Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,971 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,971
Hads: 7,178
Avg: 4.14
pDev: 17.63%
Wants: 389
Gots: 1,637 | FT: 81
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style | ABV
American Barleywine | 9.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 02-06-1998

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,971 | Hads: 7,178
Photo of Gajo74
4.46/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is a hearty and intense but drinkable bear that goes well alone or with a big meal.
Pours a dark caramel or copper color. Big cream and foam slightly tan or off white head. Sticky lace retains through ought.
Lots of complexity in the aroma. There are dark fruit in the nose as well as a sweet caramel, toffee and molasses type aroma. Later, there is some biscuity malt with a whiff of alcohol on the backend. Later still, some resiny oily hops come to the forefront.
This brew is in many ways a tale of two palates. As with the aroma, at first the fruity and malty sweetness are felt on both the tongue and the finish. The feel is viscous, medium bodied to full and almost buttery. However, the big hops bittering and flavoring provide a resiny and even citric feel. The alcohol is also there although not to the point of being too boozy.
This is a great beer.

 867 characters

Photo of Rfm4000
3.35/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Taste like a SN IPA not really a barely wine. Still good none the less, just a bit too hoppy for a barely wine. Finish is more pronounced, but still leaves things to be desired. 7/10

 182 characters

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.96/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle 2015 vintage $ 2.79 at Vintage Estates, Boardman, OH
Packaged 12/4/14 at 55 degrees into snifter
Aroma – malt
Head large (5 cm, aggressive pour), off white, frothy, slooowly diminishing to 4 mm frothy layer
Lacing good – complete rings and curtains of tiny to medium bubbles
Body red amber, clear
Flavor of malt and light alcohol; no hops, no diacetyl
Palate medium, syrupy, soft carbonation

Appearance 4.25, Aroma 3.75, Flavor 4, Palate 4, Overall 4

 468 characters

Photo of Smelly
2.23/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

It's a waste to be a hater, but I gotta be honest. It's like they took a regular off the shelf mass produced Sierra Nevada Ale and threw "something" in the mix to try and make it a "Barleywine". I tried this twice to be sure my palate wasn't off....so many good reviews here. However.....it's just plain terrible. Maybe I got a bad 4-pack:(

 345 characters

Photo of Bisco42
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2015, poured into a Palm nucleated tulip.

Almost no head that disappears almost immediately.

An exceptional American style Barleywine. The mouth feel stood out. Thick almost, wonderfully carbonated. For 4 months old, the alcohol warmth has significantly dropped since I had one back in December. Tastes very sugary, will purchase more to cellar.

 349 characters

Photo of eriff
3.61/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into snifter
Dark red/ brown pours with a small amount of off white head, which retains well and gives good lacing.
Hoppy, grassy, sweet caramel notes, biscuity
Hefty malt biscuit, caramel and sweet notes followed by a bitter slightly solventy taste end is dominated by the hops, leaving a slighlty sweet bitter hop finish
Orange Grapefruit are apparent in the hops

Rich heavy mouthfeel

Good sipper not a daily drinker heavy and the alcohol hits heavy, it is nice that they have released this in 12oz bottles now, as it is much more manageable to have one with another lighter beer.

 655 characters

Photo of ElJacobian
4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sweet aroma with a hint of floral notes. This beer slaps you right in the face - absolutely massive beer. Pretty malt-heavy in my opinion. I'd like to have one that's beer aged for a while and see how that affects it. Very boozy beer.

 234 characters

Photo of ClavisAurea
4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated 12/31/14 so it is 3 months old already. Served in a goblet.

Appearance: clear copper with a white head that sank to a thin one on the top of the beer.

Nose: flowery, toffee and caramel, fresh hop aroma

Taste: hop bite, slightly bitter, heavy malt body, no alcohol in the front but there is a warming fusal alcohol taste in the back. Bitter grapefruit when it warmed up.

Overall: I bought this beer for its cellar strength. I can definitely see how this would improve over the next few years. I have 7 more and will update this in a few months.

 563 characters

Photo of arvidkoval
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2015 release

L- Deep amber color, with a white head.

S- Sweet apple, caramel malts, fruity hops

T- Caramel malty sweetness, fruity, piney hops.

F- Medium body, fairly carbonated.

O- Nice and hoppy, can't wait to see it with some age!

 244 characters

Photo of Urk1127
4.31/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

An amazing beer. Mahogany in color. One finger head. Sweet malty and subtle boozy smell. Taste is subtle hops at first then sweet malt and alcohol heat but not intense. Served at almost room temperature. This was a very good beer and my first barleywine.

 254 characters

Photo of Trooper92292
4.64/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2013- smooth and excellent taste. Bitter level very balanced and acceptable. My favorite year.
2014 - hops not overpowering and taste lasts on palate.
2015 - Strong on the hops, a great taste but aging would definitely help it. As aging this beers always does. This has the darkest color for some reason out of the three.

 322 characters

Photo of Shade1951
3.64/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Wow! How things change. A couple years ago, I thought this beer was the "bees knees." Now, though I still feel this is a very good beer, I'm not quite so in love with it. Here's why.

For me, this has way too much of a hop presence for a barleywine. I generally LOVE hops in things like IPA's. But for me, a barleywine should be minimally hoppy and its focus should be on flavors like sherry and bourbon and fruit. This particular beer is hop-infused throughout. As such, it tastes to me more like an IPA. A GOOD IPA - but an IPA nonetheless.

I don't know if the formula for this beer has changed, or if it's my taste buds. I suspect the latter.

This is a very good IPA. But, to my taste buds, it's really not a barleywine.

