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

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding
232 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
232
Ratings:
1,224
Avg:
4.14
pDev:
9.9%
 
 
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Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale - Barrel-AgedSierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale - Barrel-Aged
BEER INFO

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 Pahn
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into a snifter. Birthday present from BA morningthief (/hat tip).

Appearance: Translucent orange-ish brown. Free pour yields a 2 inch frothy white head that dissipates steadily and lacelessly. Predictably leggy due to the high ABV. Great clarity.

Smell: Lingering piny hops, white bread, rounded out by a good dose of oaky vanilla tinged with whiskey. Doesn't hit you over the head, but very pleasing; spicy like whiskey, with some good marzipan-oriented pastries right out of the oven aromas going on. Smells like Bigfoot, aged in whiskey barrels--exactly what you would expect.

Taste: Love it. Huge piny bitterness cutting through thick layers of vanilla oak and "how did they come up with a grain bill that would yield a beer so rewarded by oxidation and age?" Bigfoot malt flavors. This is the beer that taught beer geeks about what good can come of exposing beer to time and oxygen... exposing it to oak tastes exactly how you would expect it to in light of this: delicious.

As for the grocery list: lots of vanilla, not so much caramel, surprisingly heavy layer of molasses, lots of pine bitterness, decent alcohol heat kick but (even at 12%) the heat is overwhelmed by pure flavor. Decadent, satisfying treat.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Not very intrusive; mild carbonation, mildly dry, not particularly creamy or slick. Just lets the dazzling flavors do their thing.

Overall: I had high expectations for BA Bigfoot and they were met. If you've drank a lot of Bigfoot and a lot of barrel aged beer, you should have a pretty good idea of what this *should* taste like. As is so often the case with Sierra Nevada, the finished product delivers.

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Photo of chugalug06
4.51/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Very minimal white head grows on top of the clear emerald colored medium viscous liquid.

Lots of caramel, coconut, tobacco, leather, vanilla, whiskey, yum.

Loads of dry tobacco flavors. Whiskey is very prevalent. Bitterness is near perfect and I dig the extremely low carbonation. Sweetness is nice-and-even throughout the dynamic complexity of the brew. Very well blended and thought out.

Drink this badboy near room tempature... Opens very nicely and has a wonderful array of deep flavor. It's certainly one of the top BA B-wines IMO. I can't wait to see what direction my other BABF goes in after 5years+... Highly recommended

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.51/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle served in a snifter.

L - clouded reddish/amber color with a off-white head that thinned to a ring.

S - the whiskey makes itself known but the aroma of Bigfoot is lurking in the background.

T - WOW, Bigfoot is a delicious beer to begin with and SN takes it up a notch with the whiskey barrel aging. Everything malty and hop wise that Bigfoot is with the taste of whiskey blended in perfectly.

F - medium/full bodied with a smooth feel.

O - the abv never makes itself known but someone put whiskey in my Bigfoot and I like it!

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Photo of johnnieoz
4.51/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

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Photo of Mertzy81
4.52/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

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Photo of InkedinRi
4.52/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very smooth.. Awesome mouth feel on this beer! And it's fresh not aged, it's a 2015, it would like velvet in my mouth after a couple of years in the cellar!

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.52/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bigfoot Barleywine pours a dark reddish color with a big long lasting lacing head. There is a big oakey and whiskey aroma. The taste has a big oak flavor, hints of whiskey, dry fruit like raisins, with a warm alcohol finish. Nice body good flavors. Overall very complex, lots of fruit, sugary flavors, with whiskey and oak mixed in. Much better then regular bigfoot.

