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

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style AleSierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,774 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5774
Reviews: 2782
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  9.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 02-06-1998)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,774 | Reviews: 2,782 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of delta490


4.46/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a nice clear mahogany with a tan creamy head. Head has nice retention and leaves nice lacing

S- aroma is a great blend of citrus hops and caramel malt (thinking toffee and some medium-light fruit)

T- the taste marches hand-in-hand with the aromas. Big bold hops flavors balance against the strong malt backbone

M- not as heavy and full feeling as other barleywines I've had, but it's in no way bad.

O- this is a big-flavored, well-made, barleywine

Serving type: growler

02-03-2014 22:34:46 | More by delta490
Photo of wsantas


4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Translucent amber. Small rim of froth with a glaze of carbonation.

S: Citrus and malt with alcohol.

T: Hoppy and Bitter. Carmel on the back end.

M: Smooth, medium body, dry ending

O: Love the hoppiness. Provides a complex taste that keeps you coming back for more. Heavy.

Serving type: growler

02-20-2012 18:39:36 | More by wsantas
Photo of welldigger888

South Carolina

4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage keg!!!!Poured from growler in to imp. pint glass, nice off white head with excellant lacing. This brew is a nice copper colored orange hue.
Huge malt bill here, caramel & grainy goodness. Some hops, but this is a vintage 2009 so the strong hop is gone.
Creamy smooth caramel and golden brown biscuit with a dry boozey smooth finish. Alot is going on here,I am not refined enough to pull it all out.
Huge creamy chunky mouthfeel with good carbonation.
The booze holds this back a bit, but a huge big drink. Worthy of having more than one, Drink up! As for the 2 yr age, well I like the hop profile in the younger version but still love this!!! Thank you Wes & Joseph for aging this.

Serving type: growler

02-12-2011 00:27:49 | More by welldigger888
Photo of kirkpjr


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

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

A: Deep caramel and amber color. Getting close to not being able to see through. Pours about 1 finger head developing some nice lacing.

S: Sweet candied malts. Some cascade hops as well, a little piney and citrusy. Caramel and vanilla.

T: Huge bitter hop kick with a nice vanilla malt flavor to round the taste out. Very earthy and piney tasting hops. The sweetness brings this one true to style. A couple of dark fruits and maybe a little apple here.

M: Very creamy. I don't know if this is just because of it being draft but this beer was probably creamiest, smoothest barleywine I've ever had.

D: I wish this could me my go-to barleywine but we don't have it in bottles yet in AL. Lucky to get it as draft to go. Very easy drinking with only a little alcohol detected.

Serving type: growler

03-13-2010 00:15:10 | More by kirkpjr
Photo of TheDreadnought


4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A) Pint glass. Pours an auburn caramel; very thick head with rich lacing.

S) Floral; hop and caramel notes

T) Powerful hop and malt flavor; and just like a barleywine, a big warm climactic alcohol finish. Impressive.

M & D) Crisp; very easy to drink. Very Sierra Nevada. Very good.

Serving type: growler

03-02-2010 03:13:09 | More by TheDreadnought
Photo of ppoitras


4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler obtained via Growling at the Moon from khiasmus. 2007 Vintage. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 3/4" dense beige head over the clear orangey brown brew. Head recedes very slowly, with heavy coating lace. Aroma is sweet, with ample piney hops. Taste starts sweet, but quickly cedes the conn to the overpowering pine hops. Hops character powers on through to the close, with ample bitterness and a warming close. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both great.
Excellent brew, and really hasn't lost a single step in the cellaring of the keg for the past two years.

3/29/04 - 4/4/4.5/4/4
German-style refillable growler filled at Oliver's Beverage, Albany, NY on 3/27/04, begun to enjoy on 3/29/04. (I have a feeling this will not be a one-session growler...)

First imperial pint glass pours with a HUGE 3+" head, which was very dense, and probably all my fault for using the hard pour that most growlers seem to require. Head shrunk down to a manageable 1/2" level after a few minutes, leaving lace, lace, everywhere, all the way up to the tippy top of the glass. Deep copper in hue. Very strong aroma of hops, and alcohol isn't hiding very well in there, either. Taste is upfront barleywine, mostly malt and alcohol, with the aftertaste of the ample hops that were smelled originally. This brew has an interesting symphony of flavors working here, and is to me quite a show of craftmanship. A bit overpowering to me, the combination of large amounts of hops and alcohol, but I can certainly appreciate their efforts.

Serving type: growler

02-22-2010 02:12:50 | More by ppoitras
Photo of dotsonjamesg


4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served in my favorite pint cup that reads "My pint gives troops a fighting chance" I received when I donated blood to the Red Cross for persons to receive overseas.

