Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Anchor Brewing Company - Anchor Old Foghorn

I used to really not have a thing for barleywines. As in they were, hands down, my least favorite beer style out there (not including pizza beer). If I saw a barleywine on a beer menu, I would skip right over it and order something else. Then I tried Firestone Walker's Abacus (now called Sucaba) and it blew my mind. Since then, I've been giving barleywines another chance and, for the most part, I've found that they're not nearly as awful as I thought. A few days ago, I tried Anchor's Old Foghorn, which, according to their website, was the first modern American barleywine when it hit the market in 1975.

Old Foghorn pours a beautiful burnt orange and ruby color with a 1/2 finger tan head. The head wasn't huge, but the retention was fantastic and the head stuck around for the entire beer. The smell was full of notes of dark fruit and earthy malt. I also picked up some hints of Grape Nuts, raisin, caramel and toffee with a touch of booze lurking in the background.

Dark fruits make up the majority of the flavor with raisin and fig leading the way. Behind the dark fruits were notes of brown sugar, bready malt, honey, chocolate and just a hint of booze. The mouthfeel of the beer was medium, but it had an almost sticky feel to it that really coated the mouth. As a result, even though this isn't one of the bigger barleywines out there (it weighs in at "only" 8.2%), it's definitely a sipper. Overall, I was really impressed by this beer and it's one of the more approachable barleywines I've come across. If this is a style you're looking to get into, I would highly recommend starting with this one.

Final Grade: A-

Top 100 Beers Tasted: 38

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