1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Anchor Old Foghorn - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Old FoghornAnchor Old Foghorn

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,805 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,805
Reviews: 1,023
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11%
Wants: 73
Gots: 121 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001

ABV varies slightly over the years.
View: Beers (25) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 1,805 | Reviews: 1,023
Photo of Sammy
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks for supplying my wish, Lubiere. She looks like a barleywine, and smells like one (with extra alcohol punch). But it tastes like toothpaste. It is dry and on the thinner side, one of the weaker barleywines I have had. Fortunately the bottle was only 7 oz. so I could finish it.

Photo of t0rin0
3.67/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've had a number of different vintages of this over the past couple months. I am not overly impressed with this beer when its young but I've had the opportunity to sample some 8 and 10 year old versions that were very nice.

The beer is always hazy and brownish red no matter how old it is. The color is pretty cool as a lot more colors show up in the light but its kinda murky. The head is slightly orange colored and its creamy.

The smell is real sweet and fruity with a little hops showing up. Pretty enjoyable. Interestingly enough, the smell doesn't change much other than the hop smell disappears and the malt gets a little richer. Considering the age I would expect it to smell way different.

The flavor is decent all around when new but its nothing to write home about when compared to other barleywines. Its quite sweet and the bitterness is mellow. The description that comes to mind is "tart". There are definitely some crystal malts in there somewhere and possibly british malts as well. Not much hop flavor to note. When its aged the malt flavor changes drastically. Its rich and sweet and a nice sipping drink. If you have the patience to age one of these for 10 years, do it.

The body is heavy and consistent. Surprisingly smooth considering what it looks like.

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled sometime in 2010.

Pours a dark semi-clear honey brown color with a 2 inch light brown head that fades to a thin cap. Nice distinct rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smells of brown sugar, caramel, toffee, apple peels, and malt. Taste is very, very sweet. Lots of brown sugar, toffee, caramel sweetness with some toasted malt and citrus zest hops flavors. Low hop bitterness on the palate after each sip. A pretty low level of carbonation with a sticky and thick mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good English barleywine. Just as the description on BA states, there is definitely less emphasis on the hops compared to American barleywines. A good balance between sweetness, malt, and hops. I have 2 more of these in my cellar and I am looking forward to how this beer develops over time.

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of zestar
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of GRG1313
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a moderate copper color with a bit if a head and small amouts of lacing. Nose is quite nice with some good fruitiness as well as some sweet malt. The taste is a bit sweet and malty, remindig me a bit of cake. Quite tasty and I imagine this will age really well. Medium body without much of any boozy presence. Drinks quite nicely and I am looking forward to aging a bit of this.

Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy brownish amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high beige head that gradually died down and left a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass along with some lacing on the surface.
S: There are light to moderately strong sweet aromas of dark fruits and toffee in the nose. Hints of alcohol also become apparent as the beer warms up.
T: The beer has lots of malty sweetness, but isn’t that cloying because it is balanced off by a light amount of bitterness from the underlying hops. There are flavors of brandy and toffee along with hints of cherries.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and a little syrupy on the palate and with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is some dryness and warming from the alcohol in the finish.
O: The beer is relatively easy to drink for the style because it is well balanced and the alcohol is mostly hidden from the taste.

Photo of kylehay2004
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: minimal head on a amber burgandy clear body.

S: dark fruits, lots of wood especially oak and cedar, caramel malts, a touch boozy.

T: very sweet with candied dark fruits, rich caramel, toffee, and a lot of brown sugar. not very boozy at all

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: Sweet with the booze well hidden. very easy to drink for the style.

Photo of olradetbalder
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of brentk56
4.26/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear chestnut color with some garnet highlights; I was able to create a thick tan head that retained well and left a nice pattern of lace

Smell: Caramel and butterscotch with a vague hint of dried cherry and raisins

Taste: Starts out very malty and alcoholic; caramel and rum-soaked cherry/raisin flavors dominate and are met by a vaguely hoppy build-up in the finish

Mouthfeel: Heavy bodied and syrupy; low levels of carbonation

Drinkability: A very nice sipper, particularly on a chilly night; too bad it was 95 degrees today!

Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very drinkable Barleywine that doesn't offend. More of an English style than American. Odd prune juice-like or rust color with mild carbonation and dainty head that traded thickness for lacing and legging. Aromas of over-rippened fruits and thick malt syrup. Sweet alcoholic notes float closely behind the molassas and brown sugar flavors. Smooth, less than thick, body sifts through the mouth effortlessly and silky. Finish reveals mild sweetness, fruitiness, and alcohol. Slight detections of cardboard and metal (ut oh) --Signs of oxidation. I may have gotten a bad bottle or an over-matured release. I need to check the bottle for date. Otherwise a very good beer.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Hogtownharry: Poured a deep copper color ale with a medium off-white foamy head with good lacing and good retention. Aroma of dry fruits and sweet malt is quite enjoyable. Taste is also dominated by sweet malt, honey, dry figs and prunes and a subtle bitter finish. Body is above average but could have been a bit more full and alcohol is well hidden.

