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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.

6,047 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,047
Reviews: 2,804
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 243
Gots: 1,041 | 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: 6,047 | Reviews: 2,804 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pacothrash


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

Poured dark orange to red color with a nice off white head. The smell was very loud with the alcohol, hops and malts coming out. I enjoyed this beer. The caramel and liquorish flavor of the malts combined with the strong hops and alcohol taste worked very well together to create a great beer for sipping.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2008 12:40:13 | More by pacothrash
Photo of blackjack000


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

Appearance: The beer is a dense golden brown or very dark amber. A good amount of frothy head sits on top, which remains to some extent to the end.

Smell: Sweetness is coming off the beer. I smell honeysuckle, alcohol, and cedar.

Taste: Rich, strong, sweet taste, with hop aftertaste. I taste honey, acorn shell, and red vines.

Mouthfeel: Twangy with a lot of impact. The carbonation turns up the hops.

Drinkability: This beer has a good deal of flavor. Very satisfying.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2008 01:55:40 | More by blackjack000
Photo of dustinjkline


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

2008 Bigfoot

This is a fantastic beer.

a: brown coloring. small head, increadible lacing

s: hops and more hops

t: sweet and hoppy. kind of like a sweet iipa

m: medium carbonation

d: good drinkability. i could drink this all night long.

love this beer

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2008 01:39:14 | More by dustinjkline
Photo of ricchezza


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

Pours an orangish hue. Frothy 1/4" thick head leaves an impressive heavy lacing.

The first thing I notice upon sipping is that the ABV% must be pretty high (I don't read labels before reviewing). That, of course, should be expected from a barelywine but my point is the taste of alcohol isn't very subtle. It's sort of distracting.

Lots of hop bitterness. I expected more balance between the hops and malts. The only real malt presence is in the thick, heavy mouthfeel. Slight malty-sweet/syrupy finish is there, but again hops dominate.

Not bad, but not great. Not something I'll look forward to next winter.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2008 21:05:57 | More by ricchezza
Photo of beergynt


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

2008 Edition - Bottle (Poured into a goblet)

A- Deep amber/red with a tight head that's slightly tinted with red/brown hues. Excellent lacing that doesn't even think about going anywhere...

S- Huge Cascade/Centennial citrus, backed up by a crisp sweetness provided by what must be loads of malt. Slight cinnamon aroma.

T- Big citrusy hops right off the bat... Followed by the malt sweetness and spice that rides in on a wave of alcoholic warmth. These blend nicely after swallowing. The warm fumes hang around in the nasal cavity for a while. Very pleasant...

M- Fine, abundant carbonation, accentuated by the huge hop profile, gives Bigfoot a tart, crisp mouthfeel.

D- As far as Barleywines (or Barleywine Style Ales) go, I am fairly inexperienced. I first tried the style before my "changing", that is, bfore I discovered better beer and learned to appriciate it. I was fairly turned off, but still intrigued by the style at the time. Now that I can fully appriciate it (and get it for $7 a 6er at my local!), I find it to be one of the most drinkable "big" beers I've ever had...

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2008 17:30:42 | More by beergynt
Photo of Pencible


4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 - This poured a fairly dark, transparent brown with a little head. It smelled very hoppy for a barleywine. The flavor was a little malt and citrus hops up front with a bit of malt and more hops in the finish. The texture was smooth with no discernable carbonation, but still a bit thin. This was much more like an imperial pale ale than a barleywine, to me. I liked it.

2009 - A: This poured a clear mahogany with light tan head.
S: It smelled like strong pine hops with some caramel malt and orange hops.
T: It tasted like strong bitter pine hops, like most Sierra Nevada beers, but had a bit more of a malt backbone and alcohol flavors.
M: It was somewhat thick with moderate carbonation, and had a very lasting bitter aftertaste.
D: This was a very hoppy barleywine fresh, but it had nice clean flavors and good body. It'll be a couple years before the hops die down to make this even a balanced beer, but that's ok. It's enjoyable now, and it'll be enjoyable then.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2008 21:49:42 | More by Pencible
Photo of yemenmocha


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

Pours off-amber color with some brownish colours. Contrasting off-white had is thick and retains well.

Nose has a buttery interpretation of maltiness, reminding me of overbuttered toast in the morning. Bready quality is there. Some citrus prickle too.

