Anchor Old Foghorn - Anchor Brewing Company

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

bottle, but not just any bottle, one of those little 7 ounce bastards that I love so much which are now gone. little 7 ounce bastard, I salute you and your achievments. poured into a Caracole snifter.

A: deep brownish/burgundy hue. light sploch on the off white head. disipates quickly but no surprise there.

S: cant decide if its more caramel or brown sugar, vanilla, white grapes, a hint of pear, alcohol.

T: light, sweet but not cloying, and complex sugar profile. very clean malt bill to support the sugars. butter, vinous, grape like aromas translate easily into similar flavors. dries somewhat during the finish which is a nice balance and ends somewhat fruity, apples, pears, barely tart.

M: honestly a little too light for the style. and at what used to be a 7ounce serving, Anchor shouldnt have been that concerned with thinning the viscosity to make it more drinkable. I would like to see a heavier more, viscous mouthfeel.

D: a damn tasty brew. im curious to see how the switch to 12 oz bottles goes over. ill pick some up myself and see how i feel after 12 instead of the 7 im used too.

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

The beer poured into the glass clear deep amber with a tan and frothy head which rose well and fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was malty with a subdued citrusy grapefruit presence. The aroma contained caramel and some bready character. The aroma was nicely fruity and muted with regard to hop character.

The flavor was malty and a smidge sweet when it first contacts the palate with caramel and a nice toffee that were well merged with hop bittering. The bittering was strong but melded in this bottle and added complexity to the beer.

The finish was dry with a lasting bitteirng on the tongue and palate with a malty impression long into the aftertaste. The body was medium full and the carbonation was moderate. A nice barleywine*.

12 ounce bottle, date 5F8. Purchased in GA at Greens in summer 2005.

*Note - tasted a 2006 on draft in GA at Summits and it could not hold a candle to this bottled version from 2005. Did not review the 2006 in case it was an off keg.

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

From a 12oz bottle, with a coded date on the back (boo! hiss!)

Pours a golden ruby, very clear, with visible carbonation. A three-finger head forms quickly, and fades very slowly. Very little lacing at all.

Smells of grapefruits, oranges, and strongly smells of cedar and pine trees. Very nice.

Very light in flavor, and smooth. Not much there, but bits of oak and grapefruit work their way through at the end. Somewhat disappointed, after the strong smell. No alcohol present in the taste, however, but it does show up in a bit of a 'dry' effect.

Mouthfeel is thin, smooth, and slightly astringent, with healthy carbonation.

Being so smooth and mild, this would be very drinkable, if not for the ABV. However, I prefer my barleywines to have some character to them, this is a bit on the thin side for me.

OK, as it warms up, it begins to show some hop bite and some malts. Don't drink this one cold, folks, it's much better just barely below room temp.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.38/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Old Foghorn pours from the 12oz bottle into my tulip glass a deep dark reddish brown with a nice creamy khaki head atop. Spotty lacing forms all over the side of the glass as garnet hues shine out when I hold it up to the light. Aroma is rich, sweet caramelly malt, dark fruits, cherries and brown sugar. There's a really nice herbal, green, slightly citric hoppiness throughout. Quite nice.

First sip brings a rich, fruity, caramelly maltiness with hints of cherry, molasses and burnt sugars. This is followed by a nice wave of herbal hoppiness, a touch citrusy, that brings a nice flow of bitterness to the back of the palate. This is a tasty barleywine and I'm glad to see it coming in full 12oz bottles now. Quite refined with a nice malt/hop balance and bold flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with good steady carbonation. A decent bit lighter in body that many other barleywines...but it serves to make it all the more drinkable. I could see sitting down to a few bottles of this with no problem at all. My fiance also enjoyed this with me as she has been getting into barleywines! Definetly a brew that everyone should try at least once.

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

Declining head, dark amber beer in a very tiny bottle.
smell: chocolate, malty and some yeasty flavors.
taste: dry, sticky, chocolate, coffee, roasted/burned, caramel and alcoholic
This is an American barley wine, but the examples I have tasted before are way more over the top than this one in bitterness and alcohol. This is a very good beer and to be honest I did not expect anything extravagantly bitter or alcoholic from Anchor. All together a very good beer for the colder times of year.

Photo of GreenWBush
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on January 7th, 2005...consumed January 10th 2006. This is the second time I've ever consumed OF, comparing it to when I first tried it fresh in the new 12 oz. bottle format.

