Oak Horizontal - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Oak HorizontalOak Horizontal

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

66 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 66
Hads: 321
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 7.71%
Wants: 18
Gots: 57 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jzeilinger on 12-28-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 66 | Hads: 321
Photo of SLeffler27
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy dark copper (SRM 18-19) with a thin khaki head that barely makes an appearance. A thick viscous film coats the glass and washes away fine lace with each sip.


The Offero glass brings out sweet dates and caramelized sugar while figs linger within rich malt. Light oak aromas become more pronounced with warmth.

Sweetness is pronounced on entry. The flavor generally follows the nose and balances out late and into the finish. Bitterness works well with vanilla, light bourbon, and a long, intense finish. Warmth brings out rich wheat bread. The complexity of myriad layers is more appreciated with warmth.

Chewy with a velvety texture, the full body is lightly warmed by alcohol. Soft carbonation cleanses residual sugar after each sip.

This is a superb beer on a cool, sunny summer day while resting under shade tree as the breeze rustles through the trees and a harp sings in the background. A slow and easy beer to idle away while relaxing with a good book.

In my opinion, Oak Horizontal, while still an American barleywine, resembles the English variety which makes for a nice juxtaposition on the Fourth of July. (1,129 characters)

Photo of jmdrpi
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle

deep ruby color, almost clear, off-white head. rich boozy aroma - some dark fruits in there. strong malty flavor - caramel, vanilla, plus some whiskey. medium bodied, a bit sticky of a mouthfeel (214 characters)

Photo of Ozzylizard
4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Undated bomber at 40 degrees into snifter
Aroma of vanillin, alcohol, and faint malt
Head small (< 1 cm, aggressive pour), off white, nearly fizzy, instantly diminishing to neither ring nor layer
Lacing – none
Body orange/amber, hazy, some initial effervesence
Flavor of oak, vanillin predominating, slight sweetness quickly retreating to a slight sourness; no hops, no alcohol (despite the aroma), no diacetyl
Palate medium, syrupy, soft carbonation

Appearance 4, Aroma 4.25, Flavor 4, Palate 3.75, Overall 4 (513 characters)

Photo of stouts4me
4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Letting this one age was an excellent decision, nose is just what you want, very tasty, has a sweet , malty taste, similar to CW BBBW, not quite the same, but the aging did this bitch right. (190 characters)

Photo of MrDarcy
3.04/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

2012 edition. Syrupy sweet and boozy mess. Oak was over the top too. Hops were still present but didn't add much. Victory's barrel program is suspect at best IMHO. (163 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
3.18/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled on Dec. 20, 2012

Crystallized/caramelized light brown sugar immediately swept away by bourbon and ABV. Once the nose settles down, there's light molasses and more caramelized brown sugars, with notes of unfinished oak wood and hints of dark red fruit. As it warms and opens, orange rind and hints of vanilla appear; butterscotch appears later. The nose is the most enjoyable part of this bottle. Assertive without being pushy, it's nicely nuanced and accessible for exploring. The rough oak floats to the front, and then into the background, back and forth.

Taste is moderately toasted malt, toffee/caramel, and molasses that gets overrun right away by the booze and moves directly to the finish. Finish is dominated by a bitter wood sensation that sits in the middle of the tongue, with a bit of maple sugar on the sides. Red fruit sugars remain on the lips. The lack of integration between the beer and the booze is a problem here. Letting the beer sit and warm in the glass helps take the edge off, but the dry pine hops and rough oak remain front-and-center, making this a bitter barleywine – it gets almost medicinal. I've decided to use the 2nd half of the bottle for a slow-cook pork roast.

