Anchor Old Foghorn | Anchor Brewing Company

very good
1,057 Reviews
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Anchor Old FoghornAnchor Old Foghorn

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-15-2001

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Reviews: 1,057 | Ratings: 1,969
Photo of redsonja
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

good barley wine style from the u.s. dark color
sweet alcoholic taste you can taste the alchohol
one of the first u.s. brewers that was avalible in holland and still is one of the good us brewerys.
color: copper
noise: butterscotch/alc. sweet
taste: alc. sweet like serup
good beer for the winter that i like a lot

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Photo of asteroidgalaxy
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What can I say this is one of the best beers I've had recently. I never had a barely wine before in my life and I was amazed how good they are. This fits perfectly for an after dinner desert type beer. It is almost like wine but so much better. I could go on and on but you really have to try it. I am slightly disappointed that it is hard to get where I live in PA. One of my local bars had it but they stopped getting it sadly.

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Photo of archero
5/5  rDev +27.2%
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.

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Photo of KodyBrannon
4.95/5  rDev +26%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Previously had this beer on-tap at the flying saucer. Saw it at the store and had to try it in the bottle. Poured this into my pint glass, It poured a brownish/amber color, with a thin white head that went away as quickly as it started. It left no lacing on the glass. The first smell of this beer opened up my senses with a mixture of hots and malts. But upon another sniff, I detected a hint of fruit. The taste of this beer is a good even mix of hops and malts, but once agian i detect a faint taste of fruit in the aftertaste. Also, there is a bit of an alcohol flavor that hits you right at the start, but it smooths out as you get towards the middle of your glass.The mouthfeel of this beer is very light and crisp, leaves no coating and goes down smooth. Overall this is a very enjoyable beer, but it is definatly more is a sipping beer, towards the end of the glass, you can feel the 8% abv coming thorugh. I Could enjoy this beer on a nightly basis as a nice desert beer. Recomended to anyone who likes a good barleywine.This is probably the best one I have had yet.

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Photo of baos
4.92/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured 12 ounce bottle into my favorite Trappist glass.

Head was 3 fingers immediately after pour then settled to half finger to nearly no head. Beer is a nice dark amber color. The smell is the sweet dark smell of moldering apples under my Grandmama's apple tree. The taste starts out a mildly bitter caramel with deep and sweet cider hints, a little hoppy, but more malty, with hints of prune and raisins, then it finishes with a kind of waxy honeycomb flavor with the presence of alcohol but not overpowering by any means. Truly remarkable beer!

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Photo of Illini5596
4.92/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An excellent beer. Being a Barleywine it is very drinkable, having a strong and pleasing taste, but very little taste of hops despite the high amount used in brewing (again common for Barleywines). Out of all the Barleywines I have tasted this has the strongest taste of fruits, reminding one of grapes or cherries. By far one of the best beers I have tasted, it truly lives up to it's reputation as one of America's best beers.

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Photo of Brad007
4.88/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a darkish red color with a one-finger head and appears to have subdued carbonation.

Aroma seems thick and chewy with malt sweetness and a bit of alcohol burn showing up in the nose.

Taste is nice and malty with hints of raisin and brown sugar upfront. Not too hoppy. More of an emphasis on the malt here. Smooth. A bit sweet.

Mouthfeel is sweet and chewy with some hop bitterness and the hint of raisin. Seems well-balanced.

Drinkability seems very high with this beer. It's not overwhelmingly hoppy like some barleywines can be. I don't see much room for improvement because this is already well done. I would recommend it even if you are not a fan of barleywines.

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Photo of halo21
4.87/5  rDev +23.9%
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.

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Photo of huricrane47
4.87/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Deep amber in color with a tan head.
Smell- Sweet- Banana and Clove Smell.
Taste- A medium bitter hops (similar to IPA), then flavor changes to brown sugar and cloves. Both flavors blend together and leave incredible aftertaste.
Mouthfeel- low water activity- full of flavor.
Drinkabiltiy- Something to Sip on and enjoy. Not for lager drinkers.

Initially, the first thing you taste is a medium bitter hop flavor, which is then followed by a malty brown sugar and clove ending. The hops and brown sugar/clove flavor lightens and blends together during the aftertaste. The beer has a slight warmth going down and there is a slight dryness that follows. You might want to try this if you like Belgian beer styles like Chimay blue. Overall Incredible beer.

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Photo of Jeffrey84
4.84/5  rDev +23.2%
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.

