1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Anchor Old Foghorn - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Old FoghornAnchor Old Foghorn

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,647 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,647
Reviews: 997
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11%
Wants: 62
Gots: 78 | 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:
ABV varies slightly over the years.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001)
View: Beers (24) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Anchor Old Foghorn Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,647 | Reviews: 997 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BMan1113VR


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

Special thanks to ilovedarkbeer (of ratebeer) for this one. Indicated 9.4% abv. This brew is upfront and strong in every sense. This is a bright sparkling amber brew with a light brown head that goes away quickly. The aroma is strong of floral hops, alcohol, ginger and raisins (also some bready malts and yeast). The flavor is fruity and malty with a strong alcohol presence. Creamy mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2008 22:29:47 | More by BMan1113VR
Photo of BeardedBoffin

New Mexico

3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark mahogany liquid flowed out of the 12 ounce bottle of Old Foghorn, producing a reasonable amount of creamy foam. The nose is a fruity bouquet with bananas and raisins. The scent of bubble gum is also present. The beer is medium to full bodied on the palate and somewhat dry. Ripe fruit is easy to pull out of the sweet malt flavor, possibly apricot or peach. There is also some slightly acidic bitterness lingering around. A decent beer for a an after dinner quaff.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2008 01:06:06 | More by BeardedBoffin
Photo of jkdrummer


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

A: Pours reddish brown, not too dark.

S: Smells like a Barley Wine, sweet and malty hint of allspice.

T: Malty and very sweet not not like some other BWs. Very smooth and not that bitter at all.

MF: Creamy and syrupy at the sametime.

D: Probably the best of the BWs I've had in awhile. I could drink more then one in a session, not over powering like a lot of BWs can be. Some alcoholness but nothing that assaults your taste buds.

Thank goodness this is now available in 12oz bottles. Recommended and a good example of a complex style. That goes for just about every Anchor Steam beer too!


Serving type: bottle

02-05-2008 23:46:24 | More by jkdrummer
Photo of JDV


3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber brown colored pour at the brewery in S.F. Smell is of mild hops and some sweet malts, while the taste is fairly sweet, malty, and of some alcohol. Not as overpowering and wildly undrinkable as I thought my 1st barley wine would be. The alcohol in the taste is more pronounced as it comes to room temperature. This is definitely not bad, and would be great cold and with a slice of cake, pie, or ice cream.

Serving type: on-tap

02-02-2008 23:29:22 | More by JDV
Photo of homebrewhawk


4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle served in a brandy snifter. Poured a brilliant dark amber with a sparse head that quickly dissipated. Not a lot of carbonation. Huge malt nose with a faint whiff of hops. Deep malty flavor with lots of caramel. Balanced towards the malt, but hop bitterness does appear in the finish. Very drinkable for the ABV.

More of an English style barleywine with the balance tipped to the malty side. Very good to drink while fresh.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2008 14:54:54 | More by homebrewhawk
Photo of KodyBrannon


4.95/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Previously had this beer on-tap at the flying saucer. Saw it at the store and had to try it in the bottle. Poured this into my pint glass, It poured a brownish/amber color, with a thin white head that went away as quickly as it started. It left no lacing on the glass. The first smell of this beer opened up my senses with a mixture of hots and malts. But upon another sniff, I detected a hint of fruit. The taste of this beer is a good even mix of hops and malts, but once agian i detect a faint taste of fruit in the aftertaste. Also, there is a bit of an alcohol flavor that hits you right at the start, but it smooths out as you get towards the middle of your glass.The mouthfeel of this beer is very light and crisp, leaves no coating and goes down smooth. Overall this is a very enjoyable beer, but it is definatly more is a sipping beer, towards the end of the glass, you can feel the 8% abv coming thorugh. I Could enjoy this beer on a nightly basis as a nice desert beer. Recomended to anyone who likes a good barleywine.This is probably the best one I have had yet.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2008 21:07:35 | More by KodyBrannon
Photo of cswhitehorse


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

The Old Foghorn pours a dark red hue with little or no foam head or retention. It had a smattering of lacing.

The aroma was filled with berries, I could make out cherries. Flowers and a caramel smell.

