Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style AleSierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

6,515 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,515
Reviews: 2,829
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 295
Gots: 1,195 | FT: 49
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
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Ratings: 6,515 | Reviews: 2,829 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of meadhead
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The 2007 expedition:

has brought it all together

- Forest Pine pungent Hop berries and Rich caramel malts
- Supra-fine carbonation and syrupy consistency
- an exquisite sweet to bitter balanced mouthfeel
resting in the perfect middle of the palatte,
which pours a deep
clear
ruby red brown
with a slight head of
off-white.

A true American barleywine
with that
almost over the top bite;

but just almost
because this Bigfoot
emanates a refined
"quality and pure" ingredient aura

that has a remarkably smooth drinkability
for a barleywine
Hardly a rough edge to be found
nor a weak spot

Of course
The cursory description of flavors
don't capture the experience

(some may prefer the matured and mellowed
less "hoppy" and yeast tinged cellared ales)

Yet this
fresh 2007
tastes clean and
potent
strong and invigorating

No aged esters or acoholics
interfering
with the malt and hop balance
just pines and caramel;
grass berries and toffee;
sweet and bitter;
in all their swirling nuances


a flavor filled
heavy effervescence
of a barleywine

Good stuff!

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

Vintage 2007.

A: Poured into an oversized wine glass. The result: a clear, coppery-red body with a 1/2-finger off-white head that disappears quickly, leaving some spots of soapy film resting on top. Very small bubbles rise to the surface. No lacing, but I find that's usually the case with this glass.

S: Very pleasant. Mild grassy, piney and citrusy hops up front with sweet dark fruit underneath -- perhaps powdered-sugar dusted berries. A slight waft of alcohol as well. There's something real inviting about the nose -- before every sip I inhaled deeply and really enjoyed it.

T: First impression: it has that Sierra Nevada taste to it. Green hops dominate the overall impression -- grass, pine and spruce. There is a bit of malty and fruity sweetness present underneath it all, however, as sweet berries and toffee-like malt tries to poke its head through the hops before being beaten down. Hoppy bitterness really lingers as a slightly minerally tang on the back and roof of the mouth. Alcohol is barely noticed early, other than a warmth in the belly, but as it warms a slightly mediciney alcohol presence is more notable.

M: Medium to full-bodied and well carbonated. There's a slight grittiness to the feel, especially at first, which I attributed to the carbonation and what seems like young, green hops.

D: Good. A little too brash right now, I suspect this hopped up barleywine could benefit from some age and be a little better balanced after some cellar time.

Notes: This is my first Bigfoot in years, as I've recently turned my attention to barleywines. The smell was just phenomenal, and all in all I enjoyed this solid offering from SN. It famously ages well, so I'm looking forward to trying more in the months and years to come.

3-22-08: 13 months later and the 2007 batch still has a strong presence of those sprucey, piney SN hops. I expected it to be more focused on the malt. It did seem to lose something in the nose, however; I seem to get more booze in the nose as well. Still solid and not all that much different from what I remember. . . .

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

Vintage 2007

A: Pours a clear, but very dark ruby red color. Frothy half finger cream colored head with big bubbles in the middle. Nice retention that doesn't move. Sticky lacing.
S: Grapefruit, orange rind, pine tar and sap hop notes are all very present. Spicy and a tad boozy. Powerful.
T/M: Thick citrus notes. Hops all the way here--they take major precedence. Spicy on the palate with a prickly nature that lasts into the dry and bitter aftertaste. Very excellent showing by the hops. Sweet malt presence, with caramel notes, takes a back seat, even though it tries to exert itself. Juicy and oily mouthfeel with pine sap that sticks to the tongue. Very hot right now.
D: A bit young, but I got a bunch of these and letting them sit will turn out to be a good decision. We'll see how it does in a couple of years. Still very tasty with the hops dominating the palate. A sipping brew for sure, but one I look forward to every year.

Photo of BigRedN
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2007 Edition

Appearance: Poured from the 12 oz stubby bottle into a pint glass. The beer is a darker orangish brown. My pour produces a solid 1 inch head which linger for a while before falling to a thin cover. Some lacing is left behind as I consume the beer.

Smell: Some sweeter malts in combination with some strong piney hop aromas, along with some dark fruits. Malts have a caramel and toffee aroma to them.

