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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,934 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,934
Hads: 7,078
Avg: 4.14
pDev: 17.63%
Wants: 384
Gots: 1,580 | FT: 76
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  9.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 02-06-1998

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,934 | Hads: 7,078
Photo of Urk1127
4.31/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

An amazing beer. Mahogany in color. One finger head. Sweet malty and subtle boozy smell. Taste is subtle hops at first then sweet malt and alcohol heat but not intense. Served at almost room temperature. This was a very good beer and my first barleywine.

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Photo of Trooper92292
4.64/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2013- smooth and excellent taste. Bitter level very balanced and acceptable. My favorite year.
2014 - hops not overpowering and taste lasts on palate.
2015 - Strong on the hops, a great taste but aging would definitely help it. As aging this beers always does. This has the darkest color for some reason out of the three.

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Photo of Shade1951
3.64/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Wow! How things change. A couple years ago, I thought this beer was the "bees knees." Now, though I still feel this is a very good beer, I'm not quite so in love with it. Here's why.

For me, this has way too much of a hop presence for a barleywine. I generally LOVE hops in things like IPA's. But for me, a barleywine should be minimally hoppy and its focus should be on flavors like sherry and bourbon and fruit. This particular beer is hop-infused throughout. As such, it tastes to me more like an IPA. A GOOD IPA - but an IPA nonetheless.

I don't know if the formula for this beer has changed, or if it's my taste buds. I suspect the latter.

This is a very good IPA. But, to my taste buds, it's really not a barleywine.

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Photo of tMoney721
4.74/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I've had 2015 on draft and it wasn't as good as this 2014 bottle! Very sweet malt up front with a piney hop boozy back end. Just an awesome American style barleywine!

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.52/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a nice white and bubbly head that dissipates but still leaves a nice film on the head and inside of the glass. The beer itself is a beautiful reddish deep amber that is very clear. The look is pretty gorgeous.

The beer smell is fairly fruity and hoppy with a bit of sweetness to it. The hops are more a light pine and citrus smell than anything. The malt smell is fairly sweet and fruity.

The beer taste is strongly hopped. The hops are mainly pine with a bit of citrus to it. The malt is strongly overshadowed by the ops but still manages to squeeze a tea and fruity flavor from it.

The mouthfeel is heavy but on the lighter side. The beer goes down smoothly. The beer is lightly carbonated and gives a nice tingling feel on the tongue.

Overall, a very good barleywine despite how hopped it is. Even though the ops are strong, the taste is not bad and the strong malts do help take the edge off little.

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Photo of priwen
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep orange/red appearance. Thick, tan head. Aroma of piney hops and rich malts. Malty sweet flavor with some really nice bitterness from the hops. Nothing too complex, but what is there is excellent. Full, oily mouthfeel. Sweet finish. Overall, a terrific beer! A great one to sip on while relaxing and enjoying some time alone.

12 oz bottle
PKGD: 12/11/14 (2015 Vintage)
Served in an Oversized Wine glass

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Photo of Kerfluffel
4.39/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Rich clear mahogany with a creamy beige head that persists long with gorgeous lacing.

Ar: Strong caramel and fruity malts provide a fantastic foundation for massive northwest style hopping trending towards citrus and pine.

T: The nose gives a preview into the taste of the brew. This beer is big in flavor. Malt is complex yet in the background of resin, citrus, and bitterness that lasts into the next sip. Notes of toffee, toast, golden dried figs, and blood orange.

Mf: Medium body, medium level carbonation.

O: A big beer, full of flavor and everything that makes this brew one of the quintessential American Style Barleywines. Fantastic pricing and availability too.

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Photo of Czequershuus
3.13/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I've been getting more into Barleywine's lately. It never used to be a style I enjoyed, but my palate has evolved to enjoy them much more. This one, however, did not leave me particularly impressed. Mostly sweet, but not with any real flavor behind it. Everything blended into an amalgam that rather than being balanced was simply dull. I can more easily forgive a beer being outright bad than I can dull.

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Photo of hoagzzz
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big and boozy. More subtle than English barley wine, in my limited experience with this style. Overall not bad. I got two of these, gonna cellar the other.

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Photo of mchegash
3.79/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - 4/5
Deep red in color, with a hint of brown. Clear. About a finger of very light tan head. A nice amount of carbonation can be seen rising up the beer.

Smell - 3.75/5
A lot of resinous hops with some pine as well. A little bit of darker malt sugars. This is a barleywine-style ale, but it smells a little too hoppy from other instances of the style I've tried.

Taste - 3.75/5
Some major resin and pine flavors come in full force the first sip. Yet there is little bitterness. Rather, a mellowed out version of the flavor, very smooth. The malts are more discernable in the taste than they were in the smell. Still, I feel that the hop flavors are definitely dominant in the beer. Not exactly what I'm looking for in a barleywine, but I guess the hops is to be expected, given Sierra Nevada. It's not bad, just tastes more like a DIPA than a barleywine.

Mouthfeel - 4/5
This beer definitely drinkes super smooth, which is nice. Medium bodied, with a lighter amount of light-medium intensity carbonation.

Overall - 3.75/5
Overall, not a bad beer, just more hoppy than I like my barleywines.

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Photo of DoctorZombies
4.44/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep auburn with thin off white head. Aromas of bourbon barrel staves, semi sweet malt as liquid warms. Bourbon and boozy malt with burnt hop finish - intense. Medium mouthfeel, tongue tingles with alcohol, and bittering coating. Overall, tastes a little lite, like it needs time, but still big and boozy. Nice.

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Photo of SirHopsHoppington
4.14/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 12/11/14.
Opened on 3/9/15.
Light amber color with thick lasting head. Much lacing. Full cabonation. Sharp impact of fresh hops. Pine crisp after taste. Interested in how age would change it flavor.