The flavor was a strong malt dominated brew with a uncanny smoothness to it. In the mouth it was velvety and sweet in the finish with a cherry drop on the way out. Overall a very relaxing and enjoyable night time libation.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2008 22:13:01 | More by cswhitehorse
Photo of mnj21655


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

Served on tap in a 13oz. tulip at Sunset Tap & Grill in Allston, MA

Poured a dark reddish-brown, mahogany, in color with a scant amount of foamy head that quickly disappeared. Aroma was pleasant with some molasses and caramel malts with just a bit of hoppyness. Taste was quite good, the first sip was really quite extraordinary. Raisins, brown sugar, molasses, caramel malts, some sweetness, and a solid but not dominant citrus/floral hop flavor. As I continued to drink this I picked up some and more alcohol. This is only 8.8% ABV and that was hidden amazingly well at first but quickly became apparent and a bit too noticeable. Mouthfeel is good, medium-full bodied with residual sweetness, a bit syrupy, and moderate carbonation. Drinkability was pretty good. The only thing that held this beer back was an alcohol presence that exceeded its ABV. By the end of the glass I felt that I was drinking a much stronger barley wine. Despite that this beer was quite good and pretty delicious, I'd recommend it.

Serving type: on-tap

01-25-2008 03:27:38 | More by mnj21655
Photo of KarlHungus


4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a shiny brown color. The head is a half an inch in height, but is firm and does not recede. The aroma is of caramel, toffee, alcohol, molasses, with a hint of green hops. The taste is of like the aroma, but not as pronounced. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a high level of carbonation for the style. Overall, this is a nice barleywine, and I would drink it again.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2008 20:31:46 | More by KarlHungus
Photo of bobsy

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle came home with me from San Francisco.

The pour is a very dark clouded orange, with a minimal, wispy off-white head. A little more head would have been nice, but the depth of the body colour compensates, and helps the drink to look very attractive in the tulip. The aroma smells strongly of raisins that have been soaking in brandy. Its rich, deep, sweet and malty, with great toffee accents that beg for the glass to be raised to the lips. The taste is fruity, with strong element of cherry and fig dancing around a sweet caramel malt punch. Hops put in a brief appearance in the warming finish, but do not feel out of place. The body is full and viscous, matching the style of a sipper well.

This is a good take on an English barleywine, and I appreciate that Anchor have approached the style without feeling the need to go overboard with the alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2008 14:06:20 | More by bobsy
Photo of srroos


3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with 6LZ bottling code, poured into Duvel tulip glass.

A: Pours a cloudy orange-brown with a small short lived head.

S: Very malty and sweet with some hoppiness.

T: Very malty and sweet with some hoppiness like the aroma. (I didn't note much complexity, perhaps it was drank too cold?)

MF: Very well carbonated and light in the mouth, keeping it from being too syrupy.

D: Quite drinkable. Probably wouldn't want to have too much due to the sweetness.

I have lots more of this in my stash, so it should be interesting to see how this ages. Also, the next bottle will probably be tasted quite a bit warmer, hopefully bringing out more complex flavors and aromas.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2008 23:41:02 | More by srroos
Photo of ksbrainard


4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Crystal clear ruby-garnet red-brown color, with hardly any head at all. Looks very distinguished, somehow.

Smell: Slightly musty. Raisiny and/or figgy. There's a touch of alcohol aroma, with some subtle caramel and chocolate notes. It somehow smells clean.

Taste: It is very fruity and estery, and the alcohol is detectable. Hops bitterness is assertive, but not to overcome the big malt backbone. It has a sweet dark cherry flavor, almost like a cough drop, but in a good way. It is robust and tasty, with a clean taste that's a bit more hoppy than some barley wines, but just a bit. It has just the right amount of warmth.

Mouthfeel: It is big, but clean and smooth. There's a bit of water that hits you in the middle, which keeps it light enough to not overwhelm. It is kind of a bit sticky, and a little tingly at times.

Drinkability: A very nice sipper for after dinner with some chocolates or cheese and crackers.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2008 13:23:46 | More by ksbrainard
Photo of neonbrown82


4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is one of the best barleywines I've had. Not over the top syrupy or disgustingly raisiny.

The beer pours to a light plum red color. Poured with almost no head, and subsequently no lacing. Color looks great, but at least a little bit of head would have been nice.

