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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.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

6,141 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,141
Reviews: 2,806
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 247
Gots: 1,058 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,141 | Reviews: 2,806 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of josiahschlender
josiahschlender

Oregon

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

I've been curious to try this beer for a while, since I'm a fan of Sierra Nevada and barleywines in general. I wish it was more common and affordable here in Portland. It sounds like that's often the case in other places.

Nice looks from this ale. Rich amber in color, with a decent off-white head that leaves some lacing.

Wow, huge pine oil nose on this one. My wife doesn't like the hoppy beers, complaining they smell and taste like Pine-Sol. While I disagree with her on that point most of the time, I must say there are definitely some Pine-Sol similarities in the way this brew smells. I also detect a combination of roasted and sweet malts sneaking between the hops and the definite alcohol.

Hops dominate the flavor, but the surprisingly roasty malt backbone tries to balance it out. Malts are not overpowered, but this barleywine toes the line of being one dimensionally hoppy. Speaking of hops, this beer has some of the most bittering I've had in a while. And I drink a lot fo NW IPAs. Almost punishingly bitter... I thought I was strong but this is kicking my butt.

Mouthfeel is well suited for the style, slick and oily that sticks to your mouth on the loong bitter finish.

Overall, this is the kind of beer I love to love, but for some reason it's not floating my boat tonight. I wish I had a sixer of the stuff to see what some time would do for it. If you're going to give this brew a try, do something to hype yourself up for the hops.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2009 06:08:13 | More by josiahschlender
Photo of MacDomer
MacDomer

Illinois

4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 bottle poured into my Duvel tulip. This one comes out looking nice - a deep amber with a big off white head. Lacing is alright, but nothing to write home about. Big blast of pine and brown sugar in the aroma department. Lots going on in the taste - big bold flavors, like a malty sweet pine bomb. I'm liking this quite a bit as I work my way through it. Very nice medium to full mouthfeel. Drinks pretty fast for a big beer, but I think one or two will do it for tonight. Got 12 of these - six to drink this year, six to squirrel away. Love how accessible this barleywine is - will stock up each year!

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2009 02:39:29 | More by MacDomer
Photo of bsp77
bsp77

Minnesota

4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 Bigfoot

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Red. Depending on the light, it can range from an almost pinkish-maroon to dark ruby. Very thin head but nice lacing.

Smell: Dark fruits (plum) and some alcohol. Grapefruit is also evident but the smell is really not too overpowering in the hop department, despite the upcoming assault on my taste buds.

Taste: Begins with expected Barleywine profile (fruit, toffee, caramel) before being quickly overtaken by a strong spicy and grapefruit bitterness, which lasts long after taking a sip.

Feel: Somewhat thick and chewy, with moderate carbonation. Slightly warming.

Drinkability: Tastes great, but very alcoholic and unbelievably bitter. Slow sipper and I really don't want more than one.

I am excited to try this again after sitting in my basement for a year. Note: Now that I have tried it with some age, I bumped the drinkability score.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2009 00:15:51 | More by bsp77
Photo of beerbully
beerbully

New Jersey

4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a tulip glass
appearance-1/2 inch head with good lacing
smell-similar too a DIPA sweet smelling somewhat citrusy
taste-somewhat hoppy with some citrus notes and sweetness on the back end
feel- slick
drinkability-good despite the 9.6 ABV

solid barleywine that I'll be visiting time again

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2009 01:36:24 | More by beerbully
Photo of naterock
naterock

Missouri

4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass with a off-white head and a Deep reddish amber color. Thick lacing and a nice rocky head.

smell is chinook hops and a deep barley so much quantity of scent here.

Tastes hugely of domestic hops and a rich almost ridiculous barley backbone. There is a lot to deal with here and I can't say that I can even do it justice but I get chinook hops and a array of different malt characters.

Mouth is on the heavy end of medium with a big carbonation and an oily and viscous mouthfinish. Drinks suprisingly fast for this large beer.

Serving type: on-tap

04-25-2009 00:54:19 | More by naterock
Photo of slk22
slk22

Maryland

4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Color is garnet with a cream head that quickly dissipated. Medium lacing on glass. The aroma of this beer is huge. Fruit is very noticeable up front with white and red grapes and plum. Caramel malt is present as well as a hint of alcohol. My limited nose is probably not doing this beer justice as it seems quite complex. The flavor of this thing is also huge beginning with plum, ruby grapefruit, caramel malt. A hint of alcohol provides a nice warming sensation. The bitterness of the hops comes through in the end having a grapefruit citrus flavor. The taste is well balanced, although bitterness lingers a bit on the finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with medium carbonation. This beer was very enjoyable although the high ABV (9.6%) makes it hard to have more than one or two.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2009 18:31:26 | More by slk22
Photo of PatronWizard
PatronWizard

California

3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It seems my first Bigfoot will be a fresh 2009. Grabbed a sixer from a shoddy little liquor store.

