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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

1,761 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,761
Reviews: 1,008
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 11.25%
Wants: 69
Gots: 97 | 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)
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Ratings: 1,761 | Reviews: 1,008 | Display Reviews Only:
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
3.95/5  rDev +1%
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
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
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
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
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
4.38/5  rDev +12%
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
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

Photo of Chaney
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Whoa... it had a pretty big head for a Barley! Crystal clear amber color with a frothy retention.

S: Wheaty, subdued, candy sugar with a nice Jolly Rancher-esque flair. It also had a fresh, filtered water quality on the nose.

T: Very sweet indeed, but with a nice malt backbone that gave the candy sugar some complexity. A bit of booze, but it was of the candy-sugar variety. In general, this thing sort of tasted like a melted "Astro-Pop."

M: Thick and syrupy for sure, but there was just enough carbonation and yeastiness to keep this one from being an out-and-out sucrose fest!

0: I dug this one! I have a softness for English Barleys and this is one I would try again.

Photo of srandycarter
3.33/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Murky prune brown with light caramel colored head, about .25 inch deep, leaves fast to ring.

S - Malt, fat ripe fruits and caramel.

T - Taste matches smell. Fat buttery fruits, booze and malt.

M - Good carb, the residual fatty fruit is not completely balanced out.

D - Good to try!

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
2.6/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Just a bad experience all around. I ended up dumping out this beer 1/2 way in. Served at cellar temp.

A - Standard for the style, copperish brown in color, no head or lacing to speak of. Not impressed.

S - Typical Anchor profile smell along with lots of caramel and smells almost syrupy. Smells bigger than 8.8%

T - Little to no carbonation to speak of, lots of syrupy caramel malts and notes of fig and rotten plums but faint. A bit too sweet and off putting

M - Syrupy period.

D - Not bad if you like the flavor profile and a syrup consistency.

Bar far the worst barleywine I've had.

Photo of PicoPapa
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bowling pin shaped bottle with "OAH" on the back. Batch number maybe? Good amount of lacing. Pours a chestnut color with a thin head. Aroma is boozey and malty. Slight smell of brown sugar and caramel. Tastes like boozey brown sugar. Nice mouthfeel. The alcohol in this one has a nice burn to it but it's certainly a drinkable barleywine. Overall it is a solid entry to this style of beer and worth grabbing again.

Photo of kwjd
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I finally decided to pick up a bottle of this in Buffalo. Pours a reddish-copper colour with thick off-white head. Some mild lacing on the glass, nice head retention. Smells of brown sugar, caramel, raisins and some citrus hops. Really nice sweetness in the flavour, with some bitterness coming through more after. After-taste leaves lots of brown sugar too. Smooth mouthfeel. A really nice barleywine.

Photo of trevorjn06
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful copper color with ruby highlights and an off-white head that is thick and long lasting.

Aroma is a wonderful blend of sweet, caramel-toffee malts, nuttiness, figs, plums and bright Cascade hops with slight grassiness, lots of floral and citrus. The nose is very inviting and complex.

Taste follows the nose with toffee, plums, nuttiness, lots of fruitiness and grassy/citrusy hop flavors. It starts out sweet, fruity and caramely and then midway through hop bitterness steps in to balance things out, leading to a balanced finish with toffee, nuts and floral hops lingering.

Mouthfeel is medium/full bodied with medium/low carbonation.

Overall this is an amazing beer, one of my favorite American barleywines as it is very balanced where others are much too hoppy and/or sweet. This beer is drinkable and full of complex flavors.

Photo of ramseye4
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful bottle with an enticing illustration of barley on the front. No brewed on date but my bottle has what appears to be a batch number, I can't really tell the lettering has faded, 8.80 percent ABV label though. Pours a reddish light brown color, with a one finger head that doesn't stick around too long, not too much lacing either. Alcohol hits the nose first, which is surprising considering the relatively tame ABV for a barleywine. Lots of caramel malt in the nose as well, with a bit of dark fruit. Dark fruit and sweet sugary malt appear in the taste first, with some candied fruit and alcohol. The booze isn't as pronounced in the taste at it is in the aroma, but it is still pretty strong. Mouthfeel is sweet, sticky, and medium bodied. Drinkability is so-so, the ABV itself doesn't hold the beer back but the boozy taste still makes it a sipper.

Photo of droomyster
4.28/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear dark bronze with two fingers of sticky tan foam with good retention. The nose has more undisguised alcohol than I like, but has brown sugary malts, dry sherry notes, and an array of hop aromas to help offset the booziness. The taste is quite complex and ponderous. The front palate is brown sugary and sweet before flavors of Amontillado and aged port become more apparent in the middle. A back tea and light citrus bitterness provide some support. The body is as full, smooth, and mouth-filling as beer can get. Dark fruits like dates and raisins, along the sherry notes, linger long on the finish. If a beer can be said to have gravitas, this is one that would have it. I love it.

Photo of Pellinore1
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice reddish orange, and produces a finger of light orange head. This slowly fades to some lacing.

A little bit of citrus hops in the nose, backed up by plenty of malt. Caramel, raisin, and bread come to mind.

I taste sweet malts first, but these are followed by some nice balancing bitterness, and a slightly boozy finish.

Medium to full-bodied, with some nice carbonation, these beer feels good on the tongue.

Drinkability is fine for a barleywine, but I won't be pouring myself another to follow this one.

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

A: blood orange in color when held to light, otherwise a murky brown orange color with a nice light almond bubbly head that dissipates quickly.

S: Some booze, dark fruit, heavy malt. very aromatic.

T: heavy on the malt, sweet, some dry bitter hops

M: balanced body and carbonation.

