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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.

6,503 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,503
Reviews: 2,824
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 293
Gots: 1,186 | 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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,503 | Reviews: 2,824 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brew3crew
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 bottle

A-nice reddish brown color with almost no head
S-sweet maltiness and nice hops
T-alot like an Ipa. Tons of hops. I can see why people say that barlywines are the new Ipas. Nice amount of hops all the way throughout
M-medium bodied and so smooth
D-dangerously drinkable.

Photo of czfreeman
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured out a deep ruby-brown color retains a 1 finger head in my Unibroue tulip glass. Big hoppy malty floral,yeast, pine, apricot,bitter orange, alcohol on the nose. Quite qood smelling. Hoppy, biting, sweet, alcohol on the initial taste, long aftertaste of piney Cascade hops. Drinkablitity while the beer is sipping right now. Grab a sixer and wait for it to mellow, good spicy barleywine.

Photo of evansrdbrew
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 Bigfoot
Drank on: 3/3/10
9.6% ABV
12 oz. in pint glass

A= Big thick 1" head of a creamy tan color. Lots of little bubble streams. Nearly translucent, deep reddish brown. Thick lace to the rim.

S= Dark roast malt aromas with a slight note of alcoholic warmth. Whifs of sweetness and perhaps cherries?

T= Dark roast malt with flavors of dark chocolate and coffee with a nice malty sweetness. Has a nice piney citrus hop flavor with good lasting bitterness. Malts and hops are quite well balanced both showing off but not overshadowing one another.

MF= Fantastic mid. bodied beer, good satisfying weight on the tongue. Nice mild warmth along with a smooth mouth coating. Great!! Quick tingle on tip of tongue.

D= Delicious. Alcohol is hidden well making this a dangerous brew.

Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2012 bottle poured into a tall tulip-esque glass resulting in a big 3ish finger off white head and a deep orange/amber body with ample bubbles flowing up through the glass.

A big hoppy punch of citrus fruit upfront with a sweet caramel malt and alcohol.

The bitter citrus and piney hops hit first. It has a nice malt character to balance it out. There is also an alcoholic bite.

Medium level of carbonation, full body, leaves the lips sticky, and leaves the mouth slightly dry.

Overall this is a damn fine beer. The alcohol presence definitely pops in the aroma and flavor when it warms.

Photo of stolee
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of PhineasGage
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A - Carmel/Red. Tan Head

S - Boozy, Toffee, Dark Choc, Yeasty Bread, Raisin Fruits

T - Earthy. Malty. Slight Boozy flavor. Nice hop note.

M - Thicker, Smoother than expected.

D - Very Approachable Barleywine. Good for first time barleywine drinkers. Gonna give a couple bottles some age and see what happens.

Photo of Crosling
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pure, fresh, barleywine. Perfect deep burgundy in color with a large, creamy and dense head of light tan foam. Nose of hops mainly (resin, grapefruit, pine, flowers) with a touch of caramel and dried fruits. Rich, chewy malts and a gigantic hop explosion. Pretty much exactly what I want in a barleywine. Big honey covered fruit flavors, caramel and hops, hops, hops. Quite honestly, this is pretty much a session beer for me when it is around, especially when it is 10 bucks a 6’er. Each yeah is consistently great and it ages superbly as well.

Photo of beeroclock
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

6 pack for $11 at World Market. Nice bottle and 9.6% ABV, gotta try it.

A - Poured down the center of the glass, expected a big fat head, but not much at all. Reddish color with some bubbles of carbonation.

S - The smell is good, some caramel and spices with some alcohol coming through.

T - Tastes of hops and caramel, some faint cereal malt and a little bitterness. The alcohol is not overbearing so it goes down much better than expected.

M - Some carbonation. Aftertaste lasts a long time, I like the aftertaste some spicy aftertaste that seems to last forever.

D - Not a beer you want to have all the time, but definitely a good example of this style. Very easy to drink for this amount of ABV and the aftertaste is worth it's price. Enjoy

Photo of Gagnonsux
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 vintage. Bigfoot is a deep copper color with a large (very large for a barleywine) head. The head is tan and frothy with nice retention. Citrusy hops have a strong presence in the aroma, light caramel malt smell is also noted. Taste starts off very hoppy in a west coast citrusy sort of way. The hops are soon joined by a slick malty taste which give way to more hops in the finish. Fruity ale flavors also run throughout the sip. This is definently a west coast interpretation of the style, normally I like my barleywines a little less hoppy, but this is a damn fine beer.

