Trip In The Woods: Ginger Bigfoot
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Trip In The Woods: Ginger BigfootTrip In The Woods: Ginger Bigfoot
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American Barleywine
3.88 | pDev: 13.4%
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Trip In The Woods: Ginger BigfootTrip In The Woods: Ginger Bigfoot
Reviews: 48 | Ratings: 126 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of SHODriver
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured into a snifter to a deep ruddy brown topped by a dense and slightly rocky finger of cream colored head which fades slowly to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing.
S: Smells of an insane amount of ginger with some brown sugar and oak along with a touch of caramel and faded hops.
T: Taste is ginger, brown sugar, caramel, oak, toasted malt, and faded hops with a hint of vanilla. Ginger continues to weave back and forth across the palate on this one. On the swallow there's more ginger, oak, caramel, brown sugar, and vanilla, but the ginger has the most staying power.
M: This beer is big and syrupy on the palate. Carbonation is there but it's on the low end. I think it's still adequate for the style though. The beer has a drying finish which was expected for the style.
O: Overall this is an interesting one. Really nice flavors but the ginger is just a little too prominent. It meshes well with the base beer flavors but it still tastes like it's a little too forward for my liking. Decent complexity but the ginger does overshadow some of the more standard notes. I don't think I'd want to revisit this one, but it isn't bad.

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SHODriver from North Carolina, Feb 18, 2020
Photo of Marklaker
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2016 bottling. I was prepared for a drain pour, having previously wounded my palate parrying with it's black currant sibling....I shudder. I've since discovered the secret with anything Big Foot related is to put it in witness protection for at least two years.

Run....if you don't like ginger. Otherwise, prepare for a piquant smack down. Ginger, a hint of whiskey, more ginger, some caramel, even more ginger, and a touch of pine. For those of you old enough to recall the artifact known as ginger ale....before the Uncola relegated it to a liquid curio....sit back and enjoy!

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Marklaker from Florida, Dec 25, 2019
Photo of bluejacket74
4.24/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle, looks like the bottling date is October 4, 2016. Served in a Sierra Nevada snifter, the beer pours a cloudy brownish/red color with about an inch light tan head that stayed around for a while. There's also a decent amount of lacing. I like the aroma, the brew smells like whiskey, ginger, dark bread, brown sugar, oak and figs. Taste is similar to the aroma, with whiskey, ginger, vanilla, dark bread, brown sugar, caramel, earthiness, oak and figs. Mouthfeel/body is full, it's creamy and coating with a good amount of carbonation. If you like ginger, then I definitely recommend this brew cause it is mostly about the ginger. Have to say this has aged well over 2 years, wish I would have bought some more! $7.99 a bottle (I believe it was on closeout when I purchased it).

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Photo of SoCal_Matt
3.45/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber with just a touch of light brown head that dissipates quickly. Aroma is straight ginger with just a touch of oak. Smell is somewhat refreshing if ginger is your thing. Taste is dominated by ginger upfront that fades into oak from the whiskey barrels. The ginger fades a bit as it warms up and touches of vanilla, figs, plums, raisins, and brown sugar become more prevalent on the backend. Finish is somewhat peppery, which is no doubt due to the ginger addition to the beer. Feel is pretty on par for the style, maybe slightly high on the carbonation. Overall, I didn't find this really enjoyable although it wasn't terrible either. It got better as it warmed up which caused the ginger to fade a little bit. If ginger is something you enjoy, give this a try. Otherwise, there are much better BA barleywines out there.

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SoCal_Matt from California, Mar 25, 2018
Photo of Ozzylizard
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

$ 29.44 (Including shipping)/750 mL cork and cage bottle ($ 1.14/oz) from Blackwell’s, San Francisco, CA.
Bottle dated 100516 on the shoulder with black ink, stored at 42 degrees and served at 57 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter. Opens with an unenthusiastic “Pop”.
Appearance – 4.
Body – Appears black but when held to the light, becomes dark amber with a slight haze.
Head – Large (Maximum four cm, aggressive pour), beige, dense head with a few rocks, slowly diminishing to a four mm ring and a complete rocky layer.
Lacing – Poor – just a single partial ring of tiny bubbles. Considering the alcohol level (11.4% ABV) and the barrel aging, this is better than expected.
Pour – Brown, clear.
Aroma – 4.5 - