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 thepenguin
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed 2/15/12

L: Pours a pretty dark reddish-brown with a tannish head.

S: Very malt-forward and sweet. Smells like rum and caramelized candi sugar. Slight booze and some hoppiness to back it up.

T: Malty for sure, but not too sweet with a good deal of hop flavor to offset the sweetness. A little bit of alcohol. The dominant flavor is that of dark malts with some nuttiness and breadyness too.

F: Full-bodied with a thick, chewy mouthfeel—appropriate for the style. Moderate-low carbonation. Some lingering alcoholic warmth, but nowhere near that of stronger examples of the style.

O: A pretty darn good barleywine on the lower end of the strength spectrum. Very nice mouthfeel, British-style maltiness, and its relatively low strength makes it fairly drinkable.

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Photo of infinitebruner
3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

August 30, 2015

12 oz bottle, snifter

A – Pours medium amber with high clarity. Only a thin, light tan head forms and disappears just as quickly. Looks somewhat thin for a barleywine.

S – Brown sugar, caramel, toffee, some golden raisins, and very mild vanilla. Hops are low, but earthy-herbal.

T – Toffee and vanilla, with a slight nuttiness. Brown sugar and raisins round it out. Again, earthy-herbal hops, with moderate to moderate-high bitterness.

M – Moderate carbonation and a medium-full body. Sweet, but enough hop bitterness to balance, leaning actually more towards the bitterness. Not particularly dry.

O – This is one of the least bold versions, in any aspect, of a barleywine I’ve had, definitely in terms of flavor and mouthfeel. I enjoyed it, but I’m looking for a very strong experience across the board when I’m drinking in this style. Good, but not notable.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

look: murky copper. Tan head that mostly recedes after the pour.
smell: caramel and malt, some fruitiness.
taste: richer than the nose. It's got the caramel and malt and fruity notes but richer. There's a spicy thing there too that's unusual, mostly perceptible in the finish.
overall: not a top tier imo but that's cool. Nice brew.

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Photo of A_Pint_A_Day
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Poured into a little snifter. This beer was a deep mahogany in color and thick. Lightly carbonated.

Smell – Extremely malty (go figure) with notes of toffee. An intense fruitiness could also be found as this beer has smells of prunes, plums, and dates.

Taste – Very sweet maltiness that tasted like caramel and brown sugar. A super fruity finish, fig-like or pear-like.

Mouthfeel – Thick and syrupy as expected with only a slight amount of carbonation. Smooth and velvety

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Photo of dmgeng
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I've seen this before but never though much of it until I started getting more into barleywines this year.

A - Very nice amber, dark orange color. Slight haze with a ton of fluffy, off-white head and great lacing.

S - Sweet smelling with a rich malt character accompanied by the big fruitiness. The fruits are those of a typical English barleywine with prune, blueberry, and figs. Under the richness there is some herbal hops along with some light alcohol and caramel in the background.

T - The taste is similar but with more of everything hitting the palate. The sweetness is full but after the sweet malt the caramel and dry fruits really drive it home. On the finish there is some of the flatter, English hops to help balance the sweet malt and raisin character. There is a raw hop bitterness that attempts to compliment the sweetness but is still quite sweet.

M - High to medium mouth-feel with medium carbonation. It is definitely a barleywine with that sweet, richness that is always there with the style but this one is not as balanced as some that I've had in the past.

Overall, a delicious beer but I would definitely classify this under the English Barley Wine with the sweet malt, rich fruit, and herbal hops instead of the American hops and more balance that you find in an American BW. I did really enjoy the rich sweetness but I know that it could be a turn-off for many and could be more complex overall. If you like fruit cake then this is the beer for you!

Glass- Tulip

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Photo of sammorito
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: finger and a half head that dissipated quickly that was a beige off white color. it was a dark amber color. and almost no lace

Smell: malty and some fruitiness present.

Taste: def taste the malts of the beer also some fruits plums. it has a nice sweetness to it not over powering and balanced well with the alcohol. the flavors kind of dance around on my tounge.

mouth feel is pretty full-bodied with little to no carbonation.

overall- its a good beer well balanced wouldnt drink more than one in a sitting although it is quite enjoyable

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Photo of ordybill
4.36/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass
Aroma- Has a very nice fruit smell
Appearance- Pours a murky brown with a tan colored head
Taste- Fruit is dominant, real good flavor
Palate- A heavy bodied beer with moderate carbonation, has a strong alcohol finish
Overall- A real good barleywine, I would drink this again

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Photo of SafeAtFirst
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Date code: 3YM which translates to May 2013. Why they can't just put May 2013 on the bottle is beyond me. If you need help decoding check the FAQ on their website.

