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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: 1,079 | 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 bonsreeb85


4.88/5  rDev +17.6%

2009 vintage

A - color is a deep dark, dense and murky tawny/cherry oak. frothy head leaves sticky lacing but after an initialy good showing from a hard pour, reduces to mere film. this is exceptable given the strength of the brew.

S - oh boy! this is fantastic. oh-so-sweet candied fruits, cherry, tangerine, blueberries, righ malty toffee and caramel and plenty of floral and juicy citrus hops -very dank. this could be the holy grail of noses(at least from what i've been lucky enough to try)I wish i could pick out ALL of the nuances.

T - everything in the nose comes through and lingers like port wine. very bitter ending

MF - full-bodied and smooth, sort of rolls over the tongue.

D - IMO this is the benchmark for hop-forward Amer. BWs

10-14-2009 18:42:41 | More by bonsreeb85
Photo of DerBayer


3.45/5  rDev -16.9%

This is NOT and English Barleywine the way i know it but more like a Double IPA Americano style. Now I do like a number of DIPAs I ve tried such as Great Divide most notably but I thought that the brutal hop bitterness and very dry aftertaste was clashing with my concept of a Barley Wine - one of my all time favourite styles.

The malty-fruity sweetness of the style waas just all but overpowered by the hops which left me craving some J W Lees - sorry Bigfoot lovers

10-11-2009 16:28:38 | More by DerBayer
Photo of spartanfan


4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

2009 vintage poured from a stubby 12 ouncer into a tulip glass

A: Pours a hazy brownish red with a nice creamy tan head on top that's leaving tons of lacing down the glass

S: Smell is really in my face with tons of hops and tons of sweet juicy malts to balance it out. Smells of pineapple,

T: Taste is very bold, grapefruit caramel, biscuit, warming alcohol character .

M: Mouthfeel is incredibly creamy and smooth.

D: This beer is a little on the hoppy side, but this is just the way I like it. Goes down so smooth it leaves me wanting more.

Bigfoot is great when it's fresh and keeps getting better with age. Deffenatly one of my all time favorites.

10-08-2009 00:55:50 | More by spartanfan
Photo of donniecuffs

New Jersey

4.65/5  rDev +12%

Let me preface this review by saying that I do not usually care for barleywines. Not that the style is a bad one, but moreso because I find that brewers in general tend to make this style so syrupy and sweet that it makes me feel like I am drinking flavored maple syrup.

Anyway, I recently sampled the 2004 vintage on tap, and it was delightful. It poured a nice reddish-brown, with a thin off-white head, little lacing, and little carbonation, if any. The smell was a poutpourri of both dark fruit (date, raisin, plum) and citrus (red orange, lime, pink grapefruit), as well as some malty biscuit, and the flavor revealed all of these in more generous quantities. However the flavor was not overpoweringly sweet, and the mouthfeel, while thick-bodied, was not syrupy. This might be one of the only sessionable barleywines I have ever come across, but of course beware the alcohol content.

Final note...of course the five year-old nature of this brew most likely smoothened out the feel and flavor, so I'd like to try and sample a more recent vintage to discern the aging effect.

10-06-2009 18:53:40 | More by donniecuffs
Photo of Anthony1


3.65/5  rDev -12%

Pours a very deep hazy reddish gold with a medium sized creamy head. The smell is of malt, tons of malt with hops being slightly detectable. Caramel scent along with dried fruit. The taste of this beer is overwhelming in the best way possible. Holy shit this beer is loaded with fruit, caramel malt, grapefruit hops and too many other flavors for detection. Great mouthfeel, very full bodied with medium carbonation

10-06-2009 16:10:19 | More by Anthony1
Photo of blaheath


4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

08 Vintage

Dark amber, very light carbonation, with aromas of raisins, prunes, toasted malt, and wood. Taste is medium bodied, creamy texture, plums, dates, raisins, brown sugar, nutmeg, light oxidation and astringency, with an avg/long finish. Recommended.

10-06-2009 03:01:53 | More by blaheath
Photo of kegger22


4.22/5  rDev +1.7%

2009 edition.

Poured a reddish brown with a moderate head that faded to a skin. The aroma was mostly malt for me, couldn't get much else with my odor challenged nose. The taste was sweet, but not as sweet as most of the barleywines I've tasted. A citrus bitter was lurking in the background. I liked the fact that it wasn't so sweet. The feel was medium bodied with mild carbonation. Drinkability was pretty good.

I was really pleased with Bigfoot. Good flavor, relatively reasonable price, this will be my goto barleywine. Nice job SN!

