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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

2,971 Reviews
THE BROS
98
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,971
Hads: 7,176
Avg: 4.14
pDev: 17.63%
Wants: 389
Gots: 1,637 | FT: 81
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

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
Reviews: 2,971 | Hads: 7,176
Photo of smakawhat
3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter vintage 2011.

Pours gold from the bottle giving a nice cream colored head. Lots of leg action and stickiness with pocked marks. Head is very resilient with staying power. Burnt orange to very dark amber body in appearance, but seems a little hazy also.

The first thing I got off the bouquet was strangely supermarket red grapes.. citrus faintness but with hop character. Interesting. Some fresh cut lawn grass sense as well. Some little tight visible carbonation from the bottom of the glass.

Hop character and bitterness shows through in a tolerable way, but missing hinted at fruit character off nose in the taste. Alcohol is masked a little, with double imperial American pale ale feel. Strange grassy feel (literally lawn cut grass) to this that doesn't translate into lingering aftertastes. Fairly alright but sort of a letdown. Palate seems to be focused on the front for me than the entire region tasting this beer.

Does this need to age perhaps? Well can't say, I don't have a time machine. Tolerable drink. Would I chose this over other recent barleywines that I have of this style the answer is no.

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Photo of WesWes
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a reddish amber color with a thick off-white head. The aroma is great. It has an awesome hop scent surrounded by a fine malty base. The taste is good. It is intensely malty with an equally intense hop flavor. It goes down easy. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a great barleywine. It has real good flavor. This is the best beer Sierra Nevada produces.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep amber body that's pretty clear topped with an off-white head. Good legs and great lacing. I like to swirl it in the glass to make myself look sophisticated.

Smell - Pungent hops. Piney and citrusy aromas that are quickly overwhelmed by caramel. It also smells boozy, but I generally don't hold that against a beer unless it's offensive. The only thing that prevents me from rating it higher is the lack of malt complexity. Still smells awesome.

Taste - The flavor follows the aroma exactly. Piney hop flavor up front, sweet caramel midrange, and a great hop bitterness in the finish. Again, it's not complicated, it's just good.

Mouthfeel - Heavy side of medium-bodied. Viscous enough to coat the tongue and let the flavors linger. Not such intense carbonation, which makes it feel creamy. This is how I like barleywines to feel.

Overall - The only thing it lacks is complexity. A variety of flavors and it would be spot-on. As it is, there not a thing you can complain about in this beer. I started with a case and I'm down to 12. We'll see how long they last me.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage. This bottle may be off since the beer was only filled up to the top of the label. It didn't taste oxidized or flat, so I am reviewing it.

Pours a reddish-amber color with a white head. The aroma is brown sugar, alcohol and caramel malt. Pretty basic barleywine aroma. The flavor is brown sugar, toffee and piney and citrus hops. Even with the big hop flavor, the bitterness is not too high. The alcohol is definitely detectable and is front and center in the flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation

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Photo of Billolick
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, 2002 vintage, pours a golden amber.
Hoppy nose, rich, thick mouthfeel, Rum, brandy type flavor notes. Alcohol obviously present, warming. rich malt center, and a wollop of hops! Citrus, resin, pine notes. This one is a whole lot of beer. Malt, hops alcohol, strong flavors, yet it remains in balance. A favorite that deserves the high marks it typically gets.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.48/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had this many times, many diff vintages and I can't believe I haven't reviewed this yet. This is a fresh bottle of the 2009 Edition.

Pours a clear deep copper color with a fluffy off white head that laces most of the glass on the way down. Smells of grapefruit pine and resin. If I squint and close my eyes I smell a tiny bit of caramel malt deep in the background. Taste initially hits with the hops, grapefruit and pine eat my palette. There is a malt backbone here that caramels its way through some of the hops before being beaten down by the bitterness. Resinous aftertaste begs for another sip. Alcohol is very well hidden. Body is thick, mouthfeel is syrupy and resinous, carbonation is low but ample. This is one of my favorite beers. Barleywine or DIPA who knows. I don't care I'm going to drink this every year!

