Old Horizontal | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

1,110 Reviews
Old HorizontalOld Horizontal

Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-23-2001

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Reviews: 1,110 | Ratings: 1,888
Photo of barczar
4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deeply sweet, syrupy caramel malt, with dates, figs, raisins in aroma. Flavor reveals slightly cloying brown sugar sweetness, with boozy notes adding contrast, and a refreshing bitter finish that balances somewhat. Notes of prunes and raisins are welcome complexities. It's a bit hot and would probably age well. This one's only a year old. Becomes a bit buttery as it warms.

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Photo of minterro
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle bought from Little's Wine and Liquor in Denver, CO. Store aged, bottled in October 2013. Poured into a snifter.

A&S: Upon opening the bottle it seems like this beer is going to be well carbonated. Pours a pretty big creamy head (a little over a finger) light yellow/tan coloration and retains very well. Beer is a lively and transparent and a deep ruby color. Aroma is primarily earthy hoppy bitterness, dark maltyness, some citrus, and cherry dark fruit tones.

T&M: Flavors include tobacco, malts, and some earthy hops. Alcohol is a little too present. If I could redo, I would probably age it a little longer. The finish is even for an American Barleywine is still pretty bitter even with 6 months in the bottle. Body and carbonation is on the higher side of medium, a little too crisp.

Overall: I honestly expected a little more from Victory, not that this beer wasn't good, cause it was, just not anything special. Decent price (about 8 bucks) for a 11% beer bomber, but I still probably wouldn't buy it again.

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Photo of FFreak
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 OZ bomber into glass. A clear deep dark amber with a decent head that slowly fades Lots of dried fruit and candi sugar on the nose. Again, raisin, date, caramel, plum come out in the taste, with very little alcohol or hop flavor at all. Mouthfeel is succulent, thick and sweet, but never cloying or syrupy. A very enjoyable barleywine, one of the best I've ever had.

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz bottle into a willi becher glass.
Pours a light hazy amber with one finger of foam.
Smells nice, malty, sweet and alcohol.
Tastes full and big with maltiness being right out front.
Mouthfeel is as expected for style.
Overall, I enjoyed this barleywine. Nice job, Victory.

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Photo of martyl1000
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A bomber poured into a tulip creates a seriously handsome, ruddy copper glass of beer. A finger of fluffy off-white head that stays and stays, with sticky lacing.

Hoppy aroma, though quietly so. An indeterminate spiciness. Sweet grain. The alcohol is present.

Flavor in the mouth opens with sweet bread and red wine, plus a spicy alcohol. Becomes instantly bitter from the citrusy hops, which dominate through the middle palate onward through the finish. The sweetness rings as an echo on the finish, though sweetness here is refracted by the intense white-grapefruit bitterness.

Medium- to full-bodied, luxurious, with a lively carbonation.

Classic American barley wine, very much like Bigfoot, though bigger in every way (except the aroma). Intensely hoppy and spicy. The one drawback might be the near eclipse of malty sweetness by the tannic wine and citrus bitterness. Nothing a bit of cellaring won't cure.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.42/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Sampled at EBF,; shocked I haven't tried this before. Pours a deep amber.

S-Almost all malt. Caramel and toffee. Strong estery fruitiness. I wanted more from the hops.

T-Akin to the nose. Malt stressed. Caramel, toffee, brown sugar. An inanimate fruitiness as well. Light bitterness and some head.

M-Fuller bodied. Softer carbonation. Some drying alcohol.

O/D-As plain as it gets in terms of the style. Something can be said for its longevity as a highly praised Barleywine. I prefer mine with a bit kore complexity.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.26/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11 oz pour at the Old Toad in Rochester, NY. Final beer of the night, and a big one to close it out- listed as 11% ABV.

Pours sort of a ruby red, almost brownish color. Not much head at all, very minimal lacing.

Smells pretty good, brown sugar, caramel. Can't really smell any hops, I wonder if this is an aged keg?

Tastes awesome, one of the best barleywines I've had. Very faded hop presence, lots of toffee, brown sugar, caramel, not very noticeable booziness. Slightly toasty in the malt department.

Mouthfeel is great, pretty full. Low carbonation, but it works. Drinks like a 6% beer, I could put a few of these back very easily.

Another winner from Victory.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz, 2010-2011 (best by 11/15/15)
Riedel tulip

A: Deep amber color. Held up to light and you can see light through it. Some chill hazy and particles. Good finger of head initially. Forms layer of light egg shell white. Some lacing.

