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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

1,794 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,794
Reviews: 1,018
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11%
Wants: 73
Gots: 119 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,794 | Reviews: 1,018 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of EnJeiBee
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Reddish amber hue after the pour with a 1 finger head and solid lacing

S - Small hop bite overwhelmed by a big malt character consisting of raisins and dark caramel

T - Very malty, with flavors that match the scent, on top of a spicy character that didn't really present itself in the nose

M - Medium to heavy bodied with fairly low carbonation

O - This is a very easy drinking barleywine I would probably use to introduce someone to the style. It's not necessarily my cup of tea, but I would certainly drink it again.

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

12oz bottle marked Sept 8 2010, poured into a tulip.

A: Pours an amber color with a red hues. The pour yielded a two finger off white head, great retention, and it leaves plenty of sticky lacing. As many others have pointed out this brew has excellent clarity, most likely due to filtration.

S: There is a waft of some fruity cascade goodness that gives way to the impressive malt bill. Caramel, vanilla, nutmeg, dark fruits, roasted malt, and rum cake emerge from the glass.

T: The hops have faded at this point with a hint of citrus in the forefront. The malt takes hold immediately with a strong flavors of caramel, raisin rum cake, apples, and an assortment of spices. It finishes semi dry with the booze kept well in check. Very smooth indeed.

M: Medium to thick in body with subtle carbonation. It never becomes too sweet or syrupy .

O: This is quite the underrated barley wine in a craft beer market saturated with extreme brews. I can see this beer aging well.

Photo of scohen
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a 12 oz. tulip glass.

Appearance: Amber Red, clear, with slightly more than a finger thick beige head with a reddish tinge.

Smell: hops, raisins

Taste: The hops are actually a bit subdued for a barleywine, and do not come through in the taste as much as they did in the smell. There are some very pleasant bread-y malt flavors that come through along with a certain raisin-like sweetness, followed by a spiciness that masks the alcohol content very well. Not strictly orthodox for the style, but well received nonetheless.

Mouthfeel: A good level of carbonation, but the consistency is a bit thin for a barleywine.

Photo of xnicknj
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into snifter - 09 vintage

Pours a deep amber red color with some bright hues in the light. An off-white head bubbles up with decent retention, leaving some splotchy lacing on the glass.

Scents of burnt sugar and roasted malts with caramel and honey sweetness. Hints of raisin with flairs of alcohol, slight bitterness as well.

Somewhat sweet initially, notes of burnt sugar with caramelized dark fruit. Hints of raisin and caramel with a thick, bready malt backbone. The hops have pretty much faded out at this point, allowing a smoother malt texture to prevail. Faint booze in the finish with lingering flavor.

Fuller medium body, softer carbonation, pretty smooth on the tongue while drinking. Pretty tasty barleywine, not necessarily at the top, but something I'd drink again.

Photo of byrdman16
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured red-ish brown from a 12oz bottle. Thin white head with spotty lacing. Smells of caramel and spices. Well balanced mouthfeel and taste. Spices and sweetness up front with a slight fruity, caramel finish. Not overly sweet like many barleywines. Alcohol taste is well hidden. Overall this is a well rounded barleywine which I will get again.

Photo of Long813
3.22/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark red body with no head or lacing.

S: Carmel malts, spice and hops. Typical aroma, nothing special.

T: Spices are up front, following with caramel malts and some dark fruits. There is an odd taste that I can't pin point, but I have noticed this in many other barelywines too.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Texture is thick and leaves an odd malty aftertaste. Alcohol is quite evidant.

O: Not a fan of barleywines, but of the ones I've had I think I like this the least.

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

12 fl. oz. stubby Anchor bottle poured into tulip. Date code on back of bottle (though not obvious if it is a best-before or bottled-on date).

Pours a clear caramel with red highlights. No head whatsoever. Swirling doesn't even help.

Aroma of spicy hops seems predominant, with plenty of dark fruit, raisins, cherries, plums, etc. Soft caramel and bread notes in the background.

Taste is a pleasant, but mellow blend of spicy hops and sweet rum-soaked raisins. Other dark fruit noticeable, something like cherries and figs. Bit of caramel to be tasted in the background.

Soft, silky, slick, and only the slightest bit sticky. Alcohol is barely warming, and noticeably in the background, which is pleasant.

Overall a nice mellow version of a barleywine. Nothing too amazing here, imo, but it isn't too aggressive, abrasive, or alcoholic.

