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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

6,316 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,316
Reviews: 2,815
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 268
Gots: 1,121 | FT: 43
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: 6,316 | Reviews: 2,815 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cheers2beers
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served into a snifter:
2006 version

Appearance: A dark amber with a bright ruby tint when held to the light. The tanish rocky head grew to an extreme magnitude(it almost peaked my glasses limit) Lots of laceing can be found. Even a lone column of bead is noticed.

Smell: Huge hop character. Huge, sweet, caramel and raisin malts,and a huge alcohol are all clustered into the aromas to create a most splendid delight.

Taste: The flavors are vigorously potent. Hops are very strong in this barley wine. Not bad, just seems like its border line of being to many IBU's. I think the sweetened fruity malts helps counter act the,almost overpowering hops. And of course it is hard to hide the almost 10% alcohol. A very nice combination,each one of these three seem to keep the other in check.

Mouthfeel: The feel is oily and slick. Medium carbonation. Leaves a sweet caramel and alcoholic aftertaste.

Drinkability: A very quaffable drink indeed, but I can speak from past experience that if you let this beer warm up to much it will become very cloying.(In my own opinion,of course.) I can definitely say that I will purchase this again. It is a great Barley wine and I would recommend this to anyone as a must try. Ageing might be a good idea.


Cheers2Beers

cheers2beers, Apr 17, 2006
Photo of grub
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2005 expedition

pours a nice coppery colour with a thin head that quickly fades to a rim around the glass.

the aroma is hoppy, slightly malty, and a bit of alcohol in the background.

the first taste is alcohol, followed by rich maltyness and finishing with a smack of bitterness that lingers long after.

body is good fairly big, but that's what i'd expect from a beer this big.

overall quite tasty. i've had both the 2004 and 2005 a few times and it's quite enjoyable. definitely recommended.

grub, Apr 17, 2006
Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up recently at a local liquor store. I'm not much of a Barleywine drinker, but I like Sierra Nevada's offerings that I've had before, and I heard good things about this beer. It took a bit of acclimating for me, but this grew on my nicely as it warmed up more and more!

A very solid pour here. Not as much head or lacing as the flagship SNPA, but the deep, ruby red color and trademark SN aroma were present and quite a treat to behold. There's a bit of the piney, oily taste that one expects from this brand of beer, but don't be fooled. This is not a mellow drink at all! The 9.60% ABV can be easily felt here, and the aftertaste is quite strong, yet enjoyable. The warming effect of this beer can easily be felt, but it's never too bitter or overdone. Like others have said, this brew is a mix of SN's flavors and aroma, with that of a English-style barleywine. The amazing part it, they got the proportions of each down very nicely, and somehow, this never gets to be too overwhelming on the senses.

This is not something to be consumed at a fast pace. The novice drinker may not adjust to this easily, but a good craft beer enthusiast can enjoy this and it's nuances for quite a long while. It has a wonderful warming effect, has the bubbly mouthfeel and cascade hops that one expects from a SN offering, and a subtle hop undertone to the aftertaste. A commendable effort, one worth cellaring, and certainly worth a try for those willing to expand their horizons with regards to styles and types of beer consumed!

JerzDevl2000, Apr 16, 2006
Photo of Jcdolan
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a DARK orange almost redish color. Minimal head that dissipates and leaves a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smells of a nice blend of hops and fruit.

First tastes of mild hops and then an unbelievable powerful fruit tase appears directly follow by intense alcohol. Leaves a linguring tast of hops.

Mouthfeel is mildly fizzy, goes down smooth however.

This is a beer that should be enjoyed slowly and savored. Especially with the high alcohol content. I'm suprised that they sell it in six packs. Very good.

Jcdolan, Apr 14, 2006
Photo of Metalmonk
4.78/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2006 Expedition

Looked and poured like oil out of the bottle. Has a glossy, glassy brown/amber color, thick, with super-mellow carbonation. Thick head settles to a flapjack skin across the top. I have come to love the look of this beer, gazing and swirling and almost (almost!) forgetting to just drink the damn thing.

Aroma is herbal, floral and citrus with hops muscling its way in and ultimately winning.

Tastes of hops soaked in maple syrup, with the floral/spicy elements rounding off the edges of the hops. Orange/tangerine flavors come out as it warms. Vanilla, maple syrup, and other yummy things open up as it warms. Can be a bit sharp when young, though, depending on the year of release (see addendum below).

Mouthfeel is wonderfully creamy, with more sizzle than I would have expected from the lazy bubble action.

