Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 6,225 | Reviews: 2,808 | Display Reviews Only:
4.5/5 rDev +8.4%
Review of fresh 2011 Bigfoot. Poured from 12oz bottle into Tulip.
A. Poured a big 3 finger head. Thick massive bubbles. Thick lacing left on side of glass. Great retention.
S. Smell is a big blast of hops and malt. I had forgotten how hoppy fresh Bigfoot could be. Caramel malt lies beneath all of the piney hops. Fresh the is a hoppy smelling barleywine.
T. Taste is a nice combination of hop and malt. Probably more malt forward even when fresh. Caramel malt sweetness balances out some piney hop bitterness.
M. Medium/full bodied. Full carbonation. Just a bit of lingering sweetness.
D. Very drinkable. I really like the contrast in flavor that Bigfoot can produce from when it is fresh to its aged version. Fresh it has a ton of hop smell and flavor that I really like. With a year or more on it Bigfoot has some amazing malt flavors.
02-04-2011 21:53:23 | More by siradmiralnelson
4.5/5 rDev +8.4%
Fresh 2011 Bigfoot
Nice dense pancake batter head with good lacing and dark mahogany color.
Full citrus and pine hops with a sweet malt back. Would have to wait a few years for the hops to die down to get other smells but the hops are amazing.
Loads of bitter hops and sweet malt. Very fresh and green in flavor right now. Tastes like a DIPA right now with all the hops. The after taste is very clean and kind of refreshing.
Medium body and very dry.
This drinks well so be careful and sloooow down. I hope to have a great vertical set up over time.
02-04-2011 07:46:47 | More by rwf08
4.08/5 rDev -1.7%
2011 vintage fresh. Pours out a ruby brown color with four fingers of white head that leaves really sick lacing.
Smell is big floral piney hops. SNPA on crack. Hops dominate here.
taste is big chewy caramel rich flavor, that is after you get past the forest of pine trees. Big piney floral malt bomb, but in a good way. Nice flavors that are in your face, but are some how harmonious.
Mouthfeel is beyond thick with surprisingly high carbonation. Pretty dry .
Love this beer. Sipper, but man these intense flavors are a smack in the face, but really delicious.
02-04-2011 02:49:29 | More by pdoran10
4/5 rDev -3.6%
Appearance - Looks incredible, nice dark coppery color, good amount of white head. Has great retention and good amounts of lacing. The appearance is spot on.
Smell - Floral hops with a strong malt background, not getting a whole lots else. Smells more like an IPA than a barleywine so I bumped it down a few notches.
Taste - The taste is like a flavor explosion, it is kind of overwhelming in a way. It has gotten better as I let it sit a bit. Has real strong hop profile, with a sticky/sweet malt backbone. As far as the flavors go it is a little on the aggressive side with hops to be my ideal barleywine. But overall not bad at all.
Mouthfeel - pretty thick and sticky, good carbonation.
Drink - Pretty easy to drink despite being a punch in the mouth with hops at first.
Hadn't reviewed in awhile so I decided to give this one a whirl. Overall a solid beer. I think I'd prefer it was some age on it so the rest of the flavors could shine a little better through the hop assault. For me hops shouldn't be the focal point in a barleywine, but still a tasty brew none the less.
02-04-2011 02:13:53 | More by yuriruley
4.2/5 rDev +1.2%
2010 vintage into Smokestack chalice.
Light, hazy auburn in color, with a finger of off-white head that sticks around for a bit and leaves nice spongy lacing behind.
Aroma is still a bit hoppy; reminds me of celebration with the spicy hop notes. There's also rich caramel malt sweetness, and booze. Some fruity notes come through on the nose as well.
Taste is dark fruits , some booze, spice notes, and still a hint of hops.
Feel is creamy, nearing full and heavy, slightly coating.
Without a doubt, one of the most solid Barley wines.
