Anchor Old Foghorn | Anchor Brewing Company

Anchor Old FoghornAnchor Old Foghorn
1,993 Ratings
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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Ratings: 1,993 |  Reviews: 1,069
Photo of BruceWineworks
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poures into a wine glass.

A: Reddish amber color with a white lacing.

S: Fruit scents with sweet winter spice fragrances.

T: Sweet barleywine classic style taste with cherry notes and a slight taste of alcohol on the finish.

M: Smooth and sweet on the palate.

D: A decent barleywine all around. The low alcohol (for a barlywine at least) allows for a six pack session.

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Photo of CanuckRover
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A very nice reddish copper pour. Thin bubbly head. No lacings.

Alcohol soaked fruit on the nose and loads of it. Thick, slightly burnt, caramel adds to the aroma of the malt.

Quite harsh up front due to some inexplicably strong carbonation. Heat settles down to a nice warm fruitiness. All the flavours you'd expect, nice toffee and a fleeting taste of substantial bread. I get some nice American hops in the finish (I think) that adds an interesting hybrid dimension to it.

As I said above, way overboard with the carbonation, practically strips your taste buds off.

A good example of the style. Everything is there, just needs a bit of tweaking to put it in balance.

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Photo of herman77
3.62/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark amber/orangish brown with a creamy light tan head. A bit of lacing.

S: Rich toffee, carmel, a bit of citrus hops and malt. Very sweet overall.

T: Sweet toffee malt is the main flavor. There is some nice citrus malt that tries to break through to provide some balance, but its the rich, toffee and carmel malt that is pretty overpowering. Some thick bready malt in the mix as well.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation. Somewhat smooth.

D: Its a sipper since it pretty sweet and rich. Just like it says on the bottle, its good for an after dinner beer/night cap. The 8.8% does not hide itself.

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Photo of rapidsequence
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle with no decipherable date. I just bought it from Total Wine, so I assume its a fresh 2010 sixpack.

Appearance: Very clear dark red color that makes my snifter look like a big, round ruby. The head is impressive at first, but fades to a thin sheet after 20 minutes or so. Sips cause sheeting on the glass, but lacing only sticks in spots.

Smell: A good smelling, but very muted version of what I expected. Sweet smelling and very fruity. Raisins, plums, and some lighter fruit. Malty, but not a huge bready or cakey malt nose like some barleywines.

Taste: Sweet and very boozy tasting. This has the syrupy sweet fruitiness that is not uncommon in English barleywines. Big and malty through the middle with a slightly bitter and alcoholic finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick, sticky, slightly syrupy. I'd say a pretty full mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Its a good beer to sip, when you're actually in the mood to sip. A sweet and boozy barleywine. A little less sweetness would make me enjoy it more.

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Photo of WCBCFrank
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Foghorn is one of my favorite barleywines....that's saying something. Lots of toffee malty flavor with rich dark fruit....and smooth. Some might argue that other barleywines are more complex, but you should not need a tastebud degree from Oxford to enjoy good beer.

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Photo of zachary80
4.49/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

datecode OAH: 2010 April 8th
Poured at 50 degrees into a pint glass

Nice half-inch head to start, then gets much smaller. Big bubbles, never very tight. Not much lacing. Beautiful dark reddish brown body 4/5

Great smell, sweet, malty, some nice spiciness 5/5

Actually not that sweet as it smelled (good). Same with the bitterness. Complex flavor that is a little hard to breakdown, almost some wood flavors. Hops are strong but not sharp. 4.5/5

Light carbonation. Decent mf overall 3.5/5

Alcohol is subtle, feel the heat afterwards. Slow sipper as expected, as a result of the style 4.5/5

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle in the distinctive Anchor shape. stamped "9S1", I assume referring to a batch number?

appears a deep reddish copper color with thin white head. aroma is sweet malty smell.

rich caramely taste, with a little hop undertone. as it warms, mellows out.

thick, sticky mouthfeel, coats the mouth. decent drinkability

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Photo of bsp77
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Burnt mahogany with very thin head and minor lacing.

Smell: Caramel, toffee, butterscotch, plum, dark fruit, citrus and spice. Simply wonderful.

Taste: Somewhat similar to the aroma but not quite as wonderful, but close. Nice balance of the sweet (toffee, plum, caramel and dark fruit) and the dry (citrus and spicy hops). The sweet wins out by a little.

Feel: Moderately low carbonation, creamy full body that begs to be sipped.

Drinkability: Great Barleywine that might not be as complex as others that have followed its lead, but just a great sipper.

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Photo of BigPlay1824
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip glass

A: pours a rich reddish amber color with a half inch of creamy offwhite head. Leaves a very small amount of lacing

S: very sweet smelling brew with nice hop notes

T: nice depth of flavor, slight hop notes and a nice sweetness that is also somehow deep. Also has a slight licorice like finish that lingers on the back of the tongue

D/M: great flavors really make it nice to drink but it must be sipped. The depth and sweetness make it both nice to drink but also slightly filling. As inidicated on the bottle I would have to agree that it is more of a post-dinner/ dessert beer.

