NeroFiddled (105) - Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 18, 2002
3.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
The Old Horizontal (1 year old) opens with a sharp hiss. It pours a clear, deep ruby/orange/copper. The aroma is equally malt and hop, alongside some sweet fruity esters. The flavor starts with a candyish malt, followed quickly by a brash hoppiness. There is a noticeable alcohol in the finish, followed by an agressive hop dryness. The hop flavor lingers. Although the body doesn’t indicate a ’syrupy’ quality, this beer is a bit cloying - very much a brandy snifter barleywine. More ’over the top’ than most barleywines, but that’s what Victory’s all about, isn’t it?
SETANTA (582) - Bangor, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 18, 2002
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
a few too many of these and I was horizontal from the waste up, but that was my fault... the beer has few other than being too rich to enjoy more than one
Jayb0 (1122) - Cherry Hill, New Jersey, USA - JUL 17, 2002
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
great barleywine from Victory. This brewery nails so many different styles it is amazing
MoeStCool99 (6) - Delaware, USA - JUL 14, 2002 does not count
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Another winner from Victory! A great barleywine.
ClarkVV (4841) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - JUL 9, 2002
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: AUG 10, 2007 2001 bottle. Consumed fresh. wow! what a beer. tastes like blueberry pie with alcohol in it. Great amounts of barley make this a rich meaty beer. What a great color, the color beats foghorn and bigfoot i think. Deep red/ almost magenta. taste stays with you, and is neither too cloying nor overpowering. yummmmmm. 9/4/10/5/19
2003 bottle. Fresh. Oh ya, been way too long. Amazingly rich flavor of sweet barley, rich fruity alcohol esters. Great english toffee flavor with tons of complexity. Lovely grain-like alcohol/cognac mouthfeel and flavor. I absolutely love this, but then English-style barleywines are my favorite. 9/4/9/5/17
Jan. 2004 bottle 14 months old. Slowly working on trying the different vintages. I look forward to trying this beer, as it has long been one of my favorites. However, the 2004 didn’t really do it for me. Still a good pour, bottle conditioned, nice head and all. The flavor was way too forceful, it seems like they have amped up the hops bitterness in recent years, or perhaps this bottle is still far too young. Whatever the case, the flavors seemed blunt, and overbearing, lots of hops, sticky, strong caramel malt. Aroma of strong alcohol, yellow candied fruits, sweet toffee. Rather uninspiring, but hopefully just too young. Looking forward to the 2002 bottle I have in my cellar. 8/5/8/4/15
Dec 03 2004 bottle Consumed 8/3/2005. Incredible masking of alcohol, which is puzzling, as it seems rather filtered. NO sediment whatsoever left in the bottle, and only a slight haze to the body. Though it still looks a lovely auburn-magenta. Aroma, however, had soily, resinous hops, dry earthy malt, brown bread and light toffee. The aroma was not very intense after only 1 year. Flavor was a bit of a let down as well. It’s even and drinkable, with a good integration of malt and hops, but the malt gets rather boring, the finish is way to quick. Too much filtration on this beer now. Caramel and toffee, with some yellow fruits, bitter hops and low carbonation. It was good, though I think it’s gone down hill lately. 7/4/8/4/15
Dec 2005 bottle consumed on 6/22/07
18 months old and not too bad, I gotta say. Pretty much the definition of the American barleywine and still with quite a bit of bitter, citric, leafy hoppiness. The nose seems rather crudely yeasty, with dirty notes and a dull, bland, vitamin-like note. But the malt is bready and caramel-like, with minimal roasty/toastiness. Fruity hops and caramel dominate the beer. Light alcohol, not too bad for its size.
A real hard, woody, bready feel to the flavor, with low carbonation, light chocolate and mostly tons of hard caramel. Bitter hoppiness, green and leafy tending mostly citric. Still that liquerish finish, not as smooth as it was, with too loose a carbonation and quite decadent. Respectable, and one of the first of its kind, but what’s with that dirty yeast nose?? I dont even know how I’ve calculated my overall score at this point.....
Aubrey (3508) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - JUL 1, 2002
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
ReRate 7/02: Even greater than I remembered. Loved the feeling I got when my upper lip broke the plane of the creamy head, as my nose inhaled a fresh waft of fruity-malt aroma. Then, a rich and warming liquid super-flavor trickled across my tongue, heating my throat and warming my soul. Well-made, complex, and unbelievably tasty. By far, one of the best Barleywines in the world, IMHO. Fruity, full-bodied, malty-sweet, and decently hopped. This beer is wild; it is so thick & syrupy that it doesn’t splash when you pour from great heights (just watch out, the head continues to build long after you stop pouring!) Very good stuff.
Indra (2711) - Overland Park, Kansas, USA - JUN 30, 2002
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: MAR 29, 2004 The first thing I noticed about this beer was the intriguing carbonation; there are small, effervescent bubbles which sparkle in the light, extremely fine bubbles which make up the thin head, and some larger bubbles that almost appear and behave like bubbles in a jar of honey. Lace forms a delicate stipple pattern. Color is a hazy, dark red-orange. Aroma is very intoxicating itself -- alcohol, strong piney, earthy hops, a slight cherry note, huge, sweet malt, very complex. Flavor is also quite complex, there is a wide variety of sweet fruits, an explosion of hop flavors, and the ever-present warmth of alcohol. This echoes previous sentiments, but for all these things it is still quite drinkable. Mouthfeel reflects some liveliness, overall feel is decidedly smooth and warming, though. Flavor is outstanding. Aftertaste is more complex than most beers entire flavor profiles. Some sugariness here, not overly done and seeming to just add nicely to the overall balance. This is quite a beer. Very satisfying indeed.
Gusler (2653) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JUN 29, 2002
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Re-Rate 06/29/02: Deep ruby red, the head is beige, the lace in sheets to hug the glass. The nose is deep malt, earthy, hits of alcohol, hops and caramel, a great sniffing beer. Start is sweet, the top is medium to full, the finish hop laden ,dry, lightly acidic and the alcohol warms the tummy, a ’World Class’ barley Wine. A gift from Jayme
MrRomero (1976) - Nolanville, USA - JUN 28, 2002
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Five swallows, five different tastes. I couldn’t figure it out. First taste was like a nice ale. Then the sweetness kicked in. A little too sweet for me. Barleywines are not my favorite style so this won’t be a regular in my fridge. Addendum: Oh, I see it says it’s a winter ale. That’s what’s wrong. It’s summer.
Schroppfy (2360) - Łódż, Warsaw, Poland; Michigan, Ohio, USA - JUN 25, 2002
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
The aroma is a masterpiece of smoke, wood, high alcohol and deep malt. A touch of the trademark victory hops as well. Tremendous mouthfeel; not as ’ heavy’ as some other barleywines, IMO. In fact, very quaffable for this kind of animal. Fruity flavors is right...but nothing small there, either. Overripened plum? Prune? Sugary Date? Yum.