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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

6,801 Ratings

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Ratings: 6,801
Reviews: 2,915
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.33%
Wants: 341
Gots: 1,396 | FT: 57
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  9.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 02-06-1998

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,801 | Reviews: 2,915
Photo of ABH
2/5  rDev -51.8%

2/5  rDev -51.8%

Photo of mwar
2/5  rDev -51.8%

Photo of magoover
2/5  rDev -51.8%

Photo of StoughtonGuy
2/5  rDev -51.8%

Photo of thatdirtymick
2/5  rDev -51.8%

Photo of lostinfla
2/5  rDev -51.8%

Photo of Rpreskenis
2/5  rDev -51.8%

Photo of SoupKitchenBeerSnob
2/5  rDev -51.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I told myself I'd never drink another Sierra Nevada beer, but saw this and thought, ok, they're doing a barley wine-- maybe this one will be different. Nope. Just more hops than ever before. I mean really... Sierra Nevada takes the IPA model and makes every damn thing they brew taste like just another version of an IPA. Did I happen to mention that I detest IPA's? Cramming a brew full of hops does not equal a great brew-- it just shows a profound lack of imagination. But for all you hop-heads out there, you'll love this stuff. Personally, I'll pass, and thank you very little.

Photo of MOVERTON1284
2/5  rDev -51.8%

Photo of ralree
2.06/5  rDev -50.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

A: Head is a little weak, but that's almost expected from this style. 1/2 finger at best. Color is reddish-orange and murky. Laces nicely.

S: Grainy and pretty fruity. Will probably be good.

T: REALLY bitter. I wasn't expecting this level of bite. It's not my style, so I'm going to give it a lower rating than some others might. The alcohol is very evident as well. Has a bready finish.

M: A little thick - a little astringent.

D: Had to pour it all out. Completely undrinkable.

Photo of NODAK
2.12/5  rDev -48.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Nose has an assault of piney, floral hops upfront. Very potent. But after that subsides, a very boozy quality comes out...hints of sherry and raisins are present. It leaves me wondering which of these two sides are going to dominate the taste.

The taste leaves no confusion about that. It has abrasive bitterness from the start on through the finish, increasing in intensity and lasting well on into the aftertaste with stinging astringency. It's one of the most bitter beers I have ever had. Yes, there's some raisin, toffee, and booze on the taste as an undercurrent that shows through on the finish pretty well....but absolutely nothing approaches the hoppiness here. It left me grimacing after each swallow. I know I'm not the biggest hophead on the planet, but the lack of balance here just turned me off.

In the end, it's just not my type of beer I suppose. More balance would have been appreciated...as it is, it's just too strong and one-sided for me.

Photo of sugit
2.15/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

2010 Bigfoot.

A: Cooper color pour with big long last head. Great lacing.

S: Some hops, but mostly a nice carmel malt aroma. Faint raisins and other dark fruit. Damn, this is going to be good.

T: Bamboozled!! Man, nothing like the nose. A hops assult on the palate. I really don't like this beer. I love good hoopy beers, but this one has a way of jut blasting you in not a good way.

I get very very little of sweet malts from the nose. The aftertaste is like waking up after a night of beer and cigars. Terrible.

M: Full bodied. Feels like gritty hops stuck to my teeth and tongue.

D: Drain pour. Such a harsh tasting beer I couldn't even finish a serving.

This is the second time I've tried 2010 BF and it just does not do it for me. I'm coming to realize I like English Barleywine, but don't like American Barleywine at all.

I'll leave the rest of my 6-pack in the cellar for another year and see what happens.

So far, I equate BF to a hot stupid blond. Got the looks and smell, but everything else that counts is terrible.

Photo of voraciousalky
2.16/5  rDev -48%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I just bought a four-pack of 2013 Bigfoot at a nearby beer shop. I tried this ale several years ago and didn't really like it. I thought maybe I would appreciate it a little more now that I'm older and more experienced. I was wrong.

This beer doesn't taste good, and taking a big swig is a wholly unpleasant experience. Some folks pick up the taste of fruit; I pick up the flavor of OTC cough syrup. I know good and bad are subjective when it comes to beer, but I can't figure out why everyone thinks Bigfoot is worthy of a score in the nineties. Am I just unsophisticated? Maybe. But then again, there might be a lot of groupthink supporting Bigfoot's high average rating. For the record, Busch, Budweiser, Miller High-Life, etc. are all better than this beer. (Yes, I said it.)

Now that all that's out of the way...

This is certainly an interesting brew, despite the off-putting taste. A lot of reviewers note the strong bitterness and hop aroma, but I was surprised that a beer with an IBU of 90 was so well-balanced. When I drink Bigfoot, I'm not overwhelmed at all by the smell or bitter taste of the hops at all. It is truly well-balanced.

Then there's the alcohol. Bigfoot does a far better job of masking the taste of alcohol than other brews, such as Hoptimum, with similar ABVs. I don't know how they did it, but I've had beers with substantially lower levels of alcohol that were far more "boozy" tasting than Bigfoot.

Photo of nicnut45
2.21/5  rDev -46.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Presentation: 12 oz bottle poured into Chimay chalice/2011

A- Deep red brown color, slightly hazy with sediment swirling around. Superfine off white head.

S- Smell is very muted upon a vigourours pour, perhaps it needs to warm up a bit. Upon warming up there is very little scent to this beer. What is there, smells like fruitiness from the yeast with a slight rubbing alcohol scent.

