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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.

6,233 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,233
Reviews: 2,808
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 262
Gots: 1,094 | 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
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Ratings: 6,233 | Reviews: 2,808 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sugit


1.98/5  rDev -52.3%

2010 Bigfoot.

A: Cooper color pour with big long last head. Great lacing.

S: Some hops, but mostly a nice carmel malt aroma. Faint raisins and other dark fruit. Damn, this is going to be good.

T: Bamboozled!! Man, nothing like the nose. A hops assult on the palate. I really don't like this beer. I love good hoopy beers, but this one has a way of jut blasting you in not a good way.

I get very very little of sweet malts from the nose. The aftertaste is like waking up after a night of beer and cigars. Terrible.

M: Full bodied. Feels like gritty hops stuck to my teeth and tongue.

D: Drain pour. Such a harsh tasting beer I couldn't even finish a serving.

This is the second time I've tried 2010 BF and it just does not do it for me. I'm coming to realize I like English Barleywine, but don't like American Barleywine at all.

I'll leave the rest of my 6-pack in the cellar for another year and see what happens.

So far, I equate BF to a hot stupid blond. Got the looks and smell, but everything else that counts is terrible.

12-10-2010 04:26:59 | More by sugit
Photo of gueuzer


3.45/5  rDev -16.9%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to snifter glass. 2010 vintage so about 10 months old at this point.

App- Reddish Copper. Thin head that leaves significant lacing.

SM- Honey and citrusy hops.

Ta- Toasted bread. Lots of bittering hops. Not too much finishing hops. Hints of sherry lurking in the back. After taste leaves a bit of an oversteeped tea taste. The alcohol is noticeable, but not too bad.

Dr- Pretty good considering the ABV. If you are a fan of the style you will like this. Personally the hopiness really slows me down, but I feel that way with all American Barleywines.

FYI, this ages with the best of htem and you cannot beat the price.

12-09-2010 04:32:37 | More by gueuzer
Photo of FosterJM


4.33/5  rDev +4.3%

95th review on BA
Bottle to pint

2010 Bigfoot.

App- A light brown top fading down to a golden orange with a light tan head.

Smell- Very malty, booze and honey

Taste- I get a lot of toffee and the booze in the aftertaste. So smooth though. Very hoppy at the end. I'm so confused as to how this beer is so good.

Mouth- A bit of a medium bodied beer with a nice bitter aftertaste.

Drink- A great barleywine. I am glad I waited till my palate cought up. I want to try some aged bottles.

12-09-2010 03:53:23 | More by FosterJM
Photo of BatDaddy


4.4/5  rDev +6%

2009 Vintage, poured into a snifter.

A - Pours a reddish orange sunset copper with a sticky, almost clumpy finger of off white head that hangs around for a few minutes and settles down nicely to a fine lace.

S - The hops have mellowed here. There's plenty of piney hop aromas but there's a strong caramel malt backing as well. Picking up a sweetness on the tail end - toffee.

T - A year old, and there's still enough of a hop punch for that to be the initial taste. Hops are oily and mellow pine and grapefruit. Kind of prickly on the tongue. Followed by smooth dark fruits, toffee, and caramel malts. Hint of pepper and mild alcohol.

M - Slick, smooth, and mellow.

D - Very good sipper.

I really wish I had reviewed the first bottle of this that I tried a year ago for comparison - from what I remember hops were a lot more potent and dominating then (as expected). Really great beer for a cold night like tonight. Winter's here!

12-09-2010 03:02:48 | More by BatDaddy
Photo of Wiessmonkey


4.33/5  rDev +4.3%

A - golden-brown color, off-white head good lacing

S - malty almost light honey sweetness, hints of alcohol & fruitiness

T - warmed honey sweetness right away, followed by laced alcohol. notes of caramel, toffee, and a great hoppy finish.

M - medium to full body, creamy, good carbonation, smooth.

