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Old Horizontal - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Old HorizontalOld Horizontal

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,749 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,749
Reviews: 1,092
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 9.88%
Wants: 103
Gots: 143 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-23-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,749 | Reviews: 1,092
Photo of bigbeerdrinka
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
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 -5.4%
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
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
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
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
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
4.26/5  rDev +5.2%
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
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
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
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
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
2.71/5  rDev -33.1%
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
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
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
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
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
4.58/5  rDev +13.1%
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%
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 +9.9%
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
4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
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
3.12/5  rDev -23%
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 +8.1%
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
3.76/5  rDev -7.2%
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
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
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!

Photo of vagreek
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one great beer. Only my second Barleywine, with SN Bigfoot being the other. This one was much more balanced in taste. The appearance was a darkish orange color with a nice tan head. This beer had a nice aroma of malt and hops. Like I said before, the taste was much more balanced then Bigfoot and the alcohol was hidden better as well, even though it contains a higher ABV. I promise you that I could drink this all night long or until I have had enough and it is time for bed, if I make it there.

Photo of SheepNutz
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a cloudy brownish-orange color with two fingers of light tan head. There is a decent amount of lacing for a barleywine. The smell is fairly balanced; some malt, some hops, and some alcohol. A nice aroma. The taste is malty at first, with some sugary sweetness and some honey. The finish is nice and hoppy with some alcohol warmth. The body is nice and thick. The drinkability is good for 11%. A nice barleywine!

Photo of nogoodreason
4.58/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent Barleywine.

Pours a deep amber with a sticky, but thin head. Body is quite substantial, full and sticky sweet with warmth. Pungeunt, resiny hops with a nice citric tang sit side-by-side with a sticky grainy body and a lovely cotton candy like sweetness. Though quite the warmer, this beer never shows alcohol. Getting downright chewy as it warms, it winds up with lingering hop bitterness and a feeling of loss.

Wow. Top notch.

Photo of beerceller99
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. with a 11-21-03 bottling date. Pours a light orange hue with a nice looking off white head. Standard barleywine smell of sweet malts and alcohols. Has a rich, creamy mouthfeel. Taste is caramely sweet with raisons and vanilla. Finishes smooth and dry, the alcohol is nicely camoflaged.
A very easy drinking Barleywine.

Photo of kmpitz2
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours an amber orange color, with minimal head that rings the beer. The nose is nice with earthy hops, and a malty spine that balances it out, maybe even some bready notes as well. The flavor is rather robust, with the earthy tones coming through first, followed by a very sweet aftertaste, a very strong caramel. The fell is thick, and coating and drinkability is fairly good. I'll try and find a few.

Photo of clvand0
3.82/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a reddish/brown color with a small head that dies off quickly. The aroma is of dark, sweet fruits and caramel with a small amount of pine hops. Looking forward to this beer. It has a nice, full body. The flavor has some caramel, alcohol, a lot of sweetness. This beer was a little too sweet, but it was still a very enjoyable beer.

Photo of rajendra82
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received via a trade, from Ninjaworm, this was a Nov 18, 2003 bottling. Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a goblet, the body was hazy copper, with a tan head that was short lived. The lacing was very good. The aroma was very strong maple syrup and raisins and could be sensed from the bottle before pouring in the glass. There was also a strong pine straw like hop presence and perfumey alcohol. The taste was vinous, raisin laden, spicy, bitter, and contained strong oxidative notes. While complex and interesting, the intensity was a few notches short of the super hopped up West Coast style Barleywines. The alcohol was more of a slow burn, than an intense one. The mouthfeel was a bit thinner than anticipated. A soothing beer to calm your jitters before bedtime, for sure.

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Old Horizontal from Victory Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,749 ratings.