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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

1,669 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,669
Reviews: 997
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11%
Wants: 64
Gots: 83 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,669 | Reviews: 997 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ppoitras


4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Cute little 7ozer bottle bought as a single from Spirit Haus, Amherst, MA.

Poured into a Rapscallion snifter glass, formed a small 1/4" light tan head that quickly faded to a layer of foam over the deep reddish-amber brew. Acceptable lacing, and this offering has a hearty grainy aroma which also gives away the higher alcohol content (as if the wimpy bottle size didn't trumpet the fact). Taste is upfront with some good malt character, then segues into a slight amount bitterness, which finally gives way to the radiational warming of the alcohol. The mouthfeel works great for me, but I fear the sweetness and alcohol could be somewhat limiting for this brew, which knocked the drinkability down a peg.

04-30-2004 01:26:53 | More by ppoitras
Photo of Rastacouere

Quebec (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

7oz bottle thanks to piscator34. Cloudy dark amber body, no head at all. Toffee and pine in the aroma. Very caramelic palate, big and malty creamy body, very sweet like a caramel pudding with a mild bite of piney hops, perhaps a touch of melon or grapes as in a restrained fruitiness. Warming finish with a light touch of alcohol, quite short ending actually. Rather simple barley wine imo and far less intense than I wished it to be.

04-24-2004 03:44:56 | More by Rastacouere
Photo of Zorro


4.43/5  rDev +13.3%

Pours a clear dark mahogany brown brew with an oily hop sheen on top.

Smell is sweet with lots of malt aroma. Mild tea hop scent is also present.

Taste is very sweet and a bit stingy to the tongue. Lots of fruity flavors in this mostly raisins and plums with an assertive bitter hop finish. Dark molasses and a bit of woody oak in the flavor.

Mouthfeel is very thick.

A drinkable and truly tasty barley wine, but sip this one.

04-20-2004 03:14:54 | More by Zorro
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +4.3%

Pours tawny brown color with a few light highlights with a thin lace,aroma is deeply fruity and a little alcoholic.Taste is rich and warming alot of fruity estures with a hint of molassis with an underlying herbal,grassy flavor in the finish.A nice complex brew but whats up with the tiny bottles?

04-13-2004 02:23:16 | More by oberon
Photo of RootedFool


4.1/5  rDev +4.9%

Stubby, narrow 7 ounce bottle purchased at the North Coast Co-op in Eureka, CA.

Poured a tad too carefully into a tulip glass, so no head to mention. Body is light mahogony, bright amber when held close to the light.

Ah, the smell is wonderfully dense in its malt sweetness. Bubblegum, but better than that (freshly pulled taffy), and a vigorously spicy undertone like pepper corns if you can imagine them dipped into the foreground of sweetness.

Taste opens with a sharp pinch of hops before the malts roll out in the background. The middle is a lot of dead air, at least to my palate, and serves as a pregnant pause before the bitterness stirs back into the mix, rising at a steep incline and straight through to the finish. The aftertaste is dry, bitter, and at the very tip of the end the malts come through with a melon-like sweetness.

Mouthfeel: not too thin, not too thick; actually, more thin than I'd like, it slides too quickly off of my palate. Carbonated nicely and is most noticeable toward the finish.

Compared to some other American barley wines I've had, this one has a tender touch -- worth a try.

04-07-2004 03:07:56 | More by RootedFool
Photo of HardTarget


4.2/5  rDev +7.4%

Enjoyed on tap at the GingerMan in Dallas
Aroma: Malty.
Appearance: Dark clear golden brown. A thin head of off white crowned this beauty.
Flavor: Slightly sweet and very smooth. It’s all about the malt here, but enough hops to back it. I got hints of maple syrup with a touch of spice, perhaps clove.
Mouthfeel: Thin for such rich flavor, but really close to a medium body, let’s say medium light. There is a slight alcohol burn and numbing sensation, and this beer left my lips happy and sticky.
Overall Impression: Compared to the little bottles, on tap I found this to be smoother, clearer, and more carbonated. The basic taste profile isn’t dramatic different, but it just seemed to be a bit more gentle. May the keg had aged a bit, but I found this to be very enjoyable. The alcohol put an end to any thoughts of another; this was the perfect way to end the night.

