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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.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

2,923 Reviews
THE BROS
98
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,923
Hads: 7,008
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.63%
Wants: 361
Gots: 1,539 | FT: 69
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale Alström Bros
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Reviews: 2,923 | Hads: 7,008
Photo of kbwalters
4.06/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured cold into a Libby style stout glass. Bottled on 12/10/13 and consumed about a year later on 12/17/14.
Look = 4.25 Murky copper color with gold highlights; 1 finger of light brown head with average retention and a big sticky lace. Nice color.
Aroma = 3.75 Subdued hops; big sweet backbone and booze. Overall on the weak side.
Taste = 4.25 Intense bitterness on the finish the first couple of sips, but it mellows. Boozy up front but gets really sweet right before the bitterness come in. Caramel and bread malt notes dominate.
Feel = 4.0 Medium to high carbonation with a full bodied, thick, syrupy and resiny feel; some fizz on the tongue.
Drinkability = 3.0 Big booziness and intense bitterness has to detract from the drinkability somewhat.
Overall = 3.9625 All around pretty solid barleywine; big and boozy and sweet, just as expected. (849 characters)

Photo of elNopalero
5/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I find it hard to believe that I’ve yet to review Bigfoot. So for my 1450th beer I am finally entering it into my ratings.

This is THE barleywine. It’s a classic, and a standard of the style. Pours a wonderful warm malty-amber with a boquet that changes over time… from a orange/citrusy hop kick to a light toffee/toasted coconut. Big malt backing that develops toffee and chocolate notes over time as well, complementing the citrusy piney hop profile.

I’ve had this fresh and I’ve had this aged and I love it either way. Just don’t drink it out of the bottle, ok? (579 characters)

Photo of dbl_delta
3.99/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Labeled 2015. Bottle "pkgd 12/11/14" into pint glass. Cloudy deep amber with a thick, persistent eggshell-colored head. Initially an emphatic malt sweetness, but the hops bitterness (kind of like chewing on a bitter orange peel) kicks in almost immediately thereafter. But wait: that's followed by a caramel sweetness, and THAT'S followed by a piney, resinous finish. There's so much going on taste-wise that you don't even notice the alcohol (but trust me - it's there). Thick, sticky mouthfeel; moderate carbonation. Hoppier than I think a barleywine ought to be, but still very drinkable. (597 characters)

Photo of MLH90
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Haven't had too many different Barleywines so far and not necessarily the biggest fan of the style, but this is absolutely great. Don't taste the alcohol at all either. (168 characters)

Photo of Andrewharemza
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hazy dark amber pour with off white head. Aroma of resin, pine and toffee with hints of tropical fruits. Heavy mouth feel, sticky. Nice sweet malt and bitter front followed by carmel and pine notes with lingering finish. I like the balance from front to back with its layering. The citrus and floral notes are present but for me a bit too much in the background. Overall a very enjoyable and respectable barley wine. (416 characters)

Photo of JOldewurtel
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had been wanting to try this for a long time now. I am not a huge barleywine fan, but this is maybe the most well balanced one I've had. Another great beer from SN. (166 characters)

Photo of hopphead31415
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I had been meaning to try this beer for a while as an avid Sierra Nevada fan. I should have tried it sooner as it is excellent. It does pack a powerful 9.6% ABV so be careful, but it is quite drinkable for such a strong brew and remember it is after all a barely wine. And lastly, this particular bottle pack that I picked up was almost 8 months cellared, so take that into account as you consider my review.

Look-It pours a reddish copper dark amber color that glints in the light with molten golden color hues. The head is delicate and quickly dissipates due to the sugar content. The lacing is also almost nonexistent, but that is to be expected. The color more than makes up for the lack of those other attributes.

Smell-It has a complex and strong malt-forward smell with yeast components as well as molasses, toffee, caramel, spices, pine, and maybe some bread pudding.

Taste-The hops are definitely present, but are equally balanced by a plethora of sweet dark fruits like candied cherry, plums, and smoked cedar. I also get walnuts and a nutty spice that reminds me of Christmas. The hops shine through strongest at the end with a heavy pine resin and maybe some clementine or grapefruit.

