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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.

6,393 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,393
Reviews: 2,818
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 274
Gots: 1,146 | 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
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: 6,393 | Reviews: 2,818 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Onceeven
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2003 batch. Had the will-power to keep this one a whole two months before I popped this one open. I know, pretty weak.

Poured a dark hazy sienna with smallish head, but thats my fault. Spotty lacing, but overall a nice looking beer. Wonderful aroma, overwhemling scents of pine, roasted malts, and oily hops. There's something else there too that I can't put my finger on, but it's pleasant. This on has a big chewy mouthfeel with the aroma still stealing the scene. Taste.. this is one big tasting brew. More pine and malt sweetness with a big hop follow up to match. A superbly balanced beer, with a nice warming alcohol finish. A must try!

Onceeven, Mar 25, 2004
Photo of mschofield
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark red with a thin tan head, left thin webs of lace.
Smells like a pine tree, pepper, dark fruit, malt, citrus.
Tastes like a spicy pine tree, alcohol tingles the lips and adds a pepper note. Sweet malt, cherry, plums and caramel. The robust taste lingers in the mouth and the citrus (grapefruit) note grows with warming.
Medium-full body, great drinkability for a barleywine.

mschofield, Mar 24, 2004
Photo of GuinnessSmurf
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a very strange and wonderful treat for me. I got excited just to dig into this barleywine, but I was skeptical. I had to test Sierra Nevada with two bottles of this. Was it worth it?

A Big Foot entered my glass...the foot was a beautiful brownish, red color (with copper glow in the light). The head is short lived, but is not unusual (or breathtaking either). I guess you can't have both a big foot and a big head. BUT a big foot does not infact herald a stinky foot. This beer was super "smell-icious". This is probably the only beer I have given a 5 to, and its in the smell departement. Don't believe me? Pour one of these bad boys and get ready. Its a complicated affair - can be best described using non-smell terms such as: invigorating, exciting, inviting, flirty.

How could I resist? I took the foot into my mouth. As any foot that enters your mouth, it comes at you pretty aggressively. This is ok, nothing to hide in a barley wine. So at first the mouth enjoys a bitter flavor and an alcohol flavor. This is then balanced out in the finish with some of the sweetness that is advertized in the smell.

Good beer - nice for multiple beers, and a great introductory barleywine (style) beer for those just getting aquainted with beer tasting.

GuinnessSmurf, Mar 24, 2004
Photo of Tballz420
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1998 bottle, drank in Mar. 2004

This beer pours out a dark brown color, cloudy body, with a tan head on top. Huge malt aroma, some hops, plum. The taste is a blast of hops. Malts are pretty smooth. Alcohol spicyness.

This is one hell of a big beer, I am impressed at its strength of flavors this long after it was brewed. Excellent beer.

Tballz420, Mar 18, 2004
Photo of CrescentFresh
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What can I say? Excellent beer. Went down well, even at room temperature. It took be 3 hours to polish off 3 of these as I was savouring every sip. I expected overbearing hop bitterness after checking IBU's from SN's website, but it was too evenly balanced to notice.

Definately worth 11 bones a sixer.

Well deserving of my rating; 4.5 out of 5 swills.

CrescentFresh, Mar 17, 2004
Photo of kwalters
3.55/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2004 Vintage.

First off, let's get the trivial things out the way. The name and label of this beer are fantastic. There's nothing more fitting for a big seasonal brew from Sierra Nevada. Well done.

Bigfoot pours a deep brownish-amber color with a very sizable head by barleywine standards. It looked every bit the 4.5 that I gave it as I stared at the snifter. The smell was strong with a notable hop presence. I immediately began thinking Imperial Celebration.

