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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.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

6,371 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,371
Reviews: 2,817
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 270
Gots: 1,140 | 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: 6,371 | Reviews: 2,817 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of joe1510
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.oz Bottle
2006 vintage

I let this one warm for a few minutes after taking it from the fridge.

Bigfoot poured a dark dark red. To the point it was almost brown. 1/2" head that faded quickly to a nice creamy bubbly top coat. When held to the light Bigfoot is a bright ruby. Looks very good.

The smell is really appetizing. It begins with a good dose of sweet malts. I can even smell dark cherry. This is followed by a strong hop presence. My mouth waters when breathing this in.

Starts of with a punch of hops followed quickly by sweet malt. A good strong bitterness throughout. Also a minimal alcohol bite thoughout. Piney oily hops hit at the end. Leaves with a lasting bitterness and a warm throat from the alcohol. I'm getting citrus as well, unsweetened grapefruit. It's like it hops around with every sip.

Mouthfeel is good. Medium bodied with a nice carbonation tingle. Coats your throat but nothing to thick. Can feel the alcohol as it goes down. Actually pretty nice.

The drinkability is good for such a powerful ale. At 9.6% this stuff goes down pretty easy. It's more of a sipper but I could sip on a few of these in a night and be perfectly happy.

Slainte!

joe1510, Oct 05, 2006
Photo of sockeye101
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2002 vintage

I was not sure what to expect from a BW of this age, but what I found was a smack upside the head from this beer, very nice!

Appearance was a deep cloudy orange/amber color and a nice offwhite head that left a nice lace. Aroma was heavy in the roasted caramel department, with fruitiness, and hops. Taste was not what I was expecting...I expected something ultra smooth with moderate bitterness. But what I got was a smack of hops, a tongue sizzling bitterness with alcohol and then a smooth roasted caramel sweetness. Mouthfeel was nice and chewy. Overall an excellent barley wine, but not on the level of Stone OG in my opinion.

sockeye101, Oct 04, 2006
Photo of HopsHops
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This one is very consistent. I have had this about 3 years in a row now and i have liked it the same every time it is beautifully fruity and strong under the nose as well as the tongue...HopsHops and more Hops....bitter as all hell just the way i like it...I hunt this one down when it starts getting cold outside i love it around the holidays...nice and warm..an all out favorite...2006 is great...

HopsHops, Oct 01, 2006
Photo of bgraney
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Deep amber with a short tan/white head.
Roasted malty aroma with a distinct alcohol presence.
Smooth flavor for the high alcohol content. Less malty than I expected.
Feels a little thin at first and then launches on a very nice flavor expansion in the mouth.
I enjoyed having one but had no desire for a second.

bgraney, Sep 29, 2006
Photo of henrysunset
3.43/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

clear and dark , huge foamy head.

scent is really strongy malty as expected, sweet and caramely.

as is the style, flavor is overwhelmingly sweet and malty. pleasent aftetaste lands it a decent score.

moouthfeel is smooth and nice, drikability is reasonable although soupy sweetness is only so drinkable.

henrysunset, Sep 29, 2006
Photo of AmorousAngel
3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 reviewed.

Poured a cloudy medium amber/brown with a 1 inch, dense, off-white head.

Slight citrus and hops aroma. A bit of malt in the background.

Hops dominate, then the alcohol asserts itself. Sharp and lingering hoppy finish.

Medium body, low carbonation. Slightly acidic feel.

A bit too sharp to drink more than one at this point. Will keep the rest of the six-pack for a while to see how it changes with time. Just couldn't resist trying one right away.

AmorousAngel, Sep 29, 2006
Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2014 Edition

Pours a clean/clear ruby red color, very nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy off-white head, which leaves a nice big island and sticky lacing behind. A nice hoppy/malty scent with some fruityness. The taste is slightly sweet, hoppy, malty, with some cherry notes. Medium body, nice bitter/dry finish. Very Drinkable, but to me, again, this is a totally different brew since over the last 7 years. A very tasty brew, quite drier/bitter than in the past.

