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

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

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

191 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 191
Hads: 1,050
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 4.11%
Wants: 160
Gots: 564 | FT: 78
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 191 | Hads: 1,050
Reviews by tectactoe:
Photo of tectactoe
3.73/5  rDev -9.9%
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. (1,748 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of antott0523
4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Rating this as I drink my second bottle (not consecutively, of course).

A: Pours translucent with attractive notes of caramel, ruby red and dark cherry colors. Airy beige head that settles down as the beer sits. Some lacing is left behind. No visible carbonation.

S: The barrel aging shine through with strong notes of whiskey and an oak-like wood quality. Some cola and hazelnut qualities as well. The hops peek through, but the barrel aging definitely subdues the signature hop profile of this American barley wine.

T: Sweet notes of figs and whiskey up front shifting to a more dry, bitter ale that allows the hop profile of the beer to continue shining. Nothing complex, but the sweet notes from the barrel aging play off the hops in this beer so well.

M: Moderately carbonated, smooth feel, but enough hops to provide that expected Sierra Nevada hop tingle. Finishes with a touch of heat that warms the palate.

O: Overall, I think this is a delicious barrel aged barleywine. This beer is a great illustration of how the barrel aging process improves upon, but also imparts complementary elements to the base beer. If you like Big Foot then give this a try. The hops are still present, and it is an enjoyable barley wine not dominated by sweet elements. I look forward to trying this down road knowing that the base beer looses some hop profile and sweetens up over time. The trick will be to find that equilibrium with only one bottle left! (1,470 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle at Mugs Alehouse, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is very hazy dark brownish amber in color. It poured with a quarter finger high beige head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of toasted oak and vanilla are present in the nose along with hints of caramel malts.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell and has lots of flavors imparted by the whiskey barrel aging, except that the hops are a bit stronger and lend a light amount of bitterness and slight hints of pine resin.
M: It feels full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The alcohol lends some warming to the mouthfeel.
O: The whiskey barrel aging really mellows out the strong dose of resinous hops that you would normally expect from a Bigfoot. It's not difficult do drink because most of the alcohol is hidden from the taste (except what you perceive from the whiskey).

Note: 2013 Expedition. (968 characters)

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. (717 characters)

Photo of zac16125
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle into a snifter
2015 Expedition


A: Pours a very hazy, dark rust colored brown with 1 plus fingers width of light tan head. Head has good retention and leaves a few patches of lacing. 4.25

S: Big nose. Boozier than I expected, with a Scotch-like peet character. Big barrel notes with oaky vanilla, subtle toasted coconut, and bourbony booze. Sweet malts include caramel and dark fruits. Hops are much more subtle than regular Big Foot of the same vintage (although the same vintage of the barrel aged variant would have about a year of natural aging on it from the time in the barrel). There is a somewhat astringent, almost acidic character that I don’t love, still a very good aroma though. 4.25

T: Wonderful maltiness with caramel, candied sugar, dark fruits, and subtle licorice. Bitterness from the hops is present and balances the sweetness very well. Barrel notes are present, but not as strong as in the aroma, and include charred oak and bourbon booze. Excellent beer. 4.5

M/D: Full bodied but not thick, carbonation appropriate, ABV is noticeable but in a good way, drinkability is excellent. 4.5

O: Very enjoyable. Take one of my favorite beers and throw it in a barrel for almost 1 year, what could go wrong? Whatever could go wrong certainly didn’t here. A great beer that I would have anytime it was available. 4.5 (1,365 characters)

Photo of gshak
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The barrel character has blended in extremely well, in this 2015 edition of Bigfoot. A perfect marriage of barrel, and hop character is evident in this beer, the 12% ABV is evident as the beer warms up. Might be worth cellaring a bottle, if not more. (250 characters)

Photo of Sparty1224
4.49/5  rDev +8.5%
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. (1,620 characters)

Photo of Noahtrumble
3.87/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Not a fan at all, just to strong of a Alcohol taste (51 characters)

Photo of FLima
3.91/5  rDev -5.6%
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. (513 characters)

Photo of argock
3.51/5  rDev -15.2%
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. (1,422 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
3.84/5  rDev -7.2%
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. (890 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
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. (752 characters)

Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of MadScientist
4.7/5  rDev +13.5%
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. (1,300 characters)

Photo of SanFranJake
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

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

Photo of supa0525
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of bulldogg915
5/5  rDev +20.8%

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

Photo of pengs68
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Chitex78
4.65/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of JakerLou
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of aquazr1
4.36/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Lofreqwave
4.65/5  rDev +12.3%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale - Barrel-Aged from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 191 ratings.