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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

1,031 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,031
Hads: 1,863
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 7.63%
Wants: 73
Gots: 144 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001

ABV varies slightly over the years.
View: Beers (26) | 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: 1,031 | Hads: 1,863
Photo of marcobrau
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A wee nip of a barleywine in a 7 oz bottle that pours a light brown color with a flourish of lots of bubbles. There's a nice caramel malt aroma punctuated with bits of vanilla. This aromas are echoed on the palate along with a gentle spiciness of hops, but by far the most distinguishing characteristic of this beer is its tawny character that is almost reminiscent of a fine sherry. A very smooth barleywine that is not very full bodied and one that ends in a fairly balanced way. More subtle than some other American barleywines that have come along, but I can still appreciate the nuances and tawny character of Old Foggy. (625 characters)

Photo of Winter
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

7 oz, "nip" bottle. The pour into a snifter revealed an auburn color with a thin light tan head that didn't stick around for very long. Sweet aroma of toffee, caramel, raisin and alcohol. Medium-bodied mouthfeel had a syrupy texture to it that coated the tongue. Flavors of raisin and caramel dominate. Bitterness from the Cascade hops adds a nice balance to the sweetness, in addition to some coarseness of flavor. Overall though, Old Foghorn is a very smooth and enjoyable barley wine. (487 characters)

Photo of DagFishHead
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy, burnt-amber body. Frothy 1/4" creamsicle head dissapates quickly leaving little or no lace. Head returns with gentle swirling.
Smell: Sweet caramel/toffee malt, orange/citrus highlights... reminds me of a rum/sherry-laced fruitcake...alcohol astringency, hops poke through it all at the end. Yum
Taste: Rush of malt/fruitcake sweetness rides the tongue on a wave of alcohol warmth, followed by a surprisingly dry hop finish. One of the first barleywines I ever had and to me sets a standard for comparing others of the style.
Mouthfeel: Grainy, warm, chewy...lighter than might be expected.
Carbonation very complementary.
Drinkability: Another nice winter sipper. The 7oz. bottle is just the right size for me, although this is light enough to enjoy 2 or 3. (781 characters)

Photo of Dmann
4.52/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I thought this was a great barleywine. I had this on tap at the San Diego Brewing Co. tonight and it was great! The first thing I noticed was the great smell of spices, plum and a slight scent of alchohol. The taste had a good portion of maltiness with a good balance of hoppiness and a good spice/plum flavor. This was a great beer on tap and much better than out of the bottle. (379 characters)

Photo of grynder33
3.46/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I got a amberish brown color pour, a big head for a barleywine, much less of an aroma than I had hoped for, mouthfuls going down were smooth hoppy kind of a cherrish taste with kind of a bitter sweet fruity aftertaste. I found this to be just a little to sweet for my tastes. (275 characters)

Photo of Running4beer
3.89/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out a brown caramel like color and when held to the light it has an orange glow to it very little to no head and it completely disappears in a few minutes. Aroma was sweet and fruity something like grapes/raisons/prune smell with a light malt backround. Tasted good raison and fruit with chocolate and caramel malt hardly any bitterness. Mouthfeel was pretty light for a barleywine. Drinkability is good it's light bodied and taste good. Pretty good IMO. (461 characters)

Photo of ElGuapo
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A golden brown color with a very thin covering of white foam. The nose is pretty bitter and hoppy, but it is not in your face as most other barley wines.

The body is medium full. The flavor is a bit toned down for my liking. Bitter with some nice hop presence, but there is not a lot to it at all. The lacking complexity bored me. The aftertaste saved this beer by add some nice dry toasty flavors. (402 characters)

Photo of ManekiNeko
3.74/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Caramel colored hazy brown with no head or retention.

Smell: Intense bitter hops with a nice backing of sweet malts. Hints of grapefruity hops.

Taste: Very sweet caramel malts. Just a hint of bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with an mellow alcoholic presence that warms the mouth and soul.

