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Anchor Old Foghorn | Anchor Brewing Company

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Anchor Old FoghornAnchor Old Foghorn
Very Good
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 Parrotbeak
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown with a ruby hue and a thin white head that fades quickly. Not much lacing.
Smell is slightly roasted, sweet malts, with a little bit of hops coming through. Caramel, plum, figs, and raisins. Slight hint of cocoa, as well as some alcohol.
Taste is sweet caramelly malts with the hops presence being a little stronger than it is in the smell. Toffee, raisins, figs, and a touch of mocha.
Mouthfeel is smooth with a little more carbonation than expected, though still fairly low. Slightly sticky on the finish. Medium-light body.
Drinkability is decent. Alcohol is well-hidden. A bit on the sweet side.

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Photo of JamisonM
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: wonderful reddish amber nice lace along the glass head does not say for long

S: toffee spice brown sugar and light cinnamon a heavenly smell

T: brown sugar and toffee along with light cinnamon spice very malty

M: med body with med carbonation

D: very drinkable I do not detect any alcohol in the beer

overall: good barley wine really enjoyed it. there is a signature style that Anchor brewing has and this is well with in that style cheers to Anchor.

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Photo of thetomG
3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice clear amber color with a minimal amount of head - almost no lacing at all. Aroma has a spicy yeasty funky caramel sweetness to it with flavors that match up well. Taste also has additional elements of huge malt and some slight bitterness. Old Foghorn feels fairly sticky & syrupy in your mouth with not much carbonation so when you add that to the sweetness it makes it hard to drink a lot of this one....

Glad I tried this, but not something I'd go out of my way for.

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Photo of Briken
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A clear red amber with a tan foamy head with good retention. Sweet, fruity aromas. Light molasses and spice with a little tea flavor and caramel. Fantastic balance with a good hop presence and not too sweet with light alcohol finish. Lightly syrupy and fuzzy with a smooth mouthcoating.

This is a very balanced and very drinkable barleywine. You can easily get into a bit of trouble having a few of these. Nothing too strong in taste but nice subtle flavors and no strong alcohol so it's not restricted to sipping over a long period of time.

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Photo of beertunes
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a beautiful coppery-brown with over an inch of light tan head that had good retention and light-moderate lacing.

The aroma was the expected sweet, malty scent typical of the style, with a bit of spice and alcohol in the nose. The smooth malt flavors come out nicely on the tongue. There is a nicely interesting bite of spices and a hint of yeast as well.

The body is pleasantly full, but a bit lighter than I would have liked. Drinkability is very good for the style, but that is going to depend on your tolerance for high ABV, sweet beers.

Overall, a very good version of the style, worth your time.

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Photo of Elimination
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz in goblet-from notes

Look- pours soft, thin head, almost looks purple in the glass. cant see finger through, cant see any bubbles.

smell: grape juice right away, slight hops, fruity, berries. smell of a light ipa but with fruit.

taste: i dont know how to describe it, sweet first, dryish, more fruityness. aspects pop in n out of the tastebuds, slight hop aftertaste, boozy very wine like. Second sip its all still there, this is one of the first barleywines i have really liked.

mouth: for the abv, you cant tell

drink- well it has a pretty good abv but you dont know till you have had it.

This is the first barleywine i have ever had that i really liked!

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 7oz. nip. Bottle code puts this as an '03. Uncapped and poured into a Selin's Grove wine glass. Appears a murky chestnut brown color with barely a finger of tan foam. The head leaves no lace. Nose and flavors consist of molasses, port wine, raisins, dark brown sugar, black cherries, prunes. Mildly carbonated which world well here, but the body is thinner than you'd expect from a barleywine. A very nice sipper overall.

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Photo of rootbeerman
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured into duvel tulip

A: pours deep red dark copper, finger thick light brown head that settled to a thin layer
S: sweet barley malt, slightly bready doughy and a slight hint of alcohol.
T: sweet with caramel, brown sugar and a bit of raisin. a little bit of bitter hops on the after taste and backend. picked up another empty glass.
M: linger around for a long time, it is sort of thick but not overly. low carbonation.
D: as i said i picked up an empty glass, so its quite drinkable.

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Photo of mjurney
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

[Appearance]: Deep burgundy color, clear, lots of carbonation, head looks foamy, leaves a little lacing on the glass.
[Smell]: Fruity aroma, sweet caramel malts, some brown sugar. Smells very sweet.
[Taste]: Very fruity up front, black cherries and grapes, caramel malts, spicy floral hops in the mid-palate, slight sweet citrus at the end.
[Mouthfeel]: Juicy mouthfeel, carbonation is about medium, very smooth.
[Drinkability]: Very drinkable. A lot more sweeter than Sierra Nevada Bigfoot.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery in San Francisco. Poured into a small 6 ounce fluted glass. Lovely hop aroma balanced by some malt sweetness. Looks a touch thin, a light ruby color. Taste is also bitter balanced with some over ripe pit fruit sweetness. Abc is very, very well hidden. I believe this is the first in this style made in America, so credit must be given for setting the bar that many others have leapt over. Delicious none the less.

