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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.

6,279 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,279
Reviews: 2,813
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 265
Gots: 1,108 | FT: 40
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
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Ratings: 6,279 | Reviews: 2,813 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of russwbeck
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%

A: Clear amber pour with a cream colored head. Hardly any retention, but what does stick around laces nicely.

S: Caramel malts balance nicely with some citrus hops to release a wonderfully balanced smell. Perhaps a hint of alcohol.

T: The caramel maltiness starts off the taste. Citrus and piney hops follow. It finishes sweet with some alcohol mixed in.

MF: A little more than medium bodied, without any over the top carbonation. Alcohol is noted throughout.

O: Pretty much the standard of a good barleywine. Not my favorite personally, but pretty above average overall.

russwbeck, Jun 01, 2011
Photo of MacQ32
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%

2011 Version

A - pours a nice deep amber with a nice cream colored inch of head with excellent retention

S - Hoppy and citrusy (grapefruit/lemon), also some resinous aromas. A nice mild note of toasty malts to balance out the nose. Alcohol very much present

T - Abundance of piney resin flavored hops at the start with a strong toffee malt presence. Flavor develops to much more bitter and citrust flavors than the sweet maltyness of the initial taste. Nice dry bitter finish at the end. Warm alchohol presence

M - Nice medium to semi heavy body, well carbonated to make the pronounced flavors and alcohol very drinkable.

O - Flavor filled, alcohol strong and still very drinkable. Awesomely bold and balanced

MacQ32, Jun 01, 2011
Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%

Taken from notes on 3.9.11

2008 vintage at Bailey's Tap Room.

10oz pour into a snifter.

A - Deep, carmel brown in color with a huge egg shell, creamy head. Serious lacing and retention.

S - Boozy and spices.

T - Booze, spices, fruit, slight nutty.

D - Much smoother than the 2011 I had the day before. Not nearly as hot.

O - Great beer, that is why several are aging in my cellar.

HuskyinPDX, May 30, 2011
Photo of plfahey
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%

12 oz. bottle (2011 vintage) poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Amber to mahogany with fantastic clarity and a giant, yellow-cream colored head with great lacing and retention. Looks awesome and truly imposing. When swirled about the glass, you can get a sense for how viscous it is.

Aroma-Bright burst of hops up front-pine, citrus, grapefruit, lemon, and a hint of resin. Underneath is a foundation of rich toffee, dark caramel, and molasses. Just a whiff of alcohol. Some orange as well, though I'm not quite sure where that's coming from.

Flavor-Huge flavor on the palate. Starts out with assault of piney hops, followed by rich depth of toffee malt with molasses and dark caramel-almost raisiny at times. After the malt shows in the mid-palate, assertive hop bitterness and flavor kick in. The hop bitterness and high alcohol dry out the palate, while piney, grapefruit hops soar through the long aftertaste. Rich, powerful, and awesome.

Mouthfeel-Medium full body and moderate carbonation make this almost chewy, but it just falls short of that mark-I wish it were just a bit fuller. High hop bitterness leaves the mouth buzzing, while the high alcohol warms from within.

This beer is truly definitive of the style-this is an American barleywine through and through, and a damn tasty one at that. I'm not sure what more needs to be said. I don't think this one holds up to age as well as some other barleywines do, but within the first few years (or even fresh), this beer kicks some serious ass.

plfahey, May 29, 2011
Photo of notchucknorris
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%

On tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad

A: Has a deep reddish color with a nice cream colored head and brilliant lacing.

S: Big citrus hop aromas. Grapefruit pith and a bit of malt there as well.

T: I get a big layer of malt upfront, followed by some pretty big notes of grapefruit and hop resin. The finish is big and bitter. Pretty solid.

notchucknorris, May 28, 2011
Photo of claytong
3.65/5  rDev -12%

appearance - crimson

smell - its definitely an american barleywine, lots of hops, pine, citrus, honey.

taste - bitterness is not to my liking but i shouldve expected though some american barleywines are using significantly less hops, brown sugar

mouthfeel - goes down easy, surprisingly it doesn't leave my mouth dry.

a bit boring, but im gonna age 4 or so and see what some years do for them. i think it will only do them good, we'll see. the price is right on them anyhow. i might pick up more to age.

claytong, May 28, 2011
Photo of Alieniloquium
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep amber body that's pretty clear topped with an off-white head. Good legs and great lacing. I like to swirl it in the glass to make myself look sophisticated.

Smell - Pungent hops. Piney and citrusy aromas that are quickly overwhelmed by caramel. It also smells boozy, but I generally don't hold that against a beer unless it's offensive. The only thing that prevents me from rating it higher is the lack of malt complexity. Still smells awesome.

