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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.

208 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 208
Hads: 1,132
Avg: 4.14
pDev: 10.14%
Wants: 161
Gots: 596 | FT: 84
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
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Reviews: 208 | Hads: 1,132
Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.33/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

750ml bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a dark copper color. The head is a finger high and off-white in shade. Retention isn't particularly special, but it's 12%. At least a lot of lacing sticks to the glass (just like regular Bigfoot!) (3.5)

Smell: The barrel aging have tempered the hops well (but not entirely!), replacing them with a nice oak character. And of course, the candied malts appear in full force. It's also slightly boozy. A good aroma, but I'm not sure that the barrel aging fully coalesces with the big brutishness of Bigfoot. (3.5)

Taste: Just like the nose suggested, the hoppiness is nowhere near as prevalent as they are in fresh, non-barreled Bigfoot. It starts off with some oak barrel and malty sweetness, before transitioning into notes of oak and hop bitterness. Even taking what I said into consideration earlier, it's still fairly hoppy. I really pick up a nice lingering grassiness (at times, it reminds me of a pilsner!) in particular. So why not a higher score? Because it's harsh. Very harsh, indeed. The alcohol and oak bites the palate in conjunction with the hop profile, and it actually manages to conceal some of the complexity instead of nuancing it. A shame. (3.25)

Mouthfeel: Though it has a moderate alcoholic/oaky bite, this is light and easy to drink for the style. When I don't concentrate on how much this is biting, that is. Carbonation is expectedly low. (3.25)

Overall: This is one of those beers that need a year (or two) in the cellar to age out some of its harshness. It's drinking decently right now, but it could still stand to be a little smoother regardless. Personally, I'd prefer to drink fresh Bigfoot over this right now. (3.25)

3.33/5: Way too young right now

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Photo of M_chav
3.24/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Slightly opaque and strong whiskey smell. The taste is unbalanced - alcohol forward and surprisingly bitter and thin. Overall, this brew has some decent qualities but they are not working well together. Aged in whiskey barrels for an entire year is probably what drives the price here but for me the price tag does not justify beer.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.19/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

2013 vintage 750ml brown glass bottle with branded black hood-and-wire cap over a branded cork acquired in SoCal earlier this year and served into an EKU 28 stem-snifter in me parents' gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given its current 93 rating, but I'm not a big fan of the base beer. Reviewed as a barleywine because the label describes it as such.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a half finger wide head of white colour which recedes inside 20 seconds, leaving no lacing.

Body colour is an orange-red of average vibrance. Translucent but nontransparent. No floating yeast particles/sediment is visible.

Overall, it's an appealing if standard appearance for a barleywine (barrel aged or otherwise). I'm optimistic.

Sm: Faint vanilla. Simplistic oak notes (no rich toasted character or the like). Coconut. Marshmallow. Amber malts. Biscuit malt. Tame timid hop character has a light presence. I get more a bourbon than a whiskey character; there's none of the spice or bite of a whiskey. Some burnt sugar. Caramel. Bread crust.

It's a pleasant aroma of mild strength, and hints at some nice complexity. I'm looking forward to trying it. It absolutely has a superior aroma to the base beer.

No yeast character or overt boozy alcohol is detectable.

T: Marshmallow, light graham cracker, bread crust, amber malts, some faint alcohol warmth, light vanilla, light burnt sugar, raisin, buried coconut (when I search for it), and some well-integrated whiskey. Maple syrup. Toffee. Candied sugars. Ample caramel. It's certainly sweet, but not cloying. Flirts with a red port wine character, but never quite commits. Admittedly, the barrel notes are pretty tame, and don't seem to develop the base beer's flavour profile all that much. It isn't all that whiskey-evocative; in fact, it isn't all that evocative in general. I'm a bit underwhelmed.

The highlight for me is the coconut.

Decent balance. The build is cohesive, but not gestalt. Depth of flavour is shockingly low for a barrel aged barleywine. Average duration and intensity of flavour. It's got nice complexity, but little subtlety, nuance, or intricacy. Each note feels very surface. It's not layered, but rather feels pretty flat.

No yeast character comes through.

Mf: Smooth. The wetness/dryness balance is a bit off, with it feeling like stale cardboard at some points in the structure and being perfectly fine in others. Full-bodied and thick. Overcarbonated. Supple. Has a warm presence on the palate. Never feels quite right. The texture suits the taste generally well, but feels far from custom-tailored to it. A biteen syrupy. Sticky.

Not oily, gushed, harsh, or astringent.