D - goes down easy, and the aftertaste is great drank two in a row w/o getting the loaf-o-bread feeling and w/o the lasting too much hops. i could see having these quiet often

12-07-2010 23:13:37 | More by Wiessmonkey
Photo of JizackFH

New York

4.53/5  rDev +9.2%

A - this beer pours a nice hazy orange-brown color. There are plenty of carbonation bubbles present. It also has a very nice foamy off-white head . The head left incredible lacing that stuck and dried to the glass.

S - It smells sweet. There are definite caramel notes and some hints of booze. Also, there's some dark fruits and toffee notes present.

T - I am getting the caramel sweetness right away, and it is immediately followed by a boozy bite. There are notes of caramel, toffee, dark fruits, and a decent amount of hops. The finish is bitter and boozy.

M - this has a medium to full body, and has a bit of a chewy quality to it. the carbonation is good, and the beer goes down smooth. It is rich and creamy. The bitterness tingles the mouth as well.

D - The drinkability is quite good. It goes down easy, and the taste is great. This is an awesome beer. I think this beer is great, and I can't wait to go out and get some more.

12-06-2010 08:37:07 | More by JizackFH
Photo of chicagoabbot


4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

12 oz into a snifter. This is my usual, 'staple' barleywine...love it. Big head, fluffy, over brown goodness. Nose is quite hoppy but with a ton of malt. Alcohol? What alcohol? You feel it but don't taste it, the alcohol is so well hidden.

Every sip of this brew screams big...big malt, big hops, big-time barley. This one hits the style on the head--I've had a lot of barleywines, but I keep coming back to this one. It's true to the style, a clean brew and a good value.

12-06-2010 07:52:21 | More by chicagoabbot
Photo of paulys55


4.33/5  rDev +4.3%

First Bigfoot for me and though this is not my style of choice, I really enjoyed it. Sweet but not too sweet with rich maltiness that is balanced by the hop presence. Finished with a nice bitterness and booziness but not as noticeable as expected looking at the ABV. I've only had 4 or 5 BWs but I would definitely say this was the best so far.

12-02-2010 20:04:19 | More by paulys55
Photo of Groomsy


4.3/5  rDev +3.6%

12 oz. bottle from 2010 Vintage pack. Poured into a snifter.

Appearance: The beer poured a beautiful amber/caramel color into the snifter; truth be told, the color is fairly similar to maple syrup with some reddish hues in the light. A very respectable head tops the beer and leaves massive, long-lasting strings of web-like lacing down the glass during consumption.

Smell: Hops are the order of the day here, and they are in abundance. The signature citrus aroma in most of SN's brews comes through, but there are also strong hints of pine and some underlying notes of caramel malt and some fruit. Evident smell of alcohol as well.

Taste: HUGE hop profile out front which takes no mercy on your palate. Tastes of citrus and especially pine abound, and there is little sweetness to be found in the initial taste. But there are some slight caramel notes in the middle as well as some notes of dark fruit to balance out the ample bitterness. Very balanced, but the taste of this sucker is gigantic. Not for the faint of heart. The high alcohol content also provides some lingering bitterness (along with the hops) long into the finish.

Mouthfeel: Fairly smooth for such a big beer. Surprisingly smooth, actually. The bitterness in the finish might cause some to find it coarse, though. The beer is fairly thick in body, and this is definitely a beer to slowly sip on as opposed to quaff in gigantic gulps.

Drinkability: With the alcohol content and interesting flavor, it would be way too easy to put a few of these down, but this is a beer to handle with caution and to enjoy slowly. I mean, it took me over an hour to really finish the glass and enjoy it.

A massive beer for the winter months. Definitely enjoyable, but it may have been a bit too much for my unrefined palate. Still fantastic, though. I would love to see how aging smooths out this bad boy.

