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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.

6,788 Ratings

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Ratings: 6,788
Reviews: 2,914
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.33%
Wants: 338
Gots: 1,392 | FT: 56
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: 6,788 | Reviews: 2,914
Photo of RJLarse
2.36/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I went to a local craft beer shop and picked up two of these for tasting. I’ve never had a barley wine before so I wanted to give it a try. This one comes highly recommended. I poured this beer in to a pint tumbler.

A medium dark copper color in the glass, with a creamy off-white head. The head is resilient, and left a medium to heavy lacing on the side of the glass while drinking.

The smell is strong, fruity and hoppy. I also think it smells a little like bourbon or whiskey.

The taste is fairly neutral at first, a little sweet and malty, but once you allow air to join the brew in your mouth it turns quite bitter. The taste of alcohol is present, which gets back to the bourbon/whiskey aroma. The aftertaste is quite strong and bitter as well. The aftertaste lingers for quite a while, and seems to be revived from to time in the mouth even without drinking more of the beer.

The mouth feel of this beer is sharp and biting.

This beer is not particularly drinkable. I found myself drinking this one slowly, and frankly not enjoying it very much. It might go well paired with some sort of robust food to quell the aftertaste. I can’t see myself drinking more than one of these in a blue moon. Perhaps barley wine is an acquired taste? It was better at the end of the glass than the beginning, but I’ll put the other one away for a while.

Photo of VMWhelan
2.38/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

2011 12oz bottle into Sierra Nevada tumbler.

Pours a reddish copper with a two finger off white head.

Smell is very floral with some piney hops and just a bit of malt sweetness. Getting a potpourri of sorts.

Taste is very bitter. Getting a lot of the same potpourri that I got in the scent, as well as some very piney hops. Alcohol is very noticeable.

Mouthfeel is medium with high carbonation.

Drinkability is low. This may be better with age, but it's way too harsh fresh. I'm going to age the other one that I bought for a year or two before I try this one again.

Photo of FreightTrain
2.39/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A- Dark, brown beer with rapidly dissipating white head.

S- Grapey smell.

T- Taste was like grape drink. Not grape juice; grape drink. Intensely so. Lots of hop bitterness, which is welcome since it cuts through the artificial grape flavor a bit.

M- Mouthfeel was thick and creamy, as you'd expect from a barleywine, nice carbonation.

D- I couldn't finish my pint. The grape/fruitloop flavor was unbearable. It was so bad that at first I thought it had to be the cold (tap) temperature, but it improved only slightly once it reached cellar and then room temperature.

Photo of adamette
2.4/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Served in bottle proclaiming that it is the 25th adventure, 2008 version with clean, clear ale glass at Winking Lizard in Mentor, Ohio. I appreciated the fact that I was able to pour it for myself.

A I cm light brown head over a caramel brown, cloudy, opaque body. Very pleasing, inviting.

S Barley and alcohol to the nose. There is a strong grain smell.

T Hops. This was a suprise since I really did not smell that (I smelled it again to see what I had missed and indeed, did not really smell predominate hops like the taste). It reminds me of Great Lakes Brewing Company's Noferastu which I tasted and reviewed this week (I gave it a 2.0 overall) in that it is way too bitter with hops. I really did not like this going in or going down.

M Full, acidic, repulsive.

D Poor due to high ABV, acidic taste, bitter, bitter.

Notes: I respect that Barleywine is supposed to be bitter, hoppy but I just don't like that taste in beer. It is too bitter.

Photo of TheycallmeTim
2.42/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

2009 vintage poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an Ommegang chalice.

A--Pours up an auburn-like reddish brown with a thin fingernail of creme colored head that dies quickly to skim. Nice spidwereb, though, on the surface that does lace a bit.

S--Umm, like an IPA? Orange, grapefruit, and pine. Maybe some candied cherries wafting up from the malt but the sweeter notes that should be rising and making for a fruit cocktail in my nostrils just aren't there. This may just be too young.