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Photo of chaz01
3.76/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Dilly Deli's Cafe in Cincinnati, served in a snifter glass.

A: Deep amber brown color with a thick foamy head overflowing from the top of the snifter glass.

S: Sweet malty caramel aromas.

T: Malty and caramel with raisins and dark fruit flavors. Very pleasant lingering port and sherry notes in the finish.

M: Medium bodied, expected in a little more fullness for a barleywine, but still good. Low carbonation detected in the mouth despite the rich thick head.

D: Nice sipping beer to have as an after dinner cordial or even with desert.

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Photo of JK4Stout
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I'm a recent convert to Anchor, but an old hand at Barley Wine. So you can imagine my excitement when I found a few bottles of this on the shelves of Vintage Cellar. I grabbed them without hesitation. The smell isn't as welcoming as some other barley wines. (Duck Rabbit, Sam Adams Longshot, etc) The taste though is right on the money. I honestly think my tongue kept tingling long after I had finished the initial taste. Most impressive. Those guys in San Fran know their stuff! I can't wait to cellar my other two for a bit and pull them out one snowy night!

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
2.95/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a dark, rusty red-brown colour, with only a slight film around the top of the glass. No lacing, but the body looks thick and heavy. Some large bubbled carbonation which pours surprisingly quickly up the insides of the glass. Not bad overall.

Light tannic bitter aromatics on the nose, with a bit of leather and grainy whiskey. Little sweetness, the black-tea tannic notes are the most prominent. Smells rather darker than it actually is.

Taste is redolent with booze notes, especially when aerated. Big clunking notes of dark liquor, aniseed, and acetone with a tingling feel that can't entirely be put down to the carbonation. Rather bitter in a clinging, chemical way. Unfortunately, all the notes are confronting and harsh, with little to leaven or balance the palate.

It's a big and boisterous beer this one, but it feels too much so - there's nothing lively or jubilant about it. It ends up sitting heavy, serious and rather depressingly unenjoyable.

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

Bottled Jan 2007. Twist off.

A little more brown than most barleywines.

Litte to no trace of alcohol or bitterness.

Toffee and caramel, brown sugar and rum-cooked pineapple. Some Port or Sherry flavours.

Very mellow and drinkable.

I'd say I prefer it with a lil less age on it, but not to say that there is a lot wrong with it. I suppose it is oxidized though.

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Photo of mjaskula
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a sniffer. Pours cloudy dark amber with a tan head that thins to a thick ring in the glass.

The aroma is thick and sweet, like molasses with a nice complementary hop aroma. The flavor continues the aroma. It is strong and sweet as expected. The hop flavor is bold, but doesn't surpass the malt sweetness. Alcohol is well hidden, but shows itself as it warms.

Carbonation is assertive enough to keep it from becoming syrupy. Mouthfeel is fairly dry. It's hard to call a barleywine drinkable, but this is a pretty good example.

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Photo of Zekezilla
3.89/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: amber, very little head in appearance. No lacing to speak of. Smell: malty, sweetness, dark fruits. Taste: sweet, malty, caramel, dark fruits. Not as intense as I would have expected. This is my first barleywine so I'm not sure what to compare it to yet. Mouthfeel: very thin. I don't know that I'd try this particular barleywine again but I'd at least try the style again.

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Photo of FreshHawk
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Scarlet brown, somewhat like a buckeye with more red. Small, foamy head that sticks around awhile, forming a nice foamy layer of lace concentrated on one side.

S - A lot of caramel and toffee malt aroma in the initial whiff. Subsequent noses bring out some alcohol aroma as well as a bit of citrus and tea hop smells. Just a touch of fruitiness comes out as well, with apple, golden raisin, and a little bit of apricot or peach.

T - Pretty heavy on the caramel/toffee malt flavors initially. Some toasted bread and butterscotch flavors as well. Not overly rich or sweet, but those are the strongest initial flavors. These give way to more of the golden fruit (apple, golden raisin, and some apricot/peach). Also has a touch of citrus orange. This gives way toward the finish with some tea, grassy, and citrus (mostly orange) hops. Alcohol is pretty well hidden. Not overly hoppy in taste.

M - Medium body, but for the style a bit on the light side and a little below average carbonation. Fairly smooth and slick feel.

D - Really a pretty drinkable beer, especially for a barleywine (as far as having another in one night). The smooth, lighter body really helps make this a quite drinkable beer, along with the balanced, slightly subdued taste.

Notes: Best before June 2011. This is a bit lighter, more subdued barleywine. Fairly malty with enough hops to keep it interesting, but they are not dominant. Overall it was a nice, light, and easy to drink barleywine. Not as big and boozy and a bit less of a night capping beer, but a lighter more accessible barleywine. Not an amazing tasting beer, but a solid one. Definitely worth trying, and I would get it again, especially considering the price.

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Photo of SAABtech
3.62/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

clean crisp beer with an average apperance with a solid 2 finger white head and sweet smell. taste is plesent with an earth hoppy bit for and aft. the middle is balanced with a spicey sweetness that blends well with the alcohol content. it is just within my liking but definately worth the $3 i spent and will get it again.

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Photo of bump8628
3.34/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours murky dark copper with a fizzle of head that goes quickly.

Lots of caramel, toffee, and fruitiness like grapes, plum, and bruised strawberry. Really nice depth and lots of flavor (some good, some not so). It's thickish and sweet on the palate (nearly sticky sweet), and not in the good full-bodied Barleywine way. Finishes with hint of alcohol burn.

All in all a pretty average Barleywine, but I expect more from a fine brewer such as Anchor. Really not worth the ABV. If I'm going to drink something with punch, I want something that's going to warrant the beating my liver is going to take.

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Photo of endovelico
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into dimpled stein.

Appearance: Volumptous beautiful tan head. Good retention. Deep aged burgundy color. Unperceived carbonation.

Aroma: Intense nose of mold, sweat, grass, caramel, anise, smokiness, gaminess with alcohol punching through. Chocolate and coffee on the backend. Very complex, albeit not for every taste.

Taste: Intense flavor of caramel, cacao, slightly grassy, anise, strong alcohol flavor. Melanoidin rich.

Palate: Full bodied, chewy, very low bitterness. Low carbonation. Alcohol evident. Lasting earthiness and caramel melanoidin aftertaste. Sizzling spicy alcohol heat.

Drinkability: Fits the style well enough, not particularly unique. Drinkability severely reduced by the alcohol heat.

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Photo of ocelot2500
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber color with a tight tan head that leaves plenty of lacing.

Smells of alcohol, bready malts, caramel sweetness, and some citrus hops.

Tastes of a big doughy malt flavor layered with sweetness and citric hops. Fruity notes are also present with some alcohol. Caramel malt is predominant and gives a good dose of dough and sweetness. Hops are bitter, but kept well in check by the maltiness.

Mouthfeel is full and slick with a smooth amount of carbonation.

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

the pour looks good, there is a strong head that hold well. alcohol smell is there, but it also smells sweet. flavor is rich. a slight hint of sourness in the front, but smooths off. taste is mostly grape/wine. good carbonation and coats your mouth.

I enjoyed this and would get it again.

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

'08 edition.

pours a copper/orange that looks quite gorgeous red in the light. 1 finger of head fades to a ring as expected and then disappears. a swirl brings it back briefly.

Pretty big aroma. Toffee, caramel. Dark fruit. Some hops and plenty of alcoholic notes give it a spicy feel and suggestion of warmth. Mild suggestion of sherry/oxidation adding complexity. Really nice!

taste...bark is worse than the bite on this one. Most of that alcohol flavor/heat noted in the aroma has been aged out or was never present. Toffee, raisin and general fruitiness. Some hop flavor, bitterness is even, melds nicely with strength of sweet malt. Mild warming in throat, not really in mouth. Extremely tasty, but lacking in complexity as compared to the aroma - both are close to 4.25; I bumped up the better attribute and down the other.

Round, medium/light body for the style but pretty full otherwise. Soft carbonation. Not as big as many and corresponding sticky mouthfeel is low, but eventually builds on the palate a bit.

"drinkability" and "barleywine" just seem at odds, you know? For the style this is extremely drinkable. Not quite the best or most complex but no slouch. Not the most bitter and I suppose for the style the high drinkability compared to the perception of this as a "sipping" style could almost be construed as a flaw...I don't see it that way. I think of this as a slightly larger "winter warmer"
a classic I'm always happy to revisit.

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

Copper color. Not too much of a head.

Smells sweet, like raisins, butterscotch, caramel, and other candy. Also fruity, very reminiscent of green apple Dum-dums. Sort of wonderful, but also one-sided.

Milder flavor than most barleywines I've had - perhaps not surprising given a relatively tame 8.2% abv. Malts dominate, and the sweetness seems to build further into the bottle. Hops are apparent only in a faint floral, perfume-y quality, and a slightly soapy aftertaste. Alcohol actually is slightly noticeable, along with an underlying bready flavor.

Slightly sweet and a bit light on flavor, it still is tasty. No serious knocks, but doesn't distinguish itself.

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Photo of steve8robin
4.37/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up on a whim...

A: Near perfect. Deep ruby red with a 1/2 inch off-white head that quickly fades to a foamy lace on the top of the brew.

S: Smells of wine, malts, grapes, booziness and slight oaks upfront. Hints of caramel and vanilla in the middle. Awesome!

T: Grape, raisin, yeasty breadiness, with a slight bitter wheat type flavor. Wine flavor in the middle with a slight booziness on the backend. Good.

M: A little too much carbonation on this brew. Leaves the mouth a little dry.

D: Goes down very good. A little harsh from the bitterness. A little age might treat this one well.

All in all, this brew surprised me. For the cheap price, this is an excellent English barleywine. Might be one of my "go-to" brews from now on. If you like the sweeter side of barleywines, then give this one a try. If you need hops, this might not be for you.

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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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