Old Foghorn
Anchor Brewing Company

Old FoghornOld Foghorn
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Barleywine - English
Ranked #169
Ranked #10,676
3.94 | pDev: 10.91%
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States
Very Good
Old FoghornOld Foghorn
Notes: Old Foghorn® is brewed based on historic English barleywine methods. It is highly hopped, fermented with a true top-fermenting ale yeast, carbonated by a natural process called "bunging" to produce champagne-like bubbles, and dry-hopped with additional Cascade hops while it ages in our cellars. Made only from “first wort,” the rich first runnings of an all-malt mash, three mashes are required to produce just one barleywine brew.

ABV varies slightly over the years.
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Reviews: 1,093 | Ratings: 2,049 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by JohneHoodlum:
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JohneHoodlum from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +1.5%

Dec 07, 2011
More User Reviews:
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MartyMaltose from Washington

4.24/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2015 vintage, 12 oz bottle. My original entry into the limited but heavenly world of barleywines, about 20 years ago. I had been a little disappointed with the past couple of years but this year's seems back as good as ever. Sweet, malty, syrupy, raisins, esters, dates, blah blah. Now let's get useful: compared to Bigfoot? Much more syrupy, less hoppy. Old Stock Ale? 25% denser, less bite. When you buy it, do you get a sissy 4-pack? No. You get a full 6-pack. Should you buy it? If you "get" barleywines, yes. You'll like it, maybe love it. If you've never had a dark English, German dopplebock, or a sweet, dark Belgian, don't waste your money. It's best left on the shelf for me to buy later...I would appreciate being able to buy this year-round.

Sep 28, 2015
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Jeffrey84 from Michigan

4.84/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I'm not sure if it was the 14 years this beer was cellared or if this is just the best barley wine I've ever had. This beer had zero hop presence and had the sweetest rasen,cherry, and apple flavors. I must get more to cellar for years.

Apr 15, 2015
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Shanex from France

4.34/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A pretty rare beer in Europe so I guess I was just lucky to put my hand on this one, pretty tasty and a good barley wine. . Worth a try especially with the warming weather.

Apr 16, 2016
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ClavisAurea from New York

4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle dated from 11/2014 served in a tulip glass. Already six months old per the bottling date. They say that this beer is kept in their cellars till it is ready. Who knows how long that is.

Appearance: deep ruddy brown with a yellowy tan head and wonderful clarity.

Nose: fruity sweetness, prunes, candy shop caramel

Taste: fresh and fruity, candied apples, pears, beautiful mouthfeel but a bit on the thin side to support extended cellaring. Carbonation enough to lift the flavors off your tongue and to the back of your throat.

Overall: I have been looking for this beer for a while since I got into barleywines. It was a bit pricy: $19 for a six pack. I'm still glad I tried it and that it comes in enough quantity to allow for some aging experiments. See you in a few months.

Bottle from the same pack as listed above cellared in my basement. Nothing too huge to note in the change. I believe it has thinned out a bit and taken on some sherry and port oxidation notes but nothing that would detract from the overall experience. I don't think this beer has the ABV to last for years in the cellar but at least 2-3 would help it develop more of those micro oxidation flavors English Barleywines are famous for. Rating remains unchanged.

Jun 05, 2015
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hoptheology from South Dakota

4.27/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in a snifter in the bath.

It has a beautiful golden-mango glow to start, with 1 finger of steady head, sticking around for quite some time. As it settles in the head becomes moss and the body turns to a crumpled raisin color. Impressive display. 70% opaque.

Smell is gigantic. This is a huge beer. Waves of alcohol-soaked citrus - orange, lime, lemon rind; heavy raisin. With agitation, a sublime freshly cut pineapple note just takes over everything. Wow.

Flavor starts off with a stinging snake bite of alcohol burn, but tapers off quickly to a total tropical assault : dried mangoes, papaya, guava, pineapple; fading into a dry hopped utopia with dark malts and bright fruits.

The feel is heavy, thick without being sappy, and provides ample carbonation to keep the boat afloat. Finish is dry, dry, dry.

Old Foghorn isn't a beer you just drink; it's a beer you sip and philosophize over. This is one deep, humongous, cavernous beer.

Apr 02, 2016
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Motleydrunk56 from California

4.24/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a stone glass.Smell is pairs plums apples.Taste is apple`s & Pairs.I like this.It has a really good tasted to it plus the fact that it`s got a pretty good kick to.ABV9.4.I would buy this again.Give it a try.

Mar 02, 2016
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budsboy from Ohio

3.62/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy, deep amber with a fine tan head that is short lived.

Smell is fruity-sweet malt, clovey spices and alcohol. The fruit is of plum, raisen nature and is quite vinous.

Mild toasty malts, raisen, plum and a cool mintness dominate. Alcohol dances on the edge of hotness. There is a gratifying and lasting bitterness. Hop profile is muted and almost not there at all. You have to squint to taste the hops.

Fairly thin in the mouth, bit dry on the finish.

Eh. Good enough. Probably one I'll be able to pass up when I see it on the shelves, but it surely is worth a try.

