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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.

6,380 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,380
Reviews: 2,817
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 270
Gots: 1,143 | FT: 48
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,380 | Reviews: 2,817 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TeamMathis
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Reddish amber. Minimal lace.
Smell: Strong and malty.
Taste: Pepper, pine, malt, and alcohol.

I wish this was year round. I love it. I think it's even better than last year's (drinking the 2014). Thankfully, out of sheer willpower I saved some of the 2013, so I'll try in comparison. The smell and taste are both big, and the look is beautiful and inviting. The taste is piney and bitter, with a malt all around. It's rather complex to be able to define particulars, but the total experience is excellent. I will get this every year.

TeamMathis, Feb 26, 2014
Photo of kevinlater
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 vintage. bottle into snifter

a: gorgeous semi-clear deep ruby red with a ridiculous near-three fingers of thick and frothy head. particles floating around. monster lacing -- a wall of foam sticking to the glass

s: brown sugar, bready malts, orange rind, pine, a berry-like sweetness, bits of grapefruit, hints of raisins, slight alcohol

t: follows the nose. a bit fruity up front, easing its way into sweet malty flavours, some spice notes too, dank hops, then finishing dry with a strong grapefruit bitterness. the alcohol is definitely present here. the sugary malt and spice flavours start to shine as the beer warms up

m: full-bodied, mild carbonation

o: my first american-style barleywine... hmm. again, the alcohol is pretty strong and the bitterness bites (even when aged a year and a bit), so this one's a sipper. but, it's a tasty brew. looking forward to aging this more

kevinlater, Apr 25, 2014
Photo of garbercury
3.2/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2010 Vintage...Served into a snifter...

A--Definitely the best part of this beer, tons of lacing and beautiful copper hue.

S--Piney hops for sure

T--Waaay too hoppy. The hops just takes over this beer, not impressed, its all I taste.

M--Fine, whatever.

D--I just dont get it I guess. To me, overwhelming a beer with hops does not make it good, it makes it a hop bomb, not a barleywine.

garbercury, Feb 08, 2010
Photo of anabar
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

anabar, Apr 24, 2014
Photo of JakeWright
4/5  rDev -3.6%

JakeWright, Oct 17, 2013
Photo of Ankur
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Ankur, Feb 22, 2013
Photo of 45nDown
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

45nDown, Aug 01, 2013
Photo of Hefe
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasted at RFD on 1/17/04

Appearance: Dark amber with a lasting tan head.

Smell: Wow! Big citrusy, piney hops with floral overtones.

Taste: Big malt, Big hops, big sweetness, big bitterness, just damn big. The big surprise here is how well balanced this bad boy is, complex too. Toffee, grape, and citrus, with pine and more citrus on the dry alcoholic finish.

Mouthfeel: Thick and heavy, not so much creamy as unctous, but balanced by the alcohol and a touch of acidity.

Drinkability: For savoring on cold winter nights.

Hefe, Feb 08, 2004
Photo of Mustard
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz. brown bottle with no "bottled on" or "best by" date; $8.99/6 pack from the Wine House in West LA; 2003 vintage.

Appearance: Pours a vibrant amber; slightly hazy; fine, 1/4", off-white head; gentle ring lacing; not much head retention.

Aroma: More Cascade hops than I could ever imagine a barleywine having; caramel malts struggle not to get pushed around.

Taste: Are you kidding me? A thick, bready, malt sweetness has had its way with my mouth; I almost feel violated; pronounced, rolling hop-bitterness in the finish; floral, piney notes abound; slight alcohol burn to be discerned; traces of grapefruit, plum and fig. Smooth, almost oily, mouthfeel.

Notes: Bigfoot probably takes a year or two to come into his own; drink him young and you may be disappointed; I have no doubt his 2003 incarnation will mature into something stellar.

Mustard, Aug 04, 2003
Photo of Dizzy
3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 Edition - From a bottle

Pours reddish brown with off white head leaving lacy on the glass. Aroma is citrusy hops, carmel or toffee like malts and alcohol. This beer is very, very bitter. There is a lot of malt here, but it is overwhelmed by the bitterness. Leaves a signifcant alcohol burn on my throat. This definately needs to sit a few years and it will probably be better. It seems like the bitterness may be masking malt complexity. I have some 04 and 05, I think I'll try those soon and compare.

Dizzy, Oct 29, 2006
Photo of tattooedtolley
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 edition. 12oz bottle with cool little image of bigfoot and some campers drinking under the cap.

Appearance: Deep amber/red in color with a big head that stays for a while, long enough to let it sit and warm up a bit. Great looking in every glass I have put it in.

Smell: Super hoppy, pine aroma takes complete command of my ability to smell.

Taste: You can't miss the hops in this one. I was certainly suprised by the first tasting of this year's Bigfoot, I had no guess there would be this much hop kick. That is certainly something that I think adds to the taste of this barleywine. The piney and slightly fruity hops are great and the maltiness in the back helps add to the body and let's you know that you are still drinking a barleywine.

Mouthfeel: The body is big enough for a barleywine, not overly chewy, just about right for my tastes.

Drinkablitly: The first night I had this I opened one after already having a few others and it straight knocked me on my ass. Ever since that night I stop at just one and save the rest for another night. The beer is still extremely drinkable but you must be on your toes not to over do it.

Overall I think this is one of the best barleywines I have ever had. I love hops so the hoppiness of this one is more than welcome to my tastes but others will certainly want to cellar this one for a while. I doubt seriously if I will be able to cellar mine very long.

tattooedtolley, Mar 16, 2006
Photo of poogas
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

poogas, Dec 12, 2011
Photo of Douglas88
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Strong but well balanced taste. Needed to be aged a bit perhaps, but waiting is the hardest part. Overall a great beer with quite a punch. The bittersweet quality makes this an excellent choice.

Re-rate: Had a 2001 thanks to Eric. All of the things I didn't like about this beer, such as the burn, have dissapated. So smooth, after 7 years a ton of citrus and bitter hops. Only a hint of warmth. My rating before was off for sure.

Douglas88, Nov 08, 2008
Photo of mfavoino
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 poured into a tulip.

A: Deep amber with red to it when light is behind the glass. Poured a thick and creamy head that retained nicely. Above average lacing.

S: Mostly pine hop aromas dominate the nose. Alcohol is noticeable as well.

T: Big hop action on the front end, then a light dose of caramel malts and dark fruit flavors balances. Alcohol warms on the way down while the strong hop bitterness finishes off the palate.

M: Average carbonation with a dry finish that sticks out.

O: Glad to finally try this classic barleywine. As with many SN beers, the hops are the star. Next step for me is to see how it does with some age.

mfavoino, Feb 29, 2012
Photo of teyuders
5/5  rDev +20.5%

teyuders, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of HideYaBeer
4/5  rDev -3.6%

HideYaBeer, Nov 10, 2013
Photo of stinkydaddy
4/5  rDev -3.6%

stinkydaddy, Jul 04, 2013
Photo of phishterrrrrrr88
4/5  rDev -3.6%

phishterrrrrrr88, Apr 25, 2014
Photo of AllThingsNinja
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap, but forgot to ask about the vintage. I assume that it was a 2004. The beer was a deep read with a whitish head that left a fair amount of lace in my pint glass. This is a heavily hopped barleywine. The taste and smell are both in your face. I tend to prefer slightly milder barlewyines, but completely understand that Sierra Nevada is going for something different. I really enjoyed the malt complexities that lurked just below the bitter surface. The Bigfoot is an interesting concept, brought to fruitful realization.