Photo of crayphish
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The Bigfoot Ale takes a close second to Celebration Ale when ranking Sierra Nevada Brews. The 2006 vintage poured to a dark brown cloudy liquid. Nominal head that did last down to the bottom of the glass. Nice fine lacing. The smell was of hoppy alcohol, and fruits. Very nice! Taste was of a great blend of strong malt and hops. Strong alcohol kicker as well. Again very nice. The brew felt thick with little carbonation. Despite the heaviness and alchohol content of this beer I found it extremely drinkable. Another solid product by SN.

Photo of aerozeppl
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle From Notes

A: Thick 2 finger head. Dark amber color. Nice intricate lacing.

S: Barley and malt. Some sweetness in there as well.

T: I could almost describe the taste as thick. Tons of malt with a bitter hop aftertaste. The alcohol is there as well.

M: Med body. Almost thin for the style. Low amount of carbonation but it works well.

D: Easy going for a barley wine. I drank this as my 4th beer of the night but it should have been first. Very enjoyable sipper.

Photo of snaotheus
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 Sierra Nevada Bigfoot

I think it's even hoppier than last year -- extremely hoppy for a barleywine. Hoppier than their Pale Ale. Strong astringent alcohol -- oddly, the sweetness is more in the background for this barleywine. Slight floral tones.

It's a dark, syrupy amber color with a decent head and strong lacing. Smells piney.

Feels thinner in the mouth than it looks when it pours. Drinkable for a barleywine. Very nice!


17 April 2009 Update:
I am now drinking a 2003 Bigfoot side-by-side with a 2009 -- I'm not going to update the scores I gave it, I'm just going to contrast them.

The 2003 is noticeably cloudier and slightly less carbonated. It has a much smokier, caramel-laced smell than its younger counterpart.

2003 is much sweeter, maltier, and way way less hoppy. Strong molasses taste to this beer, and a little astringence.

2003 mouthfeel is chalky, almost gritty -- I don't think I disturbed any sediment, but I may have (I know I've never seen sediment in the 2008s and 2009s I've head).

Overall, I'd prefer the hoppy crispness of the 2009 over the 2003, but they're both solid.

2014 (packaged date 12-10-2013) enjoyed 19 Feb 2014

Hoppy, nice, honey sweetness. Very bitter aftertaste, very sweet foretaste.

Photo of jrallen34
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I drank this 1994 verion into a tasting glass at EBF.

The beer pours light brown with a nice tan head, retention and lacing down.

The aroma is medium in strength with some nice balanced complexity. There is some caramel, tea, dark fruits, and a nice hoppy finish.

The taste is much stronger than the aroma, and a little off base to me. Its is much more bitterer than you think it would be and that really dominates. There is a little sweetness but it doesn't come off balanced enough.

Photo of maxpower
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Last years 2001, Unlike any barley wine I have ever had.Lots and lots of hops, like most of their beers. I like hops so I love this barley wine., citrusy and sweet aroma aroma, malty as hell, and loaded with hops, I always like the bigfoot, gets alot better aged for at least a year, mellows the hop out a bit.

Photo of pdoran10
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage fresh. Pours out a ruby brown color with four fingers of white head that leaves really sick lacing.

Smell is big floral piney hops. SNPA on crack. Hops dominate here.

taste is big chewy caramel rich flavor, that is after you get past the forest of pine trees. Big piney floral malt bomb, but in a good way. Nice flavors that are in your face, but are some how harmonious.

Mouthfeel is beyond thick with surprisingly high carbonation. Pretty dry .

Love this beer. Sipper, but man these intense flavors are a smack in the face, but really delicious.

Photo of naterock
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass with a off-white head and a Deep reddish amber color. Thick lacing and a nice rocky head.

smell is chinook hops and a deep barley so much quantity of scent here.

Tastes hugely of domestic hops and a rich almost ridiculous barley backbone. There is a lot to deal with here and I can't say that I can even do it justice but I get chinook hops and a array of different malt characters.

Mouth is on the heavy end of medium with a big carbonation and an oily and viscous mouthfinish. Drinks suprisingly fast for this large beer.

