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

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale - Whiskey Barrel-AgedSierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale - Whiskey Barrel-Aged

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

635 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 635
Reviews: 115
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.59%
Wants: 149
Gots: 284 | FT: 29
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  12.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Callenak on 12-05-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 635 | Reviews: 115 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by johnnieoz:
Photo of johnnieoz
4.58/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Boxing Day brew.
Same lovely amber maple syrup hues as regular Bigfoot with a smaller off white crown. Oaky aroma, somewhat muted. Taste? Taste! Absolutely magnificent barrel-aging in effect - vanilla, caramel, woody hops. I can't recall having had a smoother beer. It coats the palate with all those flavors thanks to the subdued carbonation. Perhaps it's because I know and love the base beer, but this is one of best beers I've ever had. Kudos Sierra Nevada & please make it available every once in a while.

More User Reviews:
Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%

2013 Vintage

Pours a murky brown/red/rust color with a smallish head, not too much lacing, cap sticks around on top for awhile though.

Smell has a decent booziness to it which is expected since it hasn't aged terribly long, hop aroma has essentially faded (also expected), decent barrel woodiness on the nose.

Taste starts out with a good malt front, slightly sugary sweet but not even close to cloyingly sweet, alcohol booze sweeps in yet it doesn't have a strong burn, definitely can feel it though, the woody barrel character lingers around the entire time, not being too overwhelming or too weak to notice.

Surprisingly delicate with the barrel aging yet strong enough to be throughly enjoyable with each sip.

Photo of oberon
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Maybe I shouldn't have drank this two hours before the U-M vs Indianer game,whoo it knocked me back a little.Poured into an oversized wine glass a deep burgundy with a nice tight one finger white head atop,great rich clarity.Big hop resins mixed with toasted oak in the nose,as it warms whiskey gets bigger and bigger.The whiskey barrel is really big on the palate but the powerful hops acts as a counter balance wich doesn't happen much with barrel aged beers,vanilla and dark fruit round out the flavor profile.This is a deeply consentrated flavorful beer,the hops are HUGE for something that has sat for a year,but the aging makes it complex to the hilt.Thanks to Roger at Bestway for hookin me up this,it was a pleasure to drink...to say the least.

Photo of tectactoe
3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Jeff for cracking this one open and sharing, saved me from having to search the city for it. Pours a murky, deep-amber color, nearly copper and almost on the verge of being called raw sienna. The light-tan head settles rather quickly and leaves very spotting lacing on the edges of my glass.

Light whiskey and bourbon on the nose - more standout-ish on its own, rather than integrated into the rest of the aromas. Slight wood and oak with some sweet plums, crispy burnt vanilla, and brown sugar. It's hard to remember how similar this is to the regular Bigfoot, but I believe this one packs a more powerful punch. Of course, that's to be expected, given the whiskey barrel aging and all.

The taste is full of brown sugar and an underlying bourbon heat that starts off on the smaller side, but crescendos throughout the sip and actually becomes quite hot. Sweet figs and dates which tasted like they were soaked in a bourbon bath for years. The malt provides a huge caramel and molasses backbone which becomes washed out a bit by the booze and fruits.

This one is also quite hoppy, and if I recall correctly, the original Bigfoot had a nice hop profile to it as well. They seem even a bit stronger, here. Ashy and leafy, providing a small amount of bitterness to the aftertaste, which is largely dominated by boozy dark fruits and wet wood. Thick body all around with a slick and sticky mouth feel, medium carbonation.

A nice addition to regular Bigfoot, although the whiskey barrel aging made this one quite hot and somewhat difficult to easily drink. Hopefully this one will become more readily available, because I'd like to pick up a few more and age them to see if it blunts the heat a little. Thanks again to Jeff for this one.

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

A: A light copper with good clarity. The head is persistant and made of creamy tan bubbles that leave a light lacing on the glass. The alcohol shows some legs but mostly coating the glass in sheets.

S: There was an inviting aroma of burnt sugar that hit my nose when poped the cork, down in the glass there is a strong aroma of oak and malt. The oak mostly brings cinnamon, coconut and whiskey notes while the rich barley wine malt brings smells of sweetness, burnt sugar, red cherries and raisins. There isn't any noticeable hops but a smooth, moderate alcohol aroma.

T: Cherries, oak, a toffee-like malt sweetness and moderately-strong hops bitterness dominate the flavor with some alcohol making it's presence clear in the middle. Moderate whiskey flavors as well. There is a good amount of hops bitterness but an almost equal amount of sweetness making for a balance that is about even with a finish that manages to be sweet while having a lingering hops bitterness.

M: A Creamy, medium-full bodied beer with a moderate carbonation. Fairly strong alcohol warmth without being unpleasant or solventy.

O: I'd use this as a classic example of style for an oak aged beer as the barrel aging of strong yet the Barleywine flavors are clear and the overall flavors are balance and complementary.

Photo of SanFranJake
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of supa0525
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of bulldogg915
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Photo of pengs68
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of JakerLou
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Lofreqwave
4.65/5  rDev +12.3%

Photo of JitsuBrew
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of dogfishandi
4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml cork and caged bottle a little above fridge temp. "2013 expedition"

Pours out a deep orange/ brown color, cloudy, almost murky. Big off white almost light tan colored head that shows very good retention and lacing.

A very woody aroma from both woody hops and old barrel wood. Carmalized malts, A bit of seaweed and whiskey booziness.