02-04-2011 01:16:11 | More by EgadBananas
4.13/5 rDev -0.5%
2011 Edition. Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a snifter.
A: 2011 Bigfoot pours a dark amber hue with a thin, cream-colored head that slowly settles. Retention is decent, and leaves sticky lacing on the glass.
S: Floral hops surrounded by a thick malt backbone, with scents of dried fruit, fig, spice, and alcohol. Hints of citrus and pine linger in the backround.
T: A very assertively hopped beer of this style. Floral, with lots of pine and citrus. Malt brings forth notes of caramel, dried fruits, toast, and some spice. Finish is slightly alcoholic and quite warming.
Notes: Bigfoot is a full-bodied brew, and flavors remain on the palate for some time after each sip. While this is a fresh example, it's a bit off-balanced, yet still tasty. This is one for the cellar, as the hops will mellow and flvors will meld together quite nicely. This is a beer that I look forward to every year.
02-03-2011 05:17:04 | More by WYVYRN527
4.13/5 rDev -0.5%
Fresh 2011 Bigfoot picked up earlier today...
Appearance: Great crimson colored body. Pours a small head with nice lacing. Very beautiful presentation!
Smell: Huge malt sweetness and aromatic hops dominate the nose. It smells "fresh" in a good way; although i know how well this ages, and subsequently how the flavors and aromas will shift with time. For now though, the hop profile is taking a front seat along with the malt, giving this barleywine a great "American" edge.
Taste: Again, the great interplay between the sweetness of the malt and the bitterness of the hops. There's a little alcohol burn and astringency, though it's marginal.
Mouthfeel: Nice amount of carbonation, and little to no "syrupy" feeling. It's undoubtedly a "bigger" beer, though not a behemoth. This makes it very drinkable for me. As great as it is now though (and it certainly is...) I can't wait to space out my Bigfoots over some time to see how they mature.
02-03-2011 04:03:44 | More by amcmaho1
4.65/5 rDev +12%
SNBA (Expedition 2011) pours up with intrepid antipation and plenty of effervescence that creates a plethora of tiny-modest bubbles which create a massive sustainable beige-tannish cream colored head that sits regally atop the deep reddish-brown body. The head retention is amazing! The initial clarity suffers from a bit of "chill or hop haze", but clears nicely after it warms in hand and shows off some definite legs. The initial aroma showcases the resinous Northwest hops (Cascade & Centennial) which are part of the signature with an abundantly fruity (citrus salad/grapefruit) character. The additional added spiciness (piney/pine tar) and grassy/floral notes add complexity and gives way to a solid malt backbone and vinous strength as it warms. The malt dominated flavor starts off nicely fruity (apricot preserves, Mandarin orange, Texas Red Grapefruit) with a lovely toasted (ginger snap, shortbread cookies, vanilla wafer) character & huge caramel maltiness (hot buttered rum, toffee/treacle) that carries a touch of nuttiness (sugared almonds, peanut brittle) which layers into the overall complexity of this classic American barleywine. There's a very marked-scorching amount of underlying bitterness that keeps this grain fed monster balanced and prevents it from ever being overly cloying. The powerful, lingering finish is bold, rich and dominated by a green hop bitterness that screams monster! Everything about the mouthfeel is perfect, just perfect... from the creaminess to the carbonation. A barley masterpiece for the mouth! I've a professed Bigfoot fan who's been hunting & hording cases since 1998 with my oldest expedition tasted being a 1988. Bigfoot is the quintessentail American-style Barleywine and remains one of the finest examples in all of the known beer world! Here's to that legendary monster from the Sierra Nevadas known as Bigfoot!
02-03-2011 02:55:39 | More by Beertracker
3.78/5 rDev -8.9%
Pours cloudy amber with a red tint, low frothy white head that dissipates quickly. Aroma is strong and fruity, you know you've got something with bold taste from smell alone. The first taste is very pungent, and has a very long lasting aftertaste. You can really taste the alcohol in the aftertaste on the first few drinks. As your glass gets empty the taste hits less hard due to the overwhelming aftertaste. This has to be the one of the longest lasting, if not the longest lasting aftertaste I have ever experienced in a beer. Strongly recommended, fantastic brew.
