1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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.

6,694 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,694
Reviews: 2,889
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 320
Gots: 1,326 | FT: 56
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: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,694 | Reviews: 2,889 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CellarGimp
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass at cellar temperature.

L - Deep amber to amber-brown color with a 2 finger tan foamy head. Very nice retention and great lacing at first that doesn't last as the beer warms.

S - Rich maltiness, caramel, some pine and hints of citrus. Alcohol slightly noticeable, but becomes more apparent as the beer warms as expected.

T - Sweet off the bat with caramel and raisin flavors along with the piney hops and a little bit more citrus than the nose followed very closely by a very bitter taste with a bunch of maltiness. Pretty balanced between the hops and malt. Alcohol noticeable.

F - Medium-to-full bodied, sort of mouth-coating. Bitterness definitely hangs around for a while and the alcohol has a nice warming effect.

O - This is an awesome beer. It looks fantastic and there's nice complexity in the aroma and the taste. I definitely recommend it during the cold winter months - it will warm your body and your soul.

Photo of Acoke
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of kevgod
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Kadonny
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 version on tap at TJs in Paoli. Poured into a tulip glass.

A: A dark ruby red color with brownish notes. A one finger slightly reddish off white head leaves nice full glass lacing.

S: Huge pine and citrus hops note on the nose mix with caramel sweetness and some fruit. Alcohol is detected on the nose.

T: The hops are really crisp and fresh on this kegged version. Pine and citrus hops assault the mouth and slightly give way to the hefty malt that comes into the mix. Some caramel, toffee and sweeter fruits mix with the hops to produce a nice balance. Bitterness finishes out the beer and lingers for a long time. Nice.

M: Full, coating prickly and alcohol heat. I get more alcohol on the tap version than the bottle.

O: Does anyone need to say this again? One of the best American barleywines made today. The fact that it is also readily available and fairly cheap, this is a all time great beer.

Bigfoot is the benchmark for American barleywines, no question about it.

Photo of DannyDan
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Pours out an amber hue with a thick white head that has good retention and some rather nice lacing on the sides of the glass.
S. The aroma consists of some piney hops, caramel and some fruit.
T. The taste starts out with some citrus and pine hops, followed by some sweet caramel notes, fruit and alcohol. It finishes off with more hops and leaves a bitter aftertaste in the mouth.
M. The mouthfeel is a sticky, but dry feel after tasting this yummy beer.
O. A very tasty and flavorful, but quite bitter beer that fans of bitter tasting beer will love.

Photo of EinWeizenbitte
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of ninner00
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of wabritton
5/5  rDev +20.5%

Photo of MrVonzipper
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of jegross2
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewing the Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.
Score: 92

2012 vintage bottle. Bottling code is "1364212:37." Served in a Great Lakes snifter and enjoyed on 02/15/12.

Appearance: Pours a dark, translucent mahogany color with a finger of "dirty" tan sea foam head that settles into ring around the glass and thin splotchy coating atop 80% of the glass. Excellent lacing at first, but that quality seems to dissipate some as the beer warms. 4/5

Smell: First pull is a sweet and sappy "piney hops" aroma mixed with fresh and "sticky" citrus. Smooth caramel, creamy malt, and complementary alcohol esters are also present in the nose. The aroma is much more reminisce of a IIPA/DIPA than a barleywine. A very modest amount of "stout-like" dark fruit and toasted maltiness comes out in the aroma as the beer warms. 4.5/5

Taste: The first sips leaves me with the distinct impression of malty grapefruit and hops -- though not in the sense a stale IPA. A mellow piney and citrus IPA-like bitter hops flavor is counterbalanced by a creamy caramel maltiness and moderate alcohol flavor/alcohol warming effect. Toasted grains and a little sugary-sweet dark malt on the midpalate. Not detecting any of the "dark fruit" I detected in the aroma on the palate. A sweet barley maltiness grows in the finish as the beer layers, overshadowing the citrus. The bitterness never dissipates, however. The level of alcohol flavor present in the back end of the flavor also grows as it warms. At first, this beer tastes a lot like a mellowed out and slightly boozy single IPA -- much more so than the typical barleywine. As the beer warms and layers, however, it becomes more barleywine-like with malty sweetness. Bigfoot reminds me a lot of the recently released New Glarus Thumbprint Barleywine. The finish is bitter, slightly grainy and malty-sweet. Flavors of caramel, barley and bitter citrus linger. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus bodied, moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is sticky, malty and creamy. Finish is bitter and malty, mixed with some alcohol. 4.5/5

Overall: An excellent example of what a non-barrel aged barleywine can be, though I suppose this is more a "barleywine styled ale" than a real barleywine. As someone who does not like most barleywines (e.g., the Y2K I recently reviewed), I always enjoy stumbling across the DIPA-like barleywines such as Behemoth. I cannot wait to see how this one ages.

