1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Anchor Old Foghorn - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Old FoghornAnchor Old Foghorn

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

1,626 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,626
Reviews: 995
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 61
Gots: 79 | 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)
View: Beers (22) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Anchor Old Foghorn Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,626 | Reviews: 995 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheSarge


4.72/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

Serving type: bottle

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

New York

3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: nitro-tap

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


3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

New York

4.88/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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


4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

Serving type: bottle

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


4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2010 03:38:06 | More by 2late2brew
Photo of Parrotbeak


3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown with a ruby hue and a thin white head that fades quickly. Not much lacing.
Smell is slightly roasted, sweet malts, with a little bit of hops coming through. Caramel, plum, figs, and raisins. Slight hint of cocoa, as well as some alcohol.
Taste is sweet caramelly malts with the hops presence being a little stronger than it is in the smell. Toffee, raisins, figs, and a touch of mocha.
Mouthfeel is smooth with a little more carbonation than expected, though still fairly low. Slightly sticky on the finish. Medium-light body.
Drinkability is decent. Alcohol is well-hidden. A bit on the sweet side.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2010 01:55:31 | More by Parrotbeak
Photo of JamisonM


4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: wonderful reddish amber nice lace along the glass head does not say for long

S: toffee spice brown sugar and light cinnamon a heavenly smell

T: brown sugar and toffee along with light cinnamon spice very malty

M: med body with med carbonation

D: very drinkable I do not detect any alcohol in the beer

overall: good barley wine really enjoyed it. there is a signature style that Anchor brewing has and this is well with in that style cheers to Anchor.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2010 00:52:21 | More by JamisonM
Photo of thetomG


3.25/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice clear amber color with a minimal amount of head - almost no lacing at all. Aroma has a spicy yeasty funky caramel sweetness to it with flavors that match up well. Taste also has additional elements of huge malt and some slight bitterness. Old Foghorn feels fairly sticky & syrupy in your mouth with not much carbonation so when you add that to the sweetness it makes it hard to drink a lot of this one....

Glad I tried this, but not something I'd go out of my way for.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2010 20:50:12 | More by thetomG
Photo of Bfarr


4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A clear red amber with a tan foamy head with good retention. Sweet, fruity aromas. Light molasses and spice with a little tea flavor and caramel. Fantastic balance with a good hop presence and not too sweet with light alcohol finish. Lightly syrupy and fuzzy with a smooth mouthcoating.

This is a very balanced and very drinkable barleywine. You can easily get into a bit of trouble having a few of these. Nothing too strong in taste but nice subtle flavors and no strong alcohol so it's not restricted to sipping over a long period of time.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2010 15:38:03 | More by Bfarr
Photo of beertunes


4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a beautiful coppery-brown with over an inch of light tan head that had good retention and light-moderate lacing.

The aroma was the expected sweet, malty scent typical of the style, with a bit of spice and alcohol in the nose. The smooth malt flavors come out nicely on the tongue. There is a nicely interesting bite of spices and a hint of yeast as well.

The body is pleasantly full, but a bit lighter than I would have liked. Drinkability is very good for the style, but that is going to depend on your tolerance for high ABV, sweet beers.

Overall, a very good version of the style, worth your time.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2010 22:04:38 | More by beertunes
Photo of Elimination


4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz in goblet-from notes

Look- pours soft, thin head, almost looks purple in the glass. cant see finger through, cant see any bubbles.

smell: grape juice right away, slight hops, fruity, berries. smell of a light ipa but with fruit.

taste: i dont know how to describe it, sweet first, dryish, more fruityness. aspects pop in n out of the tastebuds, slight hop aftertaste, boozy very wine like. Second sip its all still there, this is one of the first barleywines i have really liked.

mouth: for the abv, you cant tell

drink- well it has a pretty good abv but you dont know till you have had it.

This is the first barleywine i have ever had that i really liked!

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2010 23:50:58 | More by Elimination
Photo of ClockworkOrange


3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 7oz. nip. Bottle code puts this as an '03. Uncapped and poured into a Selin's Grove wine glass. Appears a murky chestnut brown color with barely a finger of tan foam. The head leaves no lace. Nose and flavors consist of molasses, port wine, raisins, dark brown sugar, black cherries, prunes. Mildly carbonated which world well here, but the body is thinner than you'd expect from a barleywine. A very nice sipper overall.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2010 03:20:52 | More by ClockworkOrange
Photo of rootbeerman


3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured into duvel tulip

A: pours deep red dark copper, finger thick light brown head that settled to a thin layer
S: sweet barley malt, slightly bready doughy and a slight hint of alcohol.
T: sweet with caramel, brown sugar and a bit of raisin. a little bit of bitter hops on the after taste and backend. picked up another empty glass.
M: linger around for a long time, it is sort of thick but not overly. low carbonation.
D: as i said i picked up an empty glass, so its quite drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2010 05:26:40 | More by rootbeerman
Photo of mjurney


3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

[Appearance]: Deep burgundy color, clear, lots of carbonation, head looks foamy, leaves a little lacing on the glass.
[Smell]: Fruity aroma, sweet caramel malts, some brown sugar. Smells very sweet.
[Taste]: Very fruity up front, black cherries and grapes, caramel malts, spicy floral hops in the mid-palate, slight sweet citrus at the end.
[Mouthfeel]: Juicy mouthfeel, carbonation is about medium, very smooth.
[Drinkability]: Very drinkable. A lot more sweeter than Sierra Nevada Bigfoot.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2010 07:41:00 | More by mjurney
Photo of KickbacksSteve


4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery in San Francisco. Poured into a small 6 ounce fluted glass. Lovely hop aroma balanced by some malt sweetness. Looks a touch thin, a light ruby color. Taste is also bitter balanced with some over ripe pit fruit sweetness. Abc is very, very well hidden. I believe this is the first in this style made in America, so credit must be given for setting the bar that many others have leapt over. Delicious none the less.

