Old Horizontal
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

Old HorizontalOld Horizontal
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Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States
Barleywine - American
Ranked #103
Ranked #8,421
4.05 | pDev: 9.88%
Jun 18, 2022
Sep 23, 2001
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
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of Shiredave
3.56/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75
by Shiredave from New York

* 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
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by RumDude from Connecticut

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
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by mikeinportc from New York

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
4.37/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by officerbill from New York

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
4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
by crazyspicychef from Pennsylvania

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
3.96/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Humanusfermentum from Virginia

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
4.37 by liquorpig from Massachusetts on May 30, 2020
4 by Jdells09 from New Jersey on Jan 30, 2020
Photo of cratez
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
by cratez from Canada (ON)

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
4 by cp45 from New Jersey on Jun 23, 2019
3.75 by brandoneast from Texas on Jun 18, 2019
4.21 by ian_graf from Minnesota on Jun 09, 2019
Photo of Franziskaner
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by Franziskaner from Missouri

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
3.38 by JamesStreet from Louisiana on Feb 07, 2019
Photo of TheDoctor
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by TheDoctor from Canada (QC)

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
4 by 1971bernat from Virginia on Jan 08, 2019
3.74 by JB4Beer from Delaware on Dec 29, 2018
4.33 by BeardedWalrus from North Carolina on Nov 02, 2018
3 by Vidblain from Minnesota on Sep 28, 2018
4.07 by atlandy from Georgia on Sep 23, 2018
3.96 by robotic_being from Florida on Jul 18, 2018
Photo of rjd722
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by rjd722 from Maryland

2015 edition.

Jul 05, 2018
4.04 by Phoodcritic from Michigan on Jun 27, 2018
Photo of stevoj
4.01/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by stevoj from Idaho

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.

Jun 20, 2018
Photo of SHODriver
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by SHODriver from North Carolina

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.

Jun 03, 2018
3.84 by TheCrowsEye from California on May 17, 2018
3.98 by Richie_C_Johnson from Minnesota on Mar 01, 2018
4.2 by Barleycorn from Pennsylvania on Feb 19, 2018
Photo of ajm5108
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
by ajm5108 from Pennsylvania

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.

Feb 18, 2018
3.85 by BeerBeast from Florida on Jan 04, 2018
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by rodbeermunch from Nevada

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.

Dec 03, 2017
Photo of hman43
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by hman43 from North Carolina

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.

Nov 04, 2017
4.04 by Fordcoyote15 from Pennsylvania on Oct 20, 2017
4.15 by Avatar113 from California on Oct 09, 2017
Photo of q33jeff
3.76/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
by q33jeff from New Jersey


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.



Sep 10, 2017
Photo of BEER88
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by BEER88 from Washington

Oxidized a little from sitting im the cellar, but still a good beer to have with a stoogie

Sep 05, 2017
Photo of Gajo74
4.17/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by Gajo74 from New York

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!

Aug 19, 2017
3.79 by morrowd3 from Vermont on Aug 11, 2017
4 by _nickg_ from New Jersey on Aug 08, 2017
Photo of BeerBobber
4.39/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by BeerBobber from Nevada

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!

Jul 23, 2017
Old Horizontal from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 1939 ratings