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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

1,778 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,778
Reviews: 1,013
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11%
Wants: 72
Gots: 107 | 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: 1,778 | Reviews: 1,013 | Display Reviews Only:
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.


Photo of birdypowder
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A craft brew antique! In today's market, conservatively, I'd say at auction this beer is worth...buying again!

Pouring it into the bottle it looks brown but when held to the light it turns a very unique and beautifully ominous crimson color that seems to say, "do not rush me, sip slowly or pay the price". Minimal head and minimal lacing, though acceptable for style, knock it's score down a bit.

Malty, sweetness comprised of dark fruity aromas, estery goodness, (smells slightly like runts candy), cherries and toffee. All this sweetness occasionally lets some of those Cascade dry hops sneak through.

Huge sweet maltiness with some slight leather flavors. Warm alcohol kicks in towards end then fades into the surprisingly (for style) bitter finish. The carbonation is a bit high and slightly detracts from the multitude of flavors.

Not quite thick enough for today's barely wine, but I bet in the late 70's it was considered extremely thick!

A good example of the style. I would buy again and would love to try it on draft.

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

Picked up a 6er at the local beer store, I poured this one in a tulip. The beer is a hazy, deep, vibrant ruby highlighted brown coloring with a 1-inch off-white, cream colored head that settles in to a thin film as it sits. Dark fruit aromas of dates and caramel sweetness with peppery spices and effervescents on the nose. Beer leaves a great lacing as you drink. The flavor is heavy on the dark fruit sweetness, this time more towards a dark cherry characteristics. Spices present on the backside of the taste, and they are peppery and nutmeg, too. The body is crisp and dry, and the aftertaste is almost syrupy sweet. Smooth finish that trails off slowly. Good, tasty Barleywine.

Photo of Hachiman
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber ale with a finely textured, rapidly disappearing off-white head.

Smell is primarily of herbal hops, with a little caramel.

Mouthfeel is drying from the alcohol, but it leaves a sticky residue on the lips.

With a little less caramel malt and cascade hops, this would be Pliny the Elder. It's more malty and less phenolic than its higher rated offspring. Overall it's balanced. And don't forget that it's been the inspiration for many new strong brews.

It's nice that although Anchor has been sold, this expensive-to-make Barley Wine is unchanged.

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage bottle from the Farmhouse in Emmaus PA. dating back to sometime before 2005 because it was a 7.5oz bottle. Served at cellar room temperature. Very strong smell of booze and strong malts. The taste was really good still with some grainy malts and some hops still in there, the flavors changed into something more boozey now. A definite sipper, Had all the qualities of a good barley wine. Very complex and very warming. Felt like a was getting a fever after I had this one.

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

pours a nice filtered amber with a finger of head.

smell is overall quite sweet with not much else.

taste is also overpoweringly sweet. i'm very disappointed by the lack of hops in this barleywine. it is alcoholic with slight licorice.

mouth is medium-heavy with light carbonation.

overall just now on par with the barleywines I enjoy from stone, sierra and victory. disappointing.

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

Poured into a pint glass. Nice two fingers of thick foam that slowly dissipates. Nice raisiny dried fruit and malt smell. Taste is sweet molasses and fruit with some toffee. Heavy smooth mouthfeel. No noticeable alcohol taste. Quite drinkable for a big beer.

Photo of Jimmys
3.99/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: a rich brown/bright ruby. decent dense off-white, reddish head. reasonable retention. slightly hazy, or maybe just a little too dark to tell the clarity.

S: right on point. tons of sweet sugar. dried banana chips. a little nuttiness. reminds me of trail mix.

T: cake batter. pecan pie dessert flavors. cant find any bitterness in this sweetness, but im totally okay with that. a linger of soft fruits. apples, pears. just a little bit of alcohol.

M: a slightly effervescent carbonation on a full body. kind of want it to be a little softer to really let some of these flavors play.

D: enough flavor to make it hard for me to believe the 8.8% abv. just classic english barleywine flavors. very enjoyable.

