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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

6,234 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,234
Reviews: 2,808
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 263
Gots: 1,096 | FT: 38
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  9.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 02-06-1998)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,234 | Reviews: 2,808 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of juhl31


4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

*Stockton reviewers before me...stick some '11's in your cellar for a year or 2 and then open em. it is insane how much better the beer develops. most of the bitterness goes away and the other flavors come out and meld together amazingly

Did a 5 year vert with a couple BA friends ('11-'07). i will review the beer overall and also give some notes to the changes at the end

-a reddish, copper tone to the body with a tall, tight light caramel colored head. the lacing and head retention on this beer is quite spectacular

-fresh, it is mostly piney hops. you can also get some caramel and butterscotch malt notes in there as well

-again, fresh...this beer is chest hair growingly hoppy. what also comes in though is a very nice malt background of caramel, butterscotch and a hint of nuttiness to it. some caramelized sugar in there as well

-i enjoy this beers thickness, especially with some age. this is a type of beer that will make part of your brain hurt in the morning if you drink too much. it is very smooth and rich too. and not very hot considering

-i really enjoy this beer. this beer was the 1st time i realized back when, what the wonders of aging could do to a beer because 1 year or older bigfoot blows my mind. for such an old recipe (28 years worth) it was way ahead of its time

vertical notes - every other year, the beer switched between a darkish brown/crimson color to a lighter caramel color which was interesting. again the aging brings out such pleasant malt notes. vintages i especially enjoyed were the '08 and '10. the warmth started to make its presence felt with the '07

06-29-2011 23:22:39 | More by juhl31
Photo of Devi0us


2.38/5  rDev -42.7%

2011 vintage

A- Poured a deep copper color with a thick 2 finger off-white head that had a prolonged stay.

S- Massive hop aroma, somewhat piney. Nothing else going on here.

T- This badboy is bitter as fuck. All I can taste is hoppy bitterness with a bitter beer face. Taste more like an IPA  with 300 IBU than a Barley Wine to me.

M- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O- This was hyped up big time by a friend of mine. I should smack him silly. This was a rather unpleasant experience that I wish to NOT ever experience again.

06-25-2011 18:06:16 | More by Devi0us
Photo of rowingbrewer


3.8/5  rDev -8.4%

this beer pours a copper color with a decent off white head. the aroma is very hoppy and floral. the flavor is a little harsh, there is not a lot of malt sweetness, just malt backbone with booze and hops up front. the mouthfeel is fairly full and overall its not bad, just not near the top of the list of barleywines i have had

06-25-2011 00:08:19 | More by rowingbrewer
Photo of fields336


4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

12 oz. bottle poured into my SN snifter.

reviewed on 6/17/11

A: Dark amber, brown color with creamy one finger head dissipates slowly, leaving rings of lacing.

S: Dark fruits amidst a hoppy blast. Almost DIPA-like. Can smell the alcohol behind it

T: wow, extremely hoppy. West coast style, piney and citrus hops present. Blasted with hops, behind that is a dark fruity almost winey taste including alcoholy undertone.

M:Creamy, almost chewy, then hops and carbonation blast it away, making you forget about anything else.

O: Just an excellent beer. I'm not well versed in barleywines admittedly, but this is one of the best. This is almost DIPA-like, and i love it.

06-24-2011 03:37:54 | More by fields336
Photo of EnJeiBee


4.05/5  rDev -2.4%

A - Poured a coppery brown color with an off white 1-finger head that had great retention and lacing

S - Very piney hop aroma combined with a large caramel malt backbone, neither of the scents seemed to dominate the other

T - Piney citrus flavors alongside toasty caramel malts. The alcohol didn't make it's presence known in my opinion, but I had a few others give it a taste and that was what they noticed right off of the bat

M - It had a much lighter mouthfeel than I would've expected from the style. It was lightly carbonated and finished pretty cleanly

O - I feel like this would be a great beer to introduce people to the barleywine style. The ABV makes it a sipper, but I could definitely spend a night drinking this.