2013 Edition

Pours a clean/clear ruby red color, very nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, which leaves a nice big island and sticky lacing behind. A nice hoppy/malty scent with some fruityness. The taste is slightly sweet, slightly hoppy, malty, with some cherry notes. Medium body, nice little bitter/dry finish. Very Drinkable, but to me this is a totally different brew since over the last 7 years. I like this one alot better than the last 2 versions.

2012 Edition

Pours a clean/clear amber/grape color, very nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, which leaves some small islands and sticky lacing behind. A nice hoppy/malty scent with some citrus thrown in. The taste is sweet, slightly hoppy, malty, with some apple notes. Medium body, nice little bitter/dry finish. Very Drinkable, but to me this is a totally different brew since over the last 7 years and not as good.

2011 Edition

Pours a clean/clear amber/grape color, very nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, which leaves some small islands and sticky lacing behind. A nice hoppy/malty scent with some citrus thrown in. The taste is sweet, slightly hoppy, malty, with some apple notes. Medium body, nice little bitter/dry finish. Very Drinkable, but to me this is a totally different brew since over the last 6 years and not as good.

2010 Edition

Pours a hazy amber color, very nice carbonation, nice little one-finger creamy tan head, which leaves some thick creamy sticky lacing behind. A nice hoppy/malty scent with some citrus thrown in. The taste is awesome, hoppy, but mild. Sweet malts and a nice tangy taste, nice little bitter bite in the finish. Also, a nice warming effect in the throat. Medium body, a nice complex brew. Very drinkable, again a joy to drink.

2009 Edition

Pours a clear amber color, nice carbonation, nice little one-finger creamy tan head, which leaves some nice little islands and sticky lacing. A nice hoppy/malty scent with some citrus thrown in. The taste is awesome, hoppy, but mild. Sweet malts and a nice tangy taste, nice little bitter bite in the finish. Also, a nice warming effect in the throat. Medium body, a nice complex brew. This one is more like last years, more hoppy/bitter.

2008 Edition

Pours a clear amber color, nice carbonation, nice little one-finger creamy tan head, which leaves some nice little islands and sticky lacing. A nice hoppy/malty scent with some citrus thrown in. The taste is awesome, hoppy, but mild. Sweet malts and a nice tangy taste, nice little bitter bite in the finish. Also, a nice warming effect in the throat. Medium body, a nice complex brew. This one is a little different than the other's, more hoppy/bitter, but still very tasty. Like other's have said, more of a DIPA. Very drinkable, really enjoyed this one.

2007 Edition

I've had this sitting around since the beginning of the year. Pours a clear amber color, nice carbonation, tiny head though, and some nice lacing afterwards. A nice hoppy/malty scent with some citrus thrown in. The taste is awesome, hoppy, but mild. Sweet malts and a nice tangy taste, nice little bite finish. Also, a nice warming effect in the throat. Medium body, a nice complex brew. Very Drinkable.

2006 Edition

I've had this (4 bottles) sitting around since the beginning of the year. Pours a clear amber color, nice carbonation, tiny head though, and some nice lacing afterwards. A nice hoppy/malty scent with some citrus thrown in. The taste is awesome, hoppy, but mild. Sweet malts and a nice tangy taste, nice little bite finish. Also, a nice warming effect in the throat. Medium body, a nice complex brew. Very drinkable, way to go SN.

2005 Edition

I've had this sitting around since the beginning of the year. Pours a clear amber color, nice carbonation, tiny head though, and some nice lacing afterwards. A nice hoppy/malty scent with some citrus thrown in. The taste is awesome, hoppy, but mild. Sweet malts and a nice tangy taste, nice little bite finish. Also, a nice warming effect in the throat. Medium body, a nice complex brew. Very drinkable, an awesome brew.

Wasatch, Sep 28, 2006
Photo of kirok1999
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Probably my favorite Sierra Nevada yet!

A- Nice dark orange/copper with some head and moderate lacing.

S- Slightly sweet, fruity malts and hops. Grassy and piney hops.

T- Slightly more carbonation than I'm used to, but then, this is a barleywine "style" ale, not a true barleywine. Some nice fruity notes, plum, raisin, cherry, but the hops dominate in the finish with mostly citrus and pine.