02-02-2011 19:51:16 | More by CuriousMonk
4.6/5 rDev +10.8%
New 2009 release. Poured into my Old Guardian snifter. It's a nice light brown color with some red highlights. A small tan head formed and dissapated but this beer has a ron of great lacing.
Smells really hoppy with a slight caramel smell in the background. Smells great I can't war to take a sip.
Taste is awesome. I love it. Almost IPAish but the malt is what makes it an awesome barleywine. The balance is awesome.
Mouthfeel is great. Nice and smooth with a nice crisp finish.
I will drink many of these throught the year. I think I'm going to buy a few more sixers in my next trip to the beer store.
2-1-11 Side By Side
This review is of a side by side of 09 and 11' Bigfoot.
The 09 has a more caramel color to it when the 11' has a red hue. No real head or lacing.
Aroma on the 11' is way more hop forward. Almost IPA citrus hops. The 09 is very caramel and some amount of prune aroma.
The tastes are the same. The 09 is much more caramel and semi sweet but with a bit of hop bite in the finish still. The 11' is more bitter and hop forward with a bit of malt and has a bit of booz burn.
Mouthfeel of the 11' is more dry because of the hops but the 09 is much more maltier.
Overall I love it fresh and I love it aged. I will continue to buy a case every year to age some.
02-02-2011 05:02:54 | More by PeprSprYoFace
4.03/5 rDev -2.9%
Disclaimer, this is the 2011 version and is obviously very young and hoppy. This beer will only improve with age!
Poured from 12oz. bottle into Fat Tire globe.
A-Deep ruby red color with garnet highlights. Slightly hazy due to the high hop level. Gentle cascade of bubbles billows up to support a dense off-white head that lingers with exYcellent lacing.
S-Smell is of young fresh hops. Definitely balanced towards the hops at this young age. Strong citrus and floral hop aroma with a hint of earthiness. Caramel malt sweetness noted. Definite legs, even the aroma is warming. Young stone fruit aromas. Lacks complexity, one sided due to age.
T-Firm hop bitterness and flavor that lingers throughout and coats your palate! Strong citrus, floral and earthy hop flavors with slight crystal malt sweetness in the background. Strong malt backbone barely supports the prominent hop bitterness and flavor.
M-Slightly astringent due to the high hop level. Mouthpuckering. The hops really coat your palate as your tongue sticks to the roof of your mouth. Finishes crisp and dry, but has a subtle chewiness. Well attenuated and warming.
D-Barleywines are so hard to review, especially when they are young. Bigfoot 2011 is more Double IPA than barleywine at this time. The hops will certainly fade in this beer and the malt will begin to come to the forefront as the beer becomes more complex with age. I plan to save a couple bottles to do a vertical tasting and compare to this review in a year. Definitely the right beer for the Groundhog Day Storm of 2011!
02-02-2011 03:10:33 | More by Hoser77
3.8/5 rDev -8.4%
2009 Vintage. Should be approximately 2 years old at this point.
Cracked this bottle open and poured into tulip glass. This one pours a ruby grapefruit/dark copper color. The pour gives birth to a massive three finger off-white, eggshell colored head; voluptuous and extremely sticky looking. This is a sexy looking beer. The head takes approximately four minutes to subside leaving ample sticky lacing all around the glass. A small mole hill of charred marshmallow foam floats on the meniscus. As I continued to drink this one, the lacing continued all the way down the glass in a superb fashion.
The age appears to have really mellowed this extreme beer out. The nose is fairly subtle, consisting of light spicy hop notes, earthy/musky notes, and the malts have much more of an appearance here as this one has aged. Of course alcohol is quite noticeable. As the beer warms I pick up on a sweet, candied fruits.