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Photo of bort11
4.82/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my favorite beer, hands down. I know it is not perfect, but it suits me just right.

12 oz bottle poured into a Imperial Pint glass. Dark honey red color. Small reddish tan head that receeds quickly, but that's OK. There is some bubbles streaming to the top sporadically. The smell is very sweet in a pleasant way. It's like fresh banana bread. There is additonal nutty pecan notes with a hint of cloves. Very well balanced. Mouthfeel is warm and full. Just enough carbonation. There have been times when I have drunk an entire sixpack in one session, I think last New Year's, but that is not soemthing to do on a regular basis. This is one I like to share at parties. It always makes people go WOW!

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Photo of filabrazilia
4.82/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a semi-hazy copper orange with a small off-white head. Great lace decorates the glass.

Exceptionally malty nose balanced with the spicy citrusy character of the hops. There is a slight presence of alcohol.

The taste is absolutely wonderful. Subtle fruits dance in the mouth with the rich malt sweetness. The maple like malts are finished off by the slightly bitter hops. As the beer warmed, the flavors became more complex. Carmel and chocolate were present.

This is a medium bodied beer that blankets the mouth with layers of flavor and character. It is simultaneously subtle and rich.

This is a fantastic beer that comes close to liquid perfection. I could drink these by the dozen. I loved it.

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Photo of AlexJ
4.82/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love it when I try a beer I haven't had in years and it actually tastes better than I remember. This is one of those. Muddled copper in color with a light beige head that is both dense and creamy with great retention and ridiculous amounts of lace.

Aroma damn near knocks my socks off before I even get it close to my face. Caramel and brown sugar sweetness with a boatload of citrussy pine cone hops. Superb candied and lightly scorched orange peel notes. Intense.

Flavor is certainly no letdown. Huge chewy malt flavors of molasses and caramel with massive citrus and oozing pine sap hops. Glowing fruits, subtle spice, and christmas cookie goodness heighten the mix. Complex and warming with well disguised alcohol.

Body is big, dense, and velvet smooth. Texture is lush and creamy with fantastic drinkability. Very, very good.

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Photo of goodbyesoberday
4.78/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich reddish-amber, tan head also seems to have ruby highlights. Head is thick, creamy and lingering, even though the beer is strong enough to leave legs on the side of the glass. Strong aroma of malt, caramel and dried dark fruit uplifted by a faint resiny hoppiness and a mild alcohol whiff.

Nice golden syrup / treacle flavour gives the impression that bitterness is a combination of hops and burnt toffee. A surprisingly fresh citrus oil style hop flavour accompanies the malt but seems to play a secondary role. Mouthfeel is suprerb; slow lingering alcohol warmth, full body, smooth bitterness and low carbonation.

Overall a big flavoursome american barleywine that retains a surprising degree of freshness and a very large degree of drinkability. I could knock over several of these in a session without scouring my mouth to shreds.

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Photo of Loki
4.77/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled from a small 7oz bottle. I don't know what vintage as it was my friends and I didn't put that in the notes when he was sharing it with me.

Poured a lightly tarnished copper color with a one inch light beige head that was frothy and left decent lacing.

Aromas of hops, caramel, sweet malt, barley, fruit, and just a hint of alcohol. This does not smell like any barley wine I've had yet. (I've only had two so far, so that's not saying much.) But very inviting.

Tastes of hops and fruit that lead into caramel and sweet malt. The body is much lighter and a little more carbonated than other barley wines I've had. Incredibly smooth and complex. Subtle flavors dance back and forth and transition on the palette without the slightest hint of effort. Smooth, crisp, and clean. Wonderfully balanced and drinkable. I could drink this all night, if only it came in a bigger sample.

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Photo of marcpal
4.77/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap @ Old Bay, New Brunswick- poured into 11oz goblet.

A: Creamy crimson red with thin but thick head. Thick body.

S: Figs and dried fruit and strong silky malts. Caramel is intense and the hops show a presence.

T: Fruits and malts. Hops are deliciously balanced and the dark dried fruits are awesome. Warming taste is tremendous- this is one hell of a tasty barleywine. The toffee and caramel flavors are intense, sweet and distinctive.

M: Sticks to the tongue and has a warming feel without crushing you with the alcohol.

D: A great sipping barleywine that you can have a few of and not be in bad shape. A truly great beer.

Why have I not had this one until now, this is my new favorite of the style. Flat out awesome. Going to load up and enjoy through the year. Good chewy sipper.