Photo of aepb1
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Ruby body with an off-white head

S- Sweet malty fruits, some nuttiness maybe? Intriguing

T- Interesting lighter fruits than most barleywines, sweet more than bitter.

M- Medium/full-bodied, sticky, low to moderate carbonation

O- Very nice light taste, bright flavors are a good take on the style

Photo of goblue3509
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber color with a deep reddish tint to it and a thin head which leaves almost no lace. The aroma is of caramel malt along with a dark fruit and green fruit aromas, green apples and grapes, plum and raisins. No real hop aroma to find. The taste has a big flavor it starts out slow and comes big through the middle. The start is of caramel malt and toffee, in the middle is a tart raspberry flavor and a sweet almost candy like flavor rounded out by dark fruits and a hint of green apple bitterness. Again no real hop presence, the flavor was very sweet and a little of out balance but also enjoyable as an after dinner desert beer. The mouthfeel is a little syrupy and slightly slick with a low level of carbonation. Overall it was a solid beer, would be good as a dessert beer, a big sweet taste dominates. A definite try but I don't know if you could go with too many of these before it would be overly sweet.

Photo of NWer
3.18/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured nice dark amber into a wine snifter. Moderate golden head. Smells nice. The taste is balanced enough to style for an English Barleywine but the maltiness is too milky. The sweetness leaves an unpleasant aftertaste that gets old quickly.
I'm glad I tried it once.

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

A - Pours a dark amber red color with minimal head and mild, but steady carbonation.

S - Raisins, toffee, alcohol effervescence, white grapes, apples, and rum with an overall tart frutiness.

T - Taste is mild and somewhat mellow. Alcohol effervescence in pronounced and caramel, toffee, and rum raisin fall in line behind it. White grapes and mild spice help accentuate the overall flavor.

M - Velvet on the tongue, mellow, smooth carbonation bubbles, medium to medium heavy body, lip smacking stickyness on the lips in a light syrupy sort of way.

O - A 'barley that I've always liked, if only I can discipline myself to cellar some bottles without drinking them first.

Photo of Buggies
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep dark ruby red. Very minimal head. Just a very thin sliver of lacing around the edge. Aromas of caramel and toffee. Also has quite a a bit if fruity notes. Smells of plum and grape with sort of an herbal background.

The taste follows the nose. This one seems really sweet to me. Alcohol is present and noticeable. Also a bit herbal... maybe from dry hopping?

I only bought a single bottle of this. For the price, I'm not sure it is something I would buy on a regular basis. It is a perfect beer for an occasional desert or one for the holidays. Worth a try...

Photo of bobhits
3.04/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Ah, Real Time and beer, does anything go better with beer than politics?

Pours an opaque deep amber color, nearly turning to the black side it is so dense looking. I’m a bit surprised and no clue what kinda age is on this. Big tan and creamy head, lacing well.

Carmel malt, a touch of sour, hops, and this all works together to give off a somewhat grape candy like aroma with citrus hop aroma. Very different. Warmer and now flat I’m picking up cherry and strawberry fruit notes much like beers such as Fullers Vintage Ale, but not nearly that great.

A surprisingly tame barely wine and given they want 25 bucks for a 6 pack now days I would want more (oddly 3 dollars for a single…?). I love putting prices into perspective so this would be about a $7.64 bomber which puts it at a higher price than Old Guardian and Big Foot, but cheaper than Rogue’s. That said this would turn to a 10-15 dollars bomber is sold that way. This gives off a fruity grape candy like flavor with peppery spicy hops. Warming this mellows and becomes sweeter and the flavors blend better.

Well carbonated and on the more medium body which is a touch out of style for most barely wines.

This beer seems to be between the English and today’s American barely wines. More hops and certainly American hops are here, well carbonated, but this doesn’t take on that over the top hops found in beers such as Big Foot. The biggest short falling is that this beer is just too thin for the style. Not sure on the abv (I can taste it) but it drinks rather similarly to a pale ale, though I’m feeling it. Maybe an American Old Ale? This beer is going the direction of some of my favorite beers, but there is something just missing to take it beyond just being an average beer. This beer does explain why Small Beer doesn’t work…this is a touch low in malt so how could you make another beer off this same malt?

Photo of ludachris
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Its crystal clear amber red body displays next to no carbonation. Just over a finger's worth of creamy light tan head is yeilded after a generous pour. The retention surprised me on this, staying a lot longer than I had anticipated; taking into consideration the style and high ABV.