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Photo of MunsonRoyE
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

We did a 2009-2015 vertical. Each vintage was delicious, yet slightly different.

The 2009-2012 had quite a biscuity flavor that the 2013-2015 didn't have.

The 2009-2011 had a hint of caramel along with the biscuity flavor.

Each year got a little hazier the older it was.

Each year still had plenty of carbonation.

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Photo of TheBeerMaster1
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very easy to put down for a beer that's almost 10% Abv. Drank it back to back next to Laguintas A little sumptin wild. Probably shouldn't have because I felt like Laguintas was superior and took the funk out of.it. I'd buy it again to readjust my palate but don't see it getting anything higher than a 4

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Photo of ajm5108
3.86/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mostly pine / citrus hops, with a little backsplash of toasted malt. Not picking up any of the sweetness or fruit that others have. It is a good, punchy mix of the two primary beer flavors but that's about it.

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Photo of E-McFarden
4.39/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Deep red in color, everlasting lace Sweet orange and floral hop scents. Sweet cherry and earthy bittering hops? Finishes dry with strength. This beer takes you on an adventure

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Photo of gopens44
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I could have sworn I rated this years ago, but apparently not. I chose to drink a fresh one to rate instead of an aged bottle. I get some malt in the nose with a hoppy edge to it. Taste swaps malt for the initial blast of earthy, dank hops which gives way to sweetness once the malt comes around. Virtually no heat on it while drinking or during finish.

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Photo of do_ob
4.31/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 12/18/2014. Sampled and reviewed on March 2, 2015.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams "Perfect Pint" glass. Pours a dark amber/hazy ruby color with lots of bubbles. 2 finger off-white head of sticky foam. Smells of malt, raisins, grapefruit, honey, with a slight hoppiness. Mouthfeel is quite dense, almost like a stout. Taste is bitter hops, caramel, and grapes. I should add that as this beer warmed up, it became much more malt-forward when it hit my tongue. Very interesting evolution in a short amount of time. I get citrus and malt on the back end with a doughy aftertaste.

This is probably once of the most balanced barleywines I've had so far. It's incredibly smooth and easy to drink for 9.6%. Hell, I'm on my second one and I just finished my dinner. I've always been a fan of Sierra Nevada, but this is my first go at their seasonal releases. I bought 1 four-pack. Now the only choice is to finish this glass and cellar the other two, or finish it off and cellar another 4 pack. Very good beer.

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Photo of DaverCS
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 vintage.

Beautiful mahogany color with 1/2 inch off-colored head.

Aroma boasts sweet malt, huge citrus, and pine.

Taste is big, strong, and forward. Big malty-sweetness up front, then a huge hit of citrusy-hop bitterness. I get a real strong bitter grapefruit taste near the middle of the palate. Carbonation carries these flavors into the finish that consists of mouth-coating sweetness and hoppiness. Finishes with a present alcohol heat and bite.

The beer is good don't get me wrong, but this isn't something one person should drink. This would ideally be split between two people, not because of the ABV, but because of thickness. It has TONS of flavor, but drinking an entire bottle can be a bit tiring on the palate. I would pair this with a spicy beef chili. It gets a 87/100

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Photo of Ohmmygawd
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 and 2015 Review. Served at 55 degrees.
L - Tan head that dissipates slowly. 2014 slower than 2015
S - 2014 has developed a greater depth and raisin smell. 2015's notes haven't completely formed but still brings a little richness.
T - 2015 brings a bitterness that hints of oats and raisins. 2014 brings a depth and smoothness of raisins.
F - 2015 is medium bitter, slightly carbonated. 2014 is smooth, finishes nicely.
O- Perfect for aging. 2015- isn't great but it has potential. I would give it a 3.75
2014 is much better with age and brings a great depth of flavor. I'd give it a 4.50

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Photo of ch196h
4.71/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

In my opinion this is the beer that should serve as part of the new standard for an American Barleywine style ale. The hop profile on this is simply divine whether you are drinking a fresh batch beer or one that has aged in the cellar for 2-3 years. If does have minor variation for each vintage year, my favorite so far being circa 2012, but it is consistently excellent. While these are no longer sold in 6-packs and they are a bit pricey, it is certainly worth the cost to buy a couple of 4-packs. Drink 2-3 now and cellar the rest to see how they develop with age.

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Photo of CIBoy10
2.83/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I just did not like this beer. The booze wasn't even slightly masked, and the mouthfeel was so heavy I felt like an anvil was going down my throat. Maybe barleywine isn't my thing, but I love all of Sierra Nevada's other beers.

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Photo of 31Sam13
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My first favorite barley wine. I have refined my palate, slowly. Hoppy, not super sweet. It really is filling. I find a few other barley wines better, but the BAer's really like thin one and I know why. I think I just drank to much of a good thing and became a little sick of it.

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Photo of Oldejoe
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look. Golden red Amber with a large light tan head.
Smell. Slightly yeasty, fresh, even toned, nothing pronounced for me.
Taste. Hoppy, barleyish (I guess) plenty of low sugar grains (the barley?) strong bitter pickey finish high on the back of the palette.
Mouthfeel. Medium heavy body, puckery, chewy, oily, nice and rich.
Overall. Really good if you like the barley wines, which I do. Something beyond the hops rolling around in there, some different heavier kind of bitter with more body.

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Photo of Big_V
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured in my snifter glass. Minimal head with a dark burnt orange color. Lacing on the glass with a few floaties. Getting caramel on the nose. Wow! Not what I was expecting as barleywines are too sweet for me. The hops come thru followed by a little sweetness on the backend. Smooth the alcohol wasn't over powering. I'm getting a couple more to cellar.

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Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,934 ratings.