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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

815 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 815
Reviews: 152
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 159
Gots: 451 | FT: 53
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  12.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Callenak on 12-05-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 815 | Reviews: 152
Reviews by ramblinwreck101:
Photo of ramblinwreck101
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

More User Reviews:
Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%

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 Sparty1224
4.49/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Serving: 1 Pt 9.4 Fl. oz. bomber poured into a Founder's CBS snifter. Bottled on 1/22/15, making this just under a month old.

A: Pours a dark ruby-red color, pretty clear. Just a thin ring of white head laces the beer.

S: Lots of vanilla, oak, molasses. Some maple-candy sweetness in there as well. Picking up some licorice and candied red apples too. The whiskey barrel isn't huge on the nose, but it's definitely there.

T: Vanilla, oak, rich maple syrup. Some caramel and raison notes as well. Big, big hop presence here in the finish. Lots of dank, piney, resinous qualities to it. Quite bitter actually.

M: Nice and full, good carbonation for a barrel-aged beer. Very hot and boozy on the finish, with quite a lingering bitterness.

O: I remember being very fond of this beer back when it first came out in 2013... but that was before I had tried BCBBW. I love regular Bigfoot, and in general I prefer the very hop-forward American-style barleywines. But when it comes to throwing them into barrels, I think you have to go English-style. The smooth, malty flavors just work so much better in the barrel. This beer still feels very hot, hoppy and undercooked, even after a year in a barrel. Also, the barrel character isn't huge here. BCBBW is in 3rd-use barrels, and the barrel is way more present there. This is a very nicely done beer, and it's just what I expected from barrel-aging Bigfoot. But I just really prefer BA English-style BW's so much more, and this leaves me wanting a bit.

Recommendation: A bit easier to come by in 2015 compared to 2013, so get on it while you can, it's totally worth it.

Photo of FLima
3.91/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Reddish brown color with a thick head that leaves a constant ring.
Unique bold aroma with notes of bourbon, vanilla, pine and caramels. Somewhat medicinal.
Hoppy flavor with notes of pine, red fruits, pine, bourbon, coconut, caramels, burnt sugar and lots of wood. Dry, bitter and woody aftertaste.
Full body with mild carbonation. Alcohol is in harmony with the overall beer.
Definitely this is a rather woody and piney sipper. This sure could have enjoyed more resting time (2015 expedition) to round its edges.

Photo of argock
3.51/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml brown bottle into clear glass snifter. 2013 vintage. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Typical murky Bigfoot amber-brown with thin cap of beige bubbles and only a scrap here or there of any lacing.

S: Aroma was surprising short on vanilla but fairly heavy on the whiskey end of things - quite boozy and very oaky, tannic aroma. There was the usual beautiful caramel and earthy hop notes, but they were masked rather than enhanced by the barrel notes.

T: THe flavor was a major let-down -- I don't know if I waited way too long to sample this, but much of the vanilla and coconut and other notes were minimal to none and instead the tannic, oak-wood flavors came on extremely strong all through the beer. It really damped the base beer, which is usually at an awkward stage at the 1 year mark anyway. There were some nice toffee and burnt caramel notes along with fairly lively earthy and citrus hoppiness. THe whiskey barrel character is overbearingly oaky and tannic and really detracts from the base beer.

M: Still smooth with low carbonation and big body, but still drinkable.

O: Saved from my 1500th BA review, this was a let down as the wood character really supplants a lot of what makes Bigfoot great -- intense caramel and toffee maltiness and citrus and earthy hoppiness in one big bodied but drinkable package. The tannins and oakiness just clouded the beer for me.

Photo of Bitterbill
3.84/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Small pop when I removed the cork, it pours a clear dark reddish brown with a small amount of foam that shrinks to a ring around the glass.

The smell is of bourbon, vanilla, caramel malt that has a burnt character to it.

The taste is stronger than I even thought it would be. Bourbon is inmy face big time. Next big thing is the burnt/charred taste I mentioned in the smell.

Setting down with the flavours at hand, delicious notes of vanilla make a partial rescue to the flavour overload.

The mouthfeel, to me, is much lighter than expected and I reckon that's a good thing.

Overall, it is a cool brew to try, especially considering how limited a distro, I'm guessing it sees, but it needs time to mellow out like its little brother.

Edit: I forgot to mention that this is the newly released 2015 and is 11.9% abv. And as the beer warmed, the base beer's hoppiness came through.

Photo of oberon
4.29/5  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
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
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 t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of MadScientist
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
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 +8.4%

Photo of supa0525
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of bulldogg915
5/5  rDev +20.5%

Photo of DaftPatrick
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of pengs68
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of JakerLou
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of aquazr1
4.36/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Lofreqwave
4.65/5  rDev +12%

Photo of JitsuBrew
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of dogfishandi
4.19/5  rDev +1%
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 +2.4%

Photo of MattyG85
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 750 ml corked bottle into a stemmed chalice. 2015 Vintage.

Appearance: Pours a deep brownish amber with a moderate amount of bubbles. Big two finger off white head that settles into a thin creamy layer. Leaves some nice lacing.

Smell: A nicely boozy, sweet, and earthy aroma with big hints of bourbon, earthy hops, and caramel malt. Big upfront barrel presence with good hints of bourbon whiskey, vanilla, oak, and wood. Earthy and floral hops with hints of pine and grass. Toasted barley malt with hints of caramel, toffee, biscuit, and yeast. Sweet hints of brown sugar. Subtle dark fruit hints of raisin and cherry. A very good complex aroma.

Taste: Like the nose hints at, a sweet, boozy, and earthy taste with big notes of bourbon, caramel malt, and hops. Upfront barrel taste with notes of bourbon whiskey, vanilla, oak, and wood. Floral, earthy, and spicy hop notes with some pine and grass. Bready barley malt notes of sweet caramel, toffee, biscuit, toast, and yeast. Sweet taste of brown sugar. Light dark fruit undertones of raisin, cherry, and fig. A really great taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a carbonation level on the lower side. Rich and fairly syrupy and oily. Some alcohol heat comes through as expected but it’s nothing overwhelming.

Overall: A really great spin on a classic Barleywine. The bourbon barrel presence is strong but doesn’t overwhelm the complex hop and malt notes. Nicely complex and balanced.

Photo of Mertzy81
4.52/5  rDev +8.9%
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
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale - Whiskey Barrel-Aged from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 815 ratings.