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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.

6,115 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,115
Reviews: 2,805
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 248
Gots: 1,052 | FT: 36
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: 6,115 | Reviews: 2,805 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of raoulduke37


4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2007 Vintage

Poured into a large snifter. Nice 1cm beige head formed right away, but stuck around for only a few minutes. Distinct lacing. The brew itself is a dark brown murky color, reminiscent of an oude bruin. The smell is immensely appetizing - burnt sugar, cinnamon, and dark licorice - hints of anise as well. Extremely rich in flavor - somewhat phenolic but plenty of interesting flavors going on - butter, toffee, raisins, and impossible to ignore that nice hoppiness that still seems to be holding strong after so long in my cellar. Nice smooth mouthfeel, slightly chewy and with a carbonation kick right at the end, even after 2+ years. I'm looking forward to see how this one ages.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2010 03:31:23 | More by raoulduke37
Photo of oceanman


4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage

A: rich, deep red, almost takes a purple hue. creamy head sticks to glass.

S: fragrant, bursting with fruit, esp. citrus, bread (graham cracker), floral

T: alcohol and mild sweetness interact with a touch of bitterness, fruit, with an unusual nutty, soapy finish

M: feels great - sweetness muted by some alcoholic heat, carbonation is balanced, and the creamy texture keeps the richness in check.

With age, a very balanced and all-around solid barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2010 02:03:20 | More by oceanman
Photo of crossovert


3.55/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage.

Pours with a large off-white head that leaves sticky lacing as it dissipates. The beer is red with a hint of orange.

The smell is different than most barleywines, because this is the first barleywine I have had fresh, I'm probably going to age the rest of my 6pack, but I wanted to get a taste of how this beast is fresh. It is moderately hoppy with a huge malt presence and a bit of odd smell.

It is mildly carbonated with a big thick mouthfeel. The hops here aren't my cup of tea and they dominate the flavor at this point. The seem like bitter but mildly flavored English hops which are always my least favorite. The malt is buried underneath the fresh hops. This one will need some time to age.

Overall it isn't bad in it's current state, reminds me of the Sprecher English DIPA, it will get much better I can tell, this is a great base.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2010 01:26:50 | More by crossovert
Photo of llllDrGONZOllll


4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a great score at my local beer dist. This little devil was bottled 2 years ago. This is my first time reviewing it but thinking back to the time I had a fresh one I thought it to be a tad too much for me...times has changed this ale! Quite possibly time has no doubt changed my pallet as well.

Thick tan head rest atop a beautiful deep dark red body. Transparent enough when held to the light that carbonation and yeast can be seen floating throughout. The head has began to recede and left a tan collar reminding me of how quickly this brew is going down and the size of the quaffs taken. I am basking in wonderful aromas of raisins and fruit cake with hints of barley and caramel. The smell if very inviting. Deep caramel tastes a plenty a toasty tastes slides in beneath the strong cling of hop bitterness. It is almost a shame to rush to the next sip because the strong aftertaste is so enjoyable. Right now i could really go for some fine Lindt dark chocolate. Luckily I found a piece of 89% cocoa and will be pairing the two quite soon.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2010 21:19:17 | More by llllDrGONZOllll
Photo of dwilson01


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

Just saw this bad boy in the store the other day so I thought I'd pick up a six pack after work today...needless to say I am GLAD that I did and I haven't even tasted this beer yet.

Poured out into an arrogant bastard pint glass, solid thumb-width of head which sticks around for a while. Kind of a cross between the super dense frothy head I find on their celebration ale and their standard pale. It looks awesome, I mean this thing has an appearance all to itself which gives it some individual character right off the bat. Darker than an amber but not at all the same look as a porter or stout it's either dark dark red or a light light porter.

Got a good whiff out of the bottle after I poured it, smelled pretty standard Sierra Nevada. Solid floral hop aroma, but once poured it became a more subdued foresty smell.

