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Anchor Old Foghorn - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Old FoghornAnchor Old Foghorn

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,668 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,668
Reviews: 997
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11%
Wants: 64
Gots: 83 | 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:
ABV varies slightly over the years.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,668 | Reviews: 997 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev +3.1%

A: A beautiful dark rose coloring is revealed with backlighting. Steady streams of tightly bound carbonation bubbles rise in unison at a leisure pace while the head dissipates almost immediately with a fizzy bubbly nature.

S: Alcohol soaked apples with touches of rum raisin and sugary sweet caramel syrup first appear on the nose with good results. The alcohol nature is highlighted here, with notes of fruit such as pears from a fruit cup and some dried cantelope.

T: Warm alcohol and a full sweet worty caramel experience presents itself upfront flavor wise. Warm apples, rum raisin and some sugary and tart mentions of peaches come about. Malty and sweet with some fruity notes pairs well for a good combination per style. Additional warming and the finish brings out some fresh cola and licorice notes, especially on the swallow.

M: Medium bodied, some warming boozy moments with a syrupy feel. The carbonation is soft, adding to the fullness perceived. Nice finish of spicy licorice upon the swallow.

D: Good drinkability, only slight mentions of booze but not enough to keep chugging this down. A very good example per style and case worthy option here.

10-07-2010 23:05:36 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of bamadog


3.9/5  rDev -0.3%

Review is from notes taken on 10/5/2010 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a solid coppery color and has a bit of an amber hue to it; starts with a full 1 and 1/2 finger light tan head with really strong retention -- eventually fades to a firm and full cap; body has very good clarity to it and shows moderately strong, but slow, carbonation bubbling throughout; really no lacing left behind.

Smell: A really great blend of sticky hops (piney, mostly, but a sweeter aspect as well, perhaps a bit of pineapple?) and chewy and sticky malts -- well blended and well balanced.

Taste: A pretty solid Barleywine overall -- I thought it was going to be a bit of a misnaming at first as it's listed as an English and I smelled a TON of hops upon cracking it, but it really mellows once it sits in the glass for a few moments; hops are prominent and like in the smell, have a very piney and earthy aspect to them, but also a sweeter, more tropical side as well; malts also very well represented and offer a great off-setting balance to the bitterness; hops have a burnt sugar/caramel flavor; definite presence of alcohol in there as well.

Mouthfeel: Very sticky coating is left all over the roof of the mouth -- very prominent feature of this beer -- and it becomes semi-dry after sitting for a moment; body is of medium weight, and comes across as very smooth and almost velvety; the carbonation is soft and really compliments; belly is left quite warm from the ABV.

Drinkability: It's quite nice, and is quite fitting for a nice cool night like this. Definitely a sipper with an ABV near 10%, not to mention it was $4/bottle -- a bit steep, but could be a nice treat every once in a while.

10-06-2010 02:51:54 | More by bamadog
Photo of Kinsman


3.7/5  rDev -5.4%

Poured into pint glass, date code reveals it was bottle in March, 2010.

A dark amber colored body with great clarity. Capped by a slightly creamy ivory colored head which unfortunately faded a bit too quickly.

Aroma is pleasant but rather mundane. Notably sweet with hints of caramel malts but not much else.

Taste is very enjoyable, with just about the perfect balance of sweet malts and bitter hops. However, it appears the hop flavors may have faded a bit, letting the super sweet malts show off.

Mouthfeel is lighter than expected but still carries it well. Overall an enjoyable barleywine, especially since its not the hop-forward IPA-like barleywines that many other american breweries are putting out. Highly recommended.

10-05-2010 01:49:03 | More by Kinsman
Photo of silentjay


3.73/5  rDev -4.6%

a deep mahogany beer with an eggshell colored head that rises to well over two fingers, sticks around a while, and laces well.

rather faint aroma of grains, molasses, brown sugar, lots of sweetened and dried fruits, herbal hops, and lots of caramel.

tons of molasses and dark caramel subdue the graininess. a bit of alcohol is detected, but pushed to the background. some herbal hops support the tremendous malt profile. its not quite an english barleywine, but its nowhere near the hopped-up american versions either.

an oily medium bodied brew that finishes surprisingly dry and sweet with just a bit of heat in the gullet.

drinks rather well. a bit rough around the edges, but thats not unusual for a barleywine. this one claims and identity and its welcome. nice, though not my favorite.

09-24-2010 05:26:12 | More by silentjay
Photo of BeerNinja007

New Hampshire

4.2/5  rDev +7.4%

Picked up a single squatty 12oz bottle for $2.84 at Harvest Fine Wine in West Hartford CT. Served cold in a chilled goblet.