AllThingsNinja, Feb 21, 2004
Photo of Star80
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2005. Pours a dark reddish amber with a quickly dissipating head. Not much lace in this dishwasher washed beer glass. The smell is pine and citrus hops, some sweet malts and ALCOHOL. Does have a dirty old sock funkyness that doesn't help anything. BUT, one sip crushes those impressions with a big blast of grapefruit and towering northwest hop bitterness followed by some sweet malt. Very rich and full in the mouth. The guy at the beer store remarked this years batch has less a.b.v. than last and I'm not sure if that is true or if it changes anything!

Star80, Apr 15, 2005
Photo of jslot38
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz Stubby Bottle from '06 Spring

Appearance: Deep, hardly transparent amber. Cherry wood body covered by an eggshell head, and a large one at that after a moderatly hard pour. Never disappears, and the lacing just sticks off of it.

Smell: Pine, earth, grassy hop aromas. Slight touch of grapefruit.

Taste: Upfront pine hop blast - other earth tones intermixed throughout. Very sweet, certainly one to slowly intake. Touch of toasted biscuit at the end rounds it off.

Mouthfeel: The moderately abbrasive nature of the hops is balanced by the great slick oily feel and mid range level of carbonation.

Drinkability: At 9.6% this is a strong beer. And with this hop profile and sweetness its one to take slowly. But I don't take that as a bad thing, I like to savour my beers. For a big beer its highly drinkable.

Notes: Tasted a little green, can see why people love to lay these down for a few years. A great barleywine none the less, backs up my already strong feelings that Sierra Nevada has a great ability to implement a strong but great hop profile in their beers. Although I feel this one may use just a little too much pine inducing hops.

jslot38, Mar 10, 2006
Photo of akahn
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful deep, clear, dark, ruby color.Sticky, thick tawny brown head. Lasts firmly, leaving lost of foamy lace. Streaming carbonation.

Very strong (Cascade?) hop aroma, coupled with malt sweetness.

Delicious, sweet, big malt flavor, with hop bitterness floating above. Really exceptionally balanced. This is my first American style barley wine, and I'm enjoying this much better than the less-hoppy specimens I've had. Slight alcohol warmth, along with a slight soy sauce saltiness.Very rich and tasty. Drying pine needle fresh hop bitterness.

Full body, moderate carbonation. This beer's balance and relatively low alcohol content make it surprisingly drinkable, albeit at a sipping pace. I'd like to sit on a few of these for a couple years and see how they turn out.

akahn, Apr 03, 2006
Photo of gkatsoris
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


A: The head literaly sat an inch above the rim of the glass. Huge THICK foamy head. Beautiful oak brown. And nice and murky.

S: Lots of malts and raisins. Vanilla. White bread, and dough. Butter. Butterscotch. Dark fruits. Dried fruit. Melony.

T: Alcoholy. Boozy. Woody and grassy. Burnt caramel. Roasted malts. This def needs to sit and age for a year or so. Bread, raisins, vanilla, butterscotch. Dried fruits.

M: The alcohol takes away from the pleasure of the mouthfeel, sorry to say. Still boozy in my mouth.

Glad I got the only case sent to the store I go to.

gkatsoris, Feb 04, 2012
Photo of dfecteau
4/5  rDev -3.6%

dfecteau, Aug 08, 2013
Photo of afausser
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a pretty, amber and peach toned mahogany with about a finger of somewhat persistent head, and very nice lacing. Leaves a creamy layer of foam just across the top of the brew for the entire time it sits out.

Smell: biscuity and malty, with hints of toffee and caramel.

Taste: Overwhelmingly hoppy, with malts and other sweet notes in the background just about entirely covered up. I would love to see what some age would do for this one. As it warms, the hop tastes are still huge, but the sweetness comes out a bit more, and it goes down cool with a spearmint taste.

Mouthfeel: Great carbonation. Medium bodied and goes down smooth like a light syrup. Low carbonation levels work very nicely here.

Drinkability: This one is good here, but the strength and bitterness of the hops makes it one to sip.

afausser, Feb 12, 2010
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,380 ratings.