After two years the hops have seemed to virtually fade away to obscurity, leaving nothing but a lingering bitterness that quickly fades on the palate. What you are left with is a sweet, malty flavor dominating and a residual fruitiness. The mild bitterness helps balance this one out a bit. When I first took a sip of this beer it was still fairly cold and I was getting this weird, fermenting fruit, skunky flavor in the aftertaste. After letting it warm up for a while the peculiar flavor has disappeared.
After two years this is still one hell of a powerhouse of a beer and definitely not for the faint of heart. The alcohol is still unfortunately noticed more than I think it should be for its abv and age. The drinkability has gone up slightly as the hops have faded. The problem here is that without the hops you are left with a less complex beer. It becomes more similar to an English style but lacks the depth. I think this one is best to be drunk fresh. Don't get me wrong this is certainly a good beer; maybe some more time will help this one out. I'll stick to my fresh Bigfoot. If I want a non-hoppy barely wine I'll go for an English style.
02-02-2011 02:01:18 | More by mjn5036
4.22/5 rDev +1.7%
A - Pours a deep orange with a big white fluffy head. Nice looking beer.
S - Big citrusy, resiny hop smell hits the nose. Powerful aroma that lingers throughout. Definitely dominated by hops. West coast effin pride.
T - A bit alcoholic but still well balanced with a nice robust hop character. lingering bitterness.
M - Surprisingly not too viscous. A good amount of warmth in the finish.
D - Very crisp and refreshing for the hugeness of this beer.
01-31-2011 04:49:31 | More by leedorham
4.22/5 rDev +1.7%
2010 BigFoot 12 oz bottle poured into a tulip.
Pours a dark amber-brown color, very opaque, with a monstrous light brown head that persists for about 5 min receding down to about a one finger foam cap. Lacing is very good.
Aroma is a nice mix of caramel mats, roasted malts, chocolate and resinous, fruity and citric hops. Not that much booze.
Taste starts with lots of malt. I was expecting much more hops from the nose but the malt bill on this beer is really complex. It starts with caramel and roasted malts and it soon shifts to lots of complex flavors like chocolate, coffee and toffee. There is a spike of bitterness right in the middle of the sip that persists well into the aftertaste. Not much else going on in terms of hops. I definitely get a little fruity and citric taste but it is minor and hiding behind the huge malt notes.
Body is huge and heavy like a Barley wine ought to be. The carbonation is high and mouthfeel is fairly smooth but nothing impressive. The alcohol content is very well hidden and I can only detect it through the warming sensation after each sip.
I like this beer. It has a hoppy nose a complex malt taste and a huge body. Definitely a sipper as far as drinkability goes.
I hate when american barley wines are so hopped up that they taste just like a DIPA. This one is clearly a barley wine and appreciate that. Can't wait to try the new 2011 bigfoot.
01-31-2011 00:43:12 | More by paulozanello
4.47/5 rDev +7.7%
2010 and 2011 side-by-side.
2010 - somewhat hazy ruby color, medium off-white head with very fine bubbles. (4)
2011 - more clear and darker than 2010, but the same deep ruby hue, smaller head with larger bubbles, same color. (4)
2010 - hot floral hops, caramel malts, more roasted malt notes than 2011. (4.5)
2011 - very present hops, something there that reminds me of bubblegum. sweeter smelling than 2010, as well as hoppier. (4+)
2010 - bitter hops, caramel and toasty malts, some floral hop notes on the back. (5-)
2011 - tropical fruits, caramel malts, malty sweetness, and a drying hop character. the hops really come out as it warms. (4)
These taste surprisingly different.
2010 - robust, viscous, nice and thick. (4.5+)
2011 - a bit thinner, but similar in heft. (4+)
2010 - nice warming finish, very palatable, not too heavy. very drinkable beer. (4.5+)
2011 - dryness of the hops is a bit off-putting, and the warming finish isn't there, but still a drinkable beer. (4)
01-30-2011 18:44:18 | More by ColdPoncho
2.63/5 rDev -36.6%
Although I can see the draw to this beer, I simply cannot get past the hoppiness. Smell is good, even very good. Taste beyond the hops is quite good, but my personal preference says no. Lacing on the glass is quite good, and the head is quite nice for a while. Mouthfeel is good. Good carbonation.
