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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

1,712 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,712
Reviews: 1,002
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11.25%
Wants: 66
Gots: 89 | 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:
ABV varies slightly over the years.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,712 | Reviews: 1,002 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rlshep
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big malt character. Strong caramel. Some dark fruit, plums, maybe some currants.

Pours big thick creamy biege head. Dark amber, garnet color. Good clarity. Good lacing. Lots of bubbles.

I'm surprised. First thing I noticed was a big citrusy and piney hop presence. Caramel and more dark fruit, more fig in the taste. Bitterness is balanced with the big malts.

Thick sticky sweet mouthfeel. It coats the tongue and lips. Lots of carbonation, it took a few pours to get the whole bottle in the glass. Alcohol is high, but you already knew that since its a barleywine.

A really good barleywine. Only down point was the high level of alcohol. I'm sure this would mellow out with some age. Wish I had bought more for this purpose.

rlshep, Dec 26, 2010
Photo of jera1350
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amberish copper color with a moderate tan head and cascading bubbles that maintain the suds.

Sweet and hoppy. Brown and caramelized sugars along with bountiful citrus hops.

Much like the nose. There is more plum and raisin present with some cherry syrup and woody rum notes. Noticeable alcohol with a bitter finish.

Full and smooth with outstanding carbonation.

A very nice barleywine that is quite enjoyable and on for the style. A nice, nice brew from a craft icon.

jera1350, Dec 24, 2010
Photo of nhindian
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a Delirium Tremens tulip.

A - This beer is certainly one of the better looking beers I've had. It pours a dark ruby color, almost like a deep cherry cordial. The head and retention is pretty modest, only about 1.5-fingers worth of cream colored head. Definitely a steady stream of carbonation rises in this beer. Moderate lacing, just a few randomly strewn legs here and there.

S - Smell is very sweet with a fruit and caramel background to it. Some darker fruits like plums and raisins come through after the malts, and it has a sort of toffee characteristic that it a light rum aroma to it. Very aromatic.

T - Taste is extremely sweet throughout the beer. The malts and barley up front set the sweet course for this beer and the fruits certainly carry that throughout. The hops are noticeable, but are faint and only contribute a mild citrus bitter finish before, again, being swept away by the sweetness. The alcohol hits the roof of the mouth about midway through and slowly creeps down to the throat, hitting a bit after the rest of the flavor finishes. This leaves a bitter finish that helps contrast the almost saccharine nature of the front of this beer.

M - Mouthfeel is heavy with ample carbonation. It moves well through the mouth and activates all sorts of taste buds.

D - Drinkability is moderately low. The sweetness just pushes this beer a bit too much, and the hops are a bit too muted to counteract this. I understand that barleywines are notably malt-oriented, but this one could use a little less sweetness. However, the alcohol is well masked, only coming through about midway and takes a back seat to the malts.

nhindian, Dec 20, 2010
Photo of goldbot
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Crystal clear ruby color with plenty of cream colored head that sticks around. Sweet-smelling malts, soft grain aroma, caramel, some raisin. Resinous, slightly citric hops to match. Flavor is more sweet malts. Dark fruits, plenty of caramel. Not very hoppy; the malt profile definitely takes center stage. While not terribly complex, it has a very smooth flavor. Good mouthfeel, sweet but not as sweet as many others in the style.

goldbot, Dec 20, 2010
Photo of matthewalee
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Jan 2009 bottle poured into a Piraat snifter. picked up a 6-pack of this the other day with age on it! The bottles had a ton of dust on them which I felt lucky about.

A - looks great. perfect dark color for a bigger beer

S - fruit smell, but cannot put my finger on it. Maybe dates or some other dark fruit. not too sweet though. still some deep alcohol smell to it

T - really good carbonation. Some barleywines have a good bite to them and this one does not, which I like. It stays with you for a bit for sure, but it's all worked together at this point. Two years in and it's pretty damn good.

D - very easy! be careful, or not...

really good barleywine all around and certainly going to pick more of this up soon.

matthewalee, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of daledeee
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this into my snifter and got a very nice off white head and a clear chestnut body. Not much lacing.

Nose is rum and brown or carmelized sugar.

Taste is sweet with roasted malt, alcohol, spices.

Mouth feel is medium carbonation.

I found this barley wine to be middle of the road and easy to down. There was not some of the heavy body or strong flavors that other have.

daledeee, Dec 18, 2010
Photo of jdense
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

June 2009 12 oz. bottle opened 12.18.10, poured into Hair of the Dog tulip.

One finger tan head, ultra quick dissipation ala soda pop, no retained lacing. Reddish brown/amber body near opaque, multiple streams of carbonation rising around the edge of glass. Nose is sweet, brown sugar on toast, some roast, hops are pretty muted. Taste is pretty sweet upfront, with good dose of raisins, brown sugar and molasses in the middle, floral hop finish, not very bitter. Mouthfeel is a bit on the light side of medium, with above average stickiness, decent effervescence. Drinkability is a bit boozy, curious to see how this taste after significant cellaring.

jdense, Dec 18, 2010
Photo of BeerLover99
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: copper, amber body, w/1 finger tan head

S: spices, big malt aroma, with barley backbone.

T: big sweet bread, barley, malt, spices, hint of ripe dates/plums. bitter finish.

M: smooth, medium body, slight alcohol warmth

D: solid barleywine, I enjoyed it and could have a few, the 8.2% ABV, can sneak up on you. This is worth trying.

BeerLover99, Dec 17, 2010
Photo of TheQuietMan22
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Straight pour into a becker glass. The presentation is beautiful. The color is a deep amber and three fingers of thick, off-white head developed and dissipated slowly, leaving foam stuck to the glass, a spotted lacing, and a ring around the edge.

Smell: The aroma makes it seem like there are two styles dueling for dominance. On one hand there are sweet caramel malts with hints of cocoa and toffee, and on the other hand there is the grapefruit citrus and pine of hops. It is about an even split between the two, but the malts gain a slight edge as the pint warms.

Taste: The mouthfeel is surprisingly thick and creamy, but the flavor is not as strong as the aroma. Caramel (both sweet and toasted) and toffee provide a nice malt backbone for pine spice and citrus bitterness. As the pint warms, hints of fruit esters start to emerge; I could not pin them down, but I suspected apple or banana. The alcohol is noticeable, but it in no way overpowers the other flavors.

Drinkability: A nice, tasty brew. Very good drinking.

TheQuietMan22, Dec 17, 2010
Photo of dmfrench
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Textbook Barleywine (a complement and a criticism)


A: Clear, deep copper body with a modestly sized but stout and somewhat persistent cream white head. No lacing to be found however.

S: Quite aromatic... catching whiffs while it sits on the table! Those scents are, in this order, rotting dark fruit (peach, plum), cinnamon, butter, citrus hops, toffee, and a tiny hint of alcohol sting.

T: Huge, sweet, toffee body slowly morphs through prune and spice to bitter hops. Alcohol is totally masked. A model of the style if not special in any one way; A perfect example of what a Barleywine is, but I can't say there's any one thing that would keep me coming back.

M: I can't really find fault, but if I could, perhaps it is too carbonated?

D: For a Barleywine, dangerously so.

dmfrench, Dec 16, 2010
Photo of DaveHS
3.43/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-Pours an attractive rosewood color with 1/2 inch of bubbly off white head. Leaves almost no lacing.

S-Caramel, light phenolic booziness, mild earthy hops.

T/M-Malty, with flavors of burnt brown sugar and booze. Very simple. The finish is abrupt and slightly hoppy. Not alot going on here, but the alcohol is very well disguised.

D-Good for what it is, but doesn't hold a candle to other locally brewed barley wines.

DaveHS, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of Tilley4
4.53/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Finally get to review this... Picked up a sixer at my local shop tonight as its new to TN.. Bottled in September of this year so iy should be nice and fresh....

Pours a remarkable deep amber into my CCB snifter with a thick creamy foamy head... Truly a beautiful brew... Very clear... Like a good whiskey except a shade or two darker...

What amazing aromas come wafting out of the glass... Dark juicy plums, sweet raisins, citrusy orange peel hops... A wonderful blend of aromas come together to meld an enchanting sensory experience... I get the feeling that this is TRULY what a barleywine should smell like and that all the other super hopped up newcomers should take a page from Anchor... This has an almost Belgian aspect to it with the fruitiness... Unbelievable...