D: for the price ($3) this a great bargain. Pretty solid barleywine all around. Only limiting factor is the ABV.

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

Old Foghorn on tap at d.b.a. in Williamsburg, Bklyn, served in a 10-ounce glass.

Appearance: Nice white one-finger head, bubbly on top, good retention and lacing. Amber/burnt sienna/terracotta color, looks like rum. Transparent despite being a hefty barleywine.

Smell: Sugars, raisins, dates, dry fruits. Classic barleywine. Classic Grandma's fruit cake too! Some booze too, but subdued overall.

Taste: Caramel. sugar, biscuit, bread. Booze. Again, classic barleywine.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, medium body, full flavor. Dry/hoppy finish. OK but somewhat unremarkable.

Drinkability: 10 ounces is fine, a bit too boozy. I enjoy the botted version better... this struck me as alright but unadventurous/unexciting.

Photo of Fenris244
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reddish amber with a brown tinge to it, one finger head with decent retention, leaves a thin lace on the glass

Fruity notes, cherry and grape notes, jam like notes as well.

Sweet and fruity in flavor, cherry and a little lemon come to mind, the hop character is good, the finish reminds me of strawberry jam. Kinda weird, pretty tasty though

Medium in body, smooth and decently drinkable, with other barleywines out there that I find much better I don't think I'll he getting this again if some other options are available

Photo of Pahn
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Bottled December 3, 2010.

Appearance: Free pour yields a one inch, (loud) fizzy offwhite head that dissipates quickly leaving no lacing. Ends up looking almost still. Pours hazy brownish ruby. No lacing.

Smell: Mild cascade hops, chocolate, some slight pear and other fruits, and faint, earthy bubblegum/banana/raisin-like note. Smells sweet, fruity, and complex. Would rate higher if the smell were more potent. Gets boozier with warmth, but this is one of those beers where the alcohol harshness makes the other notes even better.

Taste: Delivers on the promise of the nose. Sweet malty goodness with lots of different highlights; fruits, chocolate, cascade hops, toffee, brown sugar. Perfect amount of bitterness to tame the sweetness assault. There's a bit of a rich pastry aftertaste that lasts.

Satisfying. I especially like how the taste starts sweetly fruity with the tell-tale citrus/dankness of cascade hops, then transitions into toffee/brown sugar as the bitterness sets in, keeping everything in balance. This is a really good beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. At once juicy and creamy. High carbonation for the style, but it works.

Drinkability: I had this beer recently as a single in a mixed 6, and my next purchase was a 6er of Old Foghorn. It won't be the last; I could buy this beer by the case. Delivers with every sip.

Old Foghorn is one fine beer. On the one hand, it's hard to believe it's been in production since 1975. On the other hand, it's not hard to believe that a brewery that makes beer like this could last 35+ years.

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

12ozbottle into a snifter glass late at night.

Old foghorn has a whisp when the cap comes off and when poured a brownish red gloss of liquid comes out. Some very weak bubbles and nothing in terms of a cap, this beer looks pretty dead all right. Smell is real tame considering the style, and the brewery. I really gotta sniff to get toasty malted barley, some pound cake, light fruits and, well, that's it. Alcohol does not come out, but it is a bit light in the loafers per style. Foghorn is a come and go B-wine. Blunt and to the point. Caramel coated fruit with some toasted bread, some toffee, light chocolate. To put it in the front, nothing really stands out. I was looking for a bit of a alcohol sting to remind me what im drinking. Feel is a big medium with a low hardly felt carb, it could use a boost. Reminds me of Ridge Runner by Rock Art but that seemed to have more ummpphh to it. A good drinker but a bit overpriced for what it is.

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

12oz. bottle into snifter

A: Dark amber. Short-lived head that fades to lots of lace.

S: Fruity and medicinal higher alcohols, faint citrus/hop note, definite apple/pear note.

T/M: Sweet up front -- malty and fruity. Finish has a subdued grapefruit-like bitterness. There might be some caramel in there under the fruit, too. Full-bodied.

D: A balanced example of a barleywine and, as such, deceptively drinkable. If it didn't smell like alcohol, I would assume it to be designed as a session beer. The strong smell of booze gives it away, though.

Photo of zdk9
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was supposed to fall into the Texas Winter Storm '11 series, but alas I didn't actually review it then. Though I did drink my first one on the night of the storm aftershock.

A- It's a pretty color combining ruby, mahogany and deep orange. A finger of head on top that dies fast leaving a murky island bubbling in the middle of the Duvel glass.

S- Smells malty, rich, sweet, wintery. Caramel, pumpernickel bread, vanilla, vodka, crushed grain husks. It smells inviting on a cold evening.

T- Sweet, caramel, tropical fruit especially on the sides of my mouth. As I get used to it I notice more brown sugar and molasses and maple syrup, along with plump raisins (maybe even golden ones.

M- It's hefty and syrupy, not overly so. The alcohol is well hidden, although not enormous.

D- An excellent beer- sweet and malty with a heft that would hold up on a cold night in the lighthouse.

Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep copper with a red hue into my tulip glass with a little more than a finger of off white head that has decent retention and lacing.

S - Deep sweet caramel malts, toffee, brown sugar, earthy hops are present with a touch of alcohol as well.

T - Caramel/Toffee malts coat the palate nicely, brown sugar and dark fruits are subtle, as well as the hops and mild alcohol presence. Overall good, but really not very complex as far as barleywines go.

M - Relatively full in body, nice and sticky on the palate, well rounded.

D - This is a really good barleywine that is easy to drink, although I feel it really lacks depth and complexity. Perhaps with some age some of the other flavors will come out and develop. Either way this is a great one to introduce newcomers to the style.

Anchor Old Foghorn from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,761 ratings.