The taste was indeed recognizable as the big brother of SN's Pale Ale and Celebration Ale, but it definately has it's own character too. There's a very slight hint of sweet maltiness with the first drop that hits the tongue. That's immediately washed away by hops, bitterness, and alcohol. As I allowed this brew to warm up over about a 45 minute period while I drank it, the taste became a bit more balanced. The finish had less bite and the alcohol tried to hide. But unfortunately, like a 250lbs kid trying to hide behind an oak sappling, it's never quite out of sight.

I've got a few of these put away for a special occasion. I'll be drinking those at about one year from bottling. Maybe things will mellow out by then.

kwalters, Mar 16, 2004
Photo of jtfest
3.35/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2004 vintage. The brew poured somewhat thin and a dark amber color with a small mustard-tan head. Appearance-wise, it looked more like an amber ale than a Barleywine. The aroma was a bit hoppy, with pepper-like hints. The mouthfeel was thin but coating, with a bit of a carbonated bite. The aftertaste was bitter with a tinge of alcohol. The flavor hard to grasp -- some woody hints, some hop indications, a bit of malt sweetness -- but overall the experience was more like an IPA than a Barleywine to me. That makes it pretty drinkable, but maybe it needs a lot more time before it impresses me like it seems to impress so many others.

jtfest, Mar 16, 2004
Photo of ecoboy
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

You want to know what I think? There is such a thing as too much. This is too much.

That said, I guess some beer had to be "it." Completely impressive in intensity, this is death metal, this is Grand Guignol, this is wasabi. But when is it applicable to enjoyment? Ruby notes in the amber color. Big bubble head which surrenders quickly. Dry start followed by wallop of hops and alcohol, with a big round syrupy mouthfeel. Sharpness of carbonation appropriate for amplification of every single element of the brew.

I sit in a cold Maine winter and know I have been vanquished by a beer. I don't think I ever asked for that.

ecoboy, Mar 12, 2004
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pouring the beer, i could see the carbonation go to the bottom of the glass and gradually make its way to the top to form the 1/2" head that was thick and lingering. The color is sort of a murky brown-amber. You can see that it's got plenty of body by the way the carbonation moves through the fluid.
The taste is spectacular, almost overwhelming. The hops are very prevalent, and there is an intense sweetness that goes right along with it. Different flavors reveal themselves...prune/raisin, orange peel, hops. You have to try to pick out the tastes, because after it's swallowed, it's hops all the way. Not that there is anything wrong with that. The alcohol flavor is not as prevalent as one might expect at 9.6%, but it is there and warming.
There was more carbonation throughout the beer than anticipated. It actually nips at your tongue. The feel is neither oily nor dry. It just plain goes down well.
I don't know what to say about the drinkability of a barleywine. I loved every sip. But i'm going to wait until tomorrow to have another.
Next time I drink one of these I will try it a bit warmer to see how the flavor changes or intensifies. This one was enjoyed at around 42 degrees farenheit.
I wouldn't advise driving after having one of these. I wouldn't advise standing up if you have three.

Photo of dansteino
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2004 vintage

Appearance: Very Good. Burnt orange. Good head. Nice lacing.

Smell: HOPS!!! Citrus. Floral. Caramel.

Taste: Very good. Sweet malt balanced by strong hops. Hops should mellow with cellaring.

Mouthfeel: Awesome. Thick and lingering

Drinkability: Good. Enjoyable beer.

dansteino, Mar 11, 2004
Photo of Gasp100
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh man, this is nice! Poured a deep, dark red with the perfect head and major lacing down the glass. The smell was of big, ripe dark fruits and hops a pleanty. The taste was bold and beautiful, strong alchohol presence, perfectly carbonated, sweet and syrupy but the hops brightened things up nicely. I did not find this to be overly hoppy like some others noted ---- I felt the hops livened things up a lot and made it seem a tad lighter than other barley wines I've had. I have cellared a six of this with a 12 of Old Horizontal for a couple months to see how these age. This is not for the faint of heart and although very drinkable for a Barleywine, at 9% or higher.... watch out!

