1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

594 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 594
Reviews: 111
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 138
Gots: 287 | FT: 28
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: 594 | Reviews: 111 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jrae2424
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

jrae2424, Feb 22, 2014
Photo of strongaf
4/5  rDev -3.6%

strongaf, Feb 18, 2014
Photo of JakerLou
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

JakerLou, Feb 09, 2014
Photo of srgj88
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

srgj88, Feb 06, 2014
Photo of HeadyTheElder
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%

2013 vintage.

A - Nice burgundy, minimal head.

S - Strong whiskey with some sweetness.

T - Lots of fruity, caramel malty sweetness balanced by the whiskey barrel characteristics. A rich sipper.

M - Full bodied like you would expect. The ABV is not hidden. Low carbonation, just right for the style.

O - A very flavorful, boozy beer. Wish the alcohol were hidden a little more, but it is still outstanding. I'd imagine this one would only improve with continued aging.

HeadyTheElder, Feb 03, 2014
Photo of duceswild
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

duceswild, Feb 02, 2014
Photo of ThreeFishes
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

ThreeFishes, Jan 29, 2014
Photo of gillagorilla
3.56/5  rDev -14.2%

Served in a mini snifter out of a bottle at Max's ($7)

A: Deep brown. Minimal head. (not good lighting at Max's)

S: Sweet barley with just hints of pine. Barrel notes on the nose.

T: Sweet. Weird whiskey notes permeate. Odd flavors, which are almost off. Lots of oak. There is a lot of barrel here and not in a good way. The Bigfoot I know and love is lost in there. I was expecting a sublime presentation like they achieved with BA Narwhal (hadn't even had Narwhal before I had it on tap).

M: Thick, almost viscous.

O: I had missed out on buying a bottle of this early on before I had even had Bigfoot (I think) but I wasn't shelling out $16 for a 750 back then. Then, I heard they had a bottle at Frisco's for $25 and on-site consumption. Finally, it just randomly popped up on tap at Max's for a Sierra Nevada Pint Night (score). I'm glad I didn't bounce on the other opportunities because this one did not live up to the hype for me. I had been looking for it for a while, and it was sub-par. My friend had a bottle in his cellar and he said to be wary and that it won't be what you expect and he was right. Save your money and just age a case of regular Bigfoot every year.

gillagorilla, Jan 27, 2014
Photo of KHarz
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

KHarz, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of kvgomps
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

kvgomps, Jan 22, 2014
Photo of Charliechu
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Charliechu, Jan 19, 2014
Photo of KevT
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

KevT, Jan 14, 2014
Photo of Acropora
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Acropora, Jan 11, 2014
Photo of NSK79
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

NSK79, Jan 07, 2014
Photo of ThatsThatDude
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

ThatsThatDude, Jan 06, 2014
Photo of KristineT
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

KristineT, Jan 05, 2014
Photo of mychalg9
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

mychalg9, Jan 05, 2014
Photo of Psychmusic
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

Psychmusic, Jan 04, 2014
Photo of kojevergas
3.18/5  rDev -23.4%

2013 vintage 750ml brown glass bottle with branded black hood-and-wire cap over a branded cork acquired in SoCal earlier this year and served into an EKU 28 stem-snifter in me parents' gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given its current 93 rating, but I'm not a big fan of the base beer. Reviewed as a barleywine because the label describes it as such.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a half finger wide head of white colour which recedes inside 20 seconds, leaving no lacing.

Body colour is an orange-red of average vibrance. Translucent but nontransparent. No floating yeast particles/sediment is visible.

Overall, it's an appealing if standard appearance for a barleywine (barrel aged or otherwise). I'm optimistic.

Sm: Faint vanilla. Simplistic oak notes (no rich toasted character or the like). Coconut. Marshmallow. Amber malts. Biscuit malt. Tame timid hop character has a light presence. I get more a bourbon than a whiskey character; there's none of the spice or bite of a whiskey. Some burnt sugar. Caramel. Bread crust.

It's a pleasant aroma of mild strength, and hints at some nice complexity. I'm looking forward to trying it. It absolutely has a superior aroma to the base beer.

No yeast character or overt boozy alcohol is detectable.

T: Marshmallow, light graham cracker, bread crust, amber malts, some faint alcohol warmth, light vanilla, light burnt sugar, raisin, buried coconut (when I search for it), and some well-integrated whiskey. Maple syrup. Toffee. Candied sugars. Ample caramel. It's certainly sweet, but not cloying. Flirts with a red port wine character, but never quite commits. Admittedly, the barrel notes are pretty tame, and don't seem to develop the base beer's flavour profile all that much. It isn't all that whiskey-evocative; in fact, it isn't all that evocative in general. I'm a bit underwhelmed.

The highlight for me is the coconut.

Decent balance. The build is cohesive, but not gestalt. Depth of flavour is shockingly low for a barrel aged barleywine. Average duration and intensity of flavour. It's got nice complexity, but little subtlety, nuance, or intricacy. Each note feels very surface. It's not layered, but rather feels pretty flat.

No yeast character comes through.

Mf: Smooth. The wetness/dryness balance is a bit off, with it feeling like stale cardboard at some points in the structure and being perfectly fine in others. Full-bodied and thick. Overcarbonated. Supple. Has a warm presence on the palate. Never feels quite right. The texture suits the taste generally well, but feels far from custom-tailored to it. A biteen syrupy. Sticky.

Not oily, gushed, harsh, or astringent.

Dr: It's a bit too boozy to be as drinkable as it needs to be. It's better than the base beer, but still underwhelms. I continue to be shocked by Sierra Nevada's high reputation given this is the usual level of quality of their beers. I'm shocked by its 93 rating and wouldn't buy it again. I wouldn't recommend it to friends, and while I'll finish the bottle with some effort, it's far from remarkable. It'll get you drunk.


kojevergas, Dec 30, 2013
Photo of Eric15
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Eric15, Dec 29, 2013
Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%

Bottle opened on 11.29.13

A - Pours a dark cloudy brown with a fluffy light tan head that fades slowly.

S - Whiskey, caramel, malty.

T - Caramel, toffee, hot whiskey.

D - Good carbonation with a medium body, very easy drinking.

O - Nice, I love aging BigFoot, so this was a nice take on it.

HuskyinPDX, Dec 29, 2013
Photo of iatethecloudsfor
3.25/5  rDev -21.7%

iatethecloudsfor, Dec 28, 2013
Photo of johnnieoz
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%

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.

johnnieoz, Dec 27, 2013
4/5  rDev -3.6%

BUNZILLA, Dec 23, 2013
Photo of dailyminefield
4/5  rDev -3.6%

dailyminefield, Dec 21, 2013
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale - Whiskey Barrel-Aged from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 594 ratings.