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Oak Horizontal - Victory Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Oak HorizontalOak Horizontal

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

66 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 66
Hads: 325
Avg: 4.03
pDev: 25.81%
Wants: 17
Gots: 61 | 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: 325
Photo of Googs
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Paid $18.99 for the bomber. Poured from bottle into goblet.

A: Dark and dirty red body with an inch off white head which was gone in a few minutes. Some alcohol lacing on the glass.

S: Sweet bourbon, oak chips, vanilla and bready malts. Little, if any hop aroma coming through. Classic BA Barleywine smell.

T: Follows suit with the aromas. Bourbon/oak forward, sweet toffee and sticky malts that ends on the bitter side. Not sure if the bitterness is hop or booze influence. Good stuff.

M: Medium-full. Well carbonated, creamy and a bit sticky, which I like for this style. Alcohol is present and leaves a bitter taste on the tongue.

O: Really nice brew here from Victory, but isn't as complex as some other BA Barleywines out there. None the less, this one is really good on a cold night and I'd consider getting it again for my cellar. I think some time would do this one good so it mellows and melds.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.31/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to my Bro tenderbranson69 for sharing this during the superbowl at Erik's!
enjoyed from the 750 in a pub mug.

The color is deep auburn -dark rust with ruby shade when held to the light with thick cap of sandstone that settles to a ring with tiny bead. The smell is deeply bourbon infused malt with light vanilla and caramel goodness. There is a subtle oak tinge with alcohol in the nose. The feel is rich and very bourbon influenced.

The flavor is great a nice combination of wood and dark maltiness with subtle vanilla character and light toffee with a mellow spiciness of hops in the finish. Overall I really enjoyed this and think it is actually a bit more bourbon in the taste than Dark Intrigue which is nice since you definitely get the barrel aging in the flavor it makes it worthy of trying as opposed to a slight variation on the original. Thanks again Tim!

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml, winter 2012
5oz mini tasting snifter

A: Pours out a nice orange-like amber color, leading to more reddish amber. Had a thin layer of off white head that faded into a collar around the edges of the glass. Alcohol feet are there for sure.

S: Good nose on this one. Lots of burnt sugar. That candied sugar like vibe. Some vanilla and toffee from the oak treatment. Smells very sweet and I like it.

T: Taste was similar to the smell. It's got a touch of hops up front, then you get all that candied sugar sweetness. The oak comes in mid-palate with the flavors of toffee and caramel and vanilla. It's actually pleasant although a little sweet. Finish is long and flavors changed as it warmed up.

M: Chewy full bodied beer. Nice sipper.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A viscous, deep amber brew with a tiny head that dissipates quickly into a line of tiny bubbles on the surface of the brew.

S - Vanilla, brown sugar and alcohol.

T - Vanilla, bourbon, brown sugar, pine hops and almonds. Aftertaste is a malty bitterness.

M - Smooth, thick, nice, a little refreshing.

D - Nice. I would have again.

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Photo of CurtFromHershey
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep burgundy with modest but resilient head. Soft billows subside to a thin cap which hangs around awhile.

Smell seems off. Uh oh. Opened a 750ml by myself. Wet sawdust predominant. Weak boozy bourbon character.

Taste is thankfully much better than the nose. Mellow bourbon gives way to rich caramel and bready malts. Little to no hop character so I'm not sure this one will change a whole lot with age.

Mothfeel is thick and creamy.... perhaps too thick for a barleywine, but doesn't detract from the experience.

Overall a wonderful beer which I will thoroughly enjoy sipping throughout the evening.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Thickfreakness
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Dark Ruby, ruddy, purple-ish brown. Nice orange/honey highlights when held to the light. Not much of a head. Tiny bits of lacing when swirled with decent long legs that drip down the side of the glass.

S- Caramel covered licorice sticks. Sweet pineapple, brown sugar covered molasses cookies, brulee'd sugar, basil, blood orange, vanilla pods rubbed on pink grapefruit, candy corn, pop corn, fresh figs and tons of dried fruit. The alcohol doesn't really come thru in the nose.

T- Dried cherries that were soaked in grapefruit juice, vanilla scented pineapple juice, brown sugar vodka, Good & Plenty, caramel covered cashews, and motor oil! This is ridiculous! Vanilla oak and sweet bourbon! Creme Brulee with whipped cream, toasted almonds, and fresh cut grass!

M- Nice and oily. Greasy and thicker than honey! Now that's my JAM!!! Spicey, tangy, citrusy, and sweet!!! Crazy!

O- Great! Not perfect... but GREAT! The barrel adds tons to this brew! So much mulled spice pulled from the barrels! Vanilla, honey, licorice, cloves, basil, sweetness and booze! I wish this was a yearly brew!

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Photo of thecheapies
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Candy brown-red. Soapy ring formed and stuck around. Looks decent.

Marshmallow, bourbon, raisin, caramel, herbal hoppiness, and a hint of cola. Not as fruity as I might have expected, but there are notes of other dark fruits and very light cherry.