Appearance: This lovely brewed poured a deep amber/copper color with a low density, two-finger, light brown head. Some good retention is present along with some pretty lacing.

Smell: The brew has some fruity esters and a rich scent of hops. The brew also had a little pear scent and toasted malts in the background.

Taste: The flavor hits you like a ton of bricks all at once. Alcohol is very present with the initial taste then moves in to a nice malty body backed up with a rich hoppy bite. The flavor then subsides and moves in to a deep bitterness that lingers through to the end and then some. A nice alcohol warming is present through much of the end. Its been about two minutes since my last sip and still I can taste the rich hoppy bitterness that is Big Foot Ale.

Mouthfeel: Thick like a milk-shake and with a nice level of carbonation.

Drinkability: The brew is surprisingly drinkable if its your speed of brews. I know it is entirely too hoppy for many amateurs so beware, if you dare!

This brew is definitely a god among beers. That's all I have to say.



Serving type: growler

04-16-2009 23:07:32 | More by dotsonjamesg
Photo of russpowell


4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Obtained from Trinity BP, bours orange/amber with a finger of sand colored head. Good head retention & insane lacing

S: Doughyness & piney hops

T: Piney & herbal hops, dryness, plus booze smack & whisper of caramel up front. Cakeyness, resiny hops, & pineyness as this warms. finishes with a bit of boozey tangerine, apricot, pine sap, grapefruit & dryness

MF: Chewy, moderate carbonation, skews hoppy, true to style. Stickyness & warming booze show as this warms

Drinks alright, if you don't like a hop smack, stay way, otherwise I'm good for a few points before getting sleepy.. I believe I prefer the bottled version, but would never say no to this hairy beast!

Serving type: growler

12-06-2008 04:48:50 | More by russpowell
Photo of hellomcfly

South Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a snifter.

A - Pours a nice ruby-amber; great color. Head isn't huge but I attribute this to being from a growler and not being very easy to pour.

S - I really love the way this beer smells. Nice citrusy hop aroma but also very malty and bready in the smell. Alcohol smell also detected.

T - One of the best all around barleywines in my opinion. It has a certain sweetness but is rounded out by a big hop profile and slight alcohol burn that lets you know you're drinking a big brew.

M - Nice mouthfeel. Full bodied and creamy with the right amount of carbonation.

D - Not the most sessionable beer in the world but for a barleywine it rates pretty high with me.

Serving type: growler

08-19-2008 00:10:24 | More by hellomcfly
Photo of cproioi


3.28/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a lovely amber color with a light tan head that crowns the beer that leave behind sticky lacing. The aroma was largely of American hops giving it a red grapefruit aroma with a slight sticky malt notes that fight to be recognized. The taste gives off slight alcoholic notes with a red grapefruit taste that overwhelms all in the first taste with a malty backbone following in the middle. The mouthfeel was bitter with sugary sticky feeling that lasts a while. This is a slow drinking beer which is quite nice.

Serving type: growler

03-29-2007 16:04:02 | More by cproioi
Photo of 01001111


4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: A thick, rich, burnt orange.

S: Caramel and pine.

T: Very hop forward. Bitterness hits first, then the pine and resin, followed by faint tropical fruits and big, caramel malts.

M: Thick and syrupy but not cloying.

O: Less barleywine in flavor and more of a less-tropical-more-caramel double or triple IPA. After getting over the slight disappointment on the first sip, despite knowing that this wasn't going to be a typical barleywine and expecting a lot of hops, I'm surprised at how good this is.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2014 03:13:47 | More by 01001111
Photo of JerUrbans


3.41/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pour looks like liquid caramel with a nice off white foamy head that holds on very nice. Smell is hoppy with a touch of alcohol. Taste is boozy and hoppy, some bitterness as well. Mouthfeel is silky, yet very sharp carbonation bubbles in my mouth.

Overall a good beer, love that it's got such a hoppy flavor, just wish the alcohol was hidden a bit better.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2014 01:37:25 | More by JerUrbans
Photo of BernieBones


4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Barleywine. Being a novice in the beer world, I immediately checked the barleywine wikipedia page after bringing a 4-pack of this character home. Upon pouring a glass, I notice an incredibly vibrant amber, almost red hue. While incredibly vibrant, it also sports an apparent cloudiness to it's texture. A short, creamy and frothy head sits on top of the beer like a autumn cloud at sunset.
Taking a close whiff, I catch an overwhelming sense of the outdoors; a very strong hint of pine, with an overall floral aroma. Tasting the ale, I first notice its incredulous sparkling sweetness, which follows with a bitter, almost grapefruity tang to the palette. I feel my sinuses open from its spicy bitterness and what lingers after is a very minuscule hint of wheat, as well as a strong sense of centennial/chinook hops.
Overall, this is probably both one of the most unique ale's I've yet to try, as well as the most bitter. The bitterness was actually a bit overwhelming during my first exposure, but I've accommodated it as part of this ale's unique character. This is definitely a strong beer. Boasting a 9.6% abv, this is definitely something you'll want to relish in gradually if you wish to enjoy it's character. What I was a bit skeptical of at first, is now one of my favorites from the folks over at Sierra Nevada. I definitely recommend this beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2014 05:43:22 | More by BernieBones
Photo of boudeysbigbrew


4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Beautiful amber color. Poured somewhat aggressively yet little head to be found, with poor retention of the head thereof. Either way, still very impressed by the dark golden color distinct to the Barley Wine.