S: Sweet malts. Caramel. Slight cardboard. Old hops. Dryness. Some earthiness.

T: Herbal hop bitterness. Like IPA old bitterness. Sweet maltiness. Definite an American Barleywine.

M: Full bodied medium....I guess full.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a billowy, light beige five+ finger head that fades slowly leaving a ton of lace. Clear amber color. Strong carbonation and medium bodied. Light pine hop/malt nose, flavor is a balance of sweet caramel malts and hops, similar to an imperial IPA. High ABV is hidden. $8.50 for a 22oz bottle from Tully’s Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.57/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

1 pint 6 fl oz 2013 vintage brown glass bottle with generally appealing label art and branded pry-off pressure cap acquired at a local Texas bottle shop a few months back and served into an Avery stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live as a barleywine because the label clearly identifies it as such. 11% ABV confirmed per the label. "Bottle conditioned." Expectations are high given the brewery.

Served chilled and allowed to come to room temperature over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a one finger wide head of off-white colour. Nice supple creaminess and thickness for the style. Complexion is pretty smooth. Consistency could be more even. Very even, consistent lacing coats the sides of the glass as the head slowly recedes. Head retention is pretty good for the high ABV - about 4 minutes.

Body colour is a transparent translucent amber red of average vibrance. No floating yeast particles are visible; it's quite clean. Seems well-carbonated.

Overall, it's a pretty basic appearance for a barleywine; there's nothing unique or special about it. I don't notice any flaws.

Sm: Hoppier than anticipated, with a fair amount of herbal hop character, touches of evergreen, and even a hint of pine. Biscuit malt, bready malts, amber malts, toffee, brown sugar, and faint dark fruit. I do find some traces of medicinal notes. Ginger. Heavy candi character; it's definitely a sweet beer. Rum, sugarcane, caramel, raisin.

No yeast character is detectable. The alcohol is well disguised.

It's a fruity aroma of above average strength, and the unbecoming candi sweetness is worrisome. This isn't shaping up to be the kind of barleywine that really appeals to my tastes - I'm not finding toasty oak, toasted malts, marshmallow, refined malts, etc. It just seems a bit raw.

Mf: Hm. It's light, thin, and weak on the palate, lacking body and weight. It's too soft and giving. Undercarbonated, but still somehow somewhat biting. Lightly sticky.

Not creamy, oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, or harsh.

Presence on the palate is subpar for the style. This texture doesn't support the flavour profile well at all.

T: Bread crust, indistinct hints of vague unevocative dark fruit, bland amber malts, bland biscuit malts, bland caramalt. Shallow caramel. Hints of faint rum/sugarcane. Light raisin. Unrefined sugars/brown sugar. Light generic floral hop character. Toffee (but nowhere near enough). Heavy candi sweetness dominates.

I'm not finding the elements of a great barleywine here. No toasted malt, toasty oak, refined rich malty presence, heavy full caramel, marshmallow, etc. Maybe this just doesn't appeal to my personal tastes.

In any case, depth of flavour is shockingly low; this is extremely shallow for a barleywine. Below average duration and intensity of flavour.

No yeast character comes through. The alcohol does come through a bit, but it's still well disguised for 11%.

Unfortunately, it does have a faint medicinal/herbal quality to it.

As simple a barleywine as I've had in the past year perhaps. I'm taken aback by the extent to which this beer lacks intricacy, complexity, nuance, and subtlety. It's just so damned shallow and empty. Where's the flavour? Sure, it's got a loose cohesion and an okay balance, but it never comes together in the tight gestalt way a great beer in this style needs to. I didn't expect this poor a showing from Victory - especially given how well-known this beer is in the barleywine style. Did I get a bad bottle? Am I just drinking it too raw/young?

Not liking this one, much to my shock.

Dr: It drinks easy enough for the ABV, but boy is this a disappointment. I cracked this open expecting to really like it, but Victory - one of the best "shelf beer" breweries out there - really missed the mark with this brew. Well below average. I certainly wouldn't get it again, and I'd caution friends from trying it unless there's some serious age on it or something. Even with 5-6 months on it, this bottle is drinking very raw. It seems like most of the characteristics I criticize in my reviews of other barleywines were all collected and then combined to form this brew. It's almost the opposite of what I look for in a good barleywine.

If you crave a heavy malty core, rich caramel, vibrant toffee, and a firm heavy feel in your barleywines - ideally with a well-integrated bourbon and/or oak character - this is absolutely not the barleywine for you.

