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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

1,647 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)
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Ratings: 1,647 | Reviews: 997 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tatterdash

Ontario (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear mahogany red with a thing white head that quickly dissipates into a ring of bubbles. This beer is quite effervescent. Aroma of sweet raisiny malts, strawberries, cherries. Taste of dried fruits (cherry, apple, blueberry), citrusy hops, long spicy finish. High mineral content water seems to have been used, and the high ABV is well hidden. This is one of the most drinkable barleywines I have ever had, without comprimising complexity and flavour.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2006 18:14:06 | More by tatterdash
Photo of IntriqKen


3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A cloudy dark orange amber topped with a half finger of off white head that melts to a ring of lacing.
Aromas of brown sugar and caramel.
Mouthfeel is very rich and creamy.
Taste of caramel, brown sugar, raisins, prunes, citrus hops and alcohol.
Much more subdued than American Barleywines but very substancial none the less. Much more balanced and more drinkable without needed the aging most Americans do. It is surprisingly rich and smooth for being this year's vintage.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2006 07:16:36 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of Metalmonk

North Carolina

4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For barleywine enthusiasts, Old Foghorn holds a special place in US brewing history, being one of the first, if not the first barleywine brewed and sold commercially in the states in the 20th century. Hail hail and cheers cheers, but how does it taste? ...

With no special aggression on the pour, I got an absolutely huge light-tan head, sleepy bubbles slowly making their way up, and a beautiful glassy burnt-amber color.

Aroma is more subdued than most barleywines, having faint caramel, vanilla, brandy and even lighter hop traces.

Drinking through the still-enormous head, I'm reminded of grape bubble-gum immediately. A few sips later it's still there, but balanced by a well-done hops character, fruity yeast wickedness, brown sugar, sticky malt sweetness, mild heat from the alcohol, and a honeyed finish. Mouthfeel is thick but not overly so, just about right for the style: creamy, somewhat oily and definitely smooth.

This lacks the severe punch of many other barleywines, but it's a testament to its strengths that Old Foghorn delivers more in terms of flavor depth than sheer oomph. Plenty of complexity for sip after sip of total enjoyment. Great stuff.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2006 22:39:54 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of EStreet20

New Jersey

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

'06 vintage 12 ounce stubby bottle poured into a snifter glass.

A - Hard pour yields a nice red color brew with about one finger of foamy off white head. Nice color. Head fades a bit.

S - Lots of fruit, mainly cherries up front. Berry aromas as well.

T - Taste has a mix of fruits along with some hoppy bitterness. The taste is a little more subdued than many barleywines with hop bitterness and some spiciness on the finish.

M - A fairly light feel for a barleywine.

D - Doesn't have a ton of "wow" complexities like I expect from an American barleywine but seem slike a smooth sipper.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2006 05:09:53 | More by EStreet20
Photo of dfried


4.53/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 Vintage. Brownish amber in color, a lot of pale red highlights, cream colored head that fell quickly to a ring and film. Rich malty aroma, fruits galore, plums, cherries, raisins, and I kept smelling concord grapes, like the ones in Welches grape juice. Distinct perfumy aroma from the combination of both the healthy dose of floral hops and the fruity esters. There was even some banana oil, just like the banana oil I synthesized in organic chemisty class (when learning about esters).

The first thing I thought of at first sip was black licorice. Rich and dark fruity. Concord grapes were there again, truely a bit wine like. Plenty of other fruits as well, plums, pears, cherries. The hops showed up a bit more as it warmed, still perfumy, and a bit citrus-like. Dry hopped so it's not especially bitter, but they do balance out the malt well. It is a barleywine, so the mouthfeel is sticky, but not as much as some. Alcohol is barely noticeable for 9.5%, combined with the light for a BW body, makes this brew dangerously drinkable.

Verdict: awesome. You can tell its a BW, but it is an original take, many layers to the flavor, sweet and estery, lots of hop flavor but not overly bitter since it was dry hopped. The colors meld well so it looks great. A big beer, but not "knock you on your ass" big, so it is very drinkable. This sort of beer is my bag baby.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2006 19:56:31 | More by dfried
Photo of kirok1999


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

Undated 7oz bottle. 08 95 cast in the bottle, but I doubt that is bottling date.
Pours a dark brown, chunky with yeast and no head. Slight fizzing bubbles on top.
Smells first of sweet fruit and mild hops. Slighty medicinal notes.
Tastes same as the smell, sweet fruits, with a slight bitter aftertaste. I hope this is what the current XS bombers will taste like in a few years. Much milder than the current brew. Noticing some dark fruits now, figs, raisins. Feels thick and bready.
Nice sipper on a cold night. Good after dinner drink too.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2006 01:50:54 | More by kirok1999
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for hooking me up George.

