Anchor Old Foghorn - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Old FoghornAnchor Old Foghorn

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very good

1,761 Ratings

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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)
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Ratings: 1,761 | Reviews: 1,008 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of benclimbs
3.05/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had at the toronado barleywine festival...not very impressed with this one, the worst of the ones we tried. I love anchor as an awesome brewery, but this was overly sweet, not enough character and the nose was borderline offensive. Bitter but no hop character.

Photo of heath1agnew
2.85/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

appearance- had a darker brown appearance with a shade of purple. a one finger head with a little bit of lacing.

smell- smelled extremely sweet with alcohol fumes.

taste- it was really a bit to sweet to me, and had a rough bitter finish with alcohol at the end.

mouthfeel- i would say the mouthfeel was fairly heavy with a bit of a rough feel.

drinkability- it was a bit hard to finish this beer due to the sweetness and harsh alcohol finish.

i have discovered this is probably not my favorite style.

Photo of scottoale
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at San Diego Brewing Co. Poured into a chalice a dark ruby-copper with great clarity and just less than a 1/2" of beige/tan foamy head. Good carbonation and fairly viscous in body.

Nice sweet smelling malty brew with notes of fig, prune, molasses and some alcohol. The flavor just the same with malty sweetness and warming alcohol...seems a bit bigger than 8.8% ABV in the nose and in the taste. Good fruity sweetness malt complexity and just enough hop to balance the brew nicely. Definetely English style BW, though listed as American. Well it's brewed in America, none the less.

Full bodied with dialed carbonation and a pleasant smooth mouthfeel, this is a beauty of a sipper and true to the style. Definetely recommend this fine ale. A very nice change of pace from the fresh, hoppy to the hilt SN Bigfoot of the other style BW.

Photo of gonzo46and2
3.38/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep mahogany/purple/brown with nice clarity. A large head formed and mostly receded. There was minimal lacing.

Aroma is stong with notes of brown sugar, molasses, fruity esters, and light herbal hops.

Taste seemed very sweet at first with a nice bitterness following. There was also a spicy saltiness to the palate. The alchohol was prominent.

Mouthfeel was very full and viscous.

Drinkability is interesting. It's a sipper for sure but it's complex enough for me to pick it up again.

Photo of CHSLBrew
3.23/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into an imperial pint glass.

A-This beer is a clear, dark red-copper color. Frothy tan head on top, looks nice off the pour and sustains through the whole beer.

S-Initially quite fruity, then a hoppiness comes forward, though does not overwhelm the rest of the aroma. There seems to be a little boozey aroma mixed in the fruits, with an almost sweet smell, too.

T-Big hop flavor mixed with a bright flavor of ripening fruits. Bitterness is balancing the semi-sweet malts, both of which fall into line. Rough alcohol flavors arise near the end.

M-Warming in my belly, more so than I would have expected from this beer's ABV. Carbonation is perhaps a bit too much at a moderate level. Full, slick-bodied beer.

D-OK. I am not really impressed by this beer. Despite its lower ABV, it was one of the harsher barlywines I've tasted, as far as a rough alcohol flavor. A pretty average beer.

Photo of natasharai
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured with a 1cm bubbly tan head that dissipated quickly. The beer is orangish-brown in color... very pretty, very small amount of lacing... almost none.

Smell: Sour fruity smell like cherries, malty, and a little hop smell but not much. The esters are very apparent in the smell.

Taste: Very strong sweet barley taste upfront, fruity esters like cherry and tiny raspberry. Towards the end there is a slight bitterness present. Very small alcohol after taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium/low carbonation, tingle on the tongue though, which is probably from the alcohol. With a medium-light bodiedness.

Overall: Fairly easy to drink, one of the easier ones for the style. Not a very strong alcohol taste for the 8% ABV. The flavors are not as big as I had hoped, but this made it easier to drink. Non-the-less I enjoyed this beer very much!

Photo of beernut
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had on tap at Pour 24 at New York, New York in Vegas. Pours a dark amber color with little to no head, minimal lacing. Aroma is that of raisins, sugar and malt. Taste is pure heaven. caramel, malt, raisin, and a touch of cinnamon. Somewhat thick almost chewy. Alcohol is somewhat strong, thought it was over 10%, shocked to find out it is 8.80%. Still, a really good beer.

Photo of ericlawton007
3.43/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A hazy dark amber color, little to no head but some decent lacing. Raisins and figs are the first things I note from the aroma. The taste begins with apple cider, really sweet for a barleywine. Malt dominates the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is average, little carbonation. Alcohol is hidden pretty well, making this a fairly drinkable barleywine.

Photo of basscram
3.23/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured this barley wine style ale into a goblet style glass. Head is medium then goes away quickly. color is amber/brown. Smell is very strong cooked cinnamon smell almost to the point that its time to pull them cinnamon buns out of the oven!! HAHA!

Its a good smell though. Taste is a very very strong alcohol content. I do taste some caramelish taste with strong alcohol hit. Whats good is the beer taste hits the tip of the tongue and doesn't wash out your mouth. If you spread the beer on both sides of your tongue, same thing. It has a different taste. The hops comes out then.

