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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

1,043 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,043
Hads: 1,903
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 14.8%
Wants: 81
Gots: 163 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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 (30) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Anchor Old Foghorn Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,043 | Hads: 1,903
Photo of Jeffrey84
4.84/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I'm not sure if it was the 14 years this beer was cellared or if this is just the best barley wine I've ever had. This beer had zero hop presence and had the sweetest rasen,cherry, and apple flavors. I must get more to cellar for years.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery tulip. The pour is clear and dark amber-copper colored with a brilliant 3 fingers of fluffy white foam. The nose is classic barleywine. Lots of sweet, bready, caramel-like malty notes.

Full body with an oily, silky smooth feel and a balanced flavor. Sweet bready toasted malt up front and a moderate addition of hops balance it out at mid-palate. Big flavors of fresh bread, toffee, then herbal tea, apricot, and lemon near the finish. Balanced and herbal, not intensely-hopped and citrusy.

A classic American (not English) Barleywine, but not one that drinks like a IIPA. I've had it numerous times, but had never gotten around to reviewing it before. Good in a bottle, but much better on tap. Definitely worth revisiting from time to time.

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Photo of RossiDaMan
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was my first barleywine ever and was thoroughly enjoyed! The maroon opaqueness had a tan/white 1 finger head that faded quickly with no lacing. Initial sweetness was followed by a pleasant afterburn that I would have guessed was much mellower than a 10% ABV. Thanks for the intro to barleywines-- I'll be back for more.

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Photo of Mickeyp2814
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very nice Barleywine ale. Smell: Banana and orange peel (slight). Taste: banana, molasses, some orange and other citrus notes with some floral, I assume from the hops. The finish has a brown sugar finish. There is a very slight alcohol taste. Feel: Smooth and full Overall: a nice ale and unlike the traditional Barleywines it doesn't have that really sweet taste. Very drinkable.

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Photo of maedhros09
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Transluscent ruby-amber with big tan frothy head
Smell: Sweet dried banana
Taste: Dried banana chips, caramel, slight citrus with some moderate herbal hops towards the finish. Alcohol is nicely disguised.
Feel: Thick, smooth
Overall: Tasted this together with the Sierra Nevada Bigfoot. While they are both barleywines, the nose and palate are very different between the two. Whereas Bigfoot has a big resinous hop balance to the sweet caramel malt, the Foghorn is dominated by rich banana malt with a moderate herbal hops balance. My first reaction was that I preferred the Bigfoot, but the Foghorn grew on me as I continued to sip. A rich and complex brew.

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Photo of Jacobob10
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle.

Reddish-brown with a large, creamy, tan head that dies down after a couple of minutes. Spotty lacing as it goes down. A bit of chill haze at the beginning but clears up as the beer warms. Rich caramel malts in the aroma initially, followed by a wave of ripened fruit, hops, and alcohol. Malty and bitter on the palate. Full bodied with a thick texture.

More of an American Barleywine than English, as the hop presence is strong, but not as intense as something like Sierra Nevada Bigfoot. A nice sipping beer, great for a nightcap.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap:
Appearance is ruby-brown with a very sustaining head. Nose on a cold beer is almost non-existent. Nose on a quite warm beer is dominated by alcohol. In between I get a light darker fruit scent, but nothing definitive.

Taste is pretty much on par with a balanced (neither English or American) barleywine. There are dark cherry candy and some cola notes on the malty side, and a definite drying woody draw on the back end. The body is actually pretty full, the taste coating the palate. However, in the end, there is a slight medicine-like taste/feel.

I enjoyed this enough to have a couple of them. I feel there is a common malty/pine taste that I get in some sips that is off-putting, but I am willing to discount a bit based on other ambient factors. Definitely one OG the better Anchor beers I've had.

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Photo of spacecake9
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Dogfish Head IPA glass.
A - Pours a hazy amber with a large bubbly head with some lacing.
S - Aroma is malty and bready.
T - Malty and sweet with some toffee or caramel tones. Slightly bitter on the finish.
M - A little sticky and chewy. Medium mouth feel and carbonation.
O - This is my first time tasting and I'm on my second bottle. This my be the best barleywine for those new to the style. Very good!

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Photo of OrangeMen
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours a amber-red, brighter mahogony. Glistens in the glass and is quite transparent and clear. Finger and a half slight off-white, frothy and creamy head. Moderate lacing on sides of glass.
Aroma- Brighter winter fruits, cherries and sugar plums. Certain fruitcake quality, some pineapple and raisin. Sugary bread, toasted caramel malt and toffees.
Taste- Toasted malts, caramel and sweet brown sugar. Forward fruitiness, cherries, berries, sugar plums, along with some dark winter fruits, dates, raisins. Slight, bright hop bitterness on back end.
Feel- Very smooth, slightly sticky. Medium mouthfeel, medium carbonation.
Overall- Very enjoyable, very sweet, malts and fruits combine for a fruitcake-like quality to this beer. This teeters more towards an american style barleywine, as there is a slight hop bitterness that lingers in the aftertaste. But lots of toasted malts, lots of bright fruits, fairly warming for the lower abv on the 2014 vintage of 8.8%.

