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Anchor Our Barrel Ale - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Our Barrel AleAnchor Our Barrel Ale

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74 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 74
Reviews: 21
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 10.79%
Wants: 111
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  8.02% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ClockworkOrange on 02-09-2009

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 74 | Reviews: 21
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of brotherliam
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

Photo of mothman
4.07/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

ahhh one of the whitest wales out there. most people don't even know this exists.

Pours a light beige head. Color is a caramel copper.

Aroma: I smell rye, but get a little bourbon flavors as well. Very oaky. Vanilla flavors and caramel with toffee. Very barleywine like. Plums, raisins, dark fruits. Very sweet. Warming.

Taste: I taste rye more than anything here. Still very oaky. A lot of similar flavors from the nose. Raisins, toffee, caramel, plums, and dark fruits. Not as flavorful as the nose. A hint of chocolate in the background.

Mouthfeel: Dry, but smooth and creamy. Medium bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. Ends a little sticky and cloying.

Overall, it's a nice beer. It's drinkable, but it lacks a little flavor compared to the nose. The carbonation is also a tad low. Still, a real treat to have and something I wouldn't pass down.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of xhuskr
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

had this at Beachwood BBQ-Seal Beach on Anchor night...was not what I thought it would be;
A-clear, bubblier than I thought with the great orange/amber
S-mellow but noseable aroma of bourbon and vanilla...not the overpowering aroma as so many barrel aged brews
T-wow...does not taste like the big bear I thought it would be..it tastes better. Nice light bourbon and english ale flavors
M-smooth and yummy
O-very pleased with this quite a bit

I was more than happy and surprised with this..nice to have a great brew from Anchor as good as this was. Bold, smooth, different, yummy..need I say more?!

Photo of Kshock
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of MasterSki
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of StarRaptor
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of jlb502
4/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Photekut
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Photo of corby112
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Magnum generously shared by ygtbsm. Thanks again Brad!

Pours a dark copper/mahogany colorwith golden ruby edges and a thin half finger off white head that slowly fades into a lasting ring.  Faint lacing left behind.  

Sweet boozy bourbon aroma with hints of caramel, toffee, rye and hazelnut.  The barrel presence with toasted oak, coconut, vanilla and bourbon but it doesn't overpower the malt notes of the base beer.  Lots of biscuit, vanilla, caramel and dark fruit.

Medium bodied and perfectly balanced with a nice amount of sweet bourbon, earthy oak and tons of vanilla sweetness.  Theres also some toasted coconut and faint heat but not too boozy.  Very nicely balanced and the abv is well masked msking it easy to drink.  Malty notes of caramel, toffee, biscuit and rye.  The spirit is perfectly integrated into the flavor of the beer without being astringent or one dimensional.  Amazing.      

Photo of tpd975
4.49/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to Floydster for sending me this uber rare treat.

A: Pours light brown with lots of amber showing through. Small head with some spotty lace.

S: Lots of barrel in the aroma. Oak stands out with mild sweet brown sugar notes. There are hints of caramel and a dash of vanilla as well.

T: Starts out nice and sweet...malty. Lots of brown sugar and toffee. Vanilla comes through in a nice way as well. There are notes of oak and bourbon. The barrel does not overpower this one. It is subdued, but so damn enjoyable. So many people over do it with a barrel this beer is nicely done. Dare I say a sessionable barrel aged beer?

M: On the thinner side for the style. Sort of low in carbonation, but I almost prefer my barrel aged beers that way.

D: The most drinkable barrel aged beer I think I have had.

Score one for Anchor. I like it a lot.

Photo of womencantsail
4.42/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Generously shared at the PtY release on 2/5/10

A: The pour is a clear, amber color with a mild carbonation and a small off-white head.

S: A nice combination of sweet caramel, brown sugar, toffee, and dark fruit aromas fills the nose. There is some barrel influence, but nothing overwhelming.

T: A nice, complex flavor which follows the nose for the most part. The caramel and dark fruits lead the way with some undertones of oak and bourbon. There's also a slight spice to the beer which I did not detect much of in the nose.

M: The low level of carbonation lends the beer a slightly slick mouthfeel, even with its medium body. I will say I was expecting this to be a bit fuller.

