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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,924 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,924
Hads: 7,013
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.63%
Wants: 363
Gots: 1,544 | FT: 68
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

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: 2,924 | Hads: 7,013
Photo of pershan
4.7/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was their 2008, 25th Expedition offering. The beer poured a clear deep reddish-amber with creamy almond head into a 12-oz pilsner glass. The smell was of sweet malt, hops, and alcoholic esters. The taste was that classic Bigfoot signature of intense hop bitterness, balanced beautifully with the sweet, fruity malt background. I look forward to this release every year - a barleywine against which all other barleywines should be judged. (442 characters)

Photo of WaveRebel51
4.7/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 edition. Mmmmm. Looks and smells tasty. Deep amber hue, and is very thick. A deep fragrant aroma -- nice mix of floral hops, sweet malts and an earthy character ... the tastebuds are bombarded with complex flavors. Starts out with a malts, then strong hop bitterness finished off with malt sweetness. Yummy. So thick, I'd bet you could drizzle this over a piece of cheesecake for a wonderful after dinner treat.

EDIT -- 2008 edition. I think I sold this one short when reviewing the 2007. The flavor profile is excellent, as you get the whole range from the sweet malts up front to the hop bitterness in the finish. Can't wait to let this one sit for a year and revisit. (676 characters)

Photo of mophie
4.7/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ahh, my annual gift from the hop gods. This is one of the best looking beers in a glass, beautiful deep amber. The aroma is intoxicating, with incredible pine, grapefruit, and floral scents. The first sip causes your taste buds to stand upright out of sheer hop shock, but they soon catch on and realize that they're experiencing one of the true pleasures of life. Once that happens (about half-way through the glass), you can really focus on the complexities: a slight malty sweetness, the alcohol (not overpowering, but definitely there), the lingering pine and citrus. It's terrific now; it'll be out of this world after it ages a bit.

2001 bottling: Something magical has happened over the last couple months. My 2001 has aged and mellowed perfectly. The trademark hoppiness is still there, but is now balanced by just a hint of sweetness (like caramelized fruit). Outstanding. Unfortunately, I have only one left, so I can only hope my 2002's age as well (and I exhibit a bit more patience than I did with the 2001's). I marvel at Sierra Nevada's craftsmanship. (1,073 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.7/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark purplish color, beneath a tan head. Aroma is fantastic, fresh, roasty, spicy, full of notes of caramel, toffee, nuts, berries, a beautiful blend. The alcohol content, also, is evident in the nose. Thick texture, not to be approached lightly. Take care, good friends, when confronting the species Bigfooticus Barleywinicus. Very warming, very friendly, heat and flavor floods and fills the mouth., hell, it takes over your entire head! An everlasting spark carries through this classic brew, loads of hops, backed up with a full load of malt. Always formidable, always enjoyable. I'm glad we can always count on finding Bigfoot at least once a year!
2002 edition.

Found a bottle of the 1999 edition at a store, Wow!, pre-cellared, so why sit on it longer, it's nearly 5 years old already, let's crack it and see...beautiful, bright crimson color, full, thick, fresh, bubbly, creamy head. Roasty, rich, fruity, yeasty, bread-y, biscuit-y, just amazing, uplifting, alive and luscious and lovely and ...surprisingly smooth on meeting the tongue, yet full of amazing flavor, and incredibly drinkable, fully fruity, woody, nutty, boozy, let's not forget...
hmmm, while I'm at it, why not review the 2003?
Eh, this is plenty...my devotion to Bigfoot is again justified, and I've kicked up the rankings a notch or two, for I've had further reason to bow down before it's greatness...certainly, I've never been able to "cellar" this brew this long on my own, for it's pull is irresistible, and I've always been pulled to drink it fresh down my gullet...oh, it's a mighty and a beautiful thing!
To answer myself so quickly, the 2003, after nearly a year is magnificent as you'd expect, full of rich flavor...yum, yum, yum...I'm sorry did I say "yum" yet? (1,768 characters)

Photo of Chiefy770
4.71/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 batch. Poured from a 12 fluid ounce bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: A very hazy brown body with an amber glow is topped off with a beige bubbly head. The head collapse and leaves wads of sticky lacing throughout.

