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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

1,688 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,688
Reviews: 1,001
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11.25%
Wants: 65
Gots: 87 | 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: 1,688 | Reviews: 1,001 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of zachary80
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%

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
Photo of jmdrpi
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

12oz bottle in the distinctive Anchor shape. stamped "9S1", I assume referring to a batch number?

appears a deep reddish copper color with thin white head. aroma is sweet malty smell.

rich caramely taste, with a little hop undertone. as it warms, mellows out.

thick, sticky mouthfeel, coats the mouth. decent drinkability

jmdrpi, Nov 22, 2010
Photo of bsp77
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Burnt mahogany with very thin head and minor lacing.

Smell: Caramel, toffee, butterscotch, plum, dark fruit, citrus and spice. Simply wonderful.

Taste: Somewhat similar to the aroma but not quite as wonderful, but close. Nice balance of the sweet (toffee, plum, caramel and dark fruit) and the dry (citrus and spicy hops). The sweet wins out by a little.

Feel: Moderately low carbonation, creamy full body that begs to be sipped.

Drinkability: Great Barleywine that might not be as complex as others that have followed its lead, but just a great sipper.

bsp77, Nov 22, 2010
Photo of BigPlay1824
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%

Served in a tulip glass

A: pours a rich reddish amber color with a half inch of creamy offwhite head. Leaves a very small amount of lacing

S: very sweet smelling brew with nice hop notes

T: nice depth of flavor, slight hop notes and a nice sweetness that is also somehow deep. Also has a slight licorice like finish that lingers on the back of the tongue

D/M: great flavors really make it nice to drink but it must be sipped. The depth and sweetness make it both nice to drink but also slightly filling. As inidicated on the bottle I would have to agree that it is more of a post-dinner/ dessert beer.

BigPlay1824, Nov 21, 2010
Photo of AlexLMS
2.78/5  rDev -28.9%

Old Foghorn poured with a deep amber colour. It was slightly hazy but with no floating sediments. The head was tan, frothy and low with poor retention.
The nose was a mixture of alcoholic vinous and honey.
The taste was very sweet (almost cloying) and the alcohol was the dominant feature in the palate. Besides the alcohol I got honey, sweet malts and some biscuit notes.
The mouthfeel was unctuous with a low carbonation level and a full body. The finish started sweet and warming but in the end it assumed a more bitter feeling.

Overall Old Foghorn is dominated by its strong alcoholic character. It was my first Barley Wine but unfortunately I was not impressed. Not my stuff.

AlexLMS, Nov 19, 2010
Photo of Beaver13
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%

12oz bottle. Pours a clear light ruby brown with a huge rocky off white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is a bit subdued - caramel malts, molasses, dark fruits with some resiny hops and a bit of wood and alcohol.

The flavor is sweet fruity (plum) sugary/molasses malts with some bitterness and an alcoholic burn in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, a very nice barley wine. It's a bit young with some big sweetness battling some harsh alcohol. But it's still good now. I'd love to try this aged.

Beaver13, Nov 16, 2010
Photo of californiakulak
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%

Had this beer on tap in Berkley.
A. Pours a dark red color. Small head with nice bubbles.

S. Rich, fruity scents with nice alcohol aromas.

T. Dry with fruity brown sugar flavors. Anise and alcohol.

M. Thick mouthfeel with light carbonation. Warm alcohol sensation as well.

D. Goes down very easily. Smooth beer.

californiakulak, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of tbart428
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%

A: appearance of the beer is a dark mahogany color with a white head that quickly dissipates to a thin .5cm head.
S: The smell is of beer is caramel with some fruit esters and some alcohol and candy sweetness. Very basic beer smell for the style.
T: the taste of this beer is caramel with some hops, raisins and some green apple (not fresh green apple but jolly rancher style) followed with a smooth alcohol finish.
M: mouth feel on this beer is medium bodied and is actually good for the style.
D: The drinkability is low because of the alcohol content but two bottles could be managed.
I would say comparable beers would be Bigfoot. This is a fantastic beer and I highly recommend this beer especially as a introduction to the style .

tbart428, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of StoutyMcStouters
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a nice cloudy dark amber, a nice thin layer of head stays with the most lacing I have ever seen on a beer, those little bubbles did not wanna go! much lighter than expected for a barleywine.

S: Nice sweet aroma, malty reminds me of grapenuts cereal, very pleasing to me.

T: Has a smooth sweet taste, the right touch of malt, a lot of fresh fruity tastes which are very hard to single out. The aftertaste was pretty potent, tasted like raisin bran with no milk.

