Old Horizontal
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

Old HorizontalOld Horizontal
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Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States
American Barleywine
Ranked #111
Ranked #8,408
4.05 | pDev: 9.88%
Jun 18, 2022
Sep 23, 2001
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
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of Shiredave
Reviewed by Shiredave from New York

3.56/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75
* Vintage Review* Not to be used to evaluate fresher examples.
Bottled in January of 2001, this gifted unit was said to be " properly cellar-ed" but this is the same guy who said that about the 2006 Avery 13 he gave me which, was not the case.
This bottle barely made a sound upon opening but it did break wind a bit.
The aroma released was nasty - sour vinegar, stale oxidation, wet sheet rock thing going on.
Pouring was less inviting - murky yoo-hoo in dark iced tea with swirling yeasty chunks - I almost didn't bother tasting it.
A low, amber head formed and as quickly disappeared, leaving the deep amber beer to clear slowly as the flotsam settled.
Ok so this isn't Old Hori in it best light but damn if it didn't stand up to the 20+ years it's been in this 12oz bottle.
Rich ( though a bit oxidized) caramel malt flavors flood the mouth in 1 sip - hops are gone so no balance left and only a hint of sourness that really almost takes the place of a bitter element. A distinct maple nose leads to maple flavors very reminiscent of that Sam Adams Triple maple stuff that came in the cobalt blue bottles around the same time (2000+/-).
Big fig and cherry notes in the maple and a tepid hop bite and pasty dryness to finish.
Body is emaciated full down to medium but the remarkable thing was the malt flavors and complexity that hung in this long if past their prime.
10 years may be more than enough aging for this but nice to know it wasn't a (complete) drain pour.
Jun 18, 2022
Photo of RumDude
Reviewed by RumDude from Connecticut

4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Bottled in 2013, Consumed Feb 2022, Who would think this would still be good after 9 years!

Appearance: Copper red poured with a very small head – disappeared quickly even with a slow pour.

Aroma: Full scotch ale type with elements of candy sugar ferment similar to Belgian. Some alcohol essence as well.

Taste: Somewhat delicate cola-rum, slightly sweet with just a hint of flowers and the typical (for the age) leather/tobacco. Not very complex at this point but competent. Medium mouth feel. Surprisingly good for such an age. Very pleasant for the style. Wish I had more.
Feb 28, 2022
Photo of mikeinportc
Reviewed by mikeinportc from New York

4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
BB date: 11/12/20 , so from 2015. From a 22oz bottle. Let warm to room temperature , ~60F.

Hazy reddish-amber , with 1.5 fingers of tan head, that leaves a ring and a few spots of lacing. Surprising amount of head for 11%abv.

Smell is toffee, dried figs , dates, caramel, and brown bread batter ( think gingerbread batter, minus the ginger & other spices). Light , brandy-like hint of alcohol.

Taste is fig, leather, roasted walnut, rye bread crust (minus the tang) , slight spicy (pepper+coriander) hops. Mild , slightly drying bitterness that comes in late.

Feel is medium-thick, oily (not-quite "syrupy") , with light , very fine , soft carbonation tingle.Lips feel coated, and tongue feels slightly dry, and scrubbed. Slight warm astringency at the back of the throat, and some mild internal warming . Otherwise, no noticeable alcohol.

Overall a nice barleywine. Haven't had this in a long time, & never more than 2 years old. Surprisingly good , given it's past the BB date. I'll definitely grab more, if I see it. Please, Victory, un-retire it . ;)
Feb 01, 2021
Photo of officerbill
Reviewed by officerbill from New York

4.37/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
2015 bottling with an 11/12/20 BB date, poured on 1/29/21
L: Dark copper, like an old penny, with a tall puffy tan head that slowly dissolves into a thick film
S: toffee, caramel, brown sugar, candied fruit
T: toffee, caramel, figs, sweet roll, dark russian rye bread, mild black pepper
F: thick, but not quite syrupy, over the tongue with a pleasant peppery hop and slightly bitter burnt sugar aftertaste
O: an excellent barleywine, not as "heavy" as some others and only 11% ABV. I just wish I could find a newer vintage for comparison.
Jan 30, 2021
Photo of crazyspicychef
Reviewed by crazyspicychef from Pennsylvania

4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
I miss this beer dearly.
I still have one bottle from long ago in the cellar.
Why it is no longer made is a mystery to all.
O.H was a fantastic winter beer to be shipped slowly by the fire or when you just want a beast of a beer.
Nov 15, 2020
Photo of Humanusfermentum
Reviewed by Humanusfermentum from Virginia

3.96/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
2015 bottling.
Nice, enticing pour. Retains a thin beige ring, impressive for a 5yr-old brew. Nose is a bit subdued, but hints at a bready, herbal, toffee-laden treat. Soft, a bit of bite gone. Smooth. Toffee, some surprising hop play with herbal/floral notes and some significant bitter left, residual sweetness, and subtle notes of caramel, grass, leather, peat, and just the slightest skunkiness. Mildly sweet malt presence throughout. Not bad for a 5yr old. Holds up pretty well. A little soft with not much bite left, but still plenty to keep you in the glass. Nice!
Sep 20, 2020
Rated: 4.37 by liquorpig from Massachusetts

May 30, 2020
Rated: 4 by Jdells09 from New Jersey

Jan 30, 2020
Photo of cratez
Reviewed by cratez from Canada (ON)

4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
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."
Jan 26, 2020
Rated: 4 by cp45 from New Jersey

Jun 23, 2019
Rated: 3.75 by brandoneast from Texas

Jun 18, 2019
Rated: 4.21 by ian_graf from Minnesota

Jun 09, 2019
Photo of Franziskaner
Reviewed by Franziskaner from Missouri

3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
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.
Mar 30, 2019
Rated: 3.38 by JamesStreet from Louisiana

Feb 07, 2019
Photo of TheDoctor
Reviewed by TheDoctor from Canada (QC)

4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
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)
Jan 10, 2019
Rated: 4 by 1971bernat from Virginia

Jan 08, 2019
Rated: 3.74 by JB4Beer from Delaware

Dec 29, 2018
Rated: 4.33 by BeardedWalrus from North Carolina

Nov 02, 2018
Rated: 3 by Vidblain from Minnesota

Sep 28, 2018
Rated: 4.07 by atlandy from Georgia

Sep 23, 2018
Old Horizontal from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 1939 ratings