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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.

2,934 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,934
Hads: 7,078
Avg: 4.14
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 381
Gots: 1,580 | FT: 76
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
Reviews: 2,934 | Hads: 7,078
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

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

-pours a clear dark red with a big,creamy,off-white head
-medium-high carbonation visible
-caramel,toffee,raisins,plums,pine resin,grapefruit
-medium carbonation,medium body
-alcohol well hidden
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.

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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!

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Photo of Cannibalgasm
4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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...

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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.

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Photo of SublimeZero
4.64/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a solid Barleywine Ale. The color is a deep amber with a tan head giving forth to a bouquet of floral aromatics. As the deep amber liquid strikes the palate it yeals flavors of malty and a hint of sweetness due to left over malt sugars witch is quickly balanced with hop bitterness with the finish of hoppy radiance and floral tones.

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Photo of Libeertarian
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Purchased 8 Vintage 2015 in February/March. Plan on aging them and then adding onto this review once a year, as aroma and palate evolve.

May 2015: Served at about 55°. Pours a deep, dark, semi-opaque copper capped with tapioca-colored head. Retention wasn't great, but that could just be the result of the glassware (snifter). Filming lace, on the other hand, was magnificent, sticking to the sides of the glass as well as the surface of the beer. Yeast dancing around the bottom of the glass. Hop aromas are sweet citrus, perfume, pine, and resin. Can't detect much from the grain on the nose. Caramel probably melds too much with hops, although perhaps the slightest toastiness is there. Sweet, caramel malt, some yeast character, and strong, dank fruity/floral hops in the lead. Overall, raisin-like, but bitter. Just as soon as you think these are sure bets, piney and spicy bitterness overtake them. Herbal, rindy notes and black pepper are hot on their heels as they lap and finish. Retro-olfaction brings out crushed mustard seed. A thin, metallic tasting lining of the mouth is soon all that remains. Very smooth, full-bodied, astringent and warming, with medium carbonation. A year is a long time to wait for another tasting.

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Photo of stompilator
4.49/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a tulip.

A - Poured a slightly opaque, reddish copper. Medium head thickness, fairly weak lacing.

S - Tons of subtle hop aroma, mostly berry and pine,

T - Hits hard with a mixture of fruity and resiny hops, along with a fat, roasty malt body completely undetected by the nose. The hops step back for a moment and let the malts shine, ending with a nice spice and oh so slight residual bitterness.

M - Almost stoutlike, very heavy body with very light carbonation. Fairly dry.

O - Very easy to sip, but if you're paying attention, all of the elements play together wonderfully. A very subtle creation by SN.

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Photo of Trombone69
3.59/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I guess maybe I'm not a barleywine fan. It's a bit rough, too much alcohol, too bitter. Indeed "a challenge to the pallet", true to the BA style description.

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Photo of greshdoghophead
3.77/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pkgd 12/04/14 Vintage 2015 - dissapointing finish to my Barleywine season. Was really looking forward to revisiting this classic. Alcohol, hop aroma, and IBU presence were all muted. Solid but not outstanding as compared with other examples in this style. Maybe I'll shelf the rest of the 4-pack for a year but I gather that will only dull the allready muted flavors.

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Photo of Rfm4000
3.35/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Taste like a SN IPA not really a barely wine. Still good none the less, just a bit too hoppy for a barely wine. Finish is more pronounced, but still leaves things to be desired. 7/10

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

12 oz bottle 2015 vintage $ 2.79 at Vintage Estates, Boardman, OH
Packaged 12/4/14 at 55 degrees into snifter
Aroma – malt
Head large (5 cm, aggressive pour), off white, frothy, slooowly diminishing to 4 mm frothy layer
Lacing good – complete rings and curtains of tiny to medium bubbles
Body red amber, clear
Flavor of malt and light alcohol; no hops, no diacetyl
Palate medium, syrupy, soft carbonation

Appearance 4.25, Aroma 3.75, Flavor 4, Palate 4, Overall 4

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Photo of Smelly
2.23/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

It's a waste to be a hater, but I gotta be honest. It's like they took a regular off the shelf mass produced Sierra Nevada Ale and threw "something" in the mix to try and make it a "Barleywine". I tried this twice to be sure my palate wasn't off....so many good reviews here. However.....it's just plain terrible. Maybe I got a bad 4-pack:(

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Photo of Bisco42
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2015, poured into a Palm nucleated tulip.

Almost no head that disappears almost immediately.

An exceptional American style Barleywine. The mouth feel stood out. Thick almost, wonderfully carbonated. For 4 months old, the alcohol warmth has significantly dropped since I had one back in December. Tastes very sugary, will purchase more to cellar.

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Photo of eriff
3.61/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into snifter
Dark red/ brown pours with a small amount of off white head, which retains well and gives good lacing.
Hoppy, grassy, sweet caramel notes, biscuity
Hefty malt biscuit, caramel and sweet notes followed by a bitter slightly solventy taste end is dominated by the hops, leaving a slighlty sweet bitter hop finish
Orange Grapefruit are apparent in the hops

Rich heavy mouthfeel

Good sipper not a daily drinker heavy and the alcohol hits heavy, it is nice that they have released this in 12oz bottles now, as it is much more manageable to have one with another lighter beer.

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Photo of ElJacobian
4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sweet aroma with a hint of floral notes. This beer slaps you right in the face - absolutely massive beer. Pretty malt-heavy in my opinion. I'd like to have one that's beer aged for a while and see how that affects it. Very boozy beer.

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

Bottle dated 12/31/14 so it is 3 months old already. Served in a goblet.

Appearance: clear copper with a white head that sank to a thin one on the top of the beer.

Nose: flowery, toffee and caramel, fresh hop aroma

Taste: hop bite, slightly bitter, heavy malt body, no alcohol in the front but there is a warming fusal alcohol taste in the back. Bitter grapefruit when it warmed up.

Overall: I bought this beer for its cellar strength. I can definitely see how this would improve over the next few years. I have 7 more and will update this in a few months.

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Photo of arvidkoval
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2015 release

L- Deep amber color, with a white head.

S- Sweet apple, caramel malts, fruity hops

T- Caramel malty sweetness, fruity, piney hops.

F- Medium body, fairly carbonated.

O- Nice and hoppy, can't wait to see it with some age!

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Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,934 ratings.