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Photo of BeerDrinkersWorldTour
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – Black tea like colouration in fact it is almost ruby ale like. Tight off white foam head. This head dies to a lace cover in around 5-10 minutes and sticks to the side of the glass. There is only slight evidence of CO2 in this one.

Smell – Brown sugar notes are very evident in here as is an almost red wine like boozy aroma. Lots of red and dark/dried fruit such as prune, raisin and grape. Some solvent and biscuit like a very strong fruit cake soaked in booze.

Taste – A sweet solvent mix in the first punch. This beer has an almost whisky like back end to it. The middle section is dominated by the sweet prune and raisin flavours and also some banana and grape present themselves in here too. The way the flavour rides from sweet to bitter to solvent makes this one almost like a symphony on the tongue and it is the first barley wine I have ever tried but it has convinced me of the style.

MF – Very smooth, silky even! This beer had great boozy warmth although it was fairly cloying in the after taste. The linger was simply superb and it had a great tingle on the tongue with full body. Points only lost for the cloying element.

Overall – Sharp and flavourful this beer is damned fine and packs a punch. A great sipping beer for a movie or a long game of cricket.

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Photo of bark
4.66/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Best before 6/2016 (probably brewed late 2014).

The colour is warm brown (50 EBC), the liquid is clear. The three finger compact head is beige, it sinks slowly leaving some lacing.

The smell is rich, sweet and smooth with caramel, alcohol, nuts, marzipan and toffee.

The taste is sweet, but not heavy. Fresh hay-ish hops, toffee, bitter herbs, butterscotch, orange peels and some alcohol. Full body. The aftertaste got fading alcohol, bitter herbs, marzipan and a touch of leather. The finish is semi-sweet, fruity and a little dry.

The carbonation is strong, the mid-sized bubbles are smooth and short-lived. The liquid is a bit thick.

A solid, clean and very British barley wine.

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Photo of scream
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had not had this in years but picked it up last wknd. While this is certainly not the most complex, bold barleywine out there these days it is still a very drinkable beer. If I were to have the option of trying something I have not had before or this I would choose to try the new one. Still this is good ale !

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Photo of archero
5/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Faint orange taste, along with belgian yeast. Sweet and not overly hoppy, but has a slight bitter finish. Very tasty. One of the best barleywines I have had.

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Photo of Andrew041180
3.61/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a peculiar beer for me. Each sip changed. Sometimes it would be pleasantly spicy, other times it would feel muddy. I had a hard time categorizing what was going on. Ultimately it left me with a bad taste in my mouth, and while I love this brewery, this is not a beer that I will be buying in the future.

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Photo of dcmchew
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark amber, cloudy, with a small creamy light beige head.
Brown sugared raisin on the nose, musty and dried fruit (apricot, plum), sweet bready malt, faint fresh tobacco.
Syrupy sweet taste, thick sticky maltiness, lots of brown sugar caramel and some toffee. Stone fruit jam, especially apricot, Chinese plum, hawberry, overripe oranges. Touch of dark fruit too, some fig, some date. A light toastiness towards the end, like overcooked cake crust, some spicy hop too. Alcohol brings a nice brandy-like warmth too.
Medium body, a bit gloopy, medium to low carbonation. Aftertaste has sweet caramel malt, some blond fruit and earthy/spicy hop.
A simpler than usual barleywine, nice and (traditionally English) malty with a nice fruity freshness. Solid enough to be remembered.

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Photo of leaddog
4.34/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours a dark mahogany with a finger of bubbly white head.

Smell - bready caramel malts, brown sugar, plum, raisin, earthy hops.

Taste - Starts off with the bready caramel malts then goes into the brown sugar, plum, raisin, and the earthy hops.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full bodied with light carbonation. Finishes off dry with a pleasant sweetness that lingers.

Overall - A well crafted English Barleywine with all flavours working in unison. A definite try if you stumble across this one as it won't disappoint.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Clear, dark mahogny-red beer. Two finger high, beige head that leaves lacing in the glass.

Nose: Dark fruit, caramel malt, bread, plum and brown sugar.
Taste: Sweet malt, raisin, plum, grass, dark fruit, a little bit orange, nuts and dark syrup.
Body: Medium to full body . Light carbonated. Creamy feeling. The alcohol is well hidden with a perfect balanced bitterness.

A great barleywine from Anchor!

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Photo of The_Mad_Capper
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The aroma is largely sweet with caramel and bread along with fruity esters akin to muscat grape and apple. The head is light tan and fizzy; the somewhat hazy body is a dark copper with blazing ruby highlights. Rich, flavorful malt dominates in the flavor, followed closely by alcohol and hop bitterness with a resiny character. The malt is fairly sweet and has a muted prune and molasses flavor. It's rather full in body with a velvety texture; the restrained carbonation lends crispness.

Not especially hoppy but otherwise pleasantly flavorful. The malt is rich and sweet but not overwhelming. The alcohol lends considerable dryness but goes rather well with the bitterness.