Smell - Initial whiff had a delicious outdoorsy whiff clearly reminiscent of pine trees.

Taste - This is where the Big Foot truly excels. Delightful syruppy taste with luscious and sweet after taste. I'm in love with the warm, malted caramel kick of this beer.

Mouthfeel - Perfectly carbonated. Goes down smoothly, leaving a pleasant, coated layer behind that tends to stay long after the beer is finished.

Overall - Certainly one of my recent favorites, and potentially my favorite SN (the Celebration coming in a close second). For the relatively good price, there's no way to go wrong with the big foot.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2014 21:59:01 | More by boudeysbigbrew
Photo of samtrillo


3.81/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2014 Vintage...
A - Beautiful amber with attractive bubbly head.

S - Sweet pine smell with some fruity character.

T - Incredibly drinkable for a barleywine. Big caramel sweet malt with some hops and alcohol and the end. Sweet earth flavor with apricot.

M - Medium to full body with medium carbonation. Stays with you. Sticky as people say. But it's pleasant.

O - A real quality and drinkable barleywine. Lots to unpack if you're paying attention, but you could also just drink and enjoy. I'll be back in a few years to rereview this vintage.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2014 05:44:05 | More by samtrillo
Photo of Samuel906


4.01/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2014: Pours a deep dark reddish, amber. Thin light head remains briefly, withdrawing to sparse bubbles on the surface. Smell is actually much hoppier than I was expecting and there is very noticeable booze on the nose. Some dark fruits and brown sugar come through too. As for taste, the biggest thing I noticed is that while there is certainly still some molasses sweetness, this is one of the drier barley wines that I have had. Caramel, plum, hops, and roasted malt. Mouthfeel is full bodied but not sticky and overly heavy like some barleywines can be. Low carbonation. Overall, a great barleywine, one of the more drinkable I've ever had. Lot's of hop character and not overly sweet. Only real complaint is that it is a bit boozey. I'm sure some aging would deal with that nicely.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2014 06:15:14 | More by Samuel906
Photo of homersimpson67


4.01/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried a 2013 Barley Bottle datte 3018, Julian calender 01/18/13 around 15 months.

A- pours a deep copper with a thick head of creamy foam.

S- Some sort of boozy mixture with cranberry, molases and perhaps raisins or dates.

T- reminescent of a port or sherry, very warming and subdued with the age.

M- a bitter/sweet smooth transitions, not sure I like it at first but after it warmed a bit I started to really enjoy the complexity of the flavors more and more.

O- Love this fresh and have had the 2014 this year which boasts more fresh hoppy flavor that I enjoy immensely but wanted to try something with age on it. At first not sure I liked the sweeter, wine like flavor but as It warmed I started to really enjoy what this ale had become.
Have a 2012 still that I may try also and see what even more age can do.
Definately a winner and very enjoyable, will come back to time and again and it won't let you down.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2014 04:17:09 | More by homersimpson67
Photo of againes


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

My all time favorite beer from my all time favorite brewery. If I can find it in the store, I'm hoarding it. The aroma, taste, mouthfeel, and look are perfection. Specifically, the taste is malty sweet candy with a wonderful piney, bitter finish that tops it off. The alcohol is there but it does not overpower the hops and malt. I was a little disappointed that it went from a 6 pack to a 4 pack but I can appreciate the business sense of this. I do wish production and distribution would increase. I could find this product easily in the past but suddenly it's become difficult to find. Apparently the cat is out of the bag now.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2014 16:58:19 | More by againes
Photo of ZagZagg


4.19/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into goblet glass

A: Off tan colored one, maybe one and a half-finger head. Real pretty looking brandy colored brew that has a certain haziness – gives off a warm glow. Mean retention and excellent lacing – plastering the whole inside of my glass. Visible carbonation, but appears mild, didn’t catch any sediment. Looks medium-well bodied.

S: Worty smelling giving off a bit of an unsweetened ice tea, notes of caramel and maple. Earth mixes right into the nose with aged wet wood. Sweet smelling malts evocate a refined dry nose.

