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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.

6,207 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,207
Reviews: 2,808
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 257
Gots: 1,080 | FT: 38
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  9.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 02-06-1998)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  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: 6,207 | Reviews: 2,808 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hooliganlife


4.18/5  rDev +0.7%

pours a deep ruby brown, creamy head that lingers around. bits of lacing.

not much on the nose, light malts, touch of honey and pine

lots of bitterness. hops really steal the show. tons of pine up front and big bitter citrus through the finish. the grainy malts start appearing midway through. lots of flavors though out, such as tangerine, pine, white grapefruit, malt bitterness. little bit of booze

very full bodied, not chewy but very full. carbonation has a lot of bite but in a good way. lets you know what you are drinking. gums tingle afterwards, a bit of booze burn.

this is delicious. i can see why many age this, i had a 2008 last year and it really mellowed over a year. i loved it but i think i prefer it fresh. drinks easy but ABV is high.

03-05-2010 01:36:35 | More by hooliganlife
Photo of chickenflea


4.35/5  rDev +4.8%

Beer pours a dark amber color a foamy off-white head. A lot of lacing in the glass as I suck down this wicked brew.

You can smell those Pacific coast hops. This is an unexpectedly pleasant surprise. Sweet malt also present. The alcohol smell is muted although the brew carries a hefty 9.6 a.b.v.

The taste is sweet and hoppy. Bready notes in the middle. Lingering bitterness is pleasant and makes you yearn for another sweet smooth mouthful.

Very drinkable. Can I have another please.

03-05-2010 00:10:54 | More by chickenflea
Photo of Arbitrator


3.63/5  rDev -12.5%

2010 vintage stubby into a glass. Purchased as a single at Whole Foods in Los Altos. Re-reviewed since the 2009 vintage was very much not to my liking.

A: Pours a murky amber color with reddish tints throughout the body when held to the light. The cap is lightly reddish brown, and recedes in sections over a few minutes before finally falling into a light film and donut on top of the brew. Lacing down the glass.

S: Reminds me a lot of a candied, caramel-ish pine branch. Some floral aromas too. Like walking through a forest.

T: Very hoppy. Lots of pine and floral flavors up front. The mid-taste brings out the malt character (although it's hard to detect with the really forward hops): caramel, toffee, and nuts. It actually reminds me of a slightly hoppier Double Bastard. Takes on a slightly metallic character as it warms.

M: Very warming. Medium-full body with low-moderate carbonation.

D: The flavors in this one are very strong; fresh, it's not a subtle beer at all. It's actually slightly hard to finish, what with the overpowering hop flavors and lack of dimensionality.

I suspect the 2009 bottle I had was bad, from reading my own review. Not oxidized, but just somehow off. The 2010 bottle is a lot better, although I still detect a metallic / mineral quality to the flavor that bugs me. It's a good barleywine, not a great one. I'm content having had the one bottle for the season.

03-04-2010 09:58:28 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of OttoBomb


4.2/5  rDev +1.2%

12 oz. bottle poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass (March 2, 2010). Serial number on the label says "000710838" so it's bottled 8:38am PST, January 7th, 2010 on bottling line #1, (see here: http://www.sierranevada.com/images/BottleCode2009.pdf).

I'm intentionally drinking a very fresh 2010 vintage to compare it to older and more aged versions.

Eyes: Pours a soupy darkish red/copper. I need to pour the bottle slowly and wait as the head is so full and threatens to spill over. The off white foam is incredibly thick, and looks like the surface of the moon as it receded. Massive lacing. Gorgeous.

Nose: The hops are prominent, a sweet citrus, fruity profile. Dried fruit mix in with caramel. Smells very close to a DIPA, but not quite there.

Tongue: An extremely complex profile here. It's very thick and syrupy, with sweet malts, and bitter hops especially on the tail. All flavors are very well blended. The alcohol is fairly evident also.

Mouth: Thick, chewy and pasty, good carbonation for the weight. The savory mouthfeel seems to last for ever.

Libation: This is truly a great beer. I had heard this was a lot more hoppy than it actually was, there are enough hops to add an interesting dimension. Even trying this very fresh, I don't see how anyone could confuse this for a DIPA, but it is certainly a very tasty, very warming offering that I'll look forward to drinking and storing every year.