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage bottle from the Farmhouse in Emmaus PA. dating back to sometime before 2005 because it was a 7.5oz bottle. Served at cellar room temperature. Very strong smell of booze and strong malts. The taste was really good still with some grainy malts and some hops still in there, the flavors changed into something more boozey now. A definite sipper, Had all the qualities of a good barley wine. Very complex and very warming. Felt like a was getting a fever after I had this one.

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

Old Foghorn is gorgeous in the glass. Deep, dark reddish orange that has enough brown to be called caramel-like. The creamy, golden ecru cap is small to start and doesn't have enough wherewithal to last all that long or to leave much lace. The nose consists of toffeeish malt, weak citric hops and alcohol, but is strangely underpowered.

Thankfully, the flavor more than makes up for the aroma's reticence and is reminiscent of sweet, sticky, dark rum-soaked bread pudding with toffee sauce. In fact, it makes my mouth water for that very dessert. There's a lovely dovetailing of dark caramel malt and brown sugar-crusted Cascade hops that is the best of both flavor worlds. Alcohol is masked much better on the palate than in the nose.

The mouthfeel is full and is as silky as liquid velvet. This beer goes down way too easily and I can see that this little nip bottle won't last long at all. The long, lingering finish is sublime. A warm bloom has begun in my center and is rapidly spreading to the tips of my fingers and the ends of my toes. Now I wish that I had poured this nectar into a brandy snifter.

Old Foghorn is my first foray into the world of barleywines (an unfortunate experience with Dogfish Head Immort Ale notwithstanding). I must admit that I was somewhat intimidated by the style and questioned my ability to adequately appreciate it. I'm glad I decided to start my journey with the American original because it is stunningly obvious that this is superb beer.

One of the things that I love about beer of this style is that it usually improve with age. I have quite a few quality barleywines in my cellar and now can't wait to sample each and every one over the long, cold, Midwestern winter that is fast approaching.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Can you believe that I have never written a review for Old Foghorn? I mean c’mon I have had this soo many times I cannot even remember. So anyway, I cracked open one of last years last night and decided to go for the review. This one poured a very nice and thick looking ruby tinted brown with a small say about a finger and a half of white lace and foam on the top. Quick recession led to a decent but not impressive side glass presentation and virtually no carbonation was immediately visible. Smell was very sweet with candy like sugar and a rich malty smell, some light hops in the foreground, but they have been mostly mellowed out. A thick syrup like feel, with not a lot of carbonation was what was waiting for me. There was a nice sweet flavor to this, and a touch of alcohol was most definitely present. A good piney hop finish was there drawing out the flavors of fresh grass and a light bread like malt. Overall this was a standard, if not a little sweet American Barley Wine. Not the biggest I have ever had, but still decent. This was a more drinkable Barley Wine, in akin to the Bigfoot. You could enjoy the sweeter nectar like tones of this. Overall very nice and an old staple. Always good in a pinch, and never really bad.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

definitely not my favorite barleywine, even of the English blood. this one is a little too sweet and fruity, more like a jammy desert than a beer, but it is still expertly crafted, I just personally don't care a whole lot for the flavor, especially compared to other anchor brews. a little haze to the deep amber bodied liquid. an inch of tan head dies in a minute or so, and a still, intimidating glass remains. aromatics of dried apples, fresh apples, and a certain nutty vibe, underneath English ale yeast. molasses notes on the flavor, with a whole truckload of grain, thick an sticky sweet. the apples are there too on the first half, and as I wait and wait for the dry hopping the label tells me to expect, it never comes. sweetness is never cut by hops, and the aftertaste is real odd as a result. the alcohol is hidden well enough, but this is a dense brew that demands persistence and patience. I like the carbonation, and I like the body, I just don't really care for the taste. well made though, and sturdy for anchor. fall would be its most appropriate season.

Photo of womencantsail
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a dark amber color with a certain opaqueness to it and a few yeast floccs floating about in the glass. The head is no more than a thin ring of tan foam.

S: A rich aroma of toffee, brown sugar, and caramel is noticeable right away. A hint of alcohol is there too, but a sort of brandy like character is there as well. A bit of raisin and sweet apples provide some fruitiness.

T: The flavor is similarly smooth. Lots of malt character to this beer in the form of toffee, molasses, and caramel. The alcohol is not quite as noticeable here except for its warming qualities. More raisins coming through as well as a slight cherry flavor.

M: The body is medium with a subtle but smooth carbonation.

D: This bottle was quite easy to put away. It's a shame this beer is so expensive because I really enjoyed it, but I don't see myself purchasing it all that often.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Anchor Old Foghorn from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,805 ratings.