27, 2003
Photo of JISurfer
3.43/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was little too pungent for me. The hops were way to overbearing and there was little else there, except for a little syrupy hints. The smell was hoppy, just like the beer, but had some floral accents. Though I am not too big into the whole Barleywine thing, this is not too bad. It's nothing I would buy again, but you live and you learn I guess.

JISurfer, Dec 27, 2003
Photo of rdrummer
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is one of the best barleywines going. I had the draft at Victory Brewing. It poured a clear amber color with a nice off-white head. The glass was a 10 ouncer that was sufficient given the 11% alcohol content. This is a wonderfully aromatic beer, which smells grainy with a hint of herbs that I think include clove and maybe coriander. The taste is a strong, lightly carbonated nectar of grains and fruit that kind of goes off when it hits the taste buds. It is rich and full-bodied, a real treat for the mouth. It is nice to sip, but I wouldn't want to try to drink more than one or two at the most with the kick it packs.

rdrummer, Dec 27, 2003
Photo of RoyalT
4.83/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance – This was gorgeous. The body is a mystical sort of orangish-brown and very thick. The head came up nicely, went down slowly, then stopped and left little puddles all over the top of the body.

Smell – Oh, does this smell terrific. The solid malt base laced with caramel and sugar is there, but the beautiful hop smell stands out. It’s mostly pine and very sharp. The combination and play that they got between the malt and the hops is incredible.

Taste – The sugary malts come out more so in the taste. I thought the aroma favored the hops, even after warming, but the taste is definitely evenly balanced. I love LBB’s “fork in the road” analogy. What impresses me is how everything comes together.

It’s hard to describe how good the flavor is of this ale. The quality of ingredients here is beyond reproach. This is an amazing treat.

Mouthfeel – Full in the body with a little carbonation and very chewy. Not much warning of the 11.0 ABV.

Drinkability – This was so good I’ll have to log off the site. I couldn’t possibly follow this one with another bottle.

Comments – I had broached a trade with OldFrothingSlosh for some SKS and he threw a couple of these in for good measure. How cool is that? This BW, along with SN Bigfoot, sits atop the heap of my Barley Wine Ratings. What an amazing brew!

RoyalT, Dec 25, 2003
Photo of mschofield
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Red-gold with a tight light tan head.
Strong alcohol and phenolic smell with a large amount of sweet malt.
Caramel and a very buttery taste on top of alcohol. Very full feel and flavoring. Not as overly bitter and hopped as most American barleywines, what there is, comes across as citrus.
For drinkability - this will do as the name promises, knock you out horizontal.

mschofield, Dec 24, 2003
Photo of OatmattStout
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice Crimson color with a really nice lacey head. Great smell of sweet grains and toasted malt. No evidence of 11% ABV in the nose. Taste was really malt driven sweetness, with flavors of rum and caramel and fruit jam. Did have a nice complementing hop bite that is left on the palate and seemes to help clense the sweetness for the next sip. The Alchohol is warming and nicely hidden in the flavor and thick body of this beer.

Really enjoyed this one after a long day and drive home from snowboarding in Killington, VT. I don't feel so sore now for some reason?

OatmattStout, Dec 23, 2003
Photo of Maestro
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

This barleywine is quite deceiving and therefore great. The nose doesn't have much character at all. There is no head and very little lacing. The taste is good. Mostly malt but not overly syrupy like some barleywines, with a snappy hop hint. The mouthfeel is okay, but there isn't a lot of character. The alcohol is huge and barely noticeable. That is the trick about this beer. It is absolutely sneaky. Be careful or you will be horizontal.

Maestro, Dec 22, 2003
Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Light amber hue with a thin, yet decent retaining head. On the nose is some citrus and fresh fruit, some hop detection as well. A blast of citrus to hit the palate, with some underlying bitterness to start. Some roasted malts combined with the hops make the body of Old Horizontal, coupled with the fresh dark fruit, raisin and anise. Very rich and big bodied, but for the style, does not offend; a definite belly warmer, an all-around superior brew, leaves you craving for more.

GeoffRizzo, Dec 22, 2003
Photo of BierReise
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew poured a hazy reddish amber with a thin tan head. Aroma is a fruity blend of sweet malt and hops. Smells similar to an Imperial IPA with its fragrant hop character but malt is also big. Has a fantastic fruity flavor with notes of caramel and bittering hops. Ultra smooth full body palate and alcohol escapes aroma and flavor. A nice warming sensation follows. Excellent winter brew.

BierReise, Dec 22, 2003
Photo of pezoids
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sticky sweet malt, honeysuckle and a floral hoppiness emanates from this clear, amber brew. With a delicate smell you can pick out the earthy, floral hops. The taste is heavy with malt but it isn’t overbearing and seems just perfect for the style. Slightly syrupy, yet very drinkable. The alcohol is hidden under a veil of sweet malt. Although for some reason I want a touch more of hops in this, but it is very good on it’s own. Very well blended and is an excellent and strong barleywine. This is going to be my Christmas sipper this year.

pezoids, Dec 21, 2003
Photo of hungryghost
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy, brown orange with a slight but lasting head.
Surely does smell sweet, brown sugar, caramel, malted sweetness and a little bit of alcohol.
Malt is present for sure, a pleasant sweet flavor that changes as it passes through the mouth. Fruit hints, and surprisingly (for me anyway) is the mild hoppiness. Not accustomed to hops in a barleywine but it works quite well.
Old Horizontal is a well rounded, flavorful beverage. Please do not drink cold.
Only problem I have with this 11.0 % ABV barleywine; it is dangerously easy to drink.

hungryghost, Dec 18, 2003
Photo of faernt
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Case dated 11.18.03. This is a very drinkable barleywine. The beer pours with an introductory head which subsides into a ring of tight bubbles that stay for the duration. It may be my nose but I detect little aroma. There is no initial aroma upon opening either. The taste is blended. Hops and malt are blended with some spice. The mouthfeel is somewhat light. It's a tasty barleywine that is revisitable..strong but revisitable.

faernt, Dec 14, 2003
Old Horizontal from Victory Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,617 ratings.