Anchor Old Foghorn - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Old FoghornAnchor Old Foghorn

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,031 Reviews
THE BROS
84
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,031
Hads: 1,858
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 7.63%
Wants: 73
Gots: 145 | FT: 2
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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,031 | Hads: 1,858
Photo of Sammy
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
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. (283 characters)

Photo of t0rin0
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
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. (1,281 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
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. (805 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
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. (364 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev -2%
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. (937 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
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. (384 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.26/5  rDev +8.4%
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! (553 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
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. (1,072 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
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. (670 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev +1.8%
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. (480 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +1.8%
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. (370 characters)

Photo of largadeer
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Murky brown/copper color, not entirely unlike the color of the bottle. The head poured thick but faded pretty quickly, leaving a foamy ring around the glass.

S: The strong malty aroma dominates this one, with some traces of maple.

T: The first thing that stands out is the sweet malty entry and the bitter, hoppy finish. Really nice balance on this one.

M: Syrupy and thick with little carbonation, though it doesn't sit quite as heavily on the toung as some barleywines.

D: Pretty drinkable for a barleywine, thanks to the (comparatively) low ABV and the smooth mouthfeel. (580 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
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. (1,751 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, a distant straggler from last summer's tour of better grocery stores in the mountain parks of Big Sky Country. Now, a fitting tipple before heading out for an opulent NYE dinner.

This beer pours a clear, dark red brick amber colour, with two fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and somewhat creamy beige head, which leaves a solid low horizon paint job of lace around the glass as things start to get busy.

It smells strongly of caramel/toffee malt, besotted plump raisins, earthy yeast, musty prune and fig, and herbal, well-perfumed hops. The taste is a moderately sweet caramel malt, bready toffee, mildly sour dark fruit - cherry being the most prevalent, with a lesser amount of underripe plum, bruised apple, and more exotic date - some bitter pine and citrus hop notes, and generally soft wood grain alcohol.

The carbonation is more or less AWOL, beyond a timid, low-fi frothiness, the body a heady medium, yet not quite full weight, and pleasantly filling with its airy creaminess. It finishes on an alcohol-tinted toffee candy bender.

A generally agreeable old-new-world barleywine, the hops betraying its west coast origins, despite the English style aspirations. Not particularly complex, and drinkable only until that inevitable barrier is crossed - I have to assume, as I only have the single serving. (1,331 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
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. (1,240 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an amber hue with a bubbly, off-white, one-finger head. It left small traces of lace.

S - It smelled of malt and had subtle notes of spice.

T - It tasted very spicy and had a good biscuity-malt flavor.

M - It was soft and smooth. A slightly warm alcohol presence. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good barley wine. It is not overpowering at all. (372 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
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? (297 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
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. (875 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Old Foghorn pours a deep red caramel hue accompanied by whispy, foamy crest that--er, its gone already. No matter!

Aroma: I smell a great deal of alcohol in the nose on this one. Also, there's sweet, honeyish malts and a pleasant perfumy hop scent. Some raisins and prunes to be found in the bouquet, but you gotta really get a good snoutful to find them.

Taste: There's a real tasty maltiness to the brew, and the hops lend a much appreciated zingy citric presence. The alcohol is also a key player, but doesn't really bully around the other flavors as it does in the smell. Finishes dry and warming.

Mouthfeel: Compared to other beers within this style, Old Foghorn comes up a tad bit on the thin side, but that only lends to the drinkability of this barleywine.

Drinkability: I vote: YES. Its lighter mouthfeel really helps the drinkability of Old Foghorn. I could easily go through a few of these in a session (and have). I would also say that Old Foghorn is an excellent beginning into the barleywine style. An Introductory Barleywine, and one that I always like to keep a few around. (1,113 characters)

Photo of nickfl
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours with a small head of white foam on a dark brown body with little light showing through.

S - Dark sugar, mustardy hops, and solventy pine.

