Thursday, January 16, 2020

2002 Old Foghorn (in 2020)

2002 Old Foghorn (in 2020)
San Francisco's celebrated Old Foghorn brand has been virtually handmade by the brewers of Anchor Steam Beer, in one of the world's smallest and most traditional breweries, since 1975. Our barleywine style ale, the first of its kind in modern times in the United States, has a luscious depth of flavor that makes it ideal for sipping after dinner. It is made with fermenting yeast, fresh, whole hops, and 'first wort,' the richest runnings of a thick, all-malt mash. Old Foghorn is 'dry hopped' in the classic ale tradition and aged in our cellars until it attains the perfect balance of malty sweetness, estery fruitiness, and exquisite hop character for which it is known throughout the world.
— neck label

Old Foghorn Barleywine Style Ale
(~ 8% alcohol-by-volume)
Anchor Brewing (San Francisco, California).
  • Brewed and bottled —in 'nip' bottles (7.1 fluid ounces = 210 ml)— in 2002.
  • Tasted on 15 January 2020.
Eighteen years on, this vintage Old Foghorn was as flat as a pancake but bright as a whistle. Deep auburn, almost brown, in hue. Dry but without bitterness or unctuousness. It was probably past its prime —hops absent and some wet cardboard flavor present— but not unenjoyable, with aromas and flavors of sherry, plums, and model airplane glue(!), along with some caramel, dark chocolate, and toffee.

Anchor Brewing brewed this bottle when the brewery was still the grandaddy of independents. (It's now owned by Japanese conglomerate, Sapporo.)

Drinking it was like drinking 'craft' beer history but with a buzz. All that was missing was a chunk of Maytag Blue cheese.

A series of occasional reviews of beer (and wine and spirits).
No scores; only descriptions.


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