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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.

6,777 Ratings

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Ratings: 6,777
Reviews: 2,912
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 335
Gots: 1,387 | FT: 57
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,777 | Reviews: 2,912
Photo of larryi86
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter

A- A very nice amber color with a tan 2 finger head.

S- WOW, very fruity in a good way. I picked up hints grape, cherry and citrus.

T- It has nice hoppy bitter taste up front followed by a smooth hint of the fruit notes in the smell. After it warms up a little it give away the 9.6% ABV with a warming feeling as it goes down.

M- Smooth and fairly refreshing. Only down falls are the bitterness lingers and the alcohol is not hidden.

D- This is a good barleywine and very enjoyable. It does not always leave me wanting a second, but it is good to have extras in the fridge. The one think that stops me from grabbing another is the alcohol because I have had other barkeywines with higher ABV that hide it better.

Photo of FLima
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 release. Beautiful red copper color with a thick three finger off-white head with good retention and leaving lots of laces. Later noticed some floating particles.
Nice hoppy and malty aroma. Predominant notes of caramels and citrus. Hints of nuts and dark fruits. For now, not overly complex smell as English best in class.
That’s a robust hoppy and spiced beer, especially considering it is a Barley Wine. A whopping 90 IBUs! Notes of wood, roasted malts, caramels, pine resin, pepper and orange peel. Its aftertaste is a lead actor, dry and bitter that lasts forever.
Full body with appropriate carbonation, slightly sticky. 9.6% abv just shows up later bringing a nice warming feeling.
Great Barley wine option for hopheads and for who doesn’t like overly sweet ones. It grows overtime so that I had to keeping changing the grade upward. I have to try next one after keeping it for at least 4 -5 years, and see how its aroma and caramel malt (bold already) makes room. Well know beer for aging well. Recommended but it is a beer for the experienced ones.

Photo of bs870621345
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 vintage, bought today, now I have a vertical from 08.

Pours ruby with a half inch of head that fades to a collar. Leaves a little bit of lacing down the glass.

Smell is caramel malts, a little bit of roast, citrus and pine are in there.

Taste is of caramel, citrus and pine, and alcohol on the end. Leaves a warming feeling throughout the body.

Mouthfeel is full and nicely carbonated.

Drinkability is good, alcohol is a little too much at this point.

For a barleywine, this is very fresh. Needs a few months and I'm interested in doing a vertical very soon.

Photo of dmamiano
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a dark, almost drown amber with ample head and lacing.
smell is very hoppy..malty the aroma explodes in the nostrils.
taste is an asault of hops and malt. Very well balanced but its obvious its a big beer.
Slight alchohol burns as this beer is slowly enjoyed.

Photo of intovert2438
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of PhineasGage
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
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 chilidog
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The 2004 lot. I heard alot about this limited released brew. The amber color with a large off-white head made for a nice appearance. I waited for the head to settle, sticky ring lace settles on the glass and laces all brew long. Very nice. The aroma is a slight sweet malt with stong floral hop overtone while a vapor of alcohol hits the nose. The taste is close to the same while the alcohol is more concealed. A good but strong balance of the hop and malt. The hop coats the mouthfeel (perhaps hop oil) as it lingers on awhile. Drinkability is smooth but with a respectful bite. I've put some away to age and look forward to see how they mature.

Photo of Lunch
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Victoria Gastro Pub in Columbia, MD into a 12oz.snifter at the appropriate temperature (03/26/10).

A: Pours a rather dark and murky golden brown, a thin cap of off-white foam that left faint lacing on the inside of the glass.

S: Aroma was not as strong as I expected and I got a lot of malt from it and just some hints of citrus hops and pine.

T: Taste was nice, but a bit subdued consisting of some roasted malt, citrus and pine hops, along with some toffee, caramel, and alcohol. Nice, but not quite as rich as I was expecting.

M: Thick, rich, and creamy feel with smooth carbonation and a pleasant tinge of alcohol.

D: For a 9.6% American Barleywine, this went down with no problem.

Overall this was nice American Barleywine, but I preferred the taste of this in the bottle.

Photo of alkemy
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 model
Hazy mahogany pour with about 1/8th inch thick tightly packed beige head. Piney, citrusy hops at first...lots of orange. Then you get some toffee and brown sugar from the malts. Silky smooth, yet sticky feel. Floral hops up front on your tongue that blend into pine and finish with brown sugar sweetness. Alcohol is warming going down, but this really doesn't taste boozy. I had this a few years back and didn't care much for it. However, I find it pretty tasty now...I'm guessing my palate has evolved somewhat.

Photo of Kelly88
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my Kentucky Bourbon barrel ale snifter. 2011 vintage.

A- a very dark mahogany. A beige one finger head sits On top the leathery brew for a hot minute before it turns into sporadic islands of wispy lace.

S- my first thoughts were citrus! Very grapefruit forward and then you start to get caramel covered hops. As the brew warms more of the sweet malts are appearing.