The smell is a little bland as well. Perhaps it just needs to warm up and breath a little bit, but now it has a hint of metallic and not much else. Just a feint bit of hops with an even more subtle sweet caramel maltiness. (edit: as it warmed, the metal dropped out a bit, and more cherry and pipe tobacco aromas seeped out)

The taste is nothing short of exceptional. Roasted caramel malt at first, followed by a great balancing herbal, woody hop. Very complex, yet so subtle and hard to define. Chocolate, cherry, dark dried fruits, pipe tobacco...? Hard to really put my finger on, because it doesn't seem so much to be a blend of flavors as it is just one cohesive experience.

The body is thick without being syrupy with a fairly light carbonation. Bitterness is there, but well balanced by the sweetness of the malt. Alcohol is very well masked. This one is very easy to drink. In fact, it's probably the most drinkable barleywine I've had (except maybe Behemoth from FFF). I would highly suggest trying this. I'm definitely going to pick up more than the single bottle I purchased last time. Cheers to Anchor!

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2008 04:51:25 | More by neonbrown82
Photo of deepsouth


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

i drank this old foghorn out of a tremins glass.

the beer poured a ruby red color with no head and medium carbonation.

the smell was pretty sweet. mostly like raisins and a bit of alcohol.

the taste is ok. it's a bit sweet and doesn't have much bitter to balance it out.

the mouthfeel is again average. a bit thin for this style in my opinion.

hmmm. i really wanted this to be better as it's only my second barleywine style ale and i think it pales in comparison to the flying dog horn dog.

on the up side, i have some more of these i'm going to put up and try again later.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2008 19:19:18 | More by deepsouth
Photo of thartman


3.28/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This was in my cellar for a year, last one!

Good looking pour, nice head some carbonation, mahogany and cherry in color, some carbonation. The head didn't last very long.

Malty-sweet smell, with caramel. I'm tasting cherry, malts, caramel, some hops and alcohol on the finish. This definitely has mellowed and changed after sitting a year in the cellar, very smooth, more pronounced on the malts, not as much hops.

Nice American-style barleywine, from a great brewery.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2008 02:52:25 | More by thartman
Photo of JEdmund


2.25/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Ruby red to tobacco brown; 1/2" head; dissipates quickly! decent level of carbonation

Raisin/candied fruit sweetness; more sugary sweet than hoppy and malty

Taste & Mouth Feel
Sweet! Followed by more sweet. Noticeable alcohol burn; pretty thin body; lightest mouth feel I've ever experienced with a barley wine; pretty pronounced cherry flavor, a bit of chocolate, and not enough hops for my liking (needs more to provide balance); gets way too sweet to be enjoyable

Just not impressed with this one--way too sweet for me, like artificial sweetener. Not enough hops and cookie malts to make this my kind of barley wine; it's also way too thin and lacks back palate flavor. It was a chore to drink, and I bailed a third of the way through, dumping the rest.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2008 18:11:53 | More by JEdmund
Photo of beerking1


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

A rich, amber-red color, with a small but dense tan head that lingers long. Aroma of juicy malt, raisins and faint hops. Flavor is well balanced, malty with a low hop balance. Crystal malts are obvious, with some gentle fruity notes. Comes across more like a British BW than American.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2008 03:07:54 | More by beerking1
Photo of biggmike


3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured an attractive dark ruby/copper color with almost no head, whatsoever. Aroma is of dark fruit. Taste is also of dark fruit and caramel. I can see how this would really improve with aging. Pretty smooth for something of 9%ABV. Would like to put a couple of these back and re-assess in a year or so.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2007 20:07:40 | More by biggmike
Photo of AKBelgianBeast


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

Old foghorn pours a dark red brown, with good head. great lace. The nose is very malty with slight hops. Taste is malty and has very english tones. Not hoppy at all compared to alot of american barleywines. smooth taste with dark malts and dark fruits. light in taste but still very sweet. very smooth, but i do feel it lacks in strength of flavor. alcohol goes down easy but still has a very warming effect. Mouthfeel is quite good but a wee bit thin. Drinkability is very high for a barleywine. A good offering from anchor, perfect carbonation, as opposed to their usual high fizz. Get it, its great and i could see it better in a few years.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2007 05:22:52 | More by AKBelgianBeast
Photo of NitroGen


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

P: 12 oz. Brown Bottel.

