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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.

6,232 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,232
Reviews: 2,808
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 262
Gots: 1,094 | FT: 38
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: 6,232 | Reviews: 2,808 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sloejams


4.43/5  rDev +6.7%

2006 version

A nice, deep, thick ruby orange color with a frothy ¼ head laces well throughout the pint glass. The smell is intense – caramel malt, some citrus and a hearty punch of hops. The taste is just an intense – chewy malt with molasses, orange zest and yup, there’s hops up in it. It’s thick and syrupy and full of body and character. The alcohol warmth is soothing as it makes it’s way to the back of the tongue, leaving a sweet resin. It even has a sharp bitter aftertaste that follows.

This is far more hoppy than the previous years. That brings something unique and it’s quite welcome.

02-07-2006 22:45:44 | More by sloejams
Photo of Higravity


4/5  rDev -3.6%

My first Bigfoot of the year 06.

A- Nice dark complexion gives a a good head and lots of lacing.
S- Alcohol and hops with sweet malt dripping down the back of my throat.
T- Big up front bitter that is softer that the past or maybe I have gotten harder. Lots of malt flavors and a little syrupy with alcohol popping out all over the place.
M- Chewy and syrupy yes but still thinner than I remember.
D- Good for a few most anytime, best as a night time sipper, but I will drink this all year, and with some in the cellar the following years too.

02-07-2006 21:28:25 | More by Higravity
Photo of doubleipa


4.7/5  rDev +13.3%

'06 Version. I had an '05 last night. Is this really the same beer? Aroma was DIPA hoppy. Not much of a maly smell, at all. Rocky, light-brown head, excellent lacing, and the head lasted a long time. Moderately sweet early and long. Really does taste/smell more like a DIPA than "classic" barleywines". Body was light to medium. Really can't taste the alcohol. This has made me re-think whether I want to age an entire case for future consumption. Hmmm I think I'll review after 6 months and see what happens.
2/17/06 Update. Had the '06 on tap last night. Now I'm really confused. I expected big hoppiness, but was dissapointed. Malt characteristics were much stronger than hops. The waitress assured me that this was the '06 version, not '05.

02-07-2006 18:52:56 | More by doubleipa
Photo of poluti


4.2/5  rDev +1.2%

Pours creamy tan head with great retension (plenty of carbonation bubbles up the side). It's a dark copper color skewed towards the red side. Overall, a great looking beer. The alcohol is definitely noticable in this beer. It was very fruity in aroma. The taste is balanced extremely well. The chewy malt and the hop kick go side by side for a great session. The mouthfeel is thick with a pleasant lingering on the back of the tongue. Overall it's a pretty strong beer. I will definitely drink it again but stay to one or two a night.

02-07-2006 11:18:29 | More by poluti
Photo of LordChesterfield


4.22/5  rDev +1.7%

This is a royal brew. Big in every way and elegant at the same time. The smell is a wonderful piney smell that resembles boulevard's nutcracker ale. The taste is very bitter but easy to get used to and is complemented with a slick oily mouthfeel. Hop oils? Dark copper in color and a head that can be incited to stand but will soon diminish to a lacing. This beer is one of the strongest in terms of ABV I've had and I can't even taste the alcohol because of the hops. As far as I'm concerned, every bit of hop bitterness is needed to balance the otherwise cloying sweetness. Drinkability of course is subjective but at 9.6%ABV so much hops, two of these goes a long way. Complex and tough, this beer has too much class for you.

02-06-2006 05:16:59 | More by LordChesterfield
Photo of kdmorse


4.47/5  rDev +7.7%

A: Gorgeous ruby color topped with ½ inch of off-white head. Even with a vigorous pour, only a small head. Head fades quickly, but lacing clings to the glass like there is no tomorrow.

S: Balanced and big smell. Lots of malt at first with a good smash of piney hops. Need a Bigfoot air freshener for my car.

T/M: Thick malt taste while beer dances on my tongue. Lots of sweet flavors (carmel?) that are difficult to identify. Big/piney hop taste washes the palate clean.

D: Lots of alcohol, but still very drinkable. Thick and enjoyable mouthfeel that makes it fun to drink. Could lead to a lot of trouble (almost 10% abv) if I didn’t have a big meal in my stomach.

Notes: Been looking forward to this beer for a long time, and it does not disappoint. Will go through a few 6-packs while it is in stock and put one away for some aging.

02-05-2006 21:10:10 | More by kdmorse
Photo of Backer2004

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Wow, was I excited when I asked if this pub had anything new and they told me Bigfoot just came in at $4 a bottle. Everything I was looking forward -- Sierra Nevada hit the nail with this one. Surprised it was a twist off top. Chewy malt goodness, this is the best tasting barley wine I've tried so far. Nice lacing and copper tones with caramel notes. Not for eveyone - - I'm just getting used to the style myself. Keep 'em coming.

02-04-2006 20:58:57 | More by Backer2004
Photo of silver0rlead

North Carolina

4.18/5  rDev +0.7%

Pours a brillant deep amber with a nice tan head that retains well for a barleywine. The aroma is bursting with hops, citrusy, piney and resiny with a big fruit component (tangerine, lemon, and grapefruit), nice molasses sweetness, toasted bread, esters and some alcohol. The taste is initially sweet with caramel and molasses flavors, but quickly segues into an intense hoppines (grapefruit, orange peel, pine resin, floral), chewy toasted bread and molasses, fruity esters and some warming alcohol. The mouthfeel is rich and chewy, with moderate carbonation, and a waming, bitter finish. Drinkability is good for a barleywine. A very nice barleywine, fresh its quite the hop monster but the alcohol is well concealed, im curious to see how this develops in a couple years.

01-31-2006 03:56:18 | More by silver0rlead
Photo of AlexJ

North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +4.8%

06 expedition pours out deep chestnut brown with an initially thick beige head that retains surprisingly well for a BW and leaves delicate trails of whispy lace.

Aroma is a cornecopia of chewy, thick malt notes, burnt molasses, dark caramel, with PLENTY of fruity, grapefruit, tangerine peel, and green pine hop.

Flavor is a tug of war between massive malt chewiness and oily hop bitterness. Hop oils are piercing and tongue coating, with notes of grapefruit skin, orange, fresh bitter herbs, and oozing pine sap. So damn hoppy, but achieves great balance and huge drinkability regardless. Good as ever and ever good!

Body just shy of being big, with an oily, chewy texture and expansive mouthfeel. Hop flavors provide a long, complex finish. As sessionable as a barleywine gets.

01-30-2006 20:35:00 | More by AlexJ
Photo of gotbeer


4.58/5  rDev +10.4%

2006 edition this time around. It's still as great as I remember it, much like my last review. Huge citrus, piney hops with a massive malt profile to balance it out. A little alcohol at the end, but well hidden for a brew of this ABV. All in all- one of the great barleywines, I should say, beers out there.

I look forward to this one every year, and I would be completely happy to drink only this on a regular basis. A truly incredible beer.

01-30-2006 00:52:41 | More by gotbeer
Photo of drunkmonk

North Carolina

4.55/5  rDev +9.6%

12oz. 06 expedition. Have heard so much great stuff about this beer, hope it doesn't dissapoint. Love the artwork on both outside and also comic on inside of cap.
Pours nice rich dark amber shade, nice quarter inch head quickly dissapates to just an oily patch in the middle of my snifter, but nice ring remains around the outside.
A nice aroma of hops and bisquity malt, some oily pine resin present but not overwhelming. A more subdued aroma than I was anticpating.

Wow, the malt and hops both very aggressive upfront, me likes. A very bitter finish, warms the back of my toungue and throat. I quickly want to quaf this again...here we go. An excellent balence of intense hops with a strong malt backbone. A definate medicinal bitterness is left warming your mouth long after you swallow..The alcohol is there but not overpowering. Yes, this is a great barleywine. Will return to one next year and there year after.

01-29-2006 21:22:15 | More by drunkmonk
Photo of Drew966


4.72/5  rDev +13.7%

The 2005 edition of Bigfoot Ale pours a hazy orange with a small tan head. The aroma, while good, doesn't even begin to hint at the bomb of taste sensation that is about to go off in your mouth. This is definitely an American take on the barleywine style with aggressive hopping that makes for a very tasty brew. Higly recommmended, worth seeking out for those who like a hoppy version of the barleywine style.

01-29-2006 03:00:10 | More by Drew966
Photo of GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

2006 edition.

The beer poured into the glass clear medium amber with an off-white and frothy head which rose well and fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was fruity and fresh with a piney and resinous citrus hop presence. The hops were fresh and even a bit floral with a background of maltiness, caramel most notable. The fruitines was orange and grapefruit hop characteristics.

The flavor was nicely achieved with a strong malt backbone of caramel malt. The bittering was resinous and piney with more citrus fruity character. While the balance of the flavor was decidedly bitter, the malt presence was very well done and made for a great flavor profile.

The finish was dry with lasting piney and resinous hop bittering and flavor long into the aftertaste. The body was full. The carbonation level made for an easy drinking beer and alcohol only really played a factor in the warming that occurred after consumption.

12 ounce bottle.

01-28-2006 22:36:50 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of ILiveOffHops

New Hampshire

4.35/5  rDev +4.8%

2006 Bigfoot: First point, I am partial to barleywines as a style. Even with that said I love this beer as a hopped-up, strong full barleywine.
Leaves some lacing. slightly sticky bittersweetness, warm with alcohol (9.6% ABV), very full bodied, still drinkable. I recommend you pick some up. Enjoy with food.
Could be good as a base in a food recipe? I smell a separate post...or are those ribs??

01-28-2006 06:15:21 | More by ILiveOffHops
Photo of rodrot

North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +6.7%

2004 expedition. This beer poured a hazy, reddish-brown color into my imperial pint glass. Wonderful hoppy, fruity aromas waft from the glass. The taste is incredible as always for this beer, but since it has been aging for a couple of years, the intense hoppiness has subdued quite a bit. The hops are definitely present and still quite aggressive with every taste, but the malt and sweetness is more pronounced now. This brew has rounded out pretty well and I'm looking forward to picking up some fresh 2006 expedition in NC this year. I love this beer aged or fresh, makes no difference to me. A world classic.

01-26-2006 15:28:20 | More by rodrot
Photo of Domingo


4.2/5  rDev +1.2%

2005 edition.
What a great Barleywine!
I was looking for something good for cold-weather and I stumbled upon this brew at a small store.
Cherry-red with mahogany highlights. In the light, definitely very reddish.
Smell is VERY hoppy. For a barleywine, only Hog Heaven has more hop character. Remniscent of their celebration Ale, Actually. Beyond the initial wave of hops, there's a definitey fruity smell.
Flavor is sweet, with a little bitterness on the back end. Hop bitterness is there, but not really that strong. It's actually much sweeter than the smell lets on. A spot-on barleyine flavor. Reminds me a little of brandied cherries. Hops come through in the finish, but luckily don't steal the show. They're more there in the smell. Alcohol is definitely there for warmth and a little extra malty sweetness. Not as sweet as some BW's, but definitely not as much of a hop bomb as the smell implies.
Mouthfeel is just right. Not too thick or thin.
Drinkability is limited by the alcohol. At nearly 10%, I can't see drinking more than 2 of these in one sitting without getting tipsy or numbing your buds. With that said, that's the way the style SHOULD work!

01-23-2006 19:03:51 | More by Domingo
Photo of mcowgill


4.68/5  rDev +12.8%


Bought a 6 pack of this beer a year ago. I was thankful to see it on the bottom shelf in a really dark location. Drank 5 of them in the first month or so. Saved this one until now. This last one is simply amazing to me. The beer poured a nice amber color with a small head that dissipated quickly. The smell is a very intense mixture of very strong hops, pine, fruit, and alcohol. The taste was a very bitter hoppiness initially and then the malts kicked in. Nice! It was quite intense but I loved it. Some might say the drinkability is tough but I say its really good. Definitely would behoove anyone to sip this beer slowly over time though. Tried the 2006 at the Winter Jubilee towards the end so I was not fit to review it.

01-22-2006 22:31:25 | More by mcowgill
Photo of nvsblman


4.85/5  rDev +16.9%

2005 edition

Pours an amber color with about half a finger of fizzy head. A little bit of lacing as I drink it. The aroma is full of hops but also very noticeable is the toffee, chocolate, and caramel. Loads of flavor with this one. Citrus and pine from the hops, caramel sweetness, and a little toffee. I know this one is supposed to age well, but I can't imagine this getting any better. Full and creamy mouthfeel. This is scary easy to drink with it's strength.

01-15-2006 23:26:03 | More by nvsblman
Photo of whynot44


4.22/5  rDev +1.7%

Full bodied, slightly hazy mahogany red color with a moderate tan head.

Aroma is pine, citrus and fruit with a sweet malt base.

Taste is in the same vein, serious hops assault - grapefruit, pine and herbal hops overlaying a sweet, fruity, caramel malt with a definite alcohol touch underneath and a bit of brandy character.

Slick almost oily feel, long-lasting aftertaste combines malt sweetness, hops and alcohol warmth. would go well with hearty food, but is probably best saved for "after dinner" relaxation.

