Anchor Brewing Old Foghorn Barleywine Style Ale, a heavier offering from Anchor Brewing Co, poured a dark, gemtone orange-red into the glass with a whipped gold head that faded within a minute of being poured. The nose carried through strong toffee and alcohol with light hops, and managed to seem light considering the aromas observed.
Anchor Brewing Old Foghorn Barleywine opens much stronger than the nose, with brown sugar, stewed plums, and figs leading a dessert-like, old world spice cake taste. The ale was thick in the mouth, with candi sugar and maple coming through in the middle and slight, grassy hops cutting the thickness in a slightly bitter, alcohol-warmed fade.
Anchor Brewing Old Foghorn Barleywine falls into the lighter side of barley wines, being a bit less rich and a bit more drinkable (both in perceived and actual alcohol volume) than the bigger stalwarts in the style. It lacks the impact and structure one expects when selecting a barley wine, mostly a result of a fairly established recipe now coexisting in a world of “bigger is better” ales.