This beer could use some more time – at least a couple of years – to age and mellow in the bottle. As it is now, it's a rough, boozy brew with a bitter finish that feels like doing shots. If you have a bottle of this and you're thinking about waiting, do so. This one is a strong argument for releasing big beers in 12-ounce four-paks; I'd have three more I'd know what to do with. This beer is also one of the booziest brews I've had in ages; so many big beers do a great job of hiding and integrating the ABV into the taste profile. This one is still pretty hot, and only time can fix that. If it ages into the nose, it will be worth the wait. If nothing else, the hop bitterness should subside, and that would be a big plus. (1,959 characters)

Photo of OrangeMen
4.49/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Beautiful deep amber, mahogony, burnt reddish/orange, glistens when held to light, fairly transparent. Razor thin head, agitation rises up a nice finger thick off-white head, beautiful lacing.
Aroma- Sweet and sticky bourbon notes, nice sublte oaky astringency, earthiness. Dark winter fruits rest underneath, figs and raisins. Sweet molasses, caramel malts, toasted toffee.
Taste- Wonderful sweet bourbon notes, brings out nice maple, molasses, vanilla notes, very sweet. Dark fruitiness, toasted malt, and oak tannins create a bitterness on the back, warming booziness.
Feel- Medium mouthfeel, fairly slick rather than thick, nice stickiness though. Lower carbonation which is fine, brings warming alcohol forward.
Overall- Incredibly sweet and satisfying beer, much sweeter than the base beer, and bourbon notes mix wonderfully. There is a tame mellowness to this beer, just sit back and sip while the flavors unfold. Bourbon notes accent the toasted caramel, molasses, and brown sugar, then offset by bitterness from oak tannins and dark fruits. Barrel aging does wonders. (1,088 characters)

Photo of woemad
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

1pt.9.4oz caged-and-corked behemoth received courtesy of the outstanding ShroudOfDoom. According to a stamp on the neck, this was bottled on November 7, 2013. Also according to the label, this is 11% alcohol, and it was aged for three months in oak casks used to age bourbon. If that is correct and my math holds, this was put into those casks about a year ago.

When I popped the cork, there was a very quiet “pfft.” Poured into an Iron Goat snifter, this was a dark clear amber that took on an opaque russet color once in the glass, with a thin, sudsy, beige colored head. Said head didn’t stick around too long, but a respectable foam ring reappeared whenever the glass was agitated (as opposed to merely anxious). Spotty lace.

Initially, the aroma was of brown sugar and bourbon, in that order. As it warmed, the woodsiness of the oak came out to play, along with a mild, toffeeish sweetness. There’s just a hint of tropical fruit-like hops as well.

Whoa! The toffee is much more of a blast (in a good way) that just didn’t come through nearly as much in the nose. It’s balanced by the boozy whisky notes. There’s some vanilla notes, some dark fruit flavors, and even some pineapple. As it warms there’s definitely some alcohol heat, but it’s not overpowering. There’s a slight dryness at the swallow.

Though not remotely a light bodied beer, this was a lighter in the body than I expected for a barleywine, with a creamy, coating mouthfeel.

A great after-dinner beer after six consecutive work days. Big and boozy but not over the top about it. Definitely not a session beer, and I anticipate not wanting any more for tonight when I finish this big fella, but damn it’s good. With this less than a year after bottling, I’m curious what this would be like after it’s aged some more, when the hops completely fade and the booziness mellows more. Really glad to have been able to try this, and I hope this someday joins the list of Victory beers available around here. (2,000 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%

Small head that leaves a cross between streaks and spots for lace. Deep dark amber color. Clear.

Very sugary aroma. Strong caramel malt smell with a bit of toast.

The sugar is strong on the tongue as well. Quite warming from the alcohol, particularly in the swallow. A perfect compliment to very spicy food. Rich body to the point of oily. Low carbonation enhances this. (379 characters)

Photo of MDDMD
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%

A-reddish amber color with a decent off-white head and some lacing

S-toffee, oak, bourbon, brown sugar, malt, little pine

T-caramel malt, toffee, vanilla, oak, bourbon, light pine, figs, raisins, hint of orange

F-medium body with light to moderate carbonation, smooth, creamy, alcohol well-integrated

O-a nice complex BA Barleywine, really enjoyed this (357 characters)

Photo of sweemzander
3.91/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750mL corked and caged bottle poured into a snifter.

