Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 6,115 | Reviews: 2,805 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Dantes:
4.38/5 rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Package: Stubby "heritage" bottle. No date guidelines. Cap denotes “2003 Expedition” and 2 men and a Sasquatch around a fire underneath. Label depicts a prospector examining footprints, while his mule shies away. 9.6% ABV.
Cost: $9.49 a 6-Pack at Bottle King
Presentation: Snifter at 50º
Appearance: Coppery, strong-tea color with some haze. Generated a medium-dense off-white head, resolving to almost nothing. Isolated strings of small bubbles stream from the bottom.
Smell: Provided a snootfull of hops at the get-go. In that signature Sierra style, they weren't harsh or off-putting as I find in some other brews. One can pick out some dark-fruity notes like raisins, green apple, and a citrusy element. Clearly reminiscent of Celebration Ale.
Taste: “Tangy” was the word that kept coming to mind as the beer made my mouth water. I don’t know how Sierra Nevada does this, but they practice perfect “hopsmanship,” pushing the limit just to the point before it becomes medicinal. There's a strong, pine-resin taste with a citrus edge (pummello?) that avoids the overt grapefruit flavor I find unpleasant. As I savored this; caramel, malt, roasted nuts, clove, allspice, currants, and dried plums emerged. Evoked the iodiney single malts from Laphroig and Caol Ila. At the denouement, the hops reasserted themselves in the long, dry finish. Whereas Old Horizontal starts sweet and dries out; this starts dry, ripens, and then tightens up again.
Mouthfeel: Carbonation is a bit more assertive than some other barley wines, but matches well with the unctuous, palate-coating body.
Drinkability: A wonderfully drinkable barley wine that doesn’t flaunt its ABV. Obviously not a quaffer, this doesn’t shortchange you on refreshment or satisfaction.
As noted in my review of Celebration Ale, Sierra Nevada just knows how to do this kind of thing. Clearly, Bigfoot carries the hops banner in the barley wine wars, and does it proudly. Maybe not quite as complex as Old Horizontal, this promises that cellaring will be well-rewarded with more complexity, perhaps at the cost of some vibrancy. Less malty and sweet than some barley wines, this brew clearly demonstrates its Celebration Ale heritage.
Bottom Line: An “Imperial" Celebration Ale.
NB: A pre-1983 to 1997 vertical tasting in The Malt Advocate determined that 3 years of aging was the "pivot-point," where this seemed to reach its optimal condition.
Serving type: bottle
03-27-2003 10:52:21 | More by Dantes
More User Reviews:
4.3/5 rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4
Today I will be reviewing the mythical Bigfoot, a brown hair covered beast that roams the Pacific Northwest woodlands attracting attention from the occasional camper with a video camera... Wait a sec. I'm actually reviewing the Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale or Initialised (as always in my Sierra Nevada reviews) as SNBBSA. What more can be said about Sierra Nevada, they rule the roost when it comes to the West-Coast craft scene, and I imagine they are all-round nice guys/girls as well. Note: This is the 2014 batch, and also my first US style Barleywine.
Poured from a 355ml bottle into a Chimay chalice.
A: A deep hazy cooper body with a ring of beige lace awaits the next lucky drinker (i.e. me).
S: An intriguing mix of dark fruits (fig, raisin, dates), pine and citrus hops. Also noted is a caramel malt and a hint of bread yeast that lingers around. There is a great synergy going on between these aromas, it's as if a fruity Belgian Quadrupel got in bed with an aggressive hop forward American IPA and the two had a passionate love-making session.
T: Then the flavour hits you, nay punches you right in the tongue. Elements of the above aromas swirl about taking a dump right on my palate. There is however a sharp forward hop bitterness that is a tad distracting, it's like an ultra concentration of pine and grapefruit. Shame when everything else within the taste of this fine Ale hits the right spot.
M: Dense and syrupy - it has the consistency of a delicious beer-flavoured treacle.
D: I guess I knew what I was in for when I cracked open SNBBSA but boy oh man oh girl oh woman it really smacks you around. Although the hop bitterness is a smidge over the top, the flavour and texture of this beer is indeed akin to a big hairy manbeast roaming the giant redwood forests of Oregon. Perhaps the only thing holding it back from being as great as a similar ABV Belgian Quad would be finesse - the Belgians nail finesse, whilst the Americans bring complexity to the table it will only take you so far, then you need finesse.
Food match: The heavy body of this beer really makes it more of an after-dinner brew, however if you were going to attempt it with food then you need a bold spicy cuisine like a Thai with a light body to counteract any bloat, such as a green Papaya salad with chopped red chilli.
Serving type: bottle
07-22-2014 07:53:15 | More by doktorhops
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,115 ratings.