This isn't as extreme or crazy as some other barley wines, it just does the job and does it damn well. Packs plenty of flavor and does almost too good a job hiding that 9.6% alcohol. Savor slowly and with care.

[early 2007: just sampled a year-old bottle, and this thing becomes ridiculously smooth, all the edges rounded off, making this one crazy drinkable. Cellaring clearly does a lot for this one.]

[another addendum, 2009: The 2009 release is the best fresh-Bigfoot I've had yet. This remains one of the most delicious, drinkable big beers of all-time. A classic!]

Metalmonk, Apr 13, 2006
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The third and final of three Bigfoot years sampled over the course of several days. This was the 2006 edition.

Appearance - pours a very nice reddish amber. It catches light well, creating some nice hues in the glass from an almost fiery clouded red to deep brownish amber. Three fingers of head form up on the pour into a Paulaner 25cl tasting glass. The drop-back leaves chunks and craggy patterns of lace down to the solid think cap.

Aroma - sweet, citrusy, lots of pine. Good resilience but not as intense as '03.

Taste - a thick, fairly sweet maltiness rides shotgun to very intense hops, coming on at the first sign of sweetness on the tongue. Full pine and grapefruit rind effect here, enhanced by alcohol. Probably the best flavor for hopheads but the intensity masks some subtleties of the beer that come with some aging. The finish is dry, a taste of fruitiness sneaking in now and then.

Mouthfeel - very thick and chewy, just as coating as the '03. Feels more carbonated to me though, very busy in the mouth. Takes the edge off the bigness, not necessairly a bad thing.

Drinkability - very drinkable. I nearly downed the last of my 2nd sixer before realizing I hadn't taken any notes on it yet. An 'everyday big beer' if there ever was one. The most quaffable of the three I tried for a vertical, but aging the bottles for a few years is the ideal way to enjoy all this beer can do, IMO.

brewdlyhooked13, Apr 13, 2006
Photo of deuschbag
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 edition

12 oz bottle pored into a snifter. this lovely brew pores a dark mahogany color with a tan head that leaves a moderate amount of lacing. i love the color of this beer.

hops are the dominate smell of this brew. a little bit of oak in the background.

the taste is very hoppy. a big bitter hop profile in this catagory. malts in the background. very alcoholic as well.

full bodied and very smooth.

this is definitly a fine brew for a hop head like myself. if you don't like the taste of hops or any ipa, this is not a brew for you. i've only had a few barleywines so far, but this is by far the hoppiest i've had of the style. i can't wait to see how this one would taste in about a year.

deuschbag, Apr 12, 2006
Photo of blackie
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2006

appearance: The pour produces a .5" light tan head that slowly recedes back into the glass. A thin layer on top and thick ring around the glass is left. Moderate lacing sticks to the walls of the glass as I drain it. The beer is a dark ruby-amber in color.

smell: Big PacNW hops up front...fresh, green, and wonderfully floral. Though this barleywine is definately hop forward, I get the sense that there is actually quite a bit of balance to it. Right along with those hops I get a big, sweet caramel malt aroma that is nice and fruity. Hints of tropical fruits, fresh cut hardwood, honey, and sugar cookies are found. Considerable alcohol presence on the nose, but that it expected and it is not really detracting.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is towards the lower side of the medium range, and is composed of small, smooth bubbles. The body is on the lower end of the heavy range.

taste: Where to begin? Huge flavors of boiled, steeped hop matter attack my palate...but there is also a little fresh hop flavor in there. There's a big caramel malt flavor, but the hops almost overwhelm it completely. A considerable bitterness comes in after the swallow, but it is not overwhelming given the fullness of the beer. Right now it is almost all hops, though I can tell there are some great flavors in there wanting to come out.

drinkability: Limited drinkability due to the alcohol content paired with the mean hop character and fullness. What a beer.

Picked up a six pack, will definately cellar the other five awhile. I also have a 2004 and a 2005 that I look forward to sampling someday.

2006 Vintage sampled Jan 10, 2007: Hops still smell great, and are quite big, but it seems they have lost a touch of their fresh "snap." Going by my initial description, the basics are all still here, just more integrated as a whole...malts not as sweet, hops not as fresh, coming together more singularly. Still plenty of ethanol presence. Same can be said for the flavor...the malt comes through much more and the hops have lost some of their dominant bite while plenty of tealike hop flavor persists. Complex with caramel malt aromas and flavors.