Serving type: on-tap

05-18-2010 21:47:07 | More by KickbacksSteve
Photo of chaz01


3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Dilly Deli's Cafe in Cincinnati, served in a snifter glass.

A: Deep amber brown color with a thick foamy head overflowing from the top of the snifter glass.

S: Sweet malty caramel aromas.

T: Malty and caramel with raisins and dark fruit flavors. Very pleasant lingering port and sherry notes in the finish.

M: Medium bodied, expected in a little more fullness for a barleywine, but still good. Low carbonation detected in the mouth despite the rich thick head.

D: Nice sipping beer to have as an after dinner cordial or even with desert.

Serving type: on-tap

05-16-2010 21:13:12 | More by chaz01
Photo of JK4Stout


4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I'm a recent convert to Anchor, but an old hand at Barley Wine. So you can imagine my excitement when I found a few bottles of this on the shelves of Vintage Cellar. I grabbed them without hesitation. The smell isn't as welcoming as some other barley wines. (Duck Rabbit, Sam Adams Longshot, etc) The taste though is right on the money. I honestly think my tongue kept tingling long after I had finished the initial taste. Most impressive. Those guys in San Fran know their stuff! I can't wait to cellar my other two for a bit and pull them out one snowy night!

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2010 20:33:58 | More by JK4Stout
Photo of lacqueredmouse


2.93/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a dark, rusty red-brown colour, with only a slight film around the top of the glass. No lacing, but the body looks thick and heavy. Some large bubbled carbonation which pours surprisingly quickly up the insides of the glass. Not bad overall.

Light tannic bitter aromatics on the nose, with a bit of leather and grainy whiskey. Little sweetness, the black-tea tannic notes are the most prominent. Smells rather darker than it actually is.

Taste is redolent with booze notes, especially when aerated. Big clunking notes of dark liquor, aniseed, and acetone with a tingling feel that can't entirely be put down to the carbonation. Rather bitter in a clinging, chemical way. Unfortunately, all the notes are confronting and harsh, with little to leaven or balance the palate.

It's a big and boisterous beer this one, but it feels too much so - there's nothing lively or jubilant about it. It ends up sitting heavy, serious and rather depressingly unenjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2010 23:21:17 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of MEsquandoles


3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled Jan 2007. Twist off.

A little more brown than most barleywines.

Litte to no trace of alcohol or bitterness.

Toffee and caramel, brown sugar and rum-cooked pineapple. Some Port or Sherry flavours.

Very mellow and drinkable.

I'd say I prefer it with a lil less age on it, but not to say that there is a lot wrong with it. I suppose it is oxidized though.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2010 05:35:17 | More by MEsquandoles
Photo of mjaskula

New York

4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a sniffer. Pours cloudy dark amber with a tan head that thins to a thick ring in the glass.

The aroma is thick and sweet, like molasses with a nice complementary hop aroma. The flavor continues the aroma. It is strong and sweet as expected. The hop flavor is bold, but doesn't surpass the malt sweetness. Alcohol is well hidden, but shows itself as it warms.

Carbonation is assertive enough to keep it from becoming syrupy. Mouthfeel is fairly dry. It's hard to call a barleywine drinkable, but this is a pretty good example.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2010 01:59:20 | More by mjaskula
Photo of Zekezilla


3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: amber, very little head in appearance. No lacing to speak of. Smell: malty, sweetness, dark fruits. Taste: sweet, malty, caramel, dark fruits. Not as intense as I would have expected. This is my first barleywine so I'm not sure what to compare it to yet. Mouthfeel: very thin. I don't know that I'd try this particular barleywine again but I'd at least try the style again.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2010 00:28:06 | More by Zekezilla
Photo of FreshHawk


4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Scarlet brown, somewhat like a buckeye with more red. Small, foamy head that sticks around awhile, forming a nice foamy layer of lace concentrated on one side.

S - A lot of caramel and toffee malt aroma in the initial whiff. Subsequent noses bring out some alcohol aroma as well as a bit of citrus and tea hop smells. Just a touch of fruitiness comes out as well, with apple, golden raisin, and a little bit of apricot or peach.

T - Pretty heavy on the caramel/toffee malt flavors initially. Some toasted bread and butterscotch flavors as well. Not overly rich or sweet, but those are the strongest initial flavors. These give way to more of the golden fruit (apple, golden raisin, and some apricot/peach). Also has a touch of citrus orange. This gives way toward the finish with some tea, grassy, and citrus (mostly orange) hops. Alcohol is pretty well hidden. Not overly hoppy in taste.

M - Medium body, but for the style a bit on the light side and a little below average carbonation. Fairly smooth and slick feel.

D - Really a pretty drinkable beer, especially for a barleywine (as far as having another in one night). The smooth, lighter body really helps make this a quite drinkable beer, along with the balanced, slightly subdued taste.

Notes: Best before June 2011. This is a bit lighter, more subdued barleywine. Fairly malty with enough hops to keep it interesting, but they are not dominant. Overall it was a nice, light, and easy to drink barleywine. Not as big and boozy and a bit less of a night capping beer, but a lighter more accessible barleywine. Not an amazing tasting beer, but a solid one. Definitely worth trying, and I would get it again, especially considering the price.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2010 17:56:13 | More by FreshHawk
Anchor Old Foghorn from Anchor Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,626 ratings.