03-03-2010 10:15:00 | More by OttoBomb
Photo of TheDreadnought


4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

A) Pint glass. Pours an auburn caramel; very thick head with rich lacing.

S) Floral; hop and caramel notes

T) Powerful hop and malt flavor; and just like a barleywine, a big warm climactic alcohol finish. Impressive.

M & D) Crisp; very easy to drink. Very Sierra Nevada. Very good.

03-02-2010 03:13:09 | More by TheDreadnought
Photo of MrHassellYaHurd


4.53/5  rDev +9.2%

Pours into a pint glass a translucent red-orange with a light khaki cap of foam clinging to the glass.

Smells caramel-sweet with an assertively piney hop presence and notes of cherries and preserved fruits and jams.

A nice and assertively citrus and pine hop taste as well as a very sweet, syrupy taste. Roasted grains and intense concentrated fruits.

Full-bodied thick syrupy goodness, this beer is packed full of flavor and sparse on the carbonation.

03-01-2010 04:28:26 | More by MrHassellYaHurd
Photo of Kemmerlin


4.68/5  rDev +12.8%

A: a dark brownish red color with a thick creamy off white head.
S: has a strong caramel malt aroma with the hops coming in the back of the nose. Not overly hoppy at all.
T: a very sugary sweet taste of caramel malts with a nutty aftertaste and gentle floral hops moving in between.
M/D: it has a thick yet soft feel. The drinkability is very good due to the taste and the feel. I highly recommend.

02-28-2010 21:42:24 | More by Kemmerlin
Photo of albern


4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

This is more like a DIPA than a traditional barley wine, but these days distinctions certainly blur. It pours a nice clear deep amber color with a nice creamy and and thick off white head that retains pretty well and laces all over the glass. The nose is leafy, estery, piney and grapefruity hop. The nose is quite nice, I just wish it were a bit more assertive.

The taste is definitely full bodied. This is all about the hops, at least at first. There are juicy and leafy and slightly acerbic piney hop with some citric tanginess. The hop is very upfront, and probably a tad bit more leafy than anything else. The beer is very well balanced with its thick creamy maltiness. There are lots of crystal and pale malts, not much graininess at all, very smooth and clean. The ABV on this beer is quite evident and is rather warming and not overly boozy. The beauty of this beer is its balance. The assertive hops are held together nicely by a malty and creamy base underneath. The ABV keeps this beer strong, a bit unrestrained, and warming. The beer is ultimately a strong sipping beer with lots more maltiness than you would find in a more vinous and syrupy barleywine. My vote is to label this as a DIPA. L'Chaim.

02-28-2010 21:17:39 | More by albern
Photo of mempath


4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

pours a deep, bright amber with flapjack batter floating thick...cola type bubbles visible around the edge...lacing is more like a thick veneer/swathe that slowly slides back to the party below. beautiful.

deep rich malty hoppy yin yang sweet&sour in the olfactory department...not really intense, but solid and a hint of things to come.

yeah, it's bold, a malty hop brawl in your mouth, sasquatch is now looking for you. alcohol is present and adds to the gravity...i almost get a creamy sense that i love when drinking Nugget Nectar...but here, it's heavier, actually a bit more bitter, but very satisfying. actually a bit dry, making this not a good choice for a session brew (ha!), due to the need to immediately take another sip. or gulp. mouthfeel is as it should be, creamy but a little boost of carbonation keeps it from dragging you down to the bottom of the ocean. unless you keep chugging away...

a solid brew, loaded with flavor yet not overly complex. a great gift and one i need to cellar. something i need to start doing regularly.

02-28-2010 15:13:11 | More by mempath
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


4.55/5  rDev +9.6%

Behold the great of the greats. Beautiful ruby red appearance. Immaculate.

Aroma, big and bold. Almost barks in your face. Alcohol, wood, hops. Taste, is a full frontal assault on the palate. An immense beer, big on hops, the hoppiest barleywine I've ever had. I age a bunch of these, and if you want it to taste more like a traditional barleywine, age it a few years. If you want it to be like a West Coast IPA/Barleywine, drink it fresh. Its delicious either way, but for hopheads, I say drink it fresh.

Mouthfeel is excellent as well, can become challenging, as the malt feels heavier throughout the drink. Drinkability, is great for a barleywine, cheap, but you'd be fooling yourself to think you should knock back more than 2, or that it's easy drinking unless you've got some experience under your belt.