On the palate the malt is very well balanced with hops. Not a malt monster, not a hop monster either. Big beer, but balanced.

Finish is medium long and malty sweet. Drinkability is higher than usual for a b-wine.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2008 20:42:56 | More by yemenmocha
Photo of KBC1


4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is the best barleywine that you can drink as soon as you purchase it. Some of the other barleywines you need to age before it comes together. That said, this beer also ages very well.

This beer has a great combination of appearance, aroma, bitterness, mouthfeel and taste. I like the hops to malt balance. It leans a little towards the hops, but you can still taste the malts.

Carbonation is perfect for style.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2008 05:21:23 | More by KBC1
Photo of Gtreid


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

Deep auburn color with one finger of tannish cream color head that dissipated rather quickly. Smelled of earthy caramel and woody hops. The taste is out of this world. Heavy on the pallet, with next to no carbonation, and finishes slightly bitter. High ABV so, just a couple will do ya. Overall a fantastic beer, one of my favorites.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2008 21:42:19 | More by Gtreid
Photo of npotratz


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

A nice reddish color and a minimal head. It was a little more bitter than what was expected. It has a reminiscent quality to an IPA; more of an emphasis on the hops rather than the malt. Overall, it was comparable to many other American versions of Barleywine, perhaps a shade better.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2008 05:34:08 | More by npotratz
Photo of awall422


4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 edition

poured an almost ruby red with a finger width tan head that collapsed quickly, but left sticky lacing all the way down the glass.

smell was piney hops, a fair bit of caramelly sweetness and a hint of aldohol.

taste was sweet with a smack in the face of hop bitterness. almost like a hop syrup, wish it were just a touch drier.

mouthfeel was great, very creamy and rich, leaving a coating in the mouth between sips.

pretty drinkable for a beer of this type, but it catches up to you fast.

overall a really good beer. i still don't like this whole "american barleywine" concept though. it drinks like an imperial ipa, so that's what it should be called. american barleywine really doesn't tell you what you're going to get.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2008 13:33:40 | More by awall422
Photo of mattster


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

Opened 12 fluid ounce bottle of 2008/25th expedition, poured into Nonic glass.

Formed bubbly head of 1" with nice lacing on sides of glass. Brew is translucent dark brown with no bubbles rising.

Smell is floral, herbaceous with light malty hints. Taste is very balanced with good hops and malts and good bittering finish. Bubbles - or lack of - are pleasant and body is quite bold and filling.

I will for sure purchase more of these. This is a wonderful brew and well worth the money. Great call.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2008 07:56:24 | More by mattster
Photo of thirtysixbelow


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

a - clear brown color with a slight hue of red. A nice thick 1 finger head that leaves some great lacing.

s - very floral yet slightly sweet, grapefruit, and citrus

t - sweet caramel up front turns into pine and fresh hops. A good warming from the alcohol. floral and sweet aftertaste. Great balance even without aging. If more of the sweetness comes out with age this could be killer.

m - smooth and well carbonated

d - this is a sipper. I'm not quite an IPA kind of guy so the hops are a little harsh for me, but it's nice to get the caramel and maltiness with it. I think I'll try and age one of these and compare. This is a pretty serious brew on all fronts.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2008 05:11:59 | More by thirtysixbelow
Photo of ckeegan04


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

25th Expedition. Bottle poured into a pilsner glass.

A - Hazy dark orange/brown color. Thick head which faded rather slowly. Excellent lacing.

S - Citrusy hops dominate the aroma but also picked up some caramel.

T - Little sweetness before being wowed by the hops. Excellent bitterness that is balanced just right by the malts to make it a great beer.

M/D - Excellent. Cant really say much else. Good carbonation and very smooth. The high ABV could make it a long night but it is well worth it.

This was the first barleywine I have tried and I might have just found a new favorite stlye. Excellent beer from what is probably my favorite brewery.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2008 18:11:09 | More by ckeegan04
Photo of BradLikesBrew


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

2008 vintage, the 25th Expedition.

a: Cloudy dark copper body, thick cream colored head, terrific retention and a sheet of lace on my glass.

s: Sweet caramel, brandy, and floral/citrus hops.

t: Sweet caramel malt hits a wall of citrusy, floral hops. A hoppier than average barleywine for sure. Can't hide that alcohol, one sip and you'll know its a Barleywine.

m: Syrupy, resiny, chewy consistency. Perfectly suited for sipping and just right for the flavor.

d: Its reputation proceeds it. It is well deserved. I enjoy Bigfoot, wish it were sold year-round and that I could afford enough to cellar. One of the better Barleywines produced in the states and an excellent example of the American take on the style.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2008 00:28:14 | More by BradLikesBrew
Photo of mfhlucky13


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

A: Pours a dark reddish brown with a nice dense cream colored head that settled to about a finger. Plenty of lace that lasted all the way through.

