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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.

6,052 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,052
Reviews: 2,804
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 244
Gots: 1,044 | 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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,052 | Reviews: 2,804 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nova009


3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- a nice dark copper/amber color, about a half finger white head, decent sticky lacing

S- hops and bitter citrus, slight orange notes

T- very very bitter hop taste, grapefruit, citrus, slight alcohol notes

M- medium body with solid carbonation balance, kind of attacks the palate

D- very strong, not my favorite beer in the world but its still a solid barleywine

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2010 03:24:12 | More by nova009
Photo of hawks10


4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage - Poured into a pint glass...

Pours a creamy dark amber, glowing burnt orange color with a ton of fluffy off-white head which leaves lacing on more of the glass than not...very good looking beer...

Aroma is fantastic...tons of thick caramel and toffee malt sweetness over a healthy dose of fresh piny hops...I already know what this beer has in store, but if this were the first time smelling/tasting this beer, the aroma would be getting me very excited...

You pretty much get what the smell indicated you would...a thick and creamy, malty and hoppy, pretty much all of everything delicious beer. Starts out sweet with all that caramel and toffee malt flavor coming forward...then the hops hit, this is a relatively fresh (In Bigfoot standards) beer and you can really tell. Piny and sticky, bitter but still smooth and balanced from all that malt, the hops are perfect, combining in a great ratio with the malt, making neither aspect too powerful or overshadowing...a bit of heat shows its face after a few sips, something I like in a Barleywine...

Thick and chewy, a very sticky beer. Decent carbonation makes this a lively drink. Good amount of lingering bitterness and alcohol heat...

Given the heat and the calories of this beer [mostly], I will never have more than one in a week!! Definitely enjoyable and one that I buy a lot of every year to cellar...

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2010 00:25:33 | More by hawks10
Photo of nrbw23


4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a mostly clear dark amber color with a fairly thick off white head. Head has good retention and leaves quite a bit of lacing.

S- Smells of toffee, nuts, and dark fruit. Quite a bit of hops here too.

T- This one follows the nose for the most part. Some nice sweet malts but give way to a nice dose of hops. A bit of an alcohol burn here too.

M- Full in body and carbonation is right on.

D- Very easy to drink. I enjoy this one but think its more of a sipper.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2010 19:22:50 | More by nrbw23
Photo of unclejimbay


4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 Bigfoot, 6/20/2010 
Served from 12oz bottle to hefty large  glass  Belgian chalice for aroma appreciation 
9.6 abv, bottled May 21, 2020
4.5/5.0 across...
2010 Bigfoot, 6/20/2010 
Served from 12oz bottle to hefty large glass chalice for maximum aroma appreciation 
9.6 abv, bottled May 21, 2020

Appearance is coppper caramel in color with respectable clarity. Impressive fluffy 2 finger head with enduring rentention and cascading lace.
Aroma is deep toffee malt boozy-ness well supported by fresh hop complexity and notable barleywine candy sweetnees sneaks in.
Tastes as it smells. This is an obviously fresh batch with hop fwd aroma and taste. Deep malt sweetness equally balanced by strong signature hop support.
Mouthfeel is full body, hint of slick texture, medium+ carbo
Drinkability exceeded my skeptical expectations. I was unsure if this would live up to the hype... It's official, Sierra has not let me down yet! An awesome hoppy version as a fresh barleywine, hop support and brave sweetness hide the abv 'enough' and makes a fine example of an American Barleywine with a typical yet desired Sierra signature. One is enjoyable and lays a great foundation for the Torpedo I have awaiting...

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2010 02:30:07 | More by unclejimbay
Photo of Elimination


3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From notes, bottle to pint

Look Brown, red flares from the side thin head

smell: wine, fruity, sweet and sugary

taste: grape, fruit, malt and sugary with a slight sour. hot and spicy, good but ive had a few other barleywines that seem truer to style. Honestly feels like more of a imperial red taste honestly

Mouth: good but not great, nothing stood out

Drink: is tasty cant deny that, but i couldnt do a lot of these

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2010 18:31:56 | More by Elimination
Photo of honestdave


4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 2010 bottle into my Westy chalice

A: Dark reddish brown with creamy thick head. Head recedes rather quickly. Decent amount of lacing.

S: Caramel sweetness. Light hop aroma.

T: More caramel sweetness with some light hop bitterness, but more sweet than bitter. This beer has a nice overall balance to it. Warm alcohol aftertaste, but with toffee candy flavor.

M: Medium mouthfeel with just a touch of carbonation.

D: This is a deceptive beer. The high alcohol is well hidden behind the sweetness. There is some warming from the alcohol but very appealing and easy to drink down.

Summary: I would easily buy this one again. The barleywine style makes for a very tasty brew. Nice job, Sierra Nevada!

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2010 22:08:13 | More by honestdave
Photo of JMad


3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured a 2010 12oz bottle into a snifter. The bottle was room temperature.

This is an awesome beer, it had a dark amber color, sported an off-white 1 finger head that left a good amount of lacing on the way down.

It smells of piney and floral hops, sweet malt, and just a bit alcoholic.

It tastes of bourbon, piney hops, good amount of bitterness, sweet fig, and malt.

The liquid almost tingles when it hits your tongue, goes down smooth, a little heavy and warming.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2010 03:23:12 | More by JMad
Photo of Brabander


3.4/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this bottle in a trade with SevenB. Thanks for this beer Troy!

Poured in my Struise glass the beer looks very nice, dark with a creamy head. It's a pity that the head disappears after a while.

I smell mostly the barrel in which the beer was lagered. You can actually smell the oak and some whiskey or sherry. Strong smell, a bit too much for me.

The first taste was OK, not my favourite taste but for this type OK. The rest stays average for me. It's an interesting beer but not more than that. Glad that i tasted it.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2010 21:05:37 | More by Brabander
Photo of Freethyhops


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

a- a bright amber with some deep red tones. a great amount of off-white/cream colored head that shows great retention and leaving heavy lacing. nice clarity on this one, too. really spot on.

s- a rich caramel malt sweetness. a fairly heavy hop influence with some some floral/earthy and slighly citric tones. a bit or breadiness.

t- a very intense mix of rich malt sweetness and a very high level of bitterness. some caramel and fairly heavy breadiness. some big flavors that balance each other exceptionally well. the finish ends slighlty dry with a bit of alcohol in the finish.

m- thick, chewy stuff. a moderate carbonation suits well. the slightest amount of alcohol warming.

d- I can never drink much of any barleywine, so to say I could probably have 2 bottles of this is fairly high praise. at an amazing price point it's a great one to keep around.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2010 21:41:05 | More by Freethyhops
Photo of haddon


4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a dirty brown with a good amount of carbonation bubbles. nice, frothy egg-white head that lingers. good lacing down the glass

to me, the nose is mostly sweet malts: caramel, brown sugar, figs...

very sweet and malty on the palate. there is a hoppy bitterness on the finish... really exentuates as the beer warms

full body beer with good carbonation

at 9.6%, fairly drinkable. I had this beer some time back but am glad I waited to review. this beer definitely gets better with age.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2010 03:07:31 | More by haddon
Photo of

4.78/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Local Option, Chicago
2008 vintage served in a tulip glass.

This is the first aged barleywine I've had, and drinking it was an eye-opening experience. I don't think I will ever drink a young barleywine again.

Appearance was thick and murky with a head that wouldn't go away. Very nice.

Smells of dark fruits, a little bit of pine coming from the hops, and a little bit of coca-cola. Taste is mostly figs, dates and coke. Bitterness is in perfect proportion. Mouthfeel was excellent - the beer was almost as creamy as the head.

Drinkability is excellent given the Abv. I think that one of these is plenty though.

Serving type: on-tap

06-07-2010 21:48:37 | More by
Photo of aepb1


3.4/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A- Dark amber with a red/tan head (quite a large head)

S- Malts and floral hops

T- Very hoppy from the get go through the finish with a little caramel malts near the end as well

M- Medium bodied, creamy and good balance of carbonation

D- An assault of hops from the beginning makes this only marginally drinkable repeatedly

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2010 17:28:09 | More by aepb1
Photo of parris


3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Frothy two finger, light brown head. Deep amber color with aggressive carbonation.

Metallic aroma, pine notes. I'd guess west coast hops, but I'd probably be wrong.

This kind of tastes a bit between a barley wine and pale ale. The flavors aren't so much balanced as you taste the barley wine up front, then it finishes like a pale. Pretty good, pretty crisp too.