EDIT in 2008: 2 year old bottle that Ive broken open on a very cold night. Even better- loads of sweet apple and juicy sweet.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.75/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown almost black. Nice head, but dissipates quickly, also some nice carbonations. Lots of lacing, but dissappears after awhile. There's a toffee, malt, sweet scent. I really like the taste, the alcohol is hidden pretty well. Medium body with a sweet taste. Very drinkable for a 8.8% barley wine. This is on my list for getting more.

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Photo of RickSawyer
4.72/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich oak brown with a creamy deer hide head that falls to a thin disk of foam. Smell is carmel, toffee, dates, apricot and some floral hints of hop to balance this english barleywine out. Taste is dessert. Hints of molasses drizzles on cream cake, dried cherry/date earthy sweetness, red apple, red grape, mango floral hops chasing the slight alcohol burn down the way. Outstanding. This is to beer what port is to wine. Mouthfeel is full and creamy. I am in love.

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Photo of ghostwalker
4.7/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cherry red body with a huge thick white head. Left some lacing after falling down over a couple of minutes.

Nose is really complex. Alcohol, vanilla, sweet malt, just a few hops. A treat to savor.

Flavor is incredible. My first 5 for flavor for a Barleywine. Mild and smooth compared to many barleywines, but still packed with flavors. Cherries, vanilla, alcohol burn, smooth caramel malt, hops, but not too many. This is a bountiful brew. Would be a winter favorite, if it weren't summer...

Mouthfeel is medium to light, even a little creamy. This is one really different BW.

Drinkability is unique for it's style. This is "quaffable".

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Photo of TheSarge
4.7/5  rDev +19.6%
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!

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Photo of josefnewsong
4.7/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I love this brew. This is the best looking barleywine I've ever seen, pouring a deep burgundy/red. The nose was wood, caramel, toffee, dark fruits, molasses, etc...and the flavor was exactly the same if not more complex. So well-balanced, which seems rare for the style. I wish I could find this in bottles somewhere. Possibly my favorite barleywine.

- Had a 2 yr old vintage on tap, and actually prefer the fresh version. Without the hop presence this beer isn't as complex as it once was.

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Photo of kbub6f
4.7/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought locally (Grapevine refrigerated shelves), a few months in my fridge, reviewed 45F-65F.

I poured a dense 1cm cream-colored head and got nice lacing. The beer is a gorgeous clear, deep garnet color.

The smell is sweet, creamy, malty with some grapefruit hoppiness. In the back there seems to be almost a cheesy smell, but it's probably my sense of smell being overloaded. The front is sweet and creamy, with some grapes. The middle is malty with very slight hints of bubblegum. The finish is a nice, clean hoppy bitterness with a touch of pepper. I get some licorice and grains in the aftertaste. I love this beer. It's amazingly complex without being over-the-top. My only complaint is the 7oz bottle.

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Photo of iuhophead87
4.7/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got lucky and found this at a liquor store here in Indiana.
Poured from a 12oz bottle.

A- Pored a very cloudy red, looked almost smoky in appearance. The light brown head faded quickly and left no tracing along the glass.
S- Wow! There were so many smells it was hard to pinpoint exactly what I was smelling. I could obviously smell caramel, dates, oranges, and hops. The hops were not strong and the sweetness of the other flavors is what you smell the most.
T- Taste is delicious and exactly what I wanted to finish the night off with. A little sweet at first, then fruity, and finally the strength of the alcohol kick in.
M- Very thick and full bodied and could be felt all the way down the throat.
D- Very tasty and would drink this beer often if I could get it easier. Not a session beer, but would have it after dinner often.

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Photo of drmeto
4.69/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

-lemons,orange peel,caramel,raspberry,elderflower,apricot,pine
-Follows the nose plus grapefruit
-hop bitterniss falls somewhere between english and american Barleywine
-low carbonation
-Great barley wine

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Photo of BeerCon5
4.67/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark amber color with a two finger thick foamy tan head, there is not much retention as the head recedes quickly.

The scent is very complex, there are a variety of fruits; orange pineapple, light hops, some spice.;

The taste again is of various fruits; pineapple, citrus, grape, maybe a little apple. There is a roasty malt presece and some hops.

Full bodied, chewy, low carbonation.

This was a very good beer. There was so much complex flavor every sip seemed to expose something new. I wouldn't say it was easy to drink as it was very filling.

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Anchor Old Foghorn from Anchor Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 1,969 ratings.
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