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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.

6,131 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,131
Reviews: 2,805
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 245
Gots: 1,057 | FT: 36
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  9.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 02-06-1998)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,131 | Reviews: 2,805 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ruckzuck


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

Bought the other weekend. 2008 edition. I like the new art more I think.

A - orangish brown, hints of red, nice white head. The color is really something lovely

S - sweet citrus, hops, alcohol

T - sweet citrus with nice hop notes that give it some bitterness and balance it out rather well, alcohol comes through. I really like the aftertaste it leaves

M - full body, nice carbonation

D - wow, a great beer! Certainly not a session or anything obviously, but I would totally order this at the pub and will probably by some more this weekend. Very enjoyable to just sit back and drink slowly. Definitely recommended. I can see why they've been doing this for 25 years =)

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2008 06:22:49 | More by ruckzuck
Photo of NCSUdo


3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, 2008 version

A: Pours a clear mahogany brown, with ruby hues, under a big slightly off white head. Excellent retention and lace.

S: Big citrus hops hit the nose first, that subsides into a more piney character. Really just getting a lot of hops. A little bit of pepper as it warms.

T: Again, big on hops with a big bitter finish. Some alcohol mixed in. A hint of sweet malt, mostly a lemony and piney hop though. There is a certain sweet malt residual flavor that tends to come through as well, hopefully something that will be enhanced with time.

M/D: Nice full bodied, not a lot of carbonation present, sticks to the tongue a little, alcohol is present but not a lot of warming. A sipper for sure due to just huge hoppiness and alcohol. Seems to be drinking a lot like a big IPA right now, maybe with some time the malt character will come out more. With some temperature, this one actually mellows in the glass in a little, but still a lot of hop.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2008 23:24:54 | More by NCSUdo
Photo of gpcollen1


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

My review consists of side by side 07 and the freshly arrived 08. I thought this may be a good way to arrive at a reasonable score/review. Both poured into my Sam Adams glasses - gorgeous dark orange amber in color with an off-white creamy head.

Aroma on the 07 is very syrup sweet with just the background hops, as opposed to the 08, which give the nose a sweet burst of hops with now deep sweetness to discover.

Head rises a bit on both but does not get in the way of the pour. The 07 hits the palate very caramelly sweet that gradually gives way to a strong drying bitterness that clings to the roof of my mouth. The 08 hits with a whispy sweetness that is carried away with a wave of bitter hops, and rides back in seemingly coating that hoppy bitterness with a shroud of sweetness.

Both are well carbonated, though the 07 seems to just hold a bit less as the glass sits. These are both not thin beers - probably just right with a bit of body to hold these up - slightly creamy in some ways as those mouth drying hops often make it seem. Cottonmouth for sure...

This was fun. My first 07 of this new season seemed underwhelming but my research carried on and worked out for the better as it seems my taste buds must have been off last month when I tried it. If you want something brash and hoppy, the 08 is definitely a drinker now. If you want something sweeter where the hops are discernible from the malty sweetness, age is the key. This buying a case or more per year is going to work out nicely.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2008 20:20:24 | More by gpcollen1
Photo of slyke


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

Bigfoot (2008 edition) pours a lovely reddish-brown with an off-white tan head that fades to a cap and laces well.

Smell of this beer is floral and nutty with a strong note of alcohol. The taste has sweet maltiness, a note of nuttiness, hoppy bitterness and the warm glow of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium-heavy, with a hoppy aftertaste. Drinkability of this beer is good if you are in to the barleywine style - a style I admit I am new to. This beer is a great sipper.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2008 19:26:43 | More by slyke
Photo of satowns


4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008: 25th Expedition. New label!

Poured into a pint glass at cellar temperature. Nice orange-ish brown color with a creamy off white head. Head recedes but never really disappears. Very clear accompanied with a low level of carbonation.

Tangerines and citrus in the aroma, but you have to find them. Not quite the aromatic beer of yore (did I just write that?). A nice (low) level spicy aromatics in the finish.

On first sip you can tell there is some serious strength to this beer, although the taste is not of alcohol, it is very warming. High bitterness levels balance the big malt. Pine notes complement the Jewish Rye bready character.

Rich, creamy and full bodied.

Music enjoyed whilst sampling: Natural Mystic by Bob Marley

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2008 05:56:17 | More by satowns
Photo of bluegrassbrew


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

2007 Vintage
Pours a lovely deep amber color. Has a nice initial head that recedes to just a light lace. Smells bold! Piney hops, slightly sweet. Taste is very good. Citrusy grapefruit, piney hops and just a bit of heat. Fills the mouth nicely. High abv keeps the drinkability down.

