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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: 17.63%
Wants: 384
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 dansteino
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2004 vintage

Appearance: Very Good. Burnt orange. Good head. Nice lacing.

Smell: HOPS!!! Citrus. Floral. Caramel.

Taste: Very good. Sweet malt balanced by strong hops. Hops should mellow with cellaring.

Mouthfeel: Awesome. Thick and lingering

Drinkability: Good. Enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Gasp100
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh man, this is nice! Poured a deep, dark red with the perfect head and major lacing down the glass. The smell was of big, ripe dark fruits and hops a pleanty. The taste was bold and beautiful, strong alchohol presence, perfectly carbonated, sweet and syrupy but the hops brightened things up nicely. I did not find this to be overly hoppy like some others noted ---- I felt the hops livened things up a lot and made it seem a tad lighter than other barley wines I've had. I have cellared a six of this with a 12 of Old Horizontal for a couple months to see how these age. This is not for the faint of heart and although very drinkable for a Barleywine, at 9% or higher.... watch out!

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.51/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I went in search of the elusive Bigfoot BWA tonite. [ FYI: This review also was done comparing 2004 12 oz. SN Big Foot to a 12 oz.Victory Old Ho’. Please see both reviews to compare & contrast, like in high school, except this is about beer…Yeah!] A nearly perfect, -strike that- PERFECT pour started out this adventure. An enticing, murky orange, evenly textured, hazy, dark, ominous slightly cloudy pour tore loose thru the woods of my goblet, with a light head sauntering off to a clingy circular band, sliding clean down the sides. I even up’ed my rating to 5/5. This is golden! This is an appearance that doesn't get any better. Can I swig it yet?

Aroma was a roasted walnut with peppery scents but not really a strong aroma at first. As I chased this Yeti thru the woods, some piney esters and hops were invoked. She poured at a slightly cooled temp, but warmed up to introduce the mature alcohol esters and Isopropyl like effluvia. A port nose pronounced, underlined nicely with hops.

Bigfoot sips, yes...sips with dark caramel, Vermont maple syrup, sweet, thick, full in the ole kisser. Hershey’s dark chocolate peeks out. Easy carbonation slides by. Flavor lasts while sinking back in the mouth to a pleasant rye toast. If left on the tongue to sit, it reminds me a twinge of Stone, Ruination IPA, but in a more vinous flavor, and less in attack mode. Other nuances? A dry walnut bite, with a lingering, lip-smackin’ coriander, finishing with a stand up strong and proud, bold aftertaste.

Last swigs: I set the trap, but she got away! Perfect, pleasant pour, hoppy Port nose and mature 'malt & hops' balanced flavor, to whisk this down while being less aggressive on me tongue than Victory Old Ho’. IMHO, tantamount to any Brandy for an all night cozy sipper. There is no end to this sip-ability [did I just invent another word?] rating. Stay tuned for updates on capturing this 9.6% ABV monster at 6 & 12 months. C’mon September!!! Price? Usually you can snare a case in your beartrap wallet inYuengling-ville for $38 but this was a trade from car pool co-worker’s home brewin’ husband! Thanks Tim! I hear that this is a more hoppy SN BF than previous years, but I can't attest.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a lovely sun burnt orange amber with a smallish but fairly long-lasting beige head.
Potent floral hop aromas burst out of the glass while pouring. A smell of spruce, malt and alcohol blend in.
Caramel and candy sugar sweetness are easily noticed. Doughy bread, rum-soaked raisins and a light taste of herbs begin to emerge, though settled in the background.
Sharp grapefruit, lemon zest and a bit of a metallic bite provide quite a bite. The piney esters of whole fresh hops and the big alcohol kick remain quite separate from the other tastes, which begin to mingle halfway through the glass. Bigfoot is an original Northwest American-style Barleywine. I hope that just because something else more extreme flavor-wise, or more potent in the ABV department comes along, doesn't relegate this wonderful brew to the back shelf. Long live the legend of Bigfoot!