Old Foghorn pours forth lightly, a ruby amber liquid with amazing clarity. A Decent lace cap adorns, followed by a mild cowhide-pattern of lace.

The nose is still full of bananas and coppery alcohol, but an interesting spiced twang has develop, hinting mildly at Anchor's own OSA. Interesting interplay with my flavor memory of Anchor Small, this beer's after-incarnation. Finely grounded brown sugar notes arise as well.

The taste hasn't become more complex or diverse with time, unfortunately, like the nose did. Predominant aged 'paper' tastes I get from oft-over the hill beers like Samuel Smith's. Past that major impression, I get a strange melding of apple juice, cider, red wine. Bigger alcohol bite and burn than many BW's, even after a full year of aging and definite deterioration.

Harmony of some of the strong elements of this beer fresh - mainly the bordering-on-cloying sweetness - have melded. Unfortunately this beer has just peaked in many ways. I think this is aged at the brewery also, so I should try it more at the six month age of rest instead of a year.

Photo of DogFood11
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've always had a love hate relationship with barleywines. Some of them just kick ass and others I either don't understand and my palate disagrees or they are just bad. Subjective as I "think" I am this one was a winner.

Alcohol really doesn't allow this brew to have much retention. The head is nice on the pour but after a couple pulls it's gone, no retention. To be expected for sure in a 9% brew. Amber to copper in color.

This slides towards the sweet end of an american barleywine. Alcohol is evident and not shy at all. Fruity but overall the general taste is sweet with a whacking alcohol finish. A citrus cutter is about half way through and once again sugared.

Notes: Anchor is a staple in the household beer fridge, any variety will do. I mean for fuck sake every beer i've tried from them has been good to great. This is Another of a long list of beers I've had and enjoyed many many times that I've never bothered to jot down a note about. I guess this is a good thing that I don't want to bother with notes while enjoying a fine brew. One of the better barleywines I've tried at this point in time. Many Many more to try.

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

Pours a hazy, dark brown body. Thick, syrupy, and a very small, dissipating head. Big alcoholic nose, pine, pure hoppy goodness. Drinks quite smoothly. Sweet, syrupy, fruity, caramel and rich. Full bodied, low in carbonation and quite a good sipper. There was much more flavour once it warmed to room temp.

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

Had the bottled version of this barley wine in a beer tasting event. It pours an amber-reddish color into my taster glass. I’ve had this barley wine before and enjoyed it then also. Smell nice with light scents of caramel and citrus. The taste is smooth and that’s what I like in a barley wine. A good barley wine to me should be strong but smooth (like Makers Mark is to bourbon). It says it’s highly hopped and dry hopped but the effect isn’t sharp but balanced well with the other malty flavors. Very Nice with a warming finish.

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

Dinky 7 ounce bottle. Anchor Old Foghorn pours out a dark brown color with a small head. Threre's little sediment in this beer. The aroma is caramel, dark fruit, and hops. Alcohol is very noticable in the nose. The flavor is malty, but not quite as malty as the aroma led me to believe it would be. Lot's of caramel and berry flavors. There's a good amount of hop flavor, but I wouldn't call this an especially hoppy barleywine. Mouthfeel is medium. Not as sticky as many barleywines. Good drinkability. I enjoy this beer, but I seem to remember it being slightly better in past years.

Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
3.4/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

A bit expensive for what it is, $3.00 for a ten ounce bottle. Good beer, but what the f..., only ten ounces, that's why the drinkabilty is so low. Come on, give it to me, it's not like it's that good.

Deep copper color, with only a slight head. A crazily (in)balanced amount of hops. Not very sweet, and not very hoppy, but along different lines, a warming consumable beer regardless of the price per ounce ratio.

Photo of MSchae1017
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 vintage 3 years aged.

This beer still has nice carbonation and head despite the twist top. Te beer has taken on earthy and port wine line characteristics...very interesting. Still not quite as complex as other, but a fine beer. This on certainly has benefitted from 3 years of aging.

This beer was tasted from a bottle in a tulip glass.

The beer pours an amber brown color with tanish head that doesnt hold too well or lace at all. It has a mild fruity aroma about it. It tastes fruity with a natural sweetness rather than a sugary one. Possible fruits could be raisins or cherries. There is a mild hop taste balancing this beer but it could be stronger in this respect. It has a terrific mouthfeel. There is a good thickness balanced with an even carbonation. Overall it is a good barleywine that I would love to drink again.