10-04-2009 17:42:00 | More by kegger22
Photo of KickbacksSteve


4.38/5  rDev +5.5%

On tap at Kickbacks Gastropub, poured into a Unibroue tulip. 2008 version, aged 1.75 years. Great lacing and aroma, much hoppier than expected, also more alcohol taste than expected, but both have mellowed just a bit from fresh Bigfoot. Thought the sweetness of an aged barleywine would start to come forward on Bigfoot at this age, but apparently not yet. Can't wait to tap future kegs of 2008 to chart the progress. Great offering none the less.

09-30-2009 03:27:38 | More by KickbacksSteve
Photo of goethean


5/5  rDev +20.5%

Just had a 6 year old bottle of this beer, a gift from BA Metal. Wow! I'm not usually a big fan of the typical American Cascade hops profile which usually characterize SN products. However, at six years old, it is really nicely balanced between the figgy, date-flavored maltiness still strongly held back by the hops. I don't detect any oxidation --- a tribute to the quality of this brew.

09-30-2009 02:11:16 | More by goethean
Photo of Shumista


4.35/5  rDev +4.8%

Only 7 bottles left after this one from the case of 2009 Bigfoot I bought last winter. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my beer mug.

A- Bigfoot Barleywine pours a deep amber color with a small off white head. Looks great.
S- Spicy hops, sweet malts, burnt sugars.
T- God I love Barleywines, and especially this one. Hoppy, bitter, sweet, malty, and a little bit boozy.
M- Chewy and thick.
D- For such a heavy beer I really could drink these all night.

09-24-2009 06:13:06 | More by Shumista
Photo of atremains


4.3/5  rDev +3.6%

Snagged a 6 pack of 08's back in July, digging it out for the Always Sunny premiere. Pours a dark copper with a small-ish head with no endurance. Lacing is pretty good here. Nice swirling white cap with a good foamy ring around the glass. Carbonation is visible and looks delicious. Smell is still pretty aggressive and it's been almost 2 years (not that thats a bad thing). Booze, malts, caramel, and hops, bit of dark fruit in there too. Taste kicks like the nose: alcohol, caramel, hops have faded a bit, dark fruits (a bit plumlike). Mouthfeel provides a nice contrast with its creamy smoothness. Much silkier than I remember this beer being with a fullness to it that is hard to come by. Barleywines can be tough to drink as they warm up and even tougher the more you open up in a row (which is why that normally doesn't happen.) This is a solid standard of the style by my scale.

09-24-2009 03:35:00 | More by atremains
Photo of bcastine

New Hampshire

4.53/5  rDev +9.2%

2009 bottle poured to a tulip glass

A: Stunning, nice head, deep reddish color, almost as if you were looking into a gem(unknown at the time but you are) sticky lacing that looks spray painted on. Has to be a 5, couldn't be improved upon.

S: its an air freshener, no need to get the nose right in there, entire room smells of fresh cascade and cent. hops, sweet malt sitting right behind it, anticipation of the flavor begins taking hold.

T: again the american hops hit the tongue first, citrus explosion, then just superbly balanced out by dark fruit flavors of plum, raisin, some belgian candy sugar, amazing.

M: Full bodied, sticky, carbonation perfect, again spot on

D: A brew you don't want to end, i could drink these till i was in a stooper. Really just a fantastic beer, one of the few beers that can make you sad when the glass is empty.

09-19-2009 16:18:52 | More by bcastine
Photo of bump8628


4.4/5  rDev +6%

2009 vintage reviewed September 13, 2009. Pours a beautiful garnet color with 1 inch of beige head into a tulip glass.

The aroma is a blend of spicy and citrusy American hops and dark fruit, toffee, and caramelized sugars.

Pine, spice, and citrus rind hit the palate first with crystal malts following close behind. Flavors of raisin and caramelized sugar can be found through the assault of raw, aggressive hops. The beer finishes with some lingering sweetness and a strong bitterness on the back of the tongue. Alcohol is only barely apparent through the other intense flavors in this brew.

A great American barleywine and a benchmark for the style. A beer to sip and savour, but one that I can drink all night. I have one more of these babies that I'm going to cellar for a couple years and review again to note the changes.

09-14-2009 01:15:38 | More by bump8628
Photo of beerman207


3.9/5  rDev -6%

A- Nice brown color with an off-white head

S- Hops dominate along with some spice, and a sweet smell like burnt sugar

T- Grapefruit is strong here along with caramel. It's a great balance of hops along with the high ABV.

M- The mouthfeel is moderate and right on track with what I'd expect

D- It really depends on whether or not you like this style. It's a sipper for sure. I enjoyed it but can't say that I would have had another.