Also lots of malt goodness from this beer! As it gets warmer, expect a lot more taste! I taste some honey nearer the end of the glass. Lacing as some beers do isn't really too much. Thick, then as you drink it, it thins out to almost nothing. I guess just like the taste. It doesn't drown you out.

My opinion is this is a solid Barley Wine from a solid brewer.
I put the drinkability as "2" cause you can't gulp on it! Its best sipped on until really warm! Yum!

Photo of paco1029384756
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a mahogany color with a short white head.

Scent of sweet sugars, malts, grain, caramel, spices, and tobacco. I really like this, it has a nice strength and well hidden alcohol.

Taste of caramel, cream, spices, cinnamon, and some alcohol. A tasty warming Barleywine, I will definitely drink this again.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a slight bite.

Photo of morebeergood
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle at the Wine Gallery in Kenmore Sq. Poured into a Brooklyn snifter. Brownish red color. Decent sized head that lasted for a bit. Good amount of lacing. Got a subtle doughy smell to it, as it reminded me a bit of freshly baked banana bread. Taste was nice, lots of hops, but there was sweet taste of raisins to play against the bitterness. Slightly lower abv than most barleywines, so I found it quite drinkable. A good beer. I can see why this is considered the grand-daddy of barleywines.

Photo of FrognutUnl
2.63/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Deep copper in color with a very small off-white head. No lacing left behind, though it does cling to the glass a bit with a little swirl.

S - Caramel, alcohol, a subtle sourness, and a small amount of grapefruit.

T - The alcohol tastes a bit subdued compared to the nose. Tastes of caramel malt and citrus are about all I get from this with a mild alcohol taste in the finish. By the end of the glass I found the sweetness to be a bit cloying.

M - Fairly thin compared to others of the style.

D - While lacking in complexity when compare to other beers in the style, I still found this to be fairly enjoyable, but I probably won't purchase this again.

Photo of karlf
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hard for me to truly rate this beer because I don't have much experience with barleywines. But from the stuff i've read about the style this one seemed to be pretty decent. It definitely had a strong alcohol taste that lingered on the tongue for a while. I would said that overall I enjoyed it but felt that much of the flavor seemed to be overtaken by alcohol.

Photo of jdklks
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- pours an amber/hazelnut murky brown with a head somewhere between white and caramel colored.

S- smells of malts, slightly fruity (more exotic fruit though... maybe mango), bubble-gum sweetness i have only ever gotten before from god-awful honey beers.

T- takes awhile for the flavor to develop on the palate. sweet, sweet, sweet and malty with a slight spice. not as fruity as would be expected from the smell, but definitely some cherry up front. the bubble-gum that was in the smell comes through in the aftertaste and it again reminds me of a honey beer- and i DONT want to be reminded of a honey beer! if you wait a minute or so between drinks the lingering flavor finally reveals the fruit hinted at in the smell, and sure enough its mango.

M- somewhere between medium and full-bodied, but who the hell knows? its pretty damn thick for a barleywine. it isn't crazy smooth, but it does go down, and its easy enough on the palate.

D- maybe i drink too much, but when i got these i started the night with 5 of them (i saved this one for the review) before moving on to a six pack of SNPA, so they are drinkable in the sense that if you want to get through them and are looking to get drunk they will go down, but they have no drinkability if you have other options, because you will be reaching for something else.

Not recommended. a poor example of such a great style of beer.

Photo of JonathanL7890
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a wine glass. Very small head. Dissipated quickly. No lacing apparent.
Color is a deep brown.
Smell: Notes of Caramel, Floral hops.
Taste: a bit spicy, a little sweet. Some graham cracker. Cinnamon, maybe some bubblegum.
Mouthfeel: A little bit dry / astringent for a barleywine.
Drinkability: Fairly drinkable for a barleywine. I could have another.

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

a vigorous pour into a large snifter yielded a fair one finger head that fell quickly leaving a ring of lacing and spots of lace atop a rich caramel amber colored body with vibrant red highlights - almost port like. active bubbles keep a bit of action at the top.

aroma is fairly subdued, even when warmed up a bit. caramel malts, syrupy sweetness with some fruity esters. Grape jelly and apple intermingle with the pine and citrus hop notes.

overall a pretty pleasant barleywine on the tongue. a definite malt backbone is accentuated by some spicy yet sweet notes. A definite green fruitiness keeps the overpowering potential of the grain at bay, with green apples, under-ripe banana and golden raisins adding their flavors. a touch of pine bark and tobacco creep in at the end. alcohol trys to push through but is masked nicely by the other flavors.

mouthfeel is nice! ample carbonation for a barleywine cuts through the thick syrupy fruit and piny brew and tingles the tongue just enough. Full verging on heavy, but clean and smooth.

All in all, a solid barleywine. Nothing incredibly complex... fairly simple on the whole, but it's done nicely and is easy drinking, especially given the abv. A good intro barleywine, as the flavors are all there, but nothing too ferocious. As far as barleywines go, it's definitely on my list of ones worth opening again.