Pours a clear red/brown, huge thick off white head forms, tons of lace, great retention, just won't quit. Smell is tons of toffee, citrus, yeast, little bit of bread, super malty, little alcohol and some dark fruits, very nice. Taste is nice and malty, good for the cold weather, sweet and caramel, citrus, bready, some fruits in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, almost syrupy. Nice finish, good sipper, not crazy, well balanced.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2006 03:26:58 | More by Viggo
Photo of Dubbercody


3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at the Holiday Ale Festival 2006.

Wow this is one kick butt brew. I'm impressed with the delicate nature of flavors that come out in this big beer. I could only make it through about 4 ozs. of this and had to chase it with a pint of H2O. Sweet, indulgent and a great beer to have on a cool winter day.

Serving type: on-tap

12-02-2006 20:42:22 | More by Dubbercody
Photo of eberkman


4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a reddish-brown leaving almost no head -- the little there was dissipated within a minute.

Aroma is of malty sweetness -- figs, dried apricots, prunes. Very nice, powerful aroma.

Slight hoppiness on first contact with the tongue gives way to a malty sweetness, transitioning back to a hoppy but mediciney finish. As the brew warms, I can detect a flavor almost like a soy sauce, in addition to the dark-fruit taste that dominate. Some alchohol warmth on the way down. By the end of the glass, it tastes almost like a tawny port.

Not much carbonation and it felt a little syrupy -- may have just been my bottle (ditto for the lack of head).

Overall, drinkable and the taste is very good. I was a little more impressed with the Sierra Nevada Bigfoot. But it's a phenomenal drink to relax with at the end of the night, though I'm sure better options are out there. I'll have to try this one again nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2006 01:55:18 | More by eberkman
Photo of MaltyGoodness


4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle

Pours a clear copper-brown with a small tan head that thins. Mild lacing on the glass.

Aroma of sweet caramel malt with some molasses tones and a light hop smell.

Sweet caramel maltiness upfront with a hint of molasses. Leads into a balancing hop bitterness and mild herbal hop flavor. Finishes sweet and rather clean with just a hint of caramel that lingers.

Full body, creamy texture, mild carbonation.

This is the standard for American barleywine. It's immensely drinkable and very well balanced. You can always count on Anchor for high quality beer!

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2006 23:55:47 | More by MaltyGoodness
Photo of Vancer


4.55/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

First Anchor BW – brother, you can instantly smell that great American BW aroma – a malty, but strong pop of sweet molasses, caramel and sugar cane.

Absolutely top notch quaff of all the above, but a kick of bourbon barrel mixed in the batch. This is one not to miss, and really the price is pretty darn nice too – under 10 for a sixer is a great bargain for a great brew.

Oh, great pour too, can’t beat that deep mahogany topped by a foamy ivory head, sticky laces. Hats off to Anchor

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2006 18:27:36 | More by Vancer
Photo of pwaldron

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Old Foghorn was my first Barleywine style beer, and I got it as a "mystery draft" at a local bewpub (they don't tell you until the following week what the mystery draft of the week was--you come to it totally cold and objective).

The first thing that hit me and my friend was the fantastic smell--heavy with alcohol and woody wine overtones. The first sip leads to that big, full, red wine flavor, and then, after the first swallow, the big hops kick in, numbing the tongue a bit.

I've had other barleywines since, but none that were so smooth and mellow (they tend to sharpness). One pint is plenty--after that, your palette won't appreciate the nuances.

