Anchor Old Foghorn - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Old FoghornAnchor Old Foghorn

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,840 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,840
Reviews: 1,037
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 73
Gots: 143 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001

ABV varies slightly over the years.
View: Beers (27) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,840 | Reviews: 1,037
Photo of TylerKitchens
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

2004 7oz bottle, pour carefully lots of yeast after 11 years

Photo of KlayWey
3/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Didn't identify aroma, looking for malty with a hint of hop

Photo of archero
5/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Faint orange taste, along with belgian yeast. Sweet and not overly hoppy, but has a slight bitter finish. Very tasty. One of the best barleywines I have had.

Photo of Andrew041180
3.61/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was a peculiar beer for me. Each sip changed. Sometimes it would be pleasantly spicy, other times it would feel muddy. I had a hard time categorizing what was going on. Ultimately it left me with a bad taste in my mouth, and while I love this brewery, this is not a beer that I will be buying in the future.

Photo of dcmchew
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark amber, cloudy, with a small creamy light beige head.
Brown sugared raisin on the nose, musty and dried fruit (apricot, plum), sweet bready malt, faint fresh tobacco.
Syrupy sweet taste, thick sticky maltiness, lots of brown sugar caramel and some toffee. Stone fruit jam, especially apricot, Chinese plum, hawberry, overripe oranges. Touch of dark fruit too, some fig, some date. A light toastiness towards the end, like overcooked cake crust, some spicy hop too. Alcohol brings a nice brandy-like warmth too.
Medium body, a bit gloopy, medium to low carbonation. Aftertaste has sweet caramel malt, some blond fruit and earthy/spicy hop.
A simpler than usual barleywine, nice and (traditionally English) malty with a nice fruity freshness. Solid enough to be remembered.

Photo of leaddog
4.34/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours a dark mahogany with a finger of bubbly white head.

Smell - bready caramel malts, brown sugar, plum, raisin, earthy hops.

Taste - Starts off with the bready caramel malts then goes into the brown sugar, plum, raisin, and the earthy hops.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full bodied with light carbonation. Finishes off dry with a pleasant sweetness that lingers.

Overall - A well crafted English Barleywine with all flavours working in unison. A definite try if you stumble across this one as it won't disappoint.

Photo of DaPuba
4.48/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best american commercial barleywine by far. Wonderful fresh and ages well.

Photo of craftbeersweden
4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Clear, dark mahogny-red beer. Two finger high, beige head that leaves lacing in the glass.

Nose: Dark fruit, caramel malt, bread, plum and brown sugar.
Taste: Sweet malt, raisin, plum, grass, dark fruit, a little bit orange, nuts and dark syrup.
Body: Medium to full body . Light carbonated. Creamy feeling. The alcohol is well hidden with a perfect balanced bitterness.

A great barleywine from Anchor!

Photo of The_Mad_Capper
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The aroma is largely sweet with caramel and bread along with fruity esters akin to muscat grape and apple. The head is light tan and fizzy; the somewhat hazy body is a dark copper with blazing ruby highlights. Rich, flavorful malt dominates in the flavor, followed closely by alcohol and hop bitterness with a resiny character. The malt is fairly sweet and has a muted prune and molasses flavor. It's rather full in body with a velvety texture; the restrained carbonation lends crispness.

Not especially hoppy but otherwise pleasantly flavorful. The malt is rich and sweet but not overwhelming. The alcohol lends considerable dryness but goes rather well with the bitterness.

Photo of Tuck_leepulin
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz Brown Bottle with pry-off cap and no date. Poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a clear deep mahogany with 1 finger of off-white head

Smell: Toffee and and dark fruits

Taste: Dark fruits and raisin with hop flavors in the middle with some cherry and chocolate notes and a malty finish with some fruity esters

Mouthfeel: full-bodied and just right

Overall: A great english style barleywine. Lots of malt complexity without getting too muddled and provides much depth. Im curious as to how some age will affect it.