(A)- Pours a clear reddish mahogany amber color. Minimal off-white froth.

(S)- A lightly citrus hop note meets a caramel/toffee/fig oaky booze sweetness. Slightly floral to me.

(T)- Again, fairly hoppy with hints at some floral citrus meets oaky bourbon and caramel toffee sweetness.

(M)- Fairly sweet and boozy with that oaky hoppy kick. Its balance is fine, though that slight floral aspect throws it off a bit style-wise for me; definitely not a character you would expect in a barrel aged barleywine.

(O)- Not too shabby. If I had to guess, I think (hope) this will benefit from some extended bottle aging. (668 characters)

Photo of AyeMito
3.28/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I usually don't go for bourbon barrel aged beers in the summer but my boss bought this one for me and I never turn down a beer. Its very rich and has a great smell to it. I get notes of vanilla and dark chocolate. It's taste is very creamy with a strong vanilla and oaky flavor. Pretty standard compared to other stouts I've had that were aged in bourbon barrels but its still good! (382 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a copper red body with minor head and an aroma that is boozy - hits me hard. Also some wood (there's your oak) and touches of vanilla along with some caramel and other sugary sweetness. Thick, a little sticky but the oak keeps it smooth, the alcohol presence is apparent but thankfully complements, not hinders, the experience of slowly sipping on this beer. And it is a slow sipper because the bourbon/whiskey aspects along with the sweetness had me a little buzzed after I finished my pint. Beyond booze, caramel and vanilla possible dark fruits like figs are in the beer. Finishes a little hot and heavy as this a bourbon-like beer that is built for the long run. (673 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 12/20/2012. Pours moderately hazy/cloudy deep ruby red color with a small dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big caramel, raisin, fig, citrus peel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, vanilla, clove, oak, bourbon, light coconut, light pine, and toast/oak earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good complexity and balance of dark malt, bourbon barrel, and light-moderate hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big caramel, raisin, fig, citrus peel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, brown bread, vanilla, oak, clove, bourbon, coconut, light pine, and toast/oak earthiness. Fair amount of earthy oak tannin bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, raisin, fig, citrus peel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, vanilla, oak, clove, bourbon, brown bread, light coconut, and toast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity of dark malt, bourbon barrel, and light hop flavors; with a great malt/barrel flavor balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a creamy, moderately slick, and lightly syrupy/sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent BA barleywine. All around great complexity and balance of deep malt, bourbon barrel, and light-moderate hop flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering. (1,599 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle received via Growling at the Moon. Corked and caged. Thanks for the brew, Dain!

Pours into a DFH snifter, forming a 1/4" orangey-tan head over the totally cloudy reddish brew. Head recedes to the rim promptly, with leggy slow-falling lace. Aroma is fruity alcohol.

Taste starts syrupy fruitiness,oak and a touch of tart in the middle, hops bitterness and alcohol heat through the close. Mouthfeel is smooth, and drinkability is very nice. Excellent brew. (471 characters)

Photo of kdahnke123
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter.
A - A beautiful deep red with two fingers of light colored, quickly dissipating head.
S - First the deep malt smell, then a medium amount of hops, followed a medium amount of bourbon.
T - First a medium amount of pine hits you, along with the bourbon and hops. In the middle is a good amount of balanced malt. At the end the hops give it a slightly bitter aftertaste.
M - Smooth, with a medium mouth coating quality. Only slightly carbonated.
O - A nice beer for warming up on a cold winter's day. I would recommend it to barley wine or bourbon barrel beer drinkers who like their beers on the hoppy side. (633 characters)

Photo of ThickNStout
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Corked and caged 750mL bottle from Sprayberry Bottle Shop (Marietta, GA). 13.99. Bottled 10/28/13. Served in a Microbrasserie Charlevoix goblet.

Pours an amber garnet hue with a thin half finger cap of pale head. The head fades to a nice haze over the top and a thin halo that leaves small bits of lace.