D: Despite a slight disappointment on the mouthfeel, I found this to be a great offering from Anchor, and one that I've very much wanted to try. I certainly did not plan on having so many of my highly coveted wants tasted in one day.

Photo of nickd717
4.05/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Magnum generously shared by largadeer around the Pliny the Younger release - thanks, Chris!

Pours a slightly cloudy brown color with a very small off-white head.

Aroma is more or less Old Foghorn meets the -bals. Lots of caramel malt and some dark fruit notes as well as some oak and bourbon.

Flavor is nice and complex. Sweet caramel and toffee, very mellow, with sweet figs and dates and oak, bourbon and vanilla.

Medium-full on the palate with soft carbonation and only very mild booze.

Drinkability is good. Great execution on the -bal aging by Anchor for this one.

Photo of HopHead84
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Magnum received in a trade with largadeer. Thanks! Consumed on 9/18/2009 and poured into a snifter. The beer appears dark brown with crimson highlights and a one finger wispy off-white head.

The nose is immediately reminiscent of rich caramel with lesser notes of toffee and vanilla. It smells sweet, and the rye whisky barrels have left their mark, contributing vanilla and light oak notes. The caramel is most apparent and it's excellent.

Alcohol is prominent in the flavor, accompanying the rich caramel and toffee. The beer is sweet with notes of slightly spicy rye. Oak is apparent. The booze is strong throughout but it's rather complimentary. The finish is long with a little vanilla and lingering caramel and alcohol. The beer is high medium bodied with a low-medium level of carbonation with a smooth mouthfeel.

The beer is very drinkable for a high alcohol strong ale. I think I drank half the 1.5L myself.

Photo of ShareANevada
3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Generously cracked and shared by a kind gentleman at DLD.

Magnum poured into my Sam Smith stem.

Pour is a nice rich golden-tan, not a ton of carbo going on here, just enough for an adequate, yet fleeting head.

The nose gives way to the anticipated vanilla and wood, with a hint of barleywine peeking through.

The taste begins to showcase just what Anchor can do blending some of their very solid beers. For a bigger beer, it is not overbearing, or aggressive, but shows the rounded character of the bock, accented and enhanced with the Libertys hops. This seems graceful to me, forming
together to achieve a full flavored, yet very very drinkable beer. Perhaps thats why these bottles are so big. As it warms, some more
whiskey and barleywine start to become appear, reminding you just how smooth this beer really is for its makeup.

With so many extreme beers on the markey these days, this was an exercise in restraint and flavor. Very well done.

Photo of dave020508
5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've always enjoyed Anchor, and this is the cream of the crop. If you can find a bottle of this in CA it is well worth the $30 for a magnum.

If you can't decide between a good bourbon or a serious beer, this is the way to go. The nose and taste were a wonderful marriage of bourbon characteristics with a strong barleywine presence. I could not recommend this beer more highly.

Absolutely fantastic. I'd gladly drink this again and again.

Photo of Floydster
4.57/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Magnum acquired via a trade with swnicholson, thanks again for sending this to me Scott, and twice for that matter, I really appreciate it, split among several people including Tomme Arthur, the guys from The Bruery, Pizza Port brewers, and several other Belgian Beer Party patrons, poured into my Chimay goblet

A-Medium brown color with some mahogany tint, thin 1/4 inch creamy beige head that lasted a few minutes, not much lacing at all, but very nice legs
S-Huge amount of bourbon, rye, oak, butterscotch, vanilla, coconut, biscuit, light milk chocolate, and toffee
T-Starts off quite boozy but not like the way that makes you back off, lots of whiskey, not too overpowering though, middle has lots of caramel and toffee, that seemed to be a component of their Bock, finish had lots of vanilla and oak with a sweet bourbon aftertaste, little bit of hops in the finish, could have possibly been the doings of Liberty Ale but who knows, later on this stuff becomes more sweet and hints of tropical fruit come out, also some dessert like vanilla that is much more rounded and sweet than before
M-Sweet, fruity, oaky, dry, and boozy mouthfeel, pretty thin body, moderate level of carbonation, taste lingered a long time and was very happy for that
D-Wonder how close I could have come to doing this whole bottle by myself, probably half, this stuff went down quite easily for having such a big barrel character, light and smooth all the way through, very good drinkability

I had wanted to try this real bad, Anchor is one of those historic breweries that never disappoints and this was no exception, everybody who tried agreed with me as far as that goes, too bad only six hundred bottles were made, these would be great to have around and open for special occasions with large amounts of people, very nice blending done and still not sure exactly what went into this beer, we will probably never know either, one thing is for sure and that is I would drink this again in a heartbeat, highly recommended

Photo of seaoflament
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer at the Pizza Port Belgian Beer Party on March 28th courtesy of Floydster, thanks for sharing this beer.