 725 characters

Photo of tMoney721
4.74/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I've had 2015 on draft and it wasn't as good as this 2014 bottle! Very sweet malt up front with a piney hop boozy back end. Just an awesome American style barleywine!

 166 characters

Photo of HattedClassic
4.52/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a nice white and bubbly head that dissipates but still leaves a nice film on the head and inside of the glass. The beer itself is a beautiful reddish deep amber that is very clear. The look is pretty gorgeous.

The beer smell is fairly fruity and hoppy with a bit of sweetness to it. The hops are more a light pine and citrus smell than anything. The malt smell is fairly sweet and fruity.

The beer taste is strongly hopped. The hops are mainly pine with a bit of citrus to it. The malt is strongly overshadowed by the ops but still manages to squeeze a tea and fruity flavor from it.

The mouthfeel is heavy but on the lighter side. The beer goes down smoothly. The beer is lightly carbonated and gives a nice tingling feel on the tongue.

Overall, a very good barleywine despite how hopped it is. Even though the ops are strong, the taste is not bad and the strong malts do help take the edge off little.

 924 characters

Photo of priwen
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep orange/red appearance. Thick, tan head. Aroma of piney hops and rich malts. Malty sweet flavor with some really nice bitterness from the hops. Nothing too complex, but what is there is excellent. Full, oily mouthfeel. Sweet finish. Overall, a terrific beer! A great one to sip on while relaxing and enjoying some time alone.

12 oz bottle
PKGD: 12/11/14 (2015 Vintage)
Served in an Oversized Wine glass

 407 characters

Photo of Kerfluffel
4.39/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Rich clear mahogany with a creamy beige head that persists long with gorgeous lacing.

Ar: Strong caramel and fruity malts provide a fantastic foundation for massive northwest style hopping trending towards citrus and pine.

T: The nose gives a preview into the taste of the brew. This beer is big in flavor. Malt is complex yet in the background of resin, citrus, and bitterness that lasts into the next sip. Notes of toffee, toast, golden dried figs, and blood orange.

Mf: Medium body, medium level carbonation.

O: A big beer, full of flavor and everything that makes this brew one of the quintessential American Style Barleywines. Fantastic pricing and availability too.

 683 characters

Photo of Czequershuus
3.13/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I've been getting more into Barleywine's lately. It never used to be a style I enjoyed, but my palate has evolved to enjoy them much more. This one, however, did not leave me particularly impressed. Mostly sweet, but not with any real flavor behind it. Everything blended into an amalgam that rather than being balanced was simply dull. I can more easily forgive a beer being outright bad than I can dull.

 405 characters

Photo of hoagzzz
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big and boozy. More subtle than English barley wine, in my limited experience with this style. Overall not bad. I got two of these, gonna cellar the other.

 155 characters

Photo of mchegash
3.79/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - 4/5
Deep red in color, with a hint of brown. Clear. About a finger of very light tan head. A nice amount of carbonation can be seen rising up the beer.

Smell - 3.75/5
A lot of resinous hops with some pine as well. A little bit of darker malt sugars. This is a barleywine-style ale, but it smells a little too hoppy from other instances of the style I've tried.

Taste - 3.75/5
Some major resin and pine flavors come in full force the first sip. Yet there is little bitterness. Rather, a mellowed out version of the flavor, very smooth. The malts are more discernable in the taste than they were in the smell. Still, I feel that the hop flavors are definitely dominant in the beer. Not exactly what I'm looking for in a barleywine, but I guess the hops is to be expected, given Sierra Nevada. It's not bad, just tastes more like a DIPA than a barleywine.

Mouthfeel - 4/5
This beer definitely drinkes super smooth, which is nice. Medium bodied, with a lighter amount of light-medium intensity carbonation.

Overall - 3.75/5
Overall, not a bad beer, just more hoppy than I like my barleywines.

 1,105 characters

Photo of DoctorZombies
4.44/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep auburn with thin off white head. Aromas of bourbon barrel staves, semi sweet malt as liquid warms. Bourbon and boozy malt with burnt hop finish - intense. Medium mouthfeel, tongue tingles with alcohol, and bittering coating. Overall, tastes a little lite, like it needs time, but still big and boozy. Nice.

 311 characters

Photo of SirHopsHoppington
4.14/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 12/11/14.
Opened on 3/9/15.
Light amber color with thick lasting head. Much lacing. Full cabonation. Sharp impact of fresh hops. Pine crisp after taste. Interested in how age would change it flavor.

 209 characters

Photo of MunsonRoyE
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

We did a 2009-2015 vertical. Each vintage was delicious, yet slightly different.

The 2009-2012 had quite a biscuity flavor that the 2013-2015 didn't have.

The 2009-2011 had a hint of caramel along with the biscuity flavor.

Each year got a little hazier the older it was.

Each year still had plenty of carbonation.

 320 characters

Photo of TheBeerMaster1
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very easy to put down for a beer that's almost 10% Abv. Drank it back to back next to Laguintas A little sumptin wild. Probably shouldn't have because I felt like Laguintas was superior and took the funk out of.it. I'd buy it again to readjust my palate but don't see it getting anything higher than a 4

 303 characters

Photo of ajm5108
3.86/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mostly pine / citrus hops, with a little backsplash of toasted malt. Not picking up any of the sweetness or fruit that others have. It is a good, punchy mix of the two primary beer flavors but that's about it.

 211 characters

Photo of E-McFarden
4.39/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Deep red in color, everlasting lace Sweet orange and floral hop scents. Sweet cherry and earthy bittering hops? Finishes dry with strength. This beer takes you on an adventure

 175 characters

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,971 ratings.