Drinkability: I'd be willing to get this again. A decent and readily available intro to barleywine. Don't have to many in one sitting, though. (472 characters)

Photo of UnionMade
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a rich mahogany amber, with a thin cloudcover of head. Excellent color, that of a rich, venerable beer.
Aroma is sweetly malty, with an alcoholic single malt scotch feel. Maris Otter? Slight peat aroma, with a bit of woodiness. Assertively hopped, providing a citric/herbal cascade aroma. Very rich and powerful.
Flavor is rich and strong. Sweet whisky-esque malts, with a distinct peaty, woody flavor. Very estery, with raisin, plum, pear and apricot flavors. Some caramel/toffee flavor. Hops come in around the middle, very agressive and sharp, with a grapefruity, oily, citric quality. A bit of piney flavor, particularly further into the glass. Solid bitterness mingling with a warming alcohol completes the sip. As the beer warms, estery phenols become more pronounced, with a syrupy sweet alcoholic tint to the finish. Almost too much. Body is a bit thinnish, for a barleywine, but still quite an impressive beer.
One of my favorite barleywines, if not the favorite. I try to get a bottle or two each year, and split them with friends as a little treat periodically. (1,091 characters)

Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – Clear, orangish-brown body that produced a big head that left quickly, which is very typical of the style.

Smell – This one has the sweet, malty, alcoholic aroma of a good barley wine. There’s also some hop bitterness there for balance, but mostly the smell announces a sugary substance.

Taste – Yes, there’s a big sweetness from this one. The malt is present but clearly in the background. The main thrust of this brew is the sweetness, predominantly alcoholic molasses and brown sugar. There are some dark fruits as well; mostly bloody peaches and plums doused in table sugar, but the molasses and brown sugar are the strongest. Lastly, there’s a slight floral hop balance to round this one out.

Mouthfeel – This one is flat and smooth and full-bodied.

Drinkability – This is a great sipping beer. I had this with a charbroiled tenderloin, and it was heaven.

Update – This is one of the first ales that I rated after joining the site in 2003, so I thought it would be fun to re-rate it with a 2004 vintage. I “ditto” the review from over a year ago. It isn’t as hoppy as some American BWs but goes down quite well. (1,156 characters)

Photo of clvand0
2.98/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This beer poured a reddish/yellow color with a small tan colored head. The aroma was sweet and spicy, but it had some metallic hints to it. The alcohol is not well masked in the flavor and adds to the overall kick of this beer. The flavor was a little sweet and malty with quite a bit of carbonation. Not a bad beer, but I prefer the other Anchor offerings. (357 characters)

Photo of beerinator
4.55/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Reddish golden. Very clear, strawberry blonde.

Aroma: Sweet, with whiffs of metal. Very malty aroma.

Taste: Sweet up front with a very balanced bitterness. Leaving a nice clean slightly bitter finish. Solid flavor with an almost perfect amount of bitterness in the finish.

Notes: As a 2002 version, in my opinion, this beer needs little aging. I'm sure it will be great aged, but the balance is excellent right now. It is sold in 7oz only, at the same price that you'd normally find a 12oz barleywine. Save your cash and buy a sixer when you can. (568 characters)

Photo of francisweizen
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

#11 - 7oz bottle, vintage dated from 1996!

This beer poured a dark garnet colour into my cup. The aromas were of sweet malts, hops, and alcohol. The taste was a wonderful melange of the above, this is a very well aged and well-rounded barleywine folks! The mouthfeel is thick, but not cloying and the drinkablity is wonderful as well!

(342 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Color, a clear garnet, with a brief layer of film serving as head.
Aroma is sweet is sweetness comes, spicy, with flavors of cherries, raisins, and cognac.
Alcohol announces itself early, and gets larger as we go, bold and burning.
Taste is tingly, fruity, hoppy, warm, and eventually occupies every part of the senses. Long, no, permanent finish settles comfortably on the palate and sticks it out.
Strength becomes thicker, fuller, and the flavor has practically set up camp in the back of the throat.
That said, I'm still more a bit disappointed with this latest sampling of Old Foggy, for it's character is some several shades duller than many more other barleywines that have met my tongue. Considering also that it is one of the most expensive American beers on the market, I keep this at the bottom of my to-buy list! (829 characters)

Photo of scottum
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Sunset in Allston. Served a nice brown color with a very very small head. Tastes strong. Feels strong. The balance isn't quite where I would like it to be. The malts are quite nice, but not enough balance. I'd be into trying some aged bottled brew, but on tap I'll pass. (280 characters)

Photo of faernt
4.59/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I decided to review this beer (code 9DG) because when I opened it and poured it into my little nip chalice it gave me an aroma from two feet away. It was made in 1999! This is quite respectable IMO since most beers in my closet get quiet after about 3 jahrs (no 55 F constant)
The taste is winey. Appearance is third with this beer. Smell rules...then taste (I'm compelled to try it based on the attrctiveness of the smell)....then appearance ( which is pleasantly amber) Mouthfeel is thinnish but since the smell and taste are so predominant the thinness is OK. I am going to have another. The nips are so beguiling. The next will be a 2003. Try this beer again if you haven't recently. It is worthy. (702 characters)