Taste: Disclaimer: I often find that SN tends to make their beers on the hoppy side of things. That being said, this beer is nicely hopped (piney and citrousy), while there still is a balance of some sweeter malts (the caramel that I smell I am guessing). A surprising balance IMO for a SN beer. Good, I just don't find it exceptional.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, alcohol is noticeable for me and causes a bit of a burn in the throat and warms my belly. Low in carbonation, feels "heavier" than it should. A bit brash and could use some mellowing, but I do not age beers, I drink them now; so I dropped my score a notch.

Drinkability: OK, I am scoring this lower in drinkability for two reasons. One - While this is a tasty beer I have one and am done. I do not want another. Two - As I mentioned, this one may do well with a bit of aging, but I don't age beers, I drink them right away. Also at $10 a six (here in Nebraska) it's a bit pricey for me to purchase.

Photo of beerogre
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 Version.

At last...as I sample bottle 18, I find that the remnants of my case of 2005 Bigfoot have finally matured to perfection, almost two years after I acquired them, and I realize now that I should have bought at least two cases: One to test when it was ready and the other to fully savour.

I have been periodically trying a bottle to see how things were progressing, and up until this point the beer clearly had not reached that heavenly mellowness stage that I know will eventually arrive, all in its own good time.

My wife calls Bigfoot the "Ear wax" beer, and as disgusting as that description may sound, I have to agree with her that in its infancy it certainly is overwhelmingly reminiscent of that flavour. However, on offering her a blind tasting of the finished article this evening, she did correctly guess the beer and like me, was more than impressed with its remarkable transformation. As she noted, the bitterness is still there, but now there is also so much more besides.

Not such an ugly duckling after all...

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

2007

It pours a slightly hazy and fairly carbonated orange amber, reminiscent of many DIPA's. Three fingers of frothy light tan head deconstruct quite slowly. Shams of lacing pillow the inside of the glass.

In the aroma, dense caramel toffee toasted malt joins a touch of vanilla and spicy pine and dry citrus hops. A feathery floral note tickles an airy element of alcohol.

Upon sipping, it's malt first, thickly sweet and rich with caramel, vanilla, berry, and an earthy bit of currants. The hops are heady with spicy pine needles and dry grapefruit, both of which capably crisp the grain sweetness. A swarthy alcohol presence lays a port impression down before a glimpse of biscuit signifies malt's secondary push. The finish continues to dry to a lingering and gratifying bitterness. The flavor represents a well done and well blended effort.

Pretty much full bodied, the malt is thick and the hops of an oiliness that combine and coat quite nicely.

Often the Bigfoots (Bigfeet?) need some age. Sure, some maturity might be interesting with this specimen, but the sassy, edgy nature of this youngster is a breath of fresh Sierra Nevada air. Even in its tender years there's nothing not to like. And while the ABV may be beefy, it's worked in and warming. It's serious, but it drinks with a knowing grin. So it may end up wearing some age well, but I might not let it rest long enough to really find out.

Photo of velo343
4.28/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Bottle

Appearance - Very dark crimson and brown. Fluffy beige head, lots of lacing on the glass.

Smell - A fantastic smell of pine and lemony hops with a bit of orange and grapefruit. Large malt character as well, mostly caramel, toffee, some light chocolate. Some dark fruits as well.

Taste - Wow. Lots of bitterness hits at first, but it is quickly counteracted by a very bready, caramel malt flavor. Lots of roasted flavor, then at the end of the drink, the bitterness hits again. Very thick and lightly carbonated, almost as if it was off a cask.

Drinkability - For how young this is, I found it to be a stellar barleywine already. Right from the looks, it has everything going for it. Great flavors that blended well, and I'm sure it will only get better with time. Got an extra bottle to lay down and I'm going to struggle not to open it.

Photo of david131
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 Edition

A- Looks just how a barley wine should look. Dark amber, orange, red... I don't know why, maybe because its Valentines day, but I thought the color looked like juiced rose petals. The head was slightly yellow, mostly white and retains itself most of the way through the drinking of this. Leaves some great lacing.

S- Piney hops, but not overpowering. A little bit of grass. Great malt backing. Like caramel with pine needles tossed in- but in a good way.

T- Not too harsh at first. Man the hops linger. Good balance of sweetness and bitterness.

M- This does not leave your mouth. A little dry, but the alcohol is very well hidden.

D- This is a sipper for sure and the hops are a tad hot. I am going to have to revisit this... I am very anxious to see how this ages. I have my hopes up.

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

2007 Bottle poured at cellar temp into a oversized goblet. Deep mohagany and not quite clear with offwhite head that slowly recedes leaving thick lacing. It smell sweet with a blend of pine and citrius hops. Hint of alchol mixes in with the very nice aroma of this beer.

