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Anchor Old Foghorn - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Old FoghornAnchor Old Foghorn

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

1,649 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,649
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)
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Ratings: 1,649 | Reviews: 997 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of williamherbert

New York

3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The appearance is clear mahogany brown with only a slight film of head. Plenty of carbonation, though. Looks less like a beer than a wine ... only brown.

Heavy duty dual smells of a strong ale and a brown ale. Somewhat sweet but with an alcohol kick. Good, flowery hops.

Taste is a major alcohol burst under the sweet brown-sugary malt and the citrusy hops. Has a lot of character. Sweet, stringing liqueur/grenadine flavor. Winter ale sweetness with a welcome alcohol punch as the saving grace.

Feels thick and liqueur-like. Milky but wet and thick. Leaves a major film. Sweet and strong. It's heavy and thick. Sweet, but yet with a ton of alcohol. Nice and strong. Or should I say "strong and nice."

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2007 05:50:48 | More by williamherbert
Photo of grub

Ontario (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

got this bottle from BlackAngus as part of BC2. thanks josh!

12oz bottle with code 7JS, which should be jan 18 2007.

pours crystal clear deep red with a small dense tan head. drops fairly quickly to a ring around the glass and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is great. alcohol. rich caramel sweetness. toffee. huge bready malt. light fruity character - dried cherry and date.

taste is great. light roast. toasty bread and biscuits with dark cherry and date jam. tons of caramel. light sweetness. bit of toffee. alcohol. low bitterness level.

mouthfeel is good. low well integrated carbonation level. medium-large body.

drinkability is great. huge malt that matches up well against the alcohol, almost completely hiding it. there isn't as much hop presence as i'd expect from an american barleywine. more an old ale / english barleywine with an american twist. solid beer though that i definitely enjoyed. thanks!

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2007 03:27:50 | More by grub
Photo of clemsonbrewer

South Carolina

4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Brilliant red liquid that has little head which disappears quickly. Huge nose on this one. Grapes, alcohol, and a flowery smell to it. Very sweet smelling. Sweet taste of malt and grapes. Slight hoppiness and almost some chocolate flavor (I'm not sure if barleywines are supposed to have that as this is my first). Good full mouthfeel with a sweet palate. Enjoyable beer that I plan to have again.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2007 03:18:18 | More by clemsonbrewer
Photo of zeff80


3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2007 00:49:55 | More by zeff80
Photo of SargeC


4.65/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark caramel color with a minimal manila colored head.

Smell: Toffee, butterscotch, piney hops and alcohol.

Taste: Caramel flavors with an underlying alcohol bite. A bit sweet but not over the top. Each time I have this is a different experience, but every time is excellent.

Mouthfeel: Thick, oily quality makes this brew great a great candidate to sip and savor. The flavors continually change in intensity and complexity.

Drinkability: great brew to relax with on a cold, dark night. The overall experience of this beer is comforting.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2007 04:40:55 | More by SargeC
Photo of mdagnew

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

4.28/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

350ml bottle bought from Quaffs, London...

Poured a deep dark chestnut red / brown colour. Creamy tan head poured very tight, thick and foamy then faded slowly to nice thickish covering... very sparse carbonation bubbles drift slowly to the surface... some very thin lines of lacing...

Aroma - Lots of piney, resiny and citrus hops... strong rich caramel malts, roasted nut bitterness, treacle and candy sugar sweet notes, some leathery traces, grassy, quite bready, faint chocolate notes, deep alcohol soaked fruits (dates, prunes, figs and apples), black pepper spiciness...

Taste – Rich and warming alcohol soaked fruits (prunes, raisins, dates and some oranges), strong pine hop bitterness mixed with deep treacle / toffee maltiness, light saltiness, some very faint oakiness, very peppery and spicy, lots of toasted nutty sweetness, some anise notes, light marzipan...

M&D - Rich, oily and smooth.. full bodied... pretty drinkable for an 8.8% beer although it's definitely more of a sipping brew for a cold winters night...

Overall - An excellent American barley wine with a nice balance of hops and malts... i enjoyed this one more than SN Bigfoot... recommended..