Smell is sweet with barrel dominating initally. Bourbon, oak, vanilla, toasted malt, toffee, mild pine and a hint of dark fruit. Nice.

Taste follows the nose well. Toffee, caramel, oaky vanilla, cereal malts, bourbon, pine, toast, citrus peel, raisin, a touch of peppery spice and a healthy kick of booze. As it warms the vanilla and toffee linger and more citrusy hops come into play. Great layers of flavor here.

Creamy, silky, medium full feel with soft carbonation. Bittersweet finish with oak, subtle bourbon, caramel and a hint of orange and piney hops.

This is a well made and well balanced American barleywine. The barrel really helps accentuate the sweet malts without completely covering the hops. Delicious. I'm glad I decided not to age this because I really enjoyed the hop presence. (1,110 characters)

Photo of StoutHunter
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Victory's Oak Horizontal a couple months ago for $15.49 at The Lager Mill. I tried Old Horizontal last month and I thought it was a fairly nice Barleywine, but it was a little heavy on the hops, so I'm interested to see how the barrel aged version is, so lets see how it goes. 2013 Vintage. Poured from a brown corked and caged 750ml bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks similar to Old Horizontal's but with an oak barrel background, it looks nice and it's a little eye catching. It poured a nice slightly orange amber color that took on a copper and slight ruby hue when held to the light with a half a fingers worth of light tan head quickly died down to a very thin ring that quickly faded away and it didn't really leave any lacing behind. This was a pretty good looking Barleywine, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a low amount of high sweetness followed by the barrel being the first to show up and it imparts some vanilla, oaky, light alcohol and light bourbon like aromas with the oak really sticking out the most. Up next comes the malts which impart a nice caramel and toffee like aromas with a little bit of sweet malts showing up in the background. Towards the end comes the hops which impart some piney and citrus hop like aromas and there's also some dark fruit aromas in the background. This beer had a pretty good aroma and I thought it was fairly complex.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness that has a slight brown sugar like flavor to it and it's followed by the malts being the first to show up and they impart a nice caramel and toffee like flavor with a little bit of dark fruits in the background. Up next comes the barrel which impart a pretty even mixture of vanilla, oaky, and bourbon flavors with a pretty noticeable alcohol flavor that's a little boozy and fairly warming. On the finish comes the hops which impart a nice citrus rind like hop flavor with a higher amount of medium bitterness with a caramel and barrel like aftertaste. This was a pretty good tasting beer, the barrel seemed to do a good job at keeping the hops in check.

M- A little smooth, a little boozy and warming, rich, a little sticky, on the lighter side of being full bodied with a slightly lower amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was pretty good and it worked well with this beer, I have no complaints.

Overall I thought thought this was a pretty good beer and a pretty good example of a Bourbon Barrel Aged Barleywine, it had pretty much all of the aspects that I look for in the style and I thought it had a nice amount of complexity to it. This beer had ok drinkability, it was a little smooth, a little sticky, a little boozy, rich, fairly filling and the taste did a nice job at holding my attention, this one is a sipper and I think half the bottle is a good amount for me, but I wouldn't rule out drinking a whole bottle and I think it makes for a nice beer to enjoy on a cold winter night. What I liked the most about this beer was how well the barrel kept the hops in check, it did a really nice job at balancing out the hops. What I liked the least about this beer was that it was a little light on the bourbon aspect and I wish it showed up like the oak did. I don't know if I would buy this again because it's pretty pricey, but there's a good chance that I'll buy it again when they release it next year. I would recommend this to people who enjoy barrel aged Barleywines. All in all I was pretty happy with this beer, I thought it was a very solid example of the style and the barrel really helped this beer by keeping the hops in check and my biggest complaint with Old Horizontal was that it was very hoppy so I prefer this one over Old Horizontal. This is one of the better Victory beers I've had and while it's not my favorite Barrel Aged Barleywine it's still a pretty good one. Good guys, keep up the good work. (3,972 characters)

Photo of Immortale25
3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Due South Brewing Co. snifter. Bottleneck says Bottled On Oct 28 2013.