01-30-2011 01:33:32 | More by Robertgc
3.28/5 rDev -21%
2011 vintage served from bottle into a pint glass.
A - This beer is beautiful poured from the bottle. It has a reddish-brown appearance with sufficient lingering head.
S - The hoppy earth tones are very prevalent in the smell.
T - Being labeled as a barleywine, I expected a smooth, malty beer with some lingering alcohol. This beer tastes like a DIPA or an Imperial IPA. It is very hoppy. The bitterness of the hops is overwhelming in this beer, masking the hints of malt and oak.
M - The beer has a good mouthfeel. Not as smooth and syrupy as I would have expected from a barleywine, but good.
D - I am not a hophead. This beer has average drinkabilty for my taste. Overall, the bitter hoppiness is too overwhelming.
01-27-2011 05:10:23 | More by jgreenearrow
4.35/5 rDev +4.8%
Had these two side by side - 2010 and 2007 Vintages.
A - both dark Ruby Red, almost black cherry color and head retention amazing. Lacing sticks throughout both snifters. Beautiful beer for the style.
S - dark fruits, plumbs, light bit of cherry, figs and rumish flavored dates or raisins - oaky character as well. Hops still there surprisingly a lot still in the 2007.
T - Follows nose exactly but add some earthiness to it. 2007 being more subdued - in both the nose and in the taste as the hops are not as apparent but trust me, they are still there. The 2007 is more boozy to my surprise as I figured age would have mellowed / smoothed it some.
Mouthfeel - A nice creamy bitterness to both, especially as they warmed. Neither had mellowed with some time too much as I'm realizing this beer really needs TIME.
D - Good, not great but hey! It's a barleywine. I'd be fine after 2 and move onto something else.
Final Thoughts - I remember reading a post from SierraNevadaBill stating that Bigfoot goes into a "dumb" period from the 2-4 year mark and it's best qualities come to the forefront after about 5 years or so...where this beer really becomes special. I'm thinking the 2007 is in the "dumb phase" now. While still a great brew, it was muted to me. I liked the 2010 better but NOT due to the fact that it was hoppier. All the other qualities that mentioned will turn out better with age in the 2010 I'd assume. Who knows. I could be wrong. Time will tell as I won't crack another 2007 for a year or so and see where I stand then. Great beer(s)
01-27-2011 02:18:28 | More by RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.25/5 rDev +2.4%
Served from a Sierra Nevada Barleywine Style Ale 25th Expedition bottle. Vintage Label 2008.
A- POurs a thich creamy tan head that continues to lace throughout. Hazy brown body....very deep.
S- Fruity, aged dark fruit with deep aromas. Mashed grape and bing cherries...very aged. Almost a cask aged honey in the background.
T- SOmewhat the same as the smell, with more of a vintage red wine bitterness on the palate. Bitter and a touch of honey. The hops come through at the end with a finishing bitterness. Spendid. For one of my least favorite styles this is quite and excellent beer.
M- High carbonation with a mild ETOH burn with the swallow. Getting a oah or some form of cask feel as well
D- Somewhat above average for the style...nevertheless couldn't do more than two in a night before I long for an IPA.
Big ups to Shawan Liquiors in Timonium, MD for this aged doozy. Awesome spot you guys have there!
01-26-2011 23:46:14 | More by jbriggs7036
4.03/5 rDev -2.9%
2011 vintage from bottle. Pours a deep amber colored body with a little red hue. Great light tan head that leaves lacing all along the glass.
The aroma starts with some floral hops accompanied by sweet caramel. An earthy malt note comes out in the end of the aroma.
The initial bitter piney hop flavor is balanced by a sweet maltiness. There are many blended flavors to identify but a wood/oak flavor slides in with the hops to give a nice finish. Reminds me very much of the oak-aged DIPAs I've had, but still different enough to stand alone. Alcohol is present, so I'm looking forward to trying it with some age.
