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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.

6,573 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,573
Reviews: 2,850
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 312
Gots: 1,237 | FT: 52
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,573 | Reviews: 2,850 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of billyzoom666
3.45/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into pint glass. This pours an awesome caramel/amber color. It looks like there's sediments frozen into the middle of the beer. There's a nice little head and some lacing. This has a sweet barleywine smell to it. It's typical and average for the style. Wow! This has a bit of bite to it. It tastes like a mixture of blueberry and hop. Real nice stuff here. It's a great sipping beer. Please don't try and slam this!

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

A: The beer is mahogany and slightly hazy with a little bit of active carbonation going on. The head is big, at least three fingers, and sort of sandy colored. A lot of texture in the head, many different sized bubbles and sparse but solid lacing. The head doesn't stick around too long though, which may be a good thing for a barleywine. 4.5/5

S: Very piney American hops. Just dense with resin, no malt here at all. It's like sticking your nose into a fresh cut Christmas tree. Maybe there's a little citrus, but no malt still. This, too me, smell's pretty quintessentially American Barleywine, and while that may be perfect, I'm not going to give a five because I would like to see more malt. Personal opinion, meet professional judging. 4.5/5

T: Here I can agree with this beer a little more. I get more of a malt backbone, though really see a lot of similarities between this and an IPA. Still got those big piney American hops, though the citrus is even more evident here than in the nose, especially along the edges of my tongue where it manifests in a biting bitter taste. I guess I really would like to see some more caramel malts out of this creature though, because I get none. I mean I can tell there is malt in here, but that's as much from the feel as from the flavor. Flavor I'd like to taste some carmelized or nutty grain tastes for sure, and I don't get that even as it warms. 4/5

M: Big, bold, beautiful, this beer really fills up the palate and the whole mouth, and reminds you why they call them barleywines. If the judgment was on feel alone, I'm not sure I could really tell the different between a well made barleywine like this and a lighter wine like Pinot Noir. 5/5

D: The first few sips are a little biting while your tongue gets used to it, and the nose can be a little overpowering, but all in all, drinkability is about what you would expect from a Barleywine. I think I'll pick up another few of these for a little aging. 4/5

Photo of zimm421
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter. A dark amber color with hints of ruby in it as well, that is very hard to see though. Has a nice thick off-white head, that dissipates fairly slowly leaving clumps of head and great lacing down the glass.

Nothing huge stands out in the smell, but there are good hints of hops, with citrus and pine in the forefront, as well as some alcohol. Not a huge amount of nose, a little disappointing. The taste has a good amount of citrus and pine, with the hop flavor dominating. There is also a good amount of malts, blending very well. The aftertaste is very bitter, and the alcohol is noticeable as well. This beer also finishes very well.

The mouthfeel is very smooth at first, almost creamy, but the carbonation comes out at the end, finishing fairly dry. The drinkability is great as well. Even with the high ABV, I could put a few of these down without noticing it until later.
Overall a great brew, slightly disappointing in the aroma, but everything else is great, just what I accepted.

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

(Numerical score reflects 2009 vintage, as it was the better of the two I've had, and you can age the 2010 if you so please)

12oz bottle into a wine glass. 2010 vintage.

Appearance: Moderate pour yields a 1/3 inch frothy, yellowish-white head that dissipates steadily. Beer is an almost fully opaque dark amber. Head and beer leave good lacing. (4.0)

Smell: At first all I get is a sugary and faint smell of fruit (white raisin, maybe some kind of berry). There's some melon there too. Gradually some floral hops come out, then it mellows into a semi-strong herbal, hoppy aroma. The herbal and sugary notes remain until the end. (4.0)

Taste: Similar to the smell, with a much bigger hop bite. At first the flavors are a bit difficult to differentiate, but the sips go: vague sugary/fruitiness, big bitter hop punch, weak malty/dry finish. As it warms, citrus hops become very present up front, and the malt finish deepens into some sugary cake-like flavors.

The malt flavors aren't anywhere near as deep as those of many other American barleywines, but they taste good. The interaction of the huge, DIPA-like hops and the malt is very impressive; more of a marriage of the two than a journey from one to the other.