Taste - The flavor follows the aroma exactly. Piney hop flavor up front, sweet caramel midrange, and a great hop bitterness in the finish. Again, it's not complicated, it's just good.

Mouthfeel - Heavy side of medium-bodied. Viscous enough to coat the tongue and let the flavors linger. Not such intense carbonation, which makes it feel creamy. This is how I like barleywines to feel.

Overall - The only thing it lacks is complexity. A variety of flavors and it would be spot-on. As it is, there not a thing you can complain about in this beer. I started with a case and I'm down to 12. We'll see how long they last me.

Alieniloquium, May 27, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Thanks to Crabbicuss for this bottle!

2011 Vintage. I can't believe it's taken me this long to try the classic T-Bird of barleywines. It pours an ever-so-slightly hazy amber-garnet topped by a finger or so of off-white foam. The nose comprises grapefruit, toffee, orange peel, light pine, very light mint, and a touch of cantaloupe. The taste is as though a mountain of citrusy hops (grapefruit, pineapple, cantaloupe, and then some pine as well) was thoroughly drizzled with thick, sweet caramel. A nice balance, with a sizable, though not o'erwhelming, amount of booziness. The body is a hefty medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a lightly creamy feel. Overall, a very nice b-wine, one that is more than deserving of its status.

TMoney2591, May 27, 2011
Photo of zrab11
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%

A- Pours a nice browish red color with 2 finger white head

S- Has a stron aroma of hops and malts. Also can smell the alcohol

T- Taste of sweet mlts upfront then has a bitter hops taste in the middle and finish's with an alcohol flavor

M-Medium bodied with great carbonation

D-Overall ive heard great things about this beer. But it just wasn't doing itfor me tonight. I will visit this again. But felt it was too bitter to enjoy. Especially as it got warmer.

zrab11, May 27, 2011
Photo of punkrkr27
4.15/5  rDev 0%

2006 Bottle. Poured a deep ruby amber color with a dense, thin but lasting off white head. Aroma is grapefruit and caramel malts. Warm and sweet malt flavor with grapefruit. Strong hop bitterness in the finish, but well balanced with just a hint of the alcohol. Body is medium with moderate carbonation.

punkrkr27, May 26, 2011
Photo of mdaschaf
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%

Review from notes. Broke out a mini vertical after brewing on 5-21-11, including bottles from 2007-2011. Review is of 2011 vintage.

A: Poured a slightly hazy ruby/brown color with a foamy off-white head with nice retention and thick, sticky lacing left on the glass.

S: I was not prepared for the hops on the aroma, tons of both citrus and pine with a solid caramel backbone. Some tropical fruits including grapefruit and pineapple.

T: Again, surprisingly hoppy. A combination of both citrus/tropical and pine flavors with more of the former - some grapefruit and pineapple. The is a sizeable malt backbone giving a sweetness as well as a slight nutty/toasty characteristic.

M: Very smooth (the aged bottles were smoother), medium bodied, slightly filling, with moderate carbonation.

O: Very good! Typically I am not a huge fan of American Barleywines, finding them to be a bit harsh, but this one wasn't at all. Now..to resist cracking the others I have left so I can age them..

mdaschaf, May 25, 2011
Photo of mattjv
4.65/5  rDev +12%

A-Pours a dark amber color with copper highlights around the edges. 1.5 fingers of foamy head with good retention considering 9.6% ABV.

S-Rich, sticky caramel malt sweetness comes out strong. Lots of hop presence as expected, big resinous pine and orange citric character. Alcohol is definitely present on the aroma but kept in check.

T-Rich caramel malt presence starts it on a sweet note, bitterness comes in quick and strong. loads of piny hop flavors reminiscent of chewing on a mouthful of needles. Lemon and orange flavors provide a citrus complement to the hop backbone, did I mention bitterness? Comes in very strong and lasts long into the finish with a mildly soapy component. As with the aroma, some alcohol spice and heat are present but it doesn't run amok.

M- Full bodied, moderate carbonation pleasantly prickles on the tongue without overwhelming any of the taste.

0-A great brew with tremendous flavor and bitterness. Steer very clear if bitter beers aren't your thing, otherwise give it a try.

mattjv, May 25, 2011
Photo of shand
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%

2011 12oz bottle poured into a nonic.

