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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.

6,049 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,049
Reviews: 2,804
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 243
Gots: 1,043 | FT: 37
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: 6,049 | Reviews: 2,804 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of magictrokini


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

Tastes nothing like other Sierra Nevada brews. Dark ruby pour with an oily ring for a head. Dense aroma of alcohol with hops and caramel. Viscous, oily mouthfeel. Pine, wood, and resin with alcohol and some malt in the taste. Good barleywine-style beer, almost up to Stone's Old Guardian and AleSmith's Old Numbskull.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2008 17:47:24 | More by magictrokini
Photo of WakeandBake


4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes 9/7/08
2008.Medium brown in color,small head that faded quite quickly and left a slight laceing on the side of the glass.Hoppy aroma with a slight wine like nose as well.The taste was intense with an abundance of flavors coming through,the main flavor being floral hops,and sweet malt,rasins,brown sugar. A nice balance of sweet and bitter.Kind of a long drawn out finish. Very drinkable,even if it did kick my ass.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2008 22:41:44 | More by WakeandBake
Photo of usmittymc


3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 vintage poured into a Duvel glass.

A: Cloudy dark amber in color with a tight tan colored head that sticks around.

S: Sweet malty notes are dominant on the nose. Dark fruits and doughy aromas as well.

T: Sweet maltiness hits the palate at first. A bitter hop bite and some hot alcohol hits during and after the swallow. A bitterness lingers on the tongue.

M: Pretty sturdy. Almost chewy. Gets smoother as it warms and turns into a very enjoyable brew.

D: One is plenty, as with most barleywines. At least IMO. This is a fine example and I will definitely try again.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2008 04:02:21 | More by usmittymc
Photo of BeenJammin


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

Big Foot pours a deep amber/hazy copper color. It has a fairly small head but it hold the head for a long time. The aroma is some fruitiness, caramel, chocolatey, toffee types. It has a very rich, caramel malt background. It has a nice piney hop flavour and bitterness to it and it definitely has some booze taste to it as well. The mouthfeel is very thick and it goes down slick. It is dangerously drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2008 05:00:01 | More by BeenJammin
Photo of russpowell


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

Obtained from Trinity BP, bours orange/amber with a finger of sand colored head. Good head retention & insane lacing

S: Doughyness & piney hops

T: Piney & herbal hops, dryness, plus booze smack & whisper of caramel up front. Cakeyness, resiny hops, & pineyness as this warms. finishes with a bit of boozey tangerine, apricot, pine sap, grapefruit & dryness

MF: Chewy, moderate carbonation, skews hoppy, true to style. Stickyness & warming booze show as this warms

Drinks alright, if you don't like a hop smack, stay way, otherwise I'm good for a few points before getting sleepy.. I believe I prefer the bottled version, but would never say no to this hairy beast!

Serving type: growler

12-06-2008 04:48:50 | More by russpowell
Photo of bheilman


3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love the color of this beer. It also tastes good. I just had a green flash barley wine and that set the new standard for me. This is nice and I have been very satisfied with Sierra Nevada, but it didn't live up to that standard. It has a good maltiness, but the hops hits a bit hard. Maybe the combination isn't quite right for me. It leaves a little too much of a sour flavor in my mouth. The alcohol doesn't really stand out, so that's nice, and in general it's definitely a solid beer.

Just drank another one forgetting that I already reviewed this beer and my opinion is about the same, read if you'd like:

This beer tastes very fresh. I'm aging it a bit hoping it will mellow. The appearance is a nice dark golden color, but the head was a bit thinner than I would like. It does have a very nice hoppish smell. The taste is too bitter for me. Almost like sucking on a lemon and that is why I mentioned I hope it mellows a bit. It's definitely a unique flavor and probably the hoppiest barleywine I have ever had. I just want the malt to show some backbone. The aftertaste is ok and the flavor does stir around for a while. It's not so drinkable given the extreme bite and the high alcohol. Definitely a unique barleywine, but not my favorite. I like the label.
Had another one from the same batch.