Worth trying because of its relative importance to the development and shaping of the American barleywine style, but it's far from world-class. Maybe this was the creme de la creme 12-13 years ago, but it does not hold up. There are a myriad of superior barleywines available at or around this price point.

Low C-

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Photo of JamieDuncan
3.84/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is my first Barley Wine so i am not sure what to expect. Decent looking beer that smells very tasty. Does not quite fulfill that, good but nothing great. Normally a fan of big beers so I was somewhat disappointed. Improved as it warmed and the alcohol contact kicked in which impressed me. Decent value also at $7.

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

This poured a brick orange color with a slight haze and soft light that exudes form the body of the beer. A fat off white head of orange tinged foam to top the beer and it fell lazy like it had all day and left great lace and alcohol legs. Nose is fantastic. It's candied orange peel, malty caramel with a bit of nut and butterscotch, fresh orange to go with that and a little bit of hop presence.

Taste is all that and more. The caramel is smooth and buttery with a hint of nuttiness. The fruits are lively and fresh with a bit of fresh orange to really juice things up. The malt sweetness has something buttery on ti and that is like candy. The mouthfeel is full and sticky and has a bit of pine resin to coat the throat and let the solvent like alcohol just graze your palate before the finish. A bit of warmth and you have just had one exciting ride.

Super. Just super.

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Photo of Uanof
3.86/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber into a chalice.

A: dark burnt orange/red translucid liquid with no head just a thin lacing that patiently sits at the top.

S: malts hit upfront with some booziness showing afterwards and medicinal accents.

T: astringent, slightly boozy, gummies and candy sugar, there's something minty about it that i can't figure out.

M: medium bodied, dry an arid, goes down with a good malty backbone.

O:doesn't feel balanced, but the flavors don't fight between them, they just coexist. Interesting flavors coming from it, but probably not enough to try it again.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.26/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: a deep copper to garnet color. good clarity. up to three fingers of a tannish head and leaves a good lacing behind

Smell: piney, resiny hops. very large hoppy aroma, but underlain by some good maltiness. toasty, slightly sweet malts. nothing too much darker than caramel though

Taste: opens up with malts, sweet caramel and a little toastiness. quickly taken over by pine and resin from hops. a little bit of alcohol but rarely comes off too astringent.

Mouthfeel: thick, a little syrupy. almost chewy. strong bitter aftertaste. some alcohol warmth

Overall: sometimes american barleywines come off too astringent and need a little aging but this one has some nice balance, while still lending towards hoppiness. great malty profile with a biting hoppines overlying it.

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Photo of roblowther
4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Looks ruddy reddish brown with a surprisingly frothy light tan head that leaves some bubbles behind for good measure. Smells like Hall's grocery, my favorite beer store. Not sure what that means. Wood, oranges, roses, caramel, and its making my mouth water. The taste is woody, biscuity, with a bit of a medicinal taste but in a good way. It is drier than I expected, nice clean finish. Mouthfeel has a nice mild carbonation and is very slick and nicely viscous. Overall, I really like this. The surprising carbonation and the delightful smell really make it one of my favorite I've had of the style.

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Photo of wvsabbath
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Serving Type - 22oz bottle

Appearance - Golden tan, burnt orange with a nice, foamy 2 inch head, tons of sticky lacing.

Smell - Grapefruit, orange, lemon, banana, roasted malts, some caramel/toffee, yeasty sugars. Smells like a ipa!

Taste - First sip starts off with some citric fruits mixed with roasty malts, caramel and alcohol. Strong and full flavored, added sugars really make this a sweet drink. Tart fruits jump out and have a bitter flavor that mixes with the sweet sugars and make this the not so smooth and easy to drink beer. Alcohol is very present and just adds to making this a rougher drink.

Mouthfeel - Tongue gets citric fruits then some caramel malts. Palate gets more fruits, added sugars and some alcohol. Aftertaste is malty, alcohol warm and sweet.

Overall - Not bad, I was shocked that I never had this beer before. Im pretty sure this wasn't bottled for 2012 so that might be the main reason ive never had this. Not the most balanced, easy to drink beer, but its decent enough. Strong, full flavored with alcohol in each sip. Worth a drink but not world class.

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

2013 bottling.

Pours a reddish caramel body with a thin head. Hops are prevalent in the nose: pineapple, citrus oils, pine. Soft caramel and toffee malt aromas lie beneath the hops. Flavors are more hop-forwarded with a long, lingering bitterness. A lot of citrus and pine. Malt sweetness is definitely there, but isn't over-the-top. I'm blown away at how well the 11% ABV is hidden. Mouthfeel is mild in carbonation and moderate in body. Not too sticky, considering the sweetness. Overall, a very good American barleywine. Not mindblowing but wholly good.

