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Old Horizontal - Victory Brewing Company

Old HorizontalOld Horizontal

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,496 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1496
Reviews: 1059
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.32%

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: 1,496 | Reviews: 1,059 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of siege06nd


3.53/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to IrishColonial for sharing this one...

A. Pours a rusty brown and fairly cloudy. A quarter finger of cream colored head fades quickly to a thin ring around the neck of the brew. Pretty good retention and lacing.

S. Plenty of caramel, ripe dark cherry, some raisin, and some toasted malt. Also a decent smattering of booze and something very very faintly vegetal. This is solid, pretty good malt profile on the nose, but something kinda weird is buried in here.

T. Follows the nose...caramel, fig, raisin, toasted malt, and some bittering hops. The bitterness balances the sweetness nicely, and this has a really nice nutty profile. What isn't as welcome is the boozy aftertaste...this one is quite hot.

M. Full bodied, but very highly carbonated for style, a bit too much for my liking.

O. A solid American Barleywine. The toasted malt notes set this one apart and it strikes a nice balance between this and the ripe fruit sweetness. Still a little boozy (this one is at least a year old), so I'm not sure how enjoyable this would be fresh. Very glad to have tried this, thanks Eric!

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2012 16:51:38 | More by siege06nd
Photo of twiggamortis420


4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle courtesy of johnmichaelsen (he sent a sixer no less!) 2009 vintage pours a partly cloudy copper color with a voluminous off-white head that sticks around forever but surprisingly does not leave much lace.

Nose has really rounded into form nicely. Ripe red apples, caramel and still a touch of alcohol. Very nice aroma.

Taste is phenomenal at this point. Just the right amount of malt, fruit and alcohol. Most of the hops are gone and the oxidation has been pretty mild for the most part. The heat I remember fresh is totally gone and is really smooth. What is also nice is that the sweetness is not thick and cloying...nor is it sugary. It is more of a burnt caramel drizzled over some apple slices with some graham cracker crumbs. This would go perfectly with a slice of cheesecake! Ive heard Victory is not making this beer anymore, that would truly be a damn shame. C’mon MAN…

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2012 02:45:08 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of kylehay2004


4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: single finger off white head with excellent retention on a murky dark amber brown body.

S: overall somewhat light on the nose. grainy, malty, some earthy hops and booze.

T: dark fruits mostly apple, figs. Maltiness is strong and thus provides a terpentine like note.

M: thick body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: A little too strong with the booze. The flavor is pretty complex with the right amount of sweetness. Not bad but again a touch too boozy.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2012 23:49:54 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of secondtooth


3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fairly opaque ruddy amber, with a solid finger of off-white carbonation. Virtually no lacing present here.

Aroma is rich, malty, grainy, and alcoholic.

Flavor is thick with deep tones of roasted barley and an intense hop finish. I also get hints of dried fruit, leather, and nuts. The malts run deep in this one, and this is a serious barleywine. Definitely a sipper, but a superb one.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2012 12:17:09 | More by secondtooth
Photo of azdback


3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter glass. A light cherry red color, with a small one finger head that is light brown in color. The head recedes quickly and leaves only a small collar. Lace is very minimal but with the high abv on this it's not out of the norm.

Smell is sticky caramel sweet. Add some brown sugar and honey to the caramel and that is what I smell. There are just a hint of vanilla or wood and a ton of alcohol.

Taste at first is kind of like plastic or ether. These flavors mellow some and reveal the insane sweetness of this brew. Light brown sugar, Karo syrup, caramel. I also taste some alcohol, but not as much as I smelled.

Mouth is smooth and the carbonation is round. The body is balanced and the finish is average and on the dry side.

Overall I enjoyed this one. I love this style so I might be a little bias on my score. The flavors ended up meeting with the smell quite nicely. Thanks to mjw52 for this one.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2012 06:27:50 | More by azdback
Photo of SiriusBock


4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Deep reddish, about a finger and a half of head. Bottle conditioned so a little cloudy, but that's ok.
S. smelled like earthy hops, quickly dominated by a ton of malt
T. Obviously a malt bomb. I haven't had another barley wine but by definition strong! Alcohol was not to be forgotten in its taste.
M. Thick and chewy. Started out smooth, as it warmed up it got harder to get over the sweetness. Very sweet. If you are expecting to slam a bunch, only bottle will do the job. Like I said, sweet and strong but not cloying.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2012 17:48:18 | More by SiriusBock
Photo of mjtiernan

New York

4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a DFH signature. 2011 bottling not exactly sure when

A: HUGE silky head. Had to pour this one in shifts. Major carb. Body is a fairly clear and bright rusty red. Inviting for this style. Quite a bit of lacing.