This beer has been in my "cellar" for at least 10 months. I am comparing it directly to a Stone Old Guardian. It is darker, but fairly clear and a nice whisky colored ruby brown. The smell is great with a sweet hoppy scent stronger on the hops. The taste is good, but definiteyly hop intense. I thought that would relax after months, but it is still the initial flavor that hits you. The after taste is good becuase the hops finally starts to drop and you get the smooth sweetness of the barley to shine through. The beer isn't entirely that drinkable. It is too hoppy. I like a hoppy beer, but given the intense hops and the high alcohol, I can't handle more than one.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2008 00:14:54 | More by bheilman
Photo of PhxHorn


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

This was a 2007 version, aged for a year and then given to me in a trade. The color is an orange-brown, cloudy, with a quarter-inch of tan head. Smells of caramel, figs, malt. Tastes of all those, plus some berries I can't quite place, some Xmas candy-type flavors, a trace of hops, grapes, maybe some apple and pear, too. Lots of flavor going on. Not real intense, but complex and enjoyable. Carbonation was just right. Not a beer you can drink quickly--this took me an hour to sip my way through it. But a damn fine beer, to be sure.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2008 04:20:10 | More by PhxHorn
Photo of sprucetip


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

25th Anniversary Expedition, 2007

Bottle into Midnight Sun goblet

Medium amber, very clear. Modest tan head with some retention and lacing.

Sweet, malty, and hoppy scents blend delightfully and in balance. the booze is noticeable.

Deep, rich blend of alcohol, malt and hops. Very well balanced.

Low carbonation, some modest warming, full bodied, creamy texture with bitter, dry finish.

This big, bold, winter ale is quite smooth. It has a very nice hop element that balances the malt. This is clearly not a session beer, rather one to sip, savor and share.

This is a great beer. I especially like the hop contribution to the style.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2008 02:40:56 | More by sprucetip
Photo of BWH3


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

A: Deep copper with a medium to large off white head which contains just a glimmer of orange. The beer has a fair amount of gas flowing on the pour. The head lasts and finally settles as a juicy ring. Only deductions for lack of clarity with its chill haze. This was overridden by the depth and majesty of the copper color. Furthermore, a swift swirl of the glass reveals the viscosity and the legs in this ale.

S: As you would expect from the Chico brewing company, big big citrus hops wallop the nose in this bouquet. As the beer warms and with some agitation the other resinous hops aromatics arise. The caramel malts are palpable but not as prominent as the hops. Bold and simple but all the elements are properly represented. The hops could show more elements to earn higher marks.

T: The tasting begins with a mild creamy caramel sweetness to set the palate up for the bitterness to follow. The bitterness begins as a earthy and mineral dull bitterness that slowly sharpens and mutates into the citrus and resin flavors so prominent in the nose. The alcohol warms the belly. The flavors are not as big as the aroma, nor do they have a complexity deserving the highest rankings. None the less very good.

M: Creamy, good head retention, a touch on the gassy side for style. Full bodied and exceptional texture on the palate.

D: Perhaps the best beer from Sierra Nevada. Overall, a widely available and very good example of the barleywine style. Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2008 22:43:02 | More by BWH3
Photo of hoppheadIPA


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

This is my first barleywine so I really have nothing to compare it to but let me tell you, I'll be trying a whole lot more after having this. Pours a golden amber with a nice head that dissapated quickly leaving some lacing. Has very strong smell of hops, some malt, and citrus in the backround. Tastes very strong but alcohol is hidden by the bitterness balanced with malt and hops. Nice and thick in the mouth with good carbonatin. Excellent beer but don't have more than 1 or 2 givin the strong alcohal content.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2008 10:28:31 | More by hoppheadIPA
Photo of kels


3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2008 edition poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Great variation in the opaque coloring from reddish brown to honey gold with a tight 1 1/2-finger head in a frothy toast color. Head dissipates quickly, but leaves giant rings of lacing behind as I drink.

Smell: The first thing I note is the heavy, chewy maltiness in the smell. It is sweet caramel with toasty graininess that suggests a thicker, richer taste. Brightening notes from the hops and a really fruity presence - citrus, and a berry-like note - add to a definitely complexity that I can't claim to fully decipher.

Taste/Mouthfeel: The alcohol is humongous in this beer - more so than in some other really well-rated barleywines I've tried. It is a little overwhelming to the rest of the tastes, so much that I have trouble separating them from the alcohol's sharp dryness. The clear taste is a big bitter hop presence - citrusy and bitter grapefruit and orange peel taste with some sappy, dry pine in the aftertaste. The previously noted smells of the caramel malts are barely detectable in the taste in comparison to the hops, but do provide a syrupy baseline to the overall taste. The mouth is a heavy medium with a very sticky finish and moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Phew, I'm not even halfway through, and I can already feel my cheeks getting red and my body relaxing:) I definitely couldn't do more than one of these every once in a while. The stickiness and uber-present alcohol would keep me from coming back to this one too often.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2008 01:16:06 | More by kels
Photo of seedsofchaos


3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Found a half-decent liquor store called The Red Top down in Herrin here, thanks to a buddy of mine: Hap, here's to you. Not a big selection of craft singles (sic lol) but definitely a NICE selection of 4 and 6 packs. Picked up a 6pack of the Bigfoot 25th Expedition and was fairly impressed.