Feb 04, 2006
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leagr from Missouri

4.75/5  rDev +20.6%

Aug 09, 2012
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clemsonbrewer from South Carolina

4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Brilliant red liquid that has little head which disappears quickly. Huge nose on this one. Grapes, alcohol, and a flowery smell to it. Very sweet smelling. Sweet taste of malt and grapes. Slight hoppiness and almost some chocolate flavor (I'm not sure if barleywines are supposed to have that as this is my first). Good full mouthfeel with a sweet palate. Enjoyable beer that I plan to have again.

Nov 29, 2007
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muchloveforhops3 from Oregon

4.75/5  rDev +20.6%

Oct 09, 2012
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draheim from Washington

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (code 0D3 I think) into a snifter. Pours a crystal-clear amber w/ a 1-finger khaki head, zero carbonation.

Aroma is fruity caramel malt, floral Old World hops, butterscotch.

Taste is true to the nose: buttery malt, floral hops. Plenty of sweet, perfectly ripe fruit. Hoppy but not bitter. Straightforward.

Mouthfeel is thick, chewy, full-bodied.

Overall a really good, solid version of the style.

May 30, 2012
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EK33 from Ohio

3.43/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011 Vintage

A-Slightly cloudy amber. Good look for a barleywine. Only minor carbonation.

S-Mostly caramel malt, minor indiscernible dark fruit with absence of alcohol or floral notes.

T-Caramel sweetness is good with only some dark fruit. Finish is best part as there is only moderate alcohol/hop bite/bitterness. Smooooth.

M-Is almost perfect. Had this been a little heavier would rank a 5.

O-Rates above average. Interested to see how this one ages in 5 and 10 years.

Jan 03, 2012
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GarbageMan10 from Texas

3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Jan 30, 2016
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mancavebeercouch from Colorado

3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Feb 19, 2017
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BJ1833 from Kansas

4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 7 oz bottle

Appearance: Dark amber color with thin white head

Aroma: Smell of roasted malt and slight nut character. Aroma of plums and raisins.

Taste: Sweet taste of roasted malt and dark fruits. Alcohol taste is present, but not overpowering. Slight spiciness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation with a smooth, almost creamy mouthfeel.

Overall: Good barleywine that would go down great on a winter night. Complex flavors blend well into an extremely enjoyable brew. This is a beer that you want to stop analyzing and just sit back and enjoy.

Sep 08, 2004
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seanyfo from Scotland

3.94/5  rDev 0%
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.

Mar 24, 2011
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JonathanL7890 from Texas

3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a wine glass. Very small head. Dissipated quickly. No lacing apparent.
Color is a deep brown.
Smell: Notes of Caramel, Floral hops.
Taste: a bit spicy, a little sweet. Some graham cracker. Cinnamon, maybe some bubblegum.
Mouthfeel: A little bit dry / astringent for a barleywine.
Drinkability: Fairly drinkable for a barleywine. I could have another.

Jan 12, 2009
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MbpBugeye from Ohio

3.19/5  rDev -19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This looks exceptionally nice. Its a clear, deep ruby or garnet color beer capped off with a sturdy pillow of foam. The head is very frothy and densely packed. It leaves a whole sheet of droopy lacing on my snifter. That, coupled with the awesome classic label design and tapering bottle makes this a very inviting beer.

The aroma is quite unique. Its a mix of floral notes and deep fruity tones. The malt foundation is strong as it lends toffee smells that ride over an aroma of grains. Ripe red apple, black cherry, possibly strawberry sweeten things up as alcohol gently stings the nostrils.

The black cherry notes play a big role in the flavor. There is a big grainy malt taste with some floral hops. This beer is very well balanced between bitter and sweet. It does settle a little on the sweet side though. A flash of orange from the hops ends this beer's long finish.

Thick bodied, almost syrupy at times. Carbonation is just there to keep this moving down your gullet. Sticky residuals are left on the lips and tongue.

This is a solid barleywine for sure. It does feel old fashioned when compared to what breweries are doing with the style.

Mar 26, 2011
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Soxfanmcgee from Indiana

4/5  rDev +1.5%

Apr 16, 2012
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ajfrantz from North Carolina

4/5  rDev +1.5%

Dec 20, 2011
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wehttam from South Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +20.6%

Mar 19, 2014
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Zazzi82 from Tennessee

3.76/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Jul 28, 2016
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Beaver13 from Colorado

3.74/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Nov 16, 2010
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twiggamortis420 from Texas

3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from the 2008 vintage. Pours a tawny ruby color with a creamy tan foam. Retention is ok and lacing is modest to say the least.

Nose is heavy and deep caramel with a vague sugary aspect. Little oxidation on the malt, but not too much. Almost reminds me of opening a box of Cracker-Jacks. Seems to fall somewhere in between an American and English barleywine on the smell.

Cotton candy and caramel sweetness are the heavy hitters on the palate and comes off as a bit one-dimensional at first. Slowly, some earthy and citric bitterness as well as some raisin-esque fruitiness come through. Good enough beer and I could see it aging well for a few more years, if not longer, but it does not interest me enough to take up precious cellar space with.

Aug 29, 2010
Old Foghorn from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 2049 ratings