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Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale - Barrel-Aged | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale - Barrel-AgedSierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale - Barrel-Aged

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Callenak on 12-05-2006

User Reviews
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Reviews: 232 | Ratings: 1,224
Photo of kalosjakar
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015, cellared for approx. 6+ months.

Murky rust looking with an off white, slightly creamy head.

Aroma: whisky, vanilla, oak, caramel, dark fruits, mild boozy factor.

Taste: i get moderate bitter hops and oak up front, sweet malt, vanilla, whisky aftertaste. Boozy bite at the end.

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Photo of corby112
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy dark mahogany color with deep amber/copper colored edges and a two finger off-white head that quickly settles. Decent retention lasting most of the way through with sporadic streaks of soapy lacing left behind.

Sweet and boozy aroma with prominent complex barrel characteristics nicely integrated into the earthy hops, leathery malt and vinous fruit notes of the base beer. Very nice barrel presence with charred oak, sweet spirit, toasted coconut, mallow and silky vanilla bean. Very complex, not just generic booze/whiskey. Underneath, there's subtle grassy hop resins along with burnt sugar, caramel, toffee and vinous sweetness. Hints of fig, date, raisin and plum. Smells really good.

Medium body and slightly oily/viscous with strong barrel character that's very nicely integrated into the base. Similar to the aroma but not quite as impressive. Oak and spicy whiskey is stronger than expected and the silky, luscious coconut and vanilla/mallow notes found in the nose are pretty subtle. Still, this beer is complex and enjoyable especially if you like quality whiskey flavor in your BA beers. Plenty of spirit flavor and boozy sweetness but there's little to no heat. Complexity makes it a bit of a sipper but it's surprisingly easy to drink at 12.2%. Thankfully the barrel is well integrated without obliterating the flavors of the base. Dry bitter resins up front with grassy pine and sticky buds quickly countered by sweet caramel malt, toffee, light chocolate, burnt sugar, shaved coconut and vinous sweetness. Lots of dark fruit with plum, grape, currant, date, fig and raisin. Slightly earthy and leathery with a faint tobacco presence complimenting the hops and balancing the sweetness. Overall, a flavorful complex beer that's well balanced and easy to drink.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.6/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle, 2015 vintage, 11.9% ABV. Served in a DFH snifter, the beer pours a murky brownish/ruby red color with about an inch light tan head that stayed around for a very long time. There's also a good amount of lacing. The brew smells like vanilla, bourbon, dark fruit, toffee, oak and a bit of chocolate. However, the taste isn't as nice as the aroma. There's an unpleasant medicinal bitter flavor that luckily weakened somewhat the longer I drank it, along with some dark fruit, vanilla, bourbon, brown sugar and booziness noticeable. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's syrupy and has a decent amount of carbonation. I didn't have any problem finishing the bottle, but I didn't like that medicinal flavor in this brew at all. At $19.99 a bottle I'll pass on this in the future at that price. I'll just stick with regular Bigfoot instead.

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Photo of Givemebeer
4.26/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 Bigfoot: Cellared for over 1 year

Look: Beautiful beer. Deep amber ruby colored and clear. Nice lacing. Oozes class.

S: Figs, prunes, plums, and as stated on the bottle raisins coconut and vanilla also present. Good strong complex aroma.

T: Oh this is a bit boozy. Not too boozy - reminds you that this one is definitely a sipper. The balance is pretty incredible on this one. Dark fruits lead off on the palate before shifting to the barrel qualities. The alcohol comes through at the end leaving a warming feeling.

M: Full bodied and tamed carbonation.

O: One classy sipper from Sierra Nevada. Beautiful bottle and as expected fine product inside the bottle as well. Happy to have bought this rather expensive beer and cellared it for a year.

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

This is a sipper if there ever was one. I was expecting a big huge boozy beer. Although you have take it easy with this one, it's truly a well put together barley wine. Big on malt, hops and bourbon. Very warming and smooth. Wish I had another bottle of this for sure.

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

'14 version on tap at Brouwers.

Just has the '16 non-BA version last week. Don't have them side by side but similar appearance by memory. Smell is sweeter, still some hops but more caramel. Taste is balanced but still strong hop presence. Surprising for a 2 year old brew. Subtle whiskey and noticeable booziness. Caramel and strong lingering bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel is thicker than the original but on the medium low end for BA beers. Very pleasant and not heavy though which adds to drinkability.

Overall I like it a lot and the barrel aging compliments the base beer quite well.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance of the beer was significantly murkier than the regular Bigfoot, with a brown color starting to look like a mix between a Barleywine and a Dubbel. The head was two fingers thick, and extremely long lived. The aroma was not hop laden like the Bigfoot I remember. Instead of the hop assault, there was a smell of raisins, mixed with vanilla, honey, and toffee. The taste was a parade of dark malt flavors like fig, dark cherry, brown sugar, and caramel. The wood tannins were also strongly present, in the form of vanilla, charred oak, and cinnamon. The hops were far less prominent than regular Bigfoot, but provided a subtle bitterness and spice mid palette onward. The finish was quite dry due to the combination of tannic acids and lingering hops. This was a serious beer that requires slow sipping. It showed off the barrel aging very well. I prefer regular Bigfoot to this, as it is much more lively to me.