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.92/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2005 edition.
Cloudy amber/brown body with minimal head that stayed for a bit, then fizzled out.
Smell had some light hints of alcohol, with a bit of peach or apricot. Sweet malt and sticky honey smell as well.
Taste was a bit thin, but still good. The alcohol became more present and the peach/apricot moved to papaya and leather. Earth tones finish it out.
Thin feel. Alcohol seemed to stop any flavors that appeared. However, it was easier to drink than first suspected.

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

Broke open a bottle from 1998. Let sit at room temperature for 45 minutes and then poured into a glass. It was a lovely deep auburn / burgandy color with a thin head. The aroma was sweet and alcohol was noticeable. The taste definitely mellowed over the five years, as it was still quite malty, extremely smooth, and a bit of caramel tones were detected.

The hoppiness that is present in current releases is much mellower and tamed from aging, but still is noticeable. The smooth flavors lasts long into the aftertaste, and the alcohol is quite noticeable. Always save a bottle or two for the future. It ages well.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a philadelphia flyers pint glass. 2009 version. 1st time having this.

A- Bigfoot has a deep dark amber with a mixture of orange and red spots in places. A semi aggressive pour yields one inch of off white foam that sticks to the glass. Slow rising bubbles lead me to believe this is thick.

S- A nice aroma coming from this as i'm getting a nice hop punch up front resembling piney scents, some citrus as well. Malts giving off some caramel. A bit of honey.

T- A big focus on the hops in this b-wine, perhaps the most hopped in this style that i've had to date. They give off a rather bitter appeal. Backed by some malts that drown out the hops although they never fully leave. A bit of caramel/toffee. some alcohol as well.

M- Medium to semi full bodied with a very slick feel as it glides down the tounge. A nice bitterness to start but smooths out. A bit of alcohol here as well.

D- A slow sipper for sure, i took about two hours with 12oz. A bit of hotness and the thick appeal makes for small sips. Only one bottle a night for me. This is a great example of the style and will try in a year or so.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.37/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I really like strong beers, but the irony here is I've had limited experience with barleywines. Here's a mainstream one which seems highly respected. Poured into an Old Guardian glass, on to the beer:

Deep reddish copper with a compact frothy head on top. Some clumps of yeast splash into the beer during the pour, but I'm not surprised. Big hop aroma with some burnt sugar and caramel notes. The taste is exploding with hops, but the balance is pretty good for what it is. Citric and piney at first, dextrin and fruity esters then take over the ride, then a burst of passionfruit and pine bury the palate in the aftertaste. Thick and smooth like syrup.

Great success. Here's to the last day of April 2008!

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Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Damn, this beer still knocks my socks off. Big estery malts with big citrus hops, rolled into an explosive barleywine. The balance aspect of this brew falters a bit from the kick making a little tough to drink. It's almost like the flavor is too big. I'm going to have to stow some bottles away in a cellar/closet and see what they can do after a couple years.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 batch. I've never had this brew, so I'm trying some fresh and planning to age the rest.