Smell: Incredibly rich aromas of caramel, toffee and bread make up the base. Astringent notes of citrus, particularly orange, stand out as well.

Taste: Bold sweet malts hit the tongue first. Caramel, brown sugar, and burnt toast. The hops explode on impact and turn the sweet notes into very bitter notes. Part of this bitterness is from the alcohol. Floral notes from the hops. A surprisingly dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Full body. Medium carbonation. More carbonation than I would expect from a barleywine... perhaps this is why the hops maintain their flavor so well.

Overall: This is my first time trying Bigfoot. Definitely contains a lot more hops than I anticipated... not that it's a bad thing though. The flavor is superb by my preference. The only problem I had was with the balance. The malts did not linger around long enough for me to taste their full essence. Perhaps that is something that will fix itself in the cellar. (1,162 characters)

Photo of pyrohsmok
4.71/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'll amend this review to be more professional but never have I been so compelled to rate a beer since Ruination IPA. This beer is a credit to the style. I was never impressed with Sierra Nevada until now. SLIGHTLY sweet malty thick canvas sets the stage for GLORIOUS resinous hops to paint a picture of grapefruits and pine. A feast for the nose as well as the palate. I would drink this over any DIPA/IPA any day. This is just amazing for a "Barleywine style Ale". I'm.. I'm just blown away. I tried to objectively taste an American Pale Ale after a palate cleansing but I can't. This beer might stick with me for days like Ruination or Stone IPA.

Bottom Line. Pick one up at least. Try it. Be amazed. (704 characters)

Photo of MisterClean
4.71/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle, bought from the SN brewery

A - Gorgeous, deep auburn to light brown in body, tan head, nice legs, dissipates slow and evenly.

S - Brown sugar, cloves, and candied plums.

T - Amazing. Plums, light earthy hops, slight ester, and a faint bit of pine hops.

M - Smooth, with a light bitterness. I could not taste any alcohol, we sure it is a 9.6?

D - Friggin great, wish the ABV wasn't so high, but it comes with the barleywine territory. (452 characters)

Photo of ch196h
4.71/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

In my opinion this is the beer that should serve as part of the new standard for an American Barleywine style ale. The hop profile on this is simply divine whether you are drinking a fresh batch beer or one that has aged in the cellar for 2-3 years. If does have minor variation for each vintage year, my favorite so far being circa 2012, but it is consistently excellent. While these are no longer sold in 6-packs and they are a bit pricey, it is certainly worth the cost to buy a couple of 4-packs. Drink 2-3 now and cellar the rest to see how they develop with age. (568 characters)

Photo of Jmoore50
4.71/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I just discovered I have never reviewed this fantastic beer. Well I have a fresh 2010 in front of me, so I figured this would be a good 200th review.

The appearance is beautiful, a dark stained cherry wood color that is so clean and pure it makes me weep. It gives good head, something I really appreciate. It pours a three finger white frothy head that just sticks to everything it touches. The head never really goes away, it just gets a bit smaller and leaves a fat lacing. It has everything I want in appearance, good color, good head, good alcoholic legs, good lacing.

The smell is of strong citrus hops and sweet bready malts. A bit of cherries as well.

The taste is of strong fruity hops paired with very sweet caramel malts. There are cherries and peaches and lemon peel with an earthy flavor. Strong wisps of alcohol come in different waves. Apricots and plumbs in some aftertastes. This is fairly fruity with so much backbone. Perfectly balanced on the palate and incredibly drinkable. I love this beer for everything it stands for. It is not too strong, 9.6% ABV, and it is not thrown in any barrels. This is just another example of why Sierra Nevada deserves to be the top brewery in the country.