T- best way I can describe this is hoppy caramel covered toffee. Alcohol is present and makes the finish semi hot and boozy, I guess that is why it ages so well. Sweet and bitter at the same time really Nice.

M- semi thick so medium bodied. Spot on carbonation. Doesn't way on Your palate like many heavy duty barley wines.

D- alcohol is a little harsh when fresh and it is not shy in showing It. But for a almost ten percent beer its about right, a supper for sure but the taste makes You want to sip often.

Photo of bennetj17
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2007 Edition, 12 ounce bottle. Bright copper/amber appearance. Nearly 1/2 inch foam (tan) with immaculate retention and perfectly crusty lace. There is a pronounced west coast hoppiness in the aroma, lots of pine/grass/citrus character. The light caramel malt stays more in the background making this smell more like a Double IPA, which is fine with me.

The taste is intense, but a bit astringent perhaps, with strong hop tang, sweet caramel malt, and a slightly harsh bitterness. This thing is again very hop dominant, and a slow drinker. the mouthfeel isn't real thick, but it's kind of syrupy. the soft foamy carbonation is nice.

Solid this year, more enjoyable than the 2006 if I recall. Worth getting a few bottles. I'm not sure if I will cellar much of this, I think I would rather try to enjoy the hop freshness while it lasts...

Photo of skrib09
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
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 mrasskicktastic
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a gorgeous clear ruby/mahogany with a half finger head that leaves tiny scattered patches of lacing.

S - Strong caramel malt, potent pine hops and a slight vanilla underneath. Very, very nice.

T - A strong molasses malt flavor meshed with a less prominent hoppy taste that turns into a powerfully bitter hoppy finish. It is pretty good, a little too strong on the syrupy malt though.

M - Medium viscosity, low carbonation and very refreshing for a barleywine.

D - This goes down easily for a barleywine. It isn't drying and it wasn't hard to find the bottom of my snifter. Food pairing would be difficult. I would have again though.

Photo of secondtooth
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deep red-amber hue and a thick head (and intricate lacing) heralds this potent 9.6% ABV beast.
Aroma is hearty and bold, with hints of fruit alongside the fresh florals bouquet.
First taste? Super-strong, rich, and overpowering hoppiness and chewy, syrup-y malt presence. This one packs a serious wallop and takes some dedication to finish. It's memorable, but not one to savor repeatedly.
This is a heavy-duty drink, and though I didn't love it immediately, I will try again (and update this review) after some cellaring.

UPDATE: This is a review of a cellared year-old bottle. Overall, a much smoother drink, with the hops muted and blended better with the funky, chewy dried fruit/leather malt presence. Very enjoyable, and the alcohol creeps up on you! Beware, this Bigfoot appears friendly up front, but bites...

Photo of ordybill
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass.
Aroma- Has that "SN" hop aroma.
Appearance- A reddish colored brew that looks wonderful.
Taste- The hops are mixed with some pine and there is a bitter aftertaste, not bad.
Palate- This is a medium to heavy bodied brew with moderate carbonation. It is a dry finish beer with a nice hop bite.
Overall- A good beer but it doesn't taste like a traditional barleywine.

Photo of dukew456
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

09 bottle, "aged" a tiny bit (2 months) in the back of my refrigerator.

Pours into my Duvel tulip a a great garnet color with a tan, one finger head, that sticks around for a second then becomes a nice cap, leaving great lacing as it shrinks. This one's a looker.

Smells initially of resiny and floral hops, which give way to a sweet and tangy scent, with plenty of alcohol mixed in there and backing it up.

This beer tastes like what I would expect Sierra Nevada's barleywine to taste like. Much hoppier than what I think of as a barleywine, but incredibly complex. The hops hit initially, then give way to a malty sweet and alcoholic tinge. Prety darn tasty.

I wish I had a real beer cellar to let this calm down a bit, but still a great beer deserving of its cult following.

Photo of Optimat0r
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance - dark copper, deep red. no foam thank god.

taste - what do u imagine bigfoot, the pacific northwest woods, the trees, the air, the undergrowth, the weather, the atmosphere, and big foot himself to taste like? thats what it tastes like. a very good woodsy, hoppy taste. not as bitter hoppy sa a strong ipa, but much smoother. every now and then get a old penny copper meatallic taste but mostly its just really smooth and good.

drinkability - extremely good for its abv. its really smooth and the penny taste only occurs every now and then. it is an excellent follow up to a dark malty beer.

Photo of ThickNStout
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle from Mink's (Marietta, GA). 9.49/ 6 pack. 2013 vintage, bottled 12/5/12. Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Pours deep chestnut red with a thick half finger of pale head that leaves small white clusters of lace.

Smells of intense resinous hops, malty biscuit, toffee, band aid and a little booze.