As the beer warms, the bitterness starts to build up and the finish gets very dry and almost sour. Some dark fruit notes come out, and the sweet malt mirrors the smell almost exactly. Alcohol is not a huge factor in the taste at all.

This was the last bottle of my 6-pack, and it was also the one that delivered the most complex and satisfying flavor. I'm thinking that perhaps I needed to get used to the hop assault, though I did still find the depth of the malt to be lacking. Would be very interested to taste this beer with a couple years on it. (4.0)

Mouthfeel: Pretty carbonated and bitter. Kind of heavy and sticky, yet finishes dry. Not bad, but not particularly pleasant either. (3.5)

Drinkability: For its ABV, the alcohol is not aggressive at all. On the one hand, I think I'd normally rather a great DIPA or a deeper, maltier barleywine. On the other hand, the chances of me picking up a few more 6packs of this before it's off the shelves are high. (4.0)

I guess Bigfoot is an excellent American barleywine if what you're looking for is a DIPA with a little more malt backbone than most. Myself, I want an American barleywine to be a hop assault with deep, lush malty/caramely flavors that are big enough to contend with the hops. Nonetheless, it's a quality beer that I'll happily drink again.


2009 vintage, poured into a wine glass. Reviewed June 29, 2010.

Appearance: Pours a dark, hazy reddish amber, with decent lacing and a bonewhite, steadily dissipating head. Same as fresh.

Smell: Piny, grassy, herbal hops and some caramel and raisin. Nice.

Taste: Very rich, but still retains a surprisingly strong hop bitterness. Lots of caramel and dark fruit (raisin)... these are the big malt flavors I was looking for when I had this beer fresh. It's recognizably the same beer as when it's fresh, but remarkably deeper; a year has done way more to the flavor than I expected (I just thought the hops would fade and it might get a little sweeter). Beautiful smoky raisin and caramel flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, not quite creamy, a tiny bit sugary. Moderate carbonation. The dryness is gone.

Drinkability: The high alcohol content is still nowhere to be found, but now huge, beautiful barleywine flavors are coming out to play with the still resonant hops.

I had no idea time would treat this beer so well... I guess that's what everyone was talking about. I didn't intend to rereview this beer, but from the first sip of a 2009 bottle I was strongly won over, and felt I should update my lukewarm (though already positive) review. I would bet this beer is at its best with about 2 years on it. I know I'll be searching around for some 2010s to put away for awhile.

Photo of beavers
3.15/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bigfoot 2010.

Pours a cherry brown with a creamy and frothy light khaki head. Clumps of sticky lacing. Smell is not very strong initially, but as it warms it smells of sticky, resiny, piny hops, and big booze. Subtle grapefruit notes. Taste is candy sugar sweet, nutty, caramel malt, honey, piercingly sharp, herbal, piney hop bitterness, and....booze. Don't get me wrong, I love hops. But this bitterness is overtly astringent and the alcohol is all over the place, making this one hot mess. Mouthfeel is medium/full bodied, syrupy, and overly carbonated. Sweet and cloying. Palate fatigue sets in about halfway through. You taste every decimal of this 9.6% ABV. You could have told me it was more and I would have believed you.

Photo of afausser
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a pretty, amber and peach toned mahogany with about a finger of somewhat persistent head, and very nice lacing. Leaves a creamy layer of foam just across the top of the brew for the entire time it sits out.

Smell: biscuity and malty, with hints of toffee and caramel.

Taste: Overwhelmingly hoppy, with malts and other sweet notes in the background just about entirely covered up. I would love to see what some age would do for this one. As it warms, the hop tastes are still huge, but the sweetness comes out a bit more, and it goes down cool with a spearmint taste.

Mouthfeel: Great carbonation. Medium bodied and goes down smooth like a light syrup. Low carbonation levels work very nicely here.

Drinkability: This one is good here, but the strength and bitterness of the hops makes it one to sip.

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

12 oz. to pint glass. 2010.

This beer is deep dark mahogany in color. Opaque. Finger and a half cream head. Lacing left behind on every sip, crazy. Truly incredible looking.

Toffee, caramel, brown sugar and some floral hops. Fairly sweet, and a little booze as well.

Tastes of sweet caramel and toffee up front. Some burnt brown sugar. Bitter hops on the way out.

This beer is full bodied and slightly syrupy. It had medium carbonation and has a nice burn and bite at the end.