06-23-2011 02:26:13 | More by EnJeiBee
Photo of RodneyX


4.2/5  rDev +1.2%

This beer pours a hazy orange brown color with an offwhite head that left some pretty good lace on the sides. It smells of rich and burnt caramel, toasted malts, and a bit of booze. The bottle was from 2009 so I'm guessing it's mellowed a little bit and I like how the booze cuts through the sweetness a little bit. It tastes really good as well, great caramel and hops with a chewy consistency. I highly recommend this as it was a very enjoyable experience for something that is not a super rare whale.

06-21-2011 20:17:04 | More by RodneyX
Photo of PhillyStyle


4.22/5  rDev +1.7%

On-tap at the Carolina Ale House, Greenville, SC, May 2011:

The beer appeared a deep copper color, but clear and with a thin, white head that dissipated too quickly. I would probably lie some of the blame on the bartender who poured the beer. The beer had a big pine hops aroma, with some hints of some citrus and some malt. The taste is rich and heavy on the pine hops, but also with some nice hints of the malts as well. The beer had a heavy feel to it, dense and almost chewy with a heavy bitter aftertaste. Overall, the beer lacks some drinkability due to the high ABV, but that is not to say that the beer is not drinkable. If I was able, I would have had a couple. A very good beer and one that I will most certainly try again.

06-20-2011 17:24:32 | More by PhillyStyle
Photo of beerman21


4.38/5  rDev +5.5%

2010 Edition Bottle

Pours as deep copper color big carbonation not overly active. Foamy off white head that dissipates to a fairly thin lace. You can tell this is a big high gravity beer just by looking at it.

Smell- Pine, deep sugary grapefruit, has kind of a deep forest pine smell. lil rummy with butterscotch flavor odors peak through the pine scents. Good by not great smelling brew.

T-Brown sugar, pine, grapefruit, hops really come through and have a nice bright bitterness.

M- coats the mouth well has a good balance of sweetness and huge bitter hop bite.

o- love this beer has become a northern Ca classic and one that i look forward to every spring. Highly recommend it to someone who wants a different take on barley wines.

06-18-2011 23:56:05 | More by beerman21
Photo of therica


4.35/5  rDev +4.8%

2011 Vintage.

A= clean copper with a very hefty foaming active beige head about 3 fingers, had to let it settle to finish pouring into a pint glass. Day #2- more settled from 36 hours refrigeration I suppose, less foamy head but still great lacing.

S= centuries of Americans have used this at holidays to pine-scent entire buildings... just kidding. Huge pine pine pine! But with some citrus too so it's not just nostril-burning pine. After about a minute or less as the head starts to settle, very nice rich malts join in. Magical. Day #2- more quickly balanced from settling in the fridge, less pine and a more complex and beautiful bouquet of a nose.

T= definitely pine, with citrus hops and also a slightly thick creamy feeling with very rich sweet caramel roasted malts. Adequate carbonation. Day #2- almost chewy on the malts this time, and even more complex in flavor. The barleywine traits are much more apparent.

M= despite the hops overload the mouth feel mellows out into a very rich malts and hops bitters combination. Day #2- ditto.

O= at 9.6%ABV it's a sit and sip beer but very drinkable at that. Maybe good with roasted red meats or smoked turkey. Day #2- Going okay with Wasabi peanuts, sorta.

06-18-2011 04:37:00 | More by therica
Photo of Rifugium


3.83/5  rDev -7.7%

First had: cask conditioned at Ebenezer's Pub, Lovell, ME

This was a 2002 batch, cellared for 9 years, and served on tap at Ebenezer's. It definitely picked up some interesting flavors in the cellaring process that made it distinct from the fresh batch I had the day before.

Poured a dark maroon-amber with more haze than its younger brother, to the point where it was pretty much opaque. Still sweet with rich malts, with rich coffee tones appearing, pine resin, dark fruits, a very woody quality, and a definite alcohol burn. Heavy mouthfeel, but not quite full-bodied. Strong, but drinkable...though perhaps one serving is enough.

06-17-2011 23:54:13 | More by Rifugium
Photo of d4114


4.93/5  rDev +18.8%

2011 bottle 6-13-11

A- Deep red body, perfectly clear; big light tan head; Really nice looking beer

S- Big hop aroma with a equally big caramel aroma. Very rich inviting smell.