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2007 15:46:13 | More by mdagnew
Photo of ArrogantB


4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Considering this is America’s first barleywine it really sets a high standard. Ruby-red color, minimal to no head, and a sweet luscious smell of fruits and candies. Flavors of candy, sour apples which are kinda green (actetlyaldehyde ?), good but green with some hoppy bitterness. This is a sipping beer but it is good. It reminds me of Bigfoot but I prefer Bigfoot. I would like to cellar this beer and see how it changes.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2007 17:09:42 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2007 19:02:58 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of DIM


3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: Ruby to dark copper colored with no haze and a half inch white frothy head. Excellent head retention for a barleywine.

s: Very mild for a barleywine. Some figs and fruit in the malts with a minimal hop odor detected.

t: Very well balanced, clearly in the English style. No one flavor asserts itself. It is warming and delicious. Perfect for a fall evening as the Red Sox complete the sweep.

m: Coats the mouth superbly. Thick and hearty.

d: Not a barleywine I would often reach for first, but I will seek it out again

Thanks to weisguy for adding this as an extra

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2007 12:06:41 | More by DIM
Photo of Trueant1


3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice red color when held up to light. Big thick head with some lacing. This beer looks very nice.

Smells like apple candy. Very sweet. Maybe some white rum. Lots of spice on the nose. This just smells very very good.

Tastes of very sweet malts. Even the apple candy tastes come out.
burnt molassas? Alcohol on the aftertaste.

Moutfeel Sweet and crisp. Some hop bitterness alongside the alocohl on the swallow. Too sweet for my taste. I enjoy the alcohol burn as it goes down.

This is a great beer. This is from an all time great brewery. This is interesting style of beer that I am not familar with. None the less I enjoyed this one.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2007 21:13:06 | More by Trueant1
Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr


3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Finally, barleywine season is upon my home again. Man I missed these guys, but it's hard to drink one on my back porch when it's 85 F+ outside... So it's a bottle is the old snifter, and away we go...

A - Little to no head.... Dark body with an amber tint... eh...

S - Real heavy on the grape nad ester aromas. The alcohol leaves pleasent spice, but not overwhelming or buring at all. Dry-hopping is evident from the get go, but actually blends quite well with the other aromas, all in all a very balenced start.

T - Grape/chocolate dominate the entry, and the finish. Ester like sweet notes hit right before the swallow, where the alcohol warms the whole way down, and leaves spice into the finish. No complaints here.

M - Could use some more body.

D - Although I'm not exactly a year around barleywine guy, it's nice to know that this one is actually avaiable year around.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2007 23:34:42 | More by SammyDavisJrJrJr
Photo of billysj


2.8/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle purchased at Bevmo.

Pours as a thick amber color with no head.

Smells of sweet malt and caramel.

The taste starts out as a chocolate flavor with little hoppiness after taste.

Mouthfeel is syrupy with little carbonation

I would drink this one again but wasn't impressed

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2007 00:25:34 | More by billysj
Photo of stcules


3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brown / dark mahogany. Ruby edges. Quite scarce foam, quickly falling down, but beautiful.
Malt, toasted malt at the smell. Fruit in syrup, cherries, raisins and plums. Berry fruit. And hop lying over all. Woody notes, tending to tannic.
At the taste, malt, caramel, berry fruit, cherries, and a good strong hop, with woody notes.
At the aftertaste some rhubarb notes, alpine heerbs, and a strong hop, balanced by the sweet notes (raisins, plums).
Average to high body.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2007 18:45:35 | More by stcules
Photo of snpub540


3.35/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle that was marked 7AB on the back.

It poured out a scarlet hue with a small white ring of bubbles. The foam barely clung to the glass between drinks before sliding back into the thin ring.

The smell was intoxicating. Picked up the scent of cherries, coffee, grapefruit, malts, and sweet alcohol. The nose on this beer was by far the best part of the experience.

Malts were most present with the taste of coffee and bitter chocolate. Followed by a small amount of hop bitterness and finished with the sweetness and warmth of alcohol. Tatsted a little watered down to me.

Felt a little thin on the palate. All in all it was enjoyable but I have had far better barleywines before. Did not leave me with anything to remember it by, except the smell. Drinkability was good. The alcohol is not overpowering and makes it easy to drink more than 1 bottle.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2007 22:00:42 | More by snpub540
Photo of Halcyondays


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

12 oz. bottle, bought at the Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, CA,

A: Pours a dark maroon colour, with a small, somewhat fizzy white head, but since it's a high alcohol brew, I'll give it a slide.

S: Smells of dark malts, fruit, and alcohol, very pungent.

T: Taste is much of the same, dark malts and fruit, a lot fig, and a pungent alcohol taste, prototypical of an American barley wine, very well done.

M: Smooth and alcoholic, with a lot of phenols, complex and powerful.

