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Anchor Old Foghorn | Anchor Brewing Company

very good
1,050 Reviews
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Anchor Old FoghornAnchor Old Foghorn

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001

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Reviews: 1,050 | Ratings: 1,938
Photo of Beginner2
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed in Roger Protz' " 300 Beers To Try Before You Die!"
Listed in the "1001 Beers To Taste Before You Die", my review and possible re-rating comes after I Have this again.

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Photo of Shanex
4.34/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A pretty rare beer in Europe so I guess I was just lucky to put my hand on this one, pretty tasty and a good barley wine. . Worth a try especially with the warming weather.

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Photo of TheBrosy
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. Let warm to near room temps (58 F) before drinking.

Appearance: Copper and opaque. Pours with a small tan head that dissipates a bit quickly.

Smell: Alcohol. Alcohol. And for good measure, a bit more alcohol. Some earthy easter can be noticed in the fog of alcohol.

Taste: Very smooth. Nice maturity to this. The alcohol, while be very strong in the aroma, is beautifully balanced with caramel & chocolate malt taste. Some hop flavor can be detected as well.

Mouthful: Medium-low body. Low carbonation. A bit disappointing.

Overall: This is a nice English barleywine. With better carbonation this beer could go from quite good to excellent.

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Photo of classixIII
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a slightly iridescent dark brown to deep ruby color, very little tan head that disappeared quickly. Awesome aroma, got apple, and darker fruits - raisin, plum maybe fig with some malt. Feel is slightly viscous but not overly heavy. Taste follows through with the darker fruits and alcohol is just right - 8.2% on this label. I will defiinitly enjoy some more of these.

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Photo of JaimeLondon
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Anchor's english barleywine is not surprising as I thought. Good, though.
Body is opaque, of a dark reddish-brown color and foam is persistant and beige, it can be quite big too.
Smell is rich in yeast and fruity notes; some liquorice and a malty character that reminds me of whisky, since it's also alcoholic.
Taste is also nice, alcohol is somewhat hidden, which is good. Notes of grapes, cherry, malts and oak; it's also slightly herbaceous.
Feel is interesting.. It warms you up; and sweetness balances the beer. Bitterness should be higher, though.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in a snifter in the bath.

It has a beautiful golden-mango glow to start, with 1 finger of steady head, sticking around for quite some time. As it settles in the head becomes moss and the body turns to a crumpled raisin color. Impressive display. 70% opaque.

Smell is gigantic. This is a huge beer. Waves of alcohol-soaked citrus - orange, lime, lemon rind; heavy raisin. With agitation, a sublime freshly cut pineapple note just takes over everything. Wow.

Flavor starts off with a stinging snake bite of alcohol burn, but tapers off quickly to a total tropical assault : dried mangoes, papaya, guava, pineapple; fading into a dry hopped utopia with dark malts and bright fruits.

The feel is heavy, thick without being sappy, and provides ample carbonation to keep the boat afloat. Finish is dry, dry, dry.

Old Foghorn isn't a beer you just drink; it's a beer you sip and philosophize over. This is one deep, humongous, cavernous beer.

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Photo of Motleydrunk56
4.24/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a stone glass.Smell is pairs plums apples.Taste is apple`s & Pairs.I like this.It has a really good tasted to it plus the fact that it`s got a pretty good kick to.ABV9.4.I would buy this again.Give it a try.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled March 2013, drank Leap Day 2016.

Appearance: pours a deep burnt orange with big red to garnet hues. a little less than a finger of a tannish head that fades pretty quickly and ends up being a ring around the glass with a decent sized lacing. almost opaque due to the darkness of the color but I am just able to see through it. some nice brightness pops through when held to the light.

Smell: nice mixture of malts and some dark fruits. light oxidation of hops is present but at a nice level to add a nice complexity. some notes of vanilla and a light alcohol holds on.

Taste: opens up with dark fruits, stewed plum and raisin with possibly some fig. malty depth develops, with toffee and a slight nuttiness, toasted grains, and a very light chocolate. notes of age show next with notes of sherry and amaretto, and some light hop degradation. light vanilla and some alcohol near the backend.

Mouthfeel: nice full body, slightly on the chewy side. bitterness is still hanging on a bit and balances any sweetness nicely. definitely some alcohol warmth.

Overall: 3 years has done this beer very well. I don't remember loving it fresh but it has certainly crossed over to that realm now. very nice barleywine taste with all the fruits and malts. oxidation has worked nicely in this beer adding some nice notes, even the old stale hops is at a nice level to add to the taste rather than subtract.