04-06-2004 05:17:18 | More by HardTarget
Photo of sulldaddy


4.63/5  rDev +18.4%

This brew comes in a small 7 oz bottle so I was forced to buy a 6er to feel like I got enough of em. I am sampling this brew at room temperature and pouring into a snifter.
Wow, not used to emptying a bottle in this glass. The beer pours a rich copper color with ruby tints when held to the light. I get a small large bubbled beige head that fades very quickly to nothing after the pour.
Aroma...very nice! I get a mix of toffee, raisins, ripe pears and a mild floral hop scent.
Onto the drinking, very fine prickly carbonation, with a fairly thick body, even slightly viscous. The carbonation leaves a tingly feeling on my tongue long after I swallow. The flavor is tasty. I get some sweet malt and fruit up front with a rich caramel middle and some nice grassy hops on the finish. Alcohol warming from mid-chest to my belly. Ah, what a fine example of a barleywine. Wish this made the rounds in CT more often. If you like big beers this is definitely one you need to try!

04-03-2004 04:02:59 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of mschofield


4/5  rDev +2.3%

Dark mahogany with a thin tan film that quickly dissipated, leaving just a thin ring around the glass. Did not lace, but thats not an issue with the high ABV.
Fruity, malt sweet aroma, with strong high alcohol notes.
Apricot, toasted malt, sweet taste. High alcohol esters, flowery (lilac?)
Medium-full and dry. Better than a tylenol PM at bedtime.

03-23-2004 22:38:54 | More by mschofield
Photo of smcolw


3.63/5  rDev -7.2%

Dark copper in color with a minute micro-layer of fine bubbles providing for a spotty, but noteable level of lace.

Smell: Powerful! Oily malt sweetness, similar to warm candy caramel. Lots of fruity esters. Strong medicine-like alcohol aroma, similar to antiseptic menthol.

Strong candy apple flavors up front. This concoction is very thick, rich and syrupy (like watered down maple syrup). Although the carbonation is expectedly low, it does provide an adequate foil to coy sweetness. There is a subtle hop bitterness at the end of the sip. That quickly subsides after the swallow to a sugary aftertaste. The strong aromas discribed above continue throughout the tasting.

Although this is not my favorite barley wine, I believe it fits the profile exceptionally well. This beer would be wonderful with tart desserts or as an after-dinner cordial.

03-20-2004 18:43:13 | More by smcolw
Photo of bigbubba


3.98/5  rDev +1.8%

A tiny 7oz. bottle of beautiful dark amber beer, unfortunately there was very little head, and very little carbonation. But it smells great.

This is a very easy drinking barley wine, I don't know why they put it in such small bottles. It is very sweet with lots of alcohol. For a barley wine it just doesn't seem hoppy enough.

I put a few in the cellar but I think I better pull most of them out and drink them now. I can't see that aging this beer will have a positive effect on it.

03-15-2004 03:46:01 | More by bigbubba
Photo of mikeys01


4.22/5  rDev +7.9%

Served from the mini-sized 8oz bottle - cute, but they could stand to be a little more generous with the bottle size. Other than that, I can't complain, the Old Foghorn is an excellent barleywine. Pours out a nice toasted auburn color, crystal clear, no visible head. Mildly but perfectly carbonated. Aroma is very sweet and caramely, very little hops in the nose. Taste has just enough hops to grab you at first before easing into a tantalizing blend of malty complexity and fruity esters. Alcohol is definitely noticeable, but pleasantly so such that it lends a bit of a spicy bite. Finish is a bit bitter with notes of bourbon soaked raisins. Damn tasty...very drinkable barleywine. Mouthfeel is on the medium side for a barleywine, sending it down easy despite its alcoholic character.

