Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale - Whiskey Barrel-Aged - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 591 | Reviews: 109 | Display Reviews Only:
4.21/5 rDev +1.4%
2013 vintage shared with stillmatic2232 at the Old Toad in Rochester, NY.
Pours a clear brown, with some orange-ish tints. A quarter inch head, and unsurprisingly, no lacing.
Smells very boozy and whiskey-like- the beer obviously took on a lot of qualities from the barrel. Smells very woody, with some burnt brown sugar, molasses, and cinnamon.
The barrel aging has mellowed the hop attack on this beer way down. It's a 2013, but the hop level tastes like a regular Bigfoot aged circa '10 or '11. What's remaining is a decadent and boozy landscape- lots of sweet, and slightly spicy, whiskey, intense woodiness, vanilla, a little bit of chocolate, a ton of coconut, especially as it warms, brown sugar, and molasses.
Medium bodied, could be slightly fuller and plumper, but it's a mild complaint. This one is very strong, and very boozy, making it not the easiest beer to drink. It's worth it for the intense (but lush at the same time) flavor. Points are knocked for the body and alcohol presence, however.
This was an intense experience, one I'm glad I have. Bigfoot seems like a natural candidate for barrel-aging, and I'm glad I got a chance to try it.
05-30-2014 12:34:37 | More by GreesyFizeek
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
3.49/5 rDev -15.9%
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.
05-14-2014 02:59:36 | More by argock
3.54/5 rDev -14.7%
750ml bottle of the 2013 bottling. Thanks Doug (I think...) for bringing this one tonight. Poured into a Cigar City snifter today, 4/23/2014.
A- Looks just like regular Bigfoot. Dark caramel brown body, half finger white head with OK retention, no lacing.
S- Smells hoppy still; although the caramel and toffee maltbomb is a lot more forward than in fresh Bigfoot. There's some sort of weird sweet whiskey flavour unlike anything I've tried before, and it interferes a bit with both the malts and hops in this beer. I can't put my finger on it, but it's not really a good aspect.
F- Tons of caramel, toffee, dark malt, and a nice piney bitterness that clearly hasn't faded much at all from fresh regular Bigfoot. The whiskey is strange and doesn't leave quite the spicy sweet flavours that I'm used to from other whiskey barrel-aged beers.. if anything, it seems to increase the bitter hoppiness of the base beer.
M- Similar to base Bigfoot, but the finish is slick, resinous and a bit off-putting. The whiskey just doesn't combine very well with the piney hop aftertaste.
O- A forgettable barrel-aged barleywine. Not really worth ticking off for the expense of getting this beer.
04-24-2014 06:52:12 | More by Stevedore
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale - Whiskey Barrel-Aged from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 591 ratings.