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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.

2,971 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,971
Hads: 7,179
Avg: 4.14
pDev: 17.63%
Wants: 390
Gots: 1,638 | 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: 7,179
Photo of gopens44
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I could have sworn I rated this years ago, but apparently not. I chose to drink a fresh one to rate instead of an aged bottle. I get some malt in the nose with a hoppy edge to it. Taste swaps malt for the initial blast of earthy, dank hops which gives way to sweetness once the malt comes around. Virtually no heat on it while drinking or during finish.

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Photo of do_ob
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 12/18/2014. Sampled and reviewed on March 2, 2015.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a New Belgium snifter. Pours a dark amber/hazy ruby color with lots of bubbles. 2 finger off-white head of sticky foam. Smells of malt, raisins, grapefruit, honey, with a slight hoppiness. Mouthfeel is quite dense, almost like a stout. Taste is bitter hops, caramel, bready malt, and grapes/raisins. I should add that as this beer warmed up, it became much more malt-forward when it hit my tongue. Very interesting evolution in a short amount of time. I get citrus and malt on the back end with a doughy aftertaste.

This is probably once of the most balanced barleywines I've had so far. It's incredibly smooth and easy to drink for 9.6%. Hell, I'm on my second one and I just finished my dinner. I've always been a fan of Sierra Nevada, but this is my first go at their seasonal releases. I bought 1 four-pack. Now the only choice is to finish this glass and cellar the other two, or finish it off and cellar another 4 pack. Very good beer.

Revisited in depth on 1/22/2016. Same batch (12/18/2014). Numbers adjusted.

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Photo of DaverCS
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 vintage.

Beautiful mahogany color with 1/2 inch off-colored head.

Aroma boasts sweet malt, huge citrus, and pine.

Taste is big, strong, and forward. Big malty-sweetness up front, then a huge hit of citrusy-hop bitterness. I get a real strong bitter grapefruit taste near the middle of the palate. Carbonation carries these flavors into the finish that consists of mouth-coating sweetness and hoppiness. Finishes with a present alcohol heat and bite.

The beer is good don't get me wrong, but this isn't something one person should drink. This would ideally be split between two people, not because of the ABV, but because of thickness. It has TONS of flavor, but drinking an entire bottle can be a bit tiring on the palate. I would pair this with a spicy beef chili. It gets a 87/100

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Photo of Ohmmygawd
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 and 2015 Review. Served at 55 degrees.
L - Tan head that dissipates slowly. 2014 slower than 2015
S - 2014 has developed a greater depth and raisin smell. 2015's notes haven't completely formed but still brings a little richness.
T - 2015 brings a bitterness that hints of oats and raisins. 2014 brings a depth and smoothness of raisins.
F - 2015 is medium bitter, slightly carbonated. 2014 is smooth, finishes nicely.
O- Perfect for aging. 2015- isn't great but it has potential. I would give it a 3.75
2014 is much better with age and brings a great depth of flavor. I'd give it a 4.50

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Photo of ch196h
4.71/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

In my opinion this is the beer that should serve as part of the new standard for an American Barleywine style ale. The hop profile on this is simply divine whether you are drinking a fresh batch beer or one that has aged in the cellar for 2-3 years. If does have minor variation for each vintage year, my favorite so far being circa 2012, but it is consistently excellent. While these are no longer sold in 6-packs and they are a bit pricey, it is certainly worth the cost to buy a couple of 4-packs. Drink 2-3 now and cellar the rest to see how they develop with age.

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Photo of CIBoy10
2.83/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I just did not like this beer. The booze wasn't even slightly masked, and the mouthfeel was so heavy I felt like an anvil was going down my throat. Maybe barleywine isn't my thing, but I love all of Sierra Nevada's other beers.

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Photo of 31Sam13
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My first favorite barley wine. I have refined my palate, slowly. Hoppy, not super sweet. It really is filling. I find a few other barley wines better, but the BAer's really like thin one and I know why. I think I just drank to much of a good thing and became a little sick of it.

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Photo of Oldejoe
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look. Golden red Amber with a large light tan head.
Smell. Slightly yeasty, fresh, even toned, nothing pronounced for me.
Taste. Hoppy, barleyish (I guess) plenty of low sugar grains (the barley?) strong bitter pickey finish high on the back of the palette.
Mouthfeel. Medium heavy body, puckery, chewy, oily, nice and rich.
Overall. Really good if you like the barley wines, which I do. Something beyond the hops rolling around in there, some different heavier kind of bitter with more body.

