Anchor Old Foghorn | Anchor Brewing Company

very good
1,059 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: 1,059 | Ratings: 1,974
Photo of jkblr
4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wow, Anchor Old Foghorn 12oz bottled 2/5/14 8.8% ABV. Pour is muddled brown in color showing red highlights in brighter light. Head is light tan and lasts a minute receding into a fine ring around the glass. Smell is caramel and a hint of booze. Just a bit of oxidation creeping in due to my imperfect cellar conditions. Taste is more caramel, light raisin, some vague sweetness and just the start of oxidation. Mouthfeel is fantastic, full and rich wrapping the tongue but not overly sweet or sticky. Carbonation is still good. Overall, delightful. I am going to enjoy the rest of this now and check out what everyone else is drinking.

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Photo of GrumpyGas
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snulip has a bright amber body without foam. No head, no lacing, and barely a ring of bubbles.
Aroma in stone fruit, fresh leather, and noble hops.
Flavors match combined with sweet malt.
Mouthfeel leans thin, light, and clean. Not remotely chewy, and me likey.
An American classic.

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Photo of Lingenbrau
4.01/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliantly clear deep amber with a very thin, almost non-existent whit head. No lacing. Smells of plum, raisin, sweet sugary malt, and spicy noble hops. Similar flavor, with the emphasis on the raisin and sweet sugary malt with a touch of toffee and the spicy hops almost as an afterthought. Feel is rich yet thin, very bitter yet very sweet. Interest feel for sure. Easier to take large mouthfuls compared to most sense and chewy barleywines. Overall, this is a classic and delicious American barleywines, and the original for the U.S. A true pioneer, and holds up to todays competition, at least for me. Cheers!

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Photo of mothmanscott
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear amber brown producing a 3 finger, beige, lasting head that settles thin cap with a mound-like island cap of foam & leaving a beautiful, Jack Frost coating of lacing. Aroma is fruity & sweet caramel malt, dark bread, raisin, fig, cherry, brown sugar, cinnamon, wood, alcohol, spiced & a hint of something ethyl acetate like. Taste is similar but sweeter with woody oak/vanilla & bourbon notes (I don't believe that this is oak aged) with bitter roast & earthy hop tones in the finish & aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy bodied with moderate carbonation, wet & juicy, prickly & lightly grainy with a drawing aftertaste.

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Photo of Vader444
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle pour into tulip.

Looks gorgeous; a deep orange hue with a pale cream head.

Loads of fruity esters on the nose; red fruits as well as faint tropical notes. Taste follows the nose but perhaps a bit too boozy. A lovely beer but doubt I could enjoy more than one of these at a time. Cheers

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Photo of Buck89
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip. A very hazy copper-brown color with a thin off-white head that settled briskly into a solid cap. Really enticing aromas of plums, cherries, figs, raisins, and caramel. The first sip brought the fruit, enveloped in a lush sweet malty cloud. Full-bodied, with moderate carbonation and a gentle warming on the finish.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled 3/27/2013. Pours lightly hazy deep reddish copper color with a nice 1 finger fairly dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big raisin, plum, cherry, fig, apricot, apple, date, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toasted brown bread, light molasses, herbal, floral, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and light earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big raisin, plum, cherry, fig, apricot, apple, date, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toasted brown bread, light molasses, herbal, floral, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Light herbal/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, plum, cherry, fig, apricot, apple, date, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toasted brown bread, and yeast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and light earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance, and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy and slightly slick/sticky balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming lingering after the finish. Overall this is an excellent English barleywine! All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, and light earthy hop flavors; very smooth and easy to drink for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of DJ-Hophead
4.31/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

355ml bottle, Brewer's Droop, Bristol - Pours dark amber with a large creamy white foamy head. Medium carbonation. Nice lacing. Aroma - sweet caramel, ripe fruits, light bready. Taste - sweet, caramel, ripe orchard fruits/berries, slight tartness at the back, crisp bitter finish with a nice light alcoholic feel. Very drinkable barley wine, one of the best that I have ever had. One to sip and linger on.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I really like the ruby and amber colors coming out of this one, thin 1/5" head on the top, off white. Aroma was like belgian candy sugar, sweet caramel coming out of this one.

Taste, smooth, rich, burnt caramel, brown sugar, small c hops. Doesn't change as much as say Bigfoot when you age them, but they're always nice.

This is one of the more classic English barleywine recipes out there, this is time tested. Not sugary sweet, but it has sweetness. Does that make sense?

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Photo of q33jeff
2.83/5  rDev -28%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

AROMA:Lemon, but very faint. Some Grains.
LOOK: Dark Copper. No head.
TASTE: Cherry, blueberry, wheat, some interesting things going on that I did not sense in the aroma
FEEL: Thin Body, and a little flat.

Not bad, but not something I'll go out seeking.

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Photo of JakeScully
4.34/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

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Photo of TheBrosy
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. Let warm to near room temps (58 F) before drinking.

Appearance: Copper and opaque. Pours with a small tan head that dissipates a bit quickly.

Smell: Alcohol. Alcohol. And for good measure, a bit more alcohol. Some earthy easter can be noticed in the fog of alcohol.

Taste: Very smooth. Nice maturity to this. The alcohol, while be very strong in the aroma, is beautifully balanced with caramel & chocolate malt taste. Some hop flavor can be detected as well.

Mouthful: Medium-low body. Low carbonation. A bit disappointing.

