Oak Horizontal - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Oak HorizontalOak Horizontal

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

318 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 318
Reviews: 64
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 18
Gots: 58 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 318 | Reviews: 64
Reviews by Massbmx:
More User Reviews:
Photo of woemad
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Photo of daveshawley
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a hazy very reddish brown - almost pink when you hold it up to the light. The thin head is gone quickly and no lacing left behind. There is a thin but constant stream of slowly rising bubbles.

S - rich caramel with some floral hints of hops and something that I can’t put my finger on.

T - matches the aroma with rich caramel and a good dose of bourbon. The barrel aging is really working well here. It doesn’t quite hide the bite of Old Horizontal.

M - carbonation is next to non-existent. Leaves a nice bitter on the back of the tongue that lingers long after.

O - This is a good one. Particularly if you are partial to Old Horizontal to begin with. I’ll have to set at least one bottle aside for while. Hopefully a little age will smooth it out even more.

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
3.18/5  rDev -21.1%
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.

Photo of joeseppy
3.94/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pour resembles a cherry cider color with a generous cherry vanilla head.

Not much on smell. Digging in, I pick up on oak and malt sweetness.

Sweet brew with alcohol sensation from the oaky bourbon, could be deeper. Caramel, vanilla and raisin blends.

Coats the mouth well and easy carbonation. Sticky lacing follows throughout.

Maybe too sweet for me but its alright. For the price I would not purchase again.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml caged and corked bottle. Served in a Dogfish Head snifter, the beer pours a dark reddish/brown color with a half inch light tan head. Head retention is decent, not much lacing. Aroma is nice and malty, it smells like dark fruit, oak, vanilla, bourbon, brown sugar, and caramel. The taste is similar to the aroma, the brew tastes like dark fruit, oak, bourbon, vanilla, coconut, brown sugar, caramel, candied fruit, toffee, and some booze. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's a bit coating and creamy with moderate carbonation. I thought this was a good brew, worth a try for sure!

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.16/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Photo of Beer-A-Lot
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

Photo of Immortale25
3.94/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Photo of metter98
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is a hazy dark caramel red in color. It poured with a thin beige head that gradually died down and left some wispy lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of sweet bourbon are present in the smell. This becomes a little stronger as the beer warms up.
T: The taste is similar to the smell but also has a good amount of flavors of vanilla from the bourbon barrel aging along with some hints of sweetness from the underlying caramel malts. There are only some faint hints of citrusy hops.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation along with some heat and lots of warming from the alcohol. It also coats your mouth a little.
O: This is a nice beer to sip and savor if you really like bourbon.

Photo of ThickNStout
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Photo of StoutHunter
4/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of RuEXP1
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Pours a murky brown color that seems to have some sediment floating around when it is first poured. Little carbonation and a thin tan head the dissipates quickly. Light lacing with tiny bubbles.

S - Has a strong caramel smell, maybe a little woodsy as well. To me the caramel really dominates the aroma of this beer with some fruit undertones. I love it.

T - This taste is fairly unique. A lot of bourbon barrel beers will have a really strong alcohol front due to the bourbon, but this does not. It comes on sweet with the fore front flavor being caramel again. Some molasses and sugary flavors come through and along with the bourbon. Just because the bourbon isn't slapping you across the face doesn't mean you won't realize this is a bourbon beer.

M - This drink has a thicker consistency. There are a good amount of sugars in here which give it a pleasant mouth feel. Carbonation is pretty mild.

O - I think I am drawn to this beer just because of other experiences with bourbon barrel beers being rather thin and really strong with the alcohol taste. However, the fact that you can really taste sugar and molasses etc... makes it something you don't want to have too much of. Might keep you up instead of put you to sleep. Definitely worth a try if you haven't done so yet!

Photo of Etan
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml into a tulip.

A: Pours a bronze-brown color with a nice khaki head.

S: Molasses, apricot, caramel, oak, brown sugar comprise the nose. Pretty barrel heavy aroma, in a good way.

T: Light dried fruits, cooked caramel, vanilla, pronounced bitterness from the wood and hops, raisin bread, more nutty tannins.