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Nose: caramel, dried fruit, alcohol,
Pours brilliant deep orange amber with a brown tint under an off-white to lightly tan tinted 1" foam cap that drops to a thick film but is easily roused. Has some legs.
Palate: A lovely development of malt flavors, rich, dark and creamy suggesting a rich fruit bread or bready cake, fruit suggests plum joined by dark caramelly toffee sugars with fig and dates. Citrusy hop accent on the finish.
Very creamy, chewy, medium carbonation, some warming.

Photo of Jeffreysan
4/5  rDev +2%

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, cloudy, completely opaque, deep, dark mahogany color with a quarter of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into no head what-so-ever.

Aroma: Very aromatic, with lots of pleasant, delicious-smelling aromas of bready, toasted malt and dried stone fruits such as apricots, dates, figs, prunes and raisins. There are also lots of strong aromas of brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and all-spice, and a hint of Belgian yeast.

Taste: Wow! Great flavors of toasted malt, brown sugar-like sweetness and dried stone fruit! I get lots of flavors of dates, clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg, as well as a hint of Belgian yeast.

Mouthfeel: Chewy and smooth as there is no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 9.4%, there is a pleasant alcohol warmth on the palate.

Overall: This is a very, very good, very delicious barleywine. It has great, bready, fruity, sweet flavors wrapped up in a very pleasant chewy and smooth mouthfeel. While there are stronger, more flavorful barleywines out there now, this one must’ve been revolutionary back in 1975 when it was first brewed and released! Definitely worth a drink!

Photo of kofukasho
2/5  rDev -49%

I've enjoyed different beers from the same brewery, but I found 9.4% too strong for this particular type of ale.

Photo of jdmiser
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

A bit too sweet. Something's just amiss. I'd drink it again, just not sure I'd run to buy it.

Photo of ilikebeer03
3.62/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into snifter.

A: pours a wonderful deep amber / ruby red color with about a finger of nice thick, tan head. this fads to a fair ring around the glass, with some lingering in the center.

S: upfront, I get a malty sweetness with dark fruits like plums a little bit of hop, but not much.

T: I get a sweetness and a breadyness from the malt initially, then some fruits, figs, and a bit of resinous hop character at the end.

M: pretty good mouthfeel, good carbonation.

O: i havent had a whole lot of barleywines (even less english barleywines) so im certainly a bit out of my element in regards to this beers representation of the style. this is based more on my general opinions. a pretty good beer, though. I wouldn't ever turn one down.

Photo of patre_tim
3.89/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Dark brown filtered with lots of carbonation, even bubbles cling to the inside of the glass. There are 2 fingers of creamy beige head.

S: Malt, toffee, butter scotch, crème brulee, apple candy.

T: Butter scotch, candy, alcohol on the end, caramelized sugar like crème brulee, apple candy comes in as well.

M: Thick syrupy body is balanced by the heavy carbonation so much so that its smooth with a light bitter aftertaste.

O: Considered a standard by many in the beer world for a Barleywine, I was glad to finally find this on the east coast at Brawley’s Beverage in Charlotte. Drank in Boca Raton July 12th, 2014.

Photo of Immortale25
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Thirsty Monk Asheville. Served in a Lagunitas pint glass.

A- Pours a reddish dark amber with a 1/2 inch light tan had that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a jagged ring behind.

S- Sweet smelling with some notes of dark fruit, caramel and a touch of brown sugar.

T- Big hits of Bready malt, booze and more dark fruit. Everything melds together to make for a drinkable barleywine, there's just not a lot of complexity. Bitter aftertaste.

M- Somewhat syrupy with medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the fuller side.

O- Definitely a sweeter barleywine with a lot of residual sugars but still quite drinkable if not very complex.

Photo of mrjez
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle one month past its drink-by date.
L: a murky dark amber with a tan head.
S: an upfront whiff of booze gives way to the most delicious plum, cherry and dark fruits, I'm instantly taken back to my grandma's dense fruitcake. Yum.
T: plenty of alcohol coming through, but I'm getting strong malt and fruit too.
F: full-bodied and warms the mouth and throat. It seems to fluctuate, some sips are malty, some boozy.
O: I get this better now than when I first tried it a few years back. Would go lovely by a fire on a winter's evening.

