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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.

6,119 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,119
Reviews: 2,805
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 247
Gots: 1,052 | FT: 35
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: 6,119 | Reviews: 2,805 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tai4ji2x


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


clear, dark reddish amber. decent head that fades to thin layer, nice lacing.

you know what...?

there's nothing bad to say about this barleywine. the other A-grade reviews right before mine have pretty much said it all. my thoughts and observations are almost identical.

will age this one a while and see what happens - assuming i have the patience and self-restraint ;-)

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2008 10:57:38 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of Tolann


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

Ruby red-brown, lots of off white head. Leaves lots of tight, unorganized lace. Not cloudy or hazy.

Smelled sweet, floral hops as soon as I opened the bottle. Lots of floral and citrus hops.

Bitter and hoppy sweetness. Taste kind of coats the mouth.

Medium body. Doesn't leave you with boozy breath like I anticipated. Good hops aftertaste. Little heavier than I thought it would be. Alcohol feel nicer than I thought. Hits you later.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2008 05:09:00 | More by Tolann
Photo of HoustonTX


3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bigfoot - 2008 Edition.

Dark amber body, with a slight cloudiness.

Nose is very clean, and warming. Solid malty goodness, with a nice backing of piney, citric hops.

Taste is delicious and unrelenting. Thick mouthfeel with a slick backing. Tasty massive hops with tangy citric pine backing. Malts are there, but don't present themselves much. Overall, a raw and herbacously hoppy concoction with a slick and drinkable mouthfeel.

A solid beer, but seems to be lacking something. Not as good as last years. Still pretty tasty though.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2008 04:42:15 | More by HoustonTX
Photo of BMan1113VR


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

2007 Bottle. Special thanks to ilovedarkbeer (on ratebeer). Nice malty, lemonhops aroma with apple and vanilla. Pour yields a small offwhite head that goes away. Really bitter taste, but still nice and complex. A little bit overcarbonated, but a nice warming finish.

I have now tasted the 2008 Vintage and can report that it is much the same in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2008 21:25:49 | More by BMan1113VR
Photo of Spidey13


3.55/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

2008 Expedition poured into a snifter. This beer poured a slightly hazy dark red/brown color with a small off-white head. Nice lacing on the glass. The mouthfell is nice and medium-bodied. While drinking, this appeared to be two different beers. The initial smell was a lot of bright hops, with some caramel sweetness and a bit of alcohol. The taste had similar elements with quite a bit of bitterness lingering after the initial sweet malt flavor.

I drank this beer over the course of about 45 minutes and, after it warmed up, the alcohol took over the nose and the taste. All I could get was alcohol, which really turned me off.

I had the 2007 expeditiion last year and really enjoyed it. I don't remember the alcohol being as noticable in that one. I think I'm going to put away four of the 2008 bottles and try them over the next few years to see it the alcohol calms down and the flavor improves.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2008 12:12:08 | More by Spidey13
Photo of czfreeman


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

Poured out a deep ruby-brown color retains a 1 finger head in my Unibroue tulip glass. Big hoppy malty floral,yeast, pine, apricot,bitter orange, alcohol on the nose. Quite qood smelling. Hoppy, biting, sweet, alcohol on the initial taste, long aftertaste of piney Cascade hops. Drinkablitity while the beer is sipping right now. Grab a sixer and wait for it to mellow, good spicy barleywine.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2008 06:24:42 | More by czfreeman
Photo of OWSLEY069


4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clea orange-ish/ copper color with a light tan head. In the aroma, dark fruit, plummish, alcohol and a small hop presence. In the taste, quite plummish and hoppy with alcohol note in the end. A malty and small bitter mouthfeel and a semi dry plum and small hop in the aftertaste. Quite easy to drink, and a great hop presence for a barleywine.

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2008 03:24:05 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of jph424


4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A very deep dark red with a 1 finger off white head that disipates somewhat quickly to a thin lacing that remains on the surface.

S - Oooh, smells nice. Hints of citrus.

T - This is unbeleivably delicious. I like it a whole whole lot. A big hoppy flavor with a huge malt backbone to support it. To me it tastes like a blend of a barleywine and a double IPA.

M - Not a ton of carbonation but very nice and thick as a good barleywine should be.

