Brewery: Anchor Brewery
It must be said that I do enjoy a good barley wine. If it is done right, you can have this amazing mix of alcoholic warmth coupled with a lovely layered and fulfilling sweetness. Barley wine of course isn’t actually wine as it is brewed with grain. It is in fact a strong ale. The wine name came from the fact that the alcohol content was so high it was comparable to wine. There are two main styles of barley wine: the UK style which is a little lighter in body and hops, and the US version which is a bit heavier and fuller in taste.
It was actually Anchor Brewery who introduced this style of beer to the USA back in 1976 with the Foghorn and it’s been brewed ever since. The Foghorn is a seasonal product though so it’s always nice when it makes an appearance around February time. It can be a great warming beer for when the snow is deep and temperatures are well down into the minus 20 range.
Deep copper in colour with a creamy head, the Foghorn poured nicely. It appeared to be quite cloudy and with not much carbonation of note. The smell hits your nostrils and instantly you can feel the warmth. A strong honey note leads the charge along with toffee, sap and maple syrup to form a very intense and robust smell. Just like the aroma, the taste packs a punch too. The heat comes through from the alcohol, warming the palate. A nice thick body coats the mouth and rolls over the tongue. It tastes rather similar to its fragrance, with big honey and caramel hits that fade into a slight bitterness. This is a classic US style barley wine, and its’ a good place to start into the journey into this strong ale genre. At 27kr it’s well priced and I definitely think this is worth a try.