Beautiful clear dark mahogany brew gives a small but dense and creamy tan head. Smell is thick and sweet like cordial cherries with a whole bunch of florals. Taste is also pretty sweet, cherries and florals, with a spicy booze and anise note cutting through. Feel is a medium-thick body. Finishes boozy. Decent. Not the best, but very drinkable.

09-23-2010 01:19:54 | More by BeerNinja007
Photo of tjsdomer2


4.15/5  rDev +6.1%

Appearance: Dark, cloudy red-brown. Can't see much carbonation with the darkness. Tons of great foam and good lacing here as well.

Smell: Extremely strong fruit. Alcohol fruit at that. Definitely one of the strongest smelling beers I've ever tried.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Great spicy bite that balances a fruit maltiness. A wonderful taste. I'm a bit disappointed with the mouthfeel here. It kind of fizzles out and feels pretty watery. Overall I like this.

Drinkability: The high alcohol content might hurt this category, but it's still very drinkable.

Overall: I definitely recommend this beer as something different.

09-21-2010 03:08:09 | More by tjsdomer2
Photo of bnes09


3.83/5  rDev -2%

Deep brownish red in color. Exceptional clarity. Bubbly tan head with poor retention and zero lacing.

Complex fruity and spicy aromas. Cinnamon, nutmeg and dates are the most prominent. Hints of scotch.

Tons of rich and complex flavors. Taste is sweet overall embodied by maple, prunes and dates. Solid hop character does not dominate but provides balance with a grassy, soapy bite. Spices present as well and mirror the smell. Also a touch of smokey flavors, some oak and chocolate. Smooth and delicious flavors up-front but the aftertaste reminds me slightly of cough syrup.

Medium to full-bodied and well carbonated. Not overdrying but somewhat sticky.

I enjoy the complexity of flavors and aromas. This one is definetly more about the malt but the hops are do a good job of adding depth. Not a bad brew, I'd probably drink it again.

09-16-2010 23:37:54 | More by bnes09
Photo of StaveHooks


3.9/5  rDev -0.3%

A - Pours a a clear ruby copper with lots of active bubbles.

S - Candied cherries, hints orange and grapefruit, boozy malt, slight chocolate notes.

T - Sugary malt, dark fruits soaked in alcohol, most notably cherries and raisins. Molasses and roasted brown sugar. A slight floral/orange seeps through from the mild hops.

A good sipper. Drinks a tad warm as the alcohol is not shy in this one. It sticks out equally with the rest of the gang. Lots of good fruit flavors and plenty of malt. Actually has a nice citrus aftertaste. Not sure I'll buy again at $16 a six pack.

09-14-2010 02:41:21 | More by StaveHooks
Photo of augustgarage


4/5  rDev +2.3%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a wine glass.

Dark rufous/beer-bottle-brown liquid with crimson and copper highlights, topped by a creamy/soapy beige finger of foam. Thick even lacing, viscous legs, and excellent head retention.

Deep wort aromatics, brown sugar, malt syrup, and floral piney hops in the nose.

Dates, montmorency cherries, and orange peels on the palate. Raisin-bread-like malt along with a hint of caramel comes next along with a mild hop bitterness. Earthy, figgy finish with a bit of sherried/biscuity malt.

Creamy, chewy, yet somewhat thin bodied and surprisingly effervescent.

Exceptionally balanced, though lacking the vinuous qualities I usually associate with an English (vs American) Barleywine. Not the most distinctive example, but still, very enjoyable.

09-09-2010 02:01:07 | More by augustgarage
Photo of zhanson88


3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Appearance: Old Foghorn pours a deep red color, I'd almost call it blood red. There is one finger of beige head when I pour it that reduces to nothing in a short amount of time.

Smell: Hops, pine, and caramel are all prevalent. You can definitely smell the alcohol in this beer.

Taste: Very similar to the smell. First comes the pine, followed by a relatively mild hop finish. Overlaying all of that is a caramely sweetness that is honestly a bit too much.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with little carbonation. It is a pretty smooth mouthfeel that is easy to drink.

Drinkability: Even with the 9.4% ABV, this is a very drinkable beer; very sweet due to the low carbonation and smooth. The sweetness of the beer probably helps this factor. Overall it is definitely worth a try, but it's not my favorite barleywine.

09-06-2010 01:03:01 | More by zhanson88
Photo of Lukafer


3.3/5  rDev -15.6%

Pours amber with a thin tannish, off-white head. Smells like dark fruits, raisins, malty with some brown/burnt sugar. Taste like dark fruits, which quickly fade into nothing but a little alcohol. Kinda disappointed, I wish the flavor was a bit more robust and had more staying power. Drinkability is okay, not a bad beer but not a great beer either.