T- Followed nose closely but is more complex; Big malt flavor that has a burnt caramel to it, backed up by a huge hop presence.

M- Medium-heavy; Thick and heavy but light and smooth enough for you to want to keep drinking it.

O- Awesome beer; Really drinkable bigger beer. One of the best in the style I have had.

06-17-2011 19:30:07 | More by d4114
Photo of rfgetz

New Jersey

3.8/5  rDev -8.4%

2011 vintage...

Pours a clear orange amber color, quick poof of off-white head, gone wuickly leaving splotchy bubbles and some sticky spots on the side of the galss. Scent is dominated by piney hops, moderate amounts of citrus (orange) and herbal hops, some astringent qualities before the malt even arrives. Malt scent is very sweet and syrupy. Taste is as the scent would have predicted... hop forward, warm burn of alcohol and a big syrupy like sweetness. Full bodied, heavy on the palate, lingering astringency and warmth. While a very nice beer - this pupy definitely needs some age - overly hoppy and boozy, will hunt out a vintage bottle or age the next recent one i see for comparison.

06-16-2011 13:20:24 | More by rfgetz
Photo of cavedave

New York

4.33/5  rDev +4.3%

2010 Vintage

Pours a clear dark amber with red hghlights, topped by an immense and thick dark beige head. Plenty of clingy lace slathers the glass.

Smell has plenty of piney and citrus hop, with some caramel/toffee/breadiness, floral, herbaly tart, and wee hints of alcohol spice rounding it into a dynamite aroma.

It is a high strength taste, starting with sweet caramel/toffee and light alcohol and bread, quickly grabbing some piney and herbal bitter. Citrus kicks in, some bitter orange peel and tangerine to go with the bitter pith. This carries the sip into an ending of sweet spicy alcohol and piney citrus bitter. More pithy-bitter than most barleywines I have tasted. Nice.

Quite light in mouth for such a full flavor, viscous but less than seems possible, perhaps a bit less than optimal, and low carb. despite its look. Fine finish worthy of an IPA, and on par with the hoppiest modern American BW's.

This is a fine BW, highly recommended, and a definite candidate for the cellar, though with a year on it it is in my wheelhouse right now.

06-15-2011 20:44:06 | More by cavedave
Photo of marqoid


3.65/5  rDev -12%

2011 12oz bottle poured into tulip glass

This is a beer that really need some age. I had a bottle a few weeks ago from 2008, it was smooth and beautiful.

Today I had a 2011 bottle, it was bitter and harsh.
A: Dark brown with minimal head
S: Toffee, caramel, hops
T: Hop bitterness and some burnt sugars in the background
M: Minimal carbonation, moderately think feel
O: As a young barleywine the hops are over powering and put this out of balance, but knowing Bigfoot, it will mellow and come around to a great beer with time. This is a beer that certainly has depth and complexity, but at this point I can't find it behind the hops.

06-14-2011 05:19:42 | More by marqoid
Photo of seand


4/5  rDev -3.6%

Side by side 2011 and 2007 release. Review scores are for the fresh stuff, but I will note differences in each area.

A: Pours a dark translucent reddish amber, with a fair amount of foamy eggshell white head. Retains well, and leaves a fair amount of lacing. Quite a lot of head for a barleywine. The 2007 is darker and closer to opaque, more an inky brown than red. It's also got much less head, and just clumps stick around on the surface and around the edge of the glass.

S: Malty, almost candy-like sweetness, so concentrated it's almost pungent. Hops are present, but somewhat buried. 2007 is tamer in its sweetness, but deeper and more complex. The aged version is much nicer.

T: Similar concentrated sweetness, but not quite so overpowering, as the hops offer more to balance things out. Nothing subtle about the flavors here. The 2007 is again much more layered; less of a huge sweet kick in the tongue, and less hoppy, though there's still a fair sized bitter note towards the finish.

M: Full body, medium prickly carbonation. The 2007 is still full body but a bit smoother overall.

Overall the young version is good, but the aged version is very good. Both are very big beers, but time softens many of the less subtle notes into something more layered and cohesive.