M/D: fairly pleasing to drink for a barleywine, not great in these departments, but far from bad.

Overall a solid beer, a great brew to share with buddies to ease them into more intense beers, I will be trying this again sometime.

StoutyMcStouters, Nov 13, 2010
Photo of aubuc1
4/5  rDev +2.3%

2010 bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a hazy reddish brown with a thin tan bubbly head.

Smell is a sweet, appley, biscuity. Very nice.

Taste is a nice, sharp balance between the alcohol and hops. Not citrusy american, but more spicy.

Mouthfeel is tangy then finishes smooth. Very pleasant evening drink.

aubuc1, Nov 09, 2010
Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

Old Foghorn has a medium, beige head, which quickly dissipates, and a clear, deep amber color. Carbonation is moderate. The smell is of over-ripe fruit and barley. Taste is of wine, prunes, and barley malt, with some milt hop bitterness present. Mouth-feel is heavy and rich, and Old Foghorn finishes dense and boozy. The warm alcohol buzz was quite noticeable in my head on a relatively empty stomach. Overall, I thought this was a pretty good ale. It would have it again, but I would not look for it.


RonaldTheriot, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

Bottled March 1st 2010.

Appearance -- Pours a dark cherry hue with two fingers of foamy beige head. Retention is pretty decent.

Smell -- Lots of toffee and caramel, fresh cut plum, rum-soaked raisin. Citrusy hop aroma brightens up the sweet malt overload. Overall, Sweet and a bit fruity.

Taste -- Quite hoppy; wrong classification? Bright citrusy hops up front. Stone fruits and red grapes take over the malt department with with the caramelized malt notes nearly nonexistent as compared to the nose. Alcohol is quite evident, a little sharp on the back of the tongue. Minty, herbal hops in the finish.

Mouthfeel -- A bit on the thin side with mild carbonation. More body would be a big improvement.

Drinkability -- Better than average, but not the first barlewine I'd reach for. While the citrusy hops liven things up, the malt base is pretty uninspired and the alcohol presence is way too high for the abv. I can certainly appreciate this being the original American Barleywine, but there are many better options now.

yeahnatenelson, Nov 03, 2010
Photo of Jwale73
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%

12oz. bottle served in my Old Stock snifter. Bottling code on the back reads 9AG (April 7, 2009). Pours a hazy caramel color with a loose, cream-colored head that quickly disperses into a bubbly band around the shoulders and a broken froth across the surface. Some lacing, but no legs. Nose suggests candied fruit, toffee and a hint of booze. Taste consistent with nose - some citrus acidity is also revealed (tangerines) as well as a faint, slightly metallic quality. Mouthfeel is medium-light with a lively carbonation. A very approachable English Barleywine. Carbonation may be a little too assertive, but quite flavorful and drinkable. Might be worth saving a few to cellar.

Jwale73, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of Daktyls
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%

A: Pours an ruby-ish amber color with a half finger head that disappears almost immediately. Bubbles slowly from the bottom of the glass while the lacing left on top continues to diminish in size.

S: Very light on the overall aromas but there are some slight undertone of brown sugars and some malts. There was a general overtone, though not a strong one, of hops.

T: Pretty smooth flavoring, I detected raisin and roasted malts with a little bit of brown sugars and as with the nose, some hops. Again, pretty smooth overall but you can also definitely detect the alcohol.

M: Medium amount of carbonation for a medium bodied beer. Burns ever so slightly on the way down, just enough to let you know that the alcohol is there without burning like a heavy liquor.

D: Drinkable yes, but more than likely I'd stop at just the one. the prevalence of the alcohol afterwords is a little on the stronger side from what I'd prefer.

Daktyls, Oct 30, 2010
Photo of bfree
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%

A: nice color of brown/amber with a thin head that dissipates quickly, and bubbles coming up from the bottom
S: brown sugar, malty, and a strong scent of alcohol, similar to other barleywines...very pleasant
T: the alcohol comes through strong, and I can taste raisins and brown sugar...a little smoky flavor as well
M: light-medium bodied but a little syrupy with decent carbonation
D: very tasty with a strong alcohol taste...not my favorite barleywine but still a good beer...enjoyable but do not think I could drink too many of these in one sitting, but what do you expect with ~9% ABV?

bfree, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%

Pours a moderate copper color with a bit if a head and small amouts of lacing. Nose is quite nice with some good fruitiness as well as some sweet malt. The taste is a bit sweet and malty, remindig me a bit of cake. Quite tasty and I imagine this will age really well. Medium body without much of any boozy presence. Drinks quite nicely and I am looking forward to aging a bit of this.