This is a great looking brew. A fairly clear brown-red color with a huge amount of off-white head that retains forever and leaves thick gobs of lacing. The aroma is nice, an upfront dank citric hoppiness over sweet caramel malts. The taste is quite well-composed. The sweet malts come through right away, but a HUGE dank hop kick comes in, almost like it's chasing the liquid down my throat. A bit of alcohol is present on this stage as well. Nice bitter aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is very full-bodied with a bit of smoothness from a moderate amount of carbonation. The drinkability is quite good for such a big beer. Overall, a great beer. Looking forward to having some of these aged.

shand, May 25, 2011
Photo of NATOuk
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%

Sierra Nevada 2011 Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale

A dark golden red, initial white head falling back to a witte ring around the glass

Dark malts, dark fruit, some grassy notes and a noticeable citrus aroma

Big taste here, initial sweetness and dark fruit flavours, then a massive bitterness starts to develop and peaks on the finish. Some citrus notes here as well. A massive bitterness dominates the finish and hangs around for a long time

Medium carbonation, medium body, coats the mouth nicely

A fantastic beer to sit and savour, great for hopheads given the high hop rates and high alcohol strength. Recommend you try this if you see it.

NATOuk, May 23, 2011
Photo of djsmith1174
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%

A: Nice reddish brown with a good tan colored head.

S: Nice balance of grapefruit and sweetness from the malts.

T: Starts nicely with the grapefruit from the hops and transitions to the sweet caramel malts. the extreme balance of the flavors really makes this beer shine.

M: Medium viscosity and slickness that I expect from a Barleywine.

O: I really enjoy this beer both fresh and with age. Fresh, it's like and extreme IIPA due to the hop profile and the malt sweetness in the backbone. It becomes more of a Barleywine with age since the hop character settles a bit. Either way it's a damn fine brew that I seek out several 6 packs of every year.

djsmith1174, May 22, 2011
Photo of humuluslupulus8
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%

A: Bigfoot was a leather brown hue with some red undertones. The head was soft-looking and khaki colored.

S: The aroma consisted of a strong, but equal, presence of both the malt and hops. I could also detect the slight sting of the alcohol.

T: The flavor was bittersweet and balanced; again, the alcohol was noticeable but not distracting. Each sip also left a bitter aftertaste on my tongue.

M: This beer was VERY thick, and it had a creamy head. This beer definitely felt thicker than any other beer I've drank, even more than North Coast Brewing's Old Rasputin.

O: Overall, I liked this beer but found it too strong to finish. Between the substantial content of malt sweetness and hops bitterness and the dense mouthfeel, I could only take small sips of this beer. Moreover, I only think I made it about half way through the bottle because the beer was so intense. I think my Bigfoot would have been considerably more enjoyable if it had been aged for at least a year; my bottle was from the 2011 batch. I can tell much care went into making this beer, and I hope I'll be able to drink a Bigfoot some time in the future that has been aged for a year or more.

humuluslupulus8, May 22, 2011
Photo of Lillenk
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Had on tap at Grill One Eleven.

Appearance was a very nice dark brownish red.

Smell was huge with tons of sweet smells and malty smells.

Taste was also huge. Tons going on with anything from sweet to roasty to almost earthy and grassy.

Mouthfeel was huge. Very big bodied.

Overall a great drink but because of the full body and high ABV it would be very difficult to drink more than one or two.

Lillenk, May 21, 2011
Photo of JerseyKirk
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%

A: Dark brown with a white 1 finger head.

S: Very subtle citrus notes.

T: It's odd to say this but it tastes/smells a little like pot. Idk if people are into that or not but I liked it.

M: Full bodied and alcoholic.

D: Hells yea! I love this beer. This is the first barelywine that I wasn't disgusted by because the alcohol killed all of my senses.

JerseyKirk, May 18, 2011
Photo of hotliquor
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%

Appearance: Clear, light tan foam clings to the glass, beautiful mahogany color.

Smell: Rich malt, caramel, toffee, dark crystal, booze and citrus hops. Piney, grapefruit, and floral. Not as fresh tasting as when it was first released, but really good.

Taste: Bittersweet. Big malt and hop flavor, with lingering resin and warming alcohol. This is aggressive, but well done. Nutty dark crystal and explosive hop bitterness and flavor, mostly grapefruit and bitter orange peel. Finishes with sweet malt and tons of hop resins.

Mouthfeel: Sweet but the alcohol and hops make this more drinkable. Nice carbonation. Lingering resin and alcohol cleans the palate.

Overall: This is very good. I buy a six pack or more each year and I always enjoy it.

hotliquor, May 18, 2011
Photo of MattyG85
4.48/5  rDev +8%

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. 2011 bottle.

Appearance: A slightly cloudy dark amber red with a small white head that fades into a white layer. Good lacing around the glass.

Smell: Strong burst of citrus and floral hops followed by sweet caramel malts. Grapefruit, orange peel, lemon, and a bit of spice.

Taste: Citrus and earthy hops up front are followed by sweetness from the caramel malts and fruits. Finishes with some more hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation. Chewy and bitter but still smooth and drinkable.

Overall: A very solid brew. I'm not very experienced with barleywines so I don't really have anything to compare it too. It tastes a lot like a DIPA.

Edit: After having several different barleywines both English and American style, I had a fresh 2012 bottle and still think this is the most hop forward take on the style yet. Its like the American style taken to the extreme. I look forward to trying an aged one sometime.