A: Great appearance. Pours a deep reddish-brown amber color. Great head and superb lacing. Head left a lead too soon, but was a nice khaki color and very fluffy.

S: Interesting and complex. Floral hoppy scent.

T: Comes on sweet and leaves strong and malty. Strong aftertaste that is a little harsh for my palette.

M: Medium bodied. A little thick. Decent carbonation.

D: Enjoyable. My first barleywine so I don't have too much to say about the drinkability. I have 4 more of these left in the pack and am sure me and my roomie will enjoy them thoroughly!

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2008 02:00:28 | More by seedsofchaos
Photo of BigMcLargeHuge


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

2006 vintage sampled April 23, 2006. Thick light tan head deep clear copper color. Aroma is on the light side with malts, spice, alcohol and hops showing up in that order. First sip is a thick syrupy flow of fluid into my mouth. Malt flavor attacks the entire tongue. This beer is full body and full flavor that you can sink your teeth into. Some bitterness and warm alcohol finish. Doesn't seem as good as '05 or '04 versions.

Bottle from 2004 consumed July 24th, 2006. Murky amber color with off white to tan-ish head. Strong fruity aroma with hints of malt and a bit of alcohol. Excellent lacing. Yum, thick rich mouthfeel. The caramel flavor really jumps out at you. The fruitiness has faded away over time. I'm left with a very nice toffee after taste. Wow, real smooth with faint alcohol taste hidden away. The remaining hops are tough to make out as they've really mellowed from what they once were. Very good. I'll certainly have to cellar more of this stuff.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2008 21:33:42 | More by BigMcLargeHuge
Photo of tadowdaddy


4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2008 version on tap into a pint glass

A: Poured a darker amber with 2 fingers of head. This left a ton of lacing on the side of the glass.

S: Very floral with a ton of hops! This beer had a limited amount of malt background. What malt existed was very carmel like malt.

T: Begins with a malt flavor, although mild. Finishes with a huge floral hops. Honestly, my first barley wine. It's making me want to start to add barley wine to my IPA fetish. Taste the alcohol when swallowing the beer.

M: Solid carbonation although not too thick.
Leaves a tremendous hop aftertaste in my mouth.

D: Could drink more than one due to the addictive taste. Couldn't however drink more than 2. Gotta be careful with this one.

Serving type: on-tap

11-14-2008 03:45:38 | More by tadowdaddy
Photo of morebeergood


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

Was at Big City in Allston on Saturday night to catch some college football, and to grab some food and beers. After dinner, I saw one of their specials was Bigfoot draft for $5.99. Came served in a tulip glass. Thin head, not a lot of carbonation, dark caramel color. Smell was a bit piney. Taste was a bit sweeter than some of the barleywines I've had recently. Got a lot a notes of seeded fruits like fig in the flavor. This sweetness seemed to help with the drinkability of this beer. Though you could definitely tell this beer was high in alcohol content, I found it surprising easy to drink. After a long time away from Bigfoot while I tried other barleywines, it was nice to come back to one of the founding fathers of the style and enjoy it.

Serving type: on-tap

11-11-2008 01:00:35 | More by morebeergood
Photo of donkeyrunner


3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

My first barleywine. I'm intimidated and humbled. This beer is so crazy I don't know what to do with it. 2007 expedition.

Big Foot smells like brandy with tropical candy fruit in it. Maybe some biscuit? Poured a muddy caramel color with a small, quickly evaporating head.

The taste is not subtle. Thick, heavy hops, Grande Marnier orange sweetness, caramel and butterscotch immediately up front. This is balanced by a raisen, toasted malt, and dark chocolate-like bitterness. An alcohol taste is omnipresent but never suppresses the sweet and bitter balance of Big Foot. Fittingly low carbonation.

Dude, there's a picture on the bottom of the bottle cap. That's awesome.

It took me 2 hours to drink this and it actually got better as it got warmer. I'm not sure I like Big Foot, but I respect it.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2008 00:11:44 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of Douglas88


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

Strong but well balanced taste. Needed to be aged a bit perhaps, but waiting is the hardest part. Overall a great beer with quite a punch. The bittersweet quality makes this an excellent choice.

Re-rate: Had a 2001 thanks to Eric. All of the things I didn't like about this beer, such as the burn, have dissapated. So smooth, after 7 years a ton of citrus and bitter hops. Only a hint of warmth. My rating before was off for sure.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2008 00:11:33 | More by Douglas88
Photo of Ljunkan


4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a favourite american barley wine.