11-28-2010 05:48:02 | More by Groomsy
Photo of thebrood1987

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Wow smell of piney hops hits you in the smell. I can tell this is going to be a real full flavored beer. The taste is unreal. The taste smacks you in the face with hops and very rich sweet malted barley. Very rich tasting. This tastes like an IPA with a shit load of malt. The rich malt flavor reminds me very much of the Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA malt profile. Actually this is like Sierra Nevada's Celebration Ale times 5. So if you like the Celebration Ale and want that same taste but with even more bitter hops and and that same malt but a lot more of it this is your beer. Actually the Celebration Ale and this beer have the same ingredients. They both use two row malt and English barley with the Cascade Chinook and Centennial hops. Amazing beer this is the total definition of an American hopped Barleywine.

11-24-2010 02:12:30 | More by thebrood1987
Photo of arboristfish


4.88/5  rDev +17.6%

The beer pours a cloudy amber color, and the head is slightly off white. The aroma has the smell of citrus hops. The beer is sweet, with a caramel malt taste, with a solid citrus hop flavor, all very well balanced together. The mouthfeel is interesting, the body of the beer is between a medium and heavy feel. Feels almost silky at some point in the mouthfeel. The alcohol content is high in this beer but it is very well masked with flavor. This would be considered a sipping beer, but I think it is very drinkable.

11-21-2010 02:57:57 | More by arboristfish
Photo of mrbosworth

Rhode Island

4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

We've been sleeping on this one for a while...2009 malting.

Deep straw/garnet color pours with a Sierra Nevada signiture silken froth that clings nicely to our sampling glasses.

Bitter malt and burnt fruit seep into the back of my tongue - intense bitter hop punch here, but neutralized with fruity malt until the beer sloshes down the gullet. A big double IPA bitter lingers on the palatte afterwards. Creamy, chewy mouthfeel take the stage making this a fun drinkable treat...but not too fast, this is the last one!

11-18-2010 00:32:56 | More by mrbosworth
Photo of dragonWhale

New York

3.95/5  rDev -4.8%

been managing to hold off on these suckas. only the 2nd bottle from my sixpack back in the early part of the year. but it is time to reswear my allegiance to our hop fathers!

sexy ruby caramel color, pretty clear, voluminous head that erupts vainglorious aromas of sweet toasty malts and the good pine. upon closer inspection, the sweetness dominates the aroma, some alcohol and pine and a bit of citrus. this seems to have mellowed quickly, the hops fading and the malts riding in. Smells plenty bitter though.
the hops though are very evident in the flavor, though, riding through with centennials and cascades and a very sharp bitterness indicative of the Chinook. The citrus flavor is big, balancing upon the sweet caramel malt ride, with that wave of bitterness encompassing all. It's a fine beverage of fond memories. The bitterness is perhaps a bit too acrid for me, but otherwise, it is one of my favorite barleywines (American, anyways).

11-16-2010 02:22:33 | More by dragonWhale
Photo of UTCengOwl


4.35/5  rDev +4.8%

2010 Bigfoot served in a Great Divide balloon glass on 11/15/2010. My final bottle from a 6 pack purchased in May.

This beer is a clear amber with some enhanced red hues when held up to the light. However, I'm most impressed by the creamy head that slowly dissipates and leaves a film on top of the fluid.

The smell is mostly hops with caramel malts in the backbone. Maybe pine on top of bread pudding?

The taste hits hard at the beginning and the end with hops. Very piney. The malt backbone is huge and sweet. Borderline cloying... overpowering on some sips and perfect on others.

The mouthfeel is good... but it doesn't caress my mouth like it could.

It's pretty darned drinkable, but I'm not dying to get the next sip. I'm glad I've had a full 6 pack to sample this year, but it doesn't match up to the drinkability or overall satisfaction of something like Old Ruffian.

EDIT: I've had more since then, and this thing keeps getting better. More points for overall!

11-16-2010 01:07:40 | More by UTCengOwl
Photo of Arenbeer


4.33/5  rDev +4.3%

12oz stub into a Snifter Glass. 2010 Matltage

A- Pours a nice reddish copper with a great lasting 1 finger off white head that leaves some sticky lacing.