Poured a burnt brown sugar color with a few bubbles on the edges.

Bourbon, sweet and ripe raisins, brown sugar, caramel, figs, and alcohol in the background. Boozy but not hot in any way, a bit of cherries. Well blended.

Toasted almonds, toasted coconut, and wood. Hints of vanilla in the background with caramel and nutty malts. Low carbonation and finishes a bit thin. Very tasty.

Photo of Crosling
3.18/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1.5. Brown colored ale. Unfortunately the nose is really lacking, only light hints of malt and wood. Lacking power. Flavor doesn't have a lot going on either, a touch of vanilla, caramel, toast, toffee, but it's really soft, sweet, simplistic, light. Nice enough effort. Well made, I just wish it had more power, more taste. I'm puzzled why Anchor didn't put any Foghorn in the blend. That seems like the beer to barrel.

Photo of waltonc
4.42/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cracked open a bottle of this on JoeySchlitz's birthday. Caramel copper color with small white bubbly head. Bubbles are not fine, but rather larger, potentially created as much as a result of the pour as from the carbonation. Smell and taste are very mellow notes of caramel, toffee, vanilla, bourbon, a little sweet, and a little wood. As this warmed up (and as my tongue forgot about the much stronger flavors of the HOTD Fred I had previously enjoyed at Monk's Kettle on tap), the flavors became a little more pronounced. Very nice example of a barrel aged beer. Not over the top in any way. Very well rounded. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, a tad sticky, and low carbonation. Very drinkable, though I question why this is sold in 1.5L bottles only.

Photo of largadeer
4.32/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1.5L magnum, split a few ways into snifters. Auburn in color with only a trace of head. Great autumnal color, dark but clear.

Smell: At colder temperatures this one's got a big musty barrel aroma. As it warms, the scent of rye whiskey and barleywine begin to take over. Rich caramel and vanilla dominate, with more subtle notes of mineral, toast and dark fruit.

Taste and mouthfeel: Opens with a rich caramel flavor, vanilla and roast following. Sweet but nowhere near cloying. Big oaky character, lightly tannic and fruity. Smooth, silky mouthfeel with low carbonation. Medium bodied, not especially rich though very full-flavored. A fuller body would really bring this one to the next level. Despite the reported blend, this tastes largely like a barrel-aged Old Foghorn to me. That's nothing to complain about, though; Foghorn is a great beer in itself and this is even better.

Photo of byaeger
4.84/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Though I was one of many at the Anchor brewery on Friday, 2/06 to try OBA at its unveiling, I was the first person at the brewery today to buy it. It's only available in 1.5 liter magnums (magna?) and the max is a 6-bottle case.


Anchor is known for traditional brewing with the utmost attention to sterile conditions, so the fact that the brewing crew had to risk aging this beer for six months in, gulp, wood, shows some gusto. Then again, you know there was QC at every turn.

It starts with a blend of Old Foghorn Barleywine, some Bock, and is mostly Liberty Ale, their hoppiest beer. They didn't have to look very far for whiskey barrels to age it in. The Anchor distillery is just across the street!

It pours a viscous charcoal color with dark ruby. Instant bouquet of whiskey and vanilla. Low carbonation. That it's unfiltered helps. As for taste, they hit it out of the park. Well-balanced malt palate since they went heavy on the Liberty. But it's the barrels--toasted oak--drunk with rye whiskey to spice it up nicely.

Though it clocks in over 8% ABV, you need not cellar this to enjoy. If you're lucky enough to score one of these treasures, heaven forbid a meteorite lands on you and you don't get to taste this $30 treat since you were busy watching dust collect on the gold foil.

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Anchor Our Barrel Ale from Anchor Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 74 ratings.