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Photo of mlockman
3.84/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very solid balance between malt-sweetness and hop bitterness, this beer has a sort-of tangy quality (almost remniscent of an old ale) that begs the palate for more after the initial sip. Nothing overly complex, but very enjoyable.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.81/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Very milky deep beige body, velvet off-white head, great lace. Smell is sickly sweet with malt syrup and considerable raw wood notes. Flavor is similar, sickly butterscotch sweetness with a laughable amount of pine bitterness as a futile counterpunch. Faint fruit qualities. Sticky, syrupy, full bodied, thick mouthfeel.
Good goodness is this a sweet beer. Not fruit-saccharine, more like maple syrup. The faint bit of wood and hops kept it from being all sugar, but it should still be accompanied by a shot of insulin.

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Photo of GreatStoutman
3.41/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle states 8.8% abv. Which is less than what previous batches contained, but its still pretty boozy in aroma and taste. Light copper color and slightly cloudy, even after warming a little. This barleywine tasted a lot like most of the others I've had, and I'm still looking for an exceptional example of this style.

Overall its malty and pretty drinkable, but nothing I'm getting too excited about.

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Photo of Steve1993
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Amber with a red hue, quickly dispersing tan head.
Smell is malty, with strong toffee and caramel notes.
Boozy on the aftertaste, smooth mouthfeel, but you know you're having a drink. (10%), typical of a barleywine style ale.
Malty on the palate.
Overall a thoroughly enjoyable barleywine style ale that showcases the style well. Would drink again, definitely.
Think you need to be in the mood however.

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Photo of richj1970
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle with a date code of 5JW.

A: Cloudy mahogany brown with 2-3 finger toasted marshmellow head. Very long retention and leaving plenty of lacing.

S: Brown sugar, toffee, caramel, and honey mixed with a healthy dose of earthy hops. Light fruity esters in the back.

T: Rich toffee and caramel mixed with a nice hop punch. Dark fruits with plum, raisins, and dates.

M: Full bodied but not thick with a slightly creamy texture. Average carbonation. Finish is a touch bitter and a little sweet.

O: Very nice barleywine. I'm not sure why it took me so long to try this out, but it will not be my last purchase.

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Photo of puck1225
4.24/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Short lived creamy head with nice lacing. Strong red wine smell, a bit sweet and fruity. The taste is clean and slightly boozy but pleasant. A nice beer at the end of the day.

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Photo of vinicole
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep auburn in colour with a thin beige head.
Rich caramel and fruit aroma.
Tastes of alcoholic prunes, toffee and mild treacle.
Quite viscous and with a lightly carbonated zing.
A good example of the style.

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Photo of aobrehm
4.16/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

L- Thick moussy beige head that is very well-retained. Reddish-brown color with slight haze.

S- Rich caramel malt aroma. Plenty of fruity esters and resinous American hops in the background.

T- Substantial and complex flavor with rich, layered malt in the forefront (caramel, chocolate, plum). Balanced with resinous hop flavor with substantial bitterness. Some fruity esters. Alcohol is apparent but restrained.

F- Big, chewy full body with residual sweetness.

O- A solid American barleywine. Great rich beer to consume in small doses.

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Photo of HopsAreDaMan
4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz, dated '3M7' which translates to March, 27th 2013 (to date, 2.5 years age ); snifter. Pours a dirty brown with an off-white head that lingers; when swirled there is very nice lacing in the glass. Very nice fruity/malty aroma in the glass (fairly typical barleywine aroma), with just a hint of booze. Lots of goodness on the pallet: light tasting, with a nice balance of fruits and malts. medium body, and nice carbonation. There is also a pleasant tingling sensation in my mouth after swallowing.

I was hoping for a lot out of this--one of the classic American barleywines--and it delivered. The bottle states 8.8% ABV, and I think that helps to make this a more easy going beer. Ideally, I would like a bit more pizzazz in the flavor, yet, what's there is very well balanced; this is a nice variation to what I have encountered in the other barleywines, and I look forward to seeing how this continues to age.

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Photo of MartyMaltose
4.24/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2015 vintage, 12 oz bottle. My original entry into the limited but heavenly world of barleywines, about 20 years ago. I had been a little disappointed with the past couple of years but this year's seems back as good as ever. Sweet, malty, syrupy, raisins, esters, dates, blah blah. Now let's get useful: compared to Bigfoot? Much more syrupy, less hoppy. Old Stock Ale? 25% denser, less bite. When you buy it, do you get a sissy 4-pack? No. You get a full 6-pack. Should you buy it? If you "get" barleywines, yes. You'll like it, maybe love it. If you've never had a dark English, German dopplebock, or a sweet, dark Belgian, don't waste your money. It's best left on the shelf for me to buy later...I would appreciate being able to buy this year-round.