Not good for "chugfest," at 9.6% ABV you could be in trouble early. I'm not sure this stuff even belongs in the same beverage class as "Macro" beers. If you are looking for something a little more substantial, this is it.

01-09-2006 02:17:55 | More by whynot44
Photo of badbeer


4.43/5  rDev +6.7%

Pours a deep caramel color with a quarter inch tan head leaving very good lacing. Smell has a presence of caramel and malty tones as well as a strong hop presence, hops leaving a piney aroma. Taste begins with dark fruit and maltiness, then the hops kick in with a taste of pine, also has a bit of an alcohol warming in the end. Mouthfeel is full bodied and slick, nice carbonation. As far as drinkability is concerned it's very tastey, however, be careful as it packs a wallop.

01-02-2006 10:55:26 | More by badbeer
Photo of SkeeterHawk


3.93/5  rDev -5.3%

Though I don't believe that the different years of this brew should be lumped together, here is my review of the '05

Appearance: The beer poured a cloudy reddish brown color with only a 1/4" head of tannish bubbles at first pour. The head only retained for about a minute or so, and left a still glass of liquid in its wake.

Aroma: The aroma is really vinous this year! There is a whole lot of rich red wine aroma that almost dominates the malt. There are hops in spades here also. I hardly know what to mention first. There are some rich citrusy and plum notes. Man, There is a lot going on in the aroma of this beer...more so than I recall in previous years.

Taste: The flavor is really bold! There is a whole lot of spiciness form the alcohol. The flavor is much more mild than the aroma would suggest. There is a whole bunch of malt, but the Sierra guys aren't shy with their hops. Though this beer is super malty, it still finishes hoppy. Amazing!

Opinion: I really like this beer for the most part, but this particular year is definitely balanced way more toward the bitter than I have noticed in previous years. There is much more hop presence to this beer, and at this point, it is a bit harsh...so I almost think that they changed the profile of their liquor. This is still good, and it will be interesting to see how it turns out in a couple years.

12-21-2005 02:28:41 | More by SkeeterHawk
Photo of tylerjonz

New Hampshire

4.55/5  rDev +9.6%

I had a pint of the 2004 last night at the Barley Pub in Dover NH.

It was dark amber almost brown with a very small (but thick) head. It had a wonderful aroma to it. I couldn’t help to take a big whiff and enjoy just the smell first. Definitely some citrus notes but not too strong. The taste didn’t disappoint either. The alcohol bite hit first then hops punch with the spices all at once. I enjoyed the alcohol bite but my roommate wished he went with the ’02 they had which we were told had a slightly smoother taste. Definitely a thick mouth coating beer. And as my bartender mentioned it is a gentleman sipping beer and got better as the pint warmed. I might have to go back tonight to try the ‘02

12-14-2005 14:38:15 | More by tylerjonz
Photo of Ahhdball


3.55/5  rDev -14.5%

Brown, clear with no head. Slick residue along the pint edge giving me the impression of the weight of the beer.
Brown sugar, molasass, orange rhine, slight ginger smell.
Alcohol hit first, then a hop sting, sweet malt recovered, dark fruit and then more hoppy bitterness.
Slick oily, as indicated above.
I coul dhave this again but I've had better.

12-14-2005 03:40:40 | More by Ahhdball
Photo of BassBone


4.35/5  rDev +4.8%

This beer can be summed up in one little palindromic word.... WOW!

2005 issue poured on-tap at Lucky Baldwin's in Pasadena. It poured a rich, deep amber with a two-finger fluffy head that stuck with the beer almost to the end. Incredible lacing that stuck around even longer.

The first sniff was so magnificent I had to sit for five minutes smelling the thing. Full of rich hops and subtle spices it was simply entrancing.

The first taste did not dissapoint. Rich and hoppy. I sipped slowly. It only improved as it warmed. I managed to make the pint last close to an hour.

12-14-2005 01:05:56 | More by BassBone
Photo of nortmand


5/5  rDev +20.5%

2004 vintage. A perfect beer.

Deep amber-copper hued beer, with a nice, sustaining off-white head.

Raisins, sea air and soy in the smell. Sweet, yet not cloying. Very clean.

Slightly sweet rock candy up front. By mid-tongue the hops catch up. Raspy bitterness lingers on the back of the tongue. Much less green than the last time I had it. Light roast lingers with hops and shoots out the nose.

Rounded, almost creamy mouthfeel with ample bitterness, this is a very quaffable brew.

12-13-2005 03:42:02 | More by nortmand
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,232 ratings.