Big bourbon notes with rich malty caramel, booze, raisin, honey, earthy/herbal hops, and some marshmallow. Tasty as hell for bourbon lovers. Major whiskey notes, and they're impressive. Some latent barley grain notes. Solid bitterness at the middle's end that I respect.

Drinks hot and slick. Dry bitterness combines well on the palate with the sweeter mouthfeel. Wish it could be mellowed out a notch.

Awesome barleywine. A bourbon-forward example with a nice base beer, to boot. Recommended.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.3/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The beer is pretty clear and amber hued with a small head. The aroma consists of oak, malt, barrels, fruit. Really tannic and oaky in both the aroma and flavor. Sharp on the palate. Sweet and tannic flavor with lingering wood in the aftertaste. This was ok. Best in small doses.

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Photo of kdb150
3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into my Brooklyn Brewery tulip from a cork-and-cage bottle.

A - Pours a deep amber with not much head, though a nice ring remains aroud the edges. No lacing, but effervescence is very active, creating a beautiful, bubbly beer to look at.

S - Caramel malts and alcohol, with a combination of fruit that is reminiscent of apricots. Wondering where the barrel is hiding.

T - Dark fruits, caramel, and alcohol dominate up front. Towards the back, you get a hint of the bourbon barrel and creamy vanilla, as well as a touch of citrusy hops. This is a pretty complex beer, reminiscent of an old ale with the dark fruitiness that comes through. This is neither too sweet nor overly hoppy, but the alcohol is noticeable as a result.

M - Fairly high carbing for a barleywine, though it's not unpleasant. The aftertaste is dominated by the dark fruit and citrus hops, and is quite good. The alcohol presence thins it out a bit too much for the ABV, but still pleasant to sip.

O - I feel this would have benefitted from more time in the barrel, as it would have absorbed more of the bourbon and oak flavors, which may have muted the alcohol presence a bit more. However, the hops are very well done - they don't overwhelm the beer at all, but complement the other flavors perfectly and really shine in the finish. This is very close to being a world-class beer, and I look forward to having another in 6-8 months to see how a little age treats it.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cellar (55-60) temp into goblet.

Pours with a very short/skim off-white head over a fairly clear amber body. Some tiny carbonation flowing up. No real lacing to speak of.

Aromas include a healthy dose of vanilla bean and oak, along with caramel, sweet phenols, toffee and maple syrup. A sweet beer lover's dream.

Whoo... wow. A chunky, muted, sweet version of Old Ho. Full mouthfull of flavors including the aforementioned vanilla and salt water taffy. Fair amount of chemical/rubbery quality, that once I noticed, I had a little trouble getting past. English style (muted) hop profile. Somewhat drowned out by the overly sweet flavors. Touch of smoke in the finish. This would make a seriously awesome salt-watery taffy flavor (Ok, for beer nerds only).

Mouthfeel was pretty slick and oily. Exactly what I would expect from barrel aged barleywine. So, well done here.

I really hope my other bottle molds and meshes the flavors over time, as I plan to hold onto it for about 3 years. Aw heck, I may buy 3 more and try one each year until 2017.

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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.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into a snifter

An extremely clear garnet hued amber body with just a little bit of ecru foam. No retention, just a tiny collar of foam with a couple of stray islands.

Big toffee notes leap from the glass with some oak tannins, vanilla, dark fruits (plums primarily), and bourbon. Layers of complexity. A bit sweet, but balanced out nicely by the oak and bourbon.

Toffee and plums up front with some sharp tannins from the oak. Vanilla and plums lead to sweeping oak dryness and bourbon goodness in the finish. This is pretty delicious. Layers of flavor. Complex.

Full-bodied with low carbonation. Tannic properties emerge a bit, making the feel slightly prickly before it smooths out nicely. The tail end is extremely reminiscent of a nice bourbon.

A really nice bourbon barrel aged barleywine. Great flavors with strong barrel aged complexity. Victory hit this one dead on.

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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.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours with a thick toffee colored head that quickly dissipates and leaves a micro-thin lacing ring, very light carbonation, and a medium clear ruby amber color.

S - Dark candied fruit, figs, oak, light greens, bourbon, and toffee malt aroma. Swirling the glass bring the oak and bourbon nuances more to the forefront before fading back into the glass as the head settles. The overall aroma is light and not alcohol heavy as one might expect.

T - The taste makes up for the weaker nose with a sweet roasted caramel/toffee malt base and a little green apple quickly followed with oak and bourbon ending with a slight pine bite. As the beer warms the oak and bourbon become more prevalent

M - Thick, viscous, sticky, and velvet smooth.

O - I have always enjoyed the Old Horizontal, it's a really nice Barley Wine. This was just bottled last week and I expect it to be on the boozier side and this should be really nice with some age on it. However, one of my favorite beers from Victory is Old Horizontal and I'm a sucker for barrel aged beers so this was a bottle I couldn't stand to let sit before trying it for the first time. Just a tad bit boozy right now but if it mellows and blends I can see this overall rating inching up. The nose is the weakest link.

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