Drinkability, well this is my fourth bottle for the night so I would say it is pretty good.

(1,312 characters)

Photo of fields336
4.71/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle poured into my SN snifter.

reviewed on 6/17/11

A: Dark amber, brown color with creamy one finger head dissipates slowly, leaving rings of lacing.

S: Dark fruits amidst a hoppy blast. Almost DIPA-like. Can smell the alcohol behind it

T: wow, extremely hoppy. West coast style, piney and citrus hops present. Blasted with hops, behind that is a dark fruity almost winey taste including alcoholy undertone.

M:Creamy, almost chewy, then hops and carbonation blast it away, making you forget about anything else.

O: Just an excellent beer. I'm not well versed in barleywines admittedly, but this is one of the best. This is almost DIPA-like, and i love it. (673 characters)

Photo of jdklks
4.72/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I did a back to back tasting of the 2008 and 2009. they are very different and both very good.

A- Murky, impenetrable copper-brown body with a frothy tan head that has great retention and leaves a thick lacing.

S- Hops. sweet maltiness. citrus fruits.

T- Malts and sweet fruits up front with a bitter hop finish. however, the malts reassert themselves and dominate the aftertaste.

M- It's definitely a full bodied barleywine. perfect amount of carbonation, and smooth throughout.

D- the drinkability is pretty ddamn good considering the fullness and the abv.

A- Dark, see-through amber brown color with a small off-whitish tan head that minimally laces the glass.

S- Hops and malt.

T- Just like the smell, it's hops and malt. a great, balanced blend. more malt up front while the hops are pronounced in the finish. hardly any of the sweetness that dominated the initial flavor of the 2008. again, lots of hops, especially compared with previous years. has a less intense aftertaste as well.

M- not as carbonated as the 2008, which is surprising considering that the 2008 has a year on it. a little bit lighter body than the 2008 as well.

D- the drinkability of the 2009 is higher due to it being slightly less "full."

Overall, the 2008 is better RIGHT NOW than the 2009, if you didn't get that from the reviews. however, the 2009 definitely has promise for aging. they are both excellent. (1,414 characters)

Photo of cbros
4.72/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2011 edition poured into a snifter glass.

I have several years of this particular beer but I decided to finally review the newest edition. Pours a very respectable deep amber with a nice one finger white lacing. The longer you let the beer warm up the better it becomes. After 20+ minutes the beer has settled into a nice rhythm. The balance of the malts and hops give a very balanced beer, especially for it being the newest edition. The taste is a parallel of the smell with a nice smooth balance of flavors that ends in smoothly with a hint of sharp alcohol flavoring. If the beer tastes this good as a newcomer I can't wait to taste it in a few years!! (657 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
4.72/5  rDev +14%
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! (656 characters)

Photo of XxNitExX
4.72/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from 12oz bottle into SA Pint glass

A- Pours a delicious mahogony color with a nice light tan head with large bubbles and beautiful lacing.

S- Can immediately tell this is an American Barleywine as it smells like an IPA! Smells of wonderful citrus and peppery hops with a small alcohol bite towards the end.

T- So smooth. Wonderful deep rich malts, complex hop flavor including earthy, peppery and citrusy hops. Has a very strong alcoholic middle and a smooth crisp finish.

M- Carbonated just right for the style. Coats the mouth and stays there. Not harsh, but just exactly right.

Overall a very strong beer, having aged some bottles they do become mellower as they age. Would be nice to do a 3 to 5 year vertical comparing them. (742 characters)

Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.72/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This review was of the 2006:

A: Small tan head, but it's thick; strong. The body is cloudy and mysterious, like a foreign planet. Bubbles struggle to move through the deep brown body of the beer.

S: Smell is rich, with a honey sweetness and slight alcohol tinge. The smell of old malt gives it a distinguished aroma. I can tell I'm going to have to sip this one.