The first sip has a very nice hop punch and quickly fades into a perfectly sweet malt middle. It finishes with a familiar SN hop bitterness that continues to coat the tongue. The alcohol is present in the taste, but is very well blended and adds a nice dimension to the overall flavor. 2007 ranks at the top of my list for Bigfoot years while still fresh.

The mouthfeel is chewy and coats the tongue nicely. The overall drinkability is excellent for something at close to 10% abv. I could easily sip this beer all night. I am planning on cellaring a good bit of this year because I feel it has potential to really mature nicely. Excellent job this year SN and looking for to having this many time again.

Photo of ArrogantB
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2007 bottle pured into a snifter. Yes! I have been waiting for this one for awhile now. The color is nice amber-red with a short white head that needed a little coaxing. The smell was slightly piney and really awesome. I actually had to sniff the beer for a couple minutes before I took my first drink. the taste was very hoppy pine with a slight hint of bubblegum. I don't know where that comes from but I have detected it in Ruination at times. I didn't get any of the chocolate flavors that are showing up in the 06 right now. This beer was amazing fresh and it will probably only get better. I think I better buy another case before this stuff is gone!

Photo of IntriqKen
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2007 Vintage. Fresh
Granted, my tastes have changed over the past few years, but this one taste the best of all of the Bigfoots I've had.
Crack the top and immediately get hit with the very fresh smell of citrus and pine hops.
Pours golden amber in the glass with a half finger of off white that melts very slowly to very, very sticky lacing. A nice map traces the drink down the glass.
The tongue is hit with sweet amber malts and brown sugar with citrus hops all at once....swallow slowly and go through phases of sweet malt, brown sugar, then grapefruit peel hops....pink grapefruit....more grapefruit peel...then a nice drying with only a hint of the sugars left.
Creamy mouthfeel.
The perfect American barleywine?
Hmmm...
Damn close.

Photo of montageman
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 bottle. Poured into a pint glass. I just bought this last week, but I think it's only been out for about a month, so this is relatively fresh. Pours a nice red/amber color with a nice solid head that is not too big but leaves tremendous lacing and is really sticky on the side of the glass. Smell is extremely floral with a some pine and maybe even a bit of soapiness - I like it though. Taste is hops, hops, and more hops with some grapefruit rind in the finish (there's an initial sweetness that gets slaughtered quickly by the hoppiness). Some aging would definitely tone this down. Mouthfeel is nice, almost chewy - the carbonation lends a nice crispness. Even though this is super hoppy, it is quite drinkable as a sipping beer. This is one to be savored. Highly Recommended.

Photo of mattd017
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007, aged 1 month. Poured into a Chimay trappist glass. Pours a deep red mahogany with a thick (~1") creamy head. Head slowly disappears, leaving good lacing behind and after every sip. Smells like a super hopped IPA. Tastes like a super hopped IPA, with the barleywine sweetness sneaking in towards the end. Poured with a slight chill (about 50 degrees), but flavors started opening up the warmer it got. For a barley wine, it was incredibly drinkable. Can’t wait to see what the rest of the 6 pack taste like down the road.

Photo of neonbrown82
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After reading my review of the '05 (my first barleywine ever) and realizing that I skipped reviewing the '06, I thought I would write a new one. Besides, this year's is quite different than the last. I had an '06 a few nights ago and it still seemed much more harsh and abrasively bitter than the '07. This is probably the best vintage of it I've had, which includes only the past three years.

The beer pours to a nice ruby color, almost brownish. Quite clear when held to the light. Very little apparent carbonation. Has a smallish head that retains to a film. Quite a washy lacing.

The smell is amazing. Almost as if they used different hops this year. Has a very juicy grapefruit hop aroma, not quite as resinous as last years. Smells like they used some Amarillo, Simcoe, or Summit in addition to the familiar Chinook and Cascade. The bitterness is not as rough and abrasive. There is a hint of raisiny malt underlying the hops as well, like special b and biscuit. Sweet with a hint of alcohol.

The taste is equally brilliant. Very juicy up front with a very clean hop bitterness. The '06 I had a few nights ago has a much rougher hop cohumulone even after having aged for a year. The malt is sweet up front with a slight hint of raisiny malt, characteristic of most barleywines. The alcohol is definitely there in the finish, but it is still quite well hidden given the strength.