D: A good American barley wine, not the best in the world, but a solid production and easy to drink, lower in alcohol than most barley wines, would buy again.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2007 00:31:51 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of soupyman10

District of Columbia

3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I must say I was a little disappointed in this one after having the Steam and Liberty Ale. This one poured a fairly nice looking deep amber color, although the smallish head disappeared in a flash, leaving what appeared to be cranberry juice in my glass. Nose was fairly noticeable caramel and fruit. Taste was likewise, a lot of breadiness, very sweet toffee malt, prunes, and other fruits floating around in there. Feel was almost syrupy, and too lacking in carbonation. I don't know if that was a bad bottle or what, but this definitely left something to be desired. Not bad, but there lots of better barley wines out there.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2007 19:23:14 | More by soupyman10
Photo of Overlord


2.75/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Considering how much I've enjoyed other Anchor products, I have to chalk this up as a disappointment.

Overly sweet, huge malt flavoring, and that's about it. Not a lot of fruit, no real texture to speak of: just sickly sweet alcoholic liquid. I didn't enjoy finishing it.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2007 07:21:49 | More by Overlord
Photo of tastybeer

North Carolina

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

Color is ruby and coppery combining into a warm glowing brown under a tan, small head. Retention is thin and swirly. Carbonation bubbles are easily visible as they rise when held up to the light. Aroma is sweet and fruity. Apples, pears, light cocoa notes, sweet caramel, and intoxication comes to mind. Flavors are softly malty and fruity. Just as I expected from the nose. Not hard to drink compared to some barley wines I've had but still an apparent high abv. Enjoyable though and not a bad option. Fruity and malty flavors mix in a subtle way among the prickly fine carbonation. I could follow this serving with one or two more. I can't say I'll be awake after that though.

Not bad/pretty good.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2007 00:23:44 | More by tastybeer
Photo of Floydster


3.45/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle

Purchased from Beverage Warehouse in Los Angeles

Poured into a pint glass with pretty much no head

Very sour for a barleywine and can taste it more as it warms, strong smell

Not my favorite beer from Anchor Steam Brewing, but still good

Might be better if stored for a couple months and the flavor settles a little bit

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2007 05:29:12 | More by Floydster
Photo of BeerManDan


4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color when poured was a thick dark amber with a reddish hue and a little foam that dissapated in a couple of seconds. The smell of sweet malts and caramel with a hint of fruit filled the nose. The taste was of a medium thick ale with roasted malts and sweet notes of fruit and a hint of caramel. Well balance of sweet, tart and bitterness. Not over powering on the hops, nice flavor all around.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2007 02:30:14 | More by BeerManDan
Photo of wedge

North Carolina

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

2006 - 9.4%

Pours a thick auburn color with a stubborn, creamy tan head. Fresh fruit, toffee and leather aromas and something resembling bubblegum. A strong malty sweetness hits the palate first followed by warm, dark, fruity alcohol. The hops are still fresh but get along nicely with the barley. Flavorful and sticky - like sugar-coated, rum-soaked bread. Quite tasty and yet, I imagine its even better with some more age. Nice, solid mouthfeel - very smooth and lightly carbonated. Not as outright hoppy as most American versions.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2007 03:50:01 | More by wedge
Photo of dbalsock


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

Definitely one of the best American Barley Wines I've tried.

App: Pours a ruby/ very dark amber with two fingers of off white head. The head retention is so so, but the head never disappears completely. No lacing, which I prefer for the style. I like how it sits in my glass rather majestically.

Smell: Fruity esters come out in the aroma; some apple and very sweet cherry.

Taste: I taste a good deal of caramel and brown sugar along with more pronounced apple and cherry, which unbalance it in a malt direction. It ends with just a hint of some sweet floral hops. It reminds me more of an English Barley Wine in taste, as the hop characteristics are rather low.

Mouthfeel: It has the perfect body for sipping. It's not too thick, nor too oily, nor too thin. It sits right in the middle and reminds me of J.W. Lee's in that respect. There is a nice alcohol bite during the aftertaste which combines with some subtle hop bitterness, neither of which are too intense or distracting, and probably considered quite subtle compared to higher abv barley wines.

Drinkability: I am usually not much of a barley wine fan, and tend to only like them on occasion. This one, however, I would drink fairly often during a cold Vermont winter (if I could find it)... but I don't live in Vermont anymore, so I'll probably just drink it once in awhile. I would also love to experience the cask version of this.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2007 03:42:35 | More by dbalsock
Photo of barefootbrewer


3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a brown color with a cream colored head that quickly dissipated. The aroma is sweet and caramel - malt is noticeable as well as some slight fruit notes. The taste is very sweet and malty. Hops can be tasted, but do not dominate this brew. The mouthfeel is full and the alcohol is noticeable. Overall, I think this is a good example of a drinkable barleywine. I’d like to age one for a few years, I think it will mellow nicely.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2007 20:14:09 | More by barefootbrewer
Anchor Old Foghorn from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,649 ratings.