Old Horizontal
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

Old HorizontalOld Horizontal
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American Barleywine
Ranked #51
Ranked #4,335
4.06 | pDev: 9.85%
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States
Old HorizontalOld Horizontal
Notes: Massive amounts of barley malts, combined with fresh harvest American hops make it aromatic and spicy on the nose. Floral, fruity aromas slide into honeyed malt depth with lingering sensations of candied and citrus fruit. Late warming alcohol brings all of these flavors into wonderful harmony to finish.

Malt: Imported 2 row German malts
Hops: Whole flower American hops
Food Pairings: Meat pies and English cheese
Reviews: 1,124 | Ratings: 1,933 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of cratez
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Rating from notes. Consumed February 2014. "A top shelf barley wine with ridiculously nuanced aromas, delicious hoppy flavours, and a rich, satisfying mouthfeel. Wonderful example of the style."

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Amber hued and very murky in complexion. There's a fingernail of beige around the rim and covering most of the top. There's a plethora of sweet bready malt in the aroma with perhaps a bit of grassy German hops in the mix. I'm tasting a wallop of sweet dark marzipan. The mouth is thick, chewy, sticky, and a touch warm with alcohol.

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Photo of TheDoctor
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Serving: Bottle
Year: 2016

Pours a fairly clear ruby-brown with a finger+ of cream-colored head. Good retention; cascading lacing. (4.25)

Rich, spicy malt. Big Bready aromas with some sharp peppery malt, white chocolate, under ripe berries and hops to offset. (4.25)

Very nice. Brown bread, peppery bite, brown sugar and caramel. Touch of oxidation and a lasting medicinal hop bite.  (4.25)

Relatively big body with a nice bitter tongue-slap, medium carbonation and a lingering hop finish. (4)

A very, very passable tipple. Thanks for further helping me to open my eyes to the glory of the barleywine, Ozzylizard! You've helped others in this task without even realizing it. It is appreciated
It pours very nice for the size/being 2 years old. Clear and ruby with a nice head. Both the aroma and flavor are more on the biting malt/hop side of things. They are both full of lovely medium-dark bread, sugar, light chocolate and other such delights. It definitely has a bracing rye-like snap and a touch of oxidation that give the aroma and flavor a little extra kick. Really nice and light on its feet considering its size.
A great beer that I'd definitely have again. (4.25)

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Photo of stevoj
4.01/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2008 vintage from Toby. Dark brown, spotty head. Aroma is malty and peaty. Taste too is malty, tobacco, leathery. Aged well, all the times in Philly, and at Victory, and I drink this in Idaho. Lovely.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled in 2013

A: Poured into an oversized wine glass to a deep amber which is topped by a dense three finger light tan head which retains well and leaves decent excellent lacing
S: Smells of old and faded pine and citrus with a sticky caramel malt backbone
T: Taste is faded pine and citrus hops with some earthy notes. Sticky caramel and toasted bread along with some more earthyness and faded bitter hop oils. Swallow is more faded oily hops with more pine and citrus with some lingering sticky caramel and toasted malts.
M: This beer is big and slightly sticky on the palate. Carbonation is soft and a bit under prickly while the beer has a drying finish from the ABV.
O: Overall this is a pretty standard American Barleywine. Huge hops along with a lot of maltyness make this one drink about how you would expect it to. It doesn't do anything different and to me it is a slightly lesser beer than Old Guardian. Still worth a try and ages beautifully.

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Photo of ajm5108
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Amber-gold, thin head with a whispy whirl, good carbonation. Aroma isn’t as hop-heavy & medicinal as you find on some American style barleywines - there are a lot of German malt aromas (like you might find in a doppelbock / weizenbock), vague fruit cake and even a little cinnamon way underneath.

Hops do factor more prominently on the tongue - upfront are more of those hearty German malt flavors, then the hops add a medicinal / herbal tinge on the mid-palate. There are some fusel elements that remind of amaro liqueur- almost like a Fernet Branca without the menthol / mint. There are some classic English barleywine flavors floating around - mild caramel, treacle - but they never coalesce with the rest of the flavors. I think if they had it would have been a better beer, but as is the use of the German malt is enough to make it stand-out from other American style variations.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Popped a bottle of this at March Madness 2017. Best buy date on the bottle was drink by the end of 2013. Its a barleywine, I do wut I want, barleywine is life.

Pours a chestnut brown with more clarity than expected for a barleywine and this color scheme. Feint 1/5" off white head. Aroma of alcohol, nuts, warming. Has that dark bread around the holidays feel to it.

Taste, still get a stiff blast of alcohol, then there is a sting of bitter hops taken up to around the 85 ibu notch I would think. Plenty of maris otter toffee like notes transitioning to caramel and all remaining of the unsweetened variety. The carbonation is soft. The hops didn't really transition with age to something more sweet and refined, they still draped the beer in substantial bitterness. Its a decent barleywine offering, but it isn't going to fall into my OMG I need to buy a 4 or 6 pack of this so I can age it every year.