Pours a red/brown color with a large foamy head! Very nice too look at.

Smell is packed with hops! Grapefruit, citrus, elder and other nice things. Notes of some malt, caramel and syrup is also found.

Taste is very bitter and hoppy. You can definitely feel this is 90 IBU. Lots of nice elderflowers, citrus and grapefruit in the taste. Nice malty, caramely notes behind all this makes a good balance to this beer, even though they are not that easy to note. Maybe will come through with some age? I have one bottle left, so...

Very fullbodied mouthfeel, quite thick, bitter.

A good beer, I must say!

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2008 16:08:58 | More by Ljunkan
Photo of prsguitarsr4me

New York

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

Good beer - pours a nice dark brown/maroon. Taste is not too strong - its pleasant and very tasty. Lots of barley and hops. Nice carbonation. I don't think I'd drink more than one in one sitting, but its hard to tell as I've had a ton to drink tonight. I enjoyed this a lot - I like the Stone barleywine more, but that's Stone. If there was more of this at the store I'd buy more.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2008 06:13:56 | More by prsguitarsr4me
Photo of plaid75

New York

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

2008 vintage.

Poured a deep mahogany hue with a two finger frothy white head. There was very good lacing and excellent retention.

The smell featured dark fruits, earthy and citrus hops and a robust caramel malt.

The taste was heavy with apricot, pineapple, grapefruit and raisins. Piney and earthy hops were permeated from start to finish. Sweet robust malts delight the senses.

The mouthfeel was full and balmy.

Overall a superior ale. Simply excellent.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2008 00:29:23 | More by plaid75
Photo of simonjohansson


3.3/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bigfoot 2008.

Smell: nice smell, I have to say - malty and sweet with caramell, raisins, some sherry (or/and other dessert wine types), and hoppy with some grape as well.

Taste: very bitter! Too bitter for me, it almost kills the other flavors - toffee, dried fruits, caramell. I would like to have it a bit more sweet, as well. Now its too much focus on the hops.

Overall: well, quality beer, but it lacks balance.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2008 23:01:44 | More by simonjohansson
Photo of thequeen711


2.78/5  rDev -33%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sierra Nevada Big Foot Barleywine style at 9.6% ABV...not to shabby a brew, however, me not appreciating the hop nose, and lightly fruity mouthfeel, this is an extremely hoppy barleywine. It takes a special nose and gullet to appreciate this fine brew, and I can't say I did.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2008 02:41:57 | More by thequeen711
Photo of adamette


2.3/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Served in bottle proclaiming that it is the 25th adventure, 2008 version with clean, clear ale glass at Winking Lizard in Mentor, Ohio. I appreciated the fact that I was able to pour it for myself.

A I cm light brown head over a caramel brown, cloudy, opaque body. Very pleasing, inviting.

S Barley and alcohol to the nose. There is a strong grain smell.

T Hops. This was a suprise since I really did not smell that (I smelled it again to see what I had missed and indeed, did not really smell predominate hops like the taste). It reminds me of Great Lakes Brewing Company's Noferastu which I tasted and reviewed this week (I gave it a 2.0 overall) in that it is way too bitter with hops. I really did not like this going in or going down.

M Full, acidic, repulsive.

D Poor due to high ABV, acidic taste, bitter, bitter.

Notes: I respect that Barleywine is supposed to be bitter, hoppy but I just don't like that taste in beer. It is too bitter.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2008 01:28:58 | More by adamette
Photo of oriolesfan4


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

This was a top notch barleywine. Very hoppy, tastes almost like a double IPA to me. Definitely a sipper as there's some alcohol kick but definitely not as harsh as Brooklyn's Monster Ale. I liked this beer a lot and will be trying it again the future.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2008 21:27:49 | More by oriolesfan4
Photo of bigkahunas4


4.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 Poured 12 oz bottle into my snifter.

A: Poured a honey brown with decent finger head. Opaque through, transparent on edgers

S: Very fruity, strong hints of honey, slight caramel. I think I'm really going to enjoy this.

T: Wow. Awesome. Very complex - lots of things happening. Begins with a bready maltiness, and fruit characteristics really just start jumping out. Finishes with a perfect balance of sweet hops. Can't stress how good the balance is. High ABV is quite masked.

Aroma is interestingly more on the malty end, with the taste more on the hoppy side.

M: Solid carbonation - I'd prefer just a touch thicker.

D: Really enjoy this brew.. though a high ABV - I could certainly sip a few of these throughout an evening.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2008 18:23:11 | More by bigkahunas4
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,049 ratings.