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Anchor Old Foghorn - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Old FoghornAnchor Old Foghorn

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,794 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,794
Reviews: 1,018
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11%
Wants: 73
Gots: 119 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001

ABV varies slightly over the years.
View: Beers (24) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,794 | Reviews: 1,018 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HopEnthusiast
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very enjoyable. Pours a clear dark brown with a decent head. Caramel, malt, bread, and dark fruits dominate the aroma. Sticky mouthfeel. Lots of caramel and vanilla up front, which is joined by the sugary fruits towards the back. True to its form without being a sticky, grainy alcohol bomb. Not as delicious as a Bigfoot but a nice fruity version.

Photo of midnite2sixman
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks like a raisin puree. Smells like raisins, naturally, and has a bit of alcohol on the nose. Taste is chocolate, cherries, raisins, and chocolate covered cherry raisins. Boo ya.
Mouthfeel is big, but it goes down easy. Slight remainder of the alcohol taste on the palate.

Big beer.


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

On tap at Trinity Brewing Company's Barleywine day this past saturday. Translucent through the glass a very beautiful amber color, a finger and a half head that goes away quickly and leaves minimal lacing. The smell is that of fruit, sugar, maybe a little wood. The taste is the same too, but with a little bread on the tail end. Goes down smooth, and very drinkable. Maybe i hadnt had enough to eat/drink beforehand, but this hit a little harder than what i thought. To be honest this is my very first barleywine so i have no prejudices or anything and maybe i am completely wrong about it, but if this is what barleywines taste like then i am a very strong believer because this thing is delicious!

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

Feb 7, 2009
On tap At mcnellies. Mahogany pour smells hoppy and malty. Taste is sheer bliss. Sweet malt, hoppy but not too bitter,Very flavorful and really complex. All I can say is wow!!! this is exactly what im looking for in a barleywine. will have to try this one out again from a bottle to compare. I prefer this to bigfoot.

Photo of marvin213
3.46/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

I just poured this here Old Foghorn into my Carolina Brewery pint glass in a hurry. This suprisingly dark barleywine came gushing out and topped off the glass with a big, thick head. It quickly dissipated into a thin, topping layer within a minute of the pour. I started sorta squinting my eyes at it wondering why it's so dark. It's almost like an amber red. Is it gonna taste like a barleywine? I bring it to my nose and smell...and smell...and...not much of anything, honestly. I put it down and try again. Nothing.

Time to taste. I'm instantly reminded of Sprite marketing because image is nothing. It definitely tastes better than nothingness; nevertheless, it's nothing special. Old Foghorn definitely seems like a malty-type barleywine to me. Is that supposed to happen? I'm sorta wierded out. I keep looking at it and smelling it, not knowing what to think, but each taste strikes me as suprisingly good--at least relative to how it appears.

I went back to get and read the bottle. Its description is purty accurate--it is indeed a malty "barleywine style." The label says "ideal" for after dinner, though I'd only go so far as "appropriate." The mouthfeel is the best part. The chocolatey malt and the "barleywine style" sit and tingle my whole mouth with yummy sweetness quite well.

I keep looking at it inquisitively. I smell it again. Maybe it smells more like a barleywine as it warms slightly. Still, I judge beer smell more on immediate effect--straight from its home. The beer is good. Its taste, again, is better than its image. Mouthfeel is quite good.

Since thirst is still everything (at least in line with my Sprite motif), I'll say I'd definitely drink another one, maybe even two...but writing home about it, I probably wouldn't do.

Photo of washburnkid
3.91/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A somewhat foggy amber tone turns red as I held this beer up closer to the light. Small head dissipates to nearly nothing leaving very little lacing.
S: Sweet malts at forefront, heavy fruit aromas dominated by banana esters. The aromas were inviting and very exciting.
T: Dark and sweet fruits at the beginning of the sip, hints of alcohol in the middle, ending in a pretty strong bitter kick. Leaves a bit of residue clinging to the back of the tongue. The bitters become just a little overwhelming (in an unbalanced fashion) towards the middle of the beer's life.
M: Medium body, medium carbonation, somewhat coarse/rough on the tongue.
D: This beer started out really well. The aromas and initial flavors made me crave more, but it all quickly unraveled in my experience. It was like the beer fell apart in my mouth. Before I say anything too definitive about this beer fitting (or not) to the style, I definitely want to try some more American barleywines. I would recommend more balanced brews from Anchor that I've enjoyed before I'd recommend this one, though.

Photo of stewart124
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter and it is dark amber with a thin tan head.

Smells of lightly toasted malts, raisins and tobacco. Bits of pine and earth.

The body is a bit less syrupy than I was expecting. Very sharp on the palate. Vanilla and caramel sweetness. Finishes with a bold taste of tobacco. Plenty of flavors. I wonder if northern brewer hops or some other noble hop has been used. The hop character is subtle.

The alcohol is well hidden and as it warms up there is a little more flavor to this. Some grape flavors, almost like sherry. Still lacking that bold depth though.

A tasty barleywine but not quite as bold as its California brethren.

Photo of Magpie14
3.84/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: a glorious deep chestnut color with heavy crimson reds and orange. The head left much to be desired as it melted away super fast. I did happen to catch a glimpse of it however; foamy, and cream white in color. No head means no lace...I know the alcohol % is slightly in the upper registers, but this is lame. Absolutely nothing!

S: sweetened husky malts, dark sugary rum soaked fruits, and a waft or two of caramel

T: spiced rum edges with supportive malts and some light spiced fruits such as a handful of raisins and maybe a fig or two. This is augmented by a hearty lemon pine-like hop presence after the swallow. This beer also is a lighter version of a barelywine, which I happen to be enjoying, as some barleywines get to sweetly viscous. Hops are a sure fire helper for rounding things out. Overall things are well balanced all around

M: nice liquid silk profile on the tongue and a bit sticky at times. Alcohol notes are hidden for the most part. Body is a good medium

D: not a bad barelywine. Not the best showing from Anchor Brewing in my opinion

Photo of benclimbs
3.06/5  rDev -21.7%
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
2.9/5  rDev -25.8%
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
3.26/5  rDev -16.6%
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
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
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
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
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
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
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
3.67/5  rDev -6.1%
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
2.65/5  rDev -32.2%
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
3.61/5  rDev -7.7%
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
3.27/5  rDev -16.4%
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.

Anchor Old Foghorn from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,794 ratings.