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Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style AleSierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

6,124 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,124
Reviews: 2,805
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 246
Gots: 1,053 | FT: 36
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  9.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 02-06-1998)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,124 | Reviews: 2,805 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Phelps:
Photo of Phelps


4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage, poured into my perfect pint glass. This'll be my first beer after a week at sea drinking nothing but light lagers. I needed something hoppy!

In the appearance, a plethora of shades are visible. Light orange to deep crimson to dusky ambers. Like looking into a tiger's eye stone. Frothy tan head that has the consistency and retention of ocean foam. Head gets about halfway down then settles in for the night. Mostly clear, but with some cascading sediment that dances from top to bottom. Ribbons of bubbles rocket to the top. One of the most beautiful beers I've ever seen.

In the nose, heavy citrusy hops. Lemons, grapefruit, almost edging on IPA hoppiness. But then I get the maltiness: sweet caramel.

Holy bitterness. This thing is so hop heavy. The resin clings to the tongue; it stings the nostrils. Oranges, grapefruits. I'd be tempted to categorize this as an IPA/DIPA if not for a honey sweet, grainy character. Oddly, I even pick up some fruity red wine notes as it warms. Alcohol is there, but not distracting.

Mouthfeel is just what I expect from a barleywine: syrupy, warming. Medium/high carbonation. Boozy. Nom.

I've had the 2009 and 2010 versions of this beer, and each has been a sensory adventure. I wouldn't say it's the best barleywine I've ever had (that status still belongs to Mirror Mirror) but it's an extremely solid example of the style -- and a welcome return to craft beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2010 06:38:26 | More by Phelps
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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.

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Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,124 ratings.