06-13-2011 02:42:16 | More by seand
Photo of cuttsjp

New Jersey

4.47/5  rDev +7.7%

Bottle from a six-pack poured into a snifter

A: beautiful amber color, slight haze, with a nice head that dissipates to thin lacing

S: sweet figs, honey, and some really nice tropical fruit brightness...a little bit of mango, pineapple, and well defined citrus

T: mmm...wonderful sweetness (but not cloying), a really nice pronounced bitterness, sweet and smooth fig flavor, notes of honey, and bright citrus notes on the finish

M: smooth and silky with medium carbonation, no complaints here and perfect for the style

O: wonderful American-style barleywine, nice hoppiness with just the right amount of sweetness, definitely a sipper but nicely complex and not overwhelming...really excellent

06-13-2011 01:58:39 | More by cuttsjp
Photo of BeerMaverick


4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

2011 poured into a snifter.

A - Dark red/mahogany-colored with a half inch of beige head. Retention that lasts throughout the session and a good amount of lacing.

S - Raisins and grapes dominate the fruity aspect of this beer. Bitter hops are prevalent as well and it possesses a strong malt backbone. Some alcohol is present here.

T - This beer is on the sweeter side and the raisins really come through here. The hop bitterness is present in the aftertaste, but it lets the alcohol filter through. Some spicy notes as well such as cinnamon and brown sugar.

M - Definitely a full-bodied brew that does not hide the alcohol well. The hoppy character lingers on the aftertaste as is with most SN beers.

O - Definitely a dessert beer. Overall a fantastic beer and representation of the style...my favorite barleywine at the time of purchase and to age as well. I had it at a SN beer dinner at the Willamantic Brewing Company paired with Bigfoot infused ice cream!

06-12-2011 23:42:40 | More by BeerMaverick
Photo of RankRefugee88

New York

3.85/5  rDev -7.2%

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A - Deep amber color, glaring through the lamp. White frothy head that doesn't retain for too long, but leaves heavy lacing.

S - Very strong and bitter up front. Caramel is present. Very alcoholic smell. Citrusy and piney.

T - Very strong taste. Extremely bitter, but in a good way. This barleywine really makes your taste buds stand on end. Also very hoppy, with sweet malty goodness towards the end. Very boozy, but relaxing and warming.

M - Smooth and carbonated, almost perfect carbonation for this style. Sticky and chewy, yummy. I can only take very small sips of this beer, it's the way that it's meant to be.

O - Overall I love it. So sweet and malty. After a few of these I feel really good. Such a nice beer. One of the most powerful tasting beers I've ever had.

06-11-2011 03:15:30 | More by RankRefugee88
Photo of iDrinknewglarus


4.33/5  rDev +4.3%

Note: I am reviewing the 2011 bottle, it is at least 3-4 months old kept in the fridge.

A: Reddish-brown. Nice creamy looking head that dies down to form a thin cap over the beer. For a beer of this ABV, it even laces pretty well. Not hazy at all.

S: Huge notes of pine and grapefruit. I even get some sweet, caramel almost sugary malty notes. Maybe just the faintest note of cranberry. It smells quite dry from the alcohol.

T: The initial taste confirms the copious amounts of hops used. There is a slightly sweet malt flavor in the background throughout, but it is really dominated by the hop flavor and bitterness. It leaves my mouth and lips sticky. The aftertaste lingers forever with a bitter, charred wood/burnt coffee kind of taste. Alcohol is well masked.

M: Not a whole lot of carbonation; but still has a medium-heavy mouthfeel.

This is my third bottle out of the six pack, and I must say I really like the way this beer is done. I'm a hop head so I really dig the hop forward taste of this barleywine. Oh yeah, and it can't be beat for the price. I'm going to age the rest of the three and taste them a year apart and see how the profile changes.

06-10-2011 01:09:41 | More by iDrinknewglarus
Photo of GallowsThief


3.65/5  rDev -12%

Poured out of a 12 oz. bottle marked 2011 into my Duvel tulip.