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Photo of Tuck_leepulin
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz Brown Bottle with pry-off cap and no date. Poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a clear deep mahogany with 1 finger of off-white head

Smell: Toffee and and dark fruits

Taste: Dark fruits and raisin with hop flavors in the middle with some cherry and chocolate notes and a malty finish with some fruity esters

Mouthfeel: full-bodied and just right

Overall: A great english style barleywine. Lots of malt complexity without getting too muddled and provides much depth. Im curious as to how some age will affect it.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Nose: caramel, dried fruit, alcohol,
Pours brilliant deep orange amber with a brown tint under an off-white to lightly tan tinted 1" foam cap that drops to a thick film but is easily roused. Has some legs.
Palate: A lovely development of malt flavors, rich, dark and creamy suggesting a rich fruit bread or bready cake, fruit suggests plum joined by dark caramelly toffee sugars with fig and dates. Citrusy hop accent on the finish.
Very creamy, chewy, medium carbonation, some warming.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4/5  rDev +2%

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, cloudy, completely opaque, deep, dark mahogany color with a quarter of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into no head what-so-ever.

Aroma: Very aromatic, with lots of pleasant, delicious-smelling aromas of bready, toasted malt and dried stone fruits such as apricots, dates, figs, prunes and raisins. There are also lots of strong aromas of brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and all-spice, and a hint of Belgian yeast.

Taste: Wow! Great flavors of toasted malt, brown sugar-like sweetness and dried stone fruit! I get lots of flavors of dates, clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg, as well as a hint of Belgian yeast.

Mouthfeel: Chewy and smooth as there is no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 9.4%, there is a pleasant alcohol warmth on the palate.

Overall: This is a very, very good, very delicious barleywine. It has great, bready, fruity, sweet flavors wrapped up in a very pleasant chewy and smooth mouthfeel. While there are stronger, more flavorful barleywines out there now, this one must’ve been revolutionary back in 1975 when it was first brewed and released! Definitely worth a drink!

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Photo of ilikebeer03
3.62/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into snifter.

A: pours a wonderful deep amber / ruby red color with about a finger of nice thick, tan head. this fads to a fair ring around the glass, with some lingering in the center.

S: upfront, I get a malty sweetness with dark fruits like plums a little bit of hop, but not much.

T: I get a sweetness and a breadyness from the malt initially, then some fruits, figs, and a bit of resinous hop character at the end.

M: pretty good mouthfeel, good carbonation.

O: i havent had a whole lot of barleywines (even less english barleywines) so im certainly a bit out of my element in regards to this beers representation of the style. this is based more on my general opinions. a pretty good beer, though. I wouldn't ever turn one down.

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Photo of patre_tim
3.89/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Dark brown filtered with lots of carbonation, even bubbles cling to the inside of the glass. There are 2 fingers of creamy beige head.

S: Malt, toffee, butter scotch, crème brulee, apple candy.

T: Butter scotch, candy, alcohol on the end, caramelized sugar like crème brulee, apple candy comes in as well.

M: Thick syrupy body is balanced by the heavy carbonation so much so that its smooth with a light bitter aftertaste.

O: Considered a standard by many in the beer world for a Barleywine, I was glad to finally find this on the east coast at Brawley’s Beverage in Charlotte. Drank in Boca Raton July 12th, 2014.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Thirsty Monk Asheville. Served in a Lagunitas pint glass.

A- Pours a reddish dark amber with a 1/2 inch light tan had that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a jagged ring behind.

S- Sweet smelling with some notes of dark fruit, caramel and a touch of brown sugar.

T- Big hits of Bready malt, booze and more dark fruit. Everything melds together to make for a drinkable barleywine, there's just not a lot of complexity. Bitter aftertaste.

M- Somewhat syrupy with medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the fuller side.

O- Definitely a sweeter barleywine with a lot of residual sugars but still quite drinkable if not very complex.

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Photo of Kuaff
4.37/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Just found this today, and discovered that it's the 8.8% 2008 vintage! Yeah, we get some old beers around here sometimes, but damn. So it's 5~6 years old. Good thing it's a barleywine. Served in a snifter at cellar temperature.

An two-finger beige head fizzed up and receded to a thin ring over a beautiful clear garnet or ruby barleywine. A bigger head than I expected from such an old barleywine.

It smells fruity, with cherries being the specific fruit that stands out the most. I also get prunes, red apples, a hint of citrus, a bit of maple syrup... maybe even a dash of some type of brighter fruit like peaches.

Tart fruits take effect initially, like cherries, nectarines, peaches, and then red apples toward the middle. The finish has a nice breadiness and some bitter, slightly astringent hops that give off noticeable notes of pine and citrus. Kind of a dry aftertaste like highly hopped American barleywines and DIPAs, which surprises me since this has aged for so long.

The carbonation is fairly high, once again despite the old age, and the feel is substantially thick, viscous, and full.

I didn't know what to expect since this is the oldest beer I've ever tried up to this point, but it's really held up well. While it does fit the more malt-forward profile of an English barleywine, I also think it walks a nice line between the English and American barleywine styles, with a little bit of American hoppiness to balance the sweet English maltiness.

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Anchor Old Foghorn from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,043 ratings.