Gasp100, Mar 10, 2004
Photo of blitheringidiot
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I went in search of the elusive Bigfoot BWA tonite. [ FYI: This review also was done comparing 2004 12 oz. SN Big Foot to a 12 oz.Victory Old Ho’. Please see both reviews to compare & contrast, like in high school, except this is about beer…Yeah!] A nearly perfect, -strike that- PERFECT pour started out this adventure. An enticing, murky orange, evenly textured, hazy, dark, ominous slightly cloudy pour tore loose thru the woods of my goblet, with a light head sauntering off to a clingy circular band, sliding clean down the sides. I even up’ed my rating to 5/5. This is golden! This is an appearance that doesn't get any better. Can I swig it yet?

Aroma was a roasted walnut with peppery scents but not really a strong aroma at first. As I chased this Yeti thru the woods, some piney esters and hops were invoked. She poured at a slightly cooled temp, but warmed up to introduce the mature alcohol esters and Isopropyl like effluvia. A port nose pronounced, underlined nicely with hops.

Bigfoot sips, yes...sips with dark caramel, Vermont maple syrup, sweet, thick, full in the ole kisser. Hershey’s dark chocolate peeks out. Easy carbonation slides by. Flavor lasts while sinking back in the mouth to a pleasant rye toast. If left on the tongue to sit, it reminds me a twinge of Stone, Ruination IPA, but in a more vinous flavor, and less in attack mode. Other nuances? A dry walnut bite, with a lingering, lip-smackin’ coriander, finishing with a stand up strong and proud, bold aftertaste.

Last swigs: I set the trap, but she got away! Perfect, pleasant pour, hoppy Port nose and mature 'malt & hops' balanced flavor, to whisk this down while being less aggressive on me tongue than Victory Old Ho’. IMHO, tantamount to any Brandy for an all night cozy sipper. There is no end to this sip-ability [did I just invent another word?] rating. Stay tuned for updates on capturing this 9.6% ABV monster at 6 & 12 months. C’mon September!!! Price? Usually you can snare a case in your beartrap wallet inYuengling-ville for $38 but this was a trade from car pool co-worker’s home brewin’ husband! Thanks Tim! I hear that this is a more hoppy SN BF than previous years, but I can't attest.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

blitheringidiot, Mar 10, 2004
Photo of BeerResearcher
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a lovely sun burnt orange amber with a smallish but fairly long-lasting beige head.
Potent floral hop aromas burst out of the glass while pouring. A smell of spruce, malt and alcohol blend in.
Caramel and candy sugar sweetness are easily noticed. Doughy bread, rum-soaked raisins and a light taste of herbs begin to emerge, though settled in the background.
Sharp grapefruit, lemon zest and a bit of a metallic bite provide quite a bite. The piney esters of whole fresh hops and the big alcohol kick remain quite separate from the other tastes, which begin to mingle halfway through the glass. Bigfoot is an original Northwest American-style Barleywine. I hope that just because something else more extreme flavor-wise, or more potent in the ABV department comes along, doesn't relegate this wonderful brew to the back shelf. Long live the legend of Bigfoot!

BeerResearcher, Mar 09, 2004
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2004 Vintage, Sampled March 2004
Pours a clear, amber-ruby color when held up to the light. A thick tan head rests atop this beer. Thick aromas of malt and hops waft from my glass as I pour. The hops dominate the aroma, Citrus, dark fruit, pine, alcohol, and a nectar like quality are all in the nose. Thick bodied, with a slightly syruppy consistency. The taste is sweet with American hops bursting forth all over the place. A strong malt character (caramel, biscuit) is here, but it is definitely subservient to the hops in this fresh example. The malt only serves as a vehicle to allow the hops to express themselves to the fullest. This is a brew that suggests what it would be like to suckle from a flower fat with Lupulin glands.

