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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

1,777 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,777
Reviews: 1,012
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11.25%
Wants: 71
Gots: 106 | 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 (23) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,777 | Reviews: 1,012 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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

12 oz. with some code on the back label. Pours into the wine glass a clear crimson with a 1/4 inch tan head that sometimes laces but gets swirled away. By the end the head recedes completely, making it look kinda like a liqueur. There's an initial punch of sweetness and burning alcohol in the nose followed by a good amount of hops, raisins, and caramel with perhaps molasses. The alcohol aroma then hides until the end. Lots of sweet malts on the palate, with caramel, molasses, bubblegum, fruitiness, raisins, anise, and piney/citric hops with a bitterness that is substantial but tamed by the malts. There's also a kind of rooty character to it - that's the best way I can describe it. The body is thick and smooth, with a high viscosity that coats the mouth well. Despite all the flavors I have named, it is hard to point out/describe the flavors because they are blended so well. A tasty barley wine, but I usually like mine with more bitterness and hop flavor.

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

Loud fizzy head that dissappears almost immediately on top of hazy ruby-brown. The nose is frankly unimpressive with spicy alcohol notes on a malty base. The taste is spicy and malty sweet, with a mildly bittering hoppiness. Juicy cherries and raisins in bourbon, perhaps. Finishes very dry, with an aftertaste that is somewhat reminiscent of cheddar... The mouthfeel is chewy, but only for a couple of seconds. Not really much to it, unfortunately. I rated the drinability higher because it is very easy going down, but at $3.00+/bottle, the taste, aroma and appearance of this one just don't measure up...All respect due to Anchor for inaugurating this style in the U.S., but it seems that Old Foghorn's time has come and gone.

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

This is called a "Barleywine Style Ale" and I can't really argue about that, as it is much thinner in appearance from any other barleywine I have ever had.

The aroma is slightly acetaldehyde, very malty and somewhat fruity. All in all it is an appealing aroma for a barleywine and doesn't assault your nose like some other barleywines do.

The appearance is clear and free from sediment, brown like the bottle with a hint of red. The carbonation was appropriate and the head (cream) persisted throughout the tasting (over an hour) with small "islands" of foam in the glass.

The flavor of the Old Foghorn is much like a rasin soaked in malt and left to ferment on its own. There is appreciable alcohol warming, as should be expected in an 8.8% barleywine. I did note that this was a much less "salty" barleywine than others I have tasted.

The body was more on the robust side with a slight creamy feeling persisting at the end.

Overall, I enjoyed this barleywine and think that it fits the style that it helped generate.

Photo of hero27
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle.

Translucent dark brown. Beige head is modest, but does leaves a thin cap that stays the entire time. Sweet fruits & toasted malt dominate the taste..very little noticeable hop character, but I'm used to drinking more hoppy barleywines. Alcohol is noticeable, however, and it does pack a punch at nearly 9%. Pretty bold flavor, actually..even for a barleywine. Drinkability is about average, as it's definitely a sipping beverage. Much better than it's bastard cousin Anchor Small Beer, but that's not saying much. Not a barleywine I'd go out of my way to seek out, and considering the price tag, not one I'll likely buy in the future. Would still be interesting to try on-tap somewhere, however.

Photo of Gruntlumber
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this in the cellar for a good year or so. I haven't had Old Foghorn since I drank the other 5 so my comparison of new versus aged is drawn from memory. I recall really liking Old Foghorn, often referring to it as one of the best barleywines. It no doubt is good, but over the past year I've had many, many barleywines and now I feel this one isn't quite on the top perch anymore. After a year of aging it has mellowed out some more, although this was never an aggressive beer to begin with; much more on the malty side campared to the plethora of hoppy barleywines out there. Has a very nice sweet cognac character to it, definitely a sipper. Hell, if you don't sip it you'll be finished in several swallows anyway (damn small bottles). I wonder if this really benefited much from aging because although it may have changed slightly, I wouldn't say it's any better. In comparison, I noticed a bigger difference after cellaring Bigfoot for a year or so. Still a great, strong, drinkable brew, and a classic one-of-a-kind to boot.

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

Appearance: Old Foghorn pours a deep red caramel hue accompanied by whispy, foamy crest that--er, its gone already. No matter!

Aroma: I smell a great deal of alcohol in the nose on this one. Also, there's sweet, honeyish malts and a pleasant perfumy hop scent. Some raisins and prunes to be found in the bouquet, but you gotta really get a good snoutful to find them.

Taste: There's a real tasty maltiness to the brew, and the hops lend a much appreciated zingy citric presence. The alcohol is also a key player, but doesn't really bully around the other flavors as it does in the smell. Finishes dry and warming.

Mouthfeel: Compared to other beers within this style, Old Foghorn comes up a tad bit on the thin side, but that only lends to the drinkability of this barleywine.

Drinkability: I vote: YES. Its lighter mouthfeel really helps the drinkability of Old Foghorn. I could easily go through a few of these in a session (and have). I would also say that Old Foghorn is an excellent beginning into the barleywine style. An Introductory Barleywine, and one that I always like to keep a few around.

Photo of radshoesbro
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

7 oz bottle

a - orangish brown with minimal head not a lot of lacing.

s - malts and alcohol.

t - alochol, malts, and a mild finish.

m - tannic, smooth, medium bodied.

d - it's not super impressive, but i'd have it again. not a session beer by any means.

Photo of SixpointJMH
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is yet another solid offering from Anchor.

It pours a somewhat cloudy amber colour with a big frothy head that hangs around for a little while, and leaves a mild amount of residue on the glass as it dissolves.

Aromas are woody, earthy and malty. A stronger whiff into the glass reveals a heavier alcohol presnece than necessary and masks the other aromas making this one a bit medicinal at times.

The flavour starts of strong and sweet and moves quickly into an earth/malt/alcohol combo, with the alcohol being far more subtle than it is in the aroma. The finish has a bit of a spice bite to it. Body is slick and oily and pretty much what I expected.

This is a nice brew overall, and one I'd certainly be content to drink again in the future.

Photo of whynot44
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Full bodied, very nice mahogany red with a small tan head.

Aroma is interesting - toffee, molasses, and pine needles.

Taste starts with a malty sweetness of toffee, caramel and molasses then finishes with a bit of grapefruit and pine, then back to molasses in the aftertaste.

A bit syrupy with an almost oily feel and a bit of alcohol warmth for good measure. Fairly mellow for a barleywine, a good starter for the style.

What's with the teeny little bottles? A pint would be about right.

Anchor Old Foghorn from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,777 ratings.