Photo of RenoZymurgist
2.56/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Reviewed a newer vintage that from their website i deciphered as March 11 2003. I'm not sure if this is the brewdate or the date of bottling. Sampled in a snifter type glass for increased aroma. Strong alcohol aroma with a lot of fruity esters. Color of ruby red with a brownish tint. Sweet smell with no bitterness detectable. Very strong alcohol taste up front with sweetness and a complex hop flavor in the finish. Clean finish. For a barley wine it is kind of mild in terms of flavor and the body is light as well. (518 characters)

Photo of Loki
4.77/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled from a small 7oz bottle. I don't know what vintage as it was my friends and I didn't put that in the notes when he was sharing it with me.

Poured a lightly tarnished copper color with a one inch light beige head that was frothy and left decent lacing.

Aromas of hops, caramel, sweet malt, barley, fruit, and just a hint of alcohol. This does not smell like any barley wine I've had yet. (I've only had two so far, so that's not saying much.) But very inviting.

Tastes of hops and fruit that lead into caramel and sweet malt. The body is much lighter and a little more carbonated than other barley wines I've had. Incredibly smooth and complex. Subtle flavors dance back and forth and transition on the palette without the slightest hint of effort. Smooth, crisp, and clean. Wonderfully balanced and drinkable. I could drink this all night, if only it came in a bigger sample. (892 characters)

Photo of nomad
3.33/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2003, so barely aged...

Poured a russet - ruby red color. The off-white head started large and foamy then fell into a swiss cheese-like appearance: a head of irregular foam, bursting bubbles, and caverns through out. Also left lots of stain behing.

Smelled of a huge grapefruit scent, as well as some pine and bready malt scents, too. Tasted of sweet cherries and grapefruit, then a noticeable creamy taste, and the hops come real slow at the end. That’s all, unfortunately. Fairly thick mouthfeel - decent. Too simple and only sweet to crave for, especially in the realm of highly competitive world of great barleywines. Nice scent, though. (653 characters)

Photo of beerguy101
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark Amber color, no head, malt and citrus aroma. Big malty barleywine. Taste is nearly oily, fruit and citrus. Slightly sweet at the start and finishes with some hoppyness and an alcohol bite. Mouthfeel is full and round, nearly chewy. Finish is crisp and dry. Aftertaste is malty and slightly bitter with some alcohol warmth. Nice beer. (338 characters)

Photo of dwarbi
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a beautiful looking barley-wine. It's a reddish-brown color. Looks much better than most. Pours a thin head but it hangs around the rim for a time. Doesn't smell too sweet. Very thick taste -- makes me think of a sugarcane, but there's not a tongue-covering feeling. Not cakey -- refreshing. Would be a good 6-pack beer. (328 characters)

Photo of jcalabre
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Originally sampled 7 June 2002. This is a beautifully smooth barleywine. It's incredibly easy to drink, despite an ABV of 10%. It starts out sweet & malty but finishes dry. I've had it both on draught at the brewery & in the 7 ounce 'nipper' bottles. It's a wonderful barleywine. (279 characters)

Photo of SheepNutz
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this beer in the 7oz. bottle. I poured it into a small snifter, noticing the ruby red color and about 1 finger of off-white head. Not a trace of lace is left on the glass. The initial smell was strong alcohol, but it softened down after a minute. Strong, but not overwhelming flavor of cascade hops at first drink. The mouthfeel is very bold and full. Spicy, yet fruitful taste with heavy alcohol makes the drinkability only average. Balance is a little on the hops side, but not as strong as an IPA. Really a great brew for my first Barleywine, and this beer does make a wonderful nightcap! (597 characters)

Photo of kunzbrew
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours a hazy copper with very little head, and no lace is left behind. The caramel aroma is very pleasant. Hop aroma is mild. The caramel flavor is very strong, along with a mild hop flavor. A citrus flavor starts to come out as the beer get warmer. The hops also start to stick out more at the same time. This is a very good beer. I am glad I have a six pack to cellar for while.

Cheers (400 characters)

Photo of Dogbrick
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's always a shame when a decent beer is contrained to a mere 7oz bottle. Well at least I got to enjoy those 7 ounces. Pours a deep reddish-orange with a thin but lasting off-white head. Aroma of malt, cherry, and alcohol (rum). Medium-bodied and easy to drink for a Barley Wine, with flavors of sweet fruit, malt, and spices. Alcohol is well-masked. The finish is sweet and lingering. Nicely done. (399 characters)

Anchor Old Foghorn from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,031 ratings.