Anchor Old Foghorn | Anchor Brewing Company

very good
1,049 Reviews
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Anchor Old FoghornAnchor Old Foghorn

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
ABV varies slightly over the years.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001

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Reviews: 1,049 | Ratings: 1,933
Photo of Elemental
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of Gavage
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of claytri
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of Chsyhkr
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of KroMagnon
4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of zerk
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep clear amber with a very thin tan head that rests on top for the duration... it doesn't leave much of a lace behind however. Aroma is full of dried fruit and bubblegum, with some rum and spicy hop notes. Flavor begins sweet with dried fig and brown sugar, then becomes spicy and herbal... the hops shine through but don't dominate. Moutfeel is medium to full... on the light side for a barleywine, which might make it more drinkable. Carbonation is medium. The flavors are completely in balance, and this is a very fine barleywine!

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a cute little 7oz bottle.
Nice amber/brown with a thin off-white head and just a touch of lace. The fragrant aroma of sweet malt, pear brandy, and hops is quite potent at first, but fades to a faint rummy fuminess. The caramel sweet malt body is fairly substantial. Candy sugar, prunes and toffee mingle with a mild lemony citrus bitterness. A peppery spiciness offers a bit of an edge to an otherwise rounded and mellow brew. The warming alcohol remains throughout, though sort of, in the background. Mellows and sweetens as it ages.

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Photo of taez555
4.59/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured ruby red/tan/brown body with a small white/tan head.

The nose was simply mesmerizing. Sugary sweet, sharp crystal like sugar and fruit. Tropical fruits, banana, bubble gum, tropical sugar, malt. Little hints of a Belgian double, hints of a big malty American beer on the other. Really amazing.

The taste was big, thick and very smooth. Apples, malt, brown sugar, caramel, fruit, bubble gum, tropical fruits, a slight earth hop touch. A perfect hop bitterness balanced effortlessly with every sip from start to finish.

Overall a very enjoyable beer. Not like your typical American hop monster barleywine. This is just a simple, complex, very tasty big malty sweet beer in a little bottle.

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Photo of Riggo
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Not really a fan of barleywines, though i read that American micros tend to balance the normal heavy maltiness of the style with plenty of hops. That seems to be the case with Anchor.

A gorgeous beer, Old Foghorn pours a pretty red-orange, pekoe tea-color with minimal head. Smell is powerful, with an intensity that reminds me of spray-paint ether. Notes of bubblegum, orange liquer or orange rind/oil. Taste is strong, warmly alcoholic, reminiscent of cognac. Notes of oranges and pine sap. A heavy, sticky sweet maltiness is well-balanced by piney/citrusy hops. In the mouth the ale is velvety smooth, with very low carbonation.

All this makes for a great nightcap, sipping slowly and enjoying the warming alcohol, the mellow low carbonation, and the soporific hops. Nighty-night.

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

What a good beer. I had this on tap at the Flying Saucer in Memphis. It poured a redish color with a slight head, it quickly went away with little lace, Id say due to the glass and how it was cleaned. Besides that it looked great and had a sweet smell. A very nice warming taste with a nice mild alchol taste. A very smooth beer that has a full body and taste.

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Photo of waughbrew
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A very clear orangish-red with a small beige head that clings tightly to the glass. Smells bright with esters and alcohol - cherries, raisins, sherry, port, sweet sugary malt, and hops. The hops were a lot less present than I expected, since they say this is dry-hopped with a lot of Cascades. The alcohol really sticks out in the flavor, and the raisins come back in. Hops carry on throughout, as does the malt body. A little maple syrup character. Medium body is thinner than most barleywines. Extremely well balanced throughout. Medium carbonation, smooth and creamy. Feels great. Very drinkable. A little bit less alcohol flavor in this brew and it would be a regular of mine.

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

This beer was poured from the 7 oz bottle. I wish it had been bigger because I really think this is a special one. I found this brew to be very balanced. malty sweet but not overpowerring and a an honest hop backend. The balance between the wto is great.
Nice head with an almost white lace.

I'm not certain what year this is from but am going to be seeking out mroe of it.

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Photo of aracauna
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was ruby brown with a good almost white head. There's a good balance here. There's a lot of caramel malt sweetnees, but not too much. There is also just enough hop bitterness to balance the malty sweetness. This is definitely a great barleywine.

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Photo of Naerhu
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cedar colored tiny head, opaque amber body. No lace.
Sweet malty aroma with alcohol noticeable.
Warming sweet malty flavor. Juicy caramel is all over the place. Is this made from toffee, I would scarce believe you if you told me no. Hop bitterness present only to balance the creamy lovely dominating malt body. The hops are reserved, barely noticing slight citrus flavors. If I were to guess the ingredients of this beer (not seriously) I would say butter, toffee, and a bit of orange juice. The buttery aftertaste is to die for, gimme more.

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Photo of Nytemare
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Some people have been listing the vintage of the Old Foghorn. Myself, I havn't a clue. I bought it as a single because I'd never had it before and didn't wanna shell out the 14 bucks for a fresher sixer. I can only assume from the amount of dust found upon the bottle that it's at least a year old. So, let's get to this.
Poured a clear amber color. Little carbonation, virtually no head or lacing. Looked pretty good. Smelled of floral hops. That was really all I could smell, but that was probably me. The taste was really shocking. I was expecting the bitterness of the hops to really play a major role in the taste. Instead they were just there to balance the sweetness as far as I could tell. Very sweet and fruity upfront with a floral hopiness in the back. Some hops bitterness showing up in the end with a roasted, bready malt just filling the mouth in the aftertaste. Very full bodied and clinging. Creamy smooth. I'm now debating taking a sixer of this to New Years instead of my New Belgium Abby Grand Cru. Tough decision, at least for me. Very yummy.

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Photo of ngandhi
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

April 24, 2001 Vintage tasted December 19, 2003

Anchor has a house taste -- a creaminess in their beer -- that I hadn't noticed until Old Foghorn. This brew puts their others into perspective.

Nose and palette are sweet with jammy, vinous malts and floral hops. The bitterness is controlled for a West coast strong ale and Anchor shows off the barley part of barleywine in this brew. Yet, the sweetness is hardly sticky because much of it is actually fruitiness from the hops which serve to compliment the malts, not outshine them, with consistent character -- citric, bitter, and round.

Served at room temperature, this brew is well-balanced and enticing. The 7 oz bottle is too fucking cute.

Relax, relax.

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Photo of tavernjef
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2002 bottle - Color is a hazy orangish rustic brown with a thin dark ivory head that wisks away quickly, absolutely no lacing. Smell is faint of caramel and alcohol, slight pine sap and honey notes. Taste is very mellowing, warm, soothing, malty with a good caramel base, a touch toffee and earthy pined hops and bitterness. Nothing substantially lasting but a has a good lift. Feel is close to full with a nice creamy feel going down and a bit of chewyness. A nice calm and mellowing brew, goes down nicely and with a whole lotta ease. A nice example for the style and would make a for a good intro brew for the style as well.

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Photo of tar
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the tiny 7 oz. bottle pours a dark red/amber beer with a nice off-white head. The head diminishes fairly quickly--leaving a thin layer capping the beer along with some minor lacing on the glass. A strong, sweet aroma rises from the glass of cherries and brandy. Very sweet tasting with bitterness in the dry finish. I’m reminded a bit of cherry cough syrup (in both flavor and consistency), but the flavors of floral and citrus hops make this taste much better. Syrupy, smooth, and somewhat thick in feel. A nice beer for sitting around with when its cold outside.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Anchor Old Foghorn from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,049 ratings.