The beer pours a crystal clear amber-copper coloring that starts with a thin, dense, yellowish, half-inch foamy head that quickly disappears, leaving only a slight film across the top of the brew. The nose has a surprisingly strong undertone of hops which does a decent job to balance the caramel malty smells. The flavor is complex, and honestly feels like it changes as it swims through my mouth. Wow. The first thing I got was a blast of flavor, both hoppy and caramel sweet, but that went by quickly. The next thing I tasted was a littly boozey and a little peppery. The quickly transitioned to a smokey flavor so strong I thought my uvula had been set on fire. Subsequent drinks give similar kaleidescopic flavors, and I also start to pick up some slight sour notes and the steadiness of the hops bitter throughout the taste, although sometimes stronger than others. Very complex. Every once in a while I get a flash of some grapefruit type flavors, too...a little tart and a little sweet. All of these flavors ride a creamy and smooth body that transitions to crisp right at the end. The beer leaves a slightly bitter and puckered feel after swallow, and that feeling lingers a while along side the slightly sour and spiced aftertaste. This beer begs to be consumed. Shockingly easy to drink despite the slightly elevated ABV and the robust catalog of flavors. Now the test will be of my will power to keep from drinking the rest of this and actually age some of it.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.44/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2004 Vintage, Sampled March 2004
Pours a clear, amber-ruby color when held up to the light. A thick tan head rests atop this beer. Thick aromas of malt and hops waft from my glass as I pour. The hops dominate the aroma, Citrus, dark fruit, pine, alcohol, and a nectar like quality are all in the nose. Thick bodied, with a slightly syruppy consistency. The taste is sweet with American hops bursting forth all over the place. A strong malt character (caramel, biscuit) is here, but it is definitely subservient to the hops in this fresh example. The malt only serves as a vehicle to allow the hops to express themselves to the fullest. This is a brew that suggests what it would be like to suckle from a flower fat with Lupulin glands.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.73/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On-tap at Hollingshead's in Orange, CA, 2007 edition, aged for about a year,

A: Pours a very dark amber out of the tap, with a small white head, but leaves nice, thick, sticky lacing down the glass.

S: Thick brunt of hop character, very piney.

T: At the first taste, you can feel it's more subdued in character than the '07 fresh, which I truly enjoyed, the maltiness comes out in a toasted biscuit and caramel/toffee character, but later on I felt the hops had regained their stronghold, a thick, resin filled pine came through, even at it's power, I felt it complemented the malt perfectly, it didn't go crazy into an unappetizing bitterness, like many ABA's can do. Restrained at times, but still a hop bomb, absolutely delicious.

M: Thick and resiny, with a full carbonation that conveys that image to every corner of your mouth, the aftertaste will stay with you forever, if you want it to.

D: An absolutely dynamite barleywine, possibly my favourite made in America, I can't wait for the '08 to come to town, definitely Sierra Nevada's finest creation.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.31/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Re-reviewing. First review from 1-28-10 (2007 Vintage) was when my palate was somewhat unrefined.

This one is a 2011 vintange; poured in to Duvel tulip glass.

A - Poured a translucent medium to dark amber colour with two fingers of thick, foamy cream coloured head with good retention.

S - Hop bitterness is the initial unexpected nose with some citrus and pine notes coming through. Caramel and brown sugar flavours are evident as well and become more noticeable after a few minutes. A seemingly balanced barleywine (unlike most that I have had to date).

T - First taste is bitterness, followed by sweet caramel malts. The bitterness returns in the a dry finish. The sweet malt profile becomes more noticeable after a few sips and quickly dominates the palate with notes of caramel, toffee, brown sugar and raisins. The bitterness soon becomes evident only in the finish, and lingers somewhat. Very sweet and robust malt profile that actually becomes difficult to drink at about the half way point.

M - Medium to full body; light to moderate carbonation.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured ontap, assuming its the 2010 vintage. A rich reddish color with a large off white head and a sheet of lace engulfing the whole glass. A beautiful looking beer.

Smell: Floral hops, hints of malt sweetness.

Taste: Bitter hops mingle with the malt. Notes of caramel, brown sugar and a soft fruityness. The hops are very piney and resinous, and really round out this big beer. Alcohol heat is not noticeable right away, but creeps in later as it warms. Light citrus, pine and earthy tones, brown sugar and caramel malt.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth on a fuller bodied beer. The mouthfeel of the draught Bigfoot is very nice and worthy of note.

Drinkability: Though it is a rather strong beer, I had no problem drinking several 12 oz pours of this. Great beer.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2013 bottle. Opened April 2014.

A - Pretty spot on color for a barelywine. Murky redwood and deep brewed tea. Bone-white head settles into a nice rim and then hangs around with excellent retention.