Gueuzedude, Mar 08, 2004
Photo of pio
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

hazy walnut and amber colored liquid with next to no activity. somehow it has been a differing head size for me, seems to depend on the temp. at best it's a two fingered head that stays and leaves pretty nice lace, at it's worst it's been snap, crapple, pop of a fizzy head. i dunno, it's usually been pretty nice, no biggy.
the nose is heavy with malt and honey. what i've come to think of as the signature sn hops profile (though they do seem to vary this from style to style i usually find alot of similarity in them) comes shining through. some very nice spice notes help and the warming alcohol is tantalizing.
a roasty malty start on the palate is nicely bitter and sweet with a honey note. hints of clove and perhaps nutmeg work through a twang of maple and honey. the good old sn hops dry the palate accutely and abides with an herbal lingering that has a tendency, too, towards the bitter and toasty.
the effervescance seem a bit much for the style but probably helps the body from being too sticky, though it is a little just the same. heavily bodied.
there is alot of competition for bigfoot doing so many nice things for this style, it's difficult not to move on if there are others available.
thanks for reading my review.

pio, Mar 07, 2004
Photo of jsolack
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep brown and cloudy. Head is tan and is very lofty... sticks around for quite some time... lots of lacing.

Licorice and grain. Smells strong with sweet notes.

Strong and thick flavor. Has a strong sweet taste with a rather bitter aftertaste. Grassy finish. Overall everything blends together nicely.

Very thick and heavy in the mouth. Compliments the flavor.

Very great tasting beer. It's strong and has a high alchohol content so I don't know if it's a great idea to slam these but they are definitly a great drink!

jsolack, Mar 06, 2004
Photo of Beastdog75
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2004 "Expedition"

Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot is their biggest and most intense brew out of their entire lineup. I'm a barleywine newbie, so the only thing I could really expect out of this was the massive hops (because of it being SN). I realize that this barleywine is in a totally different mold from English and other barleywines, as this is more of an "ambassador" of hoppy West Coast brews. When I cracked open my first bottle, this was just as intense and interesting as I thought it was going to be.

Bigfoot pours a lovely reddish amber color with a nice light gold head that retains pretty well and leaves some lacing. The smell was of pure hops. Strong pine and citrus/grapefruit aromas in the nose, very woody and aromatic. The mouthfeel was slick, smooth and coating. The first sip of this was like electro-shock therapy for the tastebuds. Those hops are REALLY strong. Notes of pine, citrus/grapefruit, mint/herbal qualities, and an earthy woodiness. There was a malt presence just barely detectable under the hops, adding some buttery/caramel notes to the beer. The first few sips brought some alcohol flavor to my tongue and up into my nose. The alcohol flavor mellowed out as I drank on. This is a sharp and bitter brew, but as it got warmer and as I neared the halfway point, it seemed to mellow out a bit. Aftertaste is long and dry, with the piney Cascade hop flavors lingering long after the brew is finished. A very nice warming sensation finishes out the beer.

I will definitely save a bottle or two of this and try one in 6 months and the other a year from now. They probably will progress quite nicely. This brew is mighty and complex, and must be sipped. Because of its very raw and pungent hoppiness, I couldn't forsee drinking too many of these. The alcohol became a non-factor as I drank on, but I'm sure Bigfoot would catch up to me if I had more than the said few. I can't say I really enjoyed this on a wide scale level as it took a lot of intestinal fortitude from me to finish the first bottle, but I do respect how well made this brew is and its special place in the beer world. I'm not a card-carrying member of the HopHead Society yet either, but hopefully that will change in time.. To summarize, if you were to take the strong, intense Cascade hoppiness of a Celebration Ale and put it into a rich brew, you'll have Bigfoot.

12/30/05 - I tried one of my aged bottles (2004 edition) and it did mellow out quite a bit. In both the aroma and flavor, the caramel-like malts were noticable. While still a very hoppy brew, it was (dare I say it) easier to drink. Some woody qualities that I really didn't notice before became noticable. I have another bottle of this that I think I will sample in another year to see if it progresses any more.