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Photo of AlexLMS
2.82/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Old Foghorn poured with a deep amber colour. It was slightly hazy but with no floating sediments. The head was tan, frothy and low with poor retention.
The nose was a mixture of alcoholic vinous and honey.
The taste was very sweet (almost cloying) and the alcohol was the dominant feature in the palate. Besides the alcohol I got honey, sweet malts and some biscuit notes.
The mouthfeel was unctuous with a low carbonation level and a full body. The finish started sweet and warming but in the end it assumed a more bitter feeling.

Overall Old Foghorn is dominated by its strong alcoholic character. It was my first Barley Wine but unfortunately I was not impressed. Not my stuff.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.74/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

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Photo of californiakulak
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer on tap in Berkley.
A. Pours a dark red color. Small head with nice bubbles.

S. Rich, fruity scents with nice alcohol aromas.

T. Dry with fruity brown sugar flavors. Anise and alcohol.

M. Thick mouthfeel with light carbonation. Warm alcohol sensation as well.

D. Goes down very easily. Smooth beer.

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Photo of tbart428
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: appearance of the beer is a dark mahogany color with a white head that quickly dissipates to a thin .5cm head.
S: The smell is of beer is caramel with some fruit esters and some alcohol and candy sweetness. Very basic beer smell for the style.
T: the taste of this beer is caramel with some hops, raisins and some green apple (not fresh green apple but jolly rancher style) followed with a smooth alcohol finish.
M: mouth feel on this beer is medium bodied and is actually good for the style.
D: The drinkability is low because of the alcohol content but two bottles could be managed.
I would say comparable beers would be Bigfoot. This is a fantastic beer and I highly recommend this beer especially as a introduction to the style .

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Photo of StoutyMcStouters
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a nice cloudy dark amber, a nice thin layer of head stays with the most lacing I have ever seen on a beer, those little bubbles did not wanna go! much lighter than expected for a barleywine.

S: Nice sweet aroma, malty reminds me of grapenuts cereal, very pleasing to me.

T: Has a smooth sweet taste, the right touch of malt, a lot of fresh fruity tastes which are very hard to single out. The aftertaste was pretty potent, tasted like raisin bran with no milk.

M/D: fairly pleasing to drink for a barleywine, not great in these departments, but far from bad.

Overall a solid beer, a great brew to share with buddies to ease them into more intense beers, I will be trying this again sometime.

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Photo of aubuc1
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a hazy reddish brown with a thin tan bubbly head.

Smell is a sweet, appley, biscuity. Very nice.

Taste is a nice, sharp balance between the alcohol and hops. Not citrusy american, but more spicy.

Mouthfeel is tangy then finishes smooth. Very pleasant evening drink.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Old Foghorn has a medium, beige head, which quickly dissipates, and a clear, deep amber color. Carbonation is moderate. The smell is of over-ripe fruit and barley. Taste is of wine, prunes, and barley malt, with some milt hop bitterness present. Mouth-feel is heavy and rich, and Old Foghorn finishes dense and boozy. The warm alcohol buzz was quite noticeable in my head on a relatively empty stomach. Overall, I thought this was a pretty good ale. It would have it again, but I would not look for it.


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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled March 1st 2010.

Appearance -- Pours a dark cherry hue with two fingers of foamy beige head. Retention is pretty decent.

Smell -- Lots of toffee and caramel, fresh cut plum, rum-soaked raisin. Citrusy hop aroma brightens up the sweet malt overload. Overall, Sweet and a bit fruity.

Taste -- Quite hoppy; wrong classification? Bright citrusy hops up front. Stone fruits and red grapes take over the malt department with with the caramelized malt notes nearly nonexistent as compared to the nose. Alcohol is quite evident, a little sharp on the back of the tongue. Minty, herbal hops in the finish.

Mouthfeel -- A bit on the thin side with mild carbonation. More body would be a big improvement.

Drinkability -- Better than average, but not the first barlewine I'd reach for. While the citrusy hops liven things up, the malt base is pretty uninspired and the alcohol presence is way too high for the abv. I can certainly appreciate this being the original American Barleywine, but there are many better options now.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served in my Old Stock snifter. Bottling code on the back reads 9AG (April 7, 2009). Pours a hazy caramel color with a loose, cream-colored head that quickly disperses into a bubbly band around the shoulders and a broken froth across the surface. Some lacing, but no legs. Nose suggests candied fruit, toffee and a hint of booze. Taste consistent with nose - some citrus acidity is also revealed (tangerines) as well as a faint, slightly metallic quality. Mouthfeel is medium-light with a lively carbonation. A very approachable English Barleywine. Carbonation may be a little too assertive, but quite flavorful and drinkable. Might be worth saving a few to cellar.

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Photo of Daktyls
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours an ruby-ish amber color with a half finger head that disappears almost immediately. Bubbles slowly from the bottom of the glass while the lacing left on top continues to diminish in size.

S: Very light on the overall aromas but there are some slight undertone of brown sugars and some malts. There was a general overtone, though not a strong one, of hops.