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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 pio
3.72/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

hazy walnut and amber colored liquid with next to no activity. somehow it has been a differing head size for me, seems to depend on the temp. at best it's a two fingered head that stays and leaves pretty nice lace, at it's worst it's been snap, crapple, pop of a fizzy head. i dunno, it's usually been pretty nice, no biggy.
the nose is heavy with malt and honey. what i've come to think of as the signature sn hops profile (though they do seem to vary this from style to style i usually find alot of similarity in them) comes shining through. some very nice spice notes help and the warming alcohol is tantalizing.
a roasty malty start on the palate is nicely bitter and sweet with a honey note. hints of clove and perhaps nutmeg work through a twang of maple and honey. the good old sn hops dry the palate accutely and abides with an herbal lingering that has a tendency, too, towards the bitter and toasty.
the effervescance seem a bit much for the style but probably helps the body from being too sticky, though it is a little just the same. heavily bodied.
there is alot of competition for bigfoot doing so many nice things for this style, it's difficult not to move on if there are others available.
thanks for reading my review.

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

Deep brown and cloudy. Head is tan and is very lofty... sticks around for quite some time... lots of lacing.

Licorice and grain. Smells strong with sweet notes.

Strong and thick flavor. Has a strong sweet taste with a rather bitter aftertaste. Grassy finish. Overall everything blends together nicely.

Very thick and heavy in the mouth. Compliments the flavor.

Very great tasting beer. It's strong and has a high alchohol content so I don't know if it's a great idea to slam these but they are definitly a great drink!

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Photo of Beastdog75
3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2004 "Expedition"

Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot is their biggest and most intense brew out of their entire lineup. I'm a barleywine newbie, so the only thing I could really expect out of this was the massive hops (because of it being SN). I realize that this barleywine is in a totally different mold from English and other barleywines, as this is more of an "ambassador" of hoppy West Coast brews. When I cracked open my first bottle, this was just as intense and interesting as I thought it was going to be.

Bigfoot pours a lovely reddish amber color with a nice light gold head that retains pretty well and leaves some lacing. The smell was of pure hops. Strong pine and citrus/grapefruit aromas in the nose, very woody and aromatic. The mouthfeel was slick, smooth and coating. The first sip of this was like electro-shock therapy for the tastebuds. Those hops are REALLY strong. Notes of pine, citrus/grapefruit, mint/herbal qualities, and an earthy woodiness. There was a malt presence just barely detectable under the hops, adding some buttery/caramel notes to the beer. The first few sips brought some alcohol flavor to my tongue and up into my nose. The alcohol flavor mellowed out as I drank on. This is a sharp and bitter brew, but as it got warmer and as I neared the halfway point, it seemed to mellow out a bit. Aftertaste is long and dry, with the piney Cascade hop flavors lingering long after the brew is finished. A very nice warming sensation finishes out the beer.

I will definitely save a bottle or two of this and try one in 6 months and the other a year from now. They probably will progress quite nicely. This brew is mighty and complex, and must be sipped. Because of its very raw and pungent hoppiness, I couldn't forsee drinking too many of these. The alcohol became a non-factor as I drank on, but I'm sure Bigfoot would catch up to me if I had more than the said few. I can't say I really enjoyed this on a wide scale level as it took a lot of intestinal fortitude from me to finish the first bottle, but I do respect how well made this brew is and its special place in the beer world. I'm not a card-carrying member of the HopHead Society yet either, but hopefully that will change in time.. To summarize, if you were to take the strong, intense Cascade hoppiness of a Celebration Ale and put it into a rich brew, you'll have Bigfoot.

12/30/05 - I tried one of my aged bottles (2004 edition) and it did mellow out quite a bit. In both the aroma and flavor, the caramel-like malts were noticable. While still a very hoppy brew, it was (dare I say it) easier to drink. Some woody qualities that I really didn't notice before became noticable. I have another bottle of this that I think I will sample in another year to see if it progresses any more.

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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 krberg
3.96/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Usually I rate appearances as average or good, but the anticipation is too much and it looks great. All dark copper with a cream head. God, barleywines just look amazing.

Bigfoot always smells the same to me: hoppy and sweet. I'm always happy when I inhale the nose of a BW and I'm greeted that way. There is a weird bitter smell in there. I'm not used to that. Now I'm intrigued.

Wow, that is mild. Bitter, but very mild in the malty sweetness (considering style) and very floral and fresh. This is the first time I have had SNBF fresh. Usually, I'll get them after 6 months or so and drink them the rest of the year. I love its fresh flavor. This is without a doubt the best fresh barleywine I have ever had.

Great flavor and a silky smooth texture. Feels just great rolling over my tongue. I find SNBF2K4 smooth to a fault - I could pound this and not even realize I was drinking a carbonated beverage.

Tasty, wickedly smooth and drinkable as hell. It gets a 3.5 because I know I could drink a few, but I'd have to stop so that I did not embarass myself by attempting any movement what so ever, including the consumption of another pint.