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Photo of BB1313
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

2013 vintage. 22oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a transparent copper with a slight haze and off-white head that fades and leaves nice retention and lacing. The aromas have that signature barleywine aroma, but it's subtle. I'm picking of alot of sweet caramel. Malts are there. Some toffee. Subtle hints of orange peel and grapefruit. Some pine in the mix as well. The flavors are balanced, in a good way. This beer is pretty smooth at 11% abv. The alcohol goes unnoticed and it's not hot or boozy. There's a subtle warmth in the finish, but barely. Flavors are pretty earthy. Lots of grass. Pine needles are there. Some citrus notes are clearly noticeable. More caramel. Solid malt backbone but not overly sweet at all. There's a clean earthy bitterness. The mouthfeel is great and really stands out for me. It's full-bodied with moderate carbonation. It's very thick, creamy, and fluffy. Dangerously drinkable.

This is a very solid barleywine. It has all of the classic characteristics that one would look for in the style. It might not be a mind blowing experience, but the craftsmanship is impressive. It's ultimately an enjoyable experience.

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Photo of titty_mcbitty
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Yellow-golden but "thick" looking, if that makes sense. Tan-ish head with tiny tiny bubbles.

S: Hop forward aroma with big malts.

T: Like the aroma: Hops all the way and a big malty backbone. This is a lot like one of those huge DIPA's. I haven't had Dogfish's 120 minute, but I'd expect it to taste something like this. It is just basically a big DIPA, in my opinion. Syrup notes, brown sugar, bitter grassy/sweet leaf taste. Not really bad, per say, but not super good either.

M: Medium to thick.

O: Not something I'd pick up again. Not a bad beer at all, but I was looking for a more complex, sweet beer. I guess I should have gone for a more English style barlywine.

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Photo of beergoot
3.79/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark, reddish-orange body color with a very thick, chunky head and a steady stream of slow-rising carbonation. Mild, warm malt and caramel aroma. Toasty grain and caramel malt flavor, some deeply sweet dried apricot hints, plus a strong kick of boozy warmth and hop bitterness at the finish. Medium-heavy body; smooth.

A pretty good, dark honey colored barleywine with a definite alcohol kick to it. Relatively easy drinking, enough depth and complexity to make the tasting quite enjoyable, and a nice way to end an evening with your wife, dog, a warm fire, and a snowy evening.

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Photo of richj1970
4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz bomber into snifter glass. Bottle date was 10/28/2013.

A: Pours a very clear ruby red with a tinge of brown. Frothy 2 finger off white head that left some nice sticky lacing.

S: Piney resin, sweet malts, caramel, and perhaps a bit of citrus.

T: Flavor is where this one really shines. Big hop resin up front mixed with a nice sweetness. Tastes of grapefruit, pear, apple, caramel, biscuit, and brown sugar. Very well balanced with a nice alcohol heat which I suspect would dissipate over time but this is a fairly young bottle.

M: Fairly thick with an almost syrup quality, but cut nicely with a healthy carbonation and hop bitterness.

O: I was pleasantly surprised with this brew. Definitely one of the top American barley wines that I have tried. At $8 a bomber, it might become a staple for me.

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Photo of hardy008
3.79/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours clear copper with a one finger light beige head, which slowly faded to a small ring, with spotty lacing. The aroma has grapefruit, caramel malt, toasted malt, and candied citrus peel.

The first thing I taste is grapefruit, followed quickly by caramel and toasted malt. There is also some citrus zest and brown sugar. Pretty nicely balanced.

Medium to full bodied with soft carbonation, and a grapefruit and caramel aftertaste. The alcohol is well hidden for an 11 % abv beer. Well worth trying if you get the chance. Should age nicely.

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Photo of brureview
4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

"Oh, the weather outside is frightful..." time to pour an American Barleywine.

Poured in an imperial pint glass: a light tea color with an attractive 3F head.

The aroma- the beer's weak link- wasn't strong- light banana.

The MF is one of the best I have tasted in an American Barleywine- not over-the-top, well-carbonated and transitioning well to the taste.

The taste is different than my quintessential barleywine-Sierra Nevada BigFoot. There is a concentration of esters, and some odd tastes- bubblegum and other unidentifiable tastes.

Finish-well done. Not too alcoholic- just right for the style. Other AM's including the Bigfoot are over-the-top in alcoholic finish. The 11% abv isn't apparent.