Recommendation: I would highly recommend this beer to hops fans and fans of bitterer beers. Casual beer drinks will probably not enjoy the stark bitterness of this one.

Pairings: French vanilla ice cream

Cost: $10.99 for a six pack.

Photo of B33R501
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber reddish bronze color since I generally drink my beer in coffee cups now (the throwaway wawa type) I really don't see much in the way of color, I do this because I have found much better head retention and flavor this way, not to mention some really cool looking lace, and when you pour a big dark beer in these cups, forget it, the appearance is amazing.

Nice aroma and taste of caramel and toffee with a big blast of piney hops on the palate. Perfectly bitter, exceptionally smooth and creamy, finish is lingering but dry, big bitter orange peel with lots of residual sweetness. But not too sweet, and never cloying.

Big, smooth, satisfying, I've had this once almost one year old, much prefer this fresh with the big hops and bitterness!

Outstanding. Why we drink beer.

Photo of jchoffman
4.8/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Pint Glass
appearance - 4.5/5 - a thin reddish cream head with a deep red color. A bit cloudy at first after a minute or so I realize it's just a dark red. Leaves lots of lacing.

smell - 4.5/5 - Rich sweet aroma with big alcohol nose. I can smell a little pine, but mostly alcohol.

taste - 5/5 - Raisin taste is there, but Alcohol is what you mostly taste.

mouthfeel - 4.5/5 - Pretty high carbonation to balance the malt & alcohol. Everything feels "smooth" as it goes down. Very full bodied.

overall - 5/5 - Very tasty. This is the 1st year I've tasted and look forward to cellar a few of these for the next few years to see what flavors come out.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of sharpski
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of jwmarcum
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Philousa
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Batch imbibed at Rose & Crown in Palo Alto on 2/10/12.

Pours a red caramel in color with a little head. Clarity is apparent when held up to the light. Rich caramel, hint of chocolate, with some heat in the nose. Rich is the operative word. Held up well. heat balances out the sweet well. Big caramel again in flavor. Thick. Turns alcoholic, biting, then bitterly hoppy with dark, burnt chocolate. Medium mouthfeel. Incredibly well balanced, considering what went in it. Great complexity but not too complex and very smooth with an alcohol bite for balance sake.

This is my first Bigfoot, so I look forward to comparing it to a fresh batch. From what I've heard, this is the best bang for your buck when drinking barleywines. I can tell that this sat down well and mellowed out. That said I want to experience the hop aroma and flavor to its fullest, fresh. This is a complex beer that I look forward to getting to know over the years.

Photo of Cramerican
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of plumlmr
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

another colossal beer from sierra nevada. pours an absolutely magnificent glowing dark amber color with a 1.5 inch rusty tan colored head. smells is a kick in the face of booze and hops. smells all of its 9.6% abv. flavor is malty and sturdy without being sweet, it moves toward a hoppy finish with an alcohol burn. its a nice pine hop flavor which works really well here. perfect for this time of year. feel is a little heavy, and its not a beer you can do a sixpack of, thats for sure. a lovely sipper on a weeknight in mid february as the sun starts to hang around just a little longer with each passing day...

Photo of Fitzmke
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of wages
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Crown Valley "fluted snifter" as I call it.

appearance - 4.5/5 - Three finger reddish cream head with a deep red color. At first it appears lightly cloudy, but upon further examination, it's just a dark red. Leaves lots of lacing.

smell - 4.5/5 - Rich sweet aroma with big alcohol nose. The alcohol smell overwhelms most other scents.

taste - 5/5 - Raisins and alcohol are at the forefront. Huge malt flavor. Bitterness is there, but not real prevalent until after the swallow.

mouthfeel - 5/5 - Fairly high carbonation to balance the malt & alcohol. Everything feels "smooth" as it goes down. Very full bodied.

overall - 5/5 - Very tasty. I wish I could remember the 2010 and 2009 vintages that I had tried for comparison.

Photo of shutupandcook
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Joshgonzales79
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of mnixon86
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage on Tap at Beer Revolution in Oakland.

Appearance: Opaque ruby with dark brown. Nice light creamy lacing.

Smell: Dark fruits on top. There is an underlying mellow toasted maltiness interlaced with caramel. The malts conceal the hops from the aroma.

Taste: This beer taste amazing. Dark caramel malts with a nice desert like bite. The hops are amazing. Textbook Sierra nevada piney,resinous and grassy hop flavors. There is some nice citric fruitiness deep in this ale. I notice grapefruit. At some point a cinnamon flavor emerges.

Mouthfeel: A delicious creamy chocolate textured malts. Full and desert-like. This beer goes down smooth with a bright refreshing citric flush.

Overall: This beer is simultaneously complex and refreshing. This batch of Bigfoot aged mighty fine.

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,694 ratings.