Great beer. Not for the uninitiated, but if you've been holding out because SN is a bigger company, do yourself a favor and pick up a 6 of SNBF2K4.

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Photo of BeefyMee
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Wow, this is a great looking beer. The deep reddish brown color is unmatched, and the head is soft and creamy.

Smell: The floral/citrus hop aroma is just a little too much for me. It actually burns my nose when I inhale quickly, although this is kind of cool too. Too too hoppy and in a bad way. There is only a slight hint of malt somewhere in the background. Judging by the smell, I'd say this is one grossly unbalanced barley wine.

Taste: Alright alright, we might just have something here. The extreme hoppiness doesn't go away in the flavor, but it is accompanied by a big ass malt body. The malt becomes more and more noticeable as the beer warms, so don't drink it ice cold. As far as taste goes, this is a wonderfully balanced beer.

Mouthfeel: Another bright spot. It's smooth and substantial. The best mouthfeeling I've ever experienced in a barley wine.

Drinkability: As with most barley wines, this beer is so huge that the alcohol is almost unrecognizable even though it has about twice as much as a "normal" beer. This means it is very drinkable, but it doesn't mean that you won't start to feel the alcohol after a few.

Beef Notes: A top-notch barley wine here. The hop profile is still a little too floral for my tastes but this doesn't take much away from the beer as a whole. If anything, it adds to the astounding character of the brew. I'll have to get some more for cellaring.

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Photo of pheurton
4.48/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

2001 bottling: recently cracked open a bottle that had been aging one year. pours a deep mahogany with a light tan head. huge malt aroma can be sensed a foot away from the glass. mouthfeel is full and chewy. a wonderful fruity malt is sensed first followed by a lingring PNW hop finish. it seems a year in the cellar has mellowed out the more "raw" hop characteristics of this brew, making it more balanced and enjoyable. a stellar beer that has improved with age. original score = 4.35

2004 vintage: i felt that i should re-review this beer because i feel this year's version to be top notch. pours such a beautiful dark reddish mahogany with a creamy tan head that lasts and leaves sheets of lace down the glass. monstorous sweet malt aroma of camelized fruit with thick pine sap hop notes. full, unbelievably chewy mouthfeel with an appropriately low level of carbonation, which amazingly still retains some crispness. liquid silk. huge sweet crystal malt and brown sugar sweetness hold up extroadinarly well against a resinous piney hop blast. the balance of this year's version right out of the box is jaw-dropping. finishes long and sweet yet oh so delicously bitter. the harmony of this beer is enough to make one cry. too much hops for a barleywine? that's what SN is all about and this is what they're going for...and they do it remarkably well. difficult to drink more than one in a night, but what a treat to have that one! absolutely superb. rating reflects 2004 vintage.

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

Appearance: Pours a beautiful reddish brown with a slight white head. Moderate ammount on carbonation running up the beer. Head sticks to the glass like its hanging on for dear life.

Smell: Smells of citrusy grapefruit and a lot of hops.

Taste: Huge ammount of hops overpowering the taste buds. Yet there is a slight sweetness to it in addition to the bitterness. Evens out quite nice. No doubt about it this is a big beer slight alcohol taste remains, but covered nicely.

Mouthfeel: Coats your mouth like a cough syrup. Huge beer lingers on the tounge long after you take the last sip. It's delicious.

Drinkability: A great barley wine that is the standard in which to be measured.

gonna try to age a bottle or two and see what happens.

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Photo of MobBarley
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Mahogany red with a small, creamy tan head. Decent enough lacing, too. The smell is all pine and grapefruit and subtle chamomile. A fruity sweetness attempts to bring some balance but is banished with extreme prejudice by the ruthless hops. The taste? The oral assault, more appropriately. Bitter in a number of ways, first invogorating, then antiseptic, and finally numbing. Pine flavors and grapefruit flavors battle for dominance while a mild spiciness caresses the tongue. Mouthfeel is beyond "chewy"... slick and oily, this brew crawls down your throat. Niiice. Drinkability is the only letdown, but the massive hops cover up the high ABV very well. Yum.

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Photo of jahred
3.33/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

2004 bottle, but this is the first time I've tried this beer before (in any vintage). The cap top says "2004 Bigfoot Expedition" ... At 9.6% ABV, I think that any such dangerous expedition should stay away from this stuff.