Those hops cross the palate first. Bold, sticky, piney hops. Then some alcohol burn followed by toffee, sweet bread, citrus rind, earth, caramel and medicinal booze. It's pretty darn hot but there are some nicely blended flavors.

Oily, medium full feel with a fairly heavy dose of almost prickly carbonation. Coats the tongue for a long lasting bitter pine and earthy finish.

This is another treat that makes me glad that I've started branching into barleywines over the past six months. Maybe not the best I've tried but it is top shelf. The hops are very enjoyable now but I can tell that there is enough good stuff going on that those toffee and earthy notes will be right fine with some age, particularly once the alcohol has settled down. I know I'm late to the party, this being my first experience with Bigfoot, but I encourage anyone waivering on the decision to try to take the plunge.

Photo of barefootbrewer
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2007

This beer poured a hazy brown with a ½” tan head which quickly left. The aroma is malty and caramel. There are also some spices noticeable. The taste is hoppy and bitter with spices present. The malt does a good job of balancing the bitterness. The mouthfeel is full, but not heavy. Overall, this is a delightful beer that I’ll be happy to stash away to see how it cellars.

Photo of mattmaples
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Hops, Hops, Hops, Hops, and Hops. This is what making barley wine in the west is all about. The hops. Sure it has great caramel maltiness to it, if you can find it behind all of those hops. The sheer hop bitter edge is too high at this point but that should age out fairly soon. If you are the kind of hophead that liked the Stone fifth anniversary IPA or sucking on hop cones then enjoy this beer now. For the rest of us, give it about 4 months and this beer will make any beer lover snap to attention and solute the SN banner. I love it, it is just too too green for me at this point.

2001 bottling: Ok I give it this high of rateing with one caveat, and that is it has to age. I my opinion it is the best Bigfoot in the last 4 or 5 years. Sure the hops were too agrressive when it first came out and maybe they still are but it has enough malt going on this year that it will age out to perfection. Another 4 months and I will crack anotherone open. It has the potential to be a truely GREAT beer.

Photo of JamieDuncan
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of AleWatcher
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This beer was opened and tasted without any knowledge of what it was-- as per the Blind Beers BIF...

Ok-- first blind beer from Nlmartin. Thanks man!
Poured into New Belgium Globe glass

Poured from a stubby little founders-like bottle... Immediately I'm thinking Nackwoods Bastard. A rustic, murky, muddy red. Very small head. Very little lacing. The aroma of booziness is wafting up-- I'm definitely thinking this was barrel aged...

This smells so familiar. I swear I've had this before. There is a big sweetness-- burnt sugar, caramel, raisins?, boozy sweetness that reminds me of red wine?, toffee... Wow, a complex bouquet with tons going on...

The taste has some of everything i got in the nose plus sweetness and a port/sherry quality. There is a ruby red grapefruit bite towards the finish. Just a hint of something I can't quite put my finger on, perhaps... Wet paper? If it is, it is a VERY slight hint of oxidation...

This must be a Barleywine... And a good one at that. Judging by the bottle, I'm guessing this is a Bigfoot... But it isn't fresh. It must be aged.
Just miraculously good. I have this in my snifter and I am enjoying it quite a bit as I watch "Taken" on HBO.

The body is slightly less carbonated than I like, but it isn't unpleasant-- it sips like a brandy.

--reveals bottle to be 2006 Bigfoot!
Very nice!
I don't know why, but I could only think Founders the whole way... At least until I was sure it was a barleywine!
A -3
S -4.5
T -4
M -3
D -4.5
Thanks a lot for a great start (to a BIF I'm not officially not in!).

Photo of FoodBlog
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a 2008 bottle. A bit hoppy for the style, in my opinion, but overall a valiant effort at producing the true "champagne of beers".

Aromas of freshly cooked waffles hit you before your first sip. The miniscule bubbles do not do much in the glass, but they blanket the tongue in an effervescent welcome. Definitely sweet, but balanced (perhaps overly) with an abundant dose of hops. The subtle fruitiness I like in Barley Wine (at least the ones I make) is diminished in the hoppiness. Still, flavors of caramel and maderized fruit make their way into the flavor profile.

This beer would definitely be the one to have with a nice after dinner cigar, and perhaps some lamb stew or beef with blue cheese. I used it to braise some Honey Mustard Spare Ribs, and it was perfect for that. Some might consider it a waste of great beer, but all cooks I know like to use good wine and spirits when cooking, and good beer should be given the same honor. I bet this would be a perfect way to cook some corned beef and cabbage.

Overall, I will definitely return to this beer over time, since it is so unique.

Photo of Hophazzard
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of KarlHungus
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 Vintage. This brew pours a cloudy blood red color. The head is large is flufy and off-white. The lacing is long lasting and thorough. The aroma is of citrus hops, white some floral, and piney notes. The sip is juicy and hoppy, with a piney finish. The mouthfeel is half way between medium and full bodied. Overall, this is a pretty good barleywine, that has potential to age well.

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Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 6,777 ratings.