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Photo of Big_V
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured in my snifter glass. Minimal head with a dark burnt orange color. Lacing on the glass with a few floaties. Getting caramel on the nose. Wow! Not what I was expecting as barleywines are too sweet for me. The hops come thru followed by a little sweetness on the backend. Smooth the alcohol wasn't over powering. I'm getting a couple more to cellar.

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Photo of thetravelguy01
3.21/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

This is a hoppy and has a somewhat sweet note. You can surely taste the alcohol in this one. I'm sure with time this beer will get better. I'm glad I purchased a number of these and can't wait to enjoy one with some age on it.

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Photo of CandleGoat
1/5  rDev -75.8%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Tempestuous of late has been the climate, as has been my mood and palette. Subsequently, I approached this brew with a great deal of trepidation. Indeed, my caution was warranted. Removing the cap, I was met wish a noisome aroma of an intoxicating and noxious potion that would be best served to sate the throat of the damned. The putrid, caustic color belies a serum of the most unholy and wicked disposition. I cannot fathom for the life of me why anyone would want to consume something which so closely resembles the embodiment of pure, black evil. Waxing philosophical, one can only think of the bleakest nihilism while attempting to toss back a bottle of this repugnant liquid. For it is when we are out our lowest that we can shine our brightest, so to does a beer like this remind us of why we are alive, and that we should avoid this type of masochistic debauchery.

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Photo of magpieken
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 FL OZ bottle. 022714. Pours a medium amber colour with a tall dense light tan head which lasted well and left some nice lacing. Sweet malty aroma with pine, caramel and some bread. Medium sweetness and slightly more bitterness. Chewy, medium to full body, alcohol warmth and lingering bitterness. Goes down a treat but the 9.6% abv could do some damage. 8.

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Photo of ThomasMetal75
3.94/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

*I have a little bit left in my St Bernadrdus chalice glass close to room temperature for this written review*

A- Appearance is dark orangey, copper, and a bit of red. Had a nice 2-3 finger head, but it didn't last all that long in the chalice style glass. Minimal lacing, but it had nice looking alcohol legs. Looks like a classic barleywine for sure.

S- It has dankness, and oily character from the hops. Dark fruits and citrus, sugary sweetness, and some malty, bready notes. There is a big yeasty quality to it as well. Maybe that's where this bready, almost doughy, scent is coming from. Alcohol is there in the nose. It's, in a way, very similar to a double IPA in smell. But overall, it smells like an American style barleywine.

T- This isn't too bad if you're a certified Hop Head, but the hoppy bitterness is very noticeable. Dark fruits and those classic West Coast citrus notes are there, along with the yeasty, earthy type flavors. Some toffee and caramel malts. The malts sit very well behind the alcohol and sweetness. The sweetness is almost candied like, but it's not that cloying at all. This beer finishes very dry! The flavor is pretty hoppy and sweet, with the caramel malts and hints of alcohol. I find the hoppy bitterness pleasant. But that's just me. If you like your double IPAs, you may like this.

M- This is a full and rich bodied beer. You can feel the alcohol a bit in the back of the throat, but in no way shape or form does this beer burn. The beer does coat the mouth and throat nicely. There's a slickness and heft to it I like. The mouthfeel of this would slap yo Mamma around.

Overall, it's a great beer. It is the best I've ever had? No! But this one, although I drink it rarely, is nostalgic for me. It was the first beer I ever bought that made me want to start cellaring beer. And for that, this beer will always have a special place on my shelf aging away!

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

4.5 Look
Pours a deep translucent amber orange with 1 finger of white head that quickly disappears but leaves a fair amount of lacing.
4 Smell
mango and peach with some sweet malts and a touch of alcohol.
4.5 Taste
Sweet malts up front with a lasting tropical mango undertone lots of bitter hops that have a long lasting aftertaste along with a touch of alcohol on the end.
4.25 Feel
Sticky and alcohol warm and long lasting. Kind of like a song that you cant get out of your head but a good song.
4.25 Overall
Wow I love this. I have limited experience with barley wines but this is already a favorite. I can Hardly Wait to see how this develops over time if i can keep my hands off what i store away. : I will definitely be buying at least 1 more 4 pack especially at a $10.00 price point. tasty tasty tasty.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.17/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

2/18...pours cloudy amber, rusty, heavy white foam with high retention. Malty nose, toffee, caramel too. Taste is a puckering astringent barleywine. Heavy bitter. Sharp pine taste never lets go. People like these - I just dont.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served in a snifter at the Union Brewhouse in Weymouth.

