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Beer Review: Victory Old Horizontal

Feeling a bit weary after a long day at work, I was secretly hoping that Victory Brewing’s Old Horizontal would act as intended and put me horizontal for a nice winter’s nap.  And Old Horizontal did not disappoint.

Victory Brewing lies about an hour outside of Philadelphia, and I have to admit I have always been a fan of their beers.  From Golden Monkey to Prima Pils to Hop Devil, Victory Brewing has been on my list for quite some time now as a favorite brewery.  Based on brewery reputation alone I decided to give Old Horizontal a taste.

Old Horizontal is a barleywine style ale, which is a very interesting style.  Perhaps a misnomer, this is definitely a beer and not a wine.  As their name suggests, barleywines are full of barley malts.  Another hallmark of barleywines is that they are often high in alcohol percentage.  This particular Old Horizontal weighs in at a massive and noticeable 11% ABV.

Here is a picture of my Old Horizontal.

Victory Brewing: Old Horizontal
ABV: 11%
Style: American Barleywine
Rank: #38 in style at

Old Horizontal poured a medium copper color with a half-finger head that left only a small amount of lacing.  Old Horizontal smelled a bit sweet and not hoppy at all.  The aroma of a strong alcohol was definitely noticeable.  The taste of Old Horizontal was a light hops mixed with a faint toffee, caramel flavor.  An interesting bitter sweet aftertaste left an almost sugary / honey flavor on the lips.  And of course the alcohol was very noticeable during and after tasting.  The mouthfeel was a medium robust thickness.  The aftereffects of Old Horizontal are a definitely warming feeling in the lips, mouth, and brain and an impairment of judgment.

An interesting note about this beer is that you can actually age Old Horizontal for many years before drinking, like a wine.  Notice the “enjoy by” date on my beer is actually 06 Dec 2019.  However, my Old Horizontal didn’t make it past 21 Jan 2015.  I’m curious to know what would happen to this beer in another four and a half years, so I’m motivated to go buy another one and store the beer.

In summary, Old Horizontal is a very strong adult alcoholic beverage that is light on hops, medium on sweetness, and heavy on alcohol.  You might want to make sure you are sitting down when you enjoy Old Horizontal.  This beer would be best paired with a bed.  Goodnight now!

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