T: Caramel and blends of sweet and bitter malts influenced by earth inflected hop dryness. Middle mouth consists of a lot of earth and resinous hop varieties. Wet dirt, bark, and heavy mineral water, inundated with a certain musty funk. Big malt body persists throughout, offset just slightly by the zesty hop presence and supported by a mild boozy backbone. Faint flavor of dried banana and apricot fade into the finish with a lingering robust combination of flavors – strong finish

M: Fully body and a bit sticky too, fills the mouth right up and medium-light carbonation pinpricks the tongue. Aftertaste is dry and earthy-sweet. Pleasant on the palate

O: Very easy to see how this can age and become more delicious. Barleywine isn’t a style I fucks with much, but this brew has set me straight. It fills up my senses, like a walk in the forest. It’s warming and fervently delectable, it has breathed life into the style for me.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2014 23:12:54 | More by ZagZagg
Photo of BeeryMcbeerenstein

Rhode Island

4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2014 bottle. Why am I drinking this already?

A - Amber/Tan brownish color. Nice head for the abv but goes away fairly quickly.

S - Booze, hops and caramel.

T- Gripping bitterness and boozyness hitting pretty hard. Some crystally caramel but hop bitterness is killing it right now. Once a couple sips destroy my palette it's easier going.

M- Medium body, leaving a slight slickness on the tongue.

Like I said at the intro. IMO, too young to be drinking, but I drank it anyway. I love me some BF after about a year to 18 months. But hey, cheap buzz =)

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2014 14:17:10 | More by BeeryMcbeerenstein
Photo of brurevu


4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The review is based on a fresh 2014 bottle. I like the big hops so I usually can’t hang on to these for very long. The Bigfoot poured a deep ruby red with a significant head a good retention. This was a great looking beer. The aroma was very sweet and hoppy with citrus hops dominating into a sweet and slightly boozy tones. The taste was huge, with more bitter resinous hops on a bed of bittersweet malt that finishes with more pine hop notes. The bitter pine stays on your palate and lingers between sips of this mammoth brew. There is a slight alcohol finish that is hidden well underneath all the bitter hops and malt but definitely not dominant. Fresh the Bigfoot is dangerously drinkable and a thick,chewy, hoppy brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2014 17:28:25 | More by brurevu
Photo of luvND


4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my first craft beer encounters many many years ago. Havent visited this monster for a few years and just picked up the 2014.

Beauty in the glass, thick head, ruby color.
Raisins, dates, dried fruit, grain and hops in the nose.
Sweet roasted grainy malt up front, a little black licorice towards the back end and a long long bitter hop finish.
Gets sweeter and a slicker mouthfeel as it warms.
This is truly great stuff. I gotta visit this old friend more often.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2014 16:05:08 | More by luvND
Photo of titty_mcbitty


4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Red-brown and slightly foggy. Khaki, thick head. Nice looking beer.

S: Those awesome fresh Sierra Nevada hops! Some sweet malt and caramel.

T: Caramel, toffee, brown sugar, hops hops hops, cinnamon, spice, nutmeg, and some fruit notes. Awesome taste.

M: Thick, but not too syrupy. Amazing balance on the mouth. I am pleased with this.

O: Still can't believe how good this is for the price. Sierra Nevada knows their stuff.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2014 02:54:06 | More by titty_mcbitty
Photo of don1481


3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2013 vintage poured into Mr. Pint.

Appearance: Beautiful, beautiful dark orangish color. Head is slow to dissipate. Leaves a little lacing on the glass as it dies down.

Smell: I could smell this bad boy the moment I poured it from the bottle. WOW. That is a stong, sweet nose. Raisins, for sure. Not really any hops to be detected. Complex.

Taste: That's... interesting. It's softer than last year, but definitely with a hop-forward taste that quickly goes bitter. Weird. It's not as sweet as I was hoping.

Mouthfeel: That bitterness sits around here for a bit.

Overall: I think it needs a little more aging - it's like it's in transition to something spectacular.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2014 00:45:05 | More by don1481
Photo of tigerbeer90

South Carolina

4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2013 Vintage into a Tulip glass

A: Beautiful orange/red color with a finger and a half of head. Good lacing and lots of floaties in the bottom

S: A LOT less hops than I year ago. I'm getting some golden raisins and other lighter fruit. Wow, totally different than a year ago.

T: Hop bitterness is still there, but the star is the caramel/fruity/sweet alcohol backbone that has developed.

M: Coating and smooth. Good amount of carbonation

O: Very impressed with this 2013 Bigfoot. To be honest, I'm not a big fan of this beer fresh. These American Barley Wines seem like nothing but slightly maltier IIPAs. This beer with a year has really developed it into something special! Great job SN!

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2014 00:20:59 | More by tigerbeer90
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Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 5,774 ratings.