T--Umm, again--like an IPA with too much malt in it? Sorry to be repetitive,, but this is kinda boring. It's just hops, hops, hops, tons of bitter resinous pine and citrus in the beginning, middle, and end of the flavor profile. Some malt does sneak into the middle in the form of cognac-soaked raisins, which is nice, but why should the malt have to go creepin? This is a barleywine, fer Chrissakes. Just an overload of hops IMO, without anything earthy, medicinal, or a variety of dark fruits to open up on the palate. Instead you gotta dig for complexity, and not much turns up, at least fresh.

M&D--Sierra Nevada never disappoints me on the mouthfeel, and this one is no exception, as it's pure creamy heaven. The drinkability in my eyes is terrible, however, as this to me tastes like liquid heartburn.

Hopheads rejoice! Anyone who thinks MORE MORE MORE doesn't equal better better better, well....you might want to lay off this one. Or lay it down for a year or two. Lemme know how it goes, as I won't be buying any more of this.

Photo of Devi0us
2.43/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

2011 vintage

A- Poured a deep copper color with a thick 2 finger off-white head that had a prolonged stay.

S- Massive hop aroma, somewhat piney. Nothing else going on here.

T- This badboy is bitter as fuck. All I can taste is hoppy bitterness with a bitter beer face. Taste more like an IPA  with 300 IBU than a Barley Wine to me.

M- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O- This was hyped up big time by a friend of mine. I should smack him silly. This was a rather unpleasant experience that I wish to NOT ever experience again.

Photo of travelguy
2.46/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Overwhelming hops. If you like it so bitter that the taste and feel are overpowered then maybe this is for you...bit not for me.

Photo of KG12
2.5/5  rDev -39.8%

Photo of sonofliberty2
2.5/5  rDev -39.8%

Photo of Markus98
2.5/5  rDev -39.8%

Photo of Tjvan2
2.5/5  rDev -39.8%

Photo of Dave_Treat
2.5/5  rDev -39.8%

Photo of VBWharfRat
2.5/5  rDev -39.8%

Photo of vma
2.5/5  rDev -39.8%

Photo of semihobo
2.5/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Bigfoot 2005 Expedition. This got aged in mixed conditions, but I wanted to let it sit, since the consensus was that it would mellow out after a year. My 2nd American Barleywine, I didn't like Old Horizontal much but I figured I'd take another shot.

Opened the bottle and thought I'd spilled paint thinner. Eesh! A clear, dark red / mahogany brown that looks like it means business. Lousy head retention.

Smells like hops. What an understatement. oooof hop oils and alcohol are the nose. Oily and resinous, bitter scent, no florals or citrus, more on the pine side. Maybe a hint of sweetness from malts but who knows, the hops have all the power here.

Tastes of dark, burnt, molasses hops. Lots of burned sugar/caramel. Very oily. The hops mask the alcohol well, at least. Fairly sweet and malty backbone, making this hop bomb different than a DIPA. Hops are all the way on the bittering side. Hints of raisins and liquor. 5 lbs of hops and a long island iced tea in a pint glass, almost.

Mouthfeel is thick, resiny, syrupy. Low carbonation. Aftertaste of hops is biting and leaves a slick on the tongue.

Tough to get through one of these. There is a major lack of balance and the alcohol is needlessly high. It's fine that Sierra Nevada was going for that, and I like pushing the envelope, but it isn't fun to drink and it doesn't taste that good.

This one is just for the hopheads ... I drank it at 55 degrees or so, if you aren't a hophead maybe chill it a little more to subdue the flavor -- some really nasty metallic off flavors came out as I drank it. My score would have been much lower had I not been rating within the style.

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2.5/5  rDev -39.8%

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2.5/5  rDev -39.8%

Photo of ohyayitstrey
2.5/5  rDev -39.8%

Photo of stimblin
2.5/5  rDev -39.8%

Photo of MortalKombat14
2.5/5  rDev -39.8%

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2.5/5  rDev -39.8%

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2.5/5  rDev -39.8%

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2.5/5  rDev -39.8%

Photo of BeerTaster727
2.5/5  rDev -39.8%

Photo of Bakker
2.5/5  rDev -39.8%

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Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,788 ratings.