S: Sweet malt, candy, some hops and ripe fruit.

T: Deep malty goodness backed by some bitterness from the hops and a bit of caramel.

M: Just the right amount of carbonation and a bit of stickiness.

D: I found it easy to drink with a nice balance between the malt and hops, except now I have a big footprint on my tongue.

Wow is it their 25th already?

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2008 17:39:44 | More by mfhlucky13
Photo of bbothen


3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 vintage.

A - Pretty redish/orange amber color with a FLUFFY two finger head that has some serious staying power. Super sticky lace clings to glass. Picture perfect.

S - Citrus & orange peel. Malty caramel & brown sugar.

T - Malty sweetness followed by dry piney hop finish. Alochol hotness. Taste lingers. Nice.

M - Smooth & creamy. Even with the carbonation & alcohol finish.

D - I consider this a most drinkable barleywine. Could handle 2-3 in a session. Pace youself.

Bigfoot is an American classic IMO. It was my gateway into "specialty releases" in the mid 90s. This year's release didn't dissapoint. I bought 3 six packs, but don't think they'll last through early summer. I'll probably never know how it tastes 1-2 years old. Why wait? It's great now.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2008 22:12:27 | More by bbothen
Photo of Greggy


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

*2008 vintage

Appearance- Pours a massive head into a pint glass with little sign of receding.

Smell- The cascade and centennial hops are pretty evident here but some light caramel notes also are available.

Taste- Syrupy sweet with notes of belgian candy, caramel, and figs. The hops are also pretty obvious in the taste.

Mouthfeel- little to no carbonation, smooth and creamy.

Drinkability- A slow sipper for me @ 9.6%, but I imagine myself revisiting this a few times a year.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2008 04:05:43 | More by Greggy
Photo of corey0212


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

I've had hit or miss experiences with barleywines thus far, and actually tried Bigfoot several years ago, and was unprepared and shocked by the flavor. I'd like to think my palate is expanding, because I'm loving the '08. The color is stunning....deep ruby-red, nice tan head and lacing. Wonderful hoppy and fruity aroma....oh, man. Hops just explode on the tongue. Perfectly bitter....this is as flavorful a beer as I've had in a long time. Nice warming alcohol...I wish I had been drinking this all winter.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2008 01:44:49 | More by corey0212
Photo of HowellVillage


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

this is the fourth year in a row that i've had the pleasure of having this barlywine, and i might say that this 25th annversary of their barlywine was released a little too early. the beer has a great bouqet and wonderful mouthfeel, but it lacks that aged mature taste that we all seek in a good barlywine. this one needs to sit for at least a year or two, but will definatly be worth the wait.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2008 16:36:13 | More by HowellVillage
Photo of MirkoCroCough

Croatia (Hrvatska)

3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a very nice amberish colour from the bottle with a nice head and good lacing. Very tart and hoppy with an almost Riesling tang like finish. More than a sixer might be pushing it, but like all Sierra stuff, a quality product. Buy a six pack and see what you think. Good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2008 00:41:57 | More by MirkoCroCough
Photo of SIRIUS2

North Carolina

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

Poured form a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.
Label says Bigfoot 2008.

A: Dark coppery color, clear. Very thin head - more of a light layer of uneven off-white bubbles. Lacing all the way through the experience. Attractive looking beer overall.

S: Seems to be a rather strong citrus hop aroma on top of a medium sweet malt smell. Not sure what the taste will bring as the label describes this as a 'barleywine'. I would expect a softer malt nose. The aroma of this reminds me more of an IPA.

T: Quite malty but truly balanced with hops, by which I mean there is a lot of both that assault the palate at once. I definitely get a clear presence of alcohol as well but only after the initial flavors go by. Rather warming on its way down. The finish is a little different as it seems like the hop bitterness is battling the malt sweetness for position on the linger, with the bitterness winning the fight.