2009: deep amber, big pine hop over a boozy caramel malt body, full body not overly heavy, caramel malt that manages not to be overly sweet, huge piney hop palate with a mod-high bitterness, gonna leave my scores as they are, single from total wine, newport news, va, stuck one in the cellar for the vertical

blackie, Apr 10, 2006
Photo of skillerified
3.08/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours out really thick in a really nice dark mahogany color. Strong tan head that coats the sides of the glass instead of just lacing it.

Pine and citrus (mostly lemon, but a dash of orange here and there too) dominate the scent. There's a hint of alcohol in there (surprisingly small for the ABV). There's bit of pine cone too. Will likely get more complex as it warms.

All hops on the palate. It's like a hop barrage. I like a good double IPA and all, but this is too much for me. I'm not saying it's bad, it's just too much for me. Some spices start to come into play as it warms, but it's still too much for me.

Really thick and heavy bodied. Starts rich and sweet and turns to an astringent bitter bite. Such a wide swing is just not appealing to me. There's no subtlety in this brew.

Not sure if I can finish the one I've got, much less the one in the fridge. I really think it's just me. I don't think this is bad for the style or anything like that, it's just too much for me. Maybe it's better aged. I'll be in no hurry to drink the next one and see what happens in six months or so. 2006 edition.

skillerified, Apr 09, 2006
Photo of buckiflyer
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 edition. Poured from a 12 ounce bottle a redish brown color. Huge white fluffy head with lacing. Hop smell hits me instantly and I think of the Celebration ale. Citrus and Pine smells I could enjoy all day long. Very smooth initial taste followed by bitter hop adn then a high alcohol finish. This is one powerful beer. Wish I would have purchased more to let age.

buckiflyer, Apr 06, 2006
Photo of heyitsbyron
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a single bottle into an imperial pint glass.

Poured thick and oily. Dark amber. Tight head that was easily 2+cm. Laces well.

Smelled over-top-hoppy-- think floral--, but then sweeter as it warmed up. Maltiness really fills up the nose on anything more than a light sniff.

Bitter more than hoppy, if you know what I mean. Strong malts and a sweet finish. The booze really tries to creep through the bitterness.

Creamy and smooth, but also so hoppy and boozy that it starts to seem caustic after most of the glass.

Drinkable? Eh...Given the booze and the unabashed heaviness, it's ok. I certainly can't do more than one of these in a night, let alone one sitting. A nice experience for my first barleywine, but not something I would seek (to pay for) again. Got me pretty ripped though.

heyitsbyron, Apr 05, 2006
Photo of Imstillthegman
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is for the 2006 edition.

Pours a dark, hazy amber/brown color. Dense two finger tan head that sticks to the glass.

Smells of floral hops, sweet doughy malts, slight caramel.

Hops hit you in the face but are quickly joined by a sweet malty flavor.This is a hop bomb, though. Flavor tries but cannot hide the alcohol. Could use a bit of aging to mellow it a bit. Sticky, syrupy mouthfeel with noticeable alcohol afterburn. Very little carbonation.

I could only have one Bigfoot a day. Have some in my cellar to try in a year or so and I will review again then.

Imstillthegman, Apr 04, 2006
Photo of klewis
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2006 edition

A: Pours a mahogany color with a large head for a barleywine. Lots of sticky lace is left on the snifter.

S: The smell explodes with hops and includes aromas of pine and spices

T: A perfectly balanced barleywine, the taste presents caramel and fruity flavors up front followed by a full hop flavor in the finish. Just the right amount of bitterness with a moderate amount of alcohol in the finish.

M: Heavy, chewy, and sticky with the perfect amount of carbonation.

D: It's not everyday that I can drink a beer like this, but this is definitely the best barleywine that I've had so far. The alcohol is a little too prominent right now; in a few years I think this will be truly great.

klewis, Apr 04, 2006
Photo of OStrungT
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a brown with burgandy tints. The head is light brown, slightly yellow. It is thick and fluffy. It fades slow, leaving many thick laces.

This beer smells very sweet. I smell citrus hops. It smells quite floral. Also, I detect some caramel. The alcohol in slightly noticable. It has a slight grassy aroma.

This beer tastes of grassy hops. It has a syrupy like sweetness to it, but the dominate flavor is grassy hops. The alcohol in present in the flavor, but only mildly. I think this beer might be confused with an alcoholic Double IPA.

This beer is full bodied. It is a little low on carbonation, but well for the style. It leaves a hoppy alcohol aftertaste.