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Photo of K-Dog
4.46/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The perfect beer to sip on for st patricks day and the first round of ncaa tournament. Nice look and great smell of vanilla and oak. At first taste a little boozy but as it warmed the flavors really mellowed out nicely. This is best as it warms to room temperature. Excellent beer and a must try for those a fan of barley wines.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.01/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Taste strongly contains charred oak with a generous (but not overwhelming) dose of whisky. Burnt caramel, sweet malt, coconut and a somewhat bitter finish Nose is very nice, burnt toffee and brown sugar. Nice stuff, though the burnt wood flavours are a bit strong.

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Photo of Moose90
3.86/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served On-Tap

A — Pours a dark ruby hued brown into the glass. A late forming dark brown colored head forms and leaves behind some oily spots of lacing with each sip.

S — Smell is incredible, bouquet of dark fruit, plums, figs, dates, raisins, balanced with a semi-sweet vanilla, Bourbon, oak, cinnamon, and bitter chocolate note, slightly warming.

T — Taste is deep and rich with notes of leather, tobacco, cinnamon, coffee, chocolate, vanilla, oak, Bourbon, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, rich and sweet, lightly boozy.

M — Full-bodied, rich, cloying almost, heavy, but that comes with the territory with a beer of this stature.

O — Very good overall, just what you would expect it to be, take a solid beer, throw it in Bourbon barrels, what could go wrong? Nothing, this is quite nice.

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Photo of AirBob
4.49/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Muddy amber-brown body with a thin film of off-white head. Nice lacing.

Bourbon. Vanilla. Maybe some underlying dark fruit and oak. Some pine resin in the back end.

Starts with bourbon, vanilla, and oak. Shifts to some caramel, orange, and pine. Finishes with some sweet raisin, orange, vanilla, and citrus pith. Super complex.

Mouthful is slightly sticky - the bitter finish helps to cut through. Medium bodied and carbonation.

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Photo of jwhancher
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle at SN's taproom in Berkeley awhile back. Poured into snifter for review.

Smells awesome with prominent bourbon, vanilla, wood character. Some peppery spice and some faint hops. A lot of vanilla throughout, maybe a tad bit of cocoa.

Tastes sweet with layers of caramel, vanilla, and sweet candy sweetness. Ample bitterness from keeping this beer from being too overly sweet. Definitely a full bodied beer. Alcohol heat is well in check.

Overall, glad to have picked this one up. Would gladly pick another up again.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown to amber in color. A fingernail of beige surrounds the rim and half of the middle. The aroma is of sweet whiskey and loads of dark malt. The taste is heavy on the dark malt and aggressive with sweet whiskey. The mouth is dry and warm with alcohol.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rusty orange body with a bubbly off-white head. Aromas of wood, booze, caramel malt, sweet fruity esters. Super woody. Rain water and wood. Earthy and boozy. Pretty sweet and finishing dry. Pretty good, though not my thing. If you're a fan of sweet, malty barleywines, you'd likely enjoy this.

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

A: Dark ice tea coloring, dense nature, aged parchament toned head is one finger high. A good steady pace of effervesce along the vessel walls. The head is very well lasting, an unusual feat per style and high abv%. Things finish out with an equally good amount of smoothering on the vessel of lace.

S: Sweet caramel-honey malt with a strong whiskey influence. Spicy pine, raisiny spicing, with a a strength that was initially good and strong with a decent duration. Sugary rum toasted grains and coconut rounds things out.

T: The flavor showed a very strong whiskey malt flavor, spicy raisiny specialty grains, with some resinous pine. Gentle warming of alcohol, oaky-vanilla tones and coconut. Dry sense of whiskey alcohol lingers long on the finish with spicy toast and oaky barrel woodiness.

M: Malty lush body, warming and spicy with a dry bourbon sense on the inner cheeks. Some generally good signs of carbonation exist on the tongues.

O: The years long aging process shows some hearty results of the whiskey barrel influence, Spicy with some oaky-vanilla. The original bigfoot is big, boozy and sweet, this is a bit more dry and boozy. Outstanding drink, had this new years eve. worthy try and repurchase. Good drinking experience. recommend.