A – Poured an amber color with a orangish tan two finger head frothy head

S – Good hopy smell with some nice pine mixed in. Touch of citrus sweetness,

T – A malty, roasty flavor to start. Piney resin flavor follows with some mellow bitterness. Citrus flavors. Touch of sweetness at the close with a nice boozy flavor that warms you up.

M – Medium to heavy bodied. Medium carbonation. Alcohol again leaves a nice warm clean feel in your mouth.

O – Good barley wine indeed. I could have a couple but a few would sit you down in a hurry.

06-09-2011 00:17:57 | More by GallowsThief
Photo of eric5bellies


3.93/5  rDev -5.3%

2011 vintage

A - Pours a deep clear copper colour with a two fingered off White fluffy head that retains well and laces.

S - Slightly subdued piney aromas, also some burnt sugars.

T - Has some nice bitterness to a dominant Grapefruit flavour. The booze kicks in and the malts don't really turn up on this one.

M - Medium body and low carbonation

O - The bitterness is a little too intense and the beer is a little one dimensional in that respect. Having said that, this still represents a decent ABW

06-08-2011 13:54:22 | More by eric5bellies
Photo of doughanson78


4.13/5  rDev -0.5%

2011 Vintage. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Re-reviewed on 9-18-2011. Original review was C+ (3.2).

A: Deep copper. Nice hints of red. One+ finger, fluffy yellowish head. Big bubbles in head. Great lacing. Head really never goes away.

S: Big piney hops. Little ashy. Some citrus hops, grapefruit mainly. Some caramel malts fighting to get through. A touch of spices.

T: Big caramel sweetness upfront. It comes through much more than the smell did. Towards the finish a big piney bitterness comes through.

M: Medium-bodied. Medium to high carbonation. Very creamy. Slightly dry finish. A light alcohol warming.

O: Very good Barleywine for how available and how cheap it is. First time I had it the hops overwhelmed me. Granted that was early on in my craft beer endeavor. I've got a 6-pack of 2011 and 2010 to age.

06-08-2011 01:56:09 | More by doughanson78
Photo of jgagne


4.03/5  rDev -2.9%

A-Deep mahogany color with large white creamy head. Really nice

S-Really intense smell of barley and hops. Really prominent and robust

T-Really strong, robust great taste. Very bitter in a good way. Nice blend of spices as well

M-Since in your mouth pretty heavy. Nice spice and medium carbonation

O-Very good beer. Only my second barelywine so i am not up to date on what it should taste like but happy to be expanding my palate for this style. Very fun beer to drink

06-08-2011 01:43:17 | More by jgagne
Photo of JayAre46


4.13/5  rDev -0.5%

2011 bottle love it fresh love it aged
A - poured down the middle into a maudite tulip, shows a deep ruby mahogany transparent color with a 2 finger fluffy off white head that immediately shows great lacing.

A - big sweet notes of citrus, dark fruits and sugared candy, molasses with good hop presence infused, caramel malt stance, this aroma is not huge but it is very precise and not messy at all extremely grasping

T - follows the nose with a much bigger hop presence, a burnt caramel flavor, dark fruit covered with molasses, smooth transition into the hoppy bitterness, a caramelized sugar is present with a pecan dryness do they call those pralines? one over my favorite barley-wines especially with the huge hop profile.

M - medium to full body, the moderate carbonation level is perfect, the time gives it much more of creamy feel that this one doesn't possess yet but is still great.

O - again one of my favorite barley-wines, will consume and purchase this upon every release. im not sure if i like this one aged more or fresh they are both great to me maybe 5 years is the best but i wouldn't know. drink it

06-07-2011 20:59:15 | More by JayAre46
Photo of Arbitrationer


4.08/5  rDev -1.7%

Appearance - Pours a golden to amber/copper. Good head retention and a very nice lace in the glass.

Smell - Smells of citrus and hops with a lingering honey smell in the back.

Taste - Starts bitter, very hop forward and citrusy followed by a delicious sweet malty finish. The finish is a light malt tasting similar to cereal.

Mouthfeel - Slightly creamy, nice light carbonation.

Overall - Very impressed. Nice and hoppy with a delicious malty finish. Exactly what a barlywine should be.

06-07-2011 19:45:09 | More by Arbitrationer
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,234 ratings.