Serving type: on-tap

11-16-2006 20:43:08 | More by pwaldron
Photo of lackenhauser


4.63/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first love in the world of barleywine. Years ago day trips into New York would end with a pint of this elusive nectar since it was only around on tap at the time-hard to believe huh? Gorgeous, almost blood red in color. Great level of bubbles rising up the walls of the glass. Nice, vinuous aroma. Malty-slight hop bite to it. Huge malt flavor-syrupy, treacle like. Reminds me of a liquid toasted almond flavor. Slight alcohol bite. Great full body. Very drinkable-always has been-hopefully always will be. Now in 12 ounce bottles-for several years now the retailer told me. This really set the standard for a US barleywine long before the hop behemoths (which I love as well) came along. Freakin classic.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2006 02:08:21 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of AndoBrew


4.6/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

* I like this beer I might buy it again because it is to much money for a 7OZ BOTTLE!!! dumb ass idea*

app: looks fog filled.. and old.. a brown w/ red hues type color head ran away quick quick quick. at least they got the old and fog right.

smell: YUM YUM, very big dark fruits, chewy rich malts. little bit of booze. just smells great.

taste: some soy some nice big malts. very dark sweet rich. a little water, not much hops or booze.. I wish this had a bottle date on it.. oh well. this is really good nice and balanced. All BW's should take some notes from this one.. is it the best?? NO!! but its balance is nice. I wish it had more flavor, lots of wines with great balance and bigger flavor, but this one has no shame none the less.

this is really a great all around beer. a low abv, not so many hops it cant be turned up and inhaled. this is my new miller high life. nothing wrong with this flavor.

mf: a little dead and bland but not bad

drinkable?: the only problem with this is the tiny bottle.. it sucks that they did that crap!! 7oz?!?!? come on you pro cash rapers! you make 1 good beer and stuff it in a 7oz bottle?? give me a break. but. it is very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2006 07:12:46 | More by AndoBrew
Photo of BlackAngus


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

A - Dark amber, no real head to speak of.

S - Huge malty smell, caramel, some smokiness. Alcohol is also present.

T - Malty sweetness, a hint of wood. Caramel. Alcohol is here, too, but subtle. Pleasant, mild hop finish.

M - Medium bodied, syrupy, no real carbonation to speak of.

D - A great barleywine, IMO. I wouldn't drink many of them at a time, but I would drink it often.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2006 15:31:11 | More by BlackAngus
Photo of Graham21


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

Served from a bottle into an oversized wine glass, this beer is an amber, to dark brown color with a nice 1/4 inch head that stayed firmly in the glass.
Smells of apple, cinnamon, malts, cherries, and a bit of alcoholshow through.

The taste is very fruity, hoppy, noticeable raisins, but also a bit sour from some citrus fruit and bitter from some hoppy resin. Also a bit of spices; cinnamon sugars and malts. Very good! flavors

Good mouthfeel and good drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2006 01:24:41 | More by Graham21
Photo of largadeer


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

A: Murky brown/copper color, not entirely unlike the color of the bottle. The head poured thick but faded pretty quickly, leaving a foamy ring around the glass.

S: The strong malty aroma dominates this one, with some traces of maple.

T: The first thing that stands out is the sweet malty entry and the bitter, hoppy finish. Really nice balance on this one.

M: Syrupy and thick with little carbonation, though it doesn't sit quite as heavily on the toung as some barleywines.

D: Pretty drinkable for a barleywine, thanks to the (comparatively) low ABV and the smooth mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2006 02:09:49 | More by largadeer
Photo of unclederby


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

Bottled in May 2006 so fairly fresh stuff here...

Medium amber in color, the head retained itself for only a moment and then disappeared completely. Smells of caramel, over-ripened prunes and maybe a hint of cherry and a touch of smoke. Taste is on the malty side for sure, with flavors of cherry, vanilla, maple, wood and a bit of hoppy pine resin on the finish. Mouthfeel if creamy with a pleasant viscosity and some prickly carbonation. Drinkability is solid for a barleywine. A solid ale that has more in commen with the English style as opposed to the hoppier, American style. It loses a bit in taste for me because there is a slight funky/medicinal quality I'm associating with the alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2006 03:28:46 | More by unclederby
Photo of vtfan77


4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer was brewed on 1-27-05 as indicated by the code on the back of the bottle (at least, that first number looks like a 5, I can't really tell).

A- Dark red with a decent but short-lived tan head.

S- Hugely malty with lots of sweet caramel in the nose. Fruity esters give it some dark fruit aromas. Alcohol is also detectable.

T- Very sweet, very malty, very rich. This has a luscious flavor of dark fruits and buttery toffee on the finish. Clearly the hops are an afterthought in this brew, but they do provide some modicum of bitterness at the end.

M- Silky and smooth, although perhaps a little thin for the style. It's still quite nice, though.

D- Although the alcohol is fairly low for the style, this is an extremely rich beer and is not one to be consumed in mass quantities. It's a sipper for sure, and one to be had a bottle at a time.