S - Sweet with just an edge of booze in the background. Caramel, orange, chocolate chips, applewood, prunes, and mashed apples.

T - Close to my archetype of an american barleywine; clean bitter hops and a sweet malty center with a warm boozy frame. Caramel, sourdough bread, toffee, strong woody hops, white booze. Lingering bitters and caramel.

M - On par for a barelywine. Medium body with nice carbonation.

O - Lives up to expectations. Definitely on the hoppy end of the spectrum for the style, but imho that's one of the most important features that separates American Barleywines from English Barleywines.

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Photo of Duff27
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 bottle

A- Pours an amber/brownish-red color with a two-fingered light-brown head. The lacing left behind is incredible.

S- Very piney.

T- A sippin' brew for sure. Drink this one over a 45 minute to an hour period. Tastes really come out as it warms. More pine/citrus hops with some fruitiness.

M- Full bodied. Alcoholic warmth. Goes down fairly easy.

D/O- Call it good after one of these. Probably the easiest barleywine style beer to find and that's a good thing folks. Going to leave 3 out of the 6 pack to age at least a few years. Also aging a 2009 bottle.

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

2004 bottle, it's just a baby! ;)

Pours a slightly cloudy deep orange/brown.

Smells sharply hoppy, and a bit malty, subtle fruity smells here too.

Prominent hops taste but not enough to call it a hop monster, slightly sweet and fruity too. This has lots of complex tastes in the background but it isn't yet really ready. Too bad they don't cellar this for a year or two before they release it.

Mouthfeel is almost to thick, Big beer here.

Drinkability is OK this REALLY needs a few years of aging. I will locate a more mature bottle and re-review this.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2015 Edition

Pours a clean/clear ruby red color, very nice carbonation, nice fizzy creamy off-white head, which leaves a nice big island and sticky lacing behind. A nice hoppy/malty scent with some fruityness. The taste is slightly sweet, hoppy, malty, with some cherry notes. Medium body, nice bitter/dry finish. Very Drinkable, but to me, again, this is a totally different brew still.

2014 Edition

Pours a clean/clear ruby red color, very nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy off-white head, which leaves a nice big island and sticky lacing behind. A nice hoppy/malty scent with some fruityness. The taste is slightly sweet, hoppy, malty, with some cherry notes. Medium body, nice bitter/dry finish. Very Drinkable, but to me, again, this is a totally different brew since over the last 7 years. A very tasty brew, quite drier/bitter than in the past.

2013 Edition

Pours a clean/clear ruby red color, very nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, which leaves a nice big island and sticky lacing behind. A nice hoppy/malty scent with some fruityness. The taste is slightly sweet, slightly hoppy, malty, with some cherry notes. Medium body, nice little bitter/dry finish. Very Drinkable, but to me this is a totally different brew since over the last 7 years. I like this one alot better than the last 2 versions.

2012 Edition

Pours a clean/clear amber/grape color, very nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, which leaves some small islands and sticky lacing behind. A nice hoppy/malty scent with some citrus thrown in. The taste is sweet, slightly hoppy, malty, with some apple notes. Medium body, nice little bitter/dry finish. Very Drinkable, but to me this is a totally different brew since over the last 7 years and not as good.

2011 Edition

Pours a clean/clear amber/grape color, very nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, which leaves some small islands and sticky lacing behind. A nice hoppy/malty scent with some citrus thrown in. The taste is sweet, slightly hoppy, malty, with some apple notes. Medium body, nice little bitter/dry finish. Very Drinkable, but to me this is a totally different brew since over the last 6 years and not as good.

2010 Edition

Pours a hazy amber color, very nice carbonation, nice little one-finger creamy tan head, which leaves some thick creamy sticky lacing behind. A nice hoppy/malty scent with some citrus thrown in. The taste is awesome, hoppy, but mild. Sweet malts and a nice tangy taste, nice little bitter bite in the finish. Also, a nice warming effect in the throat. Medium body, a nice complex brew. Very drinkable, again a joy to drink.