Photo of Kuaff
4.37/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Just found this today, and discovered that it's the 8.8% 2008 vintage! Yeah, we get some old beers around here sometimes, but damn. So it's 5~6 years old. Good thing it's a barleywine. Served in a snifter at cellar temperature.

An two-finger beige head fizzed up and receded to a thin ring over a beautiful clear garnet or ruby barleywine. A bigger head than I expected from such an old barleywine.

It smells fruity, with cherries being the specific fruit that stands out the most. I also get prunes, red apples, a hint of citrus, a bit of maple syrup... maybe even a dash of some type of brighter fruit like peaches.

Tart fruits take effect initially, like cherries, nectarines, peaches, and then red apples toward the middle. The finish has a nice breadiness and some bitter, slightly astringent hops that give off noticeable notes of pine and citrus. Kind of a dry aftertaste like highly hopped American barleywines and DIPAs, which surprises me since this has aged for so long.

The carbonation is fairly high, once again despite the old age, and the feel is substantially thick, viscous, and full.

I didn't know what to expect since this is the oldest beer I've ever tried up to this point, but it's really held up well. While it does fit the more malt-forward profile of an English barleywine, I also think it walks a nice line between the English and American barleywine styles, with a little bit of American hoppiness to balance the sweet English maltiness.

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A 355ml bottle with a BB of May 2014. ABV is stated as 9.4%. Picked up a while back from the York Beer & Wine shop. An American classic that I've had before but not got round to reviewing - here goes....

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Bottle conditioned. A very deep reddish-amber hue with tons of chunky floating sediment and medium carbonation. Yields a large head of creamy off-white foam that lasts for a few minutes before subsiding to a patchy surface layer. Aroma of exceptionally sweet, fruity malt with hints of prunes, dried fruit, port/sherry, brown sugar, caramel, yeast esters, mild pine, faint roasted grain and stewed hops. A warming whiff of booze in the background - very rich and fruity.

Tastes of very sweet, fruity malt with a lingering finish. Notes of prunes, dried fruit, port/sherry, brown sugar, caramel, yeast esters, mild pine resin, subtle roasted grain and stewed hops. A significant hint of alcohol in the background, followed by a restrained hoppy bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with pleasant carbonation and a lovely creamy body. Faint hop oils on the tongue. Faintly astringent, accompanied by an aftertaste of sweet, fruity malt, piny hops and yeast esters.

Rather nice, though I feel that attenuating the sweetness and booze slightly would be beneficial. Looks alright, in spite of the floating yeast/protein. The aroma and flavour are similar, with a backbone of sweet, fruity malt and subtle hop notes. Fantastic body - borders on unctuous. Very sweet but a pleasant sipper. Would be perfect for winter; worth sampling if you have the chance.

Photo of hoegaardenhero
4.65/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

a: beautiful brown body with ruby highlights; great fluffy off-white head that lasts like none i have seen--i poured it as i made dinner to give it a little bit of time to warm up and it lasted for at least 20 minutes thick and creamy as ever; leaves light sticky lacing; light movement glistens in glass

s: darker caramel and toffee malts; light chocolate and sweet apples; spicy kick; really nice warm fragrance; alcohol

t: warm toffee; nice nuttiness; some grain; light alcohol/brandy; fruity apple malts; butter; light citrus hops

m: creamy and smooth but medium body and medium carb so a good mix of the heavier side and the refreshing side

d: i think that this is an amazingly good beer and the pour was one of the best i've seen period; strong flavors and a smooth finish; i'm interested to see how it ages
~~~
ok, from the same six pack, has been in the cellar for almost exactly 2 years

a: insanely beautiful; deep purple brown body with a 1/2-1/4 inch of tan-yellow foam that is thick and has great retention; eventually it fades leaving light traces f foam on the glass and a light coating of foam on top

s: mellow sweet abv; whiskey; light bitter tinge; grapes; warm

t: first sip abv is strong followed by a slow fading in of beautiful toffee and light chocolate flavors; abv slowy fades and rich toffee really fills the mouth with hints of piny hops in the back of the sip; buttery quality; quite good

m: smooth and creamy; mild carb

d: really good beer; at least as good as the two years ago taste and a little diffrent from what i remember
~~~
Excited to taste this beer after 6 years in the cellar:

