Oct 3, 2008

2007 Anchor Old Foghorn Ale

Anchor’s Old Foghorn, is near the top of the list for me when it comes to my favorite barleywines. It’s got a distinctive flavor and wonderful hop presence. I’ve already written a review of a fresh bottle, but felt it time to crack open one that had been sitting patiently in the basement for about 11 months.

The weather is getting cooler and that just gives me even more of an excuse to open one up. And after reading that older review, I just couldn’t wait any longer to see how it stood up to a fresh bottle.


Even before this one got in the glass I could tell it was going to be vastly different than a fresh bottle. The cap popped with no fanfare — no audible pop or sign of carbonation. Getting the beer into the glass was an interesting moment of trepidation. The beer poured thicker than I remember. The color had lost that orange tint and was now a murky, muddy brown — sort of like an apple cider. There was no head to speak of and no carbonation activity.


Despite the visual change in the beer, the aroma was still quite lively. A sweetness dominates the nose while rich raisin and a little apple come in, as well. The hop presence that was there a year ago had definitely faded, but still left a subtle footprint.


The mouthfeel for this older bottle was nearly the complete opposite of the bright and active fresh bottle. The brew was much more viscous and chewy. The taste had changed, as well, leaving almost no hop characteristics while the sweetness and raisin dominated. The alcohol heat was tolerable and suited the sweetness nicely.


It’s definitely a different brew after just a year, but was still pleasant and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I’m curious to see if I still get the raisin and apple traits. I’m still not sure where those came from, but they worked well with the subtle hop and massive sweetness. I’ve got two more bottles of this vintage and am going to do my damnedest to let them rest for a two and three year tasting.

Rating: 3.5/5