Appearance: A two finger head was poured that reduced to a puffy layer. It is a copper amber color with good clarity and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass. Super frothy lacing down the glass as the beer was drank too.

Smell: Herbal, grassy, citrus, floral, caramel, bready, and toasted malts.

Taste: Same as above. So smooth, tasty, mild alcohol heat, chewy, and mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, a little chewy, warm heat, mild bitterness, medium to full bodied, and medium carbonation.

Overall: This is one that can age with time. Could Use mor Ed time in the cellar, but draft is hard to store st most bars due to room. I always like to throw SD one of these in the beer cellars for future years too.

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Photo of leroybrown10
3.86/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a medium amber color with reddish highlights. Nice dense tan colored head, Thick, sticky lacing left behind once the head dissipates.

Aroma is herbal, earthy hops. Caramel malt balances nicely. Some toffee and vanilla. More hops, a bit floral and hints of pine.

Taste follows the aroma. Big herbal hop flavors. Heavy caramel and toffee on the malty side. Slight roast and hints of vanilla. Black pepper and some alcohol bite. Mild cream on the aftertaste.

Thick mouth feel. Moderate carbonation. Oily on the tongue. Lingering and moderate bitterness.

This is a classic hopped up American style barleywine. Big, rich, in your face flavors. I tend to prefer the milder English barleywines and suspect I'll like this better with 6-12 months of age.

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Photo of CycleHops
3.54/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Drank this brew right after a very dark and rich stout. It held its own in the taste category. Would have been better if I did not drink the stout before it.

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Photo of Foyle
3.48/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into schooner glass.

Appearance: pours a pillowy 2" off white head that drops very slowly with abundant lacing. Color is a hazy amber with no visible streaming carbonation.
Aroma: aroma is predominately pine and citrus hops with some malt backbone.
Mouthfeel: medium to heavy, oily & resinous with a somewhat damp finish.
Flavor: sweet malts and caramel are present, but strong hops are the more dominant flavor from beginning to end. There is some definite alcohol warming which lingers after the swallow.
Overall: I expected a stronger malt presence for the style. Otherwise, a well done beer.

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Photo of Glanzman
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Lots of hops. Not an expert on barleywines but this one had a taste that was good but not great for me. Thirsty Dog makes one too and I think I like theirs better.

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Photo of John_Wallinger
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Amazing burgundy color with a frothy off-white head with peaks. Smell was slightly lacking erhaps from just getting over a cold but i get hints of peat oak and a slight plum or could just be alcohol, taste was an amazing whirlwind of toffee, caramel oak toast bread crust and an orange hint of hops that finishes with a big alcoholic kick. mouth feel was a bit thick.

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Photo of McLovinBeast57
4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- very clear beer for what I can imagine an insane amount of yeast and hops were added... Rich Amber and red hues with a tiny head (that means low carbonation which I prefer for BW's)

S- Floral and citrusy hop notes hit you in the nose and are very prominent with a bit of German malt aroma... the beer was definitely lagered.

M- Not as thick as it smells. But it is in between a medium and full bodied BW. The taste and ABV that follows justifies the medium mouthfeel

T- taste is fantastic. Rich Munich and a little spice quality maybe a Rye malt.. Overall a real rich malty beer with the perfect balance of citrusy hop flavor. For being almost 10% ABV it is not even remotely prevalent!

Overall- Very good tasting beer... you won't be disappointed! This is the 2015 Barleywine and I can only imagine when it was brewed.. Tastes as if it was already aged for a year! These guys are on top of their shit.. The beer is a cheap Barleywine for a world class beer. Would definitely pick up another pack!

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Photo of Brackh
4.56/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A fresh 2015 bottle. Pours a dark copper red with a foamy head. Hot damn this smells delicious. Floral smell is overpowering. You can almost smell the alcohol too. The taste is a drop kick to your senses. Sweet up front and bitter on the back end. Big and chewy. Can't wait to start aging some of these.

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Photo of Nctide
3.76/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

She's a beauty to look at, with a copper color and a thick off-white head. The alcohol is present on both the smell and taste. The smell is a mix of floral and fruity. The taste is sweet and malty. This seems to be a decent example of the style but didn't really wow me. I had this one less than 2 months after bottling date so it will be interesting to see how it changes with some age.

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Photo of sdeese21
4.54/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Popped open a 2012. Can't get past how amazing this beers smells; Floral and fruity beyond my initial expectations! Hops are subdued as one would expect and a nice heat develops at the end. Solid beer!

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