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Photo of hman43
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: It pours a cloudy brown with a light brown head. Head retention is low. It does have some legs to it as well.

Aroma: There are aromas that indicate a deep malt richness that includes caramel and bread. There is a citrus aroma that in most like an orange.

Taste: The malts are rich, full, and flavor with some caramel and bread. There is a distinctive citrus taste that is most like oranges.

Feel: I has a full body, not quite chewy. There is some alcohol warmth in the finish with moderately high bitterness.

Overall: This is a wonderful beer with the malts and hops working in unison with each other.

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Photo of q33jeff
3.76/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Bottle to wine glass.

LOOK: Dark brown pour, thick letting very little light through. Healthy and foamy off white head. Reforms easily.

AROMA: Fig, raisin, brandy. Yeast and mold. Molasses.
TASTE: sour cherry, raisin, grains. Cheap Vodka aftertaste.
FEEL: Full bodied, creamy, good carbonatipn For the style.

Taste kills the other respectable attributes. Not that it is bad, but just not as tasty as you may expect based on the other traits.



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Photo of Gajo74
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours an amber caramel like color. A nice frothy khaki head retains well, leaving lacing throughout.
The nose hints at things to come. Caramel and toffee, along with fruit, predict a creamy and rich malt sweetness.
Sure enough the mouthfeel is sticky and chewy and immediately reveals the caramel and toffee flavors from the aroma. Dessert like sweetness on the tongue but with an aggressive citrus pith kick in the middle palate. And oh what a finish! The hops charge forward with spice and bitterness and the alcohol provides a bold but smooth burn going down the throat.
I would describe the body as on the low side of medium, drinkable, yet meant to drink at a leisurely pace. I liked the dynamic nature of this brew and the smooth transitions between malt, citrus, hops and alcohol. Very enjoyable!

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Photo of BeerBobber
4.39/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This one poured out a hazy amber color with a finger of a tan colored head.

The smell was very rich and complex! Smells coming up were sweet grapes, tobacco, leather and figs. Lots of variety on the nose.

Taste was of caramel and honey. Throw in some figs and raisins and bam!

The mouth was heavy and sticky! Got even more sticky as the beer warms.

Overall a very neat and complex beer that does have a tendency to be heavy and sticky, again with that. At 11% this beer will be a warmer but I think the alcohol taste itself is very well hidden. Almost not present except for a bit of warming as you drink the beer. Very good stuff and at a price point that will not break that cute little piggy bank!

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Photo of MonkeyBread
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is a superb American barleywine at a very cheap price point: 7 in my area for a bomber. Hops are mild in the finish. Smell and taste is of orange marmelade, wildflower honey, burnt molasses, toasted caramel. Low carbonation, thick mouthfeel. A great beer to sip and enjoy.

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Photo of sokol_1993
3.82/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Look: Brownish, mahogany, with little head but long lasting.
Smell: piney hop is dominant.
Taste: the piney, spicy hop just hit you upfront, there is no getting away from that. It also lingers on your taste bud for a long time. A strong malty backbone, but still dominated by the hoppiness. The alcohol is flowing around too.

The piney hop was a bit too strong for my liking. It overpowered all other tastes.

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Photo of Ri0
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured 12oz bottle into snifter. Vintage 2014. Dark rust orange with a nice off white 2 finger head with fair retention. Fades slowly and leaves a nice collar and webbed lacing on glass. This smells like a hoppy BW with some bitter citrus, pine, and dark fruit along with sweet baked bread and caramel malt. The aroma is pleasant. First and foremost I get a quick, sweet taste of caramel and toffee. The bitter hops move in, with grapefruit and some pine most dominant. After 2 years of aging the hops are prevalent. Medium body with a bitter quality from the hops that leaves a dry feeling on the finish.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 vintage served cold in a snifter

Poured a crisp and clear copper with a thick khaki head. Smells of hop candy, pine, malt, grapefruit and pith. Taste follows with a strong malty backbone and lots of spicy hop character. Delicious. Reminds me of a stronger Bigfoot.

Cellar review 03/2017
2014 vintage
Ghost of hops past, still very much like a Bigfoot. There was a ton of malt but still enough hops to balance the brew. Medium thickness and mouthfeel. Plenty of carbonation.

cellar review 05/2017
2013 Vintage
Low on the hops but it's 4 years old damn it. I did detect the ghost hops thing a bit but it was a malty dream. Still very carbonated. Medium thickness and mouthfeel. This beer could last a while longer in the cellar. Delightful.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, 2014 vintage, label says enjoy by 05 DEC 2019. Served in a DFH snifter, the beer pours a hazy copper/burnt orange color with about an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. The brew smells like toffee, molasses, brown sugar, earthiness and dried fruit. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also some citrusy hops, bready/grainy malt, booze, stone fruit and pine noticeable. Nice amount of bitter and sweet flavors in this barleywine. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's a bit creamy and coating with a decent amount of carbonation. I thought it was a good overall brew, definitely worth a try! Picked it up on closeout a few months ago for $2.99 a bottle at DEP's. Great deal!