02-27-2010 23:12:07 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of jmfc8237


4.33/5  rDev +4.3%

A-poured from a brown stubby bottle with a blue label, and a cap that denotes the vintage year 2010. Pored into a snifter with a lively head about 1/2 inch. Head has very fine bubbles and is a tan caramel in color. Very nice amber/ruby color in the beer with mild carbonation.

S-really vibrant oily hop aromas that are fruity with grapefruit and pine. Slight aroma of caramel malt and fig.

T-Big hop flovor with a oily presentation at first that leads into a mild malt backround. The hops are the star here, with I melow warmth of alcohol that builds stronger as you sip.

M/D- a huge winner in my book. Love the hop charachter and the mild malt backround.

02-27-2010 22:49:32 | More by jmfc8237
Photo of cld253


4.33/5  rDev +4.3%

2010. 12 oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A- Pours a finger and a half head, red, resiny head.

S- Citrusy, sweet, biscuit aroma. Alcohol is present, but expected.

T- Sweet malt laced with citrus and higher acid hops throughout. Strong, certainly could use a year or more to mellow out, maybe I will put a couple of these away.

F- Resiny, slightly astringent. Again,. . can't wait for it to age.

D- First one right now,.. but surprisingly easy to drink for this style.

02-26-2010 21:59:00 | More by cld253
Photo of sidetracked


4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

2010 bottle. Pours a clear deep-ruby amber with a substantial tan head.

Smells of bitter citrus hops, slightly sweet caramel malts and hints of alcohol.

The taste upfront is bitter grapefruit that quickly lends way to sharp toasty malts. Finish is bitter and a bit hoppy. Alcohol heat comes through as it goes down.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and somewhat syrupy with low carbonation.

Drinkability is great despite the alcohol presence.

02-26-2010 03:29:40 | More by sidetracked
Photo of happilysurly


4.4/5  rDev +6%

The color is a rich brown amber. Aroma is a fantastic wet hop aroma, not citrus, but bittering hoppiness. The taste has a major hoppy bitterness with a fruity, malty undertone. Biggest impression is bittering hops for sure. It didn't taste like the barleywines I'm used to, much smoother.

Update: How is this a barleywine? Its WAAAY too much like a double or triple IPA than a barleywine. I love it!

02-25-2010 16:28:45 | More by happilysurly
Photo of generalnotsew


4.47/5  rDev +7.7%

A: Semi aggressive pour yields 1 finger head. It is a very dark beer. Depending on how you look at it almost the color of red wine. Very sticky lacing.

S: The hops are hitting pretty heavy here. Rich sweet maltiness backing it up with a definite IPA grape fruitiness. A bit of a Belgian character as well with the plum.

T: Wow! Very sharp and bitter up front. Some people say the hoppy bitterness isn't really there but it is explosive to me. It is more so than the 2 DIPA's I had last night. Bit of a candied plum bringing up the rear but the bitter hoppiness is what I get straight through.

M: Hmmm. It may be a tad too aggressive with the carbonation. Only weak spot so far.

I may be in the minority but the hoppiness is killer in this beer. Or maybe more of the reviews I have read are aged. I don't see myself aging one of these since I just enjoy bitterness too much. This is worth the wait every year and price is killer. How does Sierra Nevada get away with selling all of their sixers at the same price?

D: I love bitter hops but I still could not down a lot of super hoppy beers in one sitting. Still very easy to drink.

02-25-2010 06:29:39 | More by generalnotsew
Photo of ThaBobfather


4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

2010 Edition!
Pours a thick copper/golden color with a thick whipped topping of beige head.
Smell is a bouquet of floral aromas and thick barley syrups with a tree bark quality.
Flavor starts with an abrupt hit of bitter hops then transits to the malt syrups-followed by a piney end to the taste.
Finish is very wet and long-hop bitters and sweet malts carry through a nice after-taste.
Drinks very well here-there is some boozey quality underneath but definitely nothing that will hang any Sierra Nevada fans up.

02-25-2010 05:02:51 | More by ThaBobfather
Photo of kylejohnson03


4.22/5  rDev +1.7%

Poured from bottle into a tulip glass. Carefull pour gives a one finger head, which lingers briefly. Color is a rich, dark amber. Smells are pine, floral hops, and caramel candy. The taste is complex, great balance between floral hops and malts. A good amount of bitterness, yet still smooth and sweet on the finish. You get the alcohol as this beer lingers, definately one to be enjoyed at your own pace. Full bodied and medium carbonation. A really good beer fresh, but will hold out on my remaining stash as long as I can and see how they age.