01-26-2011 01:43:12 | More by FanofHefe
4/5 rDev -3.6%
12oz bottle poured into tulip. From notes
This beer pours a nice, deep amberish brown colour with lighter brown edging. Nice off-white fluffy head. The nose is a conglomerate of herbal flowers and caramel malt sweetness. Very nice. The taste is a battle between the butterscotch toffee sweetness of the malts and the surprisingly bitter hops. A nice mix of the two elements. It is a little boozy right now and sticky in the mouth. This is an easier to drink barleywine and will probably be even better in a year or so.
01-25-2011 18:01:20 | More by OakedCanuck
4.2/5 rDev +1.2%
Served in Dogfish Head snifter. Vintage 2011.
Appearance: Pours one finger of creamy off-white colored head which dissapates in a little under a minute. A deep, dark, mahogany with lighter tints of ruby when held to the light. Lots of lively carbonation contributing to some well developed lace.
Smell: A floral, piney, and juicy grapefruit hop aroma hits the nose right up front. Followed by a very pleasing caramel and burnt brown sugar aroma. A definite whiff of alcohol as well.
Taste: Wow! A complex and very deep/heavy malt sweetness with notes of caramel, raisin and cherry-like fruitiness. Kind of reminiscent of brandy. A kiss of fruity hops with lots of very piney hop bitterness on the back of the tounge. A very heavy alcohol finish as well.
Mouthfeel: Very heavy and full bodied. A chewy and wet finish. Lots of wholesome, warming alcohol. Nice, smooth carbonation.
Drinkability: This is a definite beer to sip. My first drink was a pretty big one and it about knocked me off my seat. Overall a really complex and enjoyable big beer. I'll be saving a couple of these for special occasions and maybe some aging.
01-25-2011 04:59:07 | More by logmacschlog15
4.08/5 rDev -1.7%
A - Very deep tawny red color. Giant, thick, creamy, smooth, meringue-like, slightly off-white head. Great retention on such a full, thick head. Finally it decided to settle into a nice layer of lace.
S - Sweet toasted bread and caramel. Quite malty in the aroma. Hops also make a nice showing with citrus and pine with a touch of floral aroma. Faint alcohol aroma.
T - Strong mix of sweet malt, bitterness and alcohol. Sweet, thick caramel malt flavor provides a backbone for the bitter hops. Some hoppy flavors of floral, pine, and some citrus. Not as strong as the aroma hinted, but provides a strong bitterness. Alcohol is definitely present.
M - Full, thick feel with a good amount of carbonation. Thick and syrupy. Warming finish.
D - Definitely a slow sipper. Strong bitterness and alcohol flavor hinders drinking much of this.
Notes: Vintage 2011. Strong flavors with tons of malty sweetness, bitterness, and alcohol all battling each other. I enjoyed it as a strong, warm sipper, but not something I would want regularly. Nice treat and I am excited to see how it ages.
01-22-2011 03:09:40 | More by FreshHawk
4.08/5 rDev -1.7%
A - Carmel/Red. Tan Head
S - Boozy, Toffee, Dark Choc, Yeasty Bread, Raisin Fruits
T - Earthy. Malty. Slight Boozy flavor. Nice hop note.
M - Thicker, Smoother than expected.
D - Very Approachable Barleywine. Good for first time barleywine drinkers. Gonna give a couple bottles some age and see what happens.
01-21-2011 21:15:24 | More by PhineasGage
4.22/5 rDev +1.7%
12 oz bottle at 48 degrees into a snifter.
A: It pours a cloudy, dark ruby red color with a finger of off-white foam that has good retention and lacing.
S: Dates, figs, candi sugar, hints of smoke, and some chocolately notes.
T: Sweet, booze-soaked dark fruits, molasses, brown sugar, and quite a bit of hoppiness as well.
M: It has a very thick body with a creamy and sticky feel and long-lasting flavors.
D: This is certainly one of the best in its style.
01-21-2011 14:13:38 | More by bucklemyshoe
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,225 ratings.