S- Nice bitter smelling hop presence up front with a sweet caramel malted barley background. Such a great blend or molasses and brown sugar with a touch of darker fruits and maybe some toffee. Definitely a very unique smelling B-Wine. Some alcohol as it warms but not bad.

T- Man...I'd swear this was a DIPA if I blind tasted it! Great bitter pine and citrus hops with a strong and solid barley malt background. If you can get past the hops you get some nice fruits and sweet molasses. But man those hops!!!!

M- Solid thick and syrupy body with a good amount of carbonation and a serious bitter dry finish.

Overall this is no doubt a great B-Wine! I had my doubts but my mind has been changed. Would love to get some more to age and mature this sucker. Get more of a taste of the malts than hops.


11-09-2010 22:38:56 | More by Arenbeer
Photo of Arithmeticus


4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

A: huge hop blossoms; copper, clear; nice carbonation; great lacing
S: sweet, hoppy, brown sugar
T: outstanding barleywine style; this version has a sharp bite to it, from the hops Sierra Nevada's famous for
M: fuzzy, foamy

Keep this beer on the warmer side; what an outstanding ale

11-08-2010 14:33:50 | More by Arithmeticus
Photo of demuzik


4.95/5  rDev +19.3%

By far one of my top ten US craft brews.

Appearance is deep and rich, smell is strong hoppy complexity, and the taste and mouthfeel is where it dominates... super chewy and thick from the massive malt usage, balanced with an enormous hop and dry hop gifting. Chinook flavors dominate, definitely a "proud to be an American" moment while drinking this one.

11-07-2010 19:31:27 | More by demuzik
Photo of surlytheduff


4.4/5  rDev +6%

Drank from a goofy stretched out tulip. 2010 BF. Poured a deep amber, with a two finger solid head. Smelled really citrusy and hoppy on first whiff; if I didn't know better I'd think it was a dipa. Boozy, caramel malts, floral citrus, really smelled tasty. Taste was more barleywine-esque then the smell. Good contrast between the sweetness and the alcohol up front, with a great bitter tasting finish. Mouthfeel was really nice; med-to-full bodied and rich, well carbonated. I would imagine this beer ages pretty well; and even young I could drink multiples.

11-06-2010 05:45:43 | More by surlytheduff
Photo of heebes

Ontario (Canada)

4.35/5  rDev +4.8%

Review #50

12oz, 2008 edition (25th Expedition)

Pours a clear brown amber with a thick foamy head and leaving decent lacing. The Nose is toasted biscuity malts, a rich sweet hop character, smells of dark fruit. The taste is a bold and bitter start ending up being a superb mixture of the malt & hops, finishes slightly bitter. Theres a wet hop taste, a barleywine taste and a big malty blast and discovered in subsequent sips. Barely notice the alcohol presence here. Medium bodied mouthfeel. This beer goes down quite easy, drinkable for any occasion. Another impressive craft beer from Sierra Nevada.

11-05-2010 18:48:41 | More by heebes
Photo of bridgetowhophead


4.47/5  rDev +7.7%

Bigfoot was the first barleywine I ever had, and possibly the best after Old Guardian. 2010 vintage now has substantially less alcohol presence then when I first had it back in July, but it still warms the throat as it goes down.

Pours a burn orange/toffee color, with a magnificent head. Smell is dominated by caramel malt with a hint of dark fruit and a bit of citrus hops. Taste is much more hop forward, quite bitter but the malt sweetness comes through in the middle with a finish that is all hops. Fantastic beer.