M- Slick and thick.

D- Kind of a cross between a real barleywine and an IPA. Leans toward the hops a bit much for me but still very well done.

kirok1999, Sep 26, 2006
Photo of dblinkhorn
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my Stone Old Guardian specialty glass. 2006 vintage. Be careful, because there is yeast at the bottom, unlike almost all other Sierra Nevada beers.

Appearance - A thin tan head caps the crystal-clear honey amber colored beer. The head dissipates quickly to a layer of lace on top of the beer. Little lace is left as you drink this stuff. A few carbonation bubbles rise to the surface, but not much.

Smell - Reminds me a lot of Stone's Arrogant Bastard Ale, at least in the smell. Grapefruit and other citrus notes right away. Some bitter hops aroma and a grainy malt aroma come through nicely.

Taste - So you taste this stuff, and you think: "not so barleywine-ish." But when you reach the finish, it comes alive. As soon as it enters your mouth, it again really reminds me of Arrogant Bastard. Strong grapefruit character and other citrus. Strong floral and super bitter hops come through as you swallow and breathe. Indeed the finish is dominated by ultra-bitterness from the hops. Some slightly sweet cooked malt character starts to surface as the finish progresses. Earthiness, a strong bitterness at the back of your tongue, and a lingering malt character make up the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied and velvety in the mouth. The carbonation is very nice, and lends some much-needed refreshing traits to this very strong ale.

Drinkability - An extremely flavorful beer that is extremely bitter. Be ready to wake your tastebuds up with this one. I can't imagine drinking much more than one of these, even though it is very good.

One of my favorite barleywine style ales. They loaded this thing with tons of bitter hop character, and a very nice grainy/cooked malt flavor that helps to sooth your mouth in the finish and aftertast. Highly recommended.

dblinkhorn, Sep 24, 2006
Photo of BlackJeremiah
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 edition reviewed, poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a deep wine glass.

A: Slightly hazy, dark amber color. Cream-colored head to about 1", with lacing around the glass.

S: Alcohol, lots of sweet malt, slight floral hop character. Smells delicious, very classic barleywine scents.

T: I was worried that this would be lightstruck, having been on Total Wine's shelf for (apparently) some time. These worries were unfounded. Creamy sweetness from the eponymous grain, alcohol burn at the end. Bridging the two is a citrus and rose hop explosion, melding well with the luscious sweet start and concealing the alcohol's presence well.

M: Thick and decadent. Every great barleywine I've tasted has had that great presence and consistency. This one is no exception.

D: Too drinkable for a beer of this strength. I'd session it--if I were still in my early twenties.

BlackJeremiah, Sep 22, 2006
Photo of numenor1
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

2006 edition, so about 9 months old now. Though this wasn't exactly cellared cold for that whole span, so effective age i'd estimate to be more...

Pours deep hazy orangish brown with khaki head, though modest, laces very well and holds a great cap. Aroma is loads of sweet malts, bready, caramel and lots of green hops. Starts off with a rindy, pithy citrus hop flavor melded very well with caramel and toffee. Very bready. Lots of earth and spice to the hps. Ends with sweetened hops fading. Very balanced. Very slick and smooth across the palate. Viscous, creamy and full. Medium low carbonation. Drinkability is OK.

Not as complex as i would have expected. But nice.

numenor1, Sep 20, 2006
Photo of jasonjlewis
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006

Appearance, great head and retention. Easy to create head.

Smell of citrus hops dominates. Makes my taste buds anxious in anticipation

taste: Hops are very apparent. Citrus flavored hops pull through the most. the malt is a very strong backbone. The taste is almost a little too thick with malts. Tastes almost syrupy.

Mouthfeel: a little thin, needs more carbonation. Does not cling well.

Drinkability: I could see people making a session out of this beer. very easy to sip on.

edit: 10-6-07

Some aging has left the booziness of this beer settle. I was a lenient reviewer much more than I am now. The only thing that ups is the mouthfeel from a 3 to a 4.. 2006 edition bought in July of 06

jasonjlewis, Sep 17, 2006
Photo of dbalsock
3.28/5  rDev -21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2006

Appearance: Pours a deep reddish brown with a full finger of vanilla white head that leaves beautiful lacing.

