Kasteelfreak (341) - Fallbrook, California, USA - AUG 9, 2003
4.7 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: DEC 28, 2003 I'm drinking this along with Anchor Old Foghorn. This one is more apricot and citrusy, while the Anchor has mor caramel and apples. Victory is clearer with more of a hoppy fish. Aroma is incredible. My favorite barley wine so far, but I still haven't tried the Alesmith that's in my frig.
90403: Just bought three more bottles. This beer is a classic. I think it represents the best of its style. Numbskull is second. Rererate: This might be the best beer ever. OK, I'm a bit buzzed. I just found a nice stash of the '02 version at a local liquor store, and I can't stop drinking it. I prefer this style so much more than the English bready style. I just don't like eating a slice of bread with my beer. The Old Horizontal is crisp for a barley wine. This is something special. I'm getting a little chocolate and a lot of apritcot out of this. I can smell this stuff all day. The aroma is tremendous.
drinkbeer (283) - Redondo Beach, California, USA - JUL 29, 2003
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: DEC 4, 2003 This is so good. Slightly hazy chestnut color with some reddish tones. Nice hops, sugary malt up front, dry finish, 11% alcohol is VERY well hidden...almost too well hidden, haha. Taste some apple, cider notes in the background. Awesome smooth and full caramely palate.
DougShoemaker (3147) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - JUL 28, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Hoppy, caramel, malt aromas, with some butterscotch and brown sugar scent. Reddish/copper, large billowy tan head, lots of carbonation, some lace. Caramel, butterscotch flavour, plums, and very hoppy taste as well. Complex, well balanced, warming, bitter and dry. Terrific!
cquiroga (371) - Tujunga, California, USA - JUL 27, 2003
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: APR 21, 2006 RERATE:
4/20/06. Poured out of 12 oz. bottle, purchased at Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, CA, 7/25/03. 2002 Vintage. Rated blind. Hazy, dull clay orange-meets-dark brown color. Fairly slight head, creamy pale tan with a touch of orange and quick, somewhat beady lacing that falls mostly in large sheets. Aroma is slightly fruity with zesty caramel-drizzled berries, crisp creme brulee crust, brown raisins/dates and brown sugar. Fairly gentle overall, but sweetly inviting for every sip. Flavor is surprisingly mellow caramel with a scratchy toastiness, soft raisin and dusty, brown, biscuity nougat. Bitterness throughout which is wonderfully integrated with the caramelization-- very gentle. Full body with a velvety carbonation that fluffs and soothes your tongue against the apparent alcohol prick. Finishes with toasty, soft caramel dough, surprisingly dry, concealing a tinge of crystalline bitterness that feels like an expertly controlled twiggy flavor. Sticky on the lips in a slick film. The finish seems more complex, with more pronounced flavors *and* more variety, than the initial swirl. There are *tiny* notes of oxidation (hints of metal in the nose and "sogginess" to the flavor), but I donít mind it much at all in a barleywine. Especially one as terrific as this. Eminently drinkable. I love barleywine. This is a great one. (9/3/8/5/18 - 4.3)
Poured out of bottle, purchased at Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, CA, 7/25/03. Pours to a rich amber color with moderate head, dissipates but good carbonation and decent lacing. Delicious smell of fruity sweetness, barley, and even a little cinnamon. Tangy bite on the first taste, nice full mouthfeel with good zesty fizziness and a little bite of bitter hops and spice on the end. Flavor does not have much sweetness-- only enough there to fill out the mouthfeel and make it go down easy. . . and it works. Surprisingly smooth and very, very tasty. This is a very delicious barleywine. (9/4/8/15/16 - 4.2)
Final rating reflects some kind of average between the two ratings.
omnivore (270) - San Francisco, California, USA - JUL 26, 2003
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 16/20
Poured a ruddy gold with a sweet an hoppy aroma. Flavored bitter and buttery with a bitter leave. Not bad. Not bad at all.
EdPaulsen (117) - Rochester, New York, USA - JUL 25, 2003
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JUL 27, 2003 delicious. the first really convincing use of cascade (or cascade type) hops blending with others for a great complexity. alcohol notes of course but less than might be expected and fruitiness and vanilla(?). really easy to drink with the dangerous ABV. best barlywine i've tasted and a great one to start out on.
Kinz (3709) - Glen Allen, Virginia, USA - JUL 22, 2003
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Nice medium brown with red highlights, rapidly diminishing head, which is OK for this style. You can smell the hops a foot away, nice and spicy. Upon sticking your nose into the glass, a mild cooked brocolli aroma emerges. The palate is good, not cloying. Very well done balance of malt and hops. This to me is the trick to making a good Barley Wine. I'm not a huge fan of the style, but this is a beer worthy of respect.
BeerLimey (2154) - California, USA - JUL 16, 2003
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Powerful aroma, aromatic oily hops combined with plum and caramel malts. Lots of hops on the palate spicy, peppery and tingling at first, citric grapefruit bitterness in the finish. Cookie dough malts, toffee, caramel and raisin and plum fruitiness provide some nice backbone and exceprional balance. Port-like in the aftertaste. Pretty easy drinking.
matta (1140) - Tampa, Florida, USA - JUL 15, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JUL 29, 2003 This beer was acquired in a trade with Dberger624, The King of Philadelphia. ** Old Horizontal, named appropriately, high abv + delicious barley wine = Old Horizontal.
I am amazed by this beers rich creamy texture, I thought it would be thinner, but I was incorrect. I did not chill this beer much, maybe 65 degrees, perfect, the aroma is sweet, fruity, malty, I smell figs. Yes really, ripe figs, like the ones you eat around Christmas, except this is July, all right, Christmas in July!! The palate is silky sweet, and oily. In the flavor, hopps are present, malt is prominent, honey, molasses, toffee, figs, I like Christmas figs in July. The more I drink the more I enjoy this beer, my lips are sticky, I need to eat dinner, Iím getting a buzz. This Barley Wine is Highly Recommended!!
DrinkingbuddyD (129) - Warsaw, New York, USA - JUL 14, 2003
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Excellent. Has a beautiful appearance, an appetizing aroma, and a delicious flavor. Everything you would expect from a solid brewery like victory.