T: Pretty smooth flavoring, I detected raisin and roasted malts with a little bit of brown sugars and as with the nose, some hops. Again, pretty smooth overall but you can also definitely detect the alcohol.

M: Medium amount of carbonation for a medium bodied beer. Burns ever so slightly on the way down, just enough to let you know that the alcohol is there without burning like a heavy liquor.

D: Drinkable yes, but more than likely I'd stop at just the one. the prevalence of the alcohol afterwords is a little on the stronger side from what I'd prefer.

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Photo of bfree
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: nice color of brown/amber with a thin head that dissipates quickly, and bubbles coming up from the bottom
S: brown sugar, malty, and a strong scent of alcohol, similar to other barleywines...very pleasant
T: the alcohol comes through strong, and I can taste raisins and brown sugar...a little smoky flavor as well
M: light-medium bodied but a little syrupy with decent carbonation
D: very tasty with a strong alcohol taste...not my favorite barleywine but still a good beer...enjoyable but do not think I could drink too many of these in one sitting, but what do you expect with ~9% ABV?

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a moderate copper color with a bit if a head and small amouts of lacing. Nose is quite nice with some good fruitiness as well as some sweet malt. The taste is a bit sweet and malty, remindig me a bit of cake. Quite tasty and I imagine this will age really well. Medium body without much of any boozy presence. Drinks quite nicely and I am looking forward to aging a bit of this.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a dark amber color with a certain opaqueness to it and a few yeast floccs floating about in the glass. The head is no more than a thin ring of tan foam.

S: A rich aroma of toffee, brown sugar, and caramel is noticeable right away. A hint of alcohol is there too, but a sort of brandy like character is there as well. A bit of raisin and sweet apples provide some fruitiness.

T: The flavor is similarly smooth. Lots of malt character to this beer in the form of toffee, molasses, and caramel. The alcohol is not quite as noticeable here except for its warming qualities. More raisins coming through as well as a slight cherry flavor.

M: The body is medium with a subtle but smooth carbonation.

D: This bottle was quite easy to put away. It's a shame this beer is so expensive because I really enjoyed it, but I don't see myself purchasing it all that often.

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Photo of katybee
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm so tired of citrusy hefeweissens...I wanted to try something truly sweet and different, and am finding it in smooth, maltier ales.

Poured from the bottle, it had a thick, creamy, 1/2" tan head, thought its a shame it didn't stick around longer. Beautiful amber brown color.

Very light smell; very bright hops if any, only a subtle maltiness.

The taste is malty, balanced by the light bitterness of hops. But what comes across is the carmelized malt sweetness, with a real tinge of molasses. To me the taste is better at room temp, when the hops are less pronounced. My first sampling of this beer, I compared it to citrusy hefwiesens, and was highly impressed. My second bottle, after sampling other brown ales and a doppelbock, I was not as impressed. It seems mouthfeel is relative, and the second sample seemed more hoppy, more carbonated, thinner, and overall less tasty than I'd given it on first impression. The sweetness might interfere with some food choices.

The mouthfeel was was medium/thin-bodied, smooth compared to the thinness of most lagers. But still not as creamy as some doppelbocks. The flavor actually improved as the carbonation settled to room temp and the sweet maltiness came to the fore.

Very drinkable all the way down, with increasing malty sweetness towards room temp. Perhaps not quaffable. Perhaps too sweet for some food choices such as pasta or even pizza. The alcohol content does sneak up on you and one is enough.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Presentation: 10-12oz pour in a large snifter.

Appearance: Deep, rich amber brew with an ivory cap which soon fades to a thin film and thick ring aroun the edges of the glass. Decent amount of small-beaded carbonation.

Smell: Definitely falls into the "English" camp as far as barleywines go. Lots of boozy sweetness, almost like cotton candy. Hint of sweet caramel. A bit simplistic, but nice. Some very light earthy hops in here.

Taste: Tons of boozy medium-dark fruit. Um. And that's honestly pretty much it at this point. Maybe a hint of earthy/herbal hop, but if it's there, it's just a ghost. The barest ghost of bready toastiness. I swear, a ghostly hint of sweet orange. Not bad per se, but dead simple and...meh

I will not totally write this one off...some barleywines just need some serious time to mellow out and change, for the flavors to develop. Maybe I'll pick up a bottle of this (if I can find a single) to cellar for a couple of years. At any rate, this isn't anything special fresh, and definitely (IMHO) not worth 16 a sixer.

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Photo of jbriggs7036
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served from the Bottle into my Chimay Goblet

A- Dark amber/rose with a thin head that recedes in less than 5 mimutes

S- Love it! Some rose with raisin. Boozy grapes come in too.

T- Like it, not love it, but like it a lot. Booze hits first with some fresh apple and boozy-graped-wine. Raisin in the swallow

M- Extremely carbonated. Smooth swallow leaving a hint of wine and raisin.

Drinkability- Can't have more than one tonight. I'd drink maybe one more in a night. The 9.4% makes me feel fine.

Overall its purty good. I'd love to find it on tp somewhere, from the bottle its maybe a little too strong. I'd like to try it aged for 2 years.

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Anchor Old Foghorn from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 1,993 ratings
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