muzzlehatch (4420) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - FEB 22, 2003
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
2002, bottled. Great robust deep reddish-orange, very thin creamy ring of foam lasts throughout. Nose of brandy and figs is to my olfactory sense somewhat disappointingly weak. Flavor of tobacco, caramel, grapefruit is powerfully tangy and full of alcohol and fire; definitely on the "young", hoppy side of barleywines. Really comes into its own at the end, when a lovely smooth vanilla character manifests and the sharpness slowly fades away. A mite overrated in my book, but still very good; I look forward to the bottles I have cellared in a year or two.
Ida7999 (105) - Milford, Massachusetts, USA - FEB 22, 2003
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
- clear, red/amber color, short white head, aroma is very hoppy, but laced with alcohol and a cherry/prune fruitiness, very clean and almost citrusy; flavor has a strong alcohol presence, but is also well hopped, fruity and tart, smooth, the taste of strong alcohol and hop flavor is definitely different, a sipping beer, nice rich texture
SpaceMonkey (182) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 19, 2003
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
A nutty almond aroma with a hint of goat cheese, a frothy tan head that thinly sheets the surface, and a deep dark clear copper color make for dangerously tempting beer. I get pecans and honey in the mouth, so sweet. Hops are big, but can do nothing to catch up to the toasty sweetness in this. Drinks like ginger ale and packs a wallop of a punch; or may be it tastes like punch and packs a sinister ale. I think I'm falling.
JorisPPattyn (8645) - Ursel, BELGIUM - FEB 19, 2003
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Colour: deep red-brown; yellow-brownish head, thick, creamy, regular.
Nose: intense aromas of fruit/gingercake, some exotic fruit as melon or papaya, also hints of port wine.
Taste: hops first and after, but in between tantalising glimpses of frangipane or marzipan-covered fruitcake. Great balance (palate) as, being so hop bitter, it never really shows, unless by paying special attention to this.
Mouthfeel: even cooled down, this beer is rich and feeding, with a marvellous warming alcohol-effect.
Aftertaste: all the above fades out, ever so slowly, making one long for the next sip.
This is truly a superb beer! Great in aromas as in balance, one wishes for a 750ml version - to end truly horizontal.
redlem (1306) - Ohio, USA - FEB 15, 2003
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Amber in color with a medium head. By the smell you can tell this was brewed by Victory it has that orange/hops aroma. Taste reminds me of their Hopdevil as for the hops taste. Hides the 11% ABV very well.
EddieG (169) - Palos Heights, Illinois, USA - FEB 15, 2003
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Fantastic Offering from Victory. I have yet to be dissappointed. This beers is full of flavor and aroma. Plums and caramel, vanilla and pecan. This would rock if reduced and served with vanilla ice cream. More balanced than Old Crusty with only a moderate hop presence. Nicely done. The monkey is next!!!
chronictonic (473) - Oreland, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 12, 2003
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Awesome barleywine. Full aromas of malt, fruits and alcohol. Warming. Excellent balance between the huge malt body, prolific hops and ever present alcohol. One of the best commercial examples of a barleywine.
Nuffield (3899) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - FEB 11, 2003
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
I'm beginning to think that Victory beers are like distillations, concentrations and partial reconstitutions of styles. They take a beer concept ("barleywine" or "IPA") and reduce it to basic components, and then, like a can of frozen concentrated orange juice, they only add two of the three cans of water that the label calls for when reconstituting it. So you end up getting extra-strength flavor. The Old Horizontal is the same effect--it is a nice rendition of the barleywine, classic barleywine flavors, through and through. Not extraordinarily sticky, and a decent enough palate (keeps enough carbonation despite hints that it might fail on this dimension). I didn't get much head, but this is 11% afterall. It is unabashedly barleywine, a good dose of alcohol in the flavor, solid hop presence, a bit of bitterness, but good balance. Good beer.
BrianO (138) - Ambler, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 11, 2003
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: NOV 18, 2003 Nice clear reddish tint with malty aroma. Sweet flavor with a mild hop balance. Nice mouthfeel with a presence of fruity esters. Good dry finish. I felt nice and cozy after finishing this one.
ARMed (622) - Garnet Valley, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 9, 2003
2.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Golden colored ale with a high degree of clarity for a barley wine. Frothy head that quickly disspates. Pretty good lacing, but not overly viscous. Very complex with a ton of esters poping out of the lightly carbonated base. Alcohol is very noticeable. Not hidden enough for me. Extremely powerful flavor with a nice warming sensation that helps subdue the the alcohol. Difficult to drink more than 6 oz. Not really my cup of tea though.