Pours a very nice copper on fire shade of burgundy. Big fat head of cream and bubbles. Crazy retention. Looks pretty frickin good people.

Smells like a delicious IPA. Moderately strong hop presence on top of something else. Something buried deep under that head.

Big bitter hop burn in the bite. Yep. Good flavor but seems rather one dimensional at this point. Time for an aging experiment.

Medium to full body, smooth. Very likable. I think I'll try to cellar one of these. But 'twas not to be - all six have gone the way of Burgie.

Overall: big, good, want more

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2009 01:00:28 | More by PatronWizard
Photo of DarbyOGill
DarbyOGill

Wisconsin

3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass. 2009 bottle.

A: Pours dark amber with about a finger and half of light yellow head. I can slightly see my fingers through the glass on the other side so it is pretty opaque.

S: There is a strong smell of hops. I get a smell of oranges, it just has a overall citrusy smell. Smells similar to their Pale Ale to me.

T: It starts out kind of nutty. followed by the bitterness of orange and pine flavored hops. Alcohol is easily noticed throughout the sip. Finishes with a nice touch of maltyness and a nice smooth burn of alcohol. The taste is somewhat surprising to me from the original smell, I got a lot more flavors tasting it compared to smelling it.

Overall: Pretty darn good. And for 9.99 a sixer it will definitely be in the regular rotation.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2009 03:34:00 | More by DarbyOGill
Photo of IMincedTheKing
IMincedTheKing

New Jersey

3.48/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A random guy at the liqour store recommended this but said it was out of season. A little bit later, however, I saw a make-your-own-sixer hidden behind a six-pack of Brooklyn and noticed the word "Bigfoot" on the neck. I think someone was trying to hide the last few of these, but I snagged one. 2009 vintage.

It pours chestnut with an off-white head. Sticky walls of lacing.

The aroma is dominated by hops. Sweet malts back up the hops.

Citric hops on the palate with strange fruit undertones. Sweet malts try to balance out the bitterness, but the hops overpower everything. Because of the malts that do shine through, I find it both too sweet and too bitter that the same time.

The high ABV definitely cuts into the drinkability score for this one.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2009 19:16:30 | More by IMincedTheKing
Photo of drumrboy22
drumrboy22

Colorado

3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 bottle. Poured into Dogfish Head snifter. Copper color with a one-finger, thick, tan head. Heavy lacing around the glass.

Aroma was heavy citrus hops, nuts and toffee.

Taste was bitter hops mixed with a sweet, malty backbone. Long bitter finish.

Let this one warm up to get all of the different flavors. Great fresh, but definitely changes over time. Enjoy now or later.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2009 02:27:06 | More by drumrboy22
Photo of patmcd
patmcd

New York

4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 Vintage.

Head is sweet, dried fruits and caramel. I detect just a hint of pine and hops. Poured a murky, dark reddish brown with a small, cream-colored head, that left nice lacing.

Aroma is dominated by hops, sweet fruits and citrus.

Flavor is complex, a tug-o-war between the hops and the sweetness of malts. I first notice the hops, and flavors of grapefruit rine, pine, and earthy spices. Strangely, enough I notice some chalk dust on the transition. The malt comes through extremely sweet on the end and into the aftertaste, and caramel presence.

Has a fairly heavy mouth feel, but extremely low carbonation.

Drinkability is decent, considering it's extremely high ABV but I don't think I could do more than two bottles in a session.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2009 02:26:36 | More by patmcd
Photo of teejay76
teejay76

Utah

4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark ambers pour with decent head retention.

Smell - Hops, caramel maybe (?), a little citrus, and alcohol.

Taste - Full-bodied heavy malt flavor with hops finish. Great aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Very surprisingly smooth considering the ABV.

Drinkability - This will enter the rotation as a permanent staple.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2009 16:47:00 | More by teejay76
Photo of HalfFull
HalfFull

California

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

Poured into a large wine glass after 15 minutes of warming from fridge temp. Pours a light and clear mahogany red in color with a half inch of porous light tan head. Retention is a bit short, succumbing to a surface film, yet yielding lots of spotty lacing and an easily regenerated thin head as desired.

Notes of alcohol on the nose with nuts, winter spices and fresh fir/spruce notes. Some citrus/pine hops when idled for a while and a bit of dark chocolate. Not as malty on the nose as expected, well balanced.

Hops initiate on the flavor with a touch of bitterness to follow. Malt structure is there in the finish and lingers well. Slightly chewy but not overpowering and with a bit of citrus hop on the close, along with some dark cherry/chocolate. Offers a light yet steady carbonation that fits the beer quite well, maintaining a surface cap yet not being unduly fizzy.