D - I could have a number of these despite the ABV.

I can not wait to try this batch at the same time next year.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2008 01:28:50 | More by jph424
Photo of champ103


1.65/5  rDev -60.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A: A slightly cloudy amber red color. A nice head forms, but fades to a ring. This has a good coat of lace.
S: A hoppy grapefruit, orange, and citrus fruity aromas overpower any malt present in this beer.
T: An extreme sweet bitterness overpowers everything again. Lots of grapefruit. The taste lingers for a long time, but not much else comes through. No maltiness to speak of. I have not had very many barleywine's, but from what I have tasted this does not follow the style.
D: Very hard to drink. The alcohol does not come through all that much, but I don't like overly bitter beers like this. This is just way over hopped, and I have to force myself to choke down the rest of the bottle. I do not enjoy this at all, and don't know how I can bring myself to finish the rest of the sixer.

SN does not know how to make a good malty beer in my opinion. The stout and potter are overly hopped for the style, and this is just bitter hops as well. I was looking forward to trying this, but as a malt head I was disappointed. The many hops heads out there might like this though.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2008 19:59:45 | More by champ103
Photo of drpimento


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

Whoa! this is one of those very rare breeds that is exactly what the commercial description says and does, indeed, rate a perfect score. The interplay and balance between the hops and malt is wonderful! It's hard to tell, but I think I taste the yeast in there too. Plenty of lace although the head mostly fades after a time. Looonnnngg finish.

Serving type: on-tap

02-05-2008 23:34:19 | More by drpimento
Photo of cswhitehorse


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

The Bigfoot Barleywine poured a semi hazy red with brown hints. It had some money lacing with a small foam head.

The aroma was fruity and of sugar. I could smell the caramel.

It was malty in the taste with a noticeable hop flower to it. I didn't get much of an alcohol taste even though it was 9.6 abv. In the mouth it was light to the touch and danced on my tongue. Overall this is one of my favorite Barleywines to date.

I later had the 2008 version and it was just as solid.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2008 23:06:49 | More by cswhitehorse
Photo of Proteus93


4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

25 Expedition bottle... and a first to this annual. Will be looking forward to future releases

A: Deep, crisp copper. A rather mediocre, short, slightly off-white head that was pretty short-lived.

S: Some sweet-edged malts, followed up with quite assertive hops (it manages to stay pretty clear of becoming 'aggressive' through some sort of laid back, in control of itself attitude). A little floral... *almost* fruity, but not quite.

T: Fat, pungent hops. Bitter, but not in the same arrogant, piney or citrus flavour route that some others take. Maybe scratch "not arrogant." This has attitude and isn't afraid to show it.

M: Quite thick and full... a touch heavy to balance out the big flavour.

D: Take it slow & easy... sip, share one, savour. I'd like to put one of these away and come back to it in a few months to see what's up.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2008 04:39:14 | More by Proteus93
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly

New York

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

12oz bottle, '08/25th Expidition, served in a pint glass.

A - not quite completely clear amber color with a foamy head of tan bubbles that fell to a layer, leaving globs of sticky lace on the glass.

S - sweet malt with a touch of hop bitterness.

T - balanced flavor of sweet malts, bitter hops and warming alcohol.

M - medium/full bodied with light carbonation feel.

D - goes down very easy, beware of the abv.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2008 01:37:03 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of dac


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

2008 version on tap at Naja's Place.

Dark amber in color, tan tinged head. Some lace.

Piney hops and dark roast carmel malt aromas.

Bittersweet caramel malt and resiny hop bitterness. Hop flavors are of pine, hash pipe resin, cat piss (in a good way). Somewhat astringent bitterness backed up by a big crystal malt carmel sweetness.

Hop bitterness is tingly on the tongue and gums but the malt backing smoothes it out. Alcoholic strength becomes evident after a pint but is not hot or particulary noticeable in flavor or mouthfeel.

Very drinkable for a young barleywine - well balanced, but lacking the complexity of aged barelywines. A very good conservative, non-extreme American Style barleywine.