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Photo of Auraan
4.41/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a gorgeous cloudy reddish brown body with a light ring of tan head. Overall impression of appearance is of a nice barleywine, true to form. Scents of whiskey upfront, at high levels, with light hints of oak and vanilla giving way to a malty overall profile imparting rich aromas of brown sugar, toasted coconut, toasty aromas and breadcrust on the finish with warming alcohol present throughout and very light resinous hops and oak. Overall impression of aroma is quite different from standard Bigfoot, the usual resinous and citrusy Northwest coast hops are almost entirely absent, and the malt now takes a larger role, giving a rich aroma with a pleasant character imparted by the barrel-aging. Rich, malty and warming are the best descriptors of the aroma, a marked departure from the base beer that is quite nice. Flavor begins malty with medium-high sweetness imparting notes of brown sugar, molasses, raisin, light vanilla and toasted coconut and balancing notes of whiskey and charred oak barrel, along with battering hops, to keep the malt front from being cloying. Middle gains bitterness, imparting notes of charred oak barrel, oak, whiskey, roasted malt and bitter, piney hops (at low levels) though it avoids becoming overwhelming due to a still hefty malt presence imparting notes of caramel and bread crust, with notes of toasted coconut also present. Finish is bitter, with warming alcohol, whiskey, oak barrel and the residual resinous hops coming to the fore, backed by some roasty malt flavors along with supporting flavors of vanilla, raisin, brown sugar, toasted coconut and toasted malt. Aftertaste is bitter hop-derived flavors, whiskey and charred oak barrel. Overall impression of flavor is of a fantastic aged Barleywine. The usual hops of Bigfoot have given way to the malt and barrel character and the result is a fantastically deep beer that is rich, malty, bitter, sweet and boozy. Fantastic. Mouthfeel is full bodied with a smooth, velvet feel, low carbonation and a moderate alcohol warmth. Overall impression of mouthfeel is of a fantastic Barleywine. Overall this is an amazing beer. It takes the base Bigfoot, mellows the hops, brings out the malt and adds an amazingly rich character from the barrel-aging. The result is a rich and complex aroma and flavor that are aided by the suburb mouthfeel. A truly fantastic beer.

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Photo of SD-Alefan
4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage
Pours a dark reddish-brown with an off-white head that sticks around.
Complex nose on this one: whiskey, toffee, dark fruit, vanilla, coffee, char, a hint of leather and pine.
Taste follows with lots going on: Caramel and toffee, dark fruit, booze, char, vanilla, a hint of leather and a bitter and piney finish. A bit of roast coffee as it warms.
Mouthfeel is medium and smooth.
Overall, still a bit hot but very tasty.

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
3.56/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

L: brown, copper, reddish with white frothy foam half finger of head.
S: sweetness, alcohol, fruity sweetness, some barrel notes
T: lacking sweetness and barrel notes. I get medicine flavors. This is more bitter than sweet, and it finishes with dry alcohol.
F:thin, but coating, goes down easy.
O: not going to get drink this again, and that includes the rest of this bomber. Bummer

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.86/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Hearty murky orange pour that looks lighter than bigfoot base's solid brown color. Good almost half inch head, much less from a whiskey barrel beer. Sierra Nevada always knows how to make a pretty beer.

Aroma was fuckin' hot as shit. Whoof. Some citrus and toffee apparent.

Taste was also super warm, vanilla, wood, obvious whiskey effect. This base beer has to be different from normal bigfoot. Real hoppy and caramel-y in the mouthfeel as well. Should be interesting to see where these go with a few seasons under their belt.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.99/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I let this age a year to lighten the hops and tame some of the alcohol. The whiskey was still very strong with intense barley, caramel malt and toffee. It tastes like a whisky barreled barley wine so it's spot on.

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Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.49/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bigfoot is such a cult classic in the craft beer world. The Barrel Aged version is no different in terms of genius. This takes all those fine aspects of the original and adds even more complex sweetness from the barrels. This is a truly special bottling from SN and one I hope they send my way every year. One of the best American Barleywine ales in the world.

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Photo of arlo19
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into DFH signature glass. Great head, look, and sweet bourbon flavor. Can taste the same hop profile as their classic pale ale. Aroma and after taste is dry bitter hops, too much for my taste. Overall, solid American barleywine. Personally I prefer sweeter English style :-)

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Photo of CNoj012
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 25.4oz corked bottle into an Other Half Tulip. Beer is about 9 months old. This beer pours a very dark amber brown color with a huge khaki colored head. The retention is outstanding and it leaves thick webbed lacing. The smell is whiskey, wood, caramel, and dark fruits. Taste follows suit. Not sure if there would have been more hops present (like in the regular version) if I had drank this fresh. Medium feel, slick and a bit boozy. Overall an enjoyable beer, but I prefer the hoppiness of the regular version.

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Photo of Bfarr
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Hazy brown with red highlights and frothy off-white head with good retention. Whiskey, oak, and vanilla aromas with light roasty notes. Similar flavor with caramel and toffee with bittering spicy linger and dryness. Light boozy flavor. Dry finish with hoppy linger.

Balanced toward the dry hoppy finish. Wonderful flavor but a little too dry. Good warmth and a nice dichotomy of hops and barrel aged whiskey flavors.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.14/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750mL bottle, shared
A - coppery-brown body with a fluffy tan head that holds good retention
S - complex malty aroma with hints of caramel, toffee, pine, whisky, vanilla, oak
T - bold flavors very reminicent of the usual Bigfoot with caramel, brown sugar, toffee, piny hops, along with the oak, whisky (doesn't seem to be bourbon), and vanilla from the barrel age
M - fuller body, alcohol warming and even hot at times even though it's expected with the big boozy ABV
O - this is a beast. It's a rarity to find and get to try it, and it was worth it. Given the price point I doubt I will drink it again though.

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Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale - Barrel-Aged from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 232 ratings.