I doubt this beer would make a great session beer. It is high in alcohol, and the aggressive flavor would wear thin soon.

OStrungT, Apr 04, 2006
Photo of wedge
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006

Deep crimson glow with a thin, creamy tan head. Thick, piney hop aroma with a rounded sweet maltiness in back and a soft fruitiness. Some spicy alcohol as it warms. The flavor is, at first, a serious attack on the palate...a massive blend of resinous, sappy hops and toasted sweet malts. The taste softens after a while...though not much...and becomes an incredibly tasty brew full of hoppy goodness. Floral and citrus. Long, intense bitterness and full in the mouth.

A massive, super-hopped barleywine. Maybe a little young, it could be aged for a long while...but its damn good now and I don't have a cellar.

Enjoy

wedge, Apr 04, 2006
Photo of akahn
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful deep, clear, dark, ruby color.Sticky, thick tawny brown head. Lasts firmly, leaving lost of foamy lace. Streaming carbonation.

Very strong (Cascade?) hop aroma, coupled with malt sweetness.

Delicious, sweet, big malt flavor, with hop bitterness floating above. Really exceptionally balanced. This is my first American style barley wine, and I'm enjoying this much better than the less-hoppy specimens I've had. Slight alcohol warmth, along with a slight soy sauce saltiness.Very rich and tasty. Drying pine needle fresh hop bitterness.

Full body, moderate carbonation. This beer's balance and relatively low alcohol content make it surprisingly drinkable, albeit at a sipping pace. I'd like to sit on a few of these for a couple years and see how they turn out.

akahn, Apr 03, 2006
Photo of MrSeth
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

App: Pours with a deep copper body and a ruddy-tan head. Lot's of action as the head settles.

Sm: Wafts of sweet malt, orangey hops and some alcohol drift over from the glass, and closer inspection is no less pleasant. This is a 2006 bottle, and the nose isn't that complex yet. But what it has is a less is more quality.

Ta/Mf: Again it's a malty and citrus hoppy goodness, but somehow it stands out against a barley wine that is just "simple" or "basic." There is massive rush of flavor as it crosses the tongue, bitter orange peel and sweet malt are balanced and forward in the profile. Strong carbonation, and a puckering mouthfeel make this an enjoyable offering in some sensible dose.

DA: Medium. As tasty and commendable as this classic barleywine is, I never have more the 2 or 3 servings.

MrSeth, Mar 31, 2006
Photo of ultralarry2006
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vigorous pour yields a 2 inch head that doesn't hang around and leaves slight lace. A deep coppery red with only slight haze. Aroma - instantly noticeable alcohol- some piney citrus and doughy caramel. Taste- intensly sweet and bitter at the same time- very intense- at first, the hops and malt compete briefly, fighting for your attention, citrus and caramel, then two sides of the flavor equation (hops vs. malt)seem to cancel each other so that alcohol asserts itself over the two - leaving a biitersweet aftertaste following an alcohol burn. Mouthfeel - very full mouth, little carbonation, slick coating, and small alcohol burn. Drinkability- this is very good, but very rich, could handle two in one sitting (maybe three if I wasn't driving) then would need to have something much less rich and smaller abv. As for the alcohol burn; this ale is good enough as to make it tolerable, moreover I suspect that the burn diminishes with age (cellering) as the ale's components mellow and hence integrate with each other rather than compete, much the same way it does with wine (this being my first barleywine experience) -this is vintage 2006.

ultralarry2006, Mar 31, 2006
Photo of HugoGrim
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2006 edition: Poured from the bottle into a snifter.

Rick burgundy/rosewood color to the body. An aggressive pour produced a nice thick head, which dissipated into a thin wisp of soapy foam. Epic lace.

Aroma is hop domination with hints of sweet dark fruits.

Absolute hop blast in the mouth. Very Earthy with flavors of wood and leather, but piney hops flex, and push everything else into the background. Alcohol is faint, and quite pleasant.

