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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

635 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 635
Reviews: 115
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.59%
Wants: 149
Gots: 284 | FT: 29
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  12.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Callenak on 12-05-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale - Whiskey Barrel-Aged Alström Bros
Ratings: 635 | Reviews: 115 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Davit
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Resuin
4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Drinking this one fresh, it can't be more than a couple months since bottling. Poured from a bomber into a Westvleteren goblet.

Appearance: Pours an earthy brown with shades of deep red. Pours relatively thick and leaves a minimal head (practically no head at all).

Smell: Awesome whiskey, chocolate, dark fruits - plums, raisins & figs, malts and definitely some vanilla presence. Absolutely delicious aroma.

Taste: Starts off with a lot of the characteristics from the scent - whiskey, chocolate, dark fruits, malts. Then it shifts rather abruptly to alcohol and some hops which is interesting. Finishes with plenty of oak, alcohol, and some bitter hops. It's an interesting combination of the sweet start and the bitter finish.

Mouth-feel: Medium bodied with light to medium carbonation: perhaps a bit thinner than I was expecting but not too thin by any means.

Overall: A very, very interesting beer. I knew drinking this one fresh out of the barrels would be an interesting experience. The time in the barrels has really given Bigfoot a big change. The flavor profile is much different (less hoppy, more malty & boozy), but there are still some remnants of it left in this one. I thought this was a good beer, and I can only imagine how incredible it can get with a couple years on it.

Photo of HamGlade10
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of mattszczesiul
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of JD4Cali
3.3/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Maybe it's because I loved another barleywine that bf brought me this as a "hey it's Friday!" gift. I know that's SO sweet but, well, there's a bizzilian gifts that are a guaranteed "OMG" and maybe beer isn't one of them? OK, back story: I love bourbon and adore Manhattans. And recently I really liked a beer that was sweet and rich and layered with toffee character so it isn't really anyone's fault. It would seem natural to think "get the Bourbon loving gf a beer aged in whiskey barrels!"
The problem became that I just didn't like it so much.
Yes moments? It is beautiful and comes in a bottle like champagne (yum!) and looks stunning in a glass. It even smells like whiskey. What went wrong? All that sweetness and whiskeyness don't seem to really work together, like clashing plaids or wearing too many shades of green.
I can't give it a bad review (ugh should anyone's second review be bad??) but simply warn y'all that this isn't a nice, easy to love kind of beer. It has it's challenges.

Photo of zillo043068
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of Brennanleroy
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of thagr81us
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a Raleigh Rare & Vintage Beer Tasting snifter. Poured red-orange with a half finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, earth, citrus hop, caramel hop, vanilla, and wood. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, vanilla, caramel hop, earth, citrus, and sweet alcohol. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. The nose on this one definitely stood out over the regular version of this brew with the addition of vanilla and subtle oakiness on top of an already solid aroma. Hard to beat that if I’m honest. The rest of the brew was very solid for the style and quite easy to drink despite the ABV. Even the alcohol that was present in the flavor was very well integrated to the point that you wouldn’t even notice it unless you were truly looking for it. A really well done barrel treatment to an already solid brew. Can’t go wrong with that.

Photo of hctap00
4.41/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A sexy beer. I am not good at colors, but I'll do my best to describe the appearance. Held to the light, it is ruby red, with a fair amount of translucence. When not in the light, it reminds me of a scotch ale. Are dark brownish mahogany, with red hints, fairly murky. Lovely tan lacing that never fades.

Aroma has hints of regular Bigfoot. Some of the citrus and pine hops, but far more subtle. Plenty of oak and vanilla, maybe some molasses. Some booze noticeable but not too much. Overall malty, sweet goodness. More mellow than I expected.

It is still pretty hoppy. Definitely has mellowed after a year in the barrel, but the hops are still prevalent. This is a good thing, as I love the hop profile of Bigfoot. Perfect combination of citrus, pine, and hop sweetness. The malt profile surrounding the hops is also Bigfoot-esque, but richer, and a bit harsher, but in a good way. Hard to pick out individual flavors with so much going on. Obviously the oak/vanilla is prominent. The bottle label says "rich burnt sugar...toasted coconut and raisins." Not sure about the last two, but definitely the burnt sweetness. There is some kind of lingering fruitiness in the finish that I like. I really like that the whiskey booziness is distinct but not overwhelming. Adds another layer of complexity rather than merely burning alcohol.

Rather creamy, lingers for a while...nice.