Beastdog75, Mar 05, 2004
Photo of WesWes
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a reddish amber color with a thick off-white head. The aroma is great. It has an awesome hop scent surrounded by a fine malty base. The taste is good. It is intensely malty with an equally intense hop flavor. It goes down easy. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a great barleywine. It has real good flavor. This is the best beer Sierra Nevada produces.

WesWes, Mar 05, 2004
Photo of krberg
3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Usually I rate appearances as average or good, but the anticipation is too much and it looks great. All dark copper with a cream head. God, barleywines just look amazing.

Bigfoot always smells the same to me: hoppy and sweet. I'm always happy when I inhale the nose of a BW and I'm greeted that way. There is a weird bitter smell in there. I'm not used to that. Now I'm intrigued.

Wow, that is mild. Bitter, but very mild in the malty sweetness (considering style) and very floral and fresh. This is the first time I have had SNBF fresh. Usually, I'll get them after 6 months or so and drink them the rest of the year. I love its fresh flavor. This is without a doubt the best fresh barleywine I have ever had.

Great flavor and a silky smooth texture. Feels just great rolling over my tongue. I find SNBF2K4 smooth to a fault - I could pound this and not even realize I was drinking a carbonated beverage.

Tasty, wickedly smooth and drinkable as hell. It gets a 3.5 because I know I could drink a few, but I'd have to stop so that I did not embarass myself by attempting any movement what so ever, including the consumption of another pint.

Great beer. Not for the uninitiated, but if you've been holding out because SN is a bigger company, do yourself a favor and pick up a 6 of SNBF2K4.

krberg, Mar 04, 2004
Photo of BeefyMee
3.85/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Wow, this is a great looking beer. The deep reddish brown color is unmatched, and the head is soft and creamy.

Smell: The floral/citrus hop aroma is just a little too much for me. It actually burns my nose when I inhale quickly, although this is kind of cool too. Too too hoppy and in a bad way. There is only a slight hint of malt somewhere in the background. Judging by the smell, I'd say this is one grossly unbalanced barley wine.

Taste: Alright alright, we might just have something here. The extreme hoppiness doesn't go away in the flavor, but it is accompanied by a big ass malt body. The malt becomes more and more noticeable as the beer warms, so don't drink it ice cold. As far as taste goes, this is a wonderfully balanced beer.

Mouthfeel: Another bright spot. It's smooth and substantial. The best mouthfeeling I've ever experienced in a barley wine.

Drinkability: As with most barley wines, this beer is so huge that the alcohol is almost unrecognizable even though it has about twice as much as a "normal" beer. This means it is very drinkable, but it doesn't mean that you won't start to feel the alcohol after a few.

Beef Notes: A top-notch barley wine here. The hop profile is still a little too floral for my tastes but this doesn't take much away from the beer as a whole. If anything, it adds to the astounding character of the brew. I'll have to get some more for cellaring.

BeefyMee, Mar 02, 2004
Photo of pheurton
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

2001 bottling: recently cracked open a bottle that had been aging one year. pours a deep mahogany with a light tan head. huge malt aroma can be sensed a foot away from the glass. mouthfeel is full and chewy. a wonderful fruity malt is sensed first followed by a lingring PNW hop finish. it seems a year in the cellar has mellowed out the more "raw" hop characteristics of this brew, making it more balanced and enjoyable. a stellar beer that has improved with age. original score = 4.35