T - sweet, dark malt up front, with note of dark caramel and molasses in the middle. Finishes with spicy hops, caramel, and clove.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - An interesting aroma, but the flavor is kind of flat. Drinkable, but lacking when compared to more modern examples of the style. (483 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2000. Standard bottle. I remember the days when I'd order this on tap at a bar and the bartender would serve it in a 16 or 20 oz. glass. Oh, what days they were! Or were they?
Anyway, Old Foghorn is an extremely unique barleywine - unlike any other! The first whiff includes a good dose of what appears to be Northern Brewer hops (although Jackson lists them as Cascade), followed by a light caramel malt character. This beer has been filtered and pours crystal clear with a dark copper cast and ruby highlights. There's also a ring of cream colored head which lasts throughout. Limited lace, however. The flavor is centered around the hops - not surprising since it's dry hopped for 9-18 months. The malt flavor is basic and supports the hop flavor and bitterness well. The body is lighter than some "syrupy" barleywines which gives it a little more drinkability; although hops tend to help give the impression of a thinner body as well. There's a light citrusy, almost pine-like, dryness and some gentle fruitiness. The finish is, again, based on the hops - also not surprising since it's packing around 65 BU's. A very rewarding beer. (1,138 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.54/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a reddish amber with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of hops, citrus, spice, sweet malt, dark fruit (berries & raisin), caramel. Maybe I should list what I DON’T smell instead. The list may be shorter.

T: The taste is very sweet. Caramel & fruity malt hit you right away. The hops character comes out a bit more as the beer warms, but it’s not as prevalent as it is in most ABW’s. I'm normally a hop-head but for this beer the toned-down hops works very well.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium-to-full body, medium carbonation, finishes just a little bit sticky.

D: Very tasty, but a little bit filling, however I thought the alcohol was almost completely hidden. I could go with this for a while, but if I did, I’d have to go easy on the food, because this beer just won’t let you drink it slow. I had a hard time putting the glass down just to write this review. (1,017 characters)

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.4/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Beer pours a nice mahogany color, decent head to it.. moderate lacing. Odd aroma to it... definitely get a huge whiff of chocolate (more than most chocolate stouts I've tried!) and some raisin/plum smells. First impression on the taste is the hotness of the alcohol.. wow this is like a mixed drink. Not saying I don't like it but this is like DFH 120 min. territory. A little on the thin bodied side, which is surprising. Lots of flavors going on.. mostly getting that chocolate though, which I just never expected to be getting from a barley wine, tastes a little out of balance to me too... just too much going on. Interesting to try, and it will definitely leave you pretty buzzed. I was expecting better to be honest though, I've had a lot better barley wines but this one gets points for being different I guess (this is in no way a hop bomb like SN.. reminds me more of Brooklyns Monster Ale). (900 characters)

Photo of mactrail
2.96/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Maybe this was a classic years ago, but it seems undrinkable without Sir Thomas More warming it up with a hot poker. Strong, peculiar smell. Musty, camphor, burnt butter. Nice copper color with a long-lasting low foam. Some bubbles and plenty of carbonation in the mouth.

There is a funny oxidized taste, like cheap sweet vermouth. The odd fruitiness is raisins and something else. Now I remember-- dried jujube fruit. This would put me off Barleywines if I thought this was a new trend. I can only think of a Chinese medicinal wine I regret tasting.

Tastes so alcoholic you'd think it was stronger. The bottle seems OK, this must be the way they like it. Maybe the monk who copied this recipe onto vellum made a mistake somewhere. From the 12 oz bottle purchased at Bottleworks in San Diego. (794 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You know it's funny. Back when I was a wee lass in this world o' beer, barleywine was one of my least favorite styles (as was lambic! Shocking I know.) Now I love them. And lambics too of course.

Pours dark brown with a thin tan head. Nose is leafy earthy. Not much to it though really. Flavor is a bit too bright, IMO. It's still nice though. Robust, earthy, slight citrus. Not a lot of complexity here it seems. Perhaps it needs some age on it? Feel is smooth on liquid and low on carbonation, which is expected. Overall a nice drinker. Like I said though, no real heap of complexity.

Oh yeah. Can we start putting vintage dates on barleywines please? For the love of Pete. (677 characters)

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Anchor Old Foghorn from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,031 ratings.