2008 Vintage
Pours a very dark reddish brown. Hints of purple on the edge. Decent head, but leaves great lacing and a nice ring around the glass. Smell is slightly subdued hops. Juicy citrus bursting around some sweet malt. Taste is initially sweet yet vibrant citrus. Grapefruit and grassy hops. A bit of biting hop present to assert itself towards the end. Very good malt presence to balance out this version. Overall, this is wonderful! Even better than last year. Could be a combination of my expanding palate and a slighlty tweaked recipe.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2008 04:58:12 | More by bluegrassbrew
Photo of dnichols


3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My beer buddy, imacoug, shared this legendary brew with me before we went to see WSU play UCLA in Pullman, WA (UCLA won...so it was not a superior night).

A: I poured a orange tinted brown body that looked thick and sticky. It had a slight off-white head that disappeared fast and left little lacing.

S: It had massive floral hops and ripe fruity scents. It was rich and sweet with a strong alcohol aroma.

T: It was a strong sweet brew that was sticky and busting with alcohol. The malts were barley wine sweet and the hops were massive. It finished clean and warm.

M: It was full bodied and way over the top sweet and over hopped. Luckily the high ABV cleaned the palate making the next sip a welcome event.

D: This is a one and done brew that I was happy to experience but this is not my cup of tea (or beer for that matter).

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2008 05:10:40 | More by dnichols
Photo of Lothore


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

A- Pours a deep ruby hue and is very transparent with a nice 1.5 finger head which is white in color.

S- Smell is dominated by piney hops with a deep undercurrent of sweet caramely malt.

T- Taste is very hop forward. To those saying that this years bigfoot isn't hoppy, I would beg to differ. First comes the piney hops followed by a light fruity character which leads to a harsh hop bitterness that clings to the tongue and completely destroys my tastebuds (in a good way).

M- Much lighter than expected with a good amount of carbonation.

D- The fact of the matter is that this is a brew that is meant to age. Right now I can tell that with time these flavors will mold together a bit better as the hops drop into the background and the carbonation settles down a little but fresh i'd say it seems too hot. Enjoyable brew none the less.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2008 04:10:24 | More by Lothore
Photo of TheodorHerzl


4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark reddish/garnet hue with one finger of white head. The head dissipated very quickly on this, but at 9.6% that can be expected. The nose is classic for Sierra Nevada. Bold hop characteristics showing signs of all of the C-hops with citrus and pine making themselves known on the nose. The taste brings a blast of powerful malt with the bitter hop flavoring right behind it. I taste big flavors of resinous pine, grapefruit, and sweet caramel. The sweet malt and bitter hops are very well done on this brew. At 9.6% the alcohol is present as well, but is in no way cloying at all in the flavor profile. The mouthfeel is big, chewy, and sticky with the alcohol warmth only slightly making itself known. The drinkability is very good on this brew, and I would gladly purchase again.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2008 03:57:16 | More by TheodorHerzl
Photo of EliteDigger


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

This review is of the '08 vintage. The new label for the 25th anniversary is nice.... I like it.
A-Pours a pretty, dark reddish-orange with a thick pale cream head. Settles to a thin skin of foam on top with a small ring of lacing around the edges.
S-Smelled it as soon as I started to pour. Strong citrus hop notes from afar, but a closer whiff reveals some underlying sweet sugary malts to go with it. Yum.
T-I have to say this is an interesting vintage this year. Sweet brown sugars, caramel, butter and dough with nuts to start which slowly disappear as the citrus-pine hop blast takes over and gets stronger and more bitter until it ends with a dry bitter grapefruit rind finish. I love hops so this is delicious. I'll be interested to see how this one ages in the cellar though. Will probably help to balance it out a bit and be phenomenal in a couple of years...
M-Perfect thickness and carbonation make this one creamy tasty beer.
D-Even with the ABV, I would be happy having a couple of these.... Or be happy shortly after having a couple of these... =)

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2008 03:12:08 | More by EliteDigger
Photo of ahking


3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 Edition
Poured into a large tulip glass (Duvel glass) and I could smell the fresh fruity hop aroma from a foot away. Aroma is fruity, grassy, and of hard candy. A unique brown color that just looks great in the glass. Flavor is nice. Rich, sweet maltiness, maybe a marris otter barley? Rather clean taste with very nice hop bite. Mouthfeel is smooth but biting with hop bitterness. Tastes great but high in alcohol so I don't think I could drink to many of them in one night.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2008 01:55:25 | More by ahking
Photo of hopsleeroy

North Carolina

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

Copper pour with very nice lacing that sticks around the whole time I'm drinking this beer. Smell-It's Sierra Nevada. You know what it smells like-hops. But can smell the alcohol on this one. There is a sweeter scent that's reflected in the taste. Taste is a sweet malt backbone with some caramel and fruit esthers coming forward, but the hops are what jump up and hit you. Slick and vinous there is the typical grapefruit pine hoppiness that plays in the mix. Alot of flavors-I notice a different dominant flavor on each sip. Good mouth feel and deceptively strong at almost 10% ABV.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2008 16:08:59 | More by hopsleeroy
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
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,131 ratings.