Old Foghorn | Anchor Brewing Company

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Old FoghornOld Foghorn
Very Good
2,011 Ratings
Old FoghornOld 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: 2,011 |  Reviews: 1,077
Photo of argock
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap in an 8oz clear taper tasting glass

A: Deep dark chocolate brown hue with a cap of tan head that leaves solid lacing

S: Dark fruit aromas blended with toffee, cocoa, and woody hops notes with only the faintest hint of alcohol

T: Waiting for it to warm is tough but yields great reward as the raisin, plum, and cherry cordial flavors meet a surprisingly strong woody hops note that leaves a very distinctive leathery, earthy flavor that is right on for the style. The alcohol flavor is extremely light.

M: Smooth with a heavy but not overwhelmingly thick body with a pleasurable coating quality and dark fruit aftertaste.

D: One of the most drinkable barleywines, enjoyable with patience and a little warming.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.1/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Reviewed 8/7/2008 (boltle aged ~6mo? In fridge coded 8JH):

Pours an unmurky brown body, with fizziness. A good-sized head, off-white & diminishing. Malty sweet aroma, a little bit of alcohol in the nose. Not very aromatic. Malty, syrupy sweet taste. Malty. Dark fruit taste, similar to a Belgian Strong. Bitter, but not grapefruity. Good for sipping and as it warms up.

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

Pours an amber brown with almost no head. The head is a light gray color. It smells malty and sweet with a nice amount of hops. Tastes sweet like molasses, with a nice body, but a little thin. A miniscule amount of carbonation. Easy to drink for the style.

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Photo of maximum12
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to weisguy for throwing this into a spring trade, & as summer turns to fall here in the Great Midwest, a young man's fancy turns to...barleywines. Well, OK, not young, oh, never mind.

Old Foggie is the murkiest barleywine I've had to date, kind of a rogue nuke brownish-orangish with no head whatsoever. Smells sweet.

There's definitely some alcohol in this brew, but it takes a few sips before it starts to work its warming magic. Other than the booziness, there's a little sweet darkish fruits & a little brandy, malts. It's a touch on the heavy side, or maybe that's just the Leann Chin's rearing it's ugly head. Flat & smooth in the mouth like most barleywines. Nothing outstanding, but a solid barleywine that I'd be happy to have any time.

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Photo of kzoobrew
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rather hazy brown. Slight white head, not much is the way of retention.

Sweet aroma combination of dark fruit and light rum notes. Good amount of maltiness in the nose.

Malt dominates the flavors in many ways. Very sweet flavor. Warming alcohol presence. Not picking up on alot of hoppiness here. Slightly buttery. Taste is reminding me more of some old ales I have had of late than a barley wine.

Drinks very smooth, medium bodied.

Very enjoyable and something I would pick up again. But like I did this time, I would only pick up a single.

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Photo of abfraser
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep mahogany with a small white head.

S: Spicy, raisiny

T: Very sugary (almost a little too much), grape flavors, lots of caramel malt

M: Medium bodied, a little thin

D: Fairly drinkable. Not super high in abv for a barleywine.

A good barleywine. Others have clearly surpassed it at this point, but I remember this as one of the first in the style I tried many years ago.

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

This is a very nice, tasty, barleywine.

It is rather deep reddish brown and has a long-lasting, light tan head that slowly shrinks to a thin top and leaves a little lace.

The aroma is dark fruit, caramel, toasted bread qwith a little zestiness and wine.

The taste is complex, with winey fruit, stewed prunes, toasted bread crust, grain, caramel, earthy leaves, and a hint of port. It has a light, earthy hop bitterness as well, to balance the malt.

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Photo of TrevorGW
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This does not really register as a "barleywine" to me, but it is a fantastic brew nonetheless. Wonderful dark copper color with a creamy head. Big hop, sweet malt, warm alcohol presence. The Anchor dry-hopping technique never fails. It is their trademark and it really gives you a brilliant experience. I enjoyed Old Foghorn a lot more than I thought I would. An American take on this complex style, and they nailed it.

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Photo of Brad007
4.88/5  rDev +24.5%
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 BierFan
3.37/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is far from my favorite style of beer
so it isn't easy for me to review.

It looks to be murky and cloudy in my glass but when I hold it to a light I'm still able to see through it. Dark brown-red in color with a small off-white head and no lacing.