A lovely blend of sweet caramel and toffee maltiness, juicy plums and raisins, hints of booze, piney Christmas tree hops, and an earthiness that really just comes together and sets this aprt from others of the style... It tastes fresh and vibrant and alive... I'm glad this one is here now...

A classic that I'm finally getting to enjoy and plan on doing so on a regular basis from now on... No frills, no hype, no bourbon barrel aging with exotic wood chips and cocoa nibs thrown in.. Just a kick ass barleywine...

Tilley4, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004 vintage. Beer is brown and hazy with a soft thin head of tiny bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass.

Aroma is malty and sweet with mild alcohol and a little roast.

Beer is medium bodied, mildly bitter, and overall really nice. It has a creamy mouthfeel and a nice finish with a lot of lingering flavor or an aftertaste. I've had this before but never a vintage like this, it's a good beer and I'd have it again.

drabmuh, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of jsprain1
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a garnet with a relatively long lasting head.
S- Dark malt, some hops, plenty of alcohol. Less powerful than i expected.
T- It has a certain rum flavor to it with some toffee and caramel flavor to it. Some citric hops to it. Plenty of alcohol in the finish.
M- Decent body to it. Somewhat low carbonation but still adequate all in all.
D- A sold brew. Balanced enough for a barleywine for me to enjoy it fully.

jsprain1, Dec 09, 2010
Photo of DoubleJ
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"...ideal for sipping after dinner." Well, I ate dinner not long ago, so I guess right now will be fine. On to the beer:

The color of dark amber wood polish hides behind the glass walls of my Old Guardian glass. The head is patchy and dissapearing quick, ending up as a thin lace on top. As the top of the glass nears the nose, the maltiness of the beer attacks the nostrils with heavy, syrupy sugars. Alongside is a kick of Hawaiian Punch and a pinch of resin.

A little alcoholic, sweet, and slow sippin. I'm so used to this level of alcohol being hidden by newer, higher prasied breweries in so many ways that I forget that what I'm getting here is a reality check. Make no mistake, this is tasty stuff. Malt oozes out and delivers enough sugars to have you put down the Pixie Stix. Burnt sugar and tropical fruit flavors, yum. Some solvent alcohol come to the scene and hit the palate. It's a full bodied, oozy feeling beer with a slow releasing snap of carbonation. It's slow to sip at first, but warming it allow for the beer to be consumed easier.

When my dad was my age, this beer would have been the only American-made barleywine on the US market. Now look at all the options of beer available. Even today, Old Foghorn delievers a pleasant experience that's not far off from the best.

DoubleJ, Dec 08, 2010
Photo of OakedCanuck
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap poured into a tulip. From electronic notes...

A good pour from the tender, pours a purplish-cherry-brown color with a good tan head. Smells fairly sweet with some citrus to help. The taste is a good English barleywine, not the best but good for the style. Rum-raisin, toffee, sweet caramel sugars, plums and some pepper. The mouthfeel is okay, a touch sweet and carb'd but okay. I liked this one, not crazy amazing but good, especially to find on tap.

OakedCanuck, Dec 06, 2010
Photo of jlandis
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a chill hazed crimson orange with a thin wispy head. The nose is full of rich ripe plumbs and other dark fruits. There are also elements of fig and spice that add a nice interest to the aroma. The flavor is an interesting balance of sweet fruits (plums and caramel) and spices (fig, clove, and citrus rind). In the finish there is an element of burnt wood. The body is rich with minimal carbonation.

A very solid English Barleywine. Not my favorite so far, but for around $2 it's not that bad. The alcohol sneaks up on you and is hidden well, but shows up here and there.

jlandis, Dec 06, 2010
Photo of wahhmaster
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams Boston Lager glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear, amber color with a large, frothy head that dissipates slowly and leaves some nice lacing.

Smell: Has a kind of vinous smell to it backed by some sweet, malty notes.

Taste: Only mildly bitter up front. Has a strong, sweet maltiness that carries throughout the beer backed by caramel, grape, spices, fruit, and other flavors. Has a very noticeable alcohol flavor to it as well.

Mouthfeel: A bit thin and fizzy for a barleywine but still nothing terrible.

Drinkability: A fairly decent barleywine. This beer is definitely a sipper given its high ABV and noticeable alcohol flavor. It's certainly not the best barleywine out there but it is still thoroughly enjoyable and a nice change of pace from other beers. Give it a shot...

wahhmaster, Dec 06, 2010
Photo of thekoz
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is for the 2010 Old Foghorn.