Dr: It's a bit too boozy to be as drinkable as it needs to be. It's better than the base beer, but still underwhelms. I continue to be shocked by Sierra Nevada's high reputation given this is the usual level of quality of their beers. I'm shocked by its 93 rating and wouldn't buy it again. I wouldn't recommend it to friends, and while I'll finish the bottle with some effort, it's far from remarkable. It'll get you drunk.


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Photo of ArrogantB
3.1/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

750ml bottle $15. I was excited to get a bottle because I heard only 20 cases came to CO. I also remember liking this when I had a taste at GABF five or six years ago. Unfortunately this one was a real disappointment for me. Appearance was about identical to regular Bigfoot, ruby red but less head than the regular. The aroma was quite nice, good whiskey and barrel coming out of the bottle and my glass. The flavor was just a mess for me. Huge bitter hops conflicted with whiskey flavors and then heavy brown sugar, just messy. I think my real problem was that the beer just had too much bitterness that in my opinion does not work well with the whiskey barrels. I would not purchase this again but if barrel aged Narwhal comes out, whew!

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Photo of maximum12
3/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Well, wasn't going to hunt this one down, but went to the store looking for cooking wine & lo! there were a bunch on the shelf. What do you do? You buy one. Well, I buy one. Big 750 ML of glass & liquid shared with my lovely wife.

The pour is dark red, doesn't look to far off of an amber, but I'm betting it doesn't taste like one. Apparent & sufficient carbonation. Nose isn't much to write your mistress about, caramel, whiskey, but both the smoke from a distant fire.

Whiskey Barrel Aged Bigfoot is like an alcohol-tipped boot to the nads. Wow. I like hot beers & rarely notice other beers that people complain about, but this, this is something. Hot Hot Heat. Gives way to some more of that hot caramel, some hot piney hops, & warm whiskey. None of it well integrated. Really kind of bland, there just isn't much to get worked up about in any direction. Heavy. Too heavy. It feels like it might be a chore to get through half of this liver-wringer.

Was really looking forward to this & there's just not really much here. It's a fiery, alcohol laden canvas that hasn't had a bad modern painting splashed on it. Mediocre.

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Photo of beertunes
2.95/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Served (by choice) in a 4oz goblet. Poured a clean, clear medium mahogany color, with about 1/4 inch (which is a lot in a glass this small) of light khaki head that had low-moderate retention and lacing.

The aroma was totally dominated by the whiskey. Even Bigfoots notorious over-hopping doesn't show through. On the tongue some malt and hops did show through, but the booze dominates. I hate that in a beer. I want the chosen spirit to complement the beer.

The body was thinner than I like in a BW, but was typical for the base beer. Drinkability was hurt by the overpowering amount of booze, I would have a problem finishing a pint or bottle. Overall, while not a "bad" beer in the technical sense, this was an unenjoyable brew for me. YMMV.

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Photo of yourefragile
2.83/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

750 mL bottle shared By Banich, thanks!

Pours a clearish ruby amber with a transient light cream head that fades to a thin collar and no lace. Aroma of whiskey and... um, whiskey and pine sap, maple, oak and oppression. Flavor is sweet and oaky. Doesn't really taste like Bigfoot, just straight whiskey and wood. Sweet and syrupy, burnt and toasted, piney hops and awww hell who cares. Very raw, oaky, hoppy and woodsy. Even Oaked Horizontal was more interesting than this. Seriously, what's the point of this mess?

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Photo of GRG1313
2.81/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

I cannot simply use the "Had" feature for this one. I personally find this beer far different than several reviews and figured I'd put forth a voice with which some others may agree.

Pours a clear brownish red with a khaki head and is nice looking.

Nose is a juxtaposition of fresh "IPA pineapple" hops and malt and burnt sugar. Neither is proper for style - both "mixed together" makes for one of the really few terribly unbalanced noses I've smelled. The hops character is great; the malt/carmel character is great - they do not marry well.

Mouthfeel is creamy, rich and nicely carbonated but relatively meaningless when fighting with the nose, flavor profile and finish.

Flavors are citrus/pine hops overlapping and fighting with burnt-sugar/carmel and malty tones. There is no one following the other; there is no "over tone" or "undertone." These are just two conflicting, unbalanced, disjointed flavor profiles that make for a conflicting and confusing drink. There is a character of "carbonated whiskey," . .strong whiskey, that is pervasive and not appealing. There is such an assertive alcohol presence that some of the sweetness in the nose is clearly the alcohol and the actual taste of the whiskey/alcohol seems much more than 12.2% abv. (Not that 12.2% is low....it just tastes like its about 80 proof! i.e. 40% abv!)

The finish follows the flavor profile - same comments - very confusing.

This one is just not for me. JMO

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Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale - Barrel-Aged from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 208 ratings.