A nice, classic example of the style that isn't pushing boundaries yet respects the boundaries within which it resides. Note: 2009 version consumed fresh.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2009 05:51:08 | More by HalfFull
Photo of colts9016
colts9016

Idaho

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

Poured this beer into a pint glass at 50 degrees.

Appearance: A copper color with reddish hues. There is a one finger head that is foamy bubbly and ivory in color. There is effervescence in the beer. The clarity of the beer is clear but not brilliant. There a lot of lacing clinging to the glass.

Nose: A nice pine, floral and citrus nose. Next the malt with a subtle sweetness and some caramel notes. There is also a phenol/alcohol hint.

Taste: A very nice pine, floral, and fruity esters. The malt gives this beer a very nice backbone. There is a caramel like sweetness but is light. I can also taste the alcohol.

Overall: The mouth feel is astringent and carbonated. The body of the beer is medium thick, and the finish is bitter. This a very good barely wine. It is so balanced and so very easy to drink. I could drink a couple more bottles.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2009 01:30:11 | More by colts9016
Photo of skrib09
skrib09

Missouri

4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

mahogany brown color, almost clear, with a rocky light tan head.

smell is spicy hops and strong malt. pine and citrus dominate the front and a touch of bread gets the back.

taste is piney with a hint of mild dough. a bit of the forest comes along for the ride with a touch of grass or greenery.

mouthfeel is hearty and this is a sipping beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2009 23:49:08 | More by skrib09
Photo of Mistofminn
Mistofminn

Minnesota

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

12 oz bottle. 2009 on the cap.

Pours a clear mahogany color. Pour produces a tan two finger head, which sticks around for about five minutes, then dissipates to a small layer. Impressive lacing from this one. Decent amount of carbonation, but nothing too over the top.

The aroma is not as hoppy as I originally assumed it would be. Granted, there is a large hop portion of the aroma, but there is so much more. Dark fruits, and I also get some citrus fruits, mostly Grapefruit. Also a light caramel scent. The slightest bit of alcohol is present, but not in the least bit intrusive.

The taste is pretty surprising to me. I was under the impression that this was an overly hoppy beer, but that assumption is very wrong. I find this beer very well balanced, and very very smooth. Excellent taste. I don't get much fruit here, and no alcohol. Bitter aftertaste is expected.

Again, this is one smooth brew. Almost creamy smooth. Medium bodied paired with a light carbonation.

Very drinkable. This one is almost dangerous. With an ABV approaching 10, and no sign of it anywhere, I could easily go overboard with this one. Very smooth and enjoyable, keeps me coming back for more.

I am curious to see if this brew is the cellar stud that it is claimed to be. Only time will tell.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2009 03:32:41 | More by Mistofminn
Photo of dotsonjamesg
dotsonjamesg

Arkansas

4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served in my favorite pint cup that reads "My pint gives troops a fighting chance" I received when I donated blood to the Red Cross for persons to receive overseas.

Appearance: This lovely brewed poured a deep amber/copper color with a low density, two-finger, light brown head. Some good retention is present along with some pretty lacing.

Smell: The brew has some fruity esters and a rich scent of hops. The brew also had a little pear scent and toasted malts in the background.

Taste: The flavor hits you like a ton of bricks all at once. Alcohol is very present with the initial taste then moves in to a nice malty body backed up with a rich hoppy bite. The flavor then subsides and moves in to a deep bitterness that lingers through to the end and then some. A nice alcohol warming is present through much of the end. Its been about two minutes since my last sip and still I can taste the rich hoppy bitterness that is Big Foot Ale.

Mouthfeel: Thick like a milk-shake and with a nice level of carbonation.

Drinkability: The brew is surprisingly drinkable if its your speed of brews. I know it is entirely too hoppy for many amateurs so beware, if you dare!

This brew is definitely a god among beers. That's all I have to say.

Cheers!

-Dotson

Serving type: growler

04-16-2009 23:07:32 | More by dotsonjamesg
Photo of choyhosoi
choyhosoi

California

3.35/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a glass
A-Nice color to this one. Dark brown/red with awhite/brown head.

S-Grapes,plums,sweet scents that just give this an inviting aroma.

T-Not what I was expecting. A smooth drink that gives a solid kick in the end.

M/D This one is not my cup of tea it isnt bad but just not my style. It has a pretty high abv so be careful.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2009 04:10:00 | More by choyhosoi
Photo of DrinkinBoy
DrinkinBoy

Georgia

3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada Big Foot appears a tranparent dark brown color, with a slightly off white head. The head has great retention.

It has a light fruity smell, but a lack of hoppiness which is suprising.