The body is quite thick. The carbonation is sharp on the palate. Has a nice warming alcohol sting, but still quite mild for the strength. Very drinkable for being so strong as well. I will be interested to see how this one develops over time, but given how much I am enjoying it, I think I might have to buy an additional case. Afterall, I like this at least twice as much as last year's, and I only have one left out of my '06 case.

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

2007 edition

Appearance-Beer has a very nice copper to amber brown color. Nice two finger head with good retention.

Smell-I'm picking up a nice blend of hops and citrus scents. Also a bit of pine.

Taste-Nice blend of malt and hops. Can't tell which dominates, if either. Hints of raisin and citrus. Alcohol is blended nicely. Does not overwhelm at nearly 10%.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability-Very smooth. I actually prefer this to Old Guardian. I could drink a couple of these, but I wouldn't characterize it as a session beer. Very good beer.

Photo of cjgator3
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 vintage.

Pours a dark copper color with a nice creamy off-white head with nice retention and lacing. A nice sweet caramel and lively piney and grapefruit hop aroma with some alcohol in the nose as well. The taste is incredible! Hop heads rejoice, this beer fulfills any craving for hops one might have. The hops dominate the start and make way for a little apperance from the malt and then the hops are full throttle all the way through the finish and linger for quite some time on the palate. Delicious! Overall, this is a wonderful brew. The hard part will be saving some of these to cellar for later. I just want to drink them all up while they are fresh.

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

Came in today in a six pack to the North Coast Coop here in Eureka, CA. Poured a rich ruby color with a nice fat off-white head that left excellent rings of lacing .Was very high on appearance. Nose was malts, fruits, and vanilla and quite nice. Very rich mouthfeel was almost cloying. Flavor was mostly of malts, fruits, and a touch of hops. While this did not hold a candle to the excellent Mad River John Barleycorn I drank a couple of days ago it was still pretty good. Alcohol is hidden well and overall it is quite drinkable.

Photo of scarletfire79
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

wow. love this beer. haven't sampled any other vintage so it's hard to compare but this beer is definitly right on for the style. pours an awesome red amber with a nice head that slowly disapates into great lacing. the nose smells greatly of hops and grapefruit. slightly piney with a hint of hops. the taste is a piney/hop/grapefruit montage that blasts my pallate full on. very drinkable. very warming. i don't find the 9.6% to be a hinderance, rather a nice reward for a long winter coming to an end. definitly my favorite barleywine i've sampled so far. great beer!

Photo of acrawf6
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My 4th one out of the first 6pack i bought in 2007

Pours out a clear ruby and brown amber with a nice tight tan head.

Smell. Hops have a lot of caramel and grapefruit. Hops certainly dominate and hint to you what is stored ahead.

Taste. Hops have a good bit of bittering. A bit more grapefruit with some pine. Aftertaste is still hoppy, but slightly sweetens up. Alcohol become more appearant with a warming sensation, but still hides it decently.

Mouthfeel. Body is full with a decent amount of carbonation. hops certainly dominate, but the malts can hold some of it's own. Right now i think the hops are just a bit too much for this beer, but i'm hoping just a little bit of cellaring will make this year incredible.

Overall, a good and solid beer. I've waited a while to get this in again, and it hasnt really failed me. I will certainly buy more to store and i think in a few months, this one will be a gem.

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

2007 vintage

Pours a bright clear copper color with a nice white head.

Smells quite hoppy. Resiny, pine, and some dark fruits noted.

Flavors are very well balanced. This years Bigfoot seems to be even more tasty fresh than years before. Very hoppy on the front end, with a nice tangy bitterness. Beer then settles into a slightly sweet fruity creaminess that is very full bodied. The finish is very crisp and has a nice hop bite.

Mouthfeel is excellent, nice full flavors, very well rounded.

Drinkability is excellent. This tastes great fresh, I don't think I really want to age this too much. I really like the hoppiness this year. This is a very flavorful beer, but it is still quite drinkable.

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

2007 vintage.

As soon as the beer evacuates from the bottle into my goblet, an immediate kick of grassy hop aroma smacks the snotty crust off of my face, buttressed by a substantial malt foundation (rum-bloated raisins, warm cotton candy). The hops, once I dig my nose into the brew, become more complex than simply "grassy" -- they're huge here -- an entire landscape of freshly peeled citrus rinds and cut grass, pinches of pine resin -- huge -- along with a mild flash of alcohol heat. The color's a translucent russet, has a sheen to it; the head's at least an inch tall, tan, and deflates slowly leaving curdled swaths of lace on the goblet walls. The taste opens from the periphery of my palate, for a split second, before the onslaught of hop bitterness caves in at a deliberately massive pace, like sucking on a thick wad of liquor-drenched grapefruit rinds that still have a bit of flesh, juice, adhered to them. The middle brings out the malts; they press through, in thin ribbons of caramel and prune, deep from the underbelly of the hop tsunami that's so intense even the roof of my mouth feels numbed. Mind you, this is entirely pleasurable to me. Bigfoot is violently sodomizing my mouth! I look forward to it every year.