03-15-2004 02:24:59 | More by mikeys01
Photo of yankeeheel


4.1/5  rDev +4.9%

Pours a lovely golden amber with a small eggshell layer of foam. Too small to call a head. Lots of lacing even as the beer is consumed.

Smells nicely musty and a little fruity. Perhaps a little citrus in the background.

Has all the great barleywine flavors. Leathery, dark fruit, peppery spice. Lots of malt dominated tones here. Quite a bit of clove and allspice too. Slightly hoppy finish that dissipates quickly.

Mouthfeel is moderateky huge. Very filling and enjoyable for a little bottle.

I'm always a little leary of a "new" barleywine, but I would almost say this is ready to drink from jump street. It certainy doesn't need years of aging to settle it. Perhaps a year, tops. I'll let you know next year.

03-15-2004 01:36:50 | More by yankeeheel
Photo of rkhaze


4.35/5  rDev +11.3%

Pours a reddish copper with a small beige head that disappeared quickly. Aromas of sweet malt, fruits, spicy/citrusy hops and alcohol.
Taste is malty sweet upfront. There were tropical/bubblegum fruits, brown sugar and nuts all soaked in brandy. Finished with a slightly resinous, spicy hop aftertaste with a bit of pepper. Almost cloyingly sweet at first, but the hop bitterness really came through at the end.
Rich,creamy semi-viscous mouthfeel. The alcohol was certainly present but still great drinkability for a barleywine. Now about those puny 7oz. bottles...

03-10-2004 03:50:19 | More by rkhaze
Photo of Gueuzedude


4.33/5  rDev +10.7%

Bottle 29 December 2003, Sampled February 2004
Pours a reddish copper color that is lightly hazy, and is topped by a tan head. Aromas of alcohol, restrained hop floral, and sweet malt. The hop nose is made up of grapefruit, orange which is perhaps the strongest, and a bit of raisin. This beer is thick, though not overly so: sweet, though not sticky. There are definitely some hops here, they are one of the more dominant flavors, but it is in a very good balance with the sweet caramel malt flavors. Finishes with a bit of a hop bite bitterness. The taste is made up of alcohol, orange, sweet malt, caramel, pine, hop nectar, and biscuit/ bready notes.

The grandfather U.S. Barley Wine that spawned the American variety. Very restrained compared to many of the brash youngsters, though ground breaking and even explosively flavorful in its day. Funny that now a days this beer shows a sophisticated and balanced restraint in its marriage between malt and hop. The nip bottles are the perfect size for this beer.

03-02-2004 19:39:07 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Jon


4.15/5  rDev +6.1%

Seven-ounce nip bottle. Gotta love the nip bottle... but I digress.

Copper-amber pour with a fizzy taupe head that is quick to disappear.

Sweet, fruity nose shows notes of pineapple, caramel, toffee, and hints at apricot. Somewhat of a molasses scent, too. The dry hopping draws but minor attention.

More sweet, fruity notes reign in the flavor department. Pineapple, caramel, toffee, bubblegum and sappy hops. Nicely integrated flavors keep the alcohol content from becoming overly prevalent.

Mouthfeel seems a touch thin, though this is quite the smooth barleywine.

Drinks very well for a barleywine, but I think part of this is attributed to the seemingly lighter mouthfeel Old Foghorn possesses. Not overly heavy, but packs enough of a punch to demand respect. A well done barleywine that put American examples of the style on the map not too long ago.

03-02-2004 02:36:40 | More by Jon
Photo of filabrazilia


4.85/5  rDev +24%

Pours a semi-hazy copper orange with a small off-white head. Great lace decorates the glass.

Exceptionally malty nose balanced with the spicy citrusy character of the hops. There is a slight presence of alcohol.