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Photo of thepenguin
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed 2/15/12

L: Pours a pretty dark reddish-brown with a tannish head.

S: Very malt-forward and sweet. Smells like rum and caramelized candi sugar. Slight booze and some hoppiness to back it up.

T: Malty for sure, but not too sweet with a good deal of hop flavor to offset the sweetness. A little bit of alcohol. The dominant flavor is that of dark malts with some nuttiness and breadyness too.

F: Full-bodied with a thick, chewy mouthfeel—appropriate for the style. Moderate-low carbonation. Some lingering alcoholic warmth, but nowhere near that of stronger examples of the style.

O: A pretty darn good barleywine on the lower end of the strength spectrum. Very nice mouthfeel, British-style maltiness, and its relatively low strength makes it fairly drinkable.

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Photo of infinitebruner
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

August 30, 2015

12 oz bottle, snifter

A – Pours medium amber with high clarity. Only a thin, light tan head forms and disappears just as quickly. Looks somewhat thin for a barleywine.

S – Brown sugar, caramel, toffee, some golden raisins, and very mild vanilla. Hops are low, but earthy-herbal.

T – Toffee and vanilla, with a slight nuttiness. Brown sugar and raisins round it out. Again, earthy-herbal hops, with moderate to moderate-high bitterness.

M – Moderate carbonation and a medium-full body. Sweet, but enough hop bitterness to balance, leaning actually more towards the bitterness. Not particularly dry.

O – This is one of the least bold versions, in any aspect, of a barleywine I’ve had, definitely in terms of flavor and mouthfeel. I enjoyed it, but I’m looking for a very strong experience across the board when I’m drinking in this style. Good, but not notable.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

look: murky copper. Tan head that mostly recedes after the pour.
smell: caramel and malt, some fruitiness.
taste: richer than the nose. It's got the caramel and malt and fruity notes but richer. There's a spicy thing there too that's unusual, mostly perceptible in the finish.
overall: not a top tier imo but that's cool. Nice brew.

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Photo of A_Pint_A_Day
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Poured into a little snifter. This beer was a deep mahogany in color and thick. Lightly carbonated.

Smell – Extremely malty (go figure) with notes of toffee. An intense fruitiness could also be found as this beer has smells of prunes, plums, and dates.

Taste – Very sweet maltiness that tasted like caramel and brown sugar. A super fruity finish, fig-like or pear-like.

Mouthfeel – Thick and syrupy as expected with only a slight amount of carbonation. Smooth and velvety

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Photo of dmgeng
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I've seen this before but never though much of it until I started getting more into barleywines this year.

A - Very nice amber, dark orange color. Slight haze with a ton of fluffy, off-white head and great lacing.

S - Sweet smelling with a rich malt character accompanied by the big fruitiness. The fruits are those of a typical English barleywine with prune, blueberry, and figs. Under the richness there is some herbal hops along with some light alcohol and caramel in the background.

T - The taste is similar but with more of everything hitting the palate. The sweetness is full but after the sweet malt the caramel and dry fruits really drive it home. On the finish there is some of the flatter, English hops to help balance the sweet malt and raisin character. There is a raw hop bitterness that attempts to compliment the sweetness but is still quite sweet.

M - High to medium mouth-feel with medium carbonation. It is definitely a barleywine with that sweet, richness that is always there with the style but this one is not as balanced as some that I've had in the past.

Overall, a delicious beer but I would definitely classify this under the English Barley Wine with the sweet malt, rich fruit, and herbal hops instead of the American hops and more balance that you find in an American BW. I did really enjoy the rich sweetness but I know that it could be a turn-off for many and could be more complex overall. If you like fruit cake then this is the beer for you!

Glass- Tulip

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Photo of sammorito
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: finger and a half head that dissipated quickly that was a beige off white color. it was a dark amber color. and almost no lace

Smell: malty and some fruitiness present.

Taste: def taste the malts of the beer also some fruits plums. it has a nice sweetness to it not over powering and balanced well with the alcohol. the flavors kind of dance around on my tounge.

mouth feel is pretty full-bodied with little to no carbonation.

overall- its a good beer well balanced wouldnt drink more than one in a sitting although it is quite enjoyable

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Photo of ordybill
4.36/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass
Aroma- Has a very nice fruit smell
Appearance- Pours a murky brown with a tan colored head
Taste- Fruit is dominant, real good flavor
Palate- A heavy bodied beer with moderate carbonation, has a strong alcohol finish
Overall- A real good barleywine, I would drink this again

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Anchor Old Foghorn from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,050 ratings.