Monday, August 4, 2014

Anchor Brewing Old Foghorn Barleywine Style Ale

Hello beer lovers and welcome to another edition of the NorCal Beer Blog's brew review.

Tonight’s featured beer is Anchor Brewing Old Foghorn Barleywine Style Ale. I picked up this bottle at Plaza Bottle Shop in San Leandro (here). Not only is this the closest bottle shop to where I live, but they’ll let you buy a single 12 ounce bottle so for my review purposes it is excellent.  They also carry (and get in) special beers before many of the other local bottle shops. If you find yourself in San Leandro, check this place out!

From the Anchor Brewing website: “The malty sweetness, fruitiness, unique hop aroma and high original gravity of Old Foghorn® Barleywine Style Ale is to beer much as port is to wine.

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.

Introduced in 1975, Old Foghorn® Ale was the first modern American barleywine sparking renewed interest domestically and in Britain. The name was derived from the English tradition of attaching the word “old” to barleywines to denote their tradition, intensive brewing process and cellar aging, and “Foghorn” gave it a San Francisco flair. Today, Old Foghorn® Ale is best enjoyed sipped after a meal.
Let’s get started!
Appearance: Pours a dark amber with a thick tan head and leaves a nice ring of lacing.
Aroma: Sweet malts, dark fruits, toffee, brown sugar, caramel, a slight pine hoppy scent and butterscotch.
Taste: Sweet caramel, roasted and bready malts, dark fruits, toffee, brown sugar and a nice pine hop bitterness in the finish.
Overall: Thick, sweet and delicious, Anchor Brewing Old Foghorn Barleywine Style Ale is well done.  It doesn't surprise me that this 8.8% ABV offering is solid as it is rare when Anchor Brewing doesn't produce something that is true to style.  While I don’t always gravitate towards all their beers, this one is one that I would drink again and again.


Mark Harvey

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