Pours a beautifully deep brownish red color, with a nicely thick almost-white head. The smell is strong, but pleasant. Esters and pine and malt...

Immediately upon tasting, I'm thinking "Wow" and the first word that comes to mind for the taste, which lasts quite a long, long time in my mouth, is "raw." Deep piney hops and thick malts in a wild combination that I can't quite place. The aftertaste (much later on after the initial sip) is slightly chalky, and reminiscent of a stout. As it warms, much of the malt tastes seem to disappear, and I'm left with that wild hoppy taste. It's overpowering, and I feel like this is more like a crazy double/imperial IPA than any sort of barley wine. The alcohol, which is also quite prevelant in the taste, didn't quite help with how unbalanced this beer is.

The mouthfeel is nice - thick and oily, but I'm focused on the drinkability of this beer, which (probably much like Bigfoot himself) needs time to tame.

I will lay this down for at least a year and see what happens - hopefully some more of the malt characteristics will come through.

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Photo of granger10
4.37/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2004 edition
Color is absolutely beautiful, akin to a mohagony red with highlights. However head is small in size and there seems to be no lacing. Aroma is straight up hops, signature cascade hops from Sierra Nevada. Alcohol is also present in the smell. Taste is too complex for me to describe. More flavors continually come. I can't describe them all. Big flavors. Citric hops upfront. Caramel malt is lean but present. More malt sweetness in the body. Some fussel alcohol hits me towards the finish. Grapefruits become very pronounced in the end. Aftertaste is quite bitter. This was an extroadinary beer. The mixture of flavors is excellent and alcohol fits perfectly. I'm proud to call this one American!

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Photo of UnionMade
3.99/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a spankin' new 2004 bottle.
The beer is a dusky copper, a fairly agressive pour generating a thick ivory froth. The head settles into a broken mist, surrounded by a thick collar which leaves scattered bits of lace on the snifter. Some yeast floaties hang in suspension, adding a bit of haziness.
The aroma is quite pungent, an equal blend of syrupy malt and brawny hops. The malt conveys a caramel sweetness, with a bit of a biscuity chewiness. The hops are very citric, with a bit of coarse earthiness. Some apparent alcohol lends a slight solventy twang, mixing with boatloads of estery goodness. Hints of red apple, plum, fig and raisin soften things up with a mellow fruitiness.
The flavor starts with a huge, chewy maltiness. Loads of toasty caramel and biscuity flavors assault the tastebuds. A bit of grain, with a vaguely mashy feel. The malt rolls forth, impervious to anything in it's way. Sweetish caramel picks up a strong fruitiness, with a pronounced raisin and apple flavor, hinting at some fig. A bit of nectarine into the finish, where the malt is challenged by an equally beefy hop profile. Oily and grapefruit rind-like in it's strength, the hops are more than up to the task of cutting the malty sweetness. Pungently citric, the hop flavor is just bitter enough to avoid being too much, but packs quite a bit of flavor that will keep through some aging. Some herbal flavor, adding a bit of earthiness, washed over with some alcohol astringency in the very end. The hop flavor carries into the aftertaste, providing a coarse, grapefruit skin bitterness. A slick, almost syrupy mouthfeel, barely supported by a mild, small bubbled carbonation. Big ass beer.
I actually like this beer a little better when fresh. It's great for aging, but the grapefruity power to the hops seems to appeal to the closet hophead in me. The beer physically abuses your tastebuds all the way through, I can only do a bottle of this stuff at a time. It gets slightly milder with some age, but I really don't like too much big beer at once. It's really one of the truly great american barleywines, though. A benchmark for the style.

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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 oelergud
4.74/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear ruby brew with low carbonation though more than other barleywines I've seen. Tan head with amazing retention.
Smell is VERY hoppy with some grass and floral qualities.
Taste is very much like the smell only more intense and have a hay-like flavor to it. This is the first beer I've had that has a pronounced sweet aftertaste, it's hoppy and bitter up front and sweet afterwards, up is down, black is white, but it's pretty good.
Cant really taste the high alcohol %.
Good body and mouthfeel, not quite as full as other barleywines though, it does have some creaminess to it.
This is a beer with too much presence to be a session beer as it demands attention with every sip. Not something I would drink with a meal cause the food would be completely overshadowed.