It has the smell of alcohol and some sweet malty aroma. The beer is a bit easier to drink after it had a chance to warm a little bit.

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

2007 Vintage

a: A dark, but clear copper/amber body and a very light tan colored head.

s: A light aroma of toffee and malt sweetness.

t: I just glanced at BuckeyeNation's review and I have to steal this line because it perfectly conveys the flavor:

"reminiscent of sweet, sticky, dark rum-soaked bread pudding with toffee sauce"

Even after just one year, the flavor of the malt has really deepened.

m: The mouthfeel is smooth and just slides across the tongue.

d: Very good barleywine. With the trend in the US of making over the top hopped barleywines, this one seems more like the UK varieties: the malt is the real focus. Can't wait to stock up on these this and cellar for a long time.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

You know it's funny. Back when I was a wee lass in this world o' beer, barleywine was one of my least favorite styles (as was lambic! Shocking I know.) Now I love them. And lambics too of course.

Pours dark brown with a thin tan head. Nose is leafy earthy. Not much to it though really. Flavor is a bit too bright, IMO. It's still nice though. Robust, earthy, slight citrus. Not a lot of complexity here it seems. Perhaps it needs some age on it? Feel is smooth on liquid and low on carbonation, which is expected. Overall a nice drinker. Like I said though, no real heap of complexity.

Oh yeah. Can we start putting vintage dates on barleywines please? For the love of Pete.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber almost brown color with a stingy off white head that dissipates quickly. Smells of caramel malt, a bit of molasses and some faint hops in there too. Tastes of caramel malt, some light fruitiness, and less hop taste or aroma for that matter than I would expect! Granted the bottle is about a year old, but I would have expected some hops to come through but there are almost none. Mouth is sweet, very sweet. carbonation is on the medium low side. Body is full. I liked the brew, but felt there definitely should have been more of a hop presence. I'm going to have to revisit a fresher bottle of this brew.

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Photo of itcomesnpints
3.66/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this feller at the Falling Rock Tap House in Denver. The fact that I tasted it right after the magnificent Pliny The Elder may have pushed the score down a little. I'll have to give it another go by itself in the future.

Dark mahogany with only a 2 cm head. Sparse retention. Not the prettiest. The smell on the other hand was incredibly rich and consisted of raisins, molasses, and cognac. Tasted interestingly spicy and fruity, but in the end just too sweet for me. The alcohol presence is a little overbearing, especially for only 8.8 abv. Full-bodied and smooth, but a little more carbonation is needed. Too sweet to drink much of. Pales in comparison to Great Divide's Old Ruffian, but still a decent and complex ale.

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Photo of jar2574
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An excellent beer. The first barleywine I've really enjoyed.

Brown-ruby colored, with a frothy head that sinks slowly and leaves tracks on the side.

Smells malty and fruity, and those are the dominant flavors as well. Some hops, but it's more mellow than hoppy.

Alcohol is pretty well hidden. Would be an excellent dessert beer. Almost like a port.

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Photo of bushbeer75
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with a braille type date code 6N3. According to Anchor's website this code translates to 2006, November 3.

Anchor Old Foghorn Barleywine Ale poured a dark amber color with a very minimal tan head. Aroma and taste is of hops, malty sweetness, estery, fruity, nutty and a toasty caramel flavor. Mouth feel is a little chewy and slick on the tongue with champagne like bubbles.

As usual [for a Barley Wine] the flavor really comes out as it warms from 50 to 60 f. This Old Foghorn is almost 2-years old and has mellowed and become smoother [less hoppy]. Old Foghorn is the old man of American Barley Wine and while I like it, for the price, I feel there are better buys [i.e., Big Foot comes to mind].

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Photo of cjgator3
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz signature short and stubby bottle typical of Anchor brews poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a dark brownish amber color with a light tan head.

S- The aroma is sweet malt with dark fruits, brown sugar and hints of hops. I am really impressed by the aroma. It is a little on the sweet side, but pretty impressive.

T- The taste starts out with sweet malt and dark fruits, with some hops coming through in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation.

D- Not bad, I could drink a couple bottles of this in a sitting. Hides the alcohol pretty well.

Overall, I am pretty impressed with Anchor Old Foghorn. I think it could use a little more hops to balance out the sweetness, but it is a solid barleywine that is recommended.