I really enjoyed this beer. I'm not extremely familiar with the barleywine style, but this is my favorite so far. It has a very good flavor that I liked quite a bit. It's a perfect dessert beer or after-dinner sipper. I let mine warm up to around cellar temperature and poured it into a snifter and it was excellent. If this truly was brewed in '05, then it is holding up very nicely to the age. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2006 04:29:00 | More by vtfan77
Photo of WAP


4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark copper shade with a thin white head that dissipears quickly, leaving no lace. Smell is malty sweetness with fruit undertones and the taste is more of the same. Cherry and grapefruit-type fruit flavors dominate the front end of the taste and are followed by a malt twang on the mid-palate and a very slight hop finish and nice alcohol burn. Not as highly hopped as a typical American Barleywine, but nonetheless a fine and delicious brew.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2006 05:29:38 | More by WAP
Photo of lpayette


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

Details- I had been eager to try this one for some time but couldn't find it... finally picked it up on a business trip in Oregon, and it didn't dissapoint. 12oz bottle, a somewhat cryptic bottled on date that I think indicates a bottled on date of sometime in 2006. Poured into a snifter.

Appearance- Garnet red. A small head, but it fits perfectly into my small snifter. Overall a beautiful beer.

Smell- Sweet, ripened grapes, cherries, apples, and raspberries. Superb. Malty tones, but the fruit aromas drown it out a bit. Subtle hops add a bit of complexity.

Taste- Again, a plethora of fruits hit the palate, and boy do I like that. Raspberry, cherry, apple, grape, possibly even cranberry and grapefruit-like flavors. Impressive. The amount of detectable alcohol is perhaps perfect- enough to know it's there, but not overbearing. A sweet maltiness in the background. Delicious.

Mouthfeel- Rich and malty. Almost creamy at times. The initial contact on the tongue provides a slight tingling sensation that is very nice. Thick and smooth.

Drinkability- I think that this is the 2nd lowest ABV barleywine I've had and it's delicious. Very easy to drink, sip, or quaff. Most drinkable Barleywine I've had to date.

Final thoughts- worth seeking out again. Wouldn't mind getting a case of these for aging.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2006 03:26:25 | More by lpayette
Photo of akorsak


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

A: The ale is a coppery red color with a decent sized head.

S: The ale has a malty sweet aroma that lacks any appreciable hop aroma.

T: The ale has a strong malty flavor that borders on sugary sweetness. There are no hops here, giving this malt bomb a flavor that is closer to an all-malt quad.

M: The mouthfeel is too malty and undefined.

D: Drinkability is limited as the beer is pure malt and lacks the hop presence that an American Barley Wine should have.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2006 21:32:39 | More by akorsak
Photo of BDTyre

British Columbia (Canada)

3.2/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Brilliant copper cololur with a decent head that has a slight red tinge. Sharp malt smell with a decent hop background, but a powerful alcohol presence.

Alcohol is noticeable in the flavour. Slightly sour, fruity malt backing, winey presence. Very low hop profile. Alcohol above all.

Decent body on this. Low carbonation, and slick on the tongue. On the low end of the ABV spectrum. Harsh, "hot" flavour limits this to a one-a-night, finishing beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2006 08:12:12 | More by BDTyre
Photo of irishtimepiece


3/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Started off on a high note, looks very nice. Pale red in color with modest head that settles to a cap and leaves a nice lacing. Smell is sweet, malty, and inviting. Taste... Immediately it reminds me of cough syrup. Sweet with an odd bitterness. That gives way to a nice balanced hop flavor. No notable aftertaste other than that of alcohol. Mouthfeel is smooth, low to moderate carbonation. Overall, that weird cough syrup taste I get from it puts me off. I like it, but not that much.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2006 04:20:44 | More by irishtimepiece
Photo of gonzo138


4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A- pours a nice reddish brown color, off whitish colored head that did not retian very well, but laced nicely

S- a malty sweetness with an afternote of a fruity raisin smell

T- a very nice balance between malt and hops, both sweet and bitter at the same time, raisin flavor is present as well

M- is not as thick as most barley wines, body is a bit too light for me, I like the mouth coating of thickness that I get from most barleywines,

D- easily drinkable, which is a bit odd for a barleywine, still has a very good balanced feel to it, would buy/drink again

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2006 08:01:41 | More by gonzo138
Anchor Old Foghorn from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,647 ratings.