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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.

6,106 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,106
Reviews: 2,805
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 248
Gots: 1,050 | 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: 6,106 | Reviews: 2,805 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of seaoflament


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

Thanks to Joey for giving me this bottle. 2007 vintage.

Nice looking beer. Pours a dark ruby with a good inch and a half of foam with great retention. A few soapy bubbles cling on to the side of the glass.

I wasn't a big fan of this one when I had it fresh last year, or was it two years ago? Too hoppy for my liking at that point.

The aroma is of citrus flowers, grapefruit, caramel, toffee, light chocolate, orange flavored chocolate, brown sugar, a bit of vanilla, and a touch of grassy hops. This is how I'm liking my barleywines. A nice multi-bread and nutty malt profile. There's also a fruity alcohol aroma in the background that comes off as cherries in syrup. Some good complexities going on in this one. After a few minutes of just smelling this beer I am starting to pick up a few spicy notes like cayenne pepper.

Earthy and citrus bitterness upfront with a wave of caramel, toffee, and chocolate. It finishes with more bitterness, lemony and citrus rind, and a bit of alcohol. A bit fruity with cherry, raisins, dates, and prunes. I'm also picking up a bit of bubblegum flavor in the finish. Dry, resiny, pine aftertaste.

A little dry in the finish, enough carbonation to pick up the massive malt flavors and keep this from being too sweet (and the hops play their part there too), but it doesn't leave too much residual sugars on the lips.

A tad alcoholic as it warms up. Good beer for the winter.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2008 02:45:44 | More by seaoflament
Photo of Contagion


1.6/5  rDev -61.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

It's dark brown in color with a nice rich ruby highlights. It poured a thin tan head that faded quickly to a film on the top of the beer. It is cloudy, light passes through easily enough, but you can't see any clear images. There was some lacing.

The smell is of dark fruit with a hint of vanilla. The scent of bourbon from being aged in a bourbon barrel. The bitter scent of hops is present, almost overpowering. The taste is a mixture of roasted malts, vanilla bean and hops. The bitterness from the hops overpowers the scent and the taste of the beer, and leaves a very IPA like aftertaste to it. I'm not sure if this beer is just a little skunky or if it should taste like this as it doesn't taste like any other barleywine style ale that I've ever tasted. Although I will say that you can't taste the alcohol in this 9.6% Alcohol by Volume beer.

This is medium bodied beer that is light on the carbonation. There is some coating to it, which may be why the aftertaste sticks around for a long time.

This beer was given to me back in June and had been lost in the back of the fridge since. It may have gone skunky in that time so I'm thinking of getting another one to re-review it at another time.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2008 02:07:21 | More by Contagion
Photo of Pauly2X


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

A- Deep reddish brown, half finger head.

S- Strong earthy hop aroma with citrus undertones held in restraint by heavy caramel.

T- Big fat caramel malts hit you at first along with an alcohol dryness that rides throughout. An assertive yet not overpowering hop bite follows quickly as to not let the malt take center stage. Great balance ensues throughout the middle and into a smooth, hoppy, dry finish.

M- Full and rich without being too heavy.

D- Dangerous, nuff' said.

Malt bomb meet hop bomb, hop bomb meet malt bomb. Simply a very enjoyable Barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2008 22:50:23 | More by Pauly2X
Photo of Phocion


4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage poured into a Unibroue tulip. Deep, dark mahogany color with a retentive and frothy beige head with thick lacing.

Aroma is full of caramel malts, bready/biscuity, citrusy hops, and mildly spicy, in that order.

Very complex flavor. Brown sugar and biscuity with a healthy dose of bitter hoppiness, and obviously the alcohol flavor as well. Most barleywines I've had in the past have either ventured more towards too-sweet or immensely bitter, but this Bigfoot strikes the perfect balance.

Definitely full-bodied, and smooth if not a little dry. Obviously not a session beer, but overall very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2008 22:48:14 | More by Phocion
Photo of Douglas14


4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Bog Foot ('08) is a crystal clear, deep tawny and mahogany color with an absolutely incredible, dense, thick head that leaves a ton of lace and has good retention. The aroma is intesely of malted barley and brown sugar. The hops add a nice, complex citrus and pine quality. The taste follows the smell, but increases the characteristics. This beer has one of the most complete experiences, in terms of showing you around its qualities. Full-bodied and wonderful.

Serving type: on-tap

09-15-2008 03:34:20 | More by Douglas14
Photo of everetends


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

2008 vintage. Purchased at Four Winds in P'cola, FL. Poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a really nice amber color. When held to the light, so really nice dark red color pours through with the light. Got a good finger of a white head. The lacing is foamy and creates some really nice sheeting on the glass.