Serving type: on-tap

02-03-2008 19:39:43 | More by dac
Photo of Morey


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

This is a 2008....Poured a deep redddish-brown and produced a healthy head of 3/4 of an inch. Faint smells of alcohol, hops, and bready malts in the nose. The malts were the first to hit the palate, and then the hops come in and finish this one off with a sharp bitter bite that lingers just long enough.

Morey's Bottom Line: Somewhat similar in taste to Old Horizontal, but with more of a hoppy taste. Very satisfying barleywine to say the least. I have a few in the basement for next year.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2008 16:16:47 | More by Morey
Photo of Overlord


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

Another uber-hopped Barlywine, this one even outshines the 2008 Stone Old Guardian.

Pours a clear dark amber/orange. Nice carbonation. Good chewy mouthfeel.

Smell is overwhelmingly piney and hoppy. Taste is similar. Little to no sweet fruit content, just a bit of balancing malt. I'm not saying this is a bad beer, in fact it's a pretty good one. While not what I typically expect from a barleywine, I do enjoy it quite a bit.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2008 08:44:57 | More by Overlord
Photo of Patrick999


4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours into my snifter that definitive American Barleywine amber-brown. Not much sediment if any - is this not bottle-conditioned? Thick and long-lasting head for a b-wine. Some lacing and a thin coating hangs around.

S - It smells plenty hoppy. along with some caramel-like whisky. A little acetone, smells a tad hot. Nose not lacking, though, that's for sure.

T - Alcohol doesn't seem to be quite as present as in the smell. Big bitter hit of Cascades, nicely balanced by thick, sweet malt. Nothing too outlandish, just a great drinker.

F - Has that thick hop-oily feel I recognize from many Imperial IPAs. Full bodied, but not quite as thick and syrupy as many other barleywines.

D - For a barleywine, this is great drinking, not just sipping. I could conceivably have a couple of these. I couldn't do that with an Old Ruffian, Olde School, or too many other barleywines, no way.

25 years....it's yet another style definitive for Sierra Nevada. I'm not sure it's my absolute favorite barleywine, but it's up there. Factor in the ridiculously low price for a 6-pack, and you see why Bigfoot is such an anticipated beer. Here we reap the benefits of Sierra Nevada being a "bigger" craft brewer and thus enjoying greater economies of scale; few others give us this kind of value.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2008 23:15:25 | More by Patrick999
Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy


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

Appearance- Pours a medium amber-brown color. Very little head although there is a think coating of off white froth.

Smell- Very warm smell from the alcohol, hints of caramel and other syrupy things.

Taste- Medium sweetness, alcohol is noticeable on the palate but not over powering. Very smooth taste, very syrpuy, reminds me of slightly diluted maple syrup.

Mouthfeel- Excellent palate coverage, really covers the entire tongue.

Drinkability- A great beer to sit back with, sip, and enjoy. Lots to appreciate here.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2008 21:24:26 | More by Bowdoinbeerboy
Photo of katan


3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Second SN review of the night.

Bigfoot 12 oz bottle, 2008

A - Pours a dark golden amber color. Looks thick, although there is no haze. The head is about a cm high, and is well retained.

S - Very weak smell - not much there. I smell maybe a little bit of specialized malts in there. Surprisingly missing.

T - Ahhh the big beer - oh how I miss thee. This thing rolls with malts on the tongue. Nice and sweet - its dominant Finishes with a similar earthy hops flavor similar to the celebration I just had. I must admit however that I thought there would be more maltyness to this style of ale.

M - Very very thick. The carbonation also sticks with you. This thing sits on you hard.

D - As far as drinkability - I can't drink these fast. For some reason, that can be a good thing for me. So I'd say all and all its moderate.

Interesting beer - I'll have to let the rest of the 6er age for a while.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2008 04:51:49 | More by katan
Photo of Tdizzle


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

2008 vinatge poured into my Sierra Nevada tulip glass.

A- This beer pours a deep reddish-brown color with a thick off-white head that sticks around and leaves some nice lacing on the glass. Very pretty to look at.

S- Very boozy. The strong, resiny hop aroma is piney and citrusy with some malt sweetness behind it. There are aromas of dark fruits, toffee, and burnt caramel.

T- A big hop punch gives way to some sweet and fruity malts, with toffee and caramel flavors on the finish. The bitterness kicks in on the back of the tongue and lingers there long after each sip. Really complex and delicious.