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Photo of cwalter
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ruby red in color with an off white foamy head that is 2.5 fingers in depth; great lacing on the glass. Aroma- quite a malty backbone with the smell of grahm crackers, sour dough bread and maybe sour white grapes? Hard to pin down. The taste up front is bready malts reminiscient of toast, hints of honey and butterscotch. Toward the mid to back end of this beer a pleasant bitterness comes through. There is also a nice alcohol warmth that makes its present towards the end of each sip. A really great beer to warm up with come winter. Although, I wish there was a little more going on with the flavor.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Pour a beautiful amber with a one finger off white head. Good amount of sticky lacing.

S - Aroma is toffee, brown sugar and piney hops.

T - The flavor follows the aroma with piney hops, toffee and brown sugar. The finish is a mix of bitter hops and lingering alcohol.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. Soft creamy mouthfeel with a sticky finish.

O - A nice boozy Barleywine. This would make a good nightcap on cold winter night.

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Photo of dbl_delta
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated "enjoy by 12 Nov 2020" (dontcha love it?) into a pint glass. Pours a murky amber with a one-finger yellowish head. Initial impression is floral and pine hops, quickly followed by caramel, cherry, brown sugar, and molasses. Hops linger in the finish. Mouthfeel is oily-smooth, with medium carbonation. Booze is evident but not objectionable.
Old Horizontal is not something to be trifled with. However, if you're at home and aren't trying to do your taxes or use power tools, this is a great nightcap.

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Photo of arizcards
3.74/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a bomber at TW Arrowhead in mid-January for $8.99. Enjoy by 12-Nov-2020.

Beer poured a rust color with a decent white head that fizzled out quickly.

Nose is vegetal with some hints of pineapple.

Taste is floral hop forward with a huge caramel malt base but the hops win in the end.

Mouthfeel is full and smooth.

Overall not a bad beer but i am curious to see what some aging will do. I love Victory's quality and i can only see this beer getting better so i will track another bottle down and give it a try 3 years down the road. Cheers!

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Photo of jopezu
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a clear, dark ruby amber with a massive head. nose; strawberry pulp (oddly enough), light hops, caramel, & sugar. taste; sweet malt, boozy cherry, light cocoa, caramel, pine solvent, earthy hops, citrus zest, & brown sugar. cherry, pine & ethanol on the back end. very heavily & visibly carbonated with a medium+ mouthfeel. a bit all over the place and a touch "kitchen floor cleaner" to me - the alcohol is free and roaming. strong, hoppy, & medicinal.

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Photo of PaleCale
3.82/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2013 vintage. Pours a murky dark, dark orange with a fizzy off-white head that dissipates rather quickly. Smell is malty and slightly oxidized, with a vegetal finish. Taste is boozy sweet with caramel and orange, but the finish is a little bit of paper as well - perhaps the cellar didn't treat this as well as I hoped. Mouthfeel is pleasant but the booze is evident. Overall, this is one of those rare times when I wish I had this about a year ago - still, a nice nightcap.

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Photo of HorseheadsHophead
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Look: Hazy, yet translucent reddish brown with a finger of tan head.

Smell: Brandy-soaked cherries, molasses, figs, brown sugar, and some pine.

Taste: A walloping sweetness up front of molasses, toast, gingerbread, brown sugar, pecan and walnuts, figs, dates, raisins, and brandy-soaked cherries, followed by lemon drop candy, beet sugar, earth and pine. Hints of cacao and vanilla. Big, boozy, and sweet with a bit of alcohol heat on the finish.

Feel: Falls heavy on the palate, almost sludgy, yet fairly smooth and creamy. Finishes fairly clean despite the sugary-thick beginning, with just some lingering sweetness and hoppiness coating the mouth afterwards.

Overall: A very nice, warming barleywine, best enjoyed on a brutal winter's night. I prefer my barleywines a bit more hoppy but this is excellent stuff nevertheless.

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Photo of VABA
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Revisited 9/30/19

A-Pours a hazy brown color with a nice head and lacing
A-Aroma has floral, malt and fruity hints
T-The taste follows the nose with a nice balance of malt and fruity flavors
M-A medium bodied decently carbonated beer
O-A well balanced Barleywine

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass.

A: A hazy burnt orange with one finger white head that dissipated quickly. Spotty lacing.

S: Apricots and grassy hops intermingling with caramel, brown sugar and booze.

T: Sweet and sticky, featuring honey and bourbon mixed with a lightly bitter hop middle and nice malty backbone. Caramel, apricots and vanilla. The 11% is very evident. Let it warm for maximum punch.

M: Medium with medium, dry carbonation.

O: A terrific barleywine, especially for $7 a bomber. Everyone at the spontaneous tasting was very impressed. I bet this one ages very well.

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Old Horizontal from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 1933 ratings