The first thing that comes to mind about the taste is the strongness of the flavoring couple with the thickness of the beer. Very malty, I can see where the darker color comes from for sure but it's balanced very nicely with some sweeter hops and Sierra Nevada uses only the best hops to be sure! Best way to describe it after a couple of tastes is a super strong initial flavor where I get solid malt, almost like a nut brown ale but much more in your face. After you let it sit for a second it mellows out and the sweeter more floral and foresty tasting hops come into play which completely eliminate the small hint of alcohol flavor I got at the beginning. It ends with a combined sweetness from all of it's elements, I get some honey in there as well. What surprised me the most about the finish was how smooth it was, it was seriously as smooth as most porters and stouts i've had albeit not as thick bodywise.

Bottom line, this is a great beer I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of strong ales and barleywines for sure and to most people who generally like beer..you know who you are!

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2010 06:27:50 | More by dwilson01
Photo of Jmoore50


4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I just discovered I have never reviewed this fantastic beer. Well I have a fresh 2010 in front of me, so I figured this would be a good 200th review.

The appearance is beautiful, a dark stained cherry wood color that is so clean and pure it makes me weep. It gives good head, something I really appreciate. It pours a three finger white frothy head that just sticks to everything it touches. The head never really goes away, it just gets a bit smaller and leaves a fat lacing. It has everything I want in appearance, good color, good head, good alcoholic legs, good lacing.

The smell is of strong citrus hops and sweet bready malts. A bit of cherries as well.

The taste is of strong fruity hops paired with very sweet caramel malts. There are cherries and peaches and lemon peel with an earthy flavor. Strong wisps of alcohol come in different waves. Apricots and plumbs in some aftertastes. This is fairly fruity with so much backbone. Perfectly balanced on the palate and incredibly drinkable. I love this beer for everything it stands for. It is not too strong, 9.6% ABV, and it is not thrown in any barrels. This is just another example of why Sierra Nevada deserves to be the top brewery in the country.

Drinkability, well this is my fourth bottle for the night so I would say it is pretty good.


Serving type: bottle

01-29-2010 05:38:47 | More by Jmoore50
Photo of onemanarne


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

First review, finally. I've been extremely curious about Barleywines for some time now, but never come across something that seemed affordable and delicious enough. Until now. Got a 6 pack for $10 at fred meyer. As a hophead and SN fan, I figured this was my best first try with a barleywine. I think I was right.

A- Dark amber. A little darker than most DIPA's. Thick, sticky off white head.

S- Lots of sweet malts, lots of hops. I was expecting more of a hop smell, smells pretty balanced.

T- BAM. Lots of hops and lots of malts. It's like the best of both worlds just exploded all over the inside of your mouth. As a first time Barleywine drinker and IPA/DIPA lover, I like it a lot. It has that hop bitterness and delicious taste I'm always wanting, yet it's balanced out but definitely not canceled out by the big malty presence. Pretty sweet, but really not overpowering. Really long finish, first numbed by the alcohol and then you get hit with sweet malts and then bitter hops. Jeez. Better than I expected. I wouldn't say it's much more boozy than 90 minute IPA. Quite simply, delicious and a must try. I'm probably gonna age one of these, out of curiosity.

D- Very good, considering the 9.6% ABV. Not chuggable, not a sipper because of the shear deliciousness, but a nice quaffer. You'll realize you probably don't wan't very many unless you're just trying to get tanked. In which case you just grab some natty lce for $4 a 6 pack of tallboys. Gnarly.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2010 05:37:50 | More by onemanarne
Photo of travduke

North Carolina

4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ah, Bigfoot. One of my favorites.

Appearance: Dark mahogany, 2 finger white fluffy head. Incredible lacing.

Smell: Crisp. Piney hops, citrus, amazing! Little alcohol scent but nothing frightening.

Taste: Mmm.. Hops! Just like the smell. I knew there was a reason why I love this beer so much. Its delicious! Perfect hop and malt balance. Well hidden alcohol.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. Alcohol is so well hidden behind the hops and aromas. Very good Sierra!

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2010 04:09:55 | More by travduke
Photo of woosterbill


4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz, 2010 bottle into a Duvel tulip on 1/29/10.

A: A vigorous pour delivers a clear mahogany body with some fine particulates in suspension underneath a billowing head of frothy tan foam that fills the tulip to the perfect stage of near-overflowing. Retention is off the charts, and as the head recedes it leaves the thickest covering of lace that I've ever seen. Phenomenal looking beer.