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Photo of facundoCNB
4.53/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

a deep ruby red/burgundy almost black with a finger of creme colored head which gave off some nice lacing. the smell is a blast of vanilla and whiskey, caramel, sweet malt, a banana-like scent makes it overall sweet and leaning towards fruity. oh my.. the flavor is SO SO tasty. the whiskey is as mellow as it is in the central waters bourbon barrel barleywines.. i'd hate to compare it, but this is on par with that. vanilla, banana, whiskey/bourbon (sorry, don't mean to offend people but there's not much of a difference to my palate in the 2 different liquors), oak, tons of delicious sweet malt.
full body with a moderate amount of carbonation for the style. creamy and very subtle with the alcohol warmth but it does catch up to you.

this is a phenomenal beer in every aspect. as a barrel aged beer, it falls nothing short of its promise. as a barleywine, i like mine hoppy, strong, yet sweet.. this one is lacking on the hops, but is still damn close to perfect. as a barrel aged barleywine, it is delicious. a 12% abv that you don't realize until, well, it's too late.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.53/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Barrel-aged Bigfoot Barleywine-style Ale, Ale aged in Whiskey Barrels. Alc. 11.9% by Vol.

Appearance: Clear, bright and beautiful crimson coloring, lush, creamy off-white head, lazily leaving lace. Just about perfect.

Aroma: Caramel and vanilla caress the nose….no, that's not right, but I didn't want to say "assault" either. What's right? It's a passionate flowering, how about that? A gentle invasion of whiskey flavors flooding the senses. Deep and powerful, the barrel affects are pounding on the gates, and letting loose, with the proper Bigfoot Barley-wine lagging a little behind.

Taste, now: In the mouth, the bourbon blares on through once more, the caramel, vanilla, char and oak associations sound off the loudest on the tongue. And now the Bigfoot comes crawling from his cave, here comes all the flavors we've known all the rich malt, the brandy notes, the toffee and the dried fruit and the leather. And as we go on, it's growing and showing it's full flower. Increasing intensity. While Remaining mellow.

This ale moves back and forth. Now, the heat increases, now the alcohol rises. The barley-wine flavor peeks through, then the whiskey tones return. It's a complicated thing, this. Cool and hot, incredibly complex. Now, it's showing rich fruit, with high alcohol presence. Then, caramel malt resurfaces….the flavor is as full as it gets, the finish is ever-lasting.

This one goes beyond what I like to pay for a bottle of beer ($20), but it's worth every penny. It even feels cheap for quality of this magnitude. In fact, it seems necessary to buy more just to keep and cellar.

The more I drink it in, the more ridiculously drinkable it is, despite the richness, despite the high ABV. It's just damned well-done is what it is.

Time to read the bottle: "2015 Expedition. Our Bigfoot Barley-wine-style ale is a craft beer legend. Each winter, this beast of a beer appears to ambush unsuspecting palates with it's intense bittersweet flavors. We matured this special barrel-aged version in oak Kentucky bourbon casks for nearly a year before unleashing it into the wild. The result is an incredibly complex version of the classic beer. Bigfoot's notorious assault of resinous hops has mellowed and the wood's influence shifts your focus toward the malt, rich burnt sugar flavors and notes of vanilla, toasted coconut, and raisins. Grab this elusive beast while you can, it won't be around for long."

You may notice that this time I did not refer to the copy on the back of the bottle as "gobbledygook." Because it isn't. (Also notice that they weren't so shy about using the word "assault.")

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

A: A crisp ruby reddish mahogany color, with a quater inch high tan head
S: instant bourbon, toffee, vanilla, maple
T: smoooooth toffee bourbon notes, no hop bite at all really, some toasted sweet malts, more vanilla flavors.
F: so creamy and smooth on the tongue.
O: Very happy with this beer. For me this is what I imagine barrel aged to mean.

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Photo of Justin_Neff
4.55/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Dark copper color with a 2 finger head. Great lacing that sticks on the glass throughout the entire drink. The foamy lacing sticks around the brew for the whole drink. Nice and fluffy.

S: Whhhiskey! Hints of caramel, toffee, brown sugar, dark fruits, and butter. Good.

T: More whiskey. Lots of malt. Caramel - more than the nose suggests. Some oak. Finishes with some hop bitterness.