The taste is absolutely wonderful. Subtle fruits dance in the mouth with the rich malt sweetness. The maple like malts are finished off by the slightly bitter hops. As the beer warmed, the flavors became more complex. Carmel and chocolate were present.

This is a medium bodied beer that blankets the mouth with layers of flavor and character. It is simultaneously subtle and rich.

This is a fantastic beer that comes close to liquid perfection. I could drink these by the dozen. I loved it.

02-25-2004 04:50:38 | More by filabrazilia
Photo of xgrigorix


3.33/5  rDev -14.8%

Seven ounce brown bottle, with bottling code 3DJ printed on back.

Clear auburn hue, modest carbonation. Thin white head recedes rater quickly into a tiny halo.

Rich malt, citrusy hops, & fruity notes assault the nose.

Sweet bready malt, caramel, strange estery fruit. Dries quickly with orangey hop flavours that linger. Medium body, a bit oily w/ subtle carbonation.

02-23-2004 18:23:08 | More by xgrigorix
Photo of TPoling


4/5  rDev +2.3%

It may be sold in a 7-ounce bottle or served in small quantity at the draught house, but there is a lot of bang for a lot of bucks here.

Old Foghorn has been crafted by Anchor since 1975 and is consistently balanced with about 8.8 percent alcohol, the best of malts and whole hops and an aging process that brings together sweetness, fruitiness and bitterness into a powerful package.

Although the alcohol content is lower than some barleywines, the heartiness of Old Foghorn demands respect. This one reminds you with the sternness of a ship's captain that the rations are made for sipping, not swilling.

02-18-2004 20:36:37 | More by TPoling
Photo of blitheringidiot


4.22/5  rDev +7.9%

Cryptic "3MK" embossed stamp on the back label, on this little 7.0 oz. bottle starts the intrigue rolling like a mystery novel. [Update: Anchor website explains the 3MK.] Poured into a small wine glass, Anchor's BW reflects like a prism. Room light refractions are clear at the bottom, giving way to a darker hazy top. Nice! This is a whodunnit of sorts with the usual suspects: Bountiful nose bouquet garnering a 5/5 superlative aroma that can not improve any better, stands next to his partner in crime: Complex aroma, wearing estery plum, apricot, and spiced cider complement the elusive Kraft caramel squares & Twizzlers' Red Liquorice scents. This is guilty of delight. Now that a hand is caught red handed in the cookie jar, let's investigate...

At the scene of the crime, flavor clues are equally up in the nose as on the tongue. Chock full fruity pleasant spicey cinnamon & nutmeg dryness are presant. As small sips quickly deplete my wineglass of this jem, leaving no fingerprints of lace, mild alcohol scents combine with hints of dark malty flavor. I can not understate the aromatic smell enough, with each sip.

There is not a lot of carbonation here. A foamy at best mouthfeel guides this beauty while deceivingly potent. These could get me in trouble, drinking these all night, but that would be a short night indeed. I am thouroghly enjoying each sniff and sip with this review. Please, somebody pay me to do this. Heavenly. To improve? Hard to say.

For this Horn to cut through the San Fran Fog and be heard in Yuengling-ville, PA: $70 I repeat $70 Georgies for 24, 7 oz.bottles. I defrayed the cost 50/50. Special thanks to my friend's husband that turned me onto this treat and shelled out 1/2. Worth it? If you feel that you deserve a Barleywine Style (insert annoying, feckless, US government marketing interference stipulation blurb right here) Ale, with the hefty price tag, do it at least once. Your beer karma commands you! Last sips: Just as good, spicey and warming as the first. That's complex! Mmmm. This is a BW to swig after sledding in the snow and not going to work one day. Get tunafied unknowingly! Last chapter? Mr. Plumflavor did it in the conservtory with a bottle of Foghorn. I have a few more bottles. Clue: There will be an update as these mature.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