2009 Edition

Pours a clear amber color, nice carbonation, nice little one-finger creamy tan head, which leaves some nice little islands and sticky lacing. A nice hoppy/malty scent with some citrus thrown in. The taste is awesome, hoppy, but mild. Sweet malts and a nice tangy taste, nice little bitter bite in the finish. Also, a nice warming effect in the throat. Medium body, a nice complex brew. This one is more like last years, more hoppy/bitter.

2008 Edition

Pours a clear amber color, nice carbonation, nice little one-finger creamy tan head, which leaves some nice little islands and sticky lacing. A nice hoppy/malty scent with some citrus thrown in. The taste is awesome, hoppy, but mild. Sweet malts and a nice tangy taste, nice little bitter bite in the finish. Also, a nice warming effect in the throat. Medium body, a nice complex brew. This one is a little different than the other's, more hoppy/bitter, but still very tasty. Like other's have said, more of a DIPA. Very drinkable, really enjoyed this one.

2007 Edition

I've had this sitting around since the beginning of the year. Pours a clear amber color, nice carbonation, tiny head though, and some nice lacing afterwards. A nice hoppy/malty scent with some citrus thrown in. The taste is awesome, hoppy, but mild. Sweet malts and a nice tangy taste, nice little bite finish. Also, a nice warming effect in the throat. Medium body, a nice complex brew. Very Drinkable.

2006 Edition

I've had this (4 bottles) sitting around since the beginning of the year. Pours a clear amber color, nice carbonation, tiny head though, and some nice lacing afterwards. A nice hoppy/malty scent with some citrus thrown in. The taste is awesome, hoppy, but mild. Sweet malts and a nice tangy taste, nice little bite finish. Also, a nice warming effect in the throat. Medium body, a nice complex brew. Very drinkable, way to go SN.

2005 Edition

I've had this sitting around since the beginning of the year. Pours a clear amber color, nice carbonation, tiny head though, and some nice lacing afterwards. A nice hoppy/malty scent with some citrus thrown in. The taste is awesome, hoppy, but mild. Sweet malts and a nice tangy taste, nice little bite finish. Also, a nice warming effect in the throat. Medium body, a nice complex brew. Very drinkable, an awesome brew.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 bottle from the cellar preparing for the coming '08 release.

3finger head poured into my New Belgium goblet... perfect cascading lace.. clear deep amber with beautiful red highlites... after a while the head recedes and looks like a dollop of whipped cream atop a glass of cold black tea.

Fairly thick pine and citrus hops with deep caramel malts dominate the nose... quite a bit of fruitiness.

Hop palate rips most of the other flavors to threads.. pine is dominant, but grapefruit is definately a soldier in the fight. Malt sugars are there but are still on the backburner.. caramel and chocolate only come into play after the IBU's die down.. even then, the fruitiness and tongue slaying hops make for a very long finish.

I think of Bigfoot as the perfect body for an ABW.. thick without being cloying.. firm while still enough carbonation to keep the palate moving... very tasty for sure, but it will mellow with some time in the bottle.

The '07 still is pretty raw, I had my last '05 a couple months back, thinking it would be ready.. I was wrong.. Bigfoot can settle down for at least 3 years... I have an '02 and'03 in the cellar; but now have to score another 4 and 5 to complete a 6 year vertical.. I must do it soon... If you can help, beermail me.... I'll make it worth your while.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.55/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 served in a chalice. Pours a dark, slightly cloudy orange with a short head that mostly fades quickly but leaves some nice lacing. The smell is a little bit fainter than I'd like, but there is still a wonderful nose of fresh piney hops. The taste is amazing- this beer is definitely best fresh and unaged. An explosion of fresh and piney hops with a backnote of grapefruit and a solid dry malt background. There are also notes of bitter orange and an undefinable meaty taste as well. Delicious. The mouthfeel is substantial without being grainy or sweet. The hop levelof this barley wine keeps it dry and powerful- flirting with dipa style. Perilously drinkable!