T: First sip: Malt, hops, malt, alcohol and layers upon layers of flavors. They hit in distinct sections; amazingly well choreographed beer. Malt honey sweetness, hop bitterness and bite, and roasty malt on the finish. A song.

M: Thick and coating; fits the style.

D: A beer to enjoy slowly for sure, with exceptional and varied palate.

2008 version poured into a tall Adnams glass.

A: Nice thick head with a unique light orange color. The body is pretty clear and fiery red, probably the reddest beer I've seen. Head has good staying power, and the lacing is excellent.

S: I smelled this beer as soon as I opened the bottle. Nice hoppy aroma and a sweet malt in the background.

T: Huge hops flavors, I personally don't taste much malt. Lots of bitterness, and it lingers. I think this could use some aging to curb that a little.

M: Mouthfeel is good, maybe slightly thick, with normal carbonation.

D: The lingering bitterness and high abv make this one to sip.

I'll be interested to cellar a few of these and check back in a few months.
4.15/5 (1,443 characters)

Photo of maedhros09
4.72/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look: Transluscent Ruby-amber with big frothy tan head, lingering lacing and bubbles. Smell: sweet-sour breadiness with fresh hops noticeable upon pouring Taste: Big moderately sweet roasted caramel malt dominates, transistioning to tart fruit (nectarine?) with strong hops counterbalance. Finish is a roasty tartness. A bit of rough alcohol flavor. Thick mouthfeel producing fine carbonation in the mouth. A multitude of delicious flavors, aromas, and textures are exquisitely balanced. Also, drinks a lot easier than the ABV suggests. (537 characters)

Photo of Dmann
4.73/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, what a great Barleywine! I had heard a lot of good things about the Bigfoot but have now just gotten around to trying it. This is the 2003 vintage. It poured a very dark copper color with a great tan color head that lasted quite awhile for a barleywine head. The dominant aromas were of corse hops, and then beneath that was a fruity, floral scent. I let this beer warm a bit before drinking, and the flavor was great. It reminded me of the SN celebration ale, but with way more alchohol and more malty sweetness. As soon as it hits your mouth, you get the blast of hops, then the sweetness sneaks in followed by the warming feeling of the alchohol. As far as barleywines go, this is right up there with Stone's Old Guardian for the best you can get. (755 characters)

Photo of NJpadreFan
4.73/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada- Bigfoot Barleywine 2006

Appearance- dark ruby red with little floaties and a huge thick head that made a mess of the indise of my glass. The head just sits there, you got to eat it with each sip.
Smell- Strong Citric/ pine hops.
Taste- Pine followed by Grapefruit hops immediately hit you. Secondary flavors are pine and a slight cherry/ grape. Finished off with a slight wooden cask flavor.
Mouthfeel- Huge bitterness and dryness. Finishes off with a sweet warm coating on the back tongue and throat.

Overall- HOLY SH!T this was GOOD!!! A huge hoppy beer that punches you right in the mouth. This is a Barleywine?! I've only had 1 or 2 Barleywines ever and I recall them tasting very fruity even raisiny. Man this is SN Celebration on Barry Bonds steriods! (782 characters)

Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.73/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a beautiful looking deep ruby red, think of the flesh of a grapefruit then think about coving it in wood stain, does not really sound all that appetizing but really is the best way I can describe the color of this beer, beautiful color I almost don't want to drink it. The one inch head is a rich and creamy beige fades into a cap in a few minutes. There is some decent amount of lacing which is nice because I wasn't expecting all that much. Really though the color on this beer is what gets me.

S: Wonderful but not in anyway overpowering floral hop aroma greets and teases the nose that hides a delicate malty sweetness, I'm thinking of rum or brandy and caramel covered cherries with a delicate syrupy sweetness, wonderfully balanced and delicate while still conveying a powerful aroma.