A pungent floral hoppiness mixes with loads of malt. Toffee, candied apples, raisons, fruity jam, and thick bready malts, all of which are soaked in a rum-like alcohol comprise the malt component. Straightforward, big, and sweet in the nose.

The sweetness rushes in immediately. Strawberry jam, raisons, and caramel coat the tongue before a syrupy floral hop character fills the back of the palate. Rich bready malts compete with a dumbed down hop bitterness in the finish but no winner emerges. A sweet and unoffensive alcohol character makes its home in the back, complimenting everything going on.

Full bodied, syrupy, with a light creamy feel. Very, very smooth with a good amount of carbonation for the style. Extremely well rounded.

A tastey and enjoyable English barleywine that I'd prefer to drink fresh. A solid beer through and through. It's not overly complex, but it is a perfect intro to the style.

Photo of bayougutter
3.33/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured in a snifter a light mohogany color with a two finger off white head with good lacing. Smell was mostly candied dark fruits, syrup, sweet malts. Taste unfortunately followed the smell, too sweet for me. Not too bad just a little on the sweet side. I bought two bottles and will age a year and revisit. Mouthfeel was average for a BW. Overall I didn't enjoy alot but didn't hate it either. NO hop presence at all.

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

Appearance. Pours out a clear deep amber-brown with a little red. Small bubbly head that doesn't last long.

Smell. Sweet malt, plums and pears, some earthy hops.

Taste. Thick sweet malt, more plum and a little strawberry, herby, grassy hops in the end. A little booze but it suits this one just fine.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body, a little sticky and warm. Lower carbonation.

Overall. Solid barleywine. Well rounded and nothing offensive going on.

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

474th review on BA
Bottle to taster glass.

App- Poured a pretty decent garnet with a 1/2 in head. Some lace in spots but not too much.

Smell- Very hoppy and sweet. Was a bit bright for a barleywine and was looking for more thick malts and darker fruits.

Taste- Taste follows the nose. A bit too bright for me. A bit too thin as well. Had this a bit warm so the booze was quite upfront.

Mouth- Medium bodied with a medium carb level especially warm. Left a boozy fruity taste.

Drink- Its a classic, maybe I just like bigger flavors. It was tasty but i wanted more. Probably wont come back to this one.

Photo of ADZA
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ive been one spoilt boy lately for choice and this another first for me it pours a see through mahogany hue with beautiful carbonation that leaves behind a frothy two finger head and sporadic lacing,the smell is sweet malts,barley,brown sugar and xmas pudding,the mouthfeel is light-medium bodied and semi sticky with tastes of xmas pudding,candied figs,burnt toffee,crystal malts and finished with a estery fruitness and overall not bad.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled sometime in 2010.

Pours a dark semi-clear honey brown color with a 2 inch light brown head that fades to a thin cap. Nice distinct rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smells of brown sugar, caramel, toffee, apple peels, and malt. Taste is very, very sweet. Lots of brown sugar, toffee, caramel sweetness with some toasted malt and citrus zest hops flavors. Low hop bitterness on the palate after each sip. A pretty low level of carbonation with a sticky and thick mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good English barleywine. Just as the description on BA states, there is definitely less emphasis on the hops compared to American barleywines. A good balance between sweetness, malt, and hops. I have 2 more of these in my cellar and I am looking forward to how this beer develops over time.

Photo of depechemode1983
4.44/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours mahogany in color with only a half a finger off-white head. Poured thick and syrup like. No lacing. Smells great. Very sweet. Picking up candy sugar and sweet dark fruits like raisins, figs, and grapes. Picking up some alcohol as well. The smell reminds me of Port. Taste is like the nose. Dark fruits with a touch of alcohol warmth and just the right amount of hops to balance it out in the finish. Mouth feel is full bodied with medium carbonation. Very smooth, and almost creamy. This is a great beer. Its been available to me for a long time now. Ive had it in the past and it didn't wow me. This time around it did. Could be a better year. Top notch beer.

Photo of soze47
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of the first bottles I've held on to for a year in order to put a little age on it. I have tried it a few time while "fresh" and enjoyed it. Looking forward to trying it now.

Appearance: Ruby brown in color. Surprised to get a nice finger's worth of head. As I swirl it, the heavier body clings to the glass, then slides gradually.