A: beautiful cafe au lait head made up of tight distinct tiny bubbles, like fish roe, with a deep, lush brown/ruby body; some small columns of quickly moving bubbles; foam leaves beautiful lace on the glass and lasts for the duration

S: caramel, sweetness, light brandy in the back of nose, toffee, some brown sugar, light raisins

T: the taste has smoothed out immensely; almost no abv (a little bit at the back end); toffee, light hop twinge still present in the finish;

M: the mouthfeel has become basically perfect; light carb; buttery medium body; so smooth; maybe a teeny teeny bit of cloy, but I've never had a barley wine with no cloy at all

O: i already thought that this was a great beer, but the age has really mellowed out the flavor and made the abv disappear; great beer.

Photo of martyl1000
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

11/1/2013
Reviewing this on a second take, nearly a year after the first time I had it, for which I gave it a quick rating of 4.75 (11/26/2012). Definitely downgrading that.

It's certainly a beautiful beer in a snifter, clear motor-oil golden goodness, with a luxurious off-white head and serious legs sticking to the glass.

The aroma is a big disappointment, with esthery alcohol pretty much all I'm getting, and maybe a faint honey. The flavor in the mouth is not very complex, with a banana sweetness, bready malt, fruity alcohol, and a fig/prune sweetness. It's surprisingly low bitterness makes learning that this was dry hopped leaves me scratching my head. The awesome creamy mouth feel may be this brew's saving grace.

My wife likes it a lot, so I think I'll bump up the flavor points. Total score: 4.2
---
UPDATE
4/6/2014
I'm nodding my head at my previous review and score (though I'm also lowering that score). The huge banana/fig/prune/honey sweetness is a bit much. It's my least favorite barley-wine flavor--cloying, sickeningly sweet. You also find it in Weyerbacher Insanity, Shipyard Double ESB, Lakefront Beer Line, North Coast Old Stock (the worst in this list), and Big Eddy Ryewine. If only it were balanced by some floral or citrus hop bitterness. There's also an undercurrent of leather that's slightly offputting.

In the aroma, there's a tart, fuming fusile alcohol that reminds one of Hendrick's gin.

Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- Pours a clean, deep amber. Probably more of a dull brown really. Full 1.5 finger khaki head that hangs around for about a minute.

S- Caramel toasted malt and fruity esters. A little boozy. A little sweet. Pretty standard barleywine aroma with a solid presence.

T- Terrific balance. Doesn't have the age that I usually prefer on this style, but this one isn't hot or "green" tasting in the least bit. Sweetness forward and the piney hop presence lingers on the back end. Smooth

M- On the lighter side of the style by today's standards, but makes for easier drinkability as well. Not quite the sipper that others can be. Mid body bordering on full and just creamy enough to coat the tongue.

O- I wouldn't go so far as to say the flavors are bold, but effortless nature of this one is really impressive. Given that it's a bit lighter for the style, this is one that could pair well with scallops, duck, or game meats.

Photo of samtrillo
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep Amber Hue. Head dissipated quickly.

S - Caramel, candied malt. Fruity pebbles.

T - Sweet fruity barley malt. Extension of the smell. Slight hit of hops at the end. Alcohol aftertaste mixed with lingering sugar is a bit unpleasant.

M - Medium to full bodied with a desirable amount of carbonation.

O - My second of this style and it seems to be an acquired taste but at least I can see why it'd be good. Can't wait to see what this is like aged but I guess I will. Until next year...

Photo of safaricook
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Very clear deep amber body with some coarse bubbles and a beige head that last rather long considering the style and high ABV.
Aroma is caramel malts, piney hops, a wood character, sugar candy, ester, idea of maple sirup.
Rather sweet caramel malt taste just kept in check by a hoppy bitterness, maple sirup, soja sauce.
Smooth carbonation, full body, warming alcohol.
Not my favorite style as it is too sweet for me most of the time, but this one is pretty drinkable. Good one for a late evening sipper.

Anchor Old Foghorn from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,840 ratings.