S: Sweet and luxurious. Heavy doses of carmelized brown sugar and raisin.

T: Nose follows through in the flavor. Some floral hops and alcohol. A bit cloying but not enough to put me off when I’m in the mood for this particular beer.

M: Medium body, high carb. This is one to hang out with for awhile.

O: One of the best barleywines available in the 12oz format.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2012 15:04:01 | More by mjtiernan
Photo of Meerkey


4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Not much off-white head. Bright, hazy amber.

S: Sweet malts. Grainy. Dark, ripe fruit. Nice.

T: Some alcohol. Sweet malts. Some brown sugar. Lots of dark fruit.

M: Smooth and carbonated. Full and slightly chewy.

O: I really like this beer. Possibly more than it deserves because of my incredible fondness for the memory when I first had it. But still. It's good. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2012 03:17:56 | More by Meerkey
Photo of ahq514


4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into NG globe glass. This beer is a little over a year old.

Pours a murky amber color on the verge of brownish. Has an almost two finger head, slightly off white. Appears to have low carbonation. Some lacing spots.

Heavy malt profile as expected with sweetness. Lots of caramel, some vanilla, light cherries, and earthy hops.

Taste beautifully matches the aroma. Big heavy hitting caramel malt right up front. A nice sweetness that transitions into an earthy hoppiness (almost like tobacco), which lends a bit of a bitter bite. A real light fruit flavor that showcases cherries. Finishes dry and slightly bitter.

Nice fuller body and low carbonation.

A good barleywine. I'm actually not a huge fan of barleywines. This is a good one especially with a year on it. The alcohol has mellowed out some and the flavors blend together better in my opinion. Pick it up next year when its available again hopefully.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2012 04:21:37 | More by ahq514
Photo of Retail1LO


3.33/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Firestone Walker tulip. Pours a ruddy, hazy, reddish-brown tint with a stout, resilient head that lasts with the best of 'em. Thick, heavy lacing clings to the side of the glass as the brew recedes down the sides. This is a very rich smelling barley wine. Very malty with forward notes of caramel and barley. The taste is pretty decent. Hoppy, with hints of vanilla and caramel. Tons...I say TONS of booze. This is not a bashful high ABV offering. The mouthfeel is pretty smooth. It's not very effervescent, nor does it leave any kind of bitter aftertaste. The alcohol is again present, but it goes down smoothly enough. Overall, amid so many other barley wines I've had, this one is only average. Pretty certain this isn't one I'd hunt down.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2012 02:01:26 | More by Retail1LO
Photo of DCon


3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on-tap @ Jack of the Wood Public House in Asheville, NC for $4.25 (special). Tapped from an unknown handle (sitting at a seat) into a 12oz Snifter Glass.

Aroma- Has nice caramel and malt aromas that hit home for this style. Then finishes with a light boozy note. Very standard.

Appearance- Received with a 1 finger head that dies fairly quickly. Has an amber colored body that is clear. Leaves suds behind on the glass.

Flavor- Tons of malt, caramel, and strong alcohol hits the palate just like the nose. Has a medium bitterness level and is very smooth going down (wetter than most barleywines).

Mouthfeel- Medium Bodied, Medium Carbonation, Sweet Finish, and nice alcohol warming.

Overall Impression- Not so much chewy like some barleywines or too much strength. Just right and represents the style well. I would definitely go back for another one of these but have to move on to new beer. Recommend!

Serving type: on-tap

01-15-2012 00:35:05 | More by DCon
Photo of TheFlern


2.9/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Most recent vintage, not sure if 2010 or 2011.

Appearance: Light copper with white head that dissipates to nothing. No lacing.

Smell: Smells good, aromas of light fruits like pear and apple. Slight hop aroma in the background.

Taste: Sweet, alcohol, light fruit flavors.

Mouthfeel: Lots of carbonation, too much for the style imo.

Overall: Not as good as I was hoping for. Probably won't try this one again.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2012 01:59:18 | More by TheFlern
Photo of Darkmagus82


4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into chalice glass

Appearance - A Nice deep red/brown color with a haze that faded. A Very wispy head was present when poured which dissipated quite quickly.

Smell - Not all that potent, but some sweet notes of dried fruit.

Taste - A sweet taste hits your tongue immediately. Cherries overwhelm the taste pallet with a nice malty flavor developing later on. This is then followed long after by a very subtle yet pleasant alcohol taste. Good for the style.

Mouthfeel - Nice and creamy with not too much carbonation.

