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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.

6,393 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,393
Reviews: 2,818
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 274
Gots: 1,145 | FT: 48
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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,393 | Reviews: 2,818 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of webbcreative
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Jan 25, 2009

Ruby-Amber color...1 finger head, if that. Has a very nice flavor or sweentess, but that hops is killin me! im not a favor of big hoppy-bitter beers, and this is almost too much. I can drink it, and its almost worth the bitterness, just because of how great the malt in this one tastes. maybe If I let this one age a bit it will help mellow things out....and maybe i would prefer it if it was colder - its about 55 degrees right now has the same bitterness to it that the celebration ale has, but this is far better than that one...C+

EDIT: March 22, 2005

Im re-rating this because I tried this one again, after getting into more hoppy beers latley. And actually this is growing on me! I guess I have gotten accustomed to a higher hop content. Because i actually enjoy drinking this now, im still not IN love with it, but it could get that way. Its a more balanced then my previous palette lead me to believe. this is a great dessert beer. I will be reaching for this one again, and am still interested in trying to age some of these, to see how they turn out.

webbcreative, Feb 27, 2009
Photo of dukedevil0
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single 12 oz from Famous Liquors in Lombard, IL.

A: Pours a dark reddish-brownish amber with just off-white colored head and good lacing on the glass.

S: smells of hops, malts, alcohol, some pine

T: lots of smooth malt flavor up front with a bitterness that comes in after the finish...i'm actually glad that the malt doesn't have more bite

M: full bodied for sure

D: alcohol isn't overpowering, suffers a little because i'm not really digging the flavor

dukedevil0, Feb 27, 2009
Photo of steadydose
3.4/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2009 Bottle

A: Poured in goblet-1/2 inch thick fluffy khaki head, lasted about 2 minutes. Amber/ Red, light brings out reddish hues even more. Good carbonation, light stick lacing. Excelelnt clarity.

S: Smell seems muted, expected more hop aromas. Sweet malts, booze.

T: Malts, caramel, alcohol, bitterness. Bitterness lingers. Boozy overall.

M: Good carbonation, rich.

D: Alcohol present, high hops and malt. Try again next year to see if it becomes more balanced.

steadydose, Feb 25, 2009
Photo of brianlg
3.33/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had high expectations going into this beer. It poured very nice reddish brown color with a two finger head for me. The smell was subtle, but I have sinus problems! Anyways, the first sip i took I thought WOW this beer is bitter! I wasn't sure how I felt about it, but after a few more sips I found it hard to take down. I bit my teeth and took the rest of it down, with a struggle. I bought a 6 pack so I will revisit this beer in a while, hoping to change my mind. I was pretty disappointed. Maybe barleywine isn't my thing.

EDIT: After a couple more tries, this beer is growing on me. I feel I wasn't ready for it at the time I bought it and first tried it. I upped my review as this is a very well made beer, and I am beginning to like this.

brianlg, Feb 25, 2009
Photo of imagineiii
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my trusty DFH snifter.

Agressive pour doesnt yield much of a head. What is there diminishes quickly leaving molasses brown syrup.

Very sweet. the alcohol, the citrus and pine from the hops, and the surprisingly light fruits like red apples, are all sweet.

Holy cow this beer is big. Starts with an intense biting acidity as soon as the beer hits your tongue. rolls to the back of the tongue with a bitterness from the immense hop profile. Pine is the most prevalent flavor in the hops.

Mouthfeel is enormous. Bitterness is lingering, and changes even after the beer is gone. alcohol is slightly tongue-numbing.

Hardly a drinkable beer overall, but considering its size, and hop profile, it is surprisingly mouthwatering.

imagineiii, Feb 25, 2009
Photo of Jdecarol
2.2/5  rDev -47%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I love hops in my beers but this thing is not balanced at all. I is nothing but bitter kicking in the back of your throat. Moon shine goes down smoother.

Looks great though but that doesn't make it easier to drink. I'm going to sit on it for a few months and revisit it after it mellows. Hopefully the aging doesn't destroy the hop flavor and just mellows the bitterness.

I had this last year but it was bought around june, maybe the extra months sitting on a shelf made it more palatable or they just hop bombed it this year.

Jdecarol, Feb 24, 2009
Photo of TehAnkh
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is my first barleywine EVER, so, here it goes...

2009 Bottle.

A: Pours a gorgeous, clear ruby/amber. with 2 fingers of big fluffy head that doesn't want to go anywhere but eventually recedes down to about half a finger of still frothy head. Big, frothy and chunky.
The lacing is also spectacular, big bubbles cling to the glass like superglue.

S: Grassy and citrus hops on the nose, along with a big fat wallop of sweet malt. Also some raisin and a touch of alcohol comes to the nose upon swirling the glass a bit. This stuff SMELLS like it's gonna be bitter.