Overall: This is a nice English barleywine. With better carbonation this beer could go from quite good to excellent.

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Photo of classixIII
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a slightly iridescent dark brown to deep ruby color, very little tan head that disappeared quickly. Awesome aroma, got apple, and darker fruits - raisin, plum maybe fig with some malt. Feel is slightly viscous but not overly heavy. Taste follows through with the darker fruits and alcohol is just right - 8.2% on this label. I will defiinitly enjoy some more of these.

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Photo of JaimeLondon
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Anchor's english barleywine is not surprising as I thought. Good, though.
Body is opaque, of a dark reddish-brown color and foam is persistant and beige, it can be quite big too.
Smell is rich in yeast and fruity notes; some liquorice and a malty character that reminds me of whisky, since it's also alcoholic.
Taste is also nice, alcohol is somewhat hidden, which is good. Notes of grapes, cherry, malts and oak; it's also slightly herbaceous.
Feel is interesting.. It warms you up; and sweetness balances the beer. Bitterness should be higher, though.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

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Photo of Motleydrunk56
4.24/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled March 2013, drank Leap Day 2016.

Appearance: pours a deep burnt orange with big red to garnet hues. a little less than a finger of a tannish head that fades pretty quickly and ends up being a ring around the glass with a decent sized lacing. almost opaque due to the darkness of the color but I am just able to see through it. some nice brightness pops through when held to the light.

Smell: nice mixture of malts and some dark fruits. light oxidation of hops is present but at a nice level to add a nice complexity. some notes of vanilla and a light alcohol holds on.

Taste: opens up with dark fruits, stewed plum and raisin with possibly some fig. malty depth develops, with toffee and a slight nuttiness, toasted grains, and a very light chocolate. notes of age show next with notes of sherry and amaretto, and some light hop degradation. light vanilla and some alcohol near the backend.

Mouthfeel: nice full body, slightly on the chewy side. bitterness is still hanging on a bit and balances any sweetness nicely. definitely some alcohol warmth.

Overall: 3 years has done this beer very well. I don't remember loving it fresh but it has certainly crossed over to that realm now. very nice barleywine taste with all the fruits and malts. oxidation has worked nicely in this beer adding some nice notes, even the old stale hops is at a nice level to add to the taste rather than subtract.

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Photo of mlockman
3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very solid balance between malt-sweetness and hop bitterness, this beer has a sort-of tangy quality (almost remniscent of an old ale) that begs the palate for more after the initial sip. Nothing overly complex, but very enjoyable.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.81/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Very milky deep beige body, velvet off-white head, great lace. Smell is sickly sweet with malt syrup and considerable raw wood notes. Flavor is similar, sickly butterscotch sweetness with a laughable amount of pine bitterness as a futile counterpunch. Faint fruit qualities. Sticky, syrupy, full bodied, thick mouthfeel.
Good goodness is this a sweet beer. Not fruit-saccharine, more like maple syrup. The faint bit of wood and hops kept it from being all sugar, but it should still be accompanied by a shot of insulin.

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Photo of GreatStoutman
3.41/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle states 8.8% abv. Which is less than what previous batches contained, but its still pretty boozy in aroma and taste. Light copper color and slightly cloudy, even after warming a little. This barleywine tasted a lot like most of the others I've had, and I'm still looking for an exceptional example of this style.

Overall its malty and pretty drinkable, but nothing I'm getting too excited about.

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Photo of Steve1993
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Amber with a red hue, quickly dispersing tan head.
Smell is malty, with strong toffee and caramel notes.
Boozy on the aftertaste, smooth mouthfeel, but you know you're having a drink. (10%), typical of a barleywine style ale.
Malty on the palate.
Overall a thoroughly enjoyable barleywine style ale that showcases the style well. Would drink again, definitely.
Think you need to be in the mood however.

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Photo of richj1970
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle with a date code of 5JW.

A: Cloudy mahogany brown with 2-3 finger toasted marshmellow head. Very long retention and leaving plenty of lacing.

S: Brown sugar, toffee, caramel, and honey mixed with a healthy dose of earthy hops. Light fruity esters in the back.

T: Rich toffee and caramel mixed with a nice hop punch. Dark fruits with plum, raisins, and dates.

M: Full bodied but not thick with a slightly creamy texture. Average carbonation. Finish is a touch bitter and a little sweet.

O: Very nice barleywine. I'm not sure why it took me so long to try this out, but it will not be my last purchase.

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Photo of puck1225
4.24/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Short lived creamy head with nice lacing. Strong red wine smell, a bit sweet and fruity. The taste is clean and slightly boozy but pleasant. A nice beer at the end of the day.

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Photo of vinicole
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep auburn in colour with a thin beige head.
Rich caramel and fruit aroma.
Tastes of alcoholic prunes, toffee and mild treacle.
Quite viscous and with a lightly carbonated zing.
A good example of the style.

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Photo of aobrehm
4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

L- Thick moussy beige head that is very well-retained. Reddish-brown color with slight haze.

S- Rich caramel malt aroma. Plenty of fruity esters and resinous American hops in the background.

T- Substantial and complex flavor with rich, layered malt in the forefront (caramel, chocolate, plum). Balanced with resinous hop flavor with substantial bitterness. Some fruity esters. Alcohol is apparent but restrained.

F- Big, chewy full body with residual sweetness.

O- A solid American barleywine. Great rich beer to consume in small doses.

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Anchor Old Foghorn from Anchor Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 1,974 ratings.
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