T&MF- This is just plain bitter without the finer qualities of hops. Malts are underwhelming and over attuenated resulting in hot rubbing alcohol flavors. This overly overly dry in my opinion. There is a faint glimmer of sweetness to this beer and it reminds me of burnt sugar but it is soon overpowered by alcohol and bitter hops.

O- I will be laying down at least one of these bottles in hopes that it gets better with age. The others will go to enemies.

Photo of PatYoda
2.22/5  rDev -46.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

2005 Version

Appearance is perfect. Nice clear mahogany with a perfect 1 finger creamy head of miniscule bubbles. Leaves lacing all the way down the glass, which is very unexpected for the style. Smell is almost all hops, and I'm not talking the nice citrusy hops that I love. Pure pine needles. There is actually some caramel malt smell underneath everything, just barely. Unfortunately it doesn't show up in the taste. At first the hops bite hard. Like eating pine needles. Then you wait for the initial hop bite to subside and for the malt to smooth things over...and you can wait all day if you want, but it never happens. The finish is even worse - it's pure bitterness. There is absolutely no flavor that lingers in the mouth, just bitterness, and linger it does! Mouthfeel is actually pretty good. Nice and thick and creamy like I like my barleywines. Right now I don't care how good this will taste in 10 years, it's nearly undrinkable at the moment.

Photo of Apeloquin19
2.24/5  rDev -46%

Photo of Damian74Shensky
2.25/5  rDev -45.8%

Photo of rudy0908
2.25/5  rDev -45.8%

Photo of Anvilfarm
2.25/5  rDev -45.8%

Photo of skaboom420
2.25/5  rDev -45.8%

Photo of mnstorm99
2.28/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

12 oz. bottle poured into a 22 oz. globe wine glass.
Oh Boy, I hope this one ages well (I guess I have wasted $10 on worse things).
Good looking copper beer with a nice JUST off white 1 finger head that sticks well, and laces better.
Aroma is a very nice strong fruity and spicy hops, quite a bit of promise here, reminds me of something from when I was a child I just can't place it.
Taste, Ouch nice flash of hops and fruits, but before they even make much of an appearance the alchohol burn just won't go away. I was guessing this beer to be around 12%, but then I come here to see it is only 9.6% with that kind of burn, this is poor craftsmanship IMHO.
Mouthfeel is burning overly carbonated and thin. I could hardly finish one of these, not going to have another until after a few months downstairs.

Photo of Jdecarol
2.29/5  rDev -44.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I love hops in my beers but this thing is not balanced at all. I is nothing but bitter kicking in the back of your throat. Moon shine goes down smoother.

Looks great though but that doesn't make it easier to drink. I'm going to sit on it for a few months and revisit it after it mellows. Hopefully the aging doesn't destroy the hop flavor and just mellows the bitterness.

I had this last year but it was bought around june, maybe the extra months sitting on a shelf made it more palatable or they just hop bombed it this year.

Photo of Jwaks
2.32/5  rDev -44.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Serving : 12oz bottle with 2007 on the cap, no freshness date.

Significant effort is required on the pour to squeeze a finger thick head from this vibrant orange tinted amber brew. Spirited very fine bubbles sprint up through the low viscosity body to meet a scant white frothy cap ringed by a thin sticky white lace.

Overwhelmingly pungeant, bitter hop aromas assult the nose quickly followed by odors of ripe viney fruit and strong solvents. Subtle aromas of malt and bread break free from the overpowering and dominant hoppy and solvent character.

Young, rough and raucous, this beer thrashes the palate with intense, unrelenting bitter hops and unripe vinous fruits that just won't give up even in the aftertaste. Green, leafy hops, lots of lemon zest, and a healthy dose of warming, peppery alcohol hit the tongue on the dry, long-lasting finish. Wow, this beer's bitter, vinous character hits you like a ton of bricks, it has the finesse and grace of a 40 ton truck. It is entirely unbalanced leaning heavily toward hops and bitterness, where are the malts and barely?

Very tough and chewy in the mouth, it is medium to full bodied with a great ability to coat the palate. With so much bitterness, leafy hops and slightly sour viney fruit this one is far from smooth and creamy.

Wow. This was a surprise after reading all the sterling reviews of this brew. I have a feeling this one will require at least six months to a year of cellar age to shed its youthful vibrance and begin to be drinkable.


Photo of bobhits
2.33/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Pours a decent head given the abv and the style but it quickly dissipates. The body is a deep ruby color with a huge amount of clarity. There is still enough density here to remind me that yes it is a deep big barely wine.

The nose is a blast of hops, biting the nose and quickly mellowing to a huge thick powerful caramel malt. The best barely wines I've had carried tone more complexity and depth. This reminds me of a slightly higher malt double IPA.

Alcohol, and some kind of dying funk to finish this one off. Amazingly dry and lacking any real sweetness that the nose indicates should be here. Finishes with a huge amount of dry bitterness. As I'm drinking this that finishes that put me off earlier has dissipated a great deal, but still this is absurdly over powering without the flavor to back it.

My mouth has been dried out, burned, and overwhelmed by intense flavors, yet not in the way I'm used to seeing.

Will this age? Certainly! That said this is just awful for a fresh barely wine from anywhere. I haven't had any since 08 and before that 06 and I recall both being a good bit better. That said I never have and certainly don't know understand the hype surrounding this beer. Completely unbalanced and underwhelming.

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Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,801 ratings.