S: Smooth pine-centric hops up front, followed by some light floral notes. A little bit of mildly spicy malt comes through toward the end.

T: Hops start this off nicely, followed by smooth, rich, and complex maltiness - toffee, caramel, and candied fruits, and some nice spice rounding things out before the slightly boozy finish. Even super-fresh (it just came in yesterday), this is a very smooth and balanced barleywine. I can't wait to see how it ages.

M: Sticky full body with moderate carbonation.

D: Doesn't do much to hide the alcohol, but the generous hops bitterness keeps things fairly crisp. Definitely drinkable for a barleywine.

Notes: I've only had this beer fresh (over several of the last few vintages), and it's always blown me away with its great hops/malt balance. I can't wait to see how this one develops over the years.


1. Brief notes on a fairly fresh bottle of the '11, 3/13/11: just as gorgeous as last year, and a bit more hop-centric (and floral) on the nose (even though I'm reviewing this one less instantaneously). The malts definitely make their presence felt, but in a more straightforwardly sweet, brown sugar kind of way. A little harsh with the hops bitterness, but still delicious. Not boozy at all, but still a bit of challenge to drink. Overall I think I preferred the balance of last year's vintage, but I think this one has just as much potential for aging.

2. I just did my first Bigfoot (mini-)vertical, comparing 2011 and 2010 bottles on 3/26/11. The other tasters and I all agreed that the 2010 was hugely superior in every way except perhaps appearance, where they were identical (perhaps a bit more head on the 2011, but that may have been the pours). The 2010 had a big, rich nose redolent of candied fruit, toffee, and spice, while the 2011 was surprisingly subdued in the nose - just some piney hops. Flavorwise, the difference was almost as extreme, with the 2011 tasting like a mediocre DIPA in comparison to the 2010's barleywine decadence. I definitely won't be opening another 2011 for quite a while, but I'd say that 2010's are hitting their stride beautifully.


Serving type: bottle

01-29-2010 02:27:08 | More by woosterbill
Photo of vdread


4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale 2010 pours a bright cherry color with a huge, almost too huge head. rocky and clingy, it leaves sheets of lace down the entire glass. it smells strongly of crisp hops and alcohol, followed by a malty sweetness.

tastes are of thick syrupy caramel malts and sharp leafy, citrusy, piney hops. it's sweet and spicy as well. the alcohol is noticed as well, but not as strong as i expected for a 9.6% beer.

the bitter hops and sweet malt both linger on the palate long after i'm done chewing my sip.

this is one great beer. i can't find anything wrong with it. this may be a competitor for my favorite Sierra Nevada beer. Celebration watch out! i'll be picking up some more of this in the future for sure.

+intensely malty, hoppy, and alcoholic. this beer delivers everything you could want in a beer like this.

+ the alcohol is well hidden behind the taste. i've had a few 9-10% beers in the past few weeks that have been immensely alcoholic. SN always does a good job of pushing the alcohol back behind the flavors.

= i would like to let some of this age for about three years and try it again. i hear it's much better with a few years behind it.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2010 16:55:24 | More by vdread
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, not exactly common on this side of the 49th...

This beer pours a clear dark burnt orange colour, with a large amount of densely foamy, rocky light beige head, which leaves a mess of chunky lace around the glass upon its leisurely retreats. It smells strongly of citrus hops and caramel malt, then a bit of spruce pine, and a mild, but threatening booze edge. The taste is citrus and pine hop oils, a solid caramel/toffee malt offset, with a buzzing booziness in the background. The carbonation is nice and reserved, the body smooth, thick and viscous, and it finishes clean - sweet, yet still fairly hoppy for a barleywine.

A drinkable American barleywine, if you're into that sort of palate-abusing sort of thing. Well balanced, yes, but among all the extreme flavour elements.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2010 04:21:49 | More by biboergosum
Photo of natelocc787


3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Extremely hoppy Barleywine. Could not be confused with a DIPA as some have noted. Nice appearance, when the cream head subsides a mound is left briefly in the middle of the snifter with layered ridges and canyons like sedimentary rock. Smells of hops, caramel and toffee, more of the same in the taste with a nice bitter finish. This beer has a loyal following but it's not even close to the best in it's class. Nothing from Sierra Nevada is though.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2010 06:48:19 | More by natelocc787
Photo of homebrew311


4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured in to Chimay chalice. This is a fresh 2010 bottle.

