Anchor Old Foghorn - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Old FoghornAnchor Old Foghorn

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BA SCORE
88
very good

1,761 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,761
Reviews: 1,008
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11.25%
Wants: 69
Gots: 98 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
ABV varies slightly over the years.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001)
View: Beers (23) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,761 | Reviews: 1,008 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of Todd
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ the Sunset Grill in Allston, MA.

A murky deep dark brown with ruby edges ... little to no head.

Esters and a big alcohol nose. Grape, herbal and a bit spicy with some backing soft malts in the aroma.

Smooth, mature and extremely mellow -- medium bodied, and a bit thin for a Barleywine. Big malt flavours, grape, raisin and plenty of complex esters. Nice dose of spicy alcohol and mingling hops.Thin caramel and chocolate -- a bit buttery. Light oxidation in the finish leaves a cardboard/wet paper flavour on the palate.

The 2001 on tap seems to be holding up somewhat. I definately enjoyed this beer, but I recommend letting it warm to near room temperature in order to release more flavours.

Photo of Jason
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Tiny 7oz brown bottle with a coded freshness date on the back label that denotes it was brewed on December 27, 2001.

Appearance: Two fingered frothy beige lace over a tarnished and hazed amber hue.

Smell: Smells of ginger snap cookies, ripe plums and a touch of grain as well as a hint of alcohol and faint buttery diacetyl on the nose.

Taste: Lovingly crisp and smooth on the tongue with a moderate carbonation and thick body. Mellow hops throw an ample bitterness into the mix, maltiness wants to be dominant but is not strong enough to hold the crown. Soft citric flavours and a bit of hop flavour show the only liveliness. The best of the malt is a caramel and shortbread like flavour that fades too quickly. Touch of buttery diacetyl is present, maltiness seems bit thin from middle to end. Vague fruitiness confuses the taste buds. Finishes pretty clean and quite dry.

Notes: What happened to Old Foghorn? Tastes refined, over-filtered and drawn back. This is by far a good beer but does not seem to be what it was years past. Worth a try though nothing spectacular. As for cellaring this brew? Not sure if this vintage would bring any good.

1996 Vintage:

Presentation: 7 oz. bottle with a coded freshness date (6LR) which the brewery informed us that it was a 96'. Noted on the label ... "Our barleywine style ale, the first of its kind in the United States ..."

Appearance: Deep red ... very bright with a tight and really creamy light tan lace.

Smell: Mild rum like aromas with malt, light molasses and a raisin like sweetness. Very fruity with a heaping handful of alcoholic esters.

Taste: Nice fat chewy malt upfront with a light crispness in this full bodied brew. Good amount of hop bitterness and sweet/spicy alcohol that gives a sharp bite though the strong malt backbone holds its own very well. Hints of molasses and chocolate mingle with the other flavours. Mellow hop flavour and a husk / bread malt flavour finish this brew off though there is the slightest ghost like wet paper flavour which actualy adds to this brews greatness.

Notes: A sample with age that is for sure, a little loss taken with the hop character both in aroma and flavour. Yet the aging has seemed to put a bit more depth back in. Sip this with after dinner or even with a cigar. A sure thing either way as far as barleywines go. If you are into aged barleywine and don't mind spending the $2.99 then this is for you. Just shy of 9.0% abv.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours tawny brown color with a few light highlights with a thin lace,aroma is deeply fruity and a little alcoholic.Taste is rich and warming alot of fruity estures with a hint of molassis with an underlying herbal,grassy flavor in the finish.A nice complex brew but whats up with the tiny bottles?

Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – Clear, orangish-brown body that produced a big head that left quickly, which is very typical of the style.

Smell – This one has the sweet, malty, alcoholic aroma of a good barley wine. There’s also some hop bitterness there for balance, but mostly the smell announces a sugary substance.

Taste – Yes, there’s a big sweetness from this one. The malt is present but clearly in the background. The main thrust of this brew is the sweetness, predominantly alcoholic molasses and brown sugar. There are some dark fruits as well; mostly bloody peaches and plums doused in table sugar, but the molasses and brown sugar are the strongest. Lastly, there’s a slight floral hop balance to round this one out.

Mouthfeel – This one is flat and smooth and full-bodied.

Drinkability – This is a great sipping beer. I had this with a charbroiled tenderloin, and it was heaven.

Update – This is one of the first ales that I rated after joining the site in 2003, so I thought it would be fun to re-rate it with a 2004 vintage. I “ditto” the review from over a year ago. It isn’t as hoppy as some American BWs but goes down quite well.

Photo of DanGeo
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of TCHopCraver
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a rich mahogany into a medium wine glass. Looks ruby-brownish when held to light. Its thin, 1-finger head dissipates quickly. A thin, sticky lacing clings to the glass as the beer goes down my gullet.

S: Caramel-toffee with a big, roasty malt aroma. Also some black currant, anise, and definitely some brown sugar and cinnamon hints. A very sweet, almost port-like aroma.

T: Sweet barley malarmey! Rich malt sweetness dominates this brew. A very liqueur- like quality with heavy brown sugar accents are present. Definitely a dessert-style sipper. Fruit flavors include raisin and fig. I would really appreciate a little more hop bitterness to balance out the huge malt presence, but the lack of hop flavor certainly doesn't ruin the taste. Just a little booziness is detectable near the end of a sip. Medium carbonation.

M: I really enjoy the feel of this beer. It is really creamy with a medium-heavy sweetness that coats the entire palate. Sticky-icky (in a good way).