Thorpe429, Oct 23, 2010
Photo of womencantsail
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%

A: The pour is a dark amber color with a certain opaqueness to it and a few yeast floccs floating about in the glass. The head is no more than a thin ring of tan foam.

S: A rich aroma of toffee, brown sugar, and caramel is noticeable right away. A hint of alcohol is there too, but a sort of brandy like character is there as well. A bit of raisin and sweet apples provide some fruitiness.

T: The flavor is similarly smooth. Lots of malt character to this beer in the form of toffee, molasses, and caramel. The alcohol is not quite as noticeable here except for its warming qualities. More raisins coming through as well as a slight cherry flavor.

M: The body is medium with a subtle but smooth carbonation.

D: This bottle was quite easy to put away. It's a shame this beer is so expensive because I really enjoyed it, but I don't see myself purchasing it all that often.

womencantsail, Oct 23, 2010
Photo of katybee
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%

I'm so tired of citrusy hefeweissens...I wanted to try something truly sweet and different, and am finding it in smooth, maltier ales.

Poured from the bottle, it had a thick, creamy, 1/2" tan head, thought its a shame it didn't stick around longer. Beautiful amber brown color.

Very light smell; very bright hops if any, only a subtle maltiness.

The taste is malty, balanced by the light bitterness of hops. But what comes across is the carmelized malt sweetness, with a real tinge of molasses. To me the taste is better at room temp, when the hops are less pronounced. My first sampling of this beer, I compared it to citrusy hefwiesens, and was highly impressed. My second bottle, after sampling other brown ales and a doppelbock, I was not as impressed. It seems mouthfeel is relative, and the second sample seemed more hoppy, more carbonated, thinner, and overall less tasty than I'd given it on first impression. The sweetness might interfere with some food choices.

The mouthfeel was was medium/thin-bodied, smooth compared to the thinness of most lagers. But still not as creamy as some doppelbocks. The flavor actually improved as the carbonation settled to room temp and the sweet maltiness came to the fore.

Very drinkable all the way down, with increasing malty sweetness towards room temp. Perhaps not quaffable. Perhaps too sweet for some food choices such as pasta or even pizza. The alcohol content does sneak up on you and one is enough.

katybee, Oct 21, 2010
Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

Presentation: 10-12oz pour in a large snifter.

Appearance: Deep, rich amber brew with an ivory cap which soon fades to a thin film and thick ring aroun the edges of the glass. Decent amount of small-beaded carbonation.

Smell: Definitely falls into the "English" camp as far as barleywines go. Lots of boozy sweetness, almost like cotton candy. Hint of sweet caramel. A bit simplistic, but nice. Some very light earthy hops in here.

Taste: Tons of boozy medium-dark fruit. Um. And that's honestly pretty much it at this point. Maybe a hint of earthy/herbal hop, but if it's there, it's just a ghost. The barest ghost of bready toastiness. I swear, a ghostly hint of sweet orange. Not bad per se, but dead simple and...meh

I will not totally write this one off...some barleywines just need some serious time to mellow out and change, for the flavors to develop. Maybe I'll pick up a bottle of this (if I can find a single) to cellar for a couple of years. At any rate, this isn't anything special fresh, and definitely (IMHO) not worth 16 a sixer.

BedetheVenerable, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of jbriggs7036
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%

Served from the Bottle into my Chimay Goblet

A- Dark amber/rose with a thin head that recedes in less than 5 mimutes

S- Love it! Some rose with raisin. Boozy grapes come in too.

T- Like it, not love it, but like it a lot. Booze hits first with some fresh apple and boozy-graped-wine. Raisin in the swallow

M- Extremely carbonated. Smooth swallow leaving a hint of wine and raisin.

Drinkability- Can't have more than one tonight. I'd drink maybe one more in a night. The 9.4% makes me feel fine.

Overall its purty good. I'd love to find it on tp somewhere, from the bottle its maybe a little too strong. I'd like to try it aged for 2 years.

jbriggs7036, Oct 11, 2010
Photo of beerthulhu
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.

beerthulhu, Oct 07, 2010
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.

bamadog, Oct 06, 2010
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.

Kinsman, Oct 05, 2010
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.

silentjay, Sep 24, 2010
Photo of BeerNinja007
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.

BeerNinja007, Sep 23, 2010
Anchor Old Foghorn from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,688 ratings.