HugoGrim, Mar 31, 2006
Photo of dreadnatty08
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

06' edition.
Pours a dark ruby hazy brew. An aggressive pour yields just a slight fizzy head that quickly dissipates. Aromas abound, screaming out of the glass. A sweet, roasty maltiness, followed by some resinous hops and a bit of alcohol burning in the end. A syrupy, heavy mouthfeel with very little carbonation covers the tongue with some intense flavors. The sweetness is quickly entrapped by a bitter hoppy zing. Some dried fruits are noted in addition to a floralness that barely makes it over the alcohol, which makes a heavy presence. This is a style I've come to love, and wonder why anyone would want to drink wine after this.
I had the pleasure to drink this side by side a 750ml bottle of Old Crustacean (with a friend of course) and was able to appreciate the big difference (mainly the sweet, balanced flavor of Rogue's vs. the hop bomb of Bigfoot). This is an amazing digestif beer I've been able to enjoy on many a night. Holds a special place for me.

dreadnatty08, Mar 31, 2006
Photo of Dukeofearl
2.95/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

CELLARED REVIEW:

Bigfoot 2004, aged approximately 2 years. Last of a six pack purchased in early 2004 for approximately $8.99 at LaBodega in Riverside, CA. I am interested in this re-review, as I really didn't care for it before, and I know it probably has changed, and I know I have changed. Is it any better? Previous (6/2004) review copied below for comparative purposes.

Pours a dark amber with copper notes. A moderate off-white head drops quicky. Muddy looking, even though I kept the bulk of the obvious yeast particles in the glass.

Aroma is complex, deep brandy like, but better. Sweetness, brandied cherries, figs, slight chocolate notes. Flavor follows through, intense and strong. No real notice of the hops that seemed to dominate before- did I mis-identify, or have the hops character truly faded away?

Mouthfeel is rich and full, creamy when swirled in the mouth. But then there's that huge alcohol burn at the end, kerosene/jet fuel that completely ruins all the good stuff that came before. It really takes something that starts well, and just destroys it. When I first reviewed this, it was one of the first barleywines I had ever tried. Now I've had several, and I know they can be better than this.

Once again, I did not finish it.

ORIGINAL REVIEW (6/04):

2004 vintage, poured in 6/04. Pours a medium brown, semi-transparent with a medium head after a vigorous pour. The head dies back into a thin cover pretty quickly. Aroma is malty, with a lot going on- somewhat sweet, with dark sweet fruits, and the oils and pines of hops. Flavor was slightly sweet with a strong, piney oily bite of hops, and with a huge, overpowering alcohol profile. As it warms, rich dark sweet fruits come out too. But it continued to feel like pure grain alcohol mixed with hop oil. There was a lot of interesting things going on, but the alcohol rising through them all made me stop drinking it.

This was a beer of extremes for me. There were parts I really liked, and parts that really ruined it for me. I could not finish it. I have one more bottle that I will let age for a year or two and see what it's like. I am a big Sierra Nevada fan, and I could not do this one.

Dukeofearl, Mar 30, 2006
Photo of Hautacam
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out dark, clear orange-amber....white head..drops to "gone".
Smell :Big floral hop aroma...are my eyes watering ?..grapefruit rind ..some alcohol..malt must be there somewhere ?..hint of dried fruit in background.
Tastes sweet for about a nanosecond, then the hops just punch you hard....candy-malt comes forward as it warms.Clean citus rind finish that lingers into the aftertaste....and lingers some more
Sweet syrupy mouthfeel...no carbonation.
This is a really good one, but you must want over -the -top -
hop bitter...from start to finsh...and then some.
For my taste...I would describe this as DFH 90 minute that has been intensified right to the limit.
I will get this again....but I can tell that my girlfriend who likes her hops subtle, will have to leave the room when I drink this...mmm....I won't have to share !

Hautacam, Mar 29, 2006
Photo of beerphilosopher
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Much to my surprise, I found this one at one of my local liquor stores. This part of IL is typically quite beer-deprived, so I was very pleased ... anyway ...

Poured into the pint glass with a very red orange appearance. Head is white with little retention. Little visible carbonation. Nose is big time hops upfront. Lurking behind, however, is a pretty robust sweet malt backbone to offset the hop attack just a tad. Smells wonderful. Palate is as suspected. The hops jump out and grab you like a pissed off yeti. As the nose indicated, the substantial malt character really does work to "tame" the massive hop profile this one contains. Pine, green tea, and a little citrus mixed with sweet mollasses and caramel. Mouthfeel is biting and sweet, Again, low carbonation. Lasting bitterness of the hops co-exist with a persistent sweetness. Medium-bodied. Wow ...what can I say ... I've wanted to try this one for a while now and it didn't disappoint. I was a bit worried as this is the '06 Bigfoot and still very "young." The hops are indeed "untamed" and are a force to be reckoned with. All in all, though, this is still very drinkable (one), and promises even better things in a couple of years. The rest of the six is goin' in the cellar and won't make another appearance for a year, at least. By then, it'll have learned a little discipline. Anyway, as for the Bigfoot ... I believe.

beerphilosopher, Mar 27, 2006
Photo of jamesdergen
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 Edition

Appearance: Pours a gorgeous ruby-amber with a medium tan head.