10-27-2010 06:51:44 | More by bridgetowhophead
Photo of oluap

New York

4.53/5  rDev +9.2%

this bottle is part of 2 cases that i bought here in raleigh nc about a year ago.. 2010 vintage

smells of burnt orange/citrus
... cascade hops are present.. its smells delicious!

burnt caramel , brown sugar.. slight earthiness to it... can smell like this beer is an extract of beer.. sounds weird but its incredible.. you can tell that this is a extra special brew..

foamy , rocky head that lingers on and leaves extra sticky lacing on the glass.. if you leave the glass unwashed , you notice that the next day that it crusts and seems to age even more but without smelling like some nasty skunk brew .. its amazing, almost as if i could have my very own yeast culture in a glass..

a thick almost syrup like density.. sweet burnt and mellow.. biscuity , pancakes and syrup.. snmooth cinnamon toast crunch with alcohol.. excellent brew! when i tried some when it was fresh and just released it had a strong bite (alcohol) but after storing a 2 cases and just drinking them over time i noticed how mellow they get ..

love how it has a great aftertaste after the syrupy resiny taste of hops first hits the pallate.. incredible beer!

this is a perfect beer for cold weather!
warms you up real quick

snb ftw!

sorry for review had some case of yuengling before this.. :P

10-24-2010 04:02:59 | More by oluap
Photo of Stinkypuss


3.98/5  rDev -4.1%

Poured ontap, assuming its the 2010 vintage. A rich reddish color with a large off white head and a sheet of lace engulfing the whole glass. A beautiful looking beer.

Smell: Floral hops, hints of malt sweetness.

Taste: Bitter hops mingle with the malt. Notes of caramel, brown sugar and a soft fruityness. The hops are very piney and resinous, and really round out this big beer. Alcohol heat is not noticeable right away, but creeps in later as it warms. Light citrus, pine and earthy tones, brown sugar and caramel malt.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth on a fuller bodied beer. The mouthfeel of the draught Bigfoot is very nice and worthy of note.

Drinkability: Though it is a rather strong beer, I had no problem drinking several 12 oz pours of this. Great beer.

10-23-2010 13:07:45 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of Jayli


3.73/5  rDev -10.1%

Acquired a 2005 bottle from TheManiacalOne so a big THANK YOU goes out to him!
Poured in to my Brooklyn snifter

A: This beer pours a murky, ruddy brown color with a one finger of khaki/light brown colored sudsy head. Head retains nicely and leaves sheets of sticky lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is somewhat boozy, fruit sweetness, caramel malts, and brown sugar.

T: Taste starts with some big boozy notes before lending to and overload of caramel and toffee sweetness. Citrus hop presence mingle in with brown sugar and molasses and really give the finish a nice bite.
Aftertaste has a slight medicinal quality to it...

M: Medium body, low carbonation, somewhat syrupy with a thin finish.

D: Goes down pretty easily, nice kick, not too filling, nice representation of style. This is a one off beer for me, as the medicinal aftertaste is a bit much for more than one glass.

10-21-2010 00:04:29 | More by Jayli
Photo of afordney


4.18/5  rDev +0.7%

Had a reddish orange color, more deep red than orange. The head was thick, three fingers tall and stayed for a good ten minutes.

had a very bitter scent, lots of hops and a little alcohol aroma in the end. Has a slightly fruity smell in the nose.

spice and fruit in the first taste followed quickly by an alcohol bitterness, the alcohol warms and lingers for quite a while

this is a little thick and very bitter on the mouth.

Seems more suited to colder weather but a great beer if you're really into hops and bitter flavors.

10-18-2010 23:28:47 | More by afordney
Photo of dutchlq7

New York

4.83/5  rDev +16.4%

Serving-2010 vintage, 12oz. bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance- Deep amber color, light carbonation. Creamy off white head with great retention and web-like lacing.

Smell- Hops hit real hard and are then balanced by a somewhat roasted malt.

Taste- This beer has so much going on. Piney hop taste explodes as soon as you taste it then you get a hit of roasted and toasty malt flavor and a resiny,leafy hop after taste.

Mouthfeel- Very smooth beer, heavy but creamy.

Drinkability- Very drinkable, can't wait to pour another. An instant favorite, just got to go easy because of the alcohol content.

10-17-2010 21:20:09 | More by dutchlq7
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,233 ratings.