M- Velvety smooth. The perfect amount of carbonation for the style. This coats the inside of the mouth. Awesome.

D- The high ABV prevents this from being sessionable, but other than that, this goes down very easy.

This doesn't have the same tobacco juice bitterness as the '07 edition, but this year's offering is incredibly mellow and smooth. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2008 06:42:58 | More by Tdizzle
Photo of erosier


4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark red amber color from the bottle with a short but thick tan colored head that laces the sides fo the glass. Nice earthy hop aroma with hints of fruit and maltyness underneath. The taste is bold. Malted barely with layers of fruit underneath an earthy hop flavor that balances the beer out very well. The mouthfeel is good. Very crisp and complex with a dry finish. The drinkability is OK because of its intense flavor. Definately worth it.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2008 04:09:28 | More by erosier
Photo of ChrisBuster


1.75/5  rDev -57.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

07' Bigfoot

So I think I must have stumbled on a bottle that had somehow soured in one way or another. The color was excellent however a nice amber red, bright yet opaque. But a very small head that dissipated in an instant. Smell was hard to explain yet very pleasing...everything else was just bad. Strong alcohol taste that gave me no room to even really taste anything else...in all honesty tasted like cheep booze to me. Also everyone is raging about the hops yet i didn't smell or taste even a hint.Something had to be wrong with this brew...

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2008 15:03:41 | More by ChrisBuster
Photo of kleffman


4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first bottle of the 2008 batch, poured into a Stone Old Guardian tulip.

Pours a rather dark amber with quite a bit of red when held to the light and extremely clear. About a two finger head with wonderful retention and lacing.

Smell is very hoppy, west coast style. Smells of sweet malt too, like a thick already converted mash.

Taste is a fantastic blend of west coast style hops, sweet malt and biscuit flavors with a nice alcohol bite. No fusels, clean and well balanced. Caramel and toffee with maybe a bit of a floral character but it's definitely massively hoppy.

The mouthfeel on this is very full bodied. Almost syrupy but it's creamy smooth at the same time and is a real delight.

I went a little lower on the drinkability because I would probably only have one of these, as it's a big wonderful sipping beer. I'm content with the same 12 oz pour from half an hour ago, because the flavors linger very well on your tastebuds.

Always look forward to this seasonal offering. I missed out on it last year as I was out of commission so this year is even more exciting.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2008 05:16:09 | More by kleffman
Photo of elmore


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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter. Dark amber with a half-finger, off-white head that receded into a ring and left moderate lace.

Fragrant, piney hops with some malt sweetness and alcohol.

Bitter hops predominate. I haven't had a Barleywine in a while and this is bitter, very bitter. Strong, piney, grapefruit hops prescence. A good malt backbone holds it together. Carmelized malt, toffee, brown sugar sweetness. Alcohol is not that detectable - I think it is masked by the bitterness, but there is a definite warming sensation in the mouth and throat.

Viscous, chewy texture from the malt with an oily slickness imparted by the hops. I enjoy the bitterness of this beer, but it makes it a slow sipper for me.

If you like big hoppy beers this is for you. A very enjoyable Barleywine - one of the better ones I've had.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2008 03:12:16 | More by elmore
Photo of baos


3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 on cap
12 oz into my newly bought from the flea market Falstaff goblet.

A: Looks nice, reddish brown with 1 finger ecru head. Nice lacing. Head dissipates to a nice collar with a thin film in the middle.

S: Hops. Smells like their pale ale but a bit more. There are some caramelly malts behind the hops but there are so many hops notes the caramel music gets drowned out.

T: Awesome hops, but almost a bit too bitter. Its been a time since I've had a hoppy beer. This beer is fucking hoppy as all get out. Some malts in there but the hop bite and bitterness kinda takes the whole shebang. Ends biter bitter. Not really like any barley wine style that I've had.

M: Nice creamy and bubbly. Bitter back of the tongue feel.

D: Maybe a bit too bitter for me today, but i usually really love hoppy brews. Everything is behind the hops in this one. I'd like it more balanced. Maybe after several years it'll balance out.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2008 22:19:06 | More by baos
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,119 ratings.