M: Full body and very creamy. Low carbonation.

O: Couldn't believe when my dad showed up at my doorstep in Ohio this morning and told me he came across a bottle of this in Indiana. I truly owe him, as this one was worth the hype. Thanks Pops!! Great balance of flavor, smell, and body.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.56/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I feel like I popped this at the near perfect time given my preference on Bigfoot. The hops were still plenty pronounced even after 8 months of cellaring but it complemented the barrel notes wonderfully. Nice creamy feel and insanely drinkable for the high ABV. My recommendation would be to age it longer if you don't enjoy the spiciness of the hops in Bigfoot. If you like that hop character, drink it now. It's wonderful.

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Photo of Nife
4.56/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

First time I have tried this. A 10oz glass at SN taproom. Bigfoot hops r still there but subdued. Whiskey barrel taste complements the Bigfoot flavor perfectly. Everything is in balance. Mod malty nose with whisky barrel aroma nicely in step. Mine is a bit cold now. Hides its alch very well. Very enjoyable. Went perfectly with dinner.

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Photo of DonDirkA
4.57/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The nose is similar to the original only in the background, right up front it is definitely barrel aged. Bourbon, vanilla, toasted coconut, oak, caramel, molasses, a hint of piney hops and some booziness. The bourbon barrel comes forward REALLY strong in the taste. Toasted coconut, oak, bourbon, caramel, pine hops, vanilla, some citrus and sweet roasted, caramel malts. I like the more pronounced malts of the barrel-aged version as opposed to the standard Bigfoot. The hops are much more muted and subtle. Medium to full body, low but proper carbonation, very smooth, not too boozey and a sweet, somewhat chewy mouthfeel. I could drink this all the time whereas the original is a bit rougher, in my opinion.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.58/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: deep amber brown with ruby highlights, tan two-finger head of dense foam; didn't really lace my tulip glass - they subsided quickly

S: sweet malty aromas and whiskey, floral and earthy hops and yeasts.

T: fantastic tasting - rich, rugged malt flavors, sweeter up front than on the finish. I thought of bitter toffee/burnt sugar and old coffee. Some hints of dried dark fruit, vanilla, and musky earth and wood; nicely bitter and savory. Whiskey notes hover around the palate. Bittersweet and resinous...

M: great chew, medium density, moderate carbonation, more coating than tingling, slight tackiness

O: a great barleywine - complex and hearty, strong and only semi-sweet - sweeter than the normal Bigfoot, but not overly sweet; the bitter hops leaft a great aftertaste between sips. Reminded me of American and English strong ales/old ales. Definitely something to buy again if spotted.

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Photo of Trilogy31
4.59/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Hoping i am in the right place for this beer as it it appears i am the first to review the newly released 750 bottled version. A slow hiss as i pull the cork, this brew pours a brilliant amber ruby hue with a beige finger of creamy foam - stunning looking. The nose is a beauty as well, bourbon barrel booze esters, caramel, nougat, vanillin. Also bright sugar plums and sticky toffee along with dates and booze soaked figs. Very complex on the nose with a lot of booze as well. The taste is not quite to the level of the nose with the alcohol hiding up some more of the noses nuanced characteristics. Brings oloroso sherry, rye whiskey as well as irish whiskey, somehwhat grainy and drying. The finish is somewhat tannic and very boozy, cannot imagine how amazing this will be in two years after having time to mellow and all the flavors to integrate.

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Photo of RyanEley
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The Sierra Nevada Brewery is an amazing place to sample beers. They always have ones that you have never seen in the store or have never heard of. Last night I had wood barrel aged bigfoot. It was aged in a whiskey barrel so it ended up being 12.5% and it had a nice taste of whiskey at the end.

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Photo of BenwayPHD
4.63/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, reddish brown with a light brown thin head. The nose is robust and delicious. Whiskey and booze right up front. Toffee, vanilla, pepper, mild citrus, Hawaiian Punch. The flavor is really nice. A bit more subtle than other barrel aged barleywine I've had. The mouth feel is a bit too thin, but still nice.