09-04-2010 05:36:05 | More by Lukafer
Photo of hardy008


4.33/5  rDev +10.7%

Wow, I can't believe I waited this long to review this classic beer.

Pours a copper color with a two finger light tan head with nice retention. The aroma has toffee, sweet caramel, and raisins. Very nice.

The flavor is just like the aroma with toffee, caramel, and raisins. There is a light hop presence, which seems right for an English style Barleywine.

Full bodied, smooth, perfectly carbonated, and the alcohol is well disguised. Just a pleasure to drink.

09-03-2010 02:16:50 | More by hardy008
Photo of twiggamortis420


3.6/5  rDev -7.9%

12 oz bottle from the 2008 vintage. Pours a tawny ruby color with a creamy tan foam. Retention is ok and lacing is modest to say the least.

Nose is heavy and deep caramel with a vague sugary aspect. Little oxidation on the malt, but not too much. Almost reminds me of opening a box of Cracker-Jacks. Seems to fall somewhere in between an American and English barleywine on the smell.

Cotton candy and caramel sweetness are the heavy hitters on the palate and comes off as a bit one-dimensional at first. Slowly, some earthy and citric bitterness as well as some raisin-esque fruitiness come through. Good enough beer and I could see it aging well for a few more years, if not longer, but it does not interest me enough to take up precious cellar space with.

08-29-2010 15:37:07 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of BeerCon5


4.7/5  rDev +20.2%

Pours a very dark amber color with a two finger thick foamy tan head, there is not much retention as the head recedes quickly.

The scent is very complex, there are a variety of fruits; orange pineapple, light hops, some spice.;

The taste again is of various fruits; pineapple, citrus, grape, maybe a little apple. There is a roasty malt presece and some hops.

Full bodied, chewy, low carbonation.

This was a very good beer. There was so much complex flavor every sip seemed to expose something new. I wouldn't say it was easy to drink as it was very filling.

08-21-2010 23:04:57 | More by BeerCon5
Photo of SolomonGrundy


3.38/5  rDev -13.6%

Got things to do, like watch football, make dinner and work on something...Pours a beautiful, Dark Maple syrup color. No discernable head, albeit with good carbonation. Smell carries a lot of pineapple, good maltiness, but not a lotta hop character. Flavor is a sharp combination of malt, very very sweet, with maybe slightly over-ripe fig in there. Mouth is not a thick and chewy as I expected, but pleasantly drinkable. Not cheaply priced, though, at $2.49/12oz. bottle. Good beer, but not spectacular.

08-17-2010 01:08:33 | More by SolomonGrundy
Photo of claybeer


3.48/5  rDev -11%

Anchor Foghorn pours a light reddish brown. It reminds me of some of the back roads of Oklahoma when the clay gets wet or the dirt at the Saturday night races. The head is a thick bamboo-like-tan. It continues to lace the pint glass as it sits. The nose is sweet! Raisins and plums fragrant the air. It has a rich, thick feel that coats every corner of my mouth. It has sweet yet dry fruits that roll around as well. A tartness lingers on the finish and a feeling of alcohol warms the depths of my belly. I would treat this beer much like I would a port wine. Perfect for after dinner or with my favorite cigar.

08-14-2010 18:13:14 | More by claybeer
Photo of Duhast500

Rhode Island

3.93/5  rDev +0.5%

Pored from the 12oz. bottle into a pint glass

The color is a reddish brown with a foamy off-white head and some slight lacing.

The smell is a mix of toffee and some slight butterscotch flavors. There is also a hint of dried fruit flavor.

The taste is caramel and toffee flavored at first with a malty, bready flavor coming in behind it. There is a nice dried fruit flavor with some peach, rasin and slight white grape flavor in the background.

This beer has a pretty big body to it with a smooth, drinkable feel. It is pretty drinkable with a nice English Barelywine feel.

08-11-2010 04:05:45 | More by Duhast500
Photo of TheSarge


4.72/5  rDev +20.7%

Pours well to produce a finger thick light tan head, which retains quite well. The body is copper in color and is totally filtered for crystal clarity.

The aroma is nicely balanced between the toffee fragrances of the malt and the spicy and grassy nuances of the hops.

In the taste it is sweet with an over ripe orange type of flavor. There is a hint of vanilla and peach here too.

Mouth feel wise it is full in body with a chewy character, then goes to a slight creamy and oiliness, and finishes with a mild warmness.

This is one of the first extreme beers brewed in America since that nasty prohibition we had a while back, and still holds up to today's taste... It's hard to beat a classic!

08-01-2010 21:21:58 | More by TheSarge
Photo of Amalak

New York

3.6/5  rDev -7.9%

I had at Talllys in Queens out of what they called a nitro-tap, though I am not sure what that is.
A- It's brownish orange in color. Think clay. It has a very limited head.
S- Nice nutty scent.
T- It has a malty nut taste to it, just like the scent suggests. The Alcohol is strong. Bold. It's also quite carbonated. I'm tasting some apple in there, too.