D: The sweetness of it leads me to not give it a great rating... I really enjoyed about the first 2/3 of the brew, but the last 1/3 was just a little too sweet and sticky. One and done for me, thank you, and I'll probably enjoy another in a couple of months or so.

Photo of MadScientist
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of brownbeer
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Deep amber, fluffy off-white head.

S- Classic robust barleywine aroma. Spicy, fruity hops, pine, toffee, doughy, with an alcohol presense.

T- This was a let down for me after the great nose. It kind of fell flat. The hops almost disappeared. Malty caramel, banana, raisin fading to a warm alcohol feel.

M- Medium bodied with light, soft carbonation. Needs more body but it still works for the most part.

D- Well made beer,easy drinking, but I kind of lose my interest after one.

Photo of kaimcm
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bottle, but not just any bottle, one of those little 7 ounce bastards that I love so much which are now gone. little 7 ounce bastard, I salute you and your achievments. poured into a Caracole snifter.

A: deep brownish/burgundy hue. light sploch on the off white head. disipates quickly but no surprise there.

S: cant decide if its more caramel or brown sugar, vanilla, white grapes, a hint of pear, alcohol.

T: light, sweet but not cloying, and complex sugar profile. very clean malt bill to support the sugars. butter, vinous, grape like aromas translate easily into similar flavors. dries somewhat during the finish which is a nice balance and ends somewhat fruity, apples, pears, barely tart.

M: honestly a little too light for the style. and at what used to be a 7ounce serving, Anchor shouldnt have been that concerned with thinning the viscosity to make it more drinkable. I would like to see a heavier more, viscous mouthfeel.

D: a damn tasty brew. im curious to see how the switch to 12 oz bottles goes over. ill pick some up myself and see how i feel after 12 instead of the 7 im used too.

Photo of tbryan5
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of SanFranJake
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of ldennis
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of JacobMutberg
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of joemetric
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of sdsimkins
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Dmann
4.53/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I thought this was a great barleywine. I had this on tap at the San Diego Brewing Co. tonight and it was great! The first thing I noticed was the great smell of spices, plum and a slight scent of alchohol. The taste had a good portion of maltiness with a good balance of hoppiness and a good spice/plum flavor. This was a great beer on tap and much better than out of the bottle.

Photo of BJ1833
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 7 oz bottle

Appearance: Dark amber color with thin white head

Aroma: Smell of roasted malt and slight nut character. Aroma of plums and raisins.

Taste: Sweet taste of roasted malt and dark fruits. Alcohol taste is present, but not overpowering. Slight spiciness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation with a smooth, almost creamy mouthfeel.

Overall: Good barleywine that would go down great on a winter night. Complex flavors blend well into an extremely enjoyable brew. This is a beer that you want to stop analyzing and just sit back and enjoy.

Photo of skybluewater
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely deep cherry color. No head, no lace (although I believe that's normal for this style...). Smell is quite nice, with a bit of raisin and cherry poking through. I really like the taste. There's a little raisin, a little cherry, with a nice maltiness (with a bit of caramel) and some hops. The mouthfeel is pretty full, although it gets a little weaker as the beer warms.

This is only my second barleywine, but I'm really developing a liking for this style (along with old and strong ales). This is a nice little beer (that comes in a cute little bottle) to sip on a bitterly cold winter's eve. (Although 7 ounces isn't enough...)

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Old Foghorn pours from the 12oz bottle into my tulip glass a deep dark reddish brown with a nice creamy khaki head atop. Spotty lacing forms all over the side of the glass as garnet hues shine out when I hold it up to the light. Aroma is rich, sweet caramelly malt, dark fruits, cherries and brown sugar. There's a really nice herbal, green, slightly citric hoppiness throughout. Quite nice.

First sip brings a rich, fruity, caramelly maltiness with hints of cherry, molasses and burnt sugars. This is followed by a nice wave of herbal hoppiness, a touch citrusy, that brings a nice flow of bitterness to the back of the palate. This is a tasty barleywine and I'm glad to see it coming in full 12oz bottles now. Quite refined with a nice malt/hop balance and bold flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with good steady carbonation. A decent bit lighter in body that many other barleywines...but it serves to make it all the more drinkable. I could see sitting down to a few bottles of this with no problem at all. My fiance also enjoyed this with me as she has been getting into barleywines! Definetly a brew that everyone should try at least once.

Photo of bulldogg915
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of chOAKbarrell
3.1/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a murky reddish brown color. Small head. Malty nose. There's a detectable alcohol taste, which I'm not really into. Kind of sweetish too, which I'm also not into. A bit syrupy. Can't say I'm really liked this one. Dont think I'll be getting it again, and certainly not for $12+ a six pack.

Photo of EastBay_Nick
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this beer. Maybe not as aggressive as some American barleywines, but still a good beer. Served in a tulip the beer was a hazy burnt sienna color with a medium tan head. It had a sweet caramel aroma, with some fruit also noticeable. The caramel came through quite well in the taste, as did a little bit of cherry and some late hops. A smooth, enjoyable beer.

Photo of NWer
3.15/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured nice dark amber into a wine snifter. Moderate golden head. Smells nice. The taste is balanced enough to style for an English Barleywine but the maltiness is too milky. The sweetness leaves an unpleasant aftertaste that gets old quickly.
I'm glad I tried it once.

Photo of DaftPatrick
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

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Anchor Old Foghorn from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,761 ratings.