M: Between medium and thick-bodied with light carbonation. Pleasant pull from the tannins.

O: This is pretty delicious, except for the slightly overly assertive bitterness.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. I just had BA Hibernation yesterday, so we shall see who can do it better.

3.75 A: Deep amber color. Perhaps half a finger of creamy beige head. Retention is about average for the ABV and a small ring of lacing is left.

4.0 S: The caramel in this runs deep. Tons of complexity just from the caramel flavors. You get from light and sugary to decadent to roasty. Fruitiness is nearly as strong as the caramel - plum, raisin, tobacco, currants, and a bit of dates as well. Dense malty backbone with plenty of toastiness. The bourbon is surprisingly weak in the nose. It's there, but plays a complementary role instead of leading the show. Earthy, leathery, and fruity is the bourbon and barrel.

4.0 T: The taste offers much of the same. Deep, complex layers of caramel. Sticky neutral maltiness with plenty of toastiness. Plum, raisin, tobacco are strong with currant underneath and dates underneath that. A little more bourbon than in the nose, but still complementary - earth, leather, oak, vanilla, complementary fruitiness.

4.0 M: Heavier body. Good moderate carbonation with a moderate creaminess. Sticky, sweet aftertaste. Good here.

4.0 D: This was definitely a good beer, which isn't surprising considering Old Horizontal is a good beer. I would have liked the bourbon to have more input into the flavor profile, but it's fine the way it is. I must admit that I liked the BA Hibernation a bit more, but this is half the price. Given all that, I'd choose this one every time until I win the lottery or something.

Photo of OrangeMen
4.49/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

Photo of kdahnke123
4.23/5  rDev +5%
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.

Photo of ppoitras
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Photo of stouts4me
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Photo of 57md
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of sweemzander
3.91/5  rDev -3%
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.

Photo of Oakenator
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours brown with maybe a hint of amber. Head is not big but some does remain around the rim of the glass and interesting ring type lacing - not expected with this heavy a brew. Aroma is sweet, malty and definitely a presence of bourbon. Taste is sweet - caramel, bourbon, candy. Nice alchohol burn on the front followed by the sweeter parts of this brew. I like Old Horizontal too, but this is even better.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a moustachioed shaker pint glass.

So...where's Oak Vertical? Anyway, this stuff pours a clear amber topped by a finger of off-cream-white foam. The nose comprises butterscotch, light oak, very light cashew, and a tiny hint of mandarin orange syrup. The taste brings in more of the same, though now a vague sense of booze pervades. Thankfully, this isn't much of a hindrance. The body is a lithe medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a pretty nice oaked b-wine. 'Nuff said, really.

Photo of smcolw
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%

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.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle corked and caged. 2012 vintage. Pours an opaque light brown color with a peach tone. Off white head forms and leaves adequate lace.
Aroma of woody bourbon and vanilla. Precisely bourbon and sweet malts.
In the taste, loads of oaky tannins on sweet malts with notes of toffee, vanilla and butterscotch. Bourbon flavor is strong but not overbearing. Oaky flavor, caramel, vanilla and bourbon are the major players. Hops have died down to a ghost bitterness. Still a sweet bourbon soaked affair that fine beverage aficionados covet.
Medium bodied, with carbonation at a low medium. Slightly dry from the barrel aging.
Overall, this a great barrel aged barley wine, what more could you want for the style.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Food and Friends in Philly.
Pours a deep garnet brown with a smallish beige head that shows great retention. Aromas of brown sugar, vanilla, hints of wood and dried fruits. There is a solid alcohol presence and a faint bit of earthy hop aroma as well. The flavor is sweet with caramel and brown sugar that is dripping with vanilla drizzle. Light dried fruits with a solid alcohol bite and hints of earthen hop to balance. Medium to thick body with a light to moderate level of carbonation and a sweet slick mouthfeel. It's a little bit alcohol hot for my tastes but it really is a fantastic beer. If it weren't so damn expensive I would have snagged another bottle.

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Oak Horizontal from Victory Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 318 ratings.