Beer pours a deep reddish copper color with some white lacing.

Has a sweet fruity aroma. Has some almost whiskey like aromas as well.

Taste is goo. I get some raisin and spicy notes. Little bit of alcohol flavor on the finish which I find less desirable. Really need to let this beer warm up to get the full effect of the flavor.

Low carbonation. Mouthfeel is OK, but the beer seems a little thin to me.

Overall, decent barley wine, but feels a tad lacking in the overall balance.

thekoz, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of BruceWineworks
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poures into a wine glass.

A: Reddish amber color with a white lacing.

S: Fruit scents with sweet winter spice fragrances.

T: Sweet barleywine classic style taste with cherry notes and a slight taste of alcohol on the finish.

M: Smooth and sweet on the palate.

D: A decent barleywine all around. The low alcohol (for a barlywine at least) allows for a six pack session.

BruceWineworks, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of CanuckRover
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A very nice reddish copper pour. Thin bubbly head. No lacings.

Alcohol soaked fruit on the nose and loads of it. Thick, slightly burnt, caramel adds to the aroma of the malt.

Quite harsh up front due to some inexplicably strong carbonation. Heat settles down to a nice warm fruitiness. All the flavours you'd expect, nice toffee and a fleeting taste of substantial bread. I get some nice American hops in the finish (I think) that adds an interesting hybrid dimension to it.

As I said above, way overboard with the carbonation, practically strips your taste buds off.

A good example of the style. Everything is there, just needs a bit of tweaking to put it in balance.

CanuckRover, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of herman77
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark amber/orangish brown with a creamy light tan head. A bit of lacing.

S: Rich toffee, carmel, a bit of citrus hops and malt. Very sweet overall.

T: Sweet toffee malt is the main flavor. There is some nice citrus malt that tries to break through to provide some balance, but its the rich, toffee and carmel malt that is pretty overpowering. Some thick bready malt in the mix as well.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation. Somewhat smooth.

D: Its a sipper since it pretty sweet and rich. Just like it says on the bottle, its good for an after dinner beer/night cap. The 8.8% does not hide itself.

herman77, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of rapidsequence
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle with no decipherable date. I just bought it from Total Wine, so I assume its a fresh 2010 sixpack.

Appearance: Very clear dark red color that makes my snifter look like a big, round ruby. The head is impressive at first, but fades to a thin sheet after 20 minutes or so. Sips cause sheeting on the glass, but lacing only sticks in spots.

Smell: A good smelling, but very muted version of what I expected. Sweet smelling and very fruity. Raisins, plums, and some lighter fruit. Malty, but not a huge bready or cakey malt nose like some barleywines.

Taste: Sweet and very boozy tasting. This has the syrupy sweet fruitiness that is not uncommon in English barleywines. Big and malty through the middle with a slightly bitter and alcoholic finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick, sticky, slightly syrupy. I'd say a pretty full mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Its a good beer to sip, when you're actually in the mood to sip. A sweet and boozy barleywine. A little less sweetness would make me enjoy it more.

rapidsequence, Dec 02, 2010
Photo of WCBCFrank
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Foghorn is one of my favorite barleywines....that's saying something. Lots of toffee malty flavor with rich dark fruit....and smooth. Some might argue that other barleywines are more complex, but you should not need a tastebud degree from Oxford to enjoy good beer.

WCBCFrank, Dec 02, 2010
Photo of zachary80
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

datecode OAH: 2010 April 8th
Poured at 50 degrees into a pint glass

Nice half-inch head to start, then gets much smaller. Big bubbles, never very tight. Not much lacing. Beautiful dark reddish brown body 4/5

Great smell, sweet, malty, some nice spiciness 5/5

Actually not that sweet as it smelled (good). Same with the bitterness. Complex flavor that is a little hard to breakdown, almost some wood flavors. Hops are strong but not sharp. 4.5/5

Light carbonation. Decent mf overall 3.5/5

Alcohol is subtle, feel the heat afterwards. Slow sipper as expected, as a result of the style 4.5/5

zachary80, Nov 28, 2010
Anchor Old Foghorn from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,712 ratings.