Overall - A very good brew. A barleywine I would recommend over others I have had. It's too bad Victory did not continue brewing it this year.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2011 23:45:10 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of tsauce2


4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P: 12 fl oz bottle in to a globe glass

A: SRM is deep amber. Clear filtered and translucent. Head is light cream, 1 in, dissipates to edges of the beer. Medium carbonation. Medium/heavy lacing.

S: Alcohol, malt, caramel, hops, and dark fruit.

T: Sweet with a caramel overtone, followed by dark fruit notes and malt. Light hops. Aftertaste is caramel and light alcohol.

M: Full body. Viscous. Caramel and dark fruit notes stick to the palate. Finishes wet.

O: Quite tasty. For 11% ABV, alcohol is very well masked. Excellent caramel and dark fruit flavors, nice carbonation. Great fresh, imagine that this will turn in to pure gold with a few years age. Will buy more of this.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2011 14:22:18 | More by tsauce2
Photo of keanex

New Jersey

4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle with a "Enjoy by Dec, 2, 2015" stamp into a tulip glass.

A: Slightly hazy with a nice deep red color and a thin tan head.

S: Smells sweet and of dark fruits (maybe cherries, I can't pin point it, but it's definitely inviting with only slight alcohol esters appearing as I swirl the glass.

T: Sweet and malty upfront with a tinge of earthy notes and a slight floral bitterness with an alcohol apparent, but not heavy, finish. Almost has a medicinal taste to it, like Robotussin.

M: Medium bodied, though syrupy with almost no carbonation.

O: This is one of the better barleywines I've had, I'm no expert in these though. I'm enjoying it though it's definitely very drinkable for 11% making it a great sipper.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2011 04:47:14 | More by keanex
Photo of curasowa

New York

4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Copper color with a huge head that fades slowly with chunky lacing.

Aroma: Lots of syrup-sweet malt that is a touch doughy with some wisps of floral hops.

Taste: Thick, rich and creamy. Loads of sticky sweetness, a hint of yeast and just a little hit of earthy bitterness just past the middle. A fair amount of alcohol shows up in the finish, which is otherwise smooth and lingering with residual malt sweetness.

The Rest: A fantastic, slow sipper of a beer, and it drinks quite well without any aging. Well hidden booze for being 11%, and none of the harshness that is found in many other Barleywines makes this a winner.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2011 00:35:11 | More by curasowa
Photo of UCLABrewN84


4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to silverX for sending me this one!

Best by 11/8/15.

Pours a slightly murky iced tea color with a 2 inch puffy tan head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Small chunks of foam dot the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, brown sugar, toffee, candied fruit, and citrus zest. Taste is of toasted malt, biscuit/bread, brown sugar/toffee, dark fruit, citrus zest, and alcohol. There is a medium level of bitterness after each sip along with an alcohol warmth in the back of the throat. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good barleywine that I can see aging into something awesome. However, it is drinking just fine at the moment and I am glad I was able to try a bottle of this one.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2011 07:11:35 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of MDDMD


4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-dark red brown color with an off-white head and some lacing

S- rich roasted malts and honey with some spice and hop notes

T-rich malty flavor with caramel sweetness and nice hoppy finish. Alcohol not overpowering

F-medium to heavy in body with moderate carbonation

O-a nice sipping, savoring barleywine

Serving type: on-tap

11-23-2011 01:36:38 | More by MDDMD
Photo of jifigz


4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: This beer pours a deep and hazy reddish brown with a tan and cream colored head that disappeared rather quickly.

S: The beer smells rich, fruity, toffee/coffee like and boozy. The fruit aromas are sweet and caramel mixed with a light floral aroma from the hops.

T: The initial taste is very candy sweet followed and rounded out by a boozy slight bitterness. The aftertaste is very rich and caramel like with a lingering hop bite as well. The 11% ABV is certainly noticeable but I don't see that as a detractor.

M: The MF is thick and creamy, very viscous and satisfying for a cold weather warmer.

O: This is a very solid barleywine. The flavors are complex and the mouthfeel is very suiting. The booze level is perfect for a good level of relaxation and enjoyment to occur after just one or two of these brews. A solid example from a great brewery.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2011 16:03:41 | More by jifigz
Photo of gtermi


4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: The beer pours a dark almond brown, with no head.

S: The beer has maple, raisin, some fruit and some caramel.

T: I am getting some brown sugar, then gets some malt. It also has some alcohol and raisin/ fig tastes.

M: This is so easy to drink and has a great amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel is the top of its class IMO.

