Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Victory Old Horizontal 2009

I had Victory Old Horizontal relatively recently at the brewpub and wasn't terribly impressed with it.  I found a ton of astringent alcohol with heavy hopping that I found mildly unpleasant.  However, I figured I'd give it a second chance and ended up with a case from November of 2009 based on Victory's best by dates.  With a little trepidation, I poured the bottle but man was I pleasantly surprised.  Either the aging cleaned it up or it's just better from the bottle, but regardless it turned into a super tasty barleywine.
The aroma was very clean with a lot of fruit notes.  My first thought on my first sip was how smooth it was.  Tasted fruity with a hint of alcohol and hops but no burn and not bitter at all.  As I drank more I got a tiny bit of vanilla in the finish.  It felt really well balanced and really drinkable compared to last time.  I'm betting it's the age that caused the huge step in quality but who knows.  I can't wait to open the other two bottles I have.

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