S: Nice citrusy hops, sweet malty presence, biscuits, resin and alcohol. very nice.

T: Taste is of the same citrusy hops, a little sweet, a little bitter. Malt is sweet and biscuity. Resin comes in big time. Piney flavors are definitely there. Alcohol really rounds this out.

M: Medium bodied to full bodied. Really sticks in the mouth. Big time resin in the feel that lingers in the aftertaste. Alcohol burns a bit. Still, very nice.

D: This is a really good brew. It needs some time to round the edges. Very drinkable for the ABV. I am down with this brew. Need to pick up soem more for the cellar and some age.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2008 04:47:27 | More by everetends
Photo of changeup45


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

Initially sampled in 2005. 2008 version -- pours a deep brown-amber color with a moderate head that does settle down to patches. Real nice hop aroma with a fruity, candy presence. Strong hoppy flavor, tangy sour fruits with caramel malts. Very rich and full and the flavors balance well. Bitter and slightly dry finish and bitter hops tingle on the tongue long after the sip. Good stuff. Strong hops but the 2005 version I had before was a touch stronger hop flavor. Nonetheless this is an amazing beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2008 18:10:25 | More by changeup45
Photo of hellomcfly

South Carolina

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

Poured from a growler into a snifter.

A - Pours a nice ruby-amber; great color. Head isn't huge but I attribute this to being from a growler and not being very easy to pour.

S - I really love the way this beer smells. Nice citrusy hop aroma but also very malty and bready in the smell. Alcohol smell also detected.

T - One of the best all around barleywines in my opinion. It has a certain sweetness but is rounded out by a big hop profile and slight alcohol burn that lets you know you're drinking a big brew.

M - Nice mouthfeel. Full bodied and creamy with the right amount of carbonation.

D - Not the most sessionable beer in the world but for a barleywine it rates pretty high with me.

Serving type: growler

08-19-2008 00:10:24 | More by hellomcfly
Photo of DrDogbeer


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

Poured from bottle into a snifter. 08 vintage.
Deep amber color with a nice sticky, fluffy head.
Smell is intoxicating. I love the smells of a good hopppy barleywine. I get some really resinous hops witha caramel/sweet malt as well.
Taste is similar. Lots of hop flavor up front with a huge sweet malty backbone. I have had a number of these in the past and they have all been good. Would love to do a vertical with them. Great beer!

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2008 14:25:25 | More by DrDogbeer
Photo of phattysbox

New York

3.6/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured deep amber/cranberry color with a thick head and good retention all the way down to the glass. 08 vintage

Smells resiny, hoppy and sweet malts. Complex as the hops really battle it out with the malts in the nose. However, the taste produces battle where the hops win - tart, coarse, oily hops that are a bit harsh. Malty sweetness comes in the back, similar to light caramel. As the beer warmed the hops mellowed out more and the malt profile show some more...

Drinkability was a bit low and could see this ageing longer to mellow out the hop profile. Tasty none the less.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2008 15:19:29 | More by phattysbox
Photo of jamesm7485


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

Bought a six pack of this as soon as it came out 08 vintage, cracked one of my many cellared bottles this evening.

Appearance is a red dark amber with very little head but some nice lacing

The smell is heavy on the barley, with little to any hops

The taste is one of the hoppier barleywines but it's very tasty and seems to have mellowed a bit.

The mouthfeel is very smooth and feels pleasant in your mount and on your tounge

Very drinkable and is also a very nicely priced barley wine, wish they brewed this year round!

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2008 03:28:01 | More by jamesm7485
Photo of Rippeddisc


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

2008 Bottle Opened 8.7.08

A - Finger head and dark amber color

S - Sweet malts and spices. Hints of alcohol on the nose. Slight bready notes

T/M - YUM. I miss barleywines. Starts sweet and rich. Finishing bitter on the tongue that lingers. Can taste the alcohol a bit in the middle but the hoppy finish is wonderful.

D - 9.8% so as long as it's not the end of the night, or the hops dont destroy you, i'd say drinkable enough for a strong bw.

Good job here!

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2008 04:45:36 | More by Rippeddisc
Photo of pokesbeerdude


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

From Notes:

A: Poured a hazy brown with a lot of red accents, the head was about a quarter inch thick. 4.0

S: Sweet malts, lots of piney hops, a very sugary sweetness, a fair amount of alcohol as well. 4.0

T: Very malty and sweet up front, but the hops really take over, very overpowering hops and out of balance the hops detract from the other flavors. A strong alcohol pops out as well. 3.0

M: Thick and creamy, with a light carbonation. 4.0

D: Maybe one or two, not very drinkable. This beer is entirely too hoppy, the hops dominate every other flavor. 3.0

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2008 02:35:03 | More by pokesbeerdude
Photo of halfP1NT


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

This review is based on a new 2008 bottle.

