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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.

630 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 630
Reviews: 114
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.59%
Wants: 150
Gots: 286 | 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:  Usefulness | Recent | 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: 630 | Reviews: 114 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of YogiBeer
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

YogiBeer, Feb 19, 2013
Photo of ms11781
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2013 Expedition marked on bottle. 750ml bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a deep, murky ruby red color, close to brown but not quite. A decent off white head develops, maybe a half a finger, and settles in as spotty foam cap. There is some wispy lacing left on the glass and there is less of it as the beer disappears.

The appearance might be the Bigfoot we all know but the nose sure isn't. Whiskey and oak dominate the nose. Neither is overpowering but they stand out above all else. To a lesser extent there is some vanilla and a caramel/toffee sweetness. The barrel notes really come through here and make this a completely different beer than it was.

The taste still has a lot of barrel character to it but the hops that pack a punch in fresh Bigfoot are here as well. Caramel, toffee, vanilla, oak, whiskey, some dark fruit and piney hops are all here and mix so well that it's tough to discern where one ends and the other begins. Aside from the unmistakable resiny bitterness from the hop finish each characteristics seem to be present all the way through each sip.

The mouthfeel is big and sticky with a decent but not unwelcome alcohol kick. The carbonation is relatively high for the style, especially a BA version. Lower carbonation would perhaps make the beer a bit smoother and less rough around the edges. Time could work that out as well.

This is definitely a really good beer. The barrel notes already seem to be well integrated already and it compliments the already great base beer nicely. As mentioned, the carbonation is high for the style and it sort of throws the mouthfeel off a bit for me. I'd like to see this beer down the road to see what comes of it.

ms11781, Feb 19, 2013
Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

51mmz0rz, Feb 19, 2013
Photo of mavbrew
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

mavbrew, Feb 18, 2013
Photo of Brown120
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Brown120, Feb 18, 2013
Photo of partypak
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

partypak, Feb 18, 2013
Photo of Buick222
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Buick222, Feb 18, 2013
Photo of rab53
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

rab53, Feb 18, 2013
Photo of emottram
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

emottram, Feb 18, 2013
Photo of Axnjxn
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Axnjxn, Feb 17, 2013
Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.04/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared thanks to Jason, thanks man.

The beer pours a nice brown and red mixed color with some nice shine, it has a *tiny* head with a fresh pour but it dies down to a still spirit look very quickly.

The smell is absolutely dominated by the whiskey, really the only reason it's not all whiskey is that th malt balances the heat down on the barrel completely so it's nice and fluffy... good, but one dimensional.

The taste has a nice marshmallow pillowy sweetness with some nice warm pie spice notes and even a hint of slight acidity. Good barrel notes, some slight hoppy and raisin notes from the base.

Feel is good, beer good overall.

Dreadnaught33, Feb 17, 2013
Photo of powz87
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

powz87, Feb 17, 2013
Photo of kdown
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

kdown, Feb 16, 2013
Photo of LambicKing
4/5  rDev -3.4%

LambicKing, Feb 16, 2013
Photo of pathman
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

pathman, Feb 16, 2013
Photo of Swervine44
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Swervine44, Feb 16, 2013
Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
4/5  rDev -3.4%

CheapBeerBuzz, Feb 16, 2013
Photo of yamar68
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I've heard that this one is pretty hot at the moment - but I've never been afraid of a bit of booze in my beer. Plus, I prefer fresh Bigfoot 9 times out of 10 to begin with. Let's see...

Pours pretty much just as you'd expect with the addition of a deeper copper body. Good, consistent lacing and a surprising amount of beading beneath the carb cap. Really nice looking stuff I'd say.

They definitely didn't hesitate when it came to the barrel's contribution to the nose profile. Massive warm whiskey and vanilla, oak... the hops take a back seat to everything that is whiskey. There's also plenty of muddied toffee and caramel beneath all that. Alcohol content certainly shows itself, no doubt. I can jibe though.

There's the hops. Huge bittersweet hops jump right on the front end of the palate, giving way to the heat of the whiskey and a semisweet finish. Between the bite of the hops and the warmth of the alcohol, it tears up the tongue. Everything surfaces in the end though... caramel and toffee, smooth charred wood, dry yet sticky... plenty of heat.

I'd love to give this a taste a year or two down the road but I can dig it for what it is. Well done, Sierra Nevada. My favorite 750ml beer from them in recent memory.

yamar68, Feb 16, 2013
Photo of AgentMunky
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Served on-tap at Harry's Hofbrau in a sampling glass.

A: No head. Very murky golden brown. Translucent.

S: Fruity alcohol. Smells great!! Rich toffee malts, tropical hops(!?), and delicious whisky. Huge fan.

T: Wow. Boozy and hugely bourbony. This tastes more like a bourbon barrel aged RIS than a Barleywine. Hops are strongly bitter, but overshadowed by the caramelized sugar and great malt. The end taste is dry and long and lingeringly bitter. Very impressive.

M: Light, spicy hops; sweet sticky caramel. Hops win.

O: Truly phenomenal. One of the most exciting beers I've tried in recent memory. Highly recommended.

AgentMunky, Feb 16, 2013
Photo of BEERchitect
4.48/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

BEERchitect, Feb 15, 2013
Photo of grrrah
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

grrrah, Feb 15, 2013
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.35/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

2007 Bourbon Bigfoot (draft) from the Toronado BWine Festival (A-)

A Poured a nice deep,deep amber as the bourbon pushed through this. You can tell the bourbon influence just by the look.

S: Medium smell of bourbon, not to overbearing and very subtle. It did not overpower the barleywine which was good. They were well balanced.

T: Taste is fully sweet, rounded malty goodness and that smooth bourbon flavor was there throughout.

M: No bite on this one.

O: Like liquid candy and one of my favorite barleywines to date.
2013 Bourbon Bigfoot (bottle)

A: Poured clear copper color with bubbles and a short-lived tannish colored cap which leaves behind some faint bubbles but no lacing

S: Pickle juice? Cheap bourbon, old wood, caramel and faded piney hops

T: Initial stinging booze with hop bitterness, pine needles, whiskey and old wood breakthrough as does some Earthiness. Mdway I get a bit of sticky sweetness with a light run at vanilla. The finish is looong with bittering hops a bit sticky at times

M: Medium to full body, a bit overcarbonated and thin,pickle juice comes to mind as a lingering flavor on the palate

O: Not so impressed by the bottle. A but thin, overcarbed, a light astringency and ultimate letdown compared to then draft version. It reminded me of BA Old Ruffian to a deree and thats not a positive.

barleywinefiend, Feb 15, 2013
Photo of jjcote
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

jjcote, Feb 15, 2013
Photo of ZombieJester
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

ZombieJester, Feb 14, 2013
Photo of drummermattie02
3/5  rDev -27.5%

drummermattie02, Feb 14, 2013
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale - Whiskey Barrel-Aged from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 630 ratings.