07-28-2010 17:04:21 | More by Amalak
Photo of Mosstrooper


3.9/5  rDev -0.3%

Poured from 12oz bottle into .3L Krusovice chalice.

Appearance: Dark caramel color with a medium-sized creamy tan-ish head that dissipates fairly quickly, leaving no lace but a nice foam is left floating on the beer.

Smell: Plum and prune aromas with caramel and hints of alcohol.

Taste: Begins very sweet with a plum flavor, finishing with a doppelbock-like caramel sweetness and bittwersweet alcohol. Also has hints of grapefruit throughout.

Mouthfeel: Thick, sticky body with light carbonation and a heavy, sticky finish with some burning alcohol in the throat.

Drinkability: A pretty good beer, and one that I can imagine is very good with age, so maybe I'll pick out a bottle or two of this stuff for cellaring. Not the best barleywine I can remember tasting, but still a damn good one.

07-28-2010 03:20:19 | More by Mosstrooper
Photo of birchstick


3.9/5  rDev -0.3%

A - pours a dark rub / faint brown with a decent looking 1 finger head

S - sweet, sticky malts, brown sugar / caramel apples, and some grass and pine hops

T/M - the taste is very similar to the nose. Sugary, caramel malts with tones of some dark fruits (plums). Finishes with a noticeable pine hop. Nicely balanced. Old Foghorn has a lighter body than I would have hoped, but it is excellently carbonated.

D - this is a very solid barleywine. Very nice palate makes this very drinkable. Can't wait to see how this one ages...it will be hard to beat this fresh.

07-28-2010 03:06:02 | More by birchstick
Photo of halo21

New York

4.88/5  rDev +24.8%

Appearance: This is the first time I have had this beer, by one of my favorite breweries. I poured the bottle into a tulip glass, revealing a dark earthy brown with hints of red where light can almost make it through. Little head appears, typical of a barleywine.

Smell: Potent and bold on the nose; heat and yeast esters, with sweet malts and dried fruits.

Taste: Complex with dried fruits (raisins), yeast esters and more malts giving way to mild hops. This is not as big of a beer as expected, but it comes in on the lesser ABV of the style.

Mouthfeel: Medium weight; it has character and it is mildly chewy.

Drinkability: Quite high for the style. This is a solid approachable example of American Barleywine that is tasty and satisfying.

Notes: A good barleywine that does not have to be enjoyed only in the heart of winter. This beer has legs and is awesome. Solid all around.

07-24-2010 22:33:56 | More by halo21
Photo of scoobybrew


4.33/5  rDev +10.7%

A - copper color with a thick tan head that subsides a bit but is fairly well retained

S - strong sweet malt, some resinous hop a touch of alcohol

T - strong sweet malt up front, bready with hints of caramel; hop bitterness is moderately strong on the finish and hints of hops are throughout the flavor; yeasty esters are very low

M - full-body with a moderately low carbonation

D - This is an excellent American Barleywine and it was rated as such. The hops are too aggressive for the English style. While it isn't quite as aggressive as some American versions, it still has the character. This is a sipper, like all-barleywines, and a classic from the vanguard craft brewery.

07-23-2010 00:15:51 | More by scoobybrew
Photo of vdread


4.2/5  rDev +7.4%

Anchor Old Foghorn pours a foamy dark maroon, with a thick, slowly-winding cap.

smells of caramel and fruitiness, with some earthy hops in the back.
tastes are dark and toffee-like, at times tasting slightly of dark, roasted coffee. caramel and fruits dominate, followed by fruity, earthy hops.

mouthfeel full, well carbonated, creamy. alcohol well hidden.

this is one of the better english style barleywines i've tried. it has quality in taste without being overbearing, overly alcoholic, or pungent.

07-11-2010 15:24:23 | More by vdread
Photo of 2late2brew


4/5  rDev +2.3%

pours seems to improve with age, if young flat matured good head, kinda like a women.

caramel brown, clear with some toffee fig note aroma, excellent here.

very sweet to moderate hop flavor, less than expected bitterness, per style balance accentuated towards malt. more & more balanced the longer its layed down.

medium full body one dimensional off the shelf, once again more layered as its ages. need to buy & hold this one, est one year.

overall a delicate English Barleywine (09) not sure how much these vary from year to year? Still in a landscape devoid of truely great beers not a bad buy to celler, it improves with time (been only about 6 months so far) so its a wait & hold.

07-04-2010 03:38:06 | More by 2late2brew
Anchor Old Foghorn from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,668 ratings.