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.19/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This looks exceptionally nice. Its a clear, deep ruby or garnet color beer capped off with a sturdy pillow of foam. The head is very frothy and densely packed. It leaves a whole sheet of droopy lacing on my snifter. That, coupled with the awesome classic label design and tapering bottle makes this a very inviting beer.

The aroma is quite unique. Its a mix of floral notes and deep fruity tones. The malt foundation is strong as it lends toffee smells that ride over an aroma of grains. Ripe red apple, black cherry, possibly strawberry sweeten things up as alcohol gently stings the nostrils.

The black cherry notes play a big role in the flavor. There is a big grainy malt taste with some floral hops. This beer is very well balanced between bitter and sweet. It does settle a little on the sweet side though. A flash of orange from the hops ends this beer's long finish.

Thick bodied, almost syrupy at times. Carbonation is just there to keep this moving down your gullet. Sticky residuals are left on the lips and tongue.

This is a solid barleywine for sure. It does feel old fashioned when compared to what breweries are doing with the style.

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

Surprisingly transparent in appearance. A very transparent amber. Good head upon pouring but dissipates quickly to nothing. Mouthfeel just like the transparency, light and thin, almost watery for a barleywine. Nose leads with hops and spices, some bananas but more faintly. Tastes begins with hops, sweet malts in the middle, finishes fruity with caramel. Standard barleywine overpowered by spice that kicks in and throws everything out of whack. Purely opinion, but spice is out of place in a BW. Yeah too spicy for my taste but I also objectively feel that it's out of place for the style. Also way too much warmth considering it's only 8.8%. Which is also a VERY low abv for the style. But they still somehow manage to not hide even this low abv. So we're left with a low abv that still comes out tasting slighty boozy. Overall, as an ale, it's easily drinkable, but nothing here to excite the true barleywine fan. As a barleywine, it's easily forgettable.

Photo of seanyfo
3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint glass

BBE DEC 2008

A- Mahogany body with lots of floaters, creamy 1 finger head that reduces to a crown, minimal lacing.

S- Rich malt goodness, sherry sweetness, toffee

T- Flavour mirrors the aroma. Malt domination - toffee, a touch of fruit cake Surprising hop quality lingering slightly in the finish alongside a hint of non hot alcohol.

M- Full body and syrupy

D- Ive not had this fresh before but i cant imagine it has benefited from 3-4 years of aging.A lovely malt profile and alcohol well hidden ( maybe this is hotter fresher). Reminds me of skullsplitter, a lovely sipper.

Photo of DrDemento456
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this at the Gateway Grill for 4.00. Pretty reasonable considering they are going for 5.00-5.50 or more around my area.

A - Golden amber in color with a half inch of head that turns to a moderate lace ring still a good ring at that.

S - Slight oak, bit of hops, caramel, toffee, with mild bourbon tones.

T - Starts off clean with some oak and caramel, then you get a splash of hops which makes me happy, and finishes fairly sweet with a toffee or caramel.

M - Medium to heavy. For Barleywines its rather drinkable but for me its sip worthy.

Overall I liked this barleywine, not more that Backburner, old Guardian, or even John John Barleywine but its still pretty up there as a very drinkable barleywine. Even more so that the Brooklyn Monster barleywine and that's the truth.

Photo of puertobrewing
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured beautifully on a pilsner glass. Amber with a foamy one finger head that disappeared almost instantly. Practically no lacing left behind.

S - Nice balanced smell between the hops and the malt. The alcohol kicks in a bit but not overwhelming. Get a bit of citrus and just a tiny bit of bourbon with woody hints. Definitely a great smell.

T - Up front I taste the bitterness of the hops, which is enough and then it turns to sweetness washing the bitterness, thus balancing the palette. Can taste the wood, probably oak, bourbon, a little bit of chick-o-stick kind of flavor and spices.

M - Nice carbonation for its style and it doesn't feel dry at all. Smooth and full bodied.