T: Flavor is like the smell, grassy and citrusy hops (kind of tastes like cannabis???)
Sweet barley is in there somewhere, trying to come out, but this stuff is extremely herbal and musky. Wow, this tastes like grapefruit and bonghits, what the hell?

M: Extremely bitter and pretty heavy bodied. The bitterness isn't overwhelming but it definitely punches you in the teeth. Pretty creamy, kind of chewy, and very very nice.

D: Damned drinkable for as bitter-hoppy as it is. The alcohol isn't present at ALL other than being slightly apparent in the smell and a mild glow in the belly. It goes down smooth, and tastes even better as it warms up. I like it, a lot.

TehAnkh, Feb 24, 2009
Photo of Psilo707
3.25/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Deep red ruby colors fill the glass once poured, and a decent amount of lacing covers the side of the glass as the liquid dissipates. The smell is one of overly done hops and barley and fills the nose with a strong aroma that can't be denied.

Taste is lesser than I thought quality wise. It seems like Sierrva Nevada attempted to fill this version of their ale with as much hops as they could, neglecting actual taste decency. Not too big of a fan. Although the mouthfeel brings it back slightly with a very creamy and solid feel.

Drinkability is alright, although I seriously would choose almost any Sierra Nevada over this. Overall, I'm somewhat dissapointed, despite the fact it's still a decent brew from the Sierra Nevada name.

Psilo707, Feb 24, 2009
Photo of Vonerichs
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Auburn color with an ever-so-slight creamy head that disperses fairly quick and a moderate lacing.

Smells like a load of citrus hops, followed by tones that are a combination of raisin and brown sugar. There is a slight detection of alcohol.

The taste is phenomenal. Bitter hops up front which gives way to a sweet brown sugar malt flavor. The alcohol is definitely present in this barleywine and lingers.

Mouthfeel is thick and well-carbonated.

As far as barleywines go, this is a little more drinkable than the average. While the alcohol is present, the hop/malt balance keeps it in check. At 10%, this can be a sneaky one and I can easily see myself having a few before I realize it's too late.

This is a 2009 brew and I've stashed one away and will give it another rip in a year.

Vonerichs, Feb 24, 2009
Photo of thekevlarkid
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Scuffer in Burlington I was able to enjoy this famous beer. My pint was delivered to me a deep ruby color with good clarity and some rising carbonation. The one-finger head was beige, the retention good and the lacing consistent. The aroma was notably sweet, a mix of caramel malt, sweet malt, toasted malt, floral hops and some bitter herbal hops. The flavors were delicious. I tasted caramel malt, toffee, brown sugar and some notes of dark fruit balanced by bitter hops and citrus hops. In general I thought the balance was excellent and the sweetness concealed the high alcohol percentage very well. The mouthfeel was smooth, the body full and the carbonation on-point for the style. A great American barleywine and well worth tracking down its big feet.

thekevlarkid, Feb 24, 2009
Photo of TheycallmeTim
2.4/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

2009 vintage poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an Ommegang chalice.

A--Pours up an auburn-like reddish brown with a thin fingernail of creme colored head that dies quickly to skim. Nice spidwereb, though, on the surface that does lace a bit.

S--Umm, like an IPA? Orange, grapefruit, and pine. Maybe some candied cherries wafting up from the malt but the sweeter notes that should be rising and making for a fruit cocktail in my nostrils just aren't there. This may just be too young.

T--Umm, again--like an IPA with too much malt in it? Sorry to be repetitive,, but this is kinda boring. It's just hops, hops, hops, tons of bitter resinous pine and citrus in the beginning, middle, and end of the flavor profile. Some malt does sneak into the middle in the form of cognac-soaked raisins, which is nice, but why should the malt have to go creepin? This is a barleywine, fer Chrissakes. Just an overload of hops IMO, without anything earthy, medicinal, or a variety of dark fruits to open up on the palate. Instead you gotta dig for complexity, and not much turns up, at least fresh.

M&D--Sierra Nevada never disappoints me on the mouthfeel, and this one is no exception, as it's pure creamy heaven. The drinkability in my eyes is terrible, however, as this to me tastes like liquid heartburn.

Hopheads rejoice! Anyone who thinks MORE MORE MORE doesn't equal better better better, well....you might want to lay off this one. Or lay it down for a year or two. Lemme know how it goes, as I won't be buying any more of this.

TheycallmeTim, Feb 23, 2009
Photo of smanders
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Beautiful redhead color with a thick head. Chunky lacing.

Smell - The familiar smell of hops with a note of toffee/caramel/prune sweetness.

