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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.

6,368 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,368
Reviews: 2,817
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 270
Gots: 1,140 | FT: 48
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: 6,368 | Reviews: 2,817 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Snamnoum
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brewed in 2010

Appearance - hazy copper tone with 2 fingers of frothy beige head. Head retention is good and there is lots of lacing left on the glass.

Smell - fantastic smelling. Rich and vibrate fruit , toasted grains add a toffee like aroma, complimented perfectly by aggressive resiny hops. Also I want to say I smelled a little orange rind but maybe I'm just drinking it too fast...

Taste - from the first taste I'm overwhelmed by how big this beer is. Its got so much going on all at once. You get this wave of intense fruit and big malty sweetness. Followed by a toffee/brown sugar esque smokiness and sweetness. All tempered by a quite bitter finish especially as it warms.
A little boozy alcohol but for the most part its pretty well tamed and disguised by the colossal hops and malt.

Mouthfeel - heavy bodied with medium carbonation and a creamy feel that lingers on your tongue and the walls of your mouth and refuses to go away.

Drinkabiliy - about as drinkable if not more so than any other barleywine this is a beer you drink like a glass of wine otherwise you'll be on your ass in no time. An excellent brew and well worth a try.

Snamnoum, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of Tifore
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage. Poured into my DFH snifter.

A - Pours a deep cherry color with some orange hues. I may have over aggressively poured this beer because it developed a huge 3 finger head that even spilled out of my glass a tad. The head started out as a light tan olor but as time went on turned into a off white and got super airy with huge bubbles. It also left the most delicious and sticky lacing that I have ever seen all along the sides of my glass and a very thick cap to top it off.

S - Smells of loads and loads of sweet dark fruits and grapes. Blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, some melon in there too as well as concord or sweet purple grapes. Lots of malts with carmel and slight roastyness in there as well. The overly sweetness of this beer even reminds me of Koolaid.... Haha.

T - The taste is absolutely delish. Very strong and bitter to start but that fades quick to the sweetness which takes you along for a malty berry ride to a coffee and toffee lingering finish.

M - Mouthfeel is good. By the end of the beer I felt it had lost all carbonation and almost felt a little flat, I was lost by this but overall a great smooth beer that leaves you with a awesome finish.

D - Well this barleywine is pretty intense and overpowering at times so it is a sipper and perhaps a one per night only thing. I will definitely be savoring the rest of the six pack and letting it age. Highly drinkable

Tifore, Dec 26, 2010
Photo of thedoubler55
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Nice dark red copper color, with a beautiful off white head that leaves great lacing around the glass.

S- One of the most unique smelling b-wine's I have had so far, a nice aroma of fruity hops and some hints of caramel as well, nothing to upfront very pleasant

T- A good brew from sierra nevada, very great tasting, nice fruity hops and some toffee and taste of good malts as well, very unique for a barley wine

M- Not thick and not to light, perfect in my eyes...smooth beer

T- Very drinkable, not to overbearing for a barley wine, sierra nevada has done it again

thedoubler55, Dec 24, 2010
Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This 2010 vintage ale pours a murky dark copper color with a few inches of dense foam which left a thin film all the way down the glass. An impressive appearance. The aroma is a surprise. Fresh citrus and pine indicate a heavy hand of hops in this brew. The hops plow a path across the tongue and linger afterwords. The caramel makes inroads as it all develops, providing some needed balance against the attack of pine and grapefruit. The hops dry the palate, but the alcohol is hidden well. The big bold body provides a great mechanism to transport the flavor to the imbiber. Reasonably drinkable considering its heft of alcohol.

All and all, this is a tasty beer. An American style barleywine that doesn't disappoint.

BeardedBoffin, Dec 21, 2010
Photo of lph0911
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Gonna give this one straight.
2009 Bigfoot
Hoppy start but deep roast/chocolate flavors kick in much later.

smells more hoppy than I though it would with a cloudy reddish brown color.

Like it but couldn't kill a six pack... don't think your supposed to.

Decent Beer like it

lph0911, Dec 20, 2010
Photo of seeswo
2.6/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

2007 vintage being reviewed. Bigfoot is an American Barleywine, meaning hop forward...I love barleywine and I love IPAs/ DIPAs and I don't like this beer at all. It just doesn't taste very good.

Pours an acceptable color and smells or a wee bit of caramel and delicious, but mostly hops and booze! (yes, still a bit of booze 3 years later).

The mouthfeel is thin with hops just oppressively attached to the tongue. What the heck, I thought I was drinking a barleywine? ugh...