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

Wow, I did not expect such a remarkable beer.

Pours a heavy cooper, a bit of haze but still quite clear, some foam but dissipates down to a shy film, little to no lacing, low carbonation.

Aroma of boiled down first runnings, toffee and a elegant nose of fresh hops. Flavor is a burst of true malty heaven, with notes of toffee, candy (black licorice) and a balanced hop bitterness.

Sweet but not cloying, a very memorable barleywine. After this one, some other american barleywines now seem a little to hoppy. This one seems far more balanced without loosing out on some of that american hop caracter.

I'll buy cases of this if I ever get a chance.

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

From Total Wine

A - Dark, reddish brown in color, light, orange head, and dissipates quickly.

S - Orange, honey, malts, and a bit of alcohol.

T - Notes of spiciness, orange, and warming.

M - Very spicy, carbonated, and warming.

D - Good, but a little too warming for my taste.

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Photo of pwoods
4.66/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. stubbish brown bottle, purchased at Party Source, poured into a snifter.

A: Deep bronze tinted ruby with good visibility for as dark as it is. A short head forms and dies to a skim with thick edges. Some lacing.

S: Lots of rich, rounded malt sweetness. Some juicy, resinous dark fruits, dates. Some light citrusy hop notes. A pleasant alcohol aroma. Some Old Ale qualities and maybe a bit of ghost like smoky/meaty aromas. Not too much lacing at all.

T/M: Bitterness isn't out of control, nearly assertive but controlled very nicely. More of that great sweetness with some further added caramel and toffee notes and a bit of caramelized bananas. The alcohol is just fantastic. Same hops from the nose as well as that Old Ale quality. Body is medium full and completely lacking of that vinous, syrupy texture. Smoothing carbonation.

D: Very tasty and very drinkable. Not bursting with alcohol like most American Barleywines. I'm gonna buy a couple 6 packs to see how this gradually ages. I'm sure it's fantastic aged but it's gonna be hard to beat fresh... and I'm betting fresh will win in this case. This is the first American Barleywine and should be the model for the rest.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Deep copper with little to no head. appears syrupy when the glass was swirled.

S- faint odor of alcohol. sweet smell of melon and other fruits. about what i was expecting.

T- the alcohol was just as strong as it smelled. pretty well hidden considering how much their is in here. not as sweet as i was expecting, but the flavors i smelled were in there.

M- syrupy and thick with little or no carbonation present. just how it should be.

D- very nice and mild barleywine without the heavy alcohol presence. this would be easy to have a couple of.

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

I love barleywine, saw this and picked it up.

Poured a deep ruby with a bit of a brown hue. Thin and even tan head.

Smells like carmel and barleywine.

Taste is nice, little bit of malt and carmel, very hoppy with a bit of an alcohol finish. Leaves a nice taste in your mouth. Sweet.

Mouthfeel is good and balanced, perfect weight and goes down easier than other beers at this ABV. Nice job on the carbonation.

Drinkability is good. This is pretty much my go to for barleywines and I'll be buying alot more.

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

12 oz bottle into Orval chalice

A - Light head; smooth pour; brownish cranberry slightly see-through brew; looks nice

S - Pruney; caramely

T-M - Slight malt nose into hoppy barleywine bang; caramel, slight fruit; nice balance; good

D - Could definitely have another. Psyched to see this; wasnt aware of it. Loved it.

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

I enjoyed this beer. Maybe not as aggressive as some American barleywines, but still a good beer. Served in a tulip the beer was a hazy burnt sienna color with a medium tan head. It had a sweet caramel aroma, with some fruit also noticeable. The caramel came through quite well in the taste, as did a little bit of cherry and some late hops. A smooth, enjoyable beer.

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

A- Dark amber with ruby tints and small off-white head that quickly dissipates. Very nice clarity.

A- Bready malty sweetness. Smells of fruitiness as well.

T- Sweet caramel malts. After that initial sweetness a slight amount of bittering comes out, but nowhere near as much as other American Barleywines.

M- Medium body with low carbonation. Finishes very clean, no coating of the mouth. A slight alcohol warmth

D- A very drinkable barleywine, a bit sweet for my taste. Goes down very easily so watch out for that 8.8% abv.

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Old Foghorn from Anchor Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 2,011 ratings