M&D: Very heavy but not thick; leaves an almost oily feel in the mouth. Not sure if it's from all the hops or from the ABV. Not unpleasant either way but worth noting. The carbonation is relatively light but stayed persistent throughout the glass. Fairly tasty if you are a hop head but I don't know that I would recommend it to my hop-challenged buddies. I liked though. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2008 02:13:30 | More by SIRIUS2
Photo of jettjon


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

From a 12 oz bottle with no visible freshness date, though marked 2008/25th Expedition. Into a pint glass, it's a slightly hazed reddish brown with good clarity and a few random precipitating bubbles. Thick, foamy head of brown-tan that fades slowly leaving lots of clingy lace and patches hanging around atop the body all the way to the bottom of the glass. Nose of firm hops, citrusy and grapefruit. Sweet malt up front immediately balanced with crisp, citrus hops. Warming alcohol. Hints of caramel and lemon juice. Nice dry, piney hoppy finish. Mouth is viscous and smooth with middle-of-the road carbonation. Drinkability is good though definitely a bit "extreme" with 9.6% ABV warmly asserting itself and plenty of hops to keep thing interesting.

Overall: Is this a barleywine? I'm not entirely sure, as it's a bit more hoppy and less malty than most examples I've tried. Still, it was tasty and enjoyable, and definitely worth a revisit.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2008 16:26:17 | More by jettjon
Photo of bluemoonswoon


4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a beautiful looking deep ruby red, think of the flesh of a grapefruit then think about coving it in wood stain, does not really sound all that appetizing but really is the best way I can describe the color of this beer, beautiful color I almost don't want to drink it. The one inch head is a rich and creamy beige fades into a cap in a few minutes. There is some decent amount of lacing which is nice because I wasn't expecting all that much. Really though the color on this beer is what gets me.

S: Wonderful but not in anyway overpowering floral hop aroma greets and teases the nose that hides a delicate malty sweetness, I'm thinking of rum or brandy and caramel covered cherries with a delicate syrupy sweetness, wonderfully balanced and delicate while still conveying a powerful aroma.

T/MF: There is a nice woodiness that I can detect here coupled with the strong hop profile in this beer. This gives way to a sort of dusty sugary maltiness that I can really only just barely detect because the hop profile on this beer is so strong as well as the alcohol heat that backs this beer up so effectively. The mouthfeel is also dominate by an intense hop bitterness that leaves the tongue and the back of the throat feeling rather dry, no one can argue that this beer is being lazy in the mouth. As the beer warms the malts are better perceived and balanced is restored to the beer. There is a light carbonation that, coupled with the prickly hops really makes this beer snap on the palate and now I'm beginning to pick up some buttery notes on the back end of this beer and I'm falling ever more in love with this little guy. And if I didn't mention this before there is this kind of dusty grainy texture I'm picking up here that really fills out the mouthfeel on this guy, you are definitely drinking a beer when you are drinking a bigfoot.

D: Really I have very little to complain about in this beer, it is not easy drinker in any sense of the word and really makes you work in trying to decipher everything hidden inside it's lusty profile. That being said this is one of the finest examples of the American barleywine style I've ever encountered.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2008 03:21:28 | More by bluemoonswoon
Photo of yzer


4.9/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Ale. Bottling code (on bottle) was 7349 making it a mid-December 2007 bottling. Purchased fresh from a well-stocked store today with three months of bottle conditioning.

My only criticism is a slightly soapy aromatic noticable from the head. No biggie.

Poured a dark amber (I'd call it Chris-Craft red) with burnished gold highlights. The look in a glass stein is clear with all of the head you could possibly want and curtains of lacing.

I think this 2008 Bigfoot is one of the best West Coast brews available right now and is not to be missed. First taste will hit you with a SN hops smackdown that will weed the men from the boys. About halfway through the glass your staggering tastebuds will relay the sublime balance of hops and powerfully rich malts. Caramelized sweetness, tartness, and floral accents are all in abundance is spite of constant whacking from iron strength hops. If you like steroid level hops and want to taste malt that stands up to it ... Bigfoot is the name.

Surprising good drinkability, just be prepared to ride or weave your way home after two.

The body of this barleywine-style is big. But the look will fool you: you're gonna walk away with sticky lips. Dang.

Thank you Sierra Nevada. Bigfoot is real.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2008 21:46:30 | More by yzer
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,047 ratings.