Pretty thick, big bodied.

I found this beer on a "most harmful drinks in America" blog, it has 330 calories and 32 carbs. If I didn't know that 2 of these has as much calories as a good dinner, I'd probably give it a better drinkability rating, but what I know can't be undone.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2010 00:14:57 | More by parris
Photo of 33nickadams


3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a- Nice reddish color, nice head and lacing

s- Floral and sweet

t- a lot going on, a nice bite at the end of the taste

m- good mouthfeel, a little bitter

d- I bought a six pack, but will only probably have a couple tonight

I have wanted to try this beer for 10 years and I am not disappointed. It reminds me of my favorite beer, 2 hearted.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2010 01:05:03 | More by 33nickadams
Photo of Spiekerbox


4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 edition

A- Reddish brown color pours with a relatively large off-white head that recedes rather quickly.

S- Sweet malty scent with hops

T- Complex, has a toasted malt backbone with sweeter malts and a variety of hop flavors working their way in. Noticeable alcohol presence that does not negatively effect the taste.

M- decent carbonation and a rather smooth and sticky mouthfeel. Medium body that seemed lighter than I had expected though still not a light beer in any way.

D- Quite easy to drink given how big it is, would maybe drink 2 in a night at the most but just one today is good enough for me. Enjoyable experience to drink.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2010 23:20:54 | More by Spiekerbox
Photo of jpittman80


4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 version.

A - Pours dark, slightly hazy brown with a finger of off-white head that lasts with some lacing.

S - Citrus and piney hops, caramel malts. Slight alcohol.

T - Amazingly complex. The perfect blend of citrus, pine, roasted malts, and caramel. Some alcohol.

M - Good medium body with a decent amount of carbonation. Good bit of alcohol burn in the throat.

D - For a beer this big and flavorful, you really shouldn't go with more than one. That being said, it's not hard to polish one off!

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2010 22:11:08 | More by jpittman80
Photo of Imsothirsty

New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010, purchased on Jan 20 2010. So 5 months in the cellar

Pours medium brown just a tinge of red. With a half finger tan head.

Nose smells first like yeast, then syrupy malt, then just a little fresh floral hop.

Taste is solid brown sugar malty, a little spice. There is another familiar flavor that I can't put my finger on, but its got a little bitterness and a warming finish.

Medium heavy body with light carbonation, and a pretty strong warming.

Overall its a solid beer, the alcohol comes through pretty strong though and in my opinion its really lacking in hops. Nothing super special to bring me back for more.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2010 01:04:59 | More by Imsothirsty
Photo of yeahnatenelson


4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance -- Pours a translucent ruby red with an abundance of stiff tan head. Lacing is abundant and rocky.

Smell -- An abundance of caramel and butterscotch with some floral hop aroma and some resin. Some alcohol is present in the nose, as to be expected.

Taste -- Very hop forward from the onset, then a lot of dark roastiness and caramel eek out of the wall of resin. Finish is hoppy and asserive with a fair amount of caramel and burnt roast flavors, as well as some alcohol bite.

Mouthfeel -- full-bodied, chewy, and with more carbonation than I am used to with for the style, but somehow it suits this beer quite well.

Drinkability -- This is a whole lot of beer in every way possible. What I really enjoyed about this beer was that even with 90 IBUs it still hits a lot of those prototypical malty, unctuous barleywine notes that makes them so satisfying. The higher carbonation and hop assertiveness really adds to the drinkability for me, as it prevents all of that sweet maltiness from becoming cloying. It's delightful, and absolutely worthy of its reputation.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2010 00:37:19 | More by yeahnatenelson
Photo of Bizz88


4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This 2010 brew poured a nice two finger off white head over a dark amber liquid with lots of sticky lacing. Aromas of hops and sweet carmel malts with slight citrus hints. Hoppy citrus malts on the tongue with a light grapefruit rind finish. A bitter sweet infusion. Medium bodied creaminess with light carbonation. An awesome brew that would probably do even better with a little ageing time. Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2010 20:36:52 | More by Bizz88
Photo of BB1313


3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 12 oz bottle from 2010 vintage into standard pint glass. Pours a nice dark brownish orange, w/ a little haze. Nice head that disappears somewhat quick and nice lacing. Smells of sweet malt and hops. It's a very bitter brew, unbalanced in my eyes. This is a straight up hop bomb. I do wish it was a little sweeter. Feels pretty smooth and the drinkability is good considering the high gravity of this brew.