A: Pours a dark amber that is very translucent with a small foam head that quickly dissolves to a scant foam ring and no lacing.

S: Raisins, dark brown sugar and almost a liquor taste with slight alcohol fumes that fill the nose.

T: Fruits like figs and raisins with a slight amount of lightly roasted grains and pronounced alcohol fumes that fill the mouth and nose while on the palate.

M: Well balanced flavors from start to finish with a slightly sweet finish for the palate. Most of the ‘taste’ is savoring the finish on the tongue and mouth.

D: Very nice to end an evening as the taste keeps going and going. Great on a cold evening to warm the entire body.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2007 06:46:26 | More by NitroGen
Photo of rxdrewthejew


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

For a year-round beer, this is sure hard to find in LA. Picked up a 6-pack at BevMo West Hollywood.

A: Deep clear reddish-brown. Small head but many tiny bubbles rise from the bottom.

S: Sweet malt, molasses and caramel. Smells aged with mild whiskey or brandy undertones.

T: Plenty of sweetness, syrup, caramel, brown sugar. Mild fruit esters, apricot nectar. Very little hop balance and what little there is still gets tempered by sweetness.

MF: Very very smooth, full, syrupy. Lots of alcohol heat, but the alcohol itself isn't overwhelming.

D: A very drinkable barleywine. Probably has something to do with the alcohol being a bit more subdued than many others. Lots and lots of sweet in this one, but a really nice flavor overall. Flavor is pretty mellow, which is nice. Sometimes this class can be a bit much, but this is very well done.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2007 04:46:02 | More by rxdrewthejew
Photo of akahn


4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich mahogany color—luxurious. Looks like a liquoer. Swirly wisps of bubbles cap this beer in its balloon wine glass. A perfectly balanced American barleywine. Straightforward rich caramel sweetness, classic Cascade bitterness, and an ample alcohol heat. Lasting residual sweetness as the bubbles fade from the tongue. Sort of a tropical syrupy fruitiness, like Hampshire Special Ale. Honestly, this beer gives Bigfoot a run for its money.

This paired quite well with my girlfriend's pumpkin custard pecan dessert.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2007 14:03:42 | More by akahn
Photo of MarkSCCOT

South Carolina

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

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

A. Brownish amber clear beer with light tan head. Little lacing or retention.

S. Nutty caramel and toffee. Liquor like booziness that predominates.

T. True to the smell, but a little hot. The alcohol is strong to the point of being overwhelming.

M. A little light and sweet. Little to no carbonation.

D. Too hot. But, I bought these with an intention to cellar the brew. I cellared 4 of the 6 pack and will re-review in a year.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2007 05:21:03 | More by MarkSCCOT
Photo of illidurit


3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Deep caramel color with substantial light tan head. No lacing, little retention.

Smells of toffee and booziness. Some nuttiness and caramel malt aromas.

Boozy dark fruit, sweet maltiness, peppery notes, a small dose of piney hops for balance. Brown sugar, grape, and bittersweet chocolate all make an appearance.

A bit thin in body, and low in carbonation. Notable alcohol presence. Pleasantly warming and easy to drink, however.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2007 20:36:08 | More by illidurit
Photo of NCSUdo


3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle

A: Deep semi-clear brown under a small off white head. No rentention, no lacing.

S: Nice hoppiness with sweet malt that gives way to some dark fruit character. Dark cherry, some anise and some almond/amaretto character.

T: Slightly sweet malt up front finishing in a moderate amount of hoppiness and roasted bitterness, black pepper, some medicinal quality as well. Some slight alcohol warming as it goes down and alcohol character on the back of the tongue. Overall it's a pretty strong taste, a little off balance, but not too bad as the alcohol character is there to be had, but is never overpowering.

M/D: A little thin on the palate, but maintains a heavy body and a pretty good smoothness. Carbonation is almost nowhere to be found. Drinkability is fine for a sipper. Overall, this is decent American Barleywine, but the taste is a little off balance.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2007 02:15:12 | More by NCSUdo
Anchor Old Foghorn from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,647 ratings.