Taste - The sweetness of the malt blends well with the crispness of the hops. Oh, then there's the warming of the high alcohol content. That's gonna stay around for awhile!

Mouthfeel - Thick and oily.

Drinkability - A definite sipper. Excellent barleywine example that will also satisfy hopheads. Not too many ales you can say that about.

smanders, Feb 23, 2009
Photo of hoplover82
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Pours a clear deep amber color with a huge creamy off white head that stays forever and leaves outstanding lacing. Very beautiful sight for sore eyes.

S-Strong aroma of roasty toasy and caramel malts. With pine and floral hops in the back.

T-Very strong caramel malts and roasted barley with resinous hops in the back. Very hoppy, but malts shine brighter. With a solid chunky bitterness, but not harsh, imo. Pungent in every way.

M-Huge bodied and very creamy and very smooth for a beer so big. Chunky bitterness and sticky sweet.

D-Too drinkable, I could have three pints if I drank it fast enough. I wouldn't want to though. That would get me drunk, which is not a good thing. A very excellent brew.

hoplover82, Feb 23, 2009
Photo of WilliamD
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer, in my pilsner glass, looks just fine. It's an attractive, deep amber hue with many little bubbles rising up to a nice, eighth-inch mother of pearl-colored head.
Smells much like an IPA- a distinct aroma of hops and pine, with some earthiness.
Taste as well is very much akin to an IPA- a distinct hoppiness and a very sharp bitterness.
Mouthfeel is crisp and agreeable. My mouth likes it. Better than cigarette butts.
I myself find it quite drinkable. Alcohol perception is just right-only hinting slighly to an arm-burn idea that could taint a re-election.
Quite good, but thank God for my perceived pain threshold.

WilliamD, Feb 22, 2009
Photo of Grabbin2nd
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From Notes: 1/25/09
2009 Vintage

Appearance= Dark, yet not opaque, creamy looking head. Really good looking brew.

Smell=Fantastic smell, when it warms a bit and "spun," in your glass. Almost astringent smelling, yet not in a bad way.

Taste= Very tasty! Fabulous, good mix of flavors. Rich, ripe for a big beer like this. Some like it "hot," others prefer this beer with a little bit of age on it. Hops smack you in the grill.

Mouth feel= Good for a B-wine. One of my fav's. Medium thickness, good carbonation.

Drinkablity= Not high considering the style and subsequent ABV. Don't get me wrong this is a very tasty brew. I'm looking at my notes and it appears I was too drunk to finish writing them. Hah. I had 3 of them and savored each sip.


Grabbin2nd, Feb 22, 2009
Photo of Bung
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fairly transparent amber pour, white bubbles that disappeared fairly quickly. A lot of hop, pine, citrus and a little booze in the aroma. Surprisingly large amount of piney citrus hop flavor, malt is secondary. Quite lively mouthfeel. A little too bitey for me and a tad bit hot. Finish very clean. OK, I just prefer a malt inclined barleywine.

Bung, Feb 22, 2009
Photo of BARFLYB
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a philadelphia flyers pint glass. 2009 version. 1st time having this.

A- Bigfoot has a deep dark amber with a mixture of orange and red spots in places. A semi aggressive pour yields one inch of off white foam that sticks to the glass. Slow rising bubbles lead me to believe this is thick.

S- A nice aroma coming from this as i'm getting a nice hop punch up front resembling piney scents, some citrus as well. Malts giving off some caramel. A bit of honey.

T- A big focus on the hops in this b-wine, perhaps the most hopped in this style that i've had to date. They give off a rather bitter appeal. Backed by some malts that drown out the hops although they never fully leave. A bit of caramel/toffee. some alcohol as well.

M- Medium to semi full bodied with a very slick feel as it glides down the tounge. A nice bitterness to start but smooths out. A bit of alcohol here as well.

D- A slow sipper for sure, i took about two hours with 12oz. A bit of hotness and the thick appeal makes for small sips. Only one bottle a night for me. This is a great example of the style and will try in a year or so.

BARFLYB, Feb 22, 2009
Photo of jkbusman
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 Vintage from a 12 oz bottle

A - a dark reddish amber with a two finger head that has some staying power

S - a strong piny hop aroma with notes of citrus

T - a hop assault from the outset, undertones of citrus and a bit of sweetness before a hoppy-bitter finish

M - a surprisingly full body for the amount of hoppy bitterness

D - with an ABV of almost ten percent, you only going to be able to properly taste two or three of these babies; a genuinely unique experience for me as my first barleywine and still one of my favorites

jkbusman, Feb 21, 2009
Photo of mullenite
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle in to 22oz snifter.

Pours a deep murky red with a thin cap for a head which went away quickly and left a thin ring around the side of the glass. Leaves a little sticky lacing but not much.

