Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Anchor Brewing Company – Old Foghorn

8.2% ABV

I enjoy Barleywine beers, for me they are THE winter choice but they are becoming awkward to find. This was the only one I could find in otherwise well packed beer shop and it’s not even a British barleywine. I miss the days of Old Nick from Youngs, that was a great beer that was so wonderful for sipping on a winters evening.

However this was the only one I could find on Friday so what’s it like? The beer itself pours well, a rich cherryique colour with a fluffy off white head that lasts well but will go into a fine lacing towards the bottom of the drink. Dry and sweet like sherry. Unlike British versions which are golden syrupy and coats the mouth with a sweet alcoholic kick. This American version is drier on the end which totally neutralises the sweet first notes from the beer. Not sure I really like that in a Barleywine, I enjoy the lingering sweetness of the British versions.

I will say I am not convinced the bottles I had were kept brilliantly as the tasting notes from American reviewers mention that it is dry but not the level of dryness I had so maybe the batch these were from didn’t travel well or weren’t kept in the best conditions in the shop. So with this in mind I am going to be open-ended in my review, the first notes were gorgeous honey tasting barley maltness that was morish and gorgeous, the slight dryness was appealing but the overwhelming dry almost mustiness is so jarring I will take as a sign of the beer on it’s way out.

All in all I do recommend you try this beer, it is not the same as our versions of this style but it is a lovely version from across the sea.

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  1. I had a bottle of this one back in March - lovely stuff. The one I had wasn't all that dry either.

    If you're looking for a good barleywine though, try the Marble Brewery's Special 2009 (they still had a couple left last time I was in the Marble Arch in Manchester and I've got one maturing that I bought this time last year). Magnificent stuff, by all accounts.

  2. Typical, I get duff bottles. Oh well I will be getting some more.

    I'll have a look at those now and see if I can get a bottle down here. :)

  3. My goodness!

    'Old Nick'...!

    How I'd let him slip from memory.

    But then, he always did have a flair for letting all manner of things slip from memory...

    Thanks for bringing him to mind.

    Without meaning to sound sinister - I'm going to be following you from now on.


  4. I haven't had this beer for a while, but that's because I don't really remember liking it. The dryness doesn't stick out to me, but I do seem to recall a distractingly strong pine-like bitterness in it.