02-25-2010 03:40:22 | More by kylejohnson03
Photo of ocelot2500


4.4/5  rDev +6%

Pours a clear dark amber color with a small white head that leaves plenty of lacing on the glass.

Smells of clean citrus hops with some malt sweetness. Spices and fruit also make their presence known.

Tastes of sweet, spiced fruit up front with a floral citric finish. Everything is in balance and nothing is overpowering. Some alcohol comes through as well, but that is to be expected.

Mouthfeel is full and syrupy, chewy.

02-25-2010 03:07:41 | More by ocelot2500
Photo of Sam21


4.1/5  rDev -1.2%

2011 vintage poured into a snifter. Purchased as a 6-pack for $12.99.

Appearance - Ruby brown body with a great big off-white head. Excellent retention. Leaves lots of lacing and retains a nice cap.

Smell - Fresh aggressive citrus hops. Beneath lies dart fruit and rich malt sweetness, although this nose is all about this hops! 4

Taste - Dark fruits and rich caramel command much more of a presence here than they did in the nose. The hops join the party part way through and add an intense ege to the sweetness by providing buckets of citrus fruit and raw bitterness. Finish is long and dry. Waves of bitterness put my tongue in a sleeper hold with the robust malt sweetness doing everything it can to keep my tongue from catching on fire. Alcohol is present, but remains hidden under the hop carpet bombing.

Mouthfeel - Medium-full bodied and supremely creamy carbonation. Quite a bit of carbonation. Smooth, lively, and not syrupy or sticky.

Drinkability - This is such an assetive and in-your-face "barleywine-style" beer. A hop lovers dream. I am excited to see where this beer goes over this next year and beyond. Personally, the hops feel a little overwhelming to the great malt profile at times. A big beer that is just oozing with American character. A classic.

2009 vintage reviewed 2-25-10 poured into Duvel tulip. Pours a reddish brown with a healthy off-white head. Tight clingy lace.

Sweet caramel and powerful hops in the nose.

Taste begins with malty sweetness that transforms into a viscous piney hop bite. Instantly warms the stomach as it goes down. Bitterness lingers on the tongue.

Mouth feel is heavy and syrupy but backed up by a tingly carbonation that balances out the thick mouth feel.

This beer is heavy on the hop side, but the maltiness balances them out enough to make this a deliciously hoppy barley wine.

02-25-2010 02:21:44 | More by Sam21
Photo of MOB210SA


4.35/5  rDev +4.8%

Ive been literally looking out for SN Bigfoot since I first got into craft beer and found out SN made a Barleywine. I fortunately finally came across this some despite all the bad luck, not finding any at my usual places (even after I heard it was in SA.)

Into my Chimay. Nice pour resulted a single finger blanket of solid, thick, dense creamy beige/tan head. Beautiful equally red and orange color. The ruby-red/orange is only a color I could maybe imagine from a amber sunset, with golden hues accenting. This beer is a great looking. The lacing is thick and sticky, clinging everywhere.

Loads of barley maltiness with some sweet caramel coming through. Sticky, resinous and piney hops, with A good kick of alcohol.

Big hop bitterness with this one, and Its very clear on the palate. Mostly caramel malt, then lots of green, bitter hops take over unto the finish. With a slightly dry finish and a good lingering bitterness on the back of the tongue. A healthy alcohol breath follows your swallow, showing its not messing around. Ive never tried aging, but I could see people letting the hop bitterness mellow out of this. Either way I really like it.

Medium bodied mouthfeel. Usual thickness and slightly syrupy quality like a good BW.

Nothing in Bigfoot disappoints. As long as Ive waited I'm very happy about that. I bought a 6-pack too, so I will have a couple more to finish my review later.

02-24-2010 00:10:21 | More by MOB210SA
Photo of teovaldi


4.3/5  rDev +3.6%

Pours a hazy deep copper with a nice thick head that quickly dissapates leaving nice lacing.

Smell is of hops, sweet caramel/brown sugar and booze akin to whiskey.

The taste starts out somewhat sweet then the hops really hit you hard finishing bitter and boozy...but not overpowering just a bit of warmth. Nice and balanced.

