Monday, March 21, 2011

Victory Old Horizontal Barleywine

Beer! goes horizontal today with Victory's winter seasonal barleywine:

Brewery: Victory Brewing Company
Location: Downingtown, PA
Style: Barleywine
Brewery Website
Rating: A

Today's tasting is Victory's Old Horizontal Barleywine. The Old Horizontal is ruby-amber in color with a hint of gold. The head is slow-rising and climbs up to a massive volume. The head is a ruddy tan in color. The nose is very fragrant of fruit, with notes of berries, citrus, and apricot. There is a wininess to nose that is characteristic of a barley wine as well.

Upon tasting, there is a sweet fruitiness up front that quickly gets taken over by syrupy malt. A bitter kick is here from the hops, which takes on a bit of an herbal character. The Old Horizontal is well-hopped, but not over-hopped. Flavors of maple, pretzels and cherries are also notable. The Old Horizontal is heavy with a slightly syrupy body and leaves a bit of a warming sensation. The finish has piny hop resin over malt syrup.

Victory has really hit the mark with this year's showing of the Old Horizontal. It is very drinkable and enjoyable right now. I especially like the fruit notes both on the nose and the palate. What I am most excited about, however, is the promise this beer shows for aging. I'm kicking myself for not grabbing a few extra to tuck away for aging, so I'm hoping to grab some before they're all gone in my area. The big fruitiness and hops paired with the syrupy malt is generally a recipe for great aging. I'm really looking forward to revisiting the Old Horizontal in a year or two.

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