Photo of BeerSox
3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Each tasting from 12oz bottle into snifter glass. Bottled 2007 (no specific date).

Tasting 1 - Feb 10, 2007 - 3.55
---
Clear and vibrant raspberry red hue with a tan colored head that fizzes to a thin rim along the glass. String and spotty lacing along the glass. An aggressive pour yields a one finger head with popping bubbles along the surface. The head holds well.

Very sharp hops align with strong alcohol vapors. A little bit of a dark candy scent is also there.

Starts out very tame, with almost no flavor, with a bit of toasty grain showing up a bit late. About midway through, a blast of sharp and acidic hops take over. There is not as much hop flavor as there is bitterness. The malts seem almost nonexistent at this point. A little bit of alcohol shows up at the end. Medium bodied with very low carbonation, leaving a very syrupy and oily feel. The finish is completely hops, leaving a very strong presence. The bitterness lingers for a while after each sip, along with an herblike flavor.

Ultra fresh, and maybe too fresh. The hops are extremely potent at this point, and I think long-term aging would benefit this one. I'm curious to see how much the malt shows up after a while, especially since I couldn't taste them in this round.

Tasting 2 - March 11, 2007 - 3.7
---
Clear and ruby, the head is still a little fizzy and short, and ends up as a rim along the glass.

The hops are the main show, yet not as sharp as they were before. A little bit more of the candy aroma can come through.

Immediately a sweet syrupy fruit flavor emerges, then slowly gives way to a sharp citrusy flavor and bitterness from the hops. A little bit of butterscotch comes out as well. The feel is still the same. The finish is still full of lingering bitterness.

It seems after only a month a little the complexity has increased a little. The hops are slightly less dominating, and the malts and sugary characteristics are coming out more.

Tasting 3 - April 14, 2007 - 3.7
---
Still clear, ruby, with the hops running the show in the aroma. The head is thin and doesn't present much.

In the flavor, the hops are still extremely dominant, even moreso than the last tasting.

Not much has changed since the original tasting. I may reserve the rest for a longer term testing, to give the hops a better chance to mellow.

Photo of cueball52
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2007 Sierra Nevada Bigfoot - It pours a deep amber with robust carbination and about an 1 1/2" head that slowly fades leaving heavy lace all the way around the sides of the glass.
The color and clarity give no idea of what you are about to taste. The hops jump out as soon as this beer hits your tongue and they are complimented with a rich maltiness followed by a very bitter aftertaste.
Definitely not a session brew but one to sit back and enjoy.
This may not be the best version of Bigfoot I've tried but I still love this beer!

Photo of bigdeuce
3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Wow, this is strong as hell. Pours a nice red color with a massive head that laces all the way down the glass. Smells of mega hops and is very malty as well. It is a little unbalanced toward the hoppy side, but that is the style. Tough to drink more than one of these as the alcohol shines through, hard! Finishes dry and makes you want to drink more, but just too much for me. It's like every beer you've ever had dumped into one. But a good beer, nonetheless.

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

12 oz. bottle poured into an oversize wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a ruby/brown. Dense but thin tan head that turns to a lace (and leaves a lacing on the glass as well).

Smell: A strong, nice, and interesting aroma of hops and pines. A hint of citrus is also present.

Taste: Strong and good! A very hoppy flavor kicks in first with a strong piney aspect and citrusy backing. There's also a milder taste of roasted malts that becomes apparent later. Though definitely on the hoppy side, I find this to be well-balanced for this type of beer. Aftertaste retains some of the bitterness, but also the slightly smoky taste of the malts. A tad bit of alcohol flavor is present, but it's far from being overwhelming.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and somewhat warm, with a nice (though very light) carbonation.

Drinkability: Obviously you'll have to drink this slowly (given the strong alcohol and taste., but the beer lends itself quite well to such drinking.

Very nice barleywine that I'd certainly get again. Certainly one of the best beers of this style that I've had -- so many try to be pretentiously strong or harsh, but this spot-on in those regards.

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,515 ratings.