This beer appears a hazy mahogany color with ruby highlights. An aggressive pour yields a one finger, off-white head that sticks around leaving some lacing, then dissipates to a foamy cap.

Smell is sweet malts with a touch of fruitiness and a definite hops presence. Caramel and dark fruits are apparent; plum, cherry. An earthy, hop bitterness is present as well.

Taste starts off with a sweet maltiness. Some of the dark fruit flavors come through. It finishes with a huge dry, bitter hop bite that almost makes my mouth pucker and lingers long after the sip. I'm getting flavors of rye, cherry and fig. There is a bready quality that makes this beer very full bodied.

The hops are almost a bit overwhelming. After the first sip, it becomes difficult to pick out other flavors associated with the malts because the hops have such a strong, lingering presence. Not that that's a bad thing, but it definitely makes this a very distinctive Barleywine. I can't wait to drink some of the older vintages that I have.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2008 02:22:03 | More by halfP1NT
Photo of 100floods


4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought a 6-pack back in february. It's August and this is the first bottle I've opened bottle in the pack.

I poured it into a Caracole tulip glass. It starts off as a light amber and turns to a dark red by the end of the pour. A hefty, yet light tan foam dominates the top. It tastes almost similar to the beer itself.

Not much change after 6 months, and who knows when this batch was made either. A strong chalky/hop taste is what is first noticeable and pretty much dominates. I'm guessing colombus, and very little finishing hops, none that I could smell. This beer wants to act first and ask questions later. This flavor makes it a little dry to the pallet, but not bad. A similar aroma would be more apparent if it was a younger bottle (there is no noticeable aroma at this point, any and all was experienced imediately after opening the bottle and when there was foam). There are slight sweet notes similar to Old Foghorn, but you really have to search for it, because it's downplayed by the hops.

I am curious to see how long this beer could age, or if it even changes over time. This beer is a text book example of West Coast brewing.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2008 00:33:15 | More by 100floods
Photo of goodbyeohio


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

2006 vintage sampled today. bottle. editing my old review is stupid so i put 'on-tap' but not really. please don't flag this.

went into work at 330pm yesterday, expecting to get out at 1130pm. shit went sour and i roll out the door like a blob of shit at 8am the next morning instead, 16.5 hours of my life gone. fuck it, i'll take thursday off. i have the time. fuck yeah! don't have to be back until monday night. in between, bctc.. one of my favorite beer events of the year. checked the tent when i got home and it's all good.

what better way to celebrate?

crack the 06 bigfoot in my fridge. it's 9am, so what? fuck off. it's artificial nighttime for me.

nose is big cherry soaked oak. a bit much, but such is to be expected with bigfoot. leathery port notes intertwined with a deeply rich caramel feel. tastes like i like my aged bigfeet.. y'know, slightly maple-y, earthy, hops have become a tad too bitter as they begin to disintegrate. sip finishes a bit.. i dunno.. soapy? yeah, that's it. like soap. there's one point against it, still digging the overall though. warmth brings forward some chocolate notes which are really beautiful and the product of a successful malt evolution.

this has its flaws, but remains drinkable and presents a new face of bigfoot. not the best vintage i've had.. but still good.

Serving type: on-tap

07-31-2008 13:36:00 | More by goodbyeohio
Photo of barleywinefiend


3/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a deep and hazy ruby red, chunky with light visible carbonation. Head is rather big. Nose is alcohol, caramel and sugar, maybe some toffee and dried fruit, plenty of bitter hops. Flavor is full-bodied, and hoppier than expected and more bitter than I expected, somewhat obnoxious on the taste. As it warms, the finish takes on some licorice flavors. Mouthfeel is thick, bitter, off balance, tingly with alcohol and warming. That bitterness leaves it off balance to me. This thing need some age to mellow out and kill that hop bitterness. I know that American Bwines are hopped to Hell but sometimes you have to find common ground. To bitter and unpleasant to drink. I like SN but not giving it an A just because of the name or label. Sorry, average Bwine at best.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2008 02:06:19 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of gpogo


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

A- Dark amber with small off-white head.

A- Not much of an aroma. Alcohol and sweet slightly fruity ale aroma.

T- Initial sweet flavor followed by a large dosing of bitter hops which wonderfully balance the flavor. Noticeable alcohol taste. This has to be one of my favorite tasting barleywines.

M- Fully bodied and chewy low carbonation. Smooth drinking. A wonderful alcohol warmth, if only it were colder where I was drinking this.

D- Very drinkable, a well balanced barleywine, though it may lean a bit more towards the bitter side. Great on a cold night. Have to be careful about having too many of these.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2008 03:55:24 | More by gpogo
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,106 ratings.