Mouthfeel-It is quite heavy, but not overwhelming and mildly syrupy with little carbonation. You get a sticky oil feeling that lingers like a hoppy resin at the end. It drinks so crisply for a powerful 9.6% brew and is really easy to finish.

Overall-This brew is excellent and belongs in front of a fancy movie scene which features a log cabin in the middle of the woods in a blizzard with a man holding a crystal goblet filled with this variety sitting in front of a big fireplace in a red leather chair perched upon a bear rug while absent-mindedly petting a bloodhound and smoking a Cuban cigar. (1,804 characters)

Photo of mmmbeer89
3.01/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

a very bitter taste with little sweetness to offset the bitterness. you get used to the taste after awhile (i bought a 4-pack) but definately not a great tasting beer. (167 characters)

Photo of sporklift87
4.46/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 edition bottled 12/11/14. Poured from bottle to snifter. Two fingers very light brown dense, almost creamy head. Great retention that fades to thin film. Sticky lacing. Dark reddish brown, very pale. Somewhat delicate nose, but warms up better. Smells peachy, with some dried dark fruits in background. Tastes of bitter hops and raisins, with peach taking on less of a role on tongue. Piney and caramely with bit of bitter orange peel. Feels very strong and syrupy, leaving a bitter feeling on far back of tongue. Big boozy bite, no hiding it in this one. An excellent barleywine I like to cellar and save for special occasions. I know these can go for several years. (672 characters)

Photo of Myotus
3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

2015 edition poured from a 12oz bottle (aged for 6 months) into a snifter. Pours with half a finger's worth of off-white foam that trickles down to a quarter's worth within 30 seconds. Dark reddish orange in color. Bubbles are minimal while lacing is moderate. Has strong aromas of citrus hops that combine with mild aromas of fruit (mango, peach, and raisin), piney hops, candied sugar and a hint of roasted and caramel malts. Initial taste is of strong citrus and pine hop flavors. Mild fruit flavors (same ones detected by the nose) enter immediately after the initial taste. A hint of candied sugar enters lastly as all flavors persist except for pine hops, which drastically increase in perceivability. Medium-bodied, subtly carbonated, with an extremely dry finish. This beer looked and smelled so promising, but when I went to drink it, there was no malt balance whatsoever (in fact, those hints of roasted and caramelized malts that I smelt weren't even detected by my palate). I never thought I would say this, but this was too hoppy. But fear not, I will have to buy a fresh one of these to compare with along with one that I age for a few years. But yeah, 6 months aged is no bueno. (1,193 characters)

Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a wine glass. Packed on 12/18/14. This is my first ever barleywine, so here goes nothing!

LOOK: Clear, lightly reddish brown with a thin finger of off white head that leaves some lacing.

SMELL: Generically speaking, big complex malt and yeast aromas mixed with a big hop presence. Individually, I can smell molasses, caramel, toffee, some spices, tons of pine, and a hint of grapefruit and raisins. On to the taste!

TASTE: A massive intermingling of hops and malt. Caramel, toffee, brown sugar, toasted coconut, walnuts, gingerbread, and fruit cake galore, but kept in check by just enough bitterness. There's a rich, dark fruit presence--some cherries, plums, and raisins. Finishes hoppy with heavy pine and grapefruit. I love it!

FEEL: Medium-heavy mouthfeel with moderate carbonation and a sticky hop oil aftertaste. Drinks incredibly easy for 9.6% ABV.

OVERALL: I love this beer! I'm glad my first trying a barleywine was a good experience. This beer is both heavy as all get out, yet quite easy to drink at the same time. Simultaneously super malty and super hoppy. Complex and flavorful. This beer will definitely see my fridge again. (1,194 characters)

Photo of sammorito
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

L:
pours a dark clear amber with an off-white head
S:
-bread and caramel. a little bit of citrus
T:
in the beginning i get a lot of malt and caramel. then i get a little bit of grapefruit and lots of hop at the end
F:
medium carbonation,medium body
O:
great beer. easy to drink. (279 characters)

Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed a single 12 oz bottle as part of a mixed pack at my local Stein's Liquor. This one was packaged about six months ago. Poured at cellar temperature into my tulip glass.