A: Pours a deep brown/red with good clarity, some soap bubble white head with very heavy lacing

S: nice caramel malts on the front which intertwine with notes of molasses and bread followed by an assertive earthy pine hop profile. The aroma has the best of both worlds in the way of malts and hops

T: the malt profile isn't as prominent on the palate as the hops take center stage. I suspect this could flip flop with a little age, but as it is, it is delicious. The hops are much bigger than I am used to for the style, but I am not complaining. The beer finishes with a nice malty sweetness. Everything has a nice balance.

MF: slightly high carbonation with a spritzy mouthfeel, full body

D: Sierra Nevada never ceases to amaze me. No frills, just straight forward brewed to style beers that turn out delicious. Bigfoot is one of their best.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2010 03:13:14 | More by homebrew311
Photo of RedBrewer83


4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage aggressively poured into tulip...

A: Pours a dark amber body with a huge four finger head, almost looks like its not gonna fall, but ever so slowly it falls leaving excellent sticky thick webbed lacing behind. Head is creamy and frothy off white, gorgeous appearance!

S: Huge tropical fruit and crisp hoppy nose. Grapefruit, lime, tangerine, pineapple, toasted bread, faint booziness, nice caramel malt profile in the middle that seems to blend everything together. Very nice, if it jumped out of the glass a little more I would bump it up a little more...

T: Very tropical like the nose, but the hoppy citrus and grassyness really comes through along with the booze, very big but not overpowering or overwhelming. Caramel malt profile mid palate is very nice and as in the nose it really brings everything together. Grapefruit lingers in the finish leaving it dry and crisp...Very well balanced!

M: Medium heavy body with crisp carbonation that wakes up the tastebuds and keeps the flavors moving but doesn't overpower. Booze comes through big, but not too harsh.

D: Definitely want to drink this slow and enjoy the flavors, but it is pretty drinkable, can't wait for this to relax a bit and meld even more...give it six months.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2010 23:36:16 | More by RedBrewer83
Photo of polygman


3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2009 Vintage, drank on 12/21/09.

Poured into a tulip, a dark woody amber color, offwhite tan head. An awesome looking BW. Great head retention, a loose speckily lace over the glass. The head just sat in lumps throughout the session, awesome appearance.

Smells very hoppy, with fruits, pineapple and hints of ripe dark fruits. So fruity though almost smells like an IPA. Outstanding really.

Big hop bite to this one, as to be expected from SN. Any sweetness at first is pretty much drowned out by the bitterness. Although getting better as it warms, a nice caramelly sweet taste.

Very velvety and smooth. Wonderful mouth-feel.

I really liked this beer, an outstanding hoppy barleywine. I cant wait to try this one with some age on it. Hops should clean up really well with some time.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2010 19:15:49 | More by polygman
Photo of DanOLeary


3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: Surprisingly up front is a moderately strong citrus hop aroma. Like grapefruit and orange peel. Subtle malts are present in the aroma with some melanoidin character, as well as a hint of alcoholic spice.

Appearance: A crystal clear ruby red that in a way borders on burnt orange. There is a small amount of sediment left in the bottle, but if this is a bottle conditioned beer it pours incredibly clear. During the pour a thick, three-fingered head formed. It faded reasonably slowly to a short and creamy off white head, though a great deal of lacing is left behind on the glass.

Flavor: Caramel malt sweetness greets the tongue at first but is quickly pushed away with assertive citrus hop bitterness that dominates the tongue and overall flavor. The oily hop character lasts into the center of the flavor profile before the beer finishes with an assertive and spicy alcoholic bite. The hops come back again once more with the bite of grapefruit rind.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with high carbonation, like pin pricks across your tongue. There is a slight stickiness in the middle but this is quickly dried out with hop bitterness before the beer finishes with a warming, in fact quite a hot alcoholic presence. In the finish there is a strong emphasis of this alcoholic presence, but the hops really come back again with a resin like character. There's quite a tenacious bitterness throughout.