T/MF: There is a nice woodiness that I can detect here coupled with the strong hop profile in this beer. This gives way to a sort of dusty sugary maltiness that I can really only just barely detect because the hop profile on this beer is so strong as well as the alcohol heat that backs this beer up so effectively. The mouthfeel is also dominate by an intense hop bitterness that leaves the tongue and the back of the throat feeling rather dry, no one can argue that this beer is being lazy in the mouth. As the beer warms the malts are better perceived and balanced is restored to the beer. There is a light carbonation that, coupled with the prickly hops really makes this beer snap on the palate and now I'm beginning to pick up some buttery notes on the back end of this beer and I'm falling ever more in love with this little guy. And if I didn't mention this before there is this kind of dusty grainy texture I'm picking up here that really fills out the mouthfeel on this guy, you are definitely drinking a beer when you are drinking a bigfoot.

D: Really I have very little to complain about in this beer, it is not easy drinker in any sense of the word and really makes you work in trying to decipher everything hidden inside it's lusty profile. That being said this is one of the finest examples of the American barleywine style I've ever encountered. (2,165 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
4.73/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

01/25/05- Purchased at Beverages and More in Sacramento, CA

2005 Edition

Presentation- 12 oz bottle with no bottling or expiration date. Poured into my Duvel glass.

Appearance- About an inch creamy white head, excellent lacing and a brown-amber colored elixer. It even had those small ufo circles that you sometimes (if you are lucky) find in your belgiun or higher abv beers.

Smell- Very sweet and frutiy. Lots of hops (pine, grapefruit and maybe some melon) and a decent amount of malts. A pleasure to smell.

Taste- I have never tasted this many hops in a beer with this high of an abv or actually in a barleywine. Bitter grapefruit hops in your face with a nice warming 9.6 abv feeling in my tummy. Sweet malts polish off this beer.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation, a bit higher than expected. Chewy and resiney.

Drinkability- ABV is the only thing holding me back from having more than three of these (yeah, I'm a lightweight). An excelent beer to have on a day just like this (cold and rainy). Looks like I will be getting a few more six packs of these. Another score for Sierra Nevada.

Version 2006....

Appearance exactly the same. Smells a touch hoppier and a bit less malt. As for the taste....needs some time in the cellar. Very light in the malt department with a huge hop bite and a very long lasting bitter hop aftertaste. Still a great beer, but needs some time to mellow, unlike the 2005, which was incredible a week after production.

Version 2007-

This version IMO will mask the 2005 in maybe a years or less time. Much more mellow out of the gate than the 2006 (which still needs plenty of time before it's great). Hops are fairly intense, but the malt plays much more of a role in the '07.

Version 2008-

Same appearance as always. The scent has changed to a more caramel malt dominant one than hops (even though they are still there). This vintage has a very bold caramel malt base that is actually equal to the hops! IMO this is very drinkable right now. I actually like balanced barleywines much better than the hop bombs that everyone is producing these days. Probably the most drinkable Bigfoot yet, at least right off the production line...gets some competition from 2005 though.

Version 2009-

The scent is the least in your face out of all the vintages. Hops seem a touch lighter and maybe just not as much flavor overall. Smoother than most years. Definitely not harsh. Drinkable right now. (2,428 characters)

Photo of kmcnair
4.73/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am reviewing the 2004 Vintage... which I have been waiting very impatiently to come back since the 2003 vintage ran out of stock. Shame on me for not buying more of this stuff last year.

Pours a dark rich amber into my glass and a thick creamy tan head rises to the top of my pint glass. Looks really good.

The boquet is very floral and fruity, can really smell those hops in there.

Taste is... ahhh just like I remember it. Intense and hoppy, it is huge. Very complex. Alcohol is there but not overbearing by any means.

Mouthfeel is thick and rich, leaves a warming sensation as it goes down.

This is a very drinkable brew, even at 9.4%! And it's one of my personal faves... as a matter of fact I am going to go get another one! (746 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.73/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On-tap at Hollingshead's in Orange, CA, 2007 edition, aged for about a year,

A: Pours a very dark amber out of the tap, with a small white head, but leaves nice, thick, sticky lacing down the glass.