L: Pours a deep burnt sienna with about two inches of dense tan head that persists for a good long while and leaves very nice lacing on the glass. Moderate visible carbonation at the edges where the light shines through.

S: Caramel and toasted malts are front and center. There are also nice notes of raisin, stone fruit, citrus rind, and pine. Just a little clear alcohol coming through. Very nice, if not especially assertive, bouquet.

T: Caramel and toasted malts provide a sweet initial flavor. The hops introduce themselves quite early, providing grapefruit rind and pine notes to complement the malts. In the middle there's also a development of some nice fruit flavors, including raisin, dried stone fruit, and pineapple. The back end is characterized by resinous hop flavor--grapefruit rind and pine. These bring a ton of bitter to the back end, though there is enough of the malts to keep them somewhat in check. Just a touch of clear alcohol at the close.

F: Medium-bodied, though perhaps not quite as heavy as would be expected from the style. Creamy and bright in turns. This one definitely has a bit of stick to it, but it's not overtly syrupy. Lots of lingering bitter on the palate from this one.

O: Having had a few very good barleywines, I was surprised to find this one as hop-forward as it is. Being a big fan of hops, I don't have much of a complaint, but I just don't think this one is quite well-representative of the style. That being said, it's delicious and well-worth a try. (1,681 characters)

Photo of Bone53
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Rich clear mahogony color with a finger or two light beige head

Smell: The caramel, subtle dark fruits and breadiness from the malts balance great with the floral and citrus hops

Taste: Caramel malt sweetness upfront with a floral and citrus hop finish

Mouthfeel: Heavy medium to light heavy body; Goes down fairly easy for nearly 10%, but the bitterness is excessive for a barleywine

Overall: Bigfoot is hard for me to rate. It's very hoppy for a barleywine and doesnt hold up to the best beers in the style today. However, i have to put into consideration that this was first brewed in 1983. As others have mentioned, this reminds me more of an imperial red ale. If labeled as such, id easily give this a 4.5. As a barleywine, its closer to a solid 4. Very enjoyable nonetheless (797 characters)

Photo of drmeto
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L:
-pours a clear dark red with a big,creamy,off-white head
-medium-high carbonation visible
S:
-mangos,strawberries,pineapple,caramel,toffee,grapefruit
T:
-caramel,toffee,raisins,plums,pine resin,grapefruit
F:
-medium carbonation,medium body
-alcohol well hidden
O:
Overall a great Beer,but i missed that mouth-coating sweetness usually present in Barleywines.
To me this was more akin to an imperial red ale.
It also lacked a bit of body. (440 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, 2013 vintage, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, deep, dark, mahogany color, with a quarter of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Strong, complex and delicious aromas of toasted malt, candied sugar, dried stone fruit such as apricots, plumbs and nectarines, as well as honey, spices of black pepper, saffron, coriander and a touch of ginger. There is also a touch of floral, piney, hops.

Taste: With two years age on it, it tastes very nice and complex! Tons of roasted malt and candied sugar up front, followed by the aforementioned spices of black pepper, saffron, coriander, ginger, as well as touches of nutmeg and all-spice. There is also quite a bit of the aforementioned dried stone fruit such as apricots, plumbs and nectarines, and finally, the beer finishes with some piney, floral, slightly resin-like, slightly bitter hops, but nothing out of balance or too assertive to muddle the other flavors. It’s a beautifully balanced beer!

Mouthfeel: Slightly chewy and pretty smooth as there is just a touch of carbonation. With an ABV of 9.6%, there is just a touch of an alcohol warmth on the palate, otherwise the alcohol is very well masked.