Impressively drinkable.

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

2010 edition

I am jealous. Flat out. After brewing an american style barleywine, and getting no where close to this beer, I'd say its one of my favorate of its style.

A: A filtered-looking amber color, almost orange in light. Nice body on this beer, but not overcarbonated. Very nice sustained thin head.

S: A nice boozy alcohol smell, with some candy and plenty of malt. I can almost smell the munich malt in this beer.

T: Incredible, and very complex. A nice malty, sweet taste upfront. Plenty of alcohol. A sharp bitterness from the hops, but the taste is very balanced. Not a huge hop presence, but its there. Sweet but very dry for a barleywine. Soooo balanced overall.

M: Huge, chewy mouthfeel, very smooth despite the large abv. goes down nice and easy, but there is plenty of body.

D: The alcohol is there, and doesn't let you forget it. It lingers on your palate long after you sip the beer. The beer is smooth enough, and "digestable" by belgian standards, but you can't sit there and down these, that's for sure. one or two and call it a night. Unless you are paying for a cab.

Photo of cpetrone84
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Bottle

A-pours a creamy light tan colored head that has some fair retention. the beer is a nice slightly hazed orangish red color with some bubbles rising to the top.

S-the nose is quite nice and brings a lot of malt up front backed with a nice hop profile. carmalized brown sugar and hints of caramel hit the nose first. the hops come in next with citrus and resignous pine hop

T-the taste is quite big and balanced. the caramel malts and brown sugar hit hard first and are back with big hops. lots of pine and notes of citrus. the finish brings a hop bitterness that isn't seen often in barleywines especially after a year of aging.

M-this is quite smooth and perfectly carbonated. lightly syrupy as it coats the mouth.

D-super tasty barleywine, big hop profile to balance a huge flavored beer. Another great Sierra Nevada offering. Can't wait to try it fresh as well as with a fair amount of age on it. I imagine this is two completely different beasts fresh and with a few years. Sets up an awesome beer to vertical!

Photo of augustgarage
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage, poured into a Unibroue tulip.

Burnt umber body emanates a warm rosy glow. A thick tall cream-colored head recedes to a rich collar and a panoply of large bubbles.

Monstrous, pine-heavy aromatics annihilate any subtleties. There is a bready caramel malt undercurrent as well, but it fights a losing battle. Assertive C-hops though not overly sharp or punishing.

Forest floor, fresh rain, and wet loam lead you down a path to the mid-palate, where a slumbering storm of grapefruit, granola, orange pith and scalded brown sugar await. The bitterness grows and grows, like a scotch-bonnet time-bomb hidden in a mild salsa. Sweet, but dry and somewhat woody overall.

Rich, nearly full-bodied, with muscular carbonation.

All in all, my favorite beer from Sierra Nevada...

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

I'm snowed in indefinitely. I guess I'll drink a barleywine.
2009 vintage

A: dark amber, effervescent, with 2 inch head that fades slowly and leaves a nice sticky lace trail

S: alcohol, citrus, hops, malt, pine

T: A blast of big hops followed by heavy, sweet malt, this beer runs the gamut on your palate. Sweet, hoppy, sticky, citrus, alcohol, woody? This is quite a complex beast. What an intriguing brew. The flavors are blended nicely, but there's no getting around the alcohol uppercut that is delivered effectively with every drink.

M: Sticky sweetness coats the mouth. The clinging alcoholic aftertaste is quite drying. Carbonation is spot on.

D: I believe this beer improves with age, becoming mellower and more drinkable, without sacrificing the major taste components that make this beer such a treat.

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

a maroon color that you can barely see through, a 2-finger head (dense) which shrinks to half it's size but stays that way,
a good bit of lacing left over, a few bubbles seen rising

a slight bitterness/hops..nothing in particular standing out here

slightly sweet to bitter taste as liquid moves from front to back of mouth, and a smokey/bitter taste which lingers at the back of your throat and gradually builds as you drink more...a dry taste, not particularly tasty in my opinion but not offensive either

smooth upon first sip but as you swallow you can feel the slight carbination at the back of your throat, slightly syrupy

for this style of beer it's fine. I've tasted smoother drinks with the same ABV and also drinks I struggle to finish with about have the ABV.