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

12/31/05- Purchased at Bottleworks in Seattle, WA.

Presentation- 12oz bottle, assuming from year 2005. I think the older ones come in the 7oz bottles. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Darker amber, maybe garnet or ruby hued. Pours with a 1/2 inch head and light lace.

Smell- Great scent of caramel malts and grapefruit hops. Reminescent of Bigfoot without the big hop hit.

Taste- Wow, this is like a Bigfoot Jr. Not incredibly hoppy like the Sr., but the malt flavor reminds me much of it. Sweet and creamy caramel malt taste with a muted batch of grapefruit hoppiness.

Mouthfeel- As stated before, very creamy an also is ultra smooth. Warming towards the middle and end with a lower carbonation level.

Drinkability- If the price wasn't so steep for these bastards, I would probably drink this with Bigfoot as my standby barleywine. Not liking the $13 six pack price though, when I can get a better beer in Bigfoot for $4 less.

Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.23/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter of sorts (a large, wide bowled wine glass). Minimal head is formed and evaporates rather quickly. A ring of lace is left around the top of the beer. A hazy, caramel amber color beverage is dispensed.

Smells of alcohol and pineapple. Quite fruity as well. Not much hop in the aroma. A pleasant sweetness throws itself into the party as well. Alcohol becomes more apparent as the beer warms. Smell becomes a bit medicinal as well. Very fruity. Raisins and figs enter the equation as well.

Sweet tasting and quite frankly cloying. A certain medicinal quality is present. The alcohol is definitely present and is a little too much in my opinion. Hard to detect anything else through the alcohol, but it is fruity. A little bit of brown sugar or molasses is present.

Definitely a nice winter warming beer. Slick mouthfeel. I have had this on draft it seemed much better on draft. However I did not take notes, but the alcohol seemed less present and there was more of a hop profile as well. A little dissapointed with this in the bottle, but still pretty good.

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

Pours a lightly hazy deep amber/copper color with a nice light tan colored head that falls slow and laces well

Aroma is nice fruity malt some sweetness dominating with nice citrus hops orange peel hints of grapefruit.

Taste is nice sweet and fruity caramel malt with decent hop flavors that leave bitter grapefruit rind bitterness on your tounge. Flavor is nice not as big as some barleywines more a medium intensity enjoyable experience. Can see how this became a modern icon in barlewines along with Bigfoot not quite as big but just as tastey.

Mouthfeel is pushing towards full nice mellow carbonation adds to the bitter hops some.

Drinkability is good an enjoyable brew would be great with dinner or sipping by the fire. Want to thank babydoc and BCG-BIF for this bottle.

Photo of silver0rlead
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on code shows November 14th, 2005: Pours a remarkably clear reddish amber with a thick tan head that retains well for a barleywine. The aroma has big citrus and piney hop character, as well as sweet caramel malt, fruity esters, ethanol, and some toasted bread...not the most complex but seems traditional and appropriate. The flavor starts off with some citrus and piney hop notes, followed by a big malt character consisting of caramel, molasses, dark fruits (prune, fig, date, raisin, plum), licorice, vanilla, fruity esters, extremely mild alcohol and some oak. The mouthfeel is rich and chewy, with light carbonation and high drinkability, especially for an american barleywine. If you're looking for an over-the-top hop bomb then this certainly isn't for you, but if an exquisitely well balanced beer is your thing then look no further. An exceptional barleywine, perhaps should be catergorized as english in style but awesome nonetheless.

Photo of AlexJ
4.83/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love it when I try a beer I haven't had in years and it actually tastes better than I remember. This is one of those. Muddled copper in color with a light beige head that is both dense and creamy with great retention and ridiculous amounts of lace.

Aroma damn near knocks my socks off before I even get it close to my face. Caramel and brown sugar sweetness with a boatload of citrussy pine cone hops. Superb candied and lightly scorched orange peel notes. Intense.

Flavor is certainly no letdown. Huge chewy malt flavors of molasses and caramel with massive citrus and oozing pine sap hops. Glowing fruits, subtle spice, and christmas cookie goodness heighten the mix. Complex and warming with well disguised alcohol.

