Beer:30… Anchor Brewing Old Foghorn.
In life, beers come and go. Every now and again you will find a beer that you are absolutely crazy about, then all of a sudden it is no longer available. The shelf life for some brews is unfortunately just too short. Luckily, that is not the case with this beer. Anchor’s Old Foghorn has been around since 1975, and was the “first modern American barleywine.” I have wanted to try this for a while, lets pull the anchor and set sail…
This beer pours like your typical barleywine, showing up to play in a nice, amber/ruby appearance, with an off white head that bubbles to the top. It doesn’t stick around for very long, with little lacing, if any left on the glass. When you tip the glass up for a drink, the pleasant aroma of fruit mixed with the smell of alcohol hit your nose. It smells good, but it is not as strong of a smell as some other recent barleywines that I have tasted. Moving on to the taste, it is very different than most that I have ever had. The carbonation is very different, and after some reading, it is very different. To achieve this type of carbonation, Anchor uses a natural process, unfortunately called “bunging,” to give the beer a champagne type carbonation. Interesting, but it fits very well. Horrible name though. Anyway, this gives the beer a special occasion feeling, which makes it a pleasure to drink. More of a sipping beer, the flavors are a nice mix of sweet fruits, a bit of malt bitterness, and finishing with a nice, almost bourbon alcohol feel. Overall, this is not your run of the mill barleywine, a very good choice if you are into the style.
The only downfall that I believe that this beer has though, is it’s price. I know, a quality product demands a premium price. I understand that. But at around $17 for a six pack, that price makes it hard to swallow, especially with quite a few comparable barleywines at much cheaper prices. As far as barleywines go, this one is a classic, with almost a legendary status, so for that reason it will be my special occasion barleywine. Well done Anchor!