Bitter hops and sweet malt balance each other nicely. Not as bitter as regular Bigfoot, but a hell of a lot sweeter which I'd suspect comes from both the barrel itself and the time spent in the barrel. Caramel, burnt sugar like malts with maybe a slight hint of almost raisin bread. A nice whiskey barrel flavor but not quite as boozey as some BA beers tend to be. Woody, slightly piney like hops and slight hints of seaweed.

Thick and full bodied, even a bit more so than the original version.

A very good barleywine, spot on for what a BA barleywine should taste like, but still there are a lot of better examples out there that offer maybe a touch more complexity.

Photo of warmbier804
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Mertzy81
4.54/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a reddish-brown with a dense creamy head. Lots of lacing.

S: Fruity and malty with a noticable bourbon presence.

T: Big flavor. The same old familiar hoppy Bigfoot taste but with a strong taste the evolves from potent bourbon to a soft and complex vanilla flavor as your palate adjusts.

M: Big, thick, and silky smooth with light carbonation.

D: There are many beers that don't do well with bourbon aging. This isn't one of them. If you like Bigfoot, then you should buy copius amounts of this if given the chance.

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

A: Poured into my CCB snifter this brew pours a really nice red hue with an off white head the quickly dissipates (the only flaw).

S. The aroma is complex. As it warms the whiskey stings your nose. The mault has lasted through the aging, notes of sweet caramel, the hops that are signature to SN are present, but tame.

T. The flavor is amazing. Smooth, whiskey flavors ( the good whiskey flavors). Caramel, notes of vanilla, raw burnt/spent whiskey barrels with SN hops mildly on the back of the pallet.

MF. For BA beers this brew has an excellent MF. This beer did not thin. Good carbonation, chewy mault backbone.

Overall, this is an excellent example of a classic beer becoming more iconic. To me its obvious the larger craft breweries (SN and SA) are struggling to stay pace with the more extreem, ever changing craft beer world. I recently have BA Ovilla, and it was awesome. I hope this becomes a year round brew.

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

Orange pour, really impressive, looks more like a dipa than the somewhat brown tones of regular bigfoot. The significant jump from 9.6% to 12.2% also makes me think that it might just be a stronger base batch, as thats a big jump from just being a in a bourbon barrel, but not impossible either. Anyways, orange pour, nice 1/3" white head on it, something you don't see every day with a barreled beer.

Good and complex aroma, obviously whiskey, maybe even some peat malt, oak, toffee, stayed away from hot alcohol sting. Even a little twinge of citrus to it.

Taste, the vanilla was much stronger than expected, but not a problem at all. Drank pretty easy. Usually, I like to either drink Bigfoot fresh, or after at least 3 years, the 2 years that this was aged made me worried it would be in an awkward teenage phase, but not at all. It is very different from fresh bigfoot, no doubt. But it is also different than 2 year old bigfoot, the barrel just really transforms this beer into something you don't (or didn't) associate with what I've come to know Bigfoot as since the mid90s.

Plenty of caramel still runs through the mouthfeel, but the hops are so far downplayed on the flavor list, you still can't believe this is Bigfoot. Its robust and strong, I don't want to say "boozy" but this is never going to be mistaken for a session ale either. I was pretty impressed, and I'm sure I'll save a bottle or two to drink in 2020 or whatnot down the road.

Photo of tlacott1
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of jeonseh
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Hazy brown with orange hints. Light carbonation sits on the sides of the glass.

S - Light brown sugar, orange zest, malty, light dark fruit, light oak

T - Malty, lots of bourbon, light brown sugar, alcoholic, and oak, A light hop presence on the back end. The booze and the hop presence make it have a lingering bitterness.

M - Medium body with light hoppy bitterness on the backend that gives it a slight astringent bite

T - Tastes like Bigfoot with a bit of barrel to it. I was surprised my how hoppy this still was given the BA timing. It also was still really boozy and could probably use some time to mellow out.

Photo of hctap00
4.41/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A sexy beer. I am not good at colors, but I'll do my best to describe the appearance. Held to the light, it is ruby red, with a fair amount of translucence. When not in the light, it reminds me of a scotch ale. Are dark brownish mahogany, with red hints, fairly murky. Lovely tan lacing that never fades.

Aroma has hints of regular Bigfoot. Some of the citrus and pine hops, but far more subtle. Plenty of oak and vanilla, maybe some molasses. Some booze noticeable but not too much. Overall malty, sweet goodness. More mellow than I expected.

It is still pretty hoppy. Definitely has mellowed after a year in the barrel, but the hops are still prevalent. This is a good thing, as I love the hop profile of Bigfoot. Perfect combination of citrus, pine, and hop sweetness. The malt profile surrounding the hops is also Bigfoot-esque, but richer, and a bit harsher, but in a good way. Hard to pick out individual flavors with so much going on. Obviously the oak/vanilla is prominent. The bottle label says "rich burnt sugar...toasted coconut and raisins." Not sure about the last two, but definitely the burnt sweetness. There is some kind of lingering fruitiness in the finish that I like. I really like that the whiskey booziness is distinct but not overwhelming. Adds another layer of complexity rather than merely burning alcohol.

Rather creamy, lingers for a while...nice.

While it was not exactly what I was expecting, it was still very enjoyable. Perhaps it is the Boltcutter effect, but I thought that BA Bigfoot would be an all out flavor assault and completely lacking in subtlety. Far from it, this beer was rather mellow and never overpowering. The flavor of the whiskey barrel rather than the intensity and the heat was most noticeable. I like what SN did with this. I hope they continue with this annual release.

Photo of kevwcamp
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of Nickqb7
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of r0nyn
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

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Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale - Whiskey Barrel-Aged from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 635 ratings.