09-13-2009 12:41:59 | More by beerman207
Photo of linnet


4.35/5  rDev +4.8%

2008 edition which had been cellared for a year. Ruby colour, thick creamy dark beige head, lots an lots of lacing. Aroma is full of plums, raisins, brown sugar and reminds me of a port wine. Flavour is also full of dark fruit and brown sugar combined with a very distinct bitterness. But compared with an uncellared example the dark fruit is more prominent and the bitterness is less. Alcohol is also very noticable but not overwhelming. Mouthfeel is very smooth. I think this has benefitted from the cellaring giving the flavours more depth

09-12-2009 14:29:59 | More by linnet
Photo of ZorPrime

Quebec (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev +4.3%

2009 edition, thanks to Bobsy for trading me this one.

Tasted on August 14, 2009.

Caramel looking color, veiled. The head is dense and cloudy looking. Wow. A strong aroma of hops and malts. The hops are citrusy and piny. The malts is more caramel, strong caramel like in good barleywine. The taste is also intense and strong. More hops in the taste. Bitter and rich at the same time. I like it very much. Due to alcohol content, one per session is enough. The drinkability is very good. Full bodied. Harmony feel in the mouth. A rich and somewhat complex beer. Another great beer from Sierra Nevada.

09-01-2009 01:59:57 | More by ZorPrime
Photo of burnstar


4.35/5  rDev +4.8%

Pours a dark opaque copper with a medium head. Nice lacing on the surface and sides of the glass. Aroma is caramel with dark fruit. Brown sugar and apple cider. Some herbal hops as well. Taste is sweet but with significant herbal and citrusy hops to balance things out. Caramel and grapefruit bitterness. A hint of alcohol in the finish. Medium bodied and lightly carbonated. Pretty drinkable. Overall a very nice barelywine.

08-30-2009 01:55:13 | More by burnstar
Photo of yesferro


4.47/5  rDev +7.7%

2009 edition, thanks to Gyle41386

It's a pretty drink, redish brown with a long lasting head. The hops hit you in the nose, there's a sweet roasted smell in the back but mainly hops for me. I loved the taste, a bit bitter but again there's caramelly sweetness and maybe even some vague citrus. Not too fizzy and very full of flavor, kinda left my mouth dry due to the bitterness. I liked this a lot but I really wish I had let the bottle sit for a bit longer to let the bitterness fade. It's great fresh but I barely felt like I was drinking a barley wine. I'd have it again in a heartbeat though.

08-29-2009 03:44:55 | More by yesferro
Photo of nomomentwasted


4.38/5  rDev +5.5%

Had this out of a bottle last night, poured into a pint glass from a 12-ounce bottle. 2008 vintage, the 25th Expedition.

Appearance: Beautiful, beautiful beer. I would go as far as to say gorgeous. Lacing is clumpy and huge, head retention is fantastic, and color is a brilliant red-brown hue. I don't love giving out 5s, but I can't really think of any way this could've been done better look-wise.

Smell: Bit malty notes with some caramel and almost a dark wheat smell as well, with some floral, sweet hoppiness on the tailend. Malts are the front and center, with that hoppiness being a little more latent. Smell of warm alcohol exists a bit too, which is only mildly unpleasant. So far, an absolutely excellent beer.

Taste: Wow, for a beer from a sixer this really is delivering. The malts are immediately noticeable on top of some very intense bittering hops for the style. Almost like an IPA bitter, with some bitter and sweeter hops as the malts fade. When aerated in the mouth, the hops and malts go head-to-head pretty well, and it's simplyt a great little beer that could. Little alcohol taste as well, but it's not as harsh as some other Barleywines out there.

Mouthfeel: First little hiccup here. The bitterness is almost too distracting from the battle between the hops and malts for taste supremacy. The balance is so well struck, but the carbonation that leads to such great lacing and head is a bit too much at some times. Still, nothing awful, just the first little tic mark in the less desireable column.

Drinkability: Well, I probably could drink a bomber of this fairly easily, but be quite warm afterwards. It gets hot quick after drinking it, but for the style and ABV that's to be expected I suppose. Still, a fantastic little beer that makes me want to delve more deeply into Barleywine territory. Sierra Nevada, another fantastic outing.

08-23-2009 22:06:14 | More by nomomentwasted
Photo of steveh


3.9/5  rDev -6%

2009 edition, waiting for a good time to have one of the last bottles -- how about review 110?

A -- Dense tan head that turns cragy, but holds up well. Clear, deep red highlighted copper color.

S -- Rich, caramel-sweet malt nose perfectly balanced against a citric hop character. Some clay-like earthiness coming through, I commonly notice this in aged, high malt, highly hopped, English style brews.

T -- Spicy alcohol and bitter hops up front, blends into rich and sweet malt character with some citrus hop character present and peppery alcohol in the finish. Some underlying dark fruit character comes through with warmth.

M -- Sharp mouth feel up front with dryness from alcohol, medium heavy body with big syrupy malt chewiness. Definite warming from alcohol -- reminiscent of whiskies.