Thoughts: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is one of my favorite beers so when I saw this on the shelf I couldn't resist. While it's certainly a different style of beer from the pale ale I think it accomplishes what it's going for. In my opinion it's a beer for the winter...as it's cold, bitter, and dark.

Photo of garbercury
3.2/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2010 Vintage...Served into a snifter...

A--Definitely the best part of this beer, tons of lacing and beautiful copper hue.

S--Piney hops for sure

T--Waaay too hoppy. The hops just takes over this beer, not impressed, its all I taste.

M--Fine, whatever.

D--I just dont get it I guess. To me, overwhelming a beer with hops does not make it good, it makes it a hop bomb, not a barleywine.

Photo of BigMike
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2010 Vintage poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass.

Beautiful copper orange color with a big pillow like head thats almost pure white and two fingers high.

I'm not the most experienced Barleywine drinker but this one smells super hoppy. almost DIPA like if it weren;t for the big malt presence in the form of dark sticky fruits and a deep caramel aroma. Smells really good.

This bottle is very young yet so the hops are in the forefront. Theres a ton of bitterness and sweetness at the same time. It's a crazy mouthfeel. Lots of grapefruit drenched in caramel sauce.

Mouthfeel in amazingly soft for such a big beer. Very bitter and dry on the finish.

Because of the intense flavors and the high alcohol i could maybe do 2 of these in a session. But dont get me wrong, this beer is awesome!

Photo of mostpoetsdo
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A deep, bright, syrupy looking amber. Thick off white head on top dissipates to a nice island.

S: Pine hops and fruit for sure.

T: Huge pine hops up front. Goes into some citrus hops as well. Then the fruitiness kicks in. Sweet dark fruit, with a bitter finish.

M: Pretty thick and creamy, also a tad syrupy.

D: Tasty, but can't do more than one or two at a time, with the intense flavor and high ABV.

Photo of ChopperSmith
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from stubby brown bottle into standard pint glass. 2010 date on the cap.

Appearance - Hazy deep brown-amber color with a creamy tan head that retained well and left nice sticky lacing as it receded.

Smell - Sweet scents of honey and sweet floral hops with a little malt detected. Nice.

Taste - Sweet and fruity up front, with good citrus and pine hops on the finish. Typical to a Barleywine, it's very sweet and the high ABV can be detected with it's warming effect and slight alcohol taste, but definitely well balanced with the other flavors.

Mouthfeel - A little syrupy, also typical of Barleywines, but creamy carbonation helps to balance it.

Drink - Very drinkable, a delicious example of an American Barleywine. At the relatively high ABV of 9.6, a few of these go a long way. A great beer for doing a session of 3 or 4 beers. Will definitely buy this again! This would be a great beer to cellar for a couple of years, and I might buy a case to do just that.

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

2010 vintage. Tasted on 1/31/2010.

Pours very reddish amber in color. Crystal clear with a little carbonation. Thick frothy head and tons of lacing coating the glass.

Smells very hoppy - citrus and mostly pine. A bit of malty caramel present too but it is barely noticeable under the hops. Taste is very piney as well with a bit of orange. Quite bitter throughout with an earthy, planty flavor from the hops. Towards the end, a bit of malt comes through but again this is in the background. A bit sweet aftertaste with almost no alcohol presence at all.

Medium body with a biting carbonation. A bit rough with the mouthfeel - after a year or two the Bigfoot has much better feel to it.

This may not be as balanced when fresh as the aged version is, but this is still a beyond excellent beer. Extremely complex since behind the huge hops the lovely malt bill is just noticeable enough.

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

2010 edition here. Poured from the bottle into my clean sam adam's perfect pint glass.

Poured a very nice...deep amber/red in color...with an off white head. Amazing lacing. Very beautiful to look at.

Smell - the nose on this one..is quite to talk about. Very fresh, very piney, some citrus notes.

Taste - this is where the beer all comes together. Right off the bat, i knew that this was not a lower alc. % beer. I buddy of mine thought it was but I figured it would be around the 8-9% mark. But, this beer...was so crisp, and full of flavor, that it pretty much masked the alcohol. The alcohol did come out a bit more as it warmed up, but not unpleasantly so.