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

12oz brown bottle

Old Foghorn was dark amber in color with good clarity. It had an off-white head with good retention. The aroma was malty with some dried fruit and a little alcohol. The taste was fruity and malty with a little alcohol coming through in the lingering,semi-sweet finish. It was medium in body with light carbonation and somewhat creamy. Drinkability was good. This is a good barleywine although not as aggressive as some.

Photo of Riccymon
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep, winey red from the 12 oz. bottle with a 3/4" head. Smell was boozy and a little fruity, mostly uninspiring even as it warmed. However, the smell gave way to very pleasant flavors. About the first third of the glass was full of apple and a bit of citrus. As I sipped, raisin, grape, and yeast came out in the remainder of the glass, with nice chocolate and caramel notes in the finish. The beer was just a bit hot, so I was aware of the 8.80% ABV, but mouthfeel was fairly smooth, except for a slightly dry finish I could have done without. On the whole, I found it a tasty, nicely complex brew, and I wouldn't have minded having another, in spite of the ABV.

Photo of mattster
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes, originally tasted 20-Sept-08 Opened 12 Ounce bottle, poured into Snifter glass.

Upon pour, large 2" head develops, dies down to ¼" that retains well. Brew is a burnt amber that is mostly opaque.

Smell is of dark malts with slight fruit smells. Follows along with smell; fruit is light but pronounced. Nice bubbles for this style; I was shocked to find the 9.4 ABV because this brew doesn't show it. Really pleasant finish with no bad after taste...

Definitely let this beast warm before drinking, as the flavor really comes forward as it warms and opens.

Photo of nd5282
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A nice bitter malty beverage. There is a sweet finish apparent at the tail end of this barley wine style ale. I had this at a bar in San Francisco. Great for a pick me up in the cold weather. The bar itself was relatively lacking when it came to service and having things on the menu in stock. However, food definitely took a back seat to the beer selection.

Photo of haz77
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a clear chestnut brown with a thin tan cap which subsides to a foamy ring. ABV is 9.4% according to the bottle.

S - Leafy hops, caramel, peach, fig, dates, light lemon scent. Very pleasant and well integrated aroma.

T - The initial flavour is a slow-building caramel, which gives way to some dark fruit in the middle. Ripe banana is the most prominent flavour towards the finish. Aftertaste is tobacco cut through with a nice bitter edge. No sign of the alcohol.

M - Quite a syrupy texture, with medium, cleansing carbonation. Dry finish refreshed the palate.

D - A very moorish sipper. Lack of alcohol punch in the flavour helps this and mean it will creep up on you.

Photo of CityBoy1986
3.48/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a deep pinkish-red with a tall beige head. The head is gone rather quickly, and it leaves a small layer of lacing.

The nose is sweet with floral hops, cherries and a hint of the brew's highish alcoholic content. The taste is piney and has less sweetness than the nose would imply. The aftertaste reminds one just how much alcohol is in that sip.

The mouthfeel is heavy, but there is not too much carbonation. Drinkability is good considering the ABV, but I think two or three or these would be enough for me at a time.

This is my first barleywine, and I am impressed with the style. I will be trying more of this style and this brew when I can.

Photo of savagewhisky
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

dark golden color upon pouring
the thick head takes a minute or two to dissipate
nose is a little alcoholy with a toasted bread undertorn
malty taste with the alcohol clearly present but pleasantly masked (if not entirely successfully masked) by toasty barley flavor.
Mouthfeel is nice with mostly malt and low carbonation ,
The minimal hops makes their presence known as the brew passes by the back of the palate.
easily drinkable, but not terrible complex in body.
A fine barleywine style ale...but definitely not the best.

Photo of paulthebeerguru
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Anchor Old Foghorn (bottle)
A: pours a rubyesque mahogany color with a light caramel colored head. Great head retention and a nice amount of sticky lacing.

S: huge malt aroma, tons of caramel and a hint of cherries. Some toffee notes in there. Some mild hops aromas.

T: extremely well balanced barley wine. Wow. Some nice fruit note, cherries, figs, raisins, and plums. Hint of spices along with some mild hop notes.

M: smooth and very mellow for the ABV. Very clean, with a light muddiness.

D: exceptionally drinkable even with the ABV being so high. Great flavors and outstanding body.

Photo of GilGarp
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours from that distinctive Anchor bottle into a globe glass. It has a beautful red amber color with great clarity and just enough head to look good. It wanes quickly but leaves a little sticky lace on the glass.

Aroma is suitably sweet and hoppy with some fruit esters. Apple, pear, and citrus notes are all there for the taking.

Flavor is intense, both in sweetness and bitterness. Tons of malty goodness balances with huge hoppy character. It's well done in the sense that both sides are big but neither dominate. Lots of fruit in the flavor too.

Mouthfeel is good, balanced, and clean. Very full bodied but carbonation is just right.

Drinkability is good but it instantly starts to warm after just a couple sips. Definately a slow sipper of a beer.

I'm just starting to get into barleywine and this is a satisfying one. The more hops the better!

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