02-18-2004 05:51:02 | More by blitheringidiot
Photo of Mark


4.1/5  rDev +4.9%

Orangey amber color with a thin white head. Very little lacing is evident, and only on the mouth side of the glass. Very sweet strong aroma comes up at you from the glass, very nice. Taste is a bit sweet with good malt and hop balance. Thick mouth feel, a definite sipper is this one. Noticible alcohol presence. Barley Wine style ales are not my favorite style, but I can appreciate them and their place in beerdom. You can't go wrong with Anchor, and as far as BW's go, I guess it's O.K.. Probably would rate higher with some aging. I bought my samples straight from the brewery and they were pretty fresh. I'll try that possibly and re review in the future. I have had this beer some more and can qualify it as a real heavy hitting beer. I love it. Ultra smooth, a fine sipping beer for a cold night.

02-16-2004 04:10:51 | More by Mark
Photo of Elemental


3.45/5  rDev -11.8%

pours a nice amber brown color that has very little head if any. very malty sweet smelling with a gingerbread aroma. The taste is very very sweet with a nice hop profile and little spiciness. Finishes slightly bitter but is overpowered by the sweetness. Overall an ok beer but needs some maturing and a little too sweet for me.

02-16-2004 02:14:49 | More by Elemental
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

3.9/5  rDev -0.3%

It poured a light bronze color with a spotty head. The aroma was of malt and alcohol. The flavors are typical barley wine, sweet malt and fruity, but there is more of a hop kick in this than others I have tried. Alcohol is quite noticeable.

The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, and the body is on the lighter side of the heavy scale. The malt lasts long on your tastebuds as it seems to coat the tongue. I used to drink this on tap at one of my favorite establishments years ago, and I still prefer the tap version even though the bottle version is good.

02-09-2004 19:56:40 | More by Gavage
Photo of claytri


3.78/5  rDev -3.3%

Old Foghorn was a nice amber pour with a thin white lace. It had a nice sharp alcohol and spicy smell. The taste is a little sour with out much malt to it. It has a bit of hop kick at the end that leaves a decent aftertaste. A nice smooth beer. I don't know if I'll be buying much of this in the future though. The result for me isn't worth the price.

After a very pleasant experience with Young's Old Nick as an introduction to Barley Wines I took the chance that these little bottles, and my first chance to get an anchor product, would be a step up. I was disappointed.

01-31-2004 06:20:12 | More by claytri
Photo of Chsyhkr

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

What can I say, the best Barleywine out there. An English style with malt being the defining aspect. Supposedly hopped with Cascade, but you cannot pick out the piney character of Cascade.

Medium amber with strong alcohol and toffee notes. Some hope aroma, almost minty, Cascade?

Flavor is all malt a nice hop bitterness to keep this thing in line. A mild hop flavor does appear in the end.

Not too bitter and definitely not a "west coast" style Barleywine.

One of my favorite beers of all time.

01-29-2004 23:12:40 | More by Chsyhkr
Photo of KroMagnon


4/5  rDev +2.3%

My Old Foghorn came in a 7 oz bottle warning me about the high strength of the beer. There was no vintage date on the bottle, indeed no date at all that I could tell, but I believe this bottle was a few years old when I had it. There was very little head from the beer, which may have been handicapped by the fact that I poured it into a fairly wide "brandy snifter" type glass. The beer was not highly carbonated either. The color was a light brownish-amber, and was noticably cloudy as well. The aroma was very powerful, and featured a bit of malt along with spicy notes - raisins, a minty quality, and another aroma that reminded me of tea leaves. The flavor was big and bold and seemed balanced toward the bitter side. The finish had hints of dark chocolate and sharp, rich resiny bitter notes. The beer was good but seemed a little one-dimensional - I expected more fruitiness and malty sweetness. Still, this has its place in my barley wine favorites and I enjoyed it immensely.

01-28-2004 01:27:25 | More by KroMagnon
Anchor Old Foghorn from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,669 ratings.