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Photo of badgustav
4.64/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The hopiness of the standard Bigfoot is greatly diminished and is replaced by a sweet heat. The alcohol is quite obvious in the aftertaste, which should diminish in time. There is a syrupy sweetness which may not appeal to some.

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Photo of mjweth2
4.68/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Bigfoot aged in whiskey barrels

A: Clear amber, with a decent off-white head

S: Amazing... whiskey (Jack Daniels comes to mind but in the best way possible), oak, toffee, caramel, dark fruit, citrus, mint, with an underlying barleywine aroma that brings it all together.

T: Starts off with whiskey and toffee, then transitions into a barleywine taste with lots of oak and dark fruits, finishes with more of a bitterness than I was expecting, though it is not at all unpleasent. It has a nice stickiness about it that allows the flavors to linger for a bit and it only gets better with every sip.

M: Decent, though the carbonation is a bit much for this beer in my opinion.

D: Great, I had to keep reminding myself that this was 12% ABV

Overall this beer was amazing, everything I had hoped it could be, definitely gonna try to seek out more of this to see how it is with some more age on it.

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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.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.7/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

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Photo of fx20736
4.74/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Almost Garnet Port tinted amber with pecan cream head and a lace blanket.Rich Aroma of plums mixed with butterscotch, caramel, vanilla and booze.First taste is surprise grapefruit followed by rich toffee and finish with dark fruity wine. Mouthfeel is buoyant, silky smooth.This is one of the best beers I have ever tasted.

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Photo of RobertColianni
4.74/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2013 Bottle
12oz. Victory Golden Monkey Tulip

A: Unlike base Bigfoot, Barrel-Aged Bigfoot is bright red in color. The head still offers the thin, spotty, frothy perfection that I love and the whiteness stays consistent up to the edges, where the red shines through and gives off a stunning burnt tone. The only downfall is that the head and lacing have thinned out considerably so everything dissipates fairly quickly.

S: Barrel-Aged Bigfoot offers a huge, prominent banana and coconut aroma to the nose. These scents absolutely over-shadow a still-vibrant whiskey background.

T: The flavor profile of Barrel-Aged Bigfoot is absolutely tremendous. Huge bubblegum and rose pedal tones are backed heavily by one of the most smooth, perfectly hitting, delicately aged, mellow whiskey driven cores I have ever experienced. This barleywine is to die for.

M: The mouthfeel on the tongue from Barrel-Aged Bigfoot is off the charts! The carbonation is there and the lacing is low, but the beer only offers a subtle tingle; enough to make the whiskey waft perfectly, but little enough to stay quiet and keep me feeling like I'm drinking a fine spirit rather than a beer. It's smooth, soft, creamy, but thin. I love what Sierra Nevada did to spin this sensational ale!

OVERALL: I suppose that spirits mellow out and tone down the maltiness, bring out a sharp finish, and thus thin the head retention, so Barrel-Aged Bigfoot isn't as sexy as the base counterpart, but this barleywine is perfect in every other attribute. Similar to base Bigfoot, the complexity between taste and scent is extraordinary, but the tonal spiciness from barrel aging just does this beer wonders. A beautifully balanced, intelligently complex work of brewing art that will not be forgotten...

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Photo of joefuzz
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours just like regular Bigfoot, deep ruby with a small slightly off white head. Smells of piney hops and some slight whiskey. Taste is hop forward with that great Bigfoot malt bill complimented very nicely by a slight vanilla/marshmallow aftertaste and some decent alcohol heat. The barrel doesn't overpower the base beer it is pretty much the perfect blend. Mouthfeel is perfect for a barleywine with just the right amount of carbonation. Regular Bigfoot is one of my favorite barleywines and I had thought that there was no room for improvement but this has taken me by suprise. Sierra Nevada has done wonders for the craft beer community for decades and this is just another great example of them pushing into the future.

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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.