While it was not exactly what I was expecting, it was still very enjoyable. Perhaps it is the Boltcutter effect, but I thought that BA Bigfoot would be an all out flavor assault and completely lacking in subtlety. Far from it, this beer was rather mellow and never overpowering. The flavor of the whiskey barrel rather than the intensity and the heat was most noticeable. I like what SN did with this. I hope they continue with this annual release.

Photo of rlee1390
3.91/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A-Clear ruby, not much carbonation, one finger off white head.

S-Burnt coconut, oak and not much whiskey.

T-Some spiciness, the burnt coconut is a tad too dominate, some bitterness and some molasses.

M-Medium bodied and nicely carbonated.

O-The coconut was too much for me. Wanted more bourbon/oak and caramel. Maybe age will do this some good.

Photo of imyourhero21
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Photo of seeswo
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of ZethOfTheNorth
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 ml cork and caged bottle poured into a snifter.
12.2% ABV, 2013 Expedition

A - Ruby highlights accentuate this clear rusty amber beer giving it a fantastic color! The modest pour creates a tan head atop the still liquid and is nicely retained, resulting in a ring of foam and some fingers of lace after a few moments of settling.

S - Barrel-aged Bigfoot is upfront about it's booze; "ale aged in whiskey barrels" adorns the front of the bottle and, with the first whiff, it's evident. The alcohol flows freely from this beer but somehow remains in check with the base beer, harmoniously complimenting it rather than sweeping it aside. Oak and whiskey envelope gooey caramel sweetness and toasted bread adding complimentary notes of vanilla and traces of pure maple syrup. Don't give this beer a swirl though, you'll regret the off-putting aroma of burning rubber and resiny plastic immediately. Unlike the yearly release of this beer, barrel-aged Bigfoot is hardly hoppy-smelling.

T - Sharp whiskey alcohol grips the tongue with the first sip, softly giving way to bold maltiness and the complex nuances that follow; vanilla, oak tannins, dark fruits and pure maple syrup. With each passing sip, the alcohol which lingers on the palate becomes a little less intrusive, allowing for greater exploration of the malt complexity within. Notes of hops; earthiness and grapefruit rind add a fine layer of depth to the finish.

M - Whiskey flavor and alcohol give this big beer a surprisingly thin feeling from the get-go, but it's smooth and nicely rounded for a wonderful drinking experience that finishes with subtle dryness, alcohol warmth, and lingers on the palate for a long-lasting impression. Bigfoot's usual bitterness is surprisingly absent here.

O - Taking a iconic beer such as Bigfoot and giving it the barrel treatment seems like a big, yet necessary step for Sierra Nevada which resulted in a terrific contrast to the yearly release and is quite a pleasure to drink side-by side with the "normal" one. It's most noticeable variance is (obviously) the whiskey, but also the stark lack of hops, seemingly overpowered by it's time in the barrel. This potent "older brother" to Bigfoot is a welcome addition to Sierra's offering which will hopefully return (with more availability?).

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into wine glass at avenue pub nola. Pours a syrupy brown with reddish hue. Not any head but some lacing is present. Big sweet syrup molasses malty booze aroma. Lots of whiskey notes and dried cherry. Taste is sweet dried fruity malty...all kinds of flavors here. Some tobacco and vanilla woody shine. Its soooo smooth its almost unbelievable. I could basically chug this. Wow. What a fantastic barleywine...

Photo of pumptrick
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of leprakhan
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Googs
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of olfolxholme
4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into Deschutes tulip snifter

A - Beautiful, clear, dark ruby beer pours with about 1 finger of crisp white foam. Really gorgeous when held to the light. Slight head retention, good lacing.

S - Everything I was hoping to smell here. Great barrel aged character, chocolatey barley - these overpower the hops that I normally associate with Bigfoot.

T - Oak whiskey barrel and sweet barley forward. Chocolatey. A nice bitterness. Great taste.

M - Nicely carbonated, good amount of oiliness, just the right amount of burn. Very refreshing.

O - So. Good. There were a lot of things to love about this beer, and it definitely did not disappoint. I really hope they can continue to release this year after year. It is an EXCELLENT barleywine, and a great contender in the current barrel-aging craze. Absolutely worth trying. Buy two or three bottles, try to cellar at least one.


Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of chingonjefe
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of drabmuh
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of gtermi
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of bigbeers84
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Photo of Broden
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale - Whiskey Barrel-Aged from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 635 ratings.