Mouthfeel - This one is medium, a bit syrupy as well, I thought. I loved the carbonation in this one. Well done.

Drinkability - I could definitely have a couple of these without any problems. I saved 2 of the bottles to age so, I can't wait to crack those open when the time comes.


Bigfoot 2011 Review -

Poured from the bottle into my Sam Adams sensory glass. This beer pours a beautiful...dark amber, which fades to deep mahogany red. On top of this body sits a very nice 2-3 finger head that sticks around for the whole ride. it's a nice cream in color.

Smell - an abundance of hops hits the nose first. Followed by some dark fruit malts, apples/ syrupy malty goodness.

Taste - I can see how this differs from a 1 year matured 2010 bigfoot. Everything is there and it's big and crisp and in your face. Some bitterness of the hops, then you get the hit of the alcohol at 9.6%, but it's not just that straight alcohol flavor, it reminds me of some roasted apples, dark, deep and complex. Some residual sweetness right at the very end of the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full. The carbonation is delightful, perfect for this one.

Overall - I think this is another sucessfull barlywine from SN.

The 2010 big foot has flavors that have all meddled together and rounded out, where this 2011 big foot fresh, while delicious, should be even better with a year on it. Fresh bigfoot is a bit spikey, but with a year on it, everything will mesh well and round out.

Photo of righlander
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2010 edition here. pours a deep dark amber from a 12oz stubby bottle to a tulip type pint glass. sinister fluffy sticky 4 finger head that clings mercilessly in gnarly soapy rings around the glass. the beer looks formidable. smell is very strong, very malty on the nose and very piney. maybe a bit grassy, a little toasty and sweet caramel but also a very fresh hop presence going on here. smells amazing! taste is absolutely decadent. stinging hops and wonderful deep malt character. very piney but with a big malt presence to even things out. almost has an imperial IPA feel to it but with way more malt. maybe some notes of an indescribable dark fruit. sits very nice on the tongue. carbonation is right on. drinkability is there. this IS a session beer IF you SIP it! I bought a whole six pack so i'll be a sippin' all night! ;)

A wonderful gigantic beer. absolutely beautiful

Photo of emerge077
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 batch just arrived, this deserves a new review.

High clarity ruby color, it just glows. Poofy soufflé head, raised in the middle with striated sheets clinging to the sides.

Pungent pine and herbals in the aroma, also a rich and sweet toffee malt element. Looks and smells the part of a good barleywine.

Smooth with a dry bitter edge, this is very balanced but hop-forward. It's big all around, but the sum of it's parts fit well together. Sticky toffee and caramel laced with pine and resinous hops. Rich and not too boozy. Probably not for the hop-novice, but i've come to appreciate it more as a full fledged hop head.

I'm liking this more fresh I think, based on the previous review, and drinking last years batch.

A- / 4.15
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | drink: 4

A blustery winter night calls for a monster Barleywine...

2006 bottle, pours a deep ruby brown, with a ton of offwhite foam, leaving a halo crown of intricate lacing. As the foam settles, there's a perfect island of bubbles in the center. Nice overall retention too.

Rich aroma with very herbal hops, subdued nutty caramel.

Velvety smooth across the palate. Hops are ever present, somewhat mellowed, still leafy and bitter. Some citrus rind, spicy with clean heat, and sprucey touches at the end. Long finish of herbal hops that coats the throat. Not the full-on palate spanker I was anticipating, but it still packs a big punch. Alcohol is pretty well hidden for the style.

Photo of GJ40
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at Gravity Beer Market in Olympia, WA. 2010 Vintage.

A - A deep copper color with a hazy finish and a moderate beige head that dissipates quickly.

S - Caramel, brown sugar and floral hops. It started slow but got better as it warmed.

T - A nice blend of malts and hops with breads, biscuits and citrus. There's also a touch of alcohol but not the 9.6% it advertizes. The bitterness starts low and takes off like a jet and eventually fades in the distance.

M - A moderately thick consistency with a slight high carbonation (a bit too high for me).

D - I thought this was good but not great. Maybe it needs some aging.

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

Poured into a snifter. 2010 vintage.

A - Pours a gorgeous oily almost ruby red color with nice amber hints. A nice off-white head with small dense bubbles. Retention is very good and there is nice sticky lacing on the glass.