Overall- an excellent American barleywine. The aroma could be more pronounced.
There seems to be less fruit and toffee in this beer. However, the transition from the MF to the taste is excellent- there is stylistic coherence in this beer.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.74/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a bottle of Victory's Old Horizontal last month for $8.49 at The Lager Mill. I got a bottle of this and the oak aged version and I thought I should start off with the regular version, so lets see how it goes. 2013 Vintage. Poured from a brown 22oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label looks nice, it's got a simple yet nice look to it, but it isn't the most eye catching. It poured an orange/caramel color that took on more of ruby color when held to the light with half a fingers worth of light tan head that quickly died down to a thick ring that stayed till the end and it left some spotty lacing behind. This is a pretty good looking beer, it looks true to style and I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness that bordered on being highly sweet with the hops being the first to show up and they impart a nice mixture of earthy, piney and citrus hops aromas with the citrus hops seeming to stick out the most. Up next comes the malts which impart a sweet malt, caramel, slightly bready, toasted, and light toffee like aromas. Towards the end comes a nice dark fruit aroma along with a slight alcohol aroma. This beer had a pretty nice aroma, even though it's pretty hoppy smelling the malts still do a nice job at giving the aroma some balance.

T- The taste seems to be very similar to the aroma and it starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness followed by the hops still showing up first and imparting all those hoppy aspects that I got in the aroma with the citrus hops still seeming to stick out a little more than the other aspects and it impart a nice citrus rind like flavor. Up next comes the malts which impart all those malty aspects that I got in the aroma, but this time there's a pretty noticeable tobacco like flavor. Towards the end come some dark fruit flavors with a noticeable amount of alcohol that was little warming and there was a slightly higher amount of medium bitterness with a hoppy and sweet malt like aftertaste. This was a pretty nice tasting beer, it wasn't overly sweet and it was very similar to the aroma.

M- Not the smoothest, clean, fairly crisp, rich, on the lighter side of being full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel was nice, but I wish it was just a little smoother and less carbonated.

Overall I thought this was a nice beer and a pretty solid example of a hoppy Barleywine, the hop profile was pretty nice and it worked well with the malts and it for sure isn't one of the sweeter Barleywines which I didn't mind. This beer had ok drinkability, it wasn't the smoothest, rich, a little filing, but the taste did a decent job at holding my attention and I think half the bottle is a good amount for me, i could drink the whole bottle but I would rather split it since I really don't feel the need to have another glass. What I liked the most about this beer was the hop profile and the appearance, I thought they were both pretty good. What I liked the least about this beer was the mouthfeel, I thought it could be smoother and a little less carbonated. I don't think I would buy this beer again, it was nice to try, but I tend to prefer my Barleywines on the sweet and malty side and if I wanted a Barleywine that was on the hoppy side I would rather have a Bigfoot. I would recommend this to people who prefer their Barleywines on the hoppy side. All in all I thought this was a nice hoppy Barleywine, but it isn't my favorite of the style and I think it was just a little rough around the edges. Nice work guys, this was a solid hoppy Barleywine.

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Photo of Jim_Benz
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2013 bomber cellar temp, served in a snifter

a: clear, rich mahogany amber, 2 finger cream colored head that quickly settles down to a longlasting ring around the side of the glass and a patchy haze across the surface. lacing minimal. VERY beautiful.

s: pine resin, sweet malt, alcohol. I really don't smell anything else; grapefruit, maybe, but very faint.

t: the fruity sweetness hits me first--apple, pear, grape, raisin--but almost immediately it's suffused with a resiny pine flavor and a bit of grapefruit. the malt doesn't really shine for me, but that's okay; maybe a little bit of caramel and biscuit but that's about it. finishes with a sustained piney bitterness that I really like (alcohol adds to the bitterness pretty strongly--almost like rubbing alcohol--and could really stand to soften quite a bit). then the aftertaste settles into a syrupy sweetness that seems a bit much but is thankfully moderated by the pine/alcohol notes.

m: carbonation seems a little strong, but this is a young bottle (2013) and it helps cut the sweet stickiness on my tongue. body feels heavy--almost thick and syrupy--but not unpleasantly so.

o: I'm not a huge fan of barleywines--and I greatly prefer them with some age--but this was pretty good. the last bw I drank was an old foghorn, and this was MUCH better, at least to my taste. so I'm rating on style, not preference, but I'll remember Victory next year when I want to stock the cellar--I have one more bomber in there right now that I'll save, and might buy another while it's available

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Old Horizontal from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
4.06 out of 5 based on 1,888 ratings.
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