A- Pours a dark amber color with a 1/2 inch light tan head that retains a bit before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a small patch of sheer surface foam. Non-resilient lacing streaks down the glass.

S- Smells very close to the base beer with the usual notes of caramel, vanilla, hops and burnt sugar but with some faint oak astringency tying it all together.

T- The taste is where it differs with more booze coming through than the base beer. There's also a solid punch of oak that does complement the vanilla and hops. It's just the heat that's a bit overwhelming. Oaky, astringent aftertaste.

M- The mouthfeel, however, is greatly improved and is now silky and soft. Medium-low carbonation and a body leaning toward the fuller side.

O- A bit too boozy. I should've been more patient and let my bottle sit a while longer but, when I'm cooped up inside due to a snowstorm, I feel like BBA beers are only appropriate. Oh well. Still not bad. (1,053 characters)

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.28/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a light amber color with two fingers of fluffy off white head. Good retention and great lacing. Active carbonation apparent in the beer.

S: Strong spicy oak with a mixture of dark fruit and caramel malt backbone. Bourbon is there, but it's certainly not in your face. Quite a bit of hoppiness left in this beer. Some diacetyl is also present, though I tend to be very sensitive to it.

T: Interestingly, the beer starts off with a blast of piney hops. This beer is very hoppy. Sweet vanilla and spicy oak quickly come in after that. Bourbon is there, but certainly in the background. Alcohol is also quite strong.

M: A bit thin with strong carbonation.

O: An average barrel aged barleywine, maybe slightly above average. This beer is intensely bitter and I'm not sure the barrel goes that well with the base beer. However, it's certainly not terrible. (892 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice treatment of Old Horizontal in oak with a whisper of Bourbon. This is a lesson in how to use oak aging- the oak adds subtle vanilla and woody notes to the base beer, and the Bourbon adds a nice top note. The barley wine still shines through with some hoppy sweetness, and all of that is complemented nicely by the oak. Not just gilding the lily- the oak barrel adds something new. (385 characters)

Photo of Beer-A-Lot
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Lots of oak flavors and hoppiness. It grows in hop bitterness as it warms, so it starts to go down a little slow for me. Good taste and pretty good as a sipper, but not necessarily something I'd want all the time. I'd almost prefer this as an aperitif, in smaller quantities. Still pretty decent. (296 characters)

Photo of 57md
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a clear dark copper with golden edges. There was only about a half finger of head and that dissipated very quickly. The nose is malty as is the upfront flavor. The bourbon notes come forward later in the flavor profile but never become dominant. The mouthfeel is sticky. The finish is a excellent blend of hops, alcohol residue and malt. Very tasty. (356 characters)

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.16/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

appearance: Deep copper. Slight off white head. As expected looks like "regular" Horizontal.
smell: Much like Horizontal fresh but the bourbon does this nose good. Hops and candied fruit and bourbon. Nice.
taste: Much like the nose with a pronounced bittersweet finish. The Hops provide the bitter and the malt and bourbon the sweet. The barrel treatment worked here imo.
overall: Glad i have another bottle to put back. (420 characters)

Photo of Pencible
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: This poured a clear dark copper with a little light tan head.
S: It smelled like lots of oak and sweet caramel and honey wheat bread, with some coconut and cocoa powder.
T: It tasted like a mouthful of oak, with some sweet caramel and cocoa powder, and maybe some latent hops? It had a fairly smooth bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was watery with moderate carbonation. Kind of thin body.
D: This was a tasty brew but didn't blow me away like some other notable bourbon barrel barleywines. The scent and taste were nice, but the oak dominated and squashed any delicate complexity. The body was weak too. The finish was pretty smooth with well hidden alcohol, so it was easy to drink. Wish it was more worth sipping. Maybe age would help. Good not great fresh. (760 characters)

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Oak Horizontal from Victory Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.