Aroma: Sweet and raisiny, but there is some good spicy, almost nutmeg/cinnamon/clove notes coming through. Almost like oatmeal raisin cookie batter (if there was more malt in the nose, you'd have a full out cookie smell).

Taste: Wow, lots of raisin up front. The hops usually help temper this in a fresher batch, but this is really much better. Rather than having a full on battle going on, there is a rich melding of flavors. I wouldn't go as far as to call this complex, but the fruit notes, along with some of the pound cake-like malt create a nice flavor. I think I like this one with a little age now that I've tried it.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Not very viscous considering the look of it. The beer is not cloying and allows a pleasant development to occur on the linger. As your tongue accumulates some flavors, each subsequent drink takes on new character. This is quite a trick to pull off and not be cloying. This is very easy to drink for a barleywine and is on the light side for the style.

Overall: Nice little reward for me here with my first "cellared" beer. Flavors nicely grew more into a nice, tasty brew. I've always like this barleywine, now I have to buy a bunch to age for the future.

Photo of gkunkle
3.45/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a transparent light brown color with a thin white head that quickly dissipates. Smell is of sweet malts and dark fruits. Taste is moderately complex, I get notes of cascade hops, and spicyness, but the heavy sweetness is what carries this beer. Mouthfeel is a little heavy with mild carbonation. Overall, a good beer to try, but I am going to keep trying others before I settle on a regular barleywine.

Photo of damndirtyape
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle (bottled in 24 March 2010 - date stamp 0MX) poured into a Tulip glass.

Appearance: Dark coppery red-orange with some slowly moving bubbles when held up to the light - hazy orange copper on the table. Light tan 1/4" dense head upon pouring hat died down to a thick ring and a skin across the top. Not a lot of lacing noted but nice color beer.

Smell: Deep and rich malt smell (toffee like) with some definite orange like citrus hops at the end.

Taste: A wonderful even blend of rich malt sweetness with citrus hop flavor. Perfectly balanced with the malt flavor first followed by the hops. The hops do not linger though - instead they move the strong toffee and caramel malt sweetness along. Well done!

Mouthfeel: Very mild carbonation on the tongue with a very thick chewiness. Smooth, but a very thick beer - not that I'm complaining mind you.

Overall / Drinkability: As the bottle says - a great after dinner treat. A dessert all in it's own right, and great for sipping and savoring. But one a night with this one. While the higher ABV is
completely hidden in taste, it still sneaks up on you and reminds you to slow down and enjoy life a bit. A very tasty and overall good beer. I'll have to revisit this one again.

Photo of falloutsnow
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a brown, 2cm head. Head disappears within a few minutes, no real lacing. Beer is amber-mahogany in color, transparent. Carbonation visible, fairly active.

S: Scent of dense, dark bread and a bit of alcohol "burn" hiding behind it. I don't get the fruitiness here that others seem to describe.

T: I pick up fruity, estery flavors tinged with a bit of malt syrup sweetness and hop bitterness with an alcohol flash. Has kind of a Moutain Dew flavor, or at least how I remember Mountain Dew tasting years ago. Alcohol presence is more notable after beer warms. Aftertaste is fairly sweet with a bit of bitterness from hops.

M: Relatively gentle carbonation, medium-heavy body, a bit syrupy as it warms. Carbonation is enough to keep beer moving over palate. Finish is fairly dry, a bit sticky.

O: A sipper, not necessarily because of the alcohol, but due to the sweetness; you don't need a lot to impart a large amount of flavor. Tasty, not particularly complex, but so pronounced that I don't want one too often. A good, largely available barleywine.

Photo of ShogoKawada
4.11/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle into mini snifter. Thanks to 603beerme for this one.

A- Lighter than expected, honey brown. Great reddish hue when held up to the light. Creamy khaki head settles quickly to a small outer ring of tiny bubbles.

S- Simple syrup, dark fruit, very very sweet.

T- Tons of malt sweetness. Not overbearing, it's actually mellow. Bready, toffee/caramel flavors abound. Maple/vanilla/honey as well.. hard to pin down, but tasty. Tropical fruit comes out in the 2nd pour as it warms a bit.

M- Fantastic- bold yet smooth flavors, no cloying sweetness, great carbonation. ABV is in check.

O- I enjoyed it more as it opens up to room temperature. A very well-crafted beer. I don't think there's a better barleywine for the price.


Anchor Old Foghorn from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,794 ratings.