Overall: This is an extremely hoppy example of a Barley Wine Style Ale. If Sierra Nevada had written "Double IPA" on the bottle instead, I'd be convinced it was such. For a Barley Wine I feel this is overly hopped and doesn't have the malt richness I expect to back it all up. The hop bitterness dominates the palate, the flavor and the nose. For a Barley Wine where hop bitterness may be moderately strong to aggressive, it misses the mark on the fact that there is very little malt character. You really have to look for it to find the barley. This beer doesn't just lean toward hops, it stands upon them.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2010 05:16:24 | More by DanOLeary
Photo of northaustin


4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours a classic dark amber/red with a finger and a half of bubbly off white head.solid lacing.

smell: super sweet malts hidden behind big hops and alchohol.

taste: matches the smell but with less alchohol. a nice mixture of big citrus hops, crystal malts and a bit of yeast make up the flavor of this classic barleywine.

mouthfeel: very oily, syrupy

drinkability: perfect for me.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2010 01:04:10 | More by northaustin
Photo of abrand


4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter. Vintage 2009.

The Bigfoot pours a amber red color with a quick dissolving 1 finger fizzy head and some lacing. Smells of malts, vinegar, and sweet caremel. No hops are noticed in the nose. Taste is mostly malts and fruits up front, with lots of sweetness and not much alcohol comparing to other barley's. The finish is raisins as well as a hoppy bitterness. Mouthfeel is full bodied and there is a crispness. Overall, quite an impressive barleywine from SN. It is well known that these do very well with some cellaring which I am looking forward to trying some with a few years under its' belt.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2010 02:45:52 | More by abrand
Photo of Mosley1212


4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - brown/copper color with a white head with great retention all down the glass

S - Malty with a hint of caramel and toffee. Very sweet, delicious smell

T - Biting alcohol taste at first. Once you swallow the taste is overly sweet. No middle ground with this beer it seems

M - Beer has quite a bite to it. The after taste makes this beer worth drinking, but the initial sip isn't pleasant for me.

D - I could have one, maybe two of these on occasion, but it's certainly not something I could drink every night.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2010 00:56:18 | More by Mosley1212
Photo of nickadams2

New York

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

A_ Deep copper brown with a white head. Nice retention and thick lacing.

S_Malt,caramel,toffee and hops.

T_ Follows perfectly with the smell with a nice hop bitterness that balances perfectly.

M_ Thick and creamy and a little sticky. Thick but easy to drink.

D_ Easy to polish off the whole sixer. Very easy drinking "Big Beer"

NOTES: If you like double bastard (who doesn't?) you will without a doubt like this.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2010 04:38:57 | More by nickadams2
Photo of californiakulak


4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just bought a bottle of 2010 Bigfoot from Wholefoods.

A. This beer is a dark reddish brown color. Huge head and lots of thick lacing.

S. Stong malty smell. Almost doughy. Caramel and toffee.

T. Wonderful beer. Lots of hop bitterness with an excellent malt flavor. Tastes like a Sierra Nevada beer. Lots of hops. It also has a wonderful boozy taste.

M. Warming. Thick anad smooth. Medium carbonation and a bitter bite.

D. Way too drinkable. A six pack could go down easily if you are not careful. My favorite barleywine in the world.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2010 00:38:56 | More by californiakulak
Photo of WhiteOak


3.45/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sierra Nevada 2009 Bigfoot Barley Wine Style Ale

Glass- Riedel 6416/07

A- Bright, clear, dark copper. Expansive, fine bubbled foam, thick and dark beige. Good looking brew.

S- Malt, grapefruity hops, alcohol.

T- Big, rich malt. The tons of bitter, grapefruity hoppiness is a bit out of balance. ABV apparent. Long, lingering finish.

M, D- The malt is just at the sweetness point, but well short of sticky. The attack is divided among the malt, hops, and ABV, with the hop bitterness dominating the finish. Good flavors, but the heavy hop level keeps the drinkability down for me. Fairly high CO2, but it integrated well.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2010 00:47:56 | More by WhiteOak
Photo of FoodBlog


4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a 2008 bottle. A bit hoppy for the style, in my opinion, but overall a valiant effort at producing the true "champagne of beers".

