Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 5,617 | Reviews: 2,758 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Dantes:
4.38/5 rDev +5.3%
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:
District of Columbia
3.98/5 rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Have had this beer in the past and my memory was such that I didn't recall thinking much of it. My palate has evolved (for the better??), so I decided to try again.
I definitely enjoyed it more than I recalled. The appearance was dead on for what I expected color-wise, but the thin head that provided significant lacing pushed it to the wonderful state. I couldn't get much from the smell in strength, but what I hit seemed in line with the style.
For the taste, feel, and overall, I have one slight issue in the mix of sweetness, dark fruits, and tartness combined with the hops bitterness is just slightly off-putting. Admittedly, this beer does a better than others. Combine that with the nice taste of dark fruit, cherries, a little molasses up front, and all that leads to my ratings.
Serving type: on-tap
03-09-2014 01:40:49 | More by cjgiant
4.15/5 rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
Poured into a balloon glass.
Look: Dark rusty amber with more burnt orange when held up to light. A tan colored head dissipates to a wispy film while a decent amount of foamy lacing stays on the glass.
Aroma: Lots of oaky wood and piney hops with an undertone of syrupy malts.
Taste: Thick, syrupy sweet malts are immediately evident. This is followed up by a very bitter, pine and spruce hop bill with good grapefruit rind citrus in the finish.
Mouthfeel: Pretty thick, heavy, and slightly sticky.
Overall: Quality flavors and aromas all the way around. Definitely rich and worth sipping for a while.
Serving type: bottle
03-08-2014 20:21:21 | More by JuicesFlowing
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 5,617 ratings.