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.

590 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 590
Reviews: 109
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 138
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:  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: 590 | Reviews: 109 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

02-03-2014 02:22:09 | More by HeadyTheElder
Photo of duceswild


3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

02-02-2014 19:42:01 | More by duceswild
Photo of ThreeFishes


4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

01-29-2014 02:16:05 | More by ThreeFishes
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.

01-27-2014 11:28:10 | More by gillagorilla
Photo of KHarz

New York

4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

01-25-2014 20:29:34 | More by KHarz
Photo of kvgomps


4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

01-22-2014 01:42:10 | More by kvgomps
Photo of Charliechu


4/5  rDev -3.6%

01-19-2014 08:16:14 | More by Charliechu
Photo of KevT


4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

01-14-2014 20:27:32 | More by KevT
Photo of Acropora


4/5  rDev -3.6%

01-11-2014 09:50:44 | More by Acropora
Photo of NSK79


3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

01-07-2014 14:37:13 | More by NSK79
Photo of ThatsThatDude

New York

4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

01-06-2014 15:25:12 | More by ThatsThatDude
Photo of KristineT


4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

01-05-2014 18:31:30 | More by KristineT
Photo of mychalg9


4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

01-05-2014 05:06:30 | More by mychalg9
Photo of Psychmusic

Rhode Island

3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

01-04-2014 03:00:05 | More by Psychmusic
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.


12-30-2013 07:48:59 | More by kojevergas
Photo of Eric15


4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

12-29-2013 20:26:19 | More by Eric15
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.

12-29-2013 06:16:34 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of iatethecloudsfor


3.25/5  rDev -21.7%

12-28-2013 01:45:14 | More by iatethecloudsfor
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.

12-27-2013 02:43:27 | More by johnnieoz


4/5  rDev -3.6%

12-23-2013 16:53:52 | More by BUNZILLA
Photo of dailyminefield

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -3.6%

12-21-2013 02:18:03 | More by dailyminefield
Photo of Casey3236


4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

12-20-2013 19:46:14 | More by Casey3236
Photo of mikeincharleston

South Carolina

4/5  rDev -3.6%

12-17-2013 03:48:19 | More by mikeincharleston
Photo of bcostner1


4/5  rDev -3.6%

12-16-2013 23:52:44 | More by bcostner1
Photo of Jjski

New York

4.15/5  rDev 0%

Properly cellared in the cave for 1 year, due to initial reports of it being hot. That is certainly not the case anymore. Pulled from cellar and drank at 52 degrees Fahrenheit

A-tawny brown with red highlights , head quickly dissipates

S-Caramel , citrus (oranges) whiskey

T-not as bold as I expected. Warm caramel malt, sweet citrus and hops. Well integrated. Barrel oak, minimal whiskey

M- not thick, slightly less than syrupy, like a DIPA

O- I was hoping for a bit more complexity, but the cohesive natures belies the strong alcohol content. Smooth at 1 year. An outstanding barley wine. Is it epic? IMHO not quite. Hoppy indeed, but not at all bitter. The lingering hops on the palate is a pleasant, aged experience. Sort of like Burton Baton. I like oak aged DIPAs, and disdain bitter puckering hops. This is very balanced.

Paired with American cuisine: Hot Dogs, whole wheat penne, and peas ( left over from feeding the kids)

12-15-2013 00:52:16 | More by Jjski
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale - Whiskey Barrel-Aged from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 590 ratings.