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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 pmcadamis:
Photo of pmcadamis


5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - A very solid looking finger and a half of orangish-tan cream rises above a deep crimson blood-red amber brew that lets only a little light through. An enormous amount of gorgeous dry lace sticks to the glass, and the lace shows some flecks of orange too. Ok, it came to me...the head and lace are the color of the inside of the orange rind! Swirling deposits a huge amount of perfectly arced lace around the glass, and builds the head up to a full finger and a half again. The head shows outstanding retention for such a high ABV beer.

S - I could smell the mandarin orange hops before I put my nose in the glass, and that aroma only intensifies with my schnoz fully inserted cheek-deep into the glass. Has a lot of DIPA aromas, but with a dirtier malt aspect. Big sweet juicy mandarin oranges....real, not canned. Some piny aspects show the SN DNA, but this is all about hoppy sweet-citrus fruit aromas. I also smell some round sour cream notes that remind me of Orval. The malts are all fresh sweet bread with peanut butter and light caramel notes too. As it warms I get some dark fruits too, and it also becomes much more complex and boozy with warmth. I could sniff this all day. This has single malt quality aromatics.

T - Oh! There's the complexity I was looking for! Dirty, earthy, gritty, tobacco, and scotch malt grabs my attention straight away, then dark fruit and caramel in the mid-palate. Lots of hoppy citrus overlays the darker fruits, but doesn't distract from them. It's almost like singing row-row-row-your-boat and then somebody else starts singing brother-john-brother-john before you've finished...it's that complex! I also taste hints of sourdough bread, pumpernickel, sunflower seeds, pine sap, junipery gin and tonic quinine notes, and loads and loads of sweet and bitter citrus and pine (leaning towards the citrus in the beginning and leaning toward pine in the finish). There is a distinct black licorice anise twinge right before the swallow that I didn't notice at first. This is one of the most well put together beers I've ever tasted. Outstanding!

M - Big, fat, plump, full, rich, silky, and boozy. This is one of the fullest mouthfeels I've ever experienced! I can feel sugar, alcohol, and hop oils covering my mouth. The dry bitter and acrid finish reminds me of one of my favorite non-beer drinks....the dry gin martini, but it also has a lot of scotch-like qualities (scotch is another passion of mine...but I really can't afford to drink it with any regularity). This is really, really pleasant, and is pretty much the definition of full-bodied.

D - Screw the 9.6% ABV! I could drink this all day (slowly, and with plenty of water). Outstandingly complex flavors shine like a star, but the nose doesn't really advertise the greatness. A bit more pungency in the nostrils would garner this a perfect 5.0 from this fella.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2007 05:06:28 | More by pmcadamis
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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.