2004 vintage: i felt that i should re-review this beer because i feel this year's version to be top notch. pours such a beautiful dark reddish mahogany with a creamy tan head that lasts and leaves sheets of lace down the glass. monstorous sweet malt aroma of camelized fruit with thick pine sap hop notes. full, unbelievably chewy mouthfeel with an appropriately low level of carbonation, which amazingly still retains some crispness. liquid silk. huge sweet crystal malt and brown sugar sweetness hold up extroadinarly well against a resinous piney hop blast. the balance of this year's version right out of the box is jaw-dropping. finishes long and sweet yet oh so delicously bitter. the harmony of this beer is enough to make one cry. too much hops for a barleywine? that's what SN is all about and this is what they're going for...and they do it remarkably well. difficult to drink more than one in a night, but what a treat to have that one! absolutely superb. rating reflects 2004 vintage.

pheurton, Feb 29, 2004
Photo of abents
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a beautiful reddish brown with a slight white head. Moderate ammount on carbonation running up the beer. Head sticks to the glass like its hanging on for dear life.

Smell: Smells of citrusy grapefruit and a lot of hops.

Taste: Huge ammount of hops overpowering the taste buds. Yet there is a slight sweetness to it in addition to the bitterness. Evens out quite nice. No doubt about it this is a big beer slight alcohol taste remains, but covered nicely.

Mouthfeel: Coats your mouth like a cough syrup. Huge beer lingers on the tounge long after you take the last sip. It's delicious.

Drinkability: A great barley wine that is the standard in which to be measured.

gonna try to age a bottle or two and see what happens.

abents, Feb 28, 2004
Photo of MobBarley
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Mahogany red with a small, creamy tan head. Decent enough lacing, too. The smell is all pine and grapefruit and subtle chamomile. A fruity sweetness attempts to bring some balance but is banished with extreme prejudice by the ruthless hops. The taste? The oral assault, more appropriately. Bitter in a number of ways, first invogorating, then antiseptic, and finally numbing. Pine flavors and grapefruit flavors battle for dominance while a mild spiciness caresses the tongue. Mouthfeel is beyond "chewy"... slick and oily, this brew crawls down your throat. Niiice. Drinkability is the only letdown, but the massive hops cover up the high ABV very well. Yum.

MobBarley, Feb 27, 2004
Photo of jahred
3.28/5  rDev -21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

2004 bottle, but this is the first time I've tried this beer before (in any vintage). The cap top says "2004 Bigfoot Expedition" ... At 9.6% ABV, I think that any such dangerous expedition should stay away from this stuff.

Pours a beautifully deep brownish red color, with a nicely thick almost-white head. The smell is strong, but pleasant. Esters and pine and malt...

Immediately upon tasting, I'm thinking "Wow" and the first word that comes to mind for the taste, which lasts quite a long, long time in my mouth, is "raw." Deep piney hops and thick malts in a wild combination that I can't quite place. The aftertaste (much later on after the initial sip) is slightly chalky, and reminiscent of a stout. As it warms, much of the malt tastes seem to disappear, and I'm left with that wild hoppy taste. It's overpowering, and I feel like this is more like a crazy double/imperial IPA than any sort of barley wine. The alcohol, which is also quite prevelant in the taste, didn't quite help with how unbalanced this beer is.

The mouthfeel is nice - thick and oily, but I'm focused on the drinkability of this beer, which (probably much like Bigfoot himself) needs time to tame.

I will lay this down for at least a year and see what happens - hopefully some more of the malt characteristics will come through.

jahred, Feb 25, 2004
Photo of granger10
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2004 edition
Color is absolutely beautiful, akin to a mohagony red with highlights. However head is small in size and there seems to be no lacing. Aroma is straight up hops, signature cascade hops from Sierra Nevada. Alcohol is also present in the smell. Taste is too complex for me to describe. More flavors continually come. I can't describe them all. Big flavors. Citric hops upfront. Caramel malt is lean but present. More malt sweetness in the body. Some fussel alcohol hits me towards the finish. Grapefruits become very pronounced in the end. Aftertaste is quite bitter. This was an extroadinary beer. The mixture of flavors is excellent and alcohol fits perfectly. I'm proud to call this one American!

granger10, Feb 25, 2004
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 6,393 ratings.