Full bodied with an almost perfect amount of carbonation. A bit syrupy and thick but the carbonation helps it to slide down nicely.

Despite the big whiffs of alchol and slight burn this baby is very easy to put down. The lingering hop bitterness on my tongue makes me almost beg for another sip.

Vintage 2009

02-23-2010 00:46:10 | More by teovaldi
Photo of xanok


4/5  rDev -3.6%

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A-Pours a very deep ruby, almost brown color. Easy two fingers of white foamy head. Nice lacing.

S-Citrusy grapefuit goodness. Floral hops. Caramel and malts somewhere in the mix as well.

T-A nice mix of grapefruit, floral hops, malts, and something burnt tasting. Not sure what that is, maybe the caramel.

M-Full bodied, medium carb. Sticky on the way down with a great aftertaste. Surprisingly smooth for a barleywine.

D-ABV is mostly well hidden, but some taste of it at the end. Goes down almost too easily.

A well made barleywine. Excellent but not amazing. For the price? unbelievable. Doesn't top Old Ruffian as my favorite though.

02-23-2010 00:45:53 | More by xanok
Photo of jrallen34


4.08/5  rDev -1.7%

I drank this 1994 verion into a tasting glass at EBF.

The beer pours light brown with a nice tan head, retention and lacing down.

The aroma is medium in strength with some nice balanced complexity. There is some caramel, tea, dark fruits, and a nice hoppy finish.

The taste is much stronger than the aroma, and a little off base to me. Its is much more bitterer than you think it would be and that really dominates. There is a little sweetness but it doesn't come off balanced enough.

02-22-2010 23:15:32 | More by jrallen34
Photo of kiddynamite920


4.22/5  rDev +1.7%

2010 Bottle, figured it's better to review fresh. Have one put away for a year or so. Poured into a snifter.

A: A very dark, brownish copper. Big billowy head. A bit of lacing already happening. Has all the looks of an nice English Barleywine. Would think this would be a malt forward BW, but we all know that is not the case.

S: Big hop hit right off the bat. Good citrus zest aroma. Late on the nose comes the malts and some brown sugar. Very nice change of pace. Alcohol is still present, but nowhere near overwhelming. Could imagine this dying off very nicely with age. Very surprising floral hop aroma. Well balanced.

T: Hops bitter the malts perfectly. The hop use is is for mostly aroma in this beer I suppose. The slight bitterness brings out all the sweet characteristics of this beer. Vanilla and caramel come forward. The malts make their appearance. Caramel and roasty malts. Just sweet enough, not a cloying malt bomb like some other barleywines. Bitterness comes in the form of some citrus peel and some piney hops. Floral hops stay with you after each sip. Very delicate balance between the hops and malts for this BW.

M: Feels like it's going to be syrupy as it hits the tip of the tongue, but it rushes around the mouth as you sip. Hits each and every tastebud and hangs around with its hop bitterness that has your mouth feeling almost like you've had a very tannin rich wine.

D: Very easy sipping for a barleywine. Usually they take me 30 minutes to an hour to consume. This one may be going down a bit too fast. I'll let it warm for a bit. Fantastic barleywine! Can't wait to try an aged one.

02-22-2010 04:46:53 | More by kiddynamite920
Photo of farrago

New Jersey

3.4/5  rDev -18.1%

Close to three finger head with a moderately aggressive pour, light tan in color, more lacey foam with larger bubbles interspersed here and there, very slow to dissolve, very sticky lacing, wants to be the last man standing at the party. Mildly cloudy amber red in color the burnt orange hues more apparent along the rims and beer glass bottom. Honey and cane sugar in the nose, a touch boozy, candied orange peels, uncommonly grainy for the beer style, floral as well, suggestion of apricot or peach fruit. Full-bodied, however, the foaminess of the carbonation only increases its density, to the verge of becoming ponderous. The orange, grapefruit citrus more edgy here and the herbaceousness rises quite a bit. For a barleywine, this is a total hopfest, any caramel or honey accents way in the background. The apricot, nectarine fruit also recedes. Hence, what the hell is sweet here? The weight and viscosity is there, I'm just repeating myself in saying that this lacks the flavor profile of the vast majority of barleywine beers I have had in the past.

02-22-2010 02:51:02 | More by farrago
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,207 ratings.