Photo of skrib09
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

mahogany brown color, almost clear, with a rocky light tan head.

smell is spicy hops and strong malt. pine and citrus dominate the front and a touch of bread gets the back.

taste is piney with a hint of mild dough. a bit of the forest comes along for the ride with a touch of grass or greenery.

mouthfeel is hearty and this is a sipping beer.

Photo of jbaker67
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of hardy008
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review done over on 3/31/2012.

2012 vintage. Pours a dark caramel color with a 2 finger off white head with good retention and lacing. Just beautiful looking in the glass. The aroma has loads of caramel, citrus, and pine.

The taste is sweet from the caramel, with a little bitterness for balance from the hop and the pine. There is also toffee, and a little bit of citrus zest.

Medium to full bodied, chewy, sweet, with a bittersweet aftertaste, and average carbonation. I have drank this beer before, and not liked it, but can't help but think the previous bottles were bad, or maybe the batch was. This years Bigfoot is very good. If the beer normally tastes like this, no wonder it is so popular.

Photo of greenmonstah
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 batch, 12 oz bottle into DFH snifter

A - Pours a dark dark copper with a finger of off white head. Head does a nice job of coating the glass for a beer of this ABV.

S - Plenty of hops, mostly a sweeter citrus and some pine. A background of malt sweetness is very strongly represented. Touch of booze.

T - Strong citrus hops, malt sweetness, some booze. Finish is a dry hop bitterness accompanied by boozey warmth.

M - Medium body with little carbonation. A bit too sticky sweet.

D - Goes down easy for a 9.6% and is actually quite accessible. Tasty and smooth. A great barleywine.

Photo of vtfan77
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Great reddish-brown hue with a generous off-white head and good lacing. I love the color of a good barleywine!

S- Quite sweet-smelling. Berry fruitiness and a touch of alcohol. Hops are actually fairly subtle.

T- Surprisingly well-balanced, considering the beer's reputation as a bitter hop monster. As far as barleywines go, it's definitely on the hoppy side, but it has plenty of malt to back it up. Characteristic barleywine flavors of dark fruits (figs and dates) are evident, as is a sweet cake-like maltiness. Hops add a bit of pine to the mix but really aren't an enormous presence in the flavor. They're most noticeable with the hefty bitterness they contribute throughout the beer, and seem to be masking some of the malt flavors.

M- Very nice mouthfeel. Nice and full, smooth, creamy, just the right amount of carbonation.

D- Not bad for a barleywine, but I wouldn't want more than one in a sitting. Maybe two depending on my mood.

This is definitely a good barleywine, although it certainly would benefit from aging. Once the bitterness calms down a bit, I imagine the flavors will be amazing. I definitely plan on laying some down. Even so, it is quite drinkable right now. Recommended if you like barleywines.

Photo of dgilks
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bigfoot pours a rich, chestnut colour with a big, fluffy, light tan head. Great head retention. The beer is a touch hazy.

The aroma is citrussy and resinous and very reminiscent of a solid DIPA. There's plenty of alcohol too and a hit of toasty malt. Not overly malty.

This is actually a bit of a surprise. It's nowhere near as full on as something like Green Flash Barleywine and the hops are definitely forward presenting as a moderately-high bitterness and mild citrus character. The malt is sweet but not cloying with toasty, chocolate character which is good.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Very good.

I like this though it is somewhat laid back compared to other American Barleywines (Green Flash and Rogue come to mind).

Photo of deereless
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Thick frothy head which clings to the side of the glass as it drops, a deep copper color with a touch of amber - 4.50, S: Lots of fusel alcohol, what I perceive as brandied cherries, a significant amount of caramel and toffee - 4.25, T: Sizeable hop bite balanced with a solid malt base, Christmas fruit cake, candied sugars - 4.00, M: A very smooth and creamy mouth feel - 4.50, D: Barleywines are not generally my style but Bigfoot pushes me closer to becoming a believer, a nice late night sipper, though hops play a role I would have loved even more - 3.75

Photo of Gavilan
4.09/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of watermelon
4.09/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass finished in a snifter.

A: Burnt orange body with an off white head. High retention and tones of lacing.

S: Orange and carmel scents as well as pine hops.

T: Lots of floral and citrus hops. Some carmel malt present as well as booze.

M: Malty, as well as well carbonated. Some solid alcohol burn as well as some bitterness.

O: Awesome barley wine especially for the price. WIll look forward to this one year after year.

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,503 ratings.