Jan 30, 2009

Victory Brewing Old Horizontal

Beer Label: Victory Brewing Old Horizontal

I’m pretty sure I’ve had this Victory beer in the past, but I have no history of it in any of my notebooks, so I took last nights enjoyment as an opportunity to get caught up. Victory Brewing crafts some tasty beverages and I’ve enjoyed their products many times, but have yet to let one sit long enough to mature in the basement.

Well, that trend continues as I got greedy and opened up one of my two bottles of Old Horizontal that I purchased late last year. Hopefully, the other bottle lasts a bit longer.


Poured into a brandy snifter (I’m fancy like that), Old Horizontal is a rich, reddish orange in color with a decent, fluffy head that faded very quickly to nothing. Has a syrupy appearance when swirled.


This is one of the more aromatic barleywines I’ve smelled in a while. It’s not overly hoppy, nor does it have a pronounced alcohol presence — at 11% ABV you’d think there would be. The nose is quite balanced with a fruity hop character, candy sweetness and subtle spices.


My initial reaction was surprise at how lively the mouthfeel was, especially considering the lack of head and the syrupy appearance. This one tingles and warms with the best of them. The dark, candied fruits and subtle hop presence do a wonderful job of masking the higher ABV, leaving you the opportunity to savor the beer. There’s a slight bitterness in the finish that is a nice compliment to the up front sweetness.


I’m not sure that I’m going to be able to resist that last bottle of Old Horizontal in the basement. This is one tasty barleywine that’s easy to drink. It’s smoothness is belying, as the alcohol is definitely there and if rushed could leave you horizontal by the time you’ve emptied the glass.

Rating: 4/5

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