Body is big, dense, and velvet smooth. Texture is lush and creamy with fantastic drinkability. Very, very good.

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

No freshness date. Nice presentation with mahony dak beercollor and in the ligh seeable that it is totaly clear. Great nose witch is a mix between roast, caramell, citrussy hops, pine and alcohol. Overall very impressive and bombastic. Taste is very bombastic too having lots of coffe and carramellic maltaroms, piny hops, sugarsweetness and heavily drowned in alcohol. Maybe litle overdone but well enjoyable and everything overdone is also balanced again so yeah a well enjoyable brew that i would like to see again sometime.

Photo of jaluria
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a medium brown color with a thick, tan-colored head that has moderately good retention and leaves behind some lacing. Aromas of honey, caramel, and candy apples seem to come out. The taste is an interesting mix of fruity sweetness with caramelized sugar sweetness that begins to overpower other flavors in the beer as it warms. Near the end of my pint, the sweetness was a bit much for me to really enjoy the beer. The aftertaste is a lingering sweetness, as if I had just consumed loads of candy. The aftertaste is difficult to get rid of, that's my problem with it. So, the drinkability takes a big hit due to these negative aspects of the beer, but it is worth trying and having on occassion.

Photo of blackie
3.4/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: The pour into my snifter creates a thin off-white head. The beer is a rich, reddish copper color. The back label is marked with the dating code 5F8FL.

smell: One of the more estery barleywines I've sniffed. The hop aromas seem to be pretty low, I was surprised to find that this beer is dry hopped. Pleny of fruitiness present. Hints of apple, date, and dark sugars are present. More ethanol sharpness on the nose than I would prefer for a barleywine of this ABV.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is a low medium, but the high effervescence of the bubbles could lead one to think it higher. I don't much care for the sharpness of the CO2 bubbles, though it fades after the beer has sat in the glass for awhile. The body is a slick medium.

taste: Seems pretty tame, but tasty. A good hop bitterness provides a nice counterpoint to the light (for a b-wine, imo) sweetness. Notes of apples are present. Ethanol is pretty evident, considering it is only 8.80 percent.

drinkability: Not bad tasting and decently drinkable.

Thanks to dirtylou for smuggling this down from the north in the pre-"Pop the Cap" days. Served at cellar-fridge temperature, from the cellar-fridge in which I aged it about five months around 55 Fahrenheit. At the $17.99 price that six packs are being sold at here in NC, this isn't one I'll be purchasing anytime soon.

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

Poured into a gobblet glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy copper to amber color. Very thin off white head noted.

Smell: Nice floral fruity smells rise to greet the nose.

Taste: Wave upon wave of malty fruity goodness. Good hoppy backbone keeps malty sweetness in check.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: This beer is thick and syrupy. The hops help to keep this from being sickeningly sweet. Very buttery mouthfeel full bodied.

Photo of chOAKbarrell
3.1/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a murky reddish brown color. Small head. Malty nose. There's a detectable alcohol taste, which I'm not really into. Kind of sweetish too, which I'm also not into. A bit syrupy. Can't say I'm really liked this one. Dont think I'll be getting it again, and certainly not for $12+ a six pack.

Photo of TheBungyo
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured nicely with a small but even head. Nothing too remarkable, what really captured me was the smell. Loads of malt, hints of fruity sweetness and a dab of hops. MMMMmmmMMMmm.
Taste was pretty good caramel, brown sugar, orange and maybe a dab of pine. Either way, I like it.Mouthfeel is full and chewy, I'd be proud if I brewed beer with body like this. It's pretty good, but I would select many other Barleywines in its spot!

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

one of the better barley wines i'm enjoying at the moment. pours up a strong, not quite clear ruby red/amber, thick head. powerful smell, sweet malt and fruity/spicy hop. taste is thick and strong; alcohol makes itself known, but not overpowering. a sweet, alcohol soaked dark fruit touches the tongue before burning hops hit the mouth. feels all warm and inviting. not exactly easy going, but if you don't mind a challenge, you'll be ok.


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

Nice crisp caramel color with a cream tan head but not much lacing. The smell is a wonder full of cascade like perfection strong and pugent yet soft in the nose with plenty of malt and a little alcohol for back up. At 9% alcohol this is balanced about perfect if the malt was just a little more I think we might have a hands down winner. Nice and chewy with decent carbonation. Easy drinker and good dinner.

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