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Photo of Rastacouere
3.69/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

As soon as the bottle is opened, a huge christmas tree aroma burst into the room. Can you say cascade? It then pours clear copper with not much of a head, off-white. Aroma is probably the most potent cascade use I've ever encountered, it's as intense as any other barleywine's nose, big, deep with a ridiculously heavy grapefruit/pine/floral character. The taste is earthy, a coniferous forest in spring with a slight hint at alcohol, nice aftertaste which lasts forever, but is a bit astringent. Medium-bodied. While this is very bitter, it's also pretty sweet and a little sour from overhopping. I'd definitely like to try this aged a bit to complexify the flavors a bit, but young, this is one big hopheads beer, therefore not exactly my bag. Quite citric even for an american barleywine. Similar to Hog Heaven, but displays a better body and more balance

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Photo of AllThingsNinja
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

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

2004 Expedition. Poured a beautiful firey reddish brown color with a thick head. Huge floral cascade aroma with bready malt underneath. Mouthfeel is full and smooth with a tongue numbing bitter hop sting at the end. The flavor here is sweet and syrupy with a huge amount of bittering hops and notes of grapefruit and peaches. Plenty of malt to hold it all together and this is one angry and intense brew. There's no escaping the bitterness in this young brew. I can't wait to see how it ages.

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Photo of shirfan
3.99/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2004 version.

Pours a rich, deep clear copper with an unbelievably retentive, thick tan head. Sticky lace absolutely refused to disperse, leaving a 1/2 inch layer for the duration of the glass.

Aroma is mild; citric hops and alcohol.

Taste is deceiving. A hearty helping of citrus and piney hops mask the true epic nature of this beer. Balance is achieved, however; the hops aren't overwhelming, and give way to nice standard ale malts... but lots of them. Not overly sweet.

Only a mild hint of alcohol is tasted in the finish, along with a more leafy hop presence...slightly medicinal.

Sneaky for its size, "bigfoot" is an apt name.

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

2004 vintage. Completely surprised to be able to find this in Oklahoma. Thank you Cellar Wine and Spirits for expanding. Your selection rox like slayer. With that said.
Pours a nice dark reddish orange. Virtually no head, a little lacing, and very little carbonation. Smelled of hops and alcohol with some light malt underneath. Grapefruity and grassy at the same time. Upfront with the flavor was a massive hops assault, but following closely behind was a bready, sugary maltiness. A little grapiness around the edges, just a hint of whats to come. As it warms, alcohol definately takes over, but by the time this happened, I was nice and warm, and didn't let it bother me. Full bodied mouthfeel, oily, but not bad. clingy. Drinkable yes, in large quantities, no. I understand why Foghorn comes in smaller bottles, besides the obvious marketing ploy, 7-8 ounces is really all I need, after that, it just tasted like alcohol anyway. Also, I probably should let this age a while as well. I really think this will be very tasty with some aging. Hops was just a little too dominant right now. Another six months maybe? I have another one set out to drink fresh and the other four are in my "cellar" aging. I'm thinking that each one of those will be sampled six months from the previous sampling. Meaning I'll stretch this out over the next two years.

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

2004 Vintage sampled 2/2004
Aroma: Sweet malt perfume. A heady alcoholic undercurrent wafts the thick brown sugary aroma to you. Some slightly peppery hops come in as well, but far distant second.
Appearance: Clear dark amber/pale brown. Very little head and it died after leaving a modest lace at the top of my glass, but not toward the bottom.
Flavor: The hops really come out in this young vintage. Cascade is most noticeable with a deep grapefruit bite, but the hops just serve to keep all this barley under control. The overall taste is balanced, but disjointed. It’s like a battle between hops and malt, which each side winning battles, but the war being a draw. Malt has a bit of toasted quality, but not smoky. I even get a slight hint of the yeast, or at least something that reminds me of the Celebration Ale. The hops seem the same as well. It’s like they brought the malt up over the amount of hops they use for the Celebration. The alcohol becomes noticeable as it warms.
Mouthfeel: Heavy body with a decent chew. A touch of oil, but overall it goes down very smoothly.
Overall Impression: Drinkability? At first I had some trouble enjoying it, it’s just TOO MUCH, but as my palate warmed (thank you 9.6% alcohol) I started to mellow and just enjoy the exuberance. Toward the end of the glass, I’m thinking I could do another, but the amount of water I’m going to need to avoid dehydration is probably going to make this the only one tonight. I’m looking forward to the next one though, so high marks. I also want to age it a bit so I enjoy the first few sips as much as I’m enjoying the last ones. It is very good stuff, but something to be enjoyed in small quantities. Recommended!

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