Tasty. Caramel and ripe fruit. All the good malt flavors. Smooth. Could easily handle some more cellar time. Alcohol is spicy but not biting. Subtle yet nuanced at the same time. I enjoyed it.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle dated from 11/2014 served in a tulip glass. Already six months old per the bottling date. They say that this beer is kept in their cellars till it is ready. Who knows how long that is.

Appearance: deep ruddy brown with a yellowy tan head and wonderful clarity.

Nose: fruity sweetness, prunes, candy shop caramel

Taste: fresh and fruity, candied apples, pears, beautiful mouthfeel but a bit on the thin side to support extended cellaring. Carbonation enough to lift the flavors off your tongue and to the back of your throat.

Overall: I have been looking for this beer for a while since I got into barleywines. It was a bit pricy: $19 for a six pack. I'm still glad I tried it and that it comes in enough quantity to allow for some aging experiments. See you in a few months.

Bottle from the same pack as listed above cellared in my basement. Nothing too huge to note in the change. I believe it has thinned out a bit and taken on some sherry and port oxidation notes but nothing that would detract from the overall experience. I don't think this beer has the ABV to last for years in the cellar but at least 2-3 would help it develop more of those micro oxidation flavors English Barleywines are famous for. Rating remains unchanged.

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Photo of moonboogie_n8
3.64/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Not a bad barleywine ale, worth the try.
I've had their steam beer & porter, and loved the porter.
If you've had a barleywine ale before you know what to expect.
pours rusty red/brown with tall tan head.
lots of fruit esters, high alc on the back end. tart. flavorful. kind of delicate?
apples & pears make up the majority of fruits, with some malty sweetness to boot.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.19/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Old Foghorn pours a dark reddish brownish color with a long lasting lacing head. There is a sharp and dry fruit aroma. The taste is sharp, good noticeable malt backbone, with dry fruit flavors. Nice body good flavors. Overall its very rich and full.

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Photo of brureview
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an attractive caramel color with a 3F head in a Moa snifter.
The head resolved itself within minutes. Nice lacing.

Aroma: not strong, pleasant malt, sweetness, and toffee.

Taste: not heavy, excellent sweetness, toffee, and a bitter
alcoholic finish which overshadows the taste.

With warming: the alcoholic finish diminishes, more floral aroma,

Overall, an easier drinking American Barley-wine.

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Photo of joaopmgoncalves
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A: The appearance of this beer is at least interesting. Poured it into a snifter to get a body colored mid-way between brown and copper; gasification is apparently below average and regarding the head, it has no retention nor lacing. Which leads me to say that in terms of foam, this beer is kinda below average.

S: In terms of smell, the aromas you can experience have a very interesting complexity. It combines a citrusy aroma with a touch of red fruits (mostly raisins I guess) perfectly adjusted to the amount of alcohol you get in this beer. For a 8.8% ABV you would thought that this smell would be loaded which alcohol. But surprisingly, it's not.

T: The taste is an extension of the aroma, where you can now find the aroma surrounded by a glorious semi-roasted malt flavor that goes very well with the orangery and raisins that are planted in the bottom of the snifter.

M: The mouthfeel is glorious. The gasification that was below average on the appearance together with the high alcohol levels that make this beer a bit more liquor-y turns this awesome liquid into a velvety thing. It's awesome.

O: In geral, it's pretty good. Anchor is known for having a beer of their own in the top of some categories every once in a while. The Old Foghorn is my favorite English Barleywine to the date.

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

Nice smell of brown sugar, raisins, toasted malt and champagnea upon opening the bottle. Pours a deep amber brown with nice clarity. 1-finger, creamy, tan head that dissipates fairly quickly. Leaves behind minimal lacing. Taste is dominated by candied brown sugar with toasted malts playing backup.

It was decent, though I've far better Barley Wines.

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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 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 deadonhisfeet
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery tulip. The pour is clear and dark amber-copper colored with a brilliant 3 fingers of fluffy white foam. The nose is classic barleywine. Lots of sweet, bready, caramel-like malty notes.

Full body with an oily, silky smooth feel and a balanced flavor. Sweet bready toasted malt up front and a moderate addition of hops balance it out at mid-palate. Big flavors of fresh bread, toffee, then herbal tea, apricot, and lemon near the finish. Balanced and herbal, not intensely-hopped and citrusy.

A classic American (not English) Barleywine, but not one that drinks like a IIPA. I've had it numerous times, but had never gotten around to reviewing it before. Good in a bottle, but much better on tap. Definitely worth revisiting from time to time.

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Photo of RossiDaMan
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was my first barleywine ever and was thoroughly enjoyed! The maroon opaqueness had a tan/white 1 finger head that faded quickly with no lacing. Initial sweetness was followed by a pleasant afterburn that I would have guessed was much mellower than a 10% ABV. Thanks for the intro to barleywines-- I'll be back for more.