O: This is a very good Barleywine beer. I am sad that they put a halt on this beer and I thank silverX for sending me this beer while it was still available.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2011 05:26:37 | More by gtermi
Photo of Morey


4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with "Enjoy By Nov. 22 2015" stamped on the side of the label. There's a long shelf life on this beer (like all BWs). This particular bottle is almost exactly one year old.

Pours a hazy reddish brown color with a beige colored head that stood a towering two fingers tall following a medium pour. It took quite some time to settle and is leaving behind plenty of lace.

Smells of Buckwheat honey, caramel, maple, and figs. A touch of hop oil/bitterness in there as well.

Taste starts off with caramel-malt flavor. Pretty sweet, but there's still some bitterness present after 1 year of aging that helps balance the sweetness. Bitterness melds with the sweetness towards the finish for a lingering burnt caramel flavor.

Medium...headed towards full bodied with a syrupy factor. Carbonation is just below middle of the road.

A nice sipping beer for the colder months overall.

Morey's Bottom Line: I've had this beer plenty of times before. It's a really nice beer to have during the winter as a nightcap. My only knock is that it's just a little too sweet. This makes it hard to drink fast, because after one year, the alcohol isn't very noticeable.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2011 02:30:33 | More by Morey
Photo of kbuzz


4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my trusty snifter. Dated best by 11/22/15 (I think - year is hard to see), so drinking a little early perhaps, oh well.

A: Pours a solid orange/copper color with a good amount of bubbles that quickly shoot up to the top to form a thin off white head. The beer itself is pretty murky with a few harmless floaties!

S: Very sweet with a ton of dark fruits - figs, raisins, plums...faint citrus...some biscuity caramel maltiness. Just a touch of astringency in the nostrils.

T: Burnt brown sugar and toffee, rum-soaked raisins, figs, molasses, chocolate-covered orange peel. You get a really nice soothing booziness at the end.

M: Viscous as hell and heavy in the corners of the mouth. Full-bodied chewy beer for sure...maybe just a tad more carbonation than I'd like.

O: This isn't the best barleywine I've ever had, but it might be tough to beat the bang for the buck. I've got the Duck Rabbit coming up next, but it's going to be hard to top this in this price range. Nice malt sweetness with just enough hop presence to balance it out. Ths is the kind of beer that definitely gets me thinking about food pairings...glazed duck...mmm...

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2011 00:53:38 | More by kbuzz
Photo of sliverX

S. Georgia & S. Sandwich Isls.

3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well the fact it's not being brewed this year had me me go out and pick up one of the six packs on shelves still around from last year.
Pour- A hazy rich copper, a 1/4" white head that didn't last long and went down to a thin ring at the glasses edge.
Smell- rich malt (bread, toffee), raisins, booze
Taste- Rich malt, very bready especially in the finish, a touch of burnt toast, a bit earthy, slight tobacco. Not getting much hoppyness but that's likely the earth tones
Mouthfeel- medium to full, lots of carbonation hanging in solution
Overall- A bit boozy but I could see setting a few of these down for a year or 3 more and them being fantastic.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2011 02:41:34 | More by sliverX
Photo of TheMultiYeast


4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a burnt orange with a bit of haze and white head. Nice lacing..

Smell is an enticing blend of toffee, grains, honey, and hop nugs upfront with an amazing candied fruit aroma. Really unique.

First, this beer is delicious. Caramelized sweetness to complement syrupy dark fruits, roasted malt, and a full flavored hop bitterness are all represented with a lingering boozy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is thick and smooth with no syrupy trail despite the sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2011 03:14:29 | More by TheMultiYeast
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, BB Dec 2013, a holdover from my stash from last summer's touring swath through the Pacific NW...

This beer pours a dark, murky golden brown colour, with one finger of tight foamy tan head, which leaves a few arches of lace around the glass as it evenly settles. It smells of musty caramel, dusty toffee, raisin bread, soused black fruit, and earthy, leafy hops. The taste is big semi-sweet caramel malt, plum, prune, and raisin all, a bit of crumbling wood, earthy herbs, mild pine resin, and softly bitter leafy hops. The carbonation is very mild, the body medium-full in weight, and pleasantly smooth. It finishes sweet, but well tempered - subtle booze warming, edgy fruit notes, and decent, but understated hops.

At first, and for a spell thereafter, I thought this was much more representative of the English style, until the hops ambled their way in. A very nice warmer, not too sweet, not too bitter, and quite easy to sip at none too slowly, given the ABV. Good stuff, especially as the first sub-freezing day of the season sets in.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2011 23:45:46 | More by biboergosum
Old Horizontal from Victory Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 1,496 ratings.