Aromas of freshly cooked waffles hit you before your first sip. The miniscule bubbles do not do much in the glass, but they blanket the tongue in an effervescent welcome. Definitely sweet, but balanced (perhaps overly) with an abundant dose of hops. The subtle fruitiness I like in Barley Wine (at least the ones I make) is diminished in the hoppiness. Still, flavors of caramel and maderized fruit make their way into the flavor profile.

This beer would definitely be the one to have with a nice after dinner cigar, and perhaps some lamb stew or beef with blue cheese. I used it to braise some Honey Mustard Spare Ribs, and it was perfect for that. Some might consider it a waste of great beer, but all cooks I know like to use good wine and spirits when cooking, and good beer should be given the same honor. I bet this would be a perfect way to cook some corned beef and cabbage.

Overall, I will definitely return to this beer over time, since it is so unique.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2010 17:57:48 | More by FoodBlog
Photo of MeisterBurger

Ontario (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 bottle.

Pours a dark, lightly chill-hazed rusty color topped by a substantial, creamy light beige head. Laces and retains amazingly.

If, like me, you have an unquestioning love of beers dry-hopped with citrusy west coast c-hops then this is the barleywine for you. Simply awesome. And yet underneath this lurks some wonderfully rich caramel notes with hints of chocolate.

The taste is a deep, richly sweet caramel malt quickly met by a massive punch of grapefruit pith and piney bitterness. This is beyond full flavored. Licorice notes and pepper are present at well. Definitely far more bitter than any barleywine I have ever had. Alcohol is present and warming but not in the least bit overpowering and well hidden by the tongue-slapping bitterness.

Mouthfeel is slick, chewy and a little syrupy but a goodly amount of carbonation helps lift that from the palate.

This is far more bitter than I anticipated, which makes it a very intense and interesting experience, but this isn't one I could drink more than a bottle of in any one sitting.

I picked up a sixer of this and I'll lay down at least three. I'd like to see how this is once the bitterness fades and the flavors meld. To be honest I can't even begin to fathom what will happen in a couple years time. Not in the least.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2010 02:41:50 | More by MeisterBurger
Photo of elgiacomo


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

2006 bottle, rated Sep 2, 2007. My first barleywine so nothing to compare it to. A unique brew, quite complex...I may not be quite ready for this but here goes.

Pours a dark amber, very murky. Tiny head that is gone in a blink of an eye. No lacing.

Aroma of some fruit (pear), piney hops, caramel and some molasses.

Flavor is quite strong, more hops, malt, caramel, molasses, some chocolate. Rather sweet. I'm sure there is more here, too.

Initially was moderately carbonated, but as I get further into the glass, there is not really any carbonation left at all. Syrupy mouthfeel, but not quite chewy. You taste some alcohol, but it is not overbearing.

There is a lot going on with this brew, and I will definitely have to try some other barleywines.

Aroma 3/5, Appearance 3/5, Taste 3.5/5, Palate 4/5, Drinkability 3.5/5


2010 bottled 12/30/2009, reviewed Feb 5, 2010. My first Bigfoot since my original review 2.5 years ago, although I've had a number of barleywines since then. Pours copper/red in a nonic with a large 3+ finger fluffy and rocky very light beige head which maintains a foamy cap and leaves clumps of sticky lacing. Sure doesn't look like a normal barleywine.

Aroma is sweet, fruity, cherry, citrus and earthy hops, caramel malts.

Flavor is predominantly sweet, cherry and other dark fruits, caramel malts, earthy resinous hops that bring some bitterness, also a bit of a Robitussin character, ahhh yes, the alcohol, you taste and smell it but it doesn't burn.

Mouthfeel is full, rich, rather carbonated. The big foamy head threw me off at first, but I understand this is quite fresh, and will save most of these for a year or more. Even fresh, 2010 Bigfoot is very enjoyable, I'll have to enjoy at least one more soon.

Aroma 3.5/5, Appearance 3.5/5, Taste 4/5, Palate 4/5, Drinkability 4/5

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2010 22:41:03 | More by elgiacomo
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,115 ratings.