Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale - Whiskey Barrel-Aged - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 590 | Reviews: 109 | Display Reviews Only:
4.01/5 rDev -3.4%
Thanks to AndresR for sharing this one at jmgrub's tasting.
Pours a clear dark orange with a foamy beige head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, toffee, whiskey, and wood. Taste is much the same with a hoppy finish and an alcohol kick. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a great smell and a hoppy flavor I wasn't quite expecting from a barrel aged beer.
01-29-2013 03:15:42 | More by UCLABrewN84
4.21/5 rDev +1.4%
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.
03-03-2014 01:36:10 | More by metter98
4.04/5 rDev -2.7%
Appearance: Pours a burnt orange color with a modest head that fades rather quickly
Smell: Caramel and dried fruit (raisin) blend with the vanilla and oak tones from the barrel
Taste: Caramel, raisin and coconut flavors, up front, with the hops becoming assertive in the middle; piney and resinous in the finish, with considerable sweet tones
Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation
Overall: A pretty impressive beer - the barrel-aging tones down the bitter qualities of the underlying beer
03-15-2014 20:50:24 | More by brentk56
4.48/5 rDev +8%
Credit for the American-style barleywine can be largely, if not solely attributed to Sierra Nevada and their Bigfoot Barleywine. Its taken thirty years of recipe formulation and execution and over a decade of barrel aged technique to achieve the seduction of taste that this bottle delivers.
Its tawny brown pour provides highlights of mahogany, ruby, and maroon just as soon as the beer releases its slightly yellowish foam. Mostly clear in color, the beer's sheer darkness prevents it from being see-through. Capped by that ultra-creamy froth, the beer retains exceptional for its high alcohol and barrel-aged character, all the while lacing randomly and intricately as the beer fades.
Maple syrup, oak, and incredible whisky are the boldest scents to entice the olfactory senses, but a secondary rise of dark pitted fruit, kettle caramelized toffee, toast, citrus peels and vanilla often times rival the more overt scents. Its a very lush and inviting set of aromas that seem to meld together beautifully.
Robust sweetness of caramelized malts provide a healthy and heaping dose of toffee, maple, and caramel. But just as the sweetness takes on port-like proportions, the fruit notes of plumb, raisin, currant, dates, grapes, and figs take hold and turn the beer slightly tart and savory. Aged oak, vanilla, and malt starches provide a mild creamy taste that teases the middle palate with notions of milkshake. But finishing with an overwhelming sense of whisky is peppery, coconut-like, moderate citrusy bitterness and strongly of barrel-infused alcohol for a taste that takes the original Bigfoot right out of orbit.
Full bodied without question, however the beer has a certain lightness due to how the whisky barrel smoothed out the textures, mellowed the hops, and tamed the alcohols somewhat. But a gradient lessening of malt sweetness allows the stronger alcohols to cut through the malt and usher in a balanced, warm, and malty-dry finish.
I'm rather surprised of how much the barrels diealed down the hops and rounded out the malts to sherry-like or port-like savoriness and complexity. But with the influx of bourbon barrel aged beers, I have become accustomed to expect more bourbon character than this simplified whisky flavor provided. Even still, its a world class barleywine that more resembles English versions than the standard Bigfoot provides.
02-15-2013 06:28:16 | More by BEERchitect
2.74/5 rDev -34%
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
02-01-2013 06:20:06 | More by GRG1313
4.15/5 rDev 0%
This poured out as a mahogany brown color with a thin white head that fades quickly leaving no retention or lacing. The beer appears to be pretty thick, due to the syrupy residue on the glass. The smell of the beer is pretty boozy, definitely a high octane brew with the help of that barrel aging pouring out of it. The taste of the beer is malty, sweet, it's got some bitterness to it along with a subtle whiskey flavor in the mix as well. The mouthfeel of the beer was smooth and boozy with a light carbonation. Overall it's a big beer, and sure to please any fan of the regular Bigfoot. Worth trying.
06-10-2013 01:58:38 | More by Knapp85
4.28/5 rDev +3.1%
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.
02-03-2013 00:42:00 | More by oberon
4.26/5 rDev +2.7%
Sampled last night at Sheffields with EehaiCJ.
Small snifter, around 8-10oz. pour. Dark crimson highlights, with a compact head of light tan foam.
Aroma is big on the bourbon. Plenty of vanilla, tobacco, and mild whiskey vapors when swirled. It lasts for the half-hour duration of the tiny globular glass. Some sprucey hops squeeze through underneath, reminding me of the original Bigfoot character.
Big boozy whiskey dominates, plenty of vanilla bean, maple syrup, caramel toffee, and peppery alcohol at the end, with a lingering hop bite. It feels viscous and syrupy a little, but with some carbonation. This was very enjoyable, but the high ABV put the brakes on another one. Very potent in small doses.
2013 bottle: whiffs of coconut, big brown sugar and caramel, wet wood, lingering bitterness. Lots of dry oak, traces of dry piney hops from the base beer.
02-18-2008 15:01:16 | More by emerge077
4.43/5 rDev +6.7%
one of the better american barleywines around, if it even still is around at all. this is just awesome. deep mahogany, almost ruby red in color, the richest of ambers, hazy but not dirty looking, and hanging on to a short half inch of just off white bubbles. the nose is great, still hanging in there with bigfoots characteristic hop intensity, but its mellowed from the oak, and from the first whiff, an intense and wonderful barrel character is evident. i get a lot of vanilla and toasted marshmallow, a pronounced nuttiness, maybe almond, and a nice molasses sweetness among the charred oak. the flavor comes in waves, bigfoot first, which is huge for me in barreled beers, i get the hops in the middle with the grain before it. the grain doesnt provide as much sweetness as the whiskey does i dont think, but all the nuance is wonderful. vanilla for sure, maple syrup, brown sugar, and still the hops, which play well with the oak. the alcohol is invisible even at ambient temperature, and the carbonation is just enough to keep it alive and moving. i drank this way too fast, a sign of how elegant it is really, and a testament to how not thick it is. not syrupy or dense or even filling, a great texture in a style that is usually candy teeth. i dig this a lot, extremely impressed by its degree of refinement, and would love to sit on a bottle of this for awhile, although the hops presence makes this special and it may fade off in time. truly world class example of a barrel aged strong ale.
05-19-2014 18:04:05 | More by StonedTrippin
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale - Whiskey Barrel-Aged from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 590 ratings.