D -- The drinkability is not for beer beginners. Don't start off your macro friends with this one, you'll just scare them away. This is not a beer to session, but it does go down very nicely.

08-20-2009 17:30:10 | More by steveh
Photo of MaxBrews


4.53/5  rDev +9.2%

Presentation: 2009 Bottle poured into snifter.

Appearance: A big and luscious off-white brownish head, with good retention that dissipates into a thick and soapy lacing. Is dark ruby red in appearance. I'm giving this a 5 in this realm, cos no beer has provided such a mystifying color, large head and beautiful lacing. Usually the alcohol in such a beer would limit this.

Smell: The aroma of this beer is outstanding. In a room where there are no other odors you can step back from your glass and actually pick this up. The first thing you get when pouring is hops but that is quickly replaced dark caramel malts, bourbon, alcohol, sherry, raisins/prunes, black cherries (dark fruits), and brown sugar. What an aroma!

Taste: This is a complex beer. Different sips pick up different bits but with a large gulp and some swirling you get, buttery biscuit, dark fruit (see aroma), alcohol and even a bit off coffee towards the end of your sip. This is of course while the beer provides a huge hoppy backbone. This beer is steeped in hops and really adds a certain something to the earthy and generally dark taste. Perhaps a crispness and a bit of excitement. I would not have this beer any other way.

Mouthfeel: Someone described this beers palate as chewy and I'll agree with them. It definitely has a heavy, body and some dryness & bitterness from the hops. But along with that theres a sweetness that makes this all ok. This beer covers all its bases.

Drinkabilty: A barley wine for the hopheads and the rest of us. A complex maltiness followed by a strong hoppiness. This is rather drinkable for a barley wine, which will get you in trouble cos its 10%abv. A MONSTER OF A BEER.

08-19-2009 18:37:56 | More by MaxBrews
Photo of GreenCard


3.98/5  rDev -4.1%

[Review of a bottle of 2003 Bigfoot]

Appearance: ruddy dark-brown, slight haze, minimal head formation

Aroma: big blooms of rum, brown sugar, sherry, prunes, caramel, candied orange/grapefruit peels

Flavor: medium malt sweetness laced through with oxidation, burnt sugar, and orange liqueur; late-hitting coffee-like bitterness riding into a dryish finish; also hints of unsweetened cocoa, caramel, and rum raisin

Mouthfeel: medium-full body, pert carbonation, alcohol warmth, slight astringency

Other comments: I've had a few bottles of this stored in various conditions (and not really the best for cellaring, if I'm honest), but it has held up pretty well. Still a great barleywine.

08-12-2009 01:35:07 | More by GreenCard
Photo of pmccallum86


4.65/5  rDev +12%

2008 25th Anniversary edition Bigfoot.

Wow, this beer immediately out of the bottle blasts you with a wall of malty aromas. Pours a very deep hazy reddish gold with a medium sized creamy head. The smell is of malt, tons of malt with hops being slightly detectable. Caramel scent along with dried fruit. The taste of this beer is overwhelming in the best way possible. Holy shit this beer is loaded with fruit, caramel malt, grapefruit hops and too many other flavors for detection. Great mouthfeel, very full bodied with medium carbonation and at 9.6% ABV it is quite scarily undetectable. Drinkability is great, goes down very smooth. Wow this is an amazing barleywine.

08-10-2009 03:51:27 | More by pmccallum86
Photo of OlRasputin989


4.13/5  rDev -0.5%

A: a hazy dark brown-red with a big fluffy creamy tan head. leaves alot of lacing

S: very bold. you can smell it on the pour. sweet! french toast, vanilla, bananas, and caramel with a hint of bourbon-like alcohol and pine needles

T: plums, brown sugar and earth up front with a finish of sprucey hops, wheat and lemon-pepper. very bittersweet.

M: heavy and chewy with a lively, tingling carbonation with a warming and drying finish.

Overall, this beer is big and brawny and at the same time delicate and savoring. Definitely worth your troubles.

08-10-2009 02:50:51 | More by OlRasputin989
Photo of jera1350


4.33/5  rDev +4.3%

This is a 2006 vintage.

Pours a deep golden brown with bits and pieces literally suspended in place. One finger sticky head reduces to a ring and leaves some nice lacing.

Smells like on big overripe fruit salad. Dark fruit, some banana, a bit of booze, caramelized sugar, and lots of hops.

Warm, sweet caramelized malt. Some brown sugar. Nice big hops. Alcohol is present. Big and complex.

Nearly full bodied, sticky, chewy and a bit syrupy on the tongue. Smooth and big.

Damn drinkable for a beer at this ABV. It's one of the best barleywines out there and a pleasure to drink.

08-08-2009 03:30:28 | More by jera1350
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,207 ratings.