Nose is mainly dark fruits and brown sugar, a little tiny bit of alcohol but hardly noticeable. The brown sugar is what sticks out most.

Up front is deep dark sugars and a medium brown sugar sweetness followed by some hop bite as it goes down. My opinion is that the hops are slightly too strong but that was as expected for this one.

Medium body with sharp carbonation, makes it go down easy but I prefer less in the style.

Some age will do this one good.

mullenite, Feb 21, 2009
Photo of grayburn
4.78/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

16oz Pint at Mellow Mushroom, for an overpriced...wait for it....
3 bucks.

This is not my first time trying this beer, I've had this year's vintage in bottles as well, and enjoyed equally.

Dark copper, excellent clarity, I wish the bartendress would have given me a little more head..literally. thin foam with heavy, heavy lacing.

Happily hoppy, overly hoppy, I love American Barleywines, take a good thing, and overhop the heck out of it to make it great.

I love the way this beer develops as it warms, it is as complex as any beer or wine or scotch or any other libation I have had the pleasure to sample. Taste is excellent, my favorite example of my favorite style.

This beer is big, chewy, and delicious, upon seeing the beautiful tap of loveliness, I left my slice of pizza in the dust, BIGFOOT is a meal in and of itself.

For the style, this beer is extremely, dangerously, super-extraordinarily, easy to drink. Be careful, don't mess with this beer. Don't say I didn't warn you, it will kick your ass.

Thank you SN for another hoppy example of why I love American Beer.

grayburn, Feb 21, 2009
Photo of Jwale73
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage served in my new New Belgium goblet courtesy of Mauerhan. Poured a translucent, but slightly hazy, mahogany with a dense, half inch, off-white head; bands of lacing were revealed as it slowly receded. The glass must have a nucleation point etched in it, because a spiral of tiny bubbles gently swirled up to the underside of the cap. Potent nose - could smell it from eight inches away. Aromas suggest hops, dark fruit and maybe some toffee or caramel in the mix. Hops hits you right in the face on the first sip before revealing the characteristics implied by the nose and then finishing with a lingering, medicinal bitterness between quaffs. Mouthfeel was slightly more than medium-bodied, with a mild viscosity and a subtle, but consistent background effervescence that adds a liveliness to the brew. Also detected a little alcohol heat, but it wasn't clearly revealed in the flavor profile. Wasn't sure how I was going to feel about this brew. I really enjoyed it very much, but it is definitely a sipper and I really couldn't drink more than one in a sitting.

Jwale73, Feb 21, 2009
Photo of dougfir
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours an amber color with little head. Looks very appealing.

Smell - Hoppy is about it, with a slight ale yeast smell. The smell doesn't give much of a hint about how good this beer is.

Taste - Sweet maltiness at first, followed by a strong hoppiness that lingers for quite a while. This is a hoppy barleywine!

Mouthfeel - Feels slightly too carbonated for my tastes, but excellent nonetheless. Leaves a nice warm alcoholic finish.

Drinkability - Good for a 9.6abv barleywine! I don't think I could take more than a couple of bottles due to the very hoppy aftertaste.

Overall this is a great barleywine, and very reasonable for a 6-pack. I tasted the 2009 edition. It's definitely more hoppiness than I'm used to in my barleywines though, as well as more carbonation. Excellent overall though!

dougfir, Feb 20, 2009
Photo of brewintheLou
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber with a thin head that leaves thin lacing down the glass.

Smell has some caramel and a sweet candied aroma.

Taste is a little of the caramel and an earthy flavor. Good body to this one and one to seek if searching for a barlywine.

brewintheLou, Feb 20, 2009
Photo of user0317
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

My first beer review for beer advocate:

Look: Dark red-amber with 3 fingers of tan head. Leaves behind a trace of lacing on the glass

Smell: Great combination of strong malt and citrus-hops.

Taste: Bitter hops build on the back of the tongue. A fairly strong alcohol taste up front, but not dominating. Less sweet than other barleywines that I've had.

Feel: I love the mouthfeel on this one. Slick on the way down and perfect carbonation

Drinkability: Fairly drinkable for a 9.6% abv beer. Barleywines are not my favorite category of beers, but I enjoyed this one.

user0317, Feb 20, 2009
Photo of atis
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage, bought it in Dublin

Pours light hazy dark amber, ruby, almost no head, just a thin tan layer on the top. Aroma is very malty with citrusy hops, hints of fruit. Taste is very intense malt with strong hops, medium sweet upfront, followed by agressive bitterness and light bready malt, bittery aftertaste.

Medium-full body, chevy, distinct and long-lasting warming sensation. Overall - quite drinkable, but very, very intense, feels quite dangerous.

atis, Feb 20, 2009
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,393 ratings.