The taste immediately hits with a suprisngly smooth blow. It is very well balanced with a sweet taste to balance off the hops. On the mid palate it transitions into the hops and fruit taste similar to the nose. It finish a with a little hottness of alcohol and a whole lot of hops. In fact I am not sure how long the finish is because it hasn't stopped. I feel like I chewed on hops instead of drinking a beer, but that is expected with barley wine and any of Sierra Nevada's specialty beers.

Its mouthfeel if full, but consider the ABV it pretty smooth.

Overall, I felt that Big Foot was a really good version of the style. It was everything I expected of the hopped up American version, with a suprising balance. Definitely worth a try, but you probably just want one.

Serving type: on-tap

04-15-2009 22:28:55 | More by DrinkinBoy
Photo of Dodt
Dodt

Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

picked up a case during my lunch break . finally cracked open a bottle after work .
decide to pour it warm from the bottle to a wine glass.
appearance : its deep amber in color.
smell :the aroma of this beer makes my mouth water .
taste : its a bit bitter for me . but still enjoyable.
mouth feel:a very pleasant taste.
its been a good while since i've had a barelywine , this beer was a good reintroduction for me to this style .

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2009 04:58:48 | More by Dodt
Photo of SmithwicksNut
SmithwicksNut

Missouri

4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: a nice deep copper color with a tan head with tight lacing.

S; the hops jumps up at you which I did not expect from a barleywine. Then came the alcohol smell followed by sweet malt aroma.

T: Everything that one gets with the aroma you get with the taste but in a different order. I got the subtle sweet maltiness first followed by the alcohol warming. The hops bitterness is last.

M: Very pleasant on the tongue...smooth with medium carbonation.

D: For a big beer this is outstanding. I found it easy to drink but with the big ABV got to be careful. I found myself wanting more!

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2009 22:44:27 | More by SmithwicksNut
Photo of donteatpoop
donteatpoop

Ohio

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

My dad didn't care for his so I ended up drinking two (don't mind if I do)

Just a beautiful beer, a carmel amber hue with a nice thick cap of yellow-white head.

Smells like woodsy hops and a nice sweet bready malts.

The taste was predominantly a hop bite up front with the sweet malts sort of fading in as an after effect.

Nice mouthfeel, not too dry; a little thick and oily as an after taste.

Not a bad beer, drank two on an empty stomach and got pretty messed up (9% ABV?)

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2009 06:32:13 | More by donteatpoop
Photo of barnzy78
barnzy78

Illinois

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

12oz. 2009. Had 2008 version about month ago. This was better.

Poured chestnut brown in color with a fantastic pillow of beige head that held great retention and also left a sticky lacing on the glass. Aromas are full - malty, caramel, toffee, sweet brown sugar, citrus and floral hops with a hint of pine to fill the nose. Mouth-feel is medium and somewhat thick and oily on the palate. Great initial flavors, although alcohol is definitely present - caramel, brown sugar, some earthy tones with a slight hint of maple...hops then take over - citrus and pine, but very well balanced. It has a strong bitterness, but the huge malt backbone keeps it in check. I initially served this at about 60º, but as it warmed, it got even better. Alcohol was present, but more warming rather than being overly present. Wow. This was fantastic. I had read somewhere that fresh Bigfoot was out of this world. I am a believer. No need to age this one.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2009 04:17:36 | More by barnzy78
Photo of rodney45
rodney45

New York

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

Bigfoot has a lacey, cream colored head that doesnt stick around all too long. The beer itself is dark amber, with not too overwhelming an amount of carbonation. It smells like ether, and floral aromatic hops. In fact it smells much more alcoholic then it tastes, the hop characteristics hide the 9.6% alcohol by volume. This is an interesting take on a barlywine style, because not only is this beer different than a classic barlywine, its an Ale, and well hopped and balanced as well. Its got a nice smooth mouthfeel but drinkability is a question. Actually, this beer is a punch of hops straight to the mouth, but I think this beer was made to be savored with some food pairing way beyond my cognitive capacity or palate. Well done Sierra, I have not disliked a single beer from them...

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2009 20:46:36 | More by rodney45
Photo of ltjska04
ltjska04

Kentucky

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

A: Poured from the 12 oz. bottle, this beer is a deep redish brown and very pleasant looking. The rocky head quickly subsided to a film on top that left some lacing down the glass.

S: To me this smells very reminiscent of SNPA but with more malt. Smells tasty!

T: ...And it is! I'm not getting any burn from the 9.6% and this is very nice. The hops and malt work very well together and neither is overpowering. I can taste this down in my esophagus, that's kinda different

M: Smooth and pleasant.

D: Goes down a little too easy for the high abv. I could drink this as I would SNPA but probably couldn't stand up afterwards.

This is a good, solid A.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2009 02:52:04 | More by ltjska04
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,141 ratings.