Overall it is a nice barleywine perfect for a dessert after a great meal, or for having it when you feel like drinking only one beer. Well, or maybe like me... I'm having this beer as a closing beer after an Abita Mardi Gras and three Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stouts. No more beer for today!

Photo of liamt07
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Decided to splurge on a bottle at Volo, served in a snifter. Bottled is dated 6OE. According to Fresh Beer Only, this was bottled October 5, 2006. Whoa, five years old? Nice.

Poured a nice mahogany, with some ruby red notes around the edges. Initial pour yielded no head, but a ring of single bubbles. Subsequent swirls procured a beige head. Nose has strong caramel and toffee notes, some alcohol, and notes of some darker fruits. Not raisin-like or anything, but significantly lighter in the 'dark' spectrum of fruits. Can't accurately describe this. Intriguing nonetheless and surely mouthwatering. Taste is a sweet, rich and complex interplay of toffee and caramel again, some warming alcohol and alcohol soaked dark fruits. Alcohol is well integrated in this, yet quite prominent still. Some bread and mild chocolate (?) notes as it warms. Great smooth mouthfeel and perfect carbonation. Only complaint is the prominence of the alcohol (sans burning character) at this ABV (this bottle is listed as 8.2%) and at this age. Mouthfeel becomes creamier as it warms. Great drinkability, yet a bit heavy for the alcohol content. Enjoyed this immensely nonetheless. Great stuff, and solid nightcap.

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.71/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

aggressive pour into a pint glass.

Appearance: a glowing amber red color with a creamy white head. This beer is quite a foamer for a barleywine. The aggressive pour leaves a huge head, but it eventually disapates into a white ring on top of the beer. Good lacing on side of glass during entire time i was drinking this beer.

Smell: Sweet malts and a hinting of alcohol.

Taste: The sweet malty flavor is immediate and then you begin to taste carmel and butterscotch along with the malty sweetness. A hops taste that is mild, but tastes spicy and dry. Mild alcohol flavor that lingers from the middle to the end of the taste.

Mouthfeel: moderate body with moderate carbonation; almost to the far end of moderately carbonated.

Overall: This is an awesome English Barleywine! Great example of the style. I enjoyed it very much and would recommend it as a must try!

Photo of AgentMunky
4.53/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a cervoise glass. Best before 28 November 2012.

A: The most beautiful red, rich and deep, with a perfect finger of head and light bubbles. Clearish and blazing orange in the light. Scattered lacing.

S: A wonderful sweet hoppiness, strong and fruity. Yummm.

T: Absolutely! This is a beer I can get behind and support with everything I've got. Substantial, sweet, strong, and excellent. Fruity esters, murky hops, malty finish. Complexly simple; there's a lot going on, but it's a friendly beer, cajoling and fulfilling. Excellent.

M: Big and firm, a sliver of carbonation, drying finish.

D: Astounding. Perhaps this is just the perfect confluence, but at this moment, there's nothing I'd rather be drinking than this exact beer. Expertly crafted, utterly pleasing, and definitely recommended.

Photo of jbphoto88
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep amber in color and slightly hazed with yellowish red highlights. The head is egg cream colored and quite present despite being a barleywine. It lingers for almost the duration of the drink and suds the glass very well.

The nose is plump with pine and caramelized grains but is mild enough to fit the style of an English barleywine. I get a little chalky booze scent but it's muted, simple and quite nice.

Taste is a lot like the nose. Mild but with all the major flavors to fit the style. Creamy roasted grains sloshing around with a pinch of pine and citrus pith. The flavor is sweet all the way to the finish leaving me wishing for a bolder hop profile but still good.

The mouthfeel is slick with a creamy chewy body and a nice dry finish. The hop bitterness is light if you ask me and really could be a touch more prickly. Another tasty brew from Anchor Brewing, very tasty and a mild but still a fantastic drink.

Anchor Old Foghorn from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,778 ratings.