S: Thick brunt of hop character, very piney.

T: At the first taste, you can feel it's more subdued in character than the '07 fresh, which I truly enjoyed, the maltiness comes out in a toasted biscuit and caramel/toffee character, but later on I felt the hops had regained their stronghold, a thick, resin filled pine came through, even at it's power, I felt it complemented the malt perfectly, it didn't go crazy into an unappetizing bitterness, like many ABA's can do. Restrained at times, but still a hop bomb, absolutely delicious.

M: Thick and resiny, with a full carbonation that conveys that image to every corner of your mouth, the aftertaste will stay with you forever, if you want it to.

D: An absolutely dynamite barleywine, possibly my favourite made in America, I can't wait for the '08 to come to town, definitely Sierra Nevada's finest creation. (1,063 characters)

Photo of neonbrown82
4.74/5  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. (1,830 characters)

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.74/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Update: Bigfoot 2005, drank at the Hunahpu release party. Big thanks to JP for coming through with quite a few treats.

A – It poured a deep copper hue, with still a bit of foam.

S – Smells strongly malty, with notes of rum-raisin, assorted dark/dried fruits, toffee, sherry and malt vinegar. It is quite similar to the 1991 Thomas Hardy I just had, but dialed down a few notches.

T – Amazing. The hops are still plenty discernible, adding a spicy, herbal punch to a very richly malty base. The flavor has deepened and seriously intensified, with the olfactory elements being present at significant volumes in the gustatory. Again, the taste is similar to the nineteen year old Thomas Hardy's Ale that I just drank, plus hops

M – Still good carbonation...

D – A worthwhile endeavor, cellaring the Bigfoot... thanks JP.



I don’t remember it ever tasting as good as 2010! I think 2010 Bigfoot is the hop-star this year.

Also, this beer goes a long way towards restoring my confidence in SN, in light of the debacle of the soapish / perfume-y 13th Wet Hop Harvest Ale.

A – Deep copper, and a decent but quickly receding head, very sticky lacing.

S – A hop bomb; the most deliciously herbal, piney, dank and resiny hops are first and foremost in the nose; only the most subdued caramel malt is apparent, seemingly existing purely for the sake of balance. I like it. I don’t appreciate an overload of caramel, in the aroma or taste, and far too often American Barleywine is syrupy sweet with caramel malt; this beer avoids such a pitfall.

T – Tons of herbal hoppy goodness. Tastes awesome; the specific hops used are so ridiculously pleasing to both the olfactory and gustatory senses that it begs comparison to the best of the DIPA style (Hopslam, etc.) The beer has a first kick of well-balanced hop and malt, mostly piney, followed by a astringent bitter herbal kick, and wrapping with a grapefruit-citric and dank mouth-watering pucker. As I said, I prefer more hop, less malt from American Barleywine; this is a well-allocated brew.

M – On the full side of medium, sharp enough, smooth enough, a tad slick from all the hops.

D – Oh yeah, but drink it slow, it is deceptive…

I believe this review gives me my mug. Time to fill it! (2,339 characters)

Photo of oelergud
4.74/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear ruby brew with low carbonation though more than other barleywines I've seen. Tan head with amazing retention.
Smell is VERY hoppy with some grass and floral qualities.
Taste is very much like the smell only more intense and have a hay-like flavor to it. This is the first beer I've had that has a pronounced sweet aftertaste, it's hoppy and bitter up front and sweet afterwards, up is down, black is white, but it's pretty good.
Cant really taste the high alcohol %.
Good body and mouthfeel, not quite as full as other barleywines though, it does have some creaminess to it.
This is a beer with too much presence to be a session beer as it demands attention with every sip. Not something I would drink with a meal cause the food would be completely overshadowed.

-Oelergud (792 characters)

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 2,924 ratings.