MattyG85, May 18, 2011
Photo of FatBoyGotSwagger
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%

2011 batch

appearance-It pours a dark amber body with a I finger head.
smell-Pine Hops.
taste- Bitter hops upfront which leads to a quick hit of alcohol then a sweet crisp lingering on the tongue.

overall- With about 5 months on it Bigfoot still has a proper hop profile and is enjoyable. There is a huge malt backbone to balance the hops but they are still balanced at this point.

FatBoyGotSwagger, May 17, 2011
Photo of birdman200
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%

A: Deep mahogany, dark caramel color. 2 finger off white head. Great lacing
S: Bubble gum, alcohol burn, floral hops, grapefruit, pine, green apple.
T: Deep malty backbone, honey, Little oak taste. Noticeable sweetness.
M: Really lingers in mouth for long time.
D: The tits. Amazing beer - 1st barleywine ever, and won't be the last.

birdman200, May 17, 2011
Photo of StoutHunter
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%

I picked up a bottle of Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale for $1.99 at The Lager Mill. I have been wanting to try this beer for a while since I heard it was one the better Barleywines available, but every time I thought to pick one up they were sold out for the season, but I am not letting the elusive Bigfoot escape me this time. 2011 Vintage, poured from a short 12oz brown bottle into a mini snifter.

A- I like the label on this beer, it fits the name and isn't as plain as most of Sierra Nevada's labels seem to be, I also like that the year was printed on the cap, very helpful for cellaring. It poured a nice caramel amber color with four fingers worth of fluffy white head that died down to a thick layer that left lots of nice looking lacing.

S- The aroma starts off with some sweet caramel malts, but are quickly overpowered by large amounts of citrus and floral hops that pretty much dominate the aroma and are mostly citrus with some pine thrown in there for good measure. I also pick up the faint aroma of alcohol, which is to be expected from this style. Smells pretty similar to a highly hopped IPA.

T- The taste starts off with a big presence of hops, its like a half and half mixture of citrus and piney hops that make for a pretty big hop profile and pretty hop forward Barleywine. In the middle I pick up the caramel malts that have the right amount of sweetness to it. The finish is moderately bitter with a slight hint of booze at the end.

M- Sticky, Medium bodied and it was pretty carbonated which I wasn't expecting but enjoyed.

Overall I though this was a pretty good barleywine. Pretty much all the Barleywine's I have had have all been heavy on the malts and malt forward, in this brew the malts take a back seat to the hops. I think I like the malts forward Barleywine's better but I can still appreciate the complexity's of this highly hopped Barleywine. I fell like the malt heavy ones are better suited for the colder temperatures of the winter, while this highly hopped one seems better suited for those cooler summer nights around the camp fire, each one has it's own good time and place. I don't know if this beer is that drinkable but since it is not as sweet as some of the other ones I have had I could see cracking another one if I had it. If I can find a 6 pack I think I will buy it, this would make a great summertime Barleywine. If you like your Barleywine's Hop forward then this is the brew for you, hell if you just a fan of Barleywine's in general you should try this. This was a great solid beer from Sierra Nevada, I would like to throw a couple of these in the cellar to see how this brew stacks up once the hops start to fade, I am willing to bet it will taste even better but completely different. This is up their with Torpedo for the best beer I have had from Sierra Nevada. EDIT- The 2012 version is just as good and even more intesence since this one was much fresher the 2011 I had last year, through and through one of the best looking barleywines and a really intense beer.

StoutHunter, May 17, 2011
Photo of Cyberkedi
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%

Aroma is fruity with an undertone of malt and a firm hint of molasses. It pours a pretty dark brownish amber, almost mahogany, with a thick, fluffy, fairly persistent white head. Luscious flavor is fruity and woody with hints of caramel and brown sugar. Alcohol bite is present and a bit tinny, but not as strong as with most barleywines, which is a plus. Texture is smooth, fizzy and edgy, leaving a tingly and woody finish. I for one recommend this to barleywine lovers.

Cyberkedi, May 15, 2011
Photo of beerdrifter
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%

Deep amber pour with a tinge of ruby with an off-white two finger head that has good retention and great lacing. Lots of citrus in the nose, specifically tangerines, with a solid sweet malty backbone and a hint of alcohol. The taste is intense! Huge resiny, tangy, spicy, hop bitterness with a good measure of pine and orange peel and a hint of cinnamon. This is all nicely complemented by a syrupy malt sweetness that tries to tame the intense bitterness. This thing really opens up nicely as it warms. A thick and chewy sipper with a subtle alcohol burn. A classic interpretation of the style. Yet another winner from one of my favorite breweries!

beerdrifter, May 13, 2011
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,279 ratings.