Taste is...not so good. Like, a small bit of barleywine flavor, malt and deliciousness, but pushed away quickly by hops I cannot even fathom are still there 3 years later. They just don't belong. Wow, i thought I was going to love this beer and I really don't like it.

It's not really all that drinkable...it seems to take on the bad characteristics of a barleywine and a dipa. I must be missing something because this is not good and it was aged 3 years appropriately (I can trace its origin).

seeswo, Dec 20, 2010
Photo of zimmerbloke
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blind 12oz bottle (thanks to Onion), split three ways and poured into New Belgium globe glass.

A: Bright amber pour with a thick, creamy head. Medium carbonation apparent.

S: Hoppy, sweet and a little bit of booze. Young american barleywine, maybe?

T: Bigfoot. If it weren't for the bottle format, I may second guess myself, but I've had this before and would like to think I could pick it out. My guess is 2010.

M: Fairly chewy mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

D: Pretty high. Easy to get through the 12oz bottle and could (have) done more.

Yup, it's Bigfoot 2010. More than anything, I blame the bottle format for confirming my suspicions. Finally got a blind one right!

zimmerbloke, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of birddogg66
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a 10 oz wine glass

A- Bigfoot pours out a nice deep amber to brownish color. An off white head of about 1" sits on top of the ale, and provides a good lacing.

S- The nose of heavy sweet malt balanced by a floral hoppiness, and a touch of alcohol.

T- The initial taste of malt emerges right away with the great finish of hop bitterness. As the beer warms, a bit more of the alcohol introduces itself, and the malt takes on a bit more of a berry flavor, and the hops seem to be a bit spicy as well. Nicely balanced.

M- Very Rich, and encompasses the entire palate. About a medium effervescence.

D- A nice barleywine. One of the better ones that I have encountered. I am really impressed with the balance that Sierra has achieved with Bigfoot. Some barleywines can be overpowering in one way or another, this one is just right.

birddogg66, Dec 18, 2010
Photo of wknight167
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Apearance - clody dark brown with an orangish tint and a 1 finger slightly yellow head with some very impressive staying power.

Nose- Citrus to the tone of grapefruit and a touch of lemon, with a good measure of pine. Grassy and fresh.

Palate- Faint caramel malt is quickly masked by an impressive amount of bitterness. My kind of barley wine.

Mouthfeel- Full bodied. If it werent for the medium high carbonation, it might be a bit sticky.

Drinkability- Scarily high. I can (and have) drank this all night.

wknight167, Dec 17, 2010
Photo of NODAK
2.03/5  rDev -51.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Nose has an assault of piney, floral hops upfront. Very potent. But after that subsides, a very boozy quality comes out...hints of sherry and raisins are present. It leaves me wondering which of these two sides are going to dominate the taste.

The taste leaves no confusion about that. It has abrasive bitterness from the start on through the finish, increasing in intensity and lasting well on into the aftertaste with stinging astringency. It's one of the most bitter beers I have ever had. Yes, there's some raisin, toffee, and booze on the taste as an undercurrent that shows through on the finish pretty well....but absolutely nothing approaches the hoppiness here. It left me grimacing after each swallow. I know I'm not the biggest hophead on the planet, but the lack of balance here just turned me off.

In the end, it's just not my type of beer I suppose. More balance would have been appreciated...as it is, it's just too strong and one-sided for me.

NODAK, Dec 14, 2010
Photo of sugit
1.98/5  rDev -52.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

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.

sugit, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of gueuzer
3.45/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

gueuzer, Dec 09, 2010
Photo of FosterJM
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

FosterJM, Dec 09, 2010
Photo of BatDaddy
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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!

BatDaddy, Dec 09, 2010
Photo of Wiessmonkey
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Wiessmonkey, Dec 07, 2010
Photo of JizackFH
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

JizackFH, Dec 06, 2010
Photo of chicagoabbot
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

chicagoabbot, Dec 06, 2010
Photo of paulys55
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

paulys55, Dec 02, 2010
Photo of Groomsy
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Groomsy, Nov 28, 2010
Photo of thebrood1987
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

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.

thebrood1987, Nov 24, 2010
Photo of arboristfish
4.88/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

arboristfish, Nov 21, 2010
Photo of mrbosworth
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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!

mrbosworth, Nov 18, 2010
Photo of dragonWhale
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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).

dragonWhale, Nov 16, 2010
Photo of UTCengOwl
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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!

UTCengOwl, Nov 16, 2010
Photo of Arenbeer
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.


Arenbeer, Nov 09, 2010
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,368 ratings.