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

2008 Vintage - 25th Anniversary Edition - sampled 18/03/09

Luscious raspberry puree with a bit of cantaloupe polish near the bottom end - if I worked in the cosmetic industry I'd be sure to have a lipstick made in this colour. The beer has such a healthy glow when held up to the light, the rosy brilliance is striking. The scantiness of head manages to provide outline but largely denies the beer of contrast.

The bitterness of the beer can be sensed from the smell at first instance. Pungent, earthy hops bombard the nasal passage with a cannonball of grassy vines, bitter serum and crushed up tree bark. This is much less the zest of citrus than it is the piths. There is something very inelegant about this scent that I don't remember noting in the best smelling Barleywines. (Note: I've revisited and upped the marks, this is delicious!)

The flavour is dominated by a very harshly roasted malt bill. It tastes as though the grains and their husks are still in tact. Notes of burnt toffee, dark chocolate and dried fruits unfold. Given the richness in the colour I'm surprised the beer isn't more sweet (I know from experience the sweeter caramel malts will come forth more once the hops begin to fade).

Speaking of those little lupullin pellets, they impart a discernibly earthy character as well as a grapefruit pith so bitter it will cause your cheeks to suck in (this wouldn't be a classic West Coast staple if it didn't have a little citrus!) American Barleywines age well but also drink wonderfully young when the copious level of hoping is on full display.

But on that note, I think I personally prefer this Barleywine aged. Like the creature after whom it's named, I find the beer a little beastly and brute at a young age. Unlike him, however, the alcohol can often be seen in plain sight. Not to say it doesn't have some camouflage (caramel drizzle and candied fruits) but I was hoping not to have spotted it.

Having sampled previous vintages and older bottles, I can be fairly assured that all my qualms with this batch should fade as it matures over time. The fact that the beer is still this tempestuous at age 1 tells me it'll be fine to hold up over the long haul. Indeed, I always look forward to revisiting this beer and have never finished the glass anything but satisfied.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2/27/2011

2011 batch on tap at Stone.

A: An attractive crimson amber with a frothy off white head. Adequate retention and lots of lacing.

S: Caramel malt with evident alcohol. Hops are aggressive, imparting heavy pine notes. Grapefruit flesh and lots of rind accompanies a decided floral and earthen character. Lightly sweet, though dry on the whole. Malt is more complex and evident with warming.

T: Bready and caramel malt with big pine and grapefruit rind notes. Hops are aggressive, imparting an upper moderate bitterness with evident astringency. Booze is unabashed in the flavor. The finish is dry, bitter, boozy, abrasive, and slightly astringent.

M: Upper medium in body with moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is sticky, astringent, and dry, with lots of warming.

Overall: Aggressive when fresh, and I see the value in aging this for a time, but I found it enjoyable.

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Nice dark amber shade. Lumpy tan head.

S - This one smells wonderful. You get spicy hop aroma, fruity notes and citrus, and earthy grains in your nose.

T - Huge delicious hop flavor without being overly spicy or dry. Dark sugar, dired fruit and sweet sap are there as well. You can taste the alcohol in the finish. The combination of loads of hops, and plenty of sweet and earthy tastes make this brew complex and enthralling to the tastebuds.

M - This beer is so smooth and appeases the mouth. Not too carbonated, not too dry, not too sweet, not overbearing with alcohol flavor even amidst the high abv.

D - I'm not sure there is another beer with this abv that is as easy to drink. Bigfoot is super creamy smooth and packed with huge flavors. More than one is needed to get your fill of this brew.

Notes - I got a 6 pack of this stuff just to try something new and didn't realize what i was about to get into. I hadn't read up on it prior to my purchase and I was blown away. This beer has it all...huge flavor, complexity, drinkability and alcohol! One of my favorites for sure. Too bad it's hard to come by.

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Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,971 ratings.