Smell: Dense piney, herbal hops and strong malty background.

Taste: A massive attack on my tastebuds! Starts out with a wall of herbal, piney very aggressive hops that fades into the caramel malt background. The hops never leave completely and come back in with the alcohol at the end, raw hop bitterness lingers in my mouth afterwards.

Mouthfeel: Very aggressive, but not overly carbonated and medium-bodied. The alcohol is ever-present, but not overpowering. Overall, surprisingly smooth.

Drinkability: Easy to sip, but I would not want to drink this any faster. Mostly as a result of the delicious taste, but also out of reverence to the alcohol content. For the style, very drinkable.

What a great brew from SN! Hoppy, malty and full of alcohol, but still well balanced and delicious. Highly recommended.

jamesdergen, Mar 27, 2006
Photo of Gusler
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2006
The beer sets in the glass a clear deep mahogany After its debarking the 12-ounce stubby brown bottle, the head is modest in size, semi-creamy in texture and the color a winsome light tan, after its eventual demise the lace forms a concealing sheet to obscure the glass. Nose has a decent hop floral spiciness, sweet malt at the back, citrus like in its crispness, start is a bit sweet, the grain profile perfect and the top middling in its feel. Finish is mercenary in its acidity, the hops powerful in their spiciness, quite dry and the aftertaste long. Drinkable as it is, but give six months to twenty years then its spectacular.


Vintage 2005:
The beer dispenses from the 12-ounce brown bottle a luminous mahogany and the head, Brontosauric in size, the texture creamy and the color light tan, as the head slowly degrades the resultant lace forms a thick and sticky sheet upon the glass. Nose is hop floral, sweet and the malt obvious, crisp and clean, the start is sweet, the grain profile adequate and the top middling. Finish is mildly acidic, the hops punishing in their spiciness, droughty aftertaste, the alcohol also makes itself known is a bit of aftertaste bitterness and the nice tummy warming, a beer I look forward each year, a life long favorite.

Vintage 2004
Well, my waiting is over, every year I wait with great anticipation for the new release of “Big Foot”, one of my top 3 barley wines, well the wait is over, got my first sampling of “Release 2004”.The beer disembogues the bottle a somewhat hazy brown color, the head is moderate in size, frothy in its texture and the color a winsome light tan, as it evaporates, the lace forms a sealing curtain upon the glass. Nose is sweet malt, hints of the hop flower, a tad bit of fusel alcohol, citrus crisp and fresh, start is ambrosial; the malt a bit lean in my opinion, top is moderate in mouth feel. Finish is prickly in its acidity, the hops majestic in their spiciness, very dry aftertaste. Appears to me that this years batch is a bit light on the malt, a change I don’t like, still a fine beer, and maybe a bit of aging will help, for better or worse, I now have a case and one six pack in the cellar.

VIintage 2003: What can I say about this beer that I’ve not said many times before. Each year I wait for it to come out like waiting on a dear friend to come for a visit. As it sets in my Sierra Nevada Pounder, it’s an unblurred mahogany color, the head temperate in size frothy in texture, the color a winsome light tan, and as it disappears the lace formed a silky sealing sheet, that welds itself to the glass. Nose is floral, slight traces of fusel alcohol, citrus crisp, fresh, as a spring morning, a real treat to the nose, start is sweet and thickly malt with a middling top. Finish surly in its hop spicy bite with the acidity bruising and the alcohol domineering, the aftertaste desert dry, somewhat bitter and long lasting. Love this beer and it only gets better with age just like “Olde Gusler”!

Vintase 2002: On the pour a nice clear brown, masterful beige head and sheets of lace to coat the glass. Nose is hop floral, malt under tones, and just maybe a hint of fusel alcohol. Front begins malt and slightly sweet, the top has a fair to middling mouth feel. The finish has a brawny hop presence, intermediate acidity, aftertaste is dry, alcohol bitter and the high ABV is certainly evident in the "Belly Warming". I bought a case, and a 12 pack is being cellared as we speak, a beer that gains in flavor and robustness as it ages, and I'm sure it will be a "Hoot", 2 or 3 years down the road.

Gusler, Mar 27, 2006
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,316 ratings.