Smell: Citrus hops blend with a heavy malt character. It actually smells pretty similar to a red ale, especially when I pick up a hint of brown sugar in the nose.

Taste: A little unbalanced. The hops take control and never relent. Moreover, the hint of alcohol (it's very well masked) intensifies the tate of the hops from what I can tell.

Mouthfeel: Bitter and thick with a crisp finish.

Drinkability: I like this enough to have it occasionally, but overall its not as good as other barleywines (english or american style).

dbalsock, Sep 15, 2006
Photo of bodybyadam
3.1/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This one has been long awaited in my search. Maybe that was the demise of my review. 2005 vintage reviewed AUG06

A: Served in my large snifter, a brownish amber dark.

S: Nose of mild roasted malt.

T: Initial taste is roasted dark malt. Then an ever presence of roasted malt lingering (mediocre BW). Stronger malt finish to remind you of the higher alcohol content.

M: Strong ETOH presence, too noticeable for a barleywine.

D: I will buy another and try this review again, because I'm a Sierra Nevada fan and barleywine fan. Give it a try but individual bottles.

Elbows Up,
Adam

bodybyadam, Sep 09, 2006
Photo of Toddv29424
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark brown color that is much darker when it is tipped on its side. The smell is delicious, much like hops but with a hint of malts and apparent carbonation. The taste is big, but really well balanced. The initial taste is of hops, but right after it starts to develop with the malts kicking in and evening it out to a non-obtrusive taste. In addition to the tasty hops, there is also a hint of spices that make it go down much easier. Really a good beer, and definitely something to seek out.

Toddv29424, Sep 03, 2006
Photo of egajdzis
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tasted the 2002 and the 2003 side by side tonight, so I will give an overview and note some differences. Both poured a ruby amber color with a small yellow/tannish head that left alittle lacing on the glass. The 03 had a strong aroma of hops, grapes, and alcohol while the 02's aroma was much less noticable, but it certainly was fruity. The 03 tasted still way too bitter, nice hop bite, had a slight red wine taste (hence barleyWINE style) and a warming alcohol presence. Whereas the 02 had already began mellowing out nicely while still being fruity and hoppy. My conclusions: the 03 is still too young, so I know for the future, glad I have 3 of each year left.

2004 sample, This is a super fine, hoppy barleywine. Very enjoyable.

egajdzis, Aug 25, 2006
Photo of Sycodrummer
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The 2006 edition, poured from the stubby brown bottle into a tulip glass the beer was a bright ruby reddish color with one and a half fingers of creamy white head the clung to the glass. Lots of carbonation bubbles streaming up the glass as well and a thick sheet of lace.

The nose is very assertively hoppy up front. Lots of piney hop aroma and a lighter fruitty hop smell as well. Alcohol is also apparent.

The beer is very very bitter up front. Not merely hoppy, but an abrasive assertive bitterness grabs and burns the throat all the way down. That said, a sturdy malt presence is very evident but still pales in comparison with the hops this has screaming out at all angles. Alcohol is still very hot and assertive as well. A slight alcoholic tinge with each sip. Bready and biscutty flavors try their best to compliment the hops, but the hops easily steal the show.

Medium body, heavier when warmer. Carbonation is very active and a little stinging until the beer mellows with warmth.

Still young, the beer is very hot and extremely hoppy. Balance is not part of the equation and although one can easily detect the malt body of the beer, it is overshadowed by the hop character. Not a bad beer fresh, but I suspect some time in the cellar will increase drinkability a great deal.

Sycodrummer, Aug 21, 2006
Photo of mutt
3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

WOW...very hoppy brew that will start/stop a conversation at any event. any beer lover must try. poured into a pint. Caramel color, great head, strong aroma. strong hops in flavor with a nice finish. drink this beer with any hearty meal. 9% alc. makes it tough to put down the usual intake.

mutt, Aug 17, 2006
Photo of mcarroll10177
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured from the bottle into an imperial pint glass

A- dark copper brown with yellowish head, nice looking

S- booming amount of hops the moment the bottle is popped. Tons of oilly fragrant hops, extreme to be sure but yet not overpowering.