S - Sweet piney nose followed by some nice citrus grapefruit. Dark fruit smells as well. Black cherry and some grape in the nose as well.

T - Delicious. Hop character is very strong. Oily and complex beer. Nice piney hop flavor, very resiny. There is some sweet caramel malt sweetness that sneaks in but then is quickly overpowered. There is some dark fruit sweetness as well but again the hop character is overwhelming. There are some mild nut flavors laced with the hops. Nice bitterness that begins almost immediately and follows all the flavors down. Alcoholic esters are perceivable. Great beer.

M - Oily, well carbonated. SMooth and warming.

D - Drinkability might be on the low side. Very complex beer.

Edit: As it warms there are some dark cherry hints that blend with the hop bitterness.

Photo of eternaljester81
4.83/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Along with Founders, I consider Sierra Nevada as one of my two favorite breweries. Torpedo is one of, if not my favorite IPAs, and topped my list of favorite SN brews. Notice my use of the word "topped", as in past-tense.

I honestly wasn't expecting what I got with Bigfoot. I like to think of myself as a fan of barley wines, but more than anything I'm a hophead, so I was quite excited to try this beer. I poured my first bottle into a New Belgium snifter - little did I know of the sheer awesomeness that would soon caress my tongue.

A - Pours a beautiful burnt orange/brown with a solid, creamy, one-inch head. The head slowly settles into a rocky fluff, leaving sticking lacing at every interval.

S - Holy crap! I was blown away by the floral, pungent smell of hops. Lots and lots of hops. A deep inhale reveals the high ABV with a bit of an astringency, while there's an inkling of sweetness in the middle, but overall the nose is all hops. My mouth was watering at this point.

T - And I thought the smell was impressive. Wow, the bitter hops are all over this beer. The only thing keeping Bigfoot from being an all-out hopbomb is the excessive malts (which still don't quite exceed in balancing the beer out). Hell, who am I kidding, this is pretty much a hopbomb, and I love it! The high ABV is surprisingly well hidden, and as it warms the sweetness of the malts shine through to a greater extent. Regardless, just like the nose, the hops are the star.

M - The mouthfeel is (very) slightly thin for the style, but it still holds up quite well. The most noticeable aspect is the slick, oiliness from the hops, which makes this very big brew go down very smoothly.

D - This is where Bigfoot is crazy dangerous. At over 9% ABV, this beer goes down so easily, that it's easy to get lost in it. By the time you know it, you've lost sight of how many you've enjoyed (and pretty much everything else). Be warned!

I was expecting a very good beer in Bigfoot, but what I got is my new favorite brew from one of my two favorite breweries. While I think, at this point in its age, this is much more in line with a DIPA, it doesn't matter - Bigfoot is unbelievable regardless of style. This is the reaction I was hoping to have to Hopslam (which is still very good, just a little disappointing).

Bottom line: Bigfoot is beyond awesome!

Photo of JohnPecod
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - a cloudy amber with some hues of gold and virtually no head as you would expect.

S - A hint of the trademark Sierra tea hops with a hint of caramel sweetness but everything is taking a backseat to the downright boozie odor. Not a ton of complexity...yet.

T - Follows the nose. Young and boozie with a hoppy alcohol kick on the finish that almost makes you want to that arm move people do after they take a shot of whiskey.

M - Surprisingly light and carbonated with some coating creaminess.

O - Ah the dilemma of grading a beer on its current state or its potential. Since I've had the pleasure of sipping on many Bigfoot vintages going back to the Clinton Administration I'm going to opt for the latter. This is a raw rookie with loads of potential that shows flashes of brilliance but still needs time to develop. I will quite happily finish my sixer but can't wait to enjoy the other 12 I'm sticking in the cellar for a much later date...God willing.

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

A- poured out a delicious bronze color with a slight head and lacing as it went...

S- hops right up front on the aroma, but rich and balanced with some darker, earthy tones.

T- tasted wonderful: well-balanced, hoppy, and not too sweet. complex with a wonderful, lingering aftertaste.

M- a rich, hearty mouthfeel that at the same time was not too heavy.

D- terrificly drinkable, considering the abv; hoppiness and mouthfeel were balanced to create an easy drink. Combine that with the wonderful taste, and you're good to go.

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,573 ratings.