Overall: This was drunk with two years age on it, and it’s a very nice, very good American-style barley wine. Great flavors, nicely balanced hops. Great quaff! (1,487 characters)

Photo of Cannibalgasm
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz. bottle. (2015 vintage)

A: Pours a rusty amber with a thick creamy beige head. Excellent retention the head lingers for quite awhile. Lacing is intense and beautiful on the glass.

S: Raisin, pine, caramel, and floral earthy hops.

T: Sweet malts, white pepper, molasses, raisins, apricot, with some nice earthy hop bitterness on the back end.

M: Medium bodied, lightly carbonated, smooth, peppery and bitter.

O: While not mind blowing this a great and classic example of an american barleywine. I pick up a few four packs each year and gradually enjoy them when I want a solid barleywine. (611 characters)

Photo of frozyn
4.04/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 12/18/14; 2015 cap. Poured 6/14/15.

L -- Pours finger-thick head in an oversized snifter, dissipates quickly. Ruby red color at first gives way to a caramel/amber color.

S -- Raisin is the first scent I got, followed by floral hops. Nothing strong or overwhelmingly awesome, but pleasant nonetheless.

T -- Peppery malts and baked fruit. The hop flavor comes through strong, especially towards the end of the sip, as it warms. Got a bit of resin flavor on the tongue occasionally.

F -- Smooth, a bit of zing on the tongue from the peppery flavor.

O -- Great to drink, but nothing that blew my socks off. (619 characters)

Photo of jclark42796
2.75/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

This is my first barley wine so wasn't sure what to expect. Color and smell reminded me of a Dogfish head Red and White (not sure why that is classified as witbier), which I really like. Love the smell, but this beer is way too bitter for me. Someone mentioned a DFH 120min, probably would agree with that. (309 characters)

Photo of PatrickCT
4.31/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip.

a: Opaque. Rusty cider colored body. Light around the edges presents a golden raisin color linings. Thick and even beige head. Very beautiful, very earthy looking beer.

s: Wow. Raisin and bruised stone fruit followed by a compost like pine scent. Floral and musky hops follow.

t: Malty with lots of molasses and cooked fruit like apricots and plums. Brandy soaked raisins. Spicy peppery hop finish.

mf: Smooth malts. Peppery hops that can be a bit racy.

o: This 2013 will be terrific in 2017. Very well done but right now a little raw throughout. (588 characters)

Photo of Gregaroo
3.58/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've got to go 3.5. I was hoping for more. On tap at The Long Room (a great spot) in NYC. This is my 400th rated beer and I waited for what I hoped would be a spectacular one. A nice beer, just not an over the top barley wine from SN. (234 characters)

Photo of craftbeersweden
3.62/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark copper color. Yellow foam that leaves lacing on the glass.

Nose: Orange marmalade, grape, soil, vanilla, dried fruit and fudge.
Taste: Dried fruit, grapefruit peel, caramel malt, brown sugar and blood orange with a great bitterness.
Body: Full body with a heavy bitterness. Medium carbonation.

I was not blown away as the first time - Still very good though! (369 characters)

Photo of kkleu357
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Did a side by side with 2015 and 2014. Rating reflects 2015 since I liked it more. This is a big hoppy barley wine. The 2015 reminded me of 120 Minute IPA. The 2014 version was much less hoppy and sweeter. The 2015 is a fairly fruity barley wine. Not used to that since I like the sweeter maltier barleywines. (309 characters)

Photo of Reedbrew
3.96/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2015: Fresh:Much hoppier than I recall the barrel aged version being.
Update (June): a few months of age on this brew has done it some good. The hops have mellowed and the flavors have evened out and blended more smoothly. Looking forward to seeing the changes in the coming months... (286 characters)

Photo of Sandalwood
3.87/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

2014 version, drinking in 2015 - pours a dark amber brown color with a two finger off white frothy head. It is a little cloudy with some carbonation. The odor is very malty, sweet, dried fruits, candied fruits, honey, roasted malt, spices, slightly bread like. The taste is very malty, heavy, sweet up front, but then very spicy, clove, pine resin, sticky, but ends bitter dry. (380 characters)

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Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,923 ratings.