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Photo of Mickeyp2814
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very nice Barleywine ale. Smell: Banana and orange peel (slight). Taste: banana, molasses, some orange and other citrus notes with some floral, I assume from the hops. The finish has a brown sugar finish. There is a very slight alcohol taste. Feel: Smooth and full Overall: a nice ale and unlike the traditional Barleywines it doesn't have that really sweet taste. Very drinkable.

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Photo of maedhros09
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Transluscent ruby-amber with big tan frothy head
Smell: Sweet dried banana
Taste: Dried banana chips, caramel, slight citrus with some moderate herbal hops towards the finish. Alcohol is nicely disguised.
Feel: Thick, smooth
Overall: Tasted this together with the Sierra Nevada Bigfoot. While they are both barleywines, the nose and palate are very different between the two. Whereas Bigfoot has a big resinous hop balance to the sweet caramel malt, the Foghorn is dominated by rich banana malt with a moderate herbal hops balance. My first reaction was that I preferred the Bigfoot, but the Foghorn grew on me as I continued to sip. A rich and complex brew.

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Photo of Jacobob10
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle.

Reddish-brown with a large, creamy, tan head that dies down after a couple of minutes. Spotty lacing as it goes down. A bit of chill haze at the beginning but clears up as the beer warms. Rich caramel malts in the aroma initially, followed by a wave of ripened fruit, hops, and alcohol. Malty and bitter on the palate. Full bodied with a thick texture.

More of an American Barleywine than English, as the hop presence is strong, but not as intense as something like Sierra Nevada Bigfoot. A nice sipping beer, great for a nightcap.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap:
Appearance is ruby-brown with a very sustaining head. Nose on a cold beer is almost non-existent. Nose on a quite warm beer is dominated by alcohol. In between I get a light darker fruit scent, but nothing definitive.

Taste is pretty much on par with a balanced (neither English or American) barleywine. There are dark cherry candy and some cola notes on the malty side, and a definite drying woody draw on the back end. The body is actually pretty full, the taste coating the palate. However, in the end, there is a slight medicine-like taste/feel.

I enjoyed this enough to have a couple of them. I feel there is a common malty/pine taste that I get in some sips that is off-putting, but I am willing to discount a bit based on other ambient factors. Definitely one OG the better Anchor beers I've had.

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Photo of spacecake9
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Dogfish Head IPA glass.
A - Pours a hazy amber with a large bubbly head with some lacing.
S - Aroma is malty and bready.
T - Malty and sweet with some toffee or caramel tones. Slightly bitter on the finish.
M - A little sticky and chewy. Medium mouth feel and carbonation.
O - This is my first time tasting and I'm on my second bottle. This my be the best barleywine for those new to the style. Very good!

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Photo of BeerDrinkersWorldTour
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – Black tea like colouration in fact it is almost ruby ale like. Tight off white foam head. This head dies to a lace cover in around 5-10 minutes and sticks to the side of the glass. There is only slight evidence of CO2 in this one.

Smell – Brown sugar notes are very evident in here as is an almost red wine like boozy aroma. Lots of red and dark/dried fruit such as prune, raisin and grape. Some solvent and biscuit like a very strong fruit cake soaked in booze.

Taste – A sweet solvent mix in the first punch. This beer has an almost whisky like back end to it. The middle section is dominated by the sweet prune and raisin flavours and also some banana and grape present themselves in here too. The way the flavour rides from sweet to bitter to solvent makes this one almost like a symphony on the tongue and it is the first barley wine I have ever tried but it has convinced me of the style.

MF – Very smooth, silky even! This beer had great boozy warmth although it was fairly cloying in the after taste. The linger was simply superb and it had a great tingle on the tongue with full body. Points only lost for the cloying element.

Overall – Sharp and flavourful this beer is damned fine and packs a punch. A great sipping beer for a movie or a long game of cricket.

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Photo of bark
4.66/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Best before 6/2016 (probably brewed late 2014).

The colour is warm brown (50 EBC), the liquid is clear. The three finger compact head is beige, it sinks slowly leaving some lacing.

The smell is rich, sweet and smooth with caramel, alcohol, nuts, marzipan and toffee.

The taste is sweet, but not heavy. Fresh hay-ish hops, toffee, bitter herbs, butterscotch, orange peels and some alcohol. Full body. The aftertaste got fading alcohol, bitter herbs, marzipan and a touch of leather. The finish is semi-sweet, fruity and a little dry.

The carbonation is strong, the mid-sized bubbles are smooth and short-lived. The liquid is a bit thick.

A solid, clean and very British barley wine.

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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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