This is a solid brew, but not my favorite that Sierra Nevada has to offer.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2010 19:55:40 | More by BB1313
Photo of kwjd

Ontario (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010. Pours a deep amber colour with off-white head that quickly dissipates and leaves no lacing. Starts off with a huge hop smell, but also has an extreme sweetness to it. The taste has tons of sweet caramel flavour, with some hop bitterness to balance it out. A bit undercarbonated, but that makes it very smooth. Great beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2010 00:25:03 | More by kwjd
Photo of TrippnFiasco


4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from (2010) bottle into dogfish head snifter. pours gorgeous dark cherry red/mahogany. Two-finger caramel-color head. Very thick, full-bodied foam that slowly dissipates, leaving great lacing.

S: Bit of a sweetness, caramel on the back end. Actually not as strong as I was expecting. Mild malt and hops.

T: Fantastic. Alcohol only comes through just enough to add to the flavor. It has a delicious, well rounded sweetness (cherry and plum), that finishes with a bit of a bite from the hops and leaves a nice roasted maltiness that lingers on the palate for quite a while.

M: Very smooth, medium-heavy body. Very mild carbonation.

D: Delicious, but probably wouldn't recommend more than two unless you plan on a long evening.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2010 01:40:30 | More by TrippnFiasco
Photo of velmalikevelvet


4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage oured from a 12-oz bottle into chilled mug.

Gorgeous red color, with a small (~1/4 in), quickly dissipated buff head and nice lacing. Nice perfumy nose that speaks to the toffee flavors to come. Not too spicy, not too malty, with more hops than other barleywines I've had. Somewhat thin in the mouth, which I like (not so syrupy), but it lingers.

This is the only barleywine style beer that I've found drinkable. I look forward to the new vintage every year, & I've learned (the hard way) to heed the "sipper" suggestion.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2010 01:28:18 | More by velmalikevelvet
Photo of stakem


4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes taken on 4/22/10.

Vintage 2004 on tap at the Buckeye beer engine in Cleveland, Oh. Served initially way too cold in a snifter. Pours a clear amber color with a creamy finger of tanned head. Solid retension and a wall of lace clings to the glass. Nose is a great malty monster which includes a combo of sweetness from the malt and floral hops. Taste is quite bitter from the hops with an oily resine-like feel. Body of this beer is medium with a very mild level of carbonation. The alcohol becomes quite pronounced as it warms. Malty sweetness provides a solid backing but doesn't overtake the oily hop bitterness that lingers in the mouth. Some dark carmelized sugars, a bit like molasses, are left combating the alcohol and hops. Overall well done.

I've had this brew a number of times and ways ranging from as fresh as only a couple of weeks in the bottle to a vintage on draft that was 16 years old. This is a remarkable beer that can really stand up to aging and seemingly the older it is the better it gets. A wonderful display of how malt character can develope and hops can fade. This vintage being reviewed was surprisingly still hoppy and could have easily be kept good for several more years.

Serving type: on-tap

05-24-2010 16:50:43 | More by stakem
Photo of Wisconsinality


3.18/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into Duvel tulip.

A- Pours a deep cherry red with a big two finger head that sticks around for a long while and leaves some decent lacing on the side of the glass.

S- At first whiff, I get a big hint of funk and cinnamon. The more it warms, the more the dark fruits come out but so does the alcohol. I was expecting a little more out of this one. Hard to really pick anything else up.

T- This is unlike any barleywine I have had. There is a big spice presence combined with malt and something else I can't put my finger on. Maybe a little pumpkin.

M- Medium bodied with a very sprite like carbonation. Almost stings the tongue. A little warming from the alcohol and a spiciness on the back of the throat. A little thin for my liking in barleywines.

D- The alcohol is pretty well hidden but I see this beer going in a bunch of different directions and makes it seem as though they couldn't decide on a single purpose. I may have to revisit this beer with some age on it or make sure I didn't have a bad bottle.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2010 02:54:00 | More by Wisconsinality
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,052 ratings.