T- big hop characteristics with some hard bitterness in the finish. Not a clean finisher by any means, but not a bad taste at all.

M- thick and full with less carbination than I expected but this is not a bad thing

D- drinkablitity suffers from the extreme nature of this beer. It certainly is not an everyday beer and it does not go with everything. I find that big beers like this are not so refreshing which hurts the drinkablity score.

Notes- i drank this one on its own to get all of the characteristics down. That was a mistake on my part, I think this beer would be better paired with some big spicy dishes. With the right pairing this beer could be great.

mcarroll10177, Aug 13, 2006
Photo of xzqrut
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

STRONG...that is the operative word here. Appearance, smell, taste, mouthfeel, ABV, it is all strong here. Beer poured from the bottle, nice reddish tint, deep in color. Gave a good head, which at times just kept coming and coming until it flowed over the glass. Head had excellent retention and lacing. Smell was very strong, some hops, some malt, some molasses, fruit. Taste equally strong and diverse. Mouthfeel heavy, almost syrupy, but not too much. Very drinkable, but take your time and enjoy it, not to be drunk too quickly that is for sure.

xzqrut, Aug 12, 2006
Photo of snilsen13
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Well, I may not like the bottle, but it's a must have on tap.

a - deep brown opaque - mysterious and inviting
s - fuzzy, they poured to cool to eval and I was impatient
t - super huge hops but AMAZINGLY BALANCED
m - plenty of complexity, chewy, and aftertaste wasn't devistating
d - cuz I had to have another,

it was the hands down winner over the esteemed St. Bernardus that night.

snilsen13, Aug 09, 2006
Photo of Brian700
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a deep reddish brown with a tan head that leaves some good lacing on my glass.

The aroma is of sweet maris otter-like malt with hints of molasses and raisins and there is also a hop presence that gives it a tiny amount of citrus trying to come through. It isn't an up front citrus but it is faintly there.

The flavor is of raisins, sweet malt, followed by a hop cleansing that gives you a hint of citrus again. The small citrus presence is quickly killed by the malt sweetness and the alcohol warming in the finish. This is a great tasting beer. I wanted to age this out for a while but I only had the one bottle. This is a perfect beer for aging.

The mouthfeel is full bodied with medium/moderate carbonation.

Though this is a strong beer I would say its drinkability is fairly high. At least for people with the taste for big beers.

Brian700, Aug 09, 2006
Photo of TheBungyo
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2002

Poured the darkest brown imaginable with tints of amber. Nice half finger head despite it being over 4 years old. Even with the age, the hop aroma leapt from the bottle like a caged tiger. Lowering my nose to the glass I can smell syrupy caramel, meek cherry, sweet grapefruit and pine. In the taste dept, the caramel syrup and bare chocolate take center stage but are definitely competing with powerful hoppy pine and grapefruit. Finish is pleasingly bitter. The age has really smoothed this one out. I'm glad because I really like the malt on this one. Mouth is as thick and chewy as ever. I'm glad to know I can get Bigfoot this old almost whenever I want. In all likelihood I'll want it all the time.

TheBungyo, Aug 05, 2006
Photo of depechemode1983
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apperance - poured a reddish dark amber color
smell - citrus-spice little orangey alcohol is very present
taste - the bitterness over comes the sweet in the end but right as it hits the tounge there is an immidiate sweetness. alcohol is present in the after taste

depechemode1983, Jul 31, 2006
Photo of Mdog
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 vintage.

Appearance: Deep red, good sized head and nice lacing while drinking.

Smell: Mostly citrus hops with some alcohol and rich fruit detected.

Taste: Citrusy bitterness throughout, with a little sweetness for balance.

Mouthfeel: Pretty thick, long bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability: Too strong to drink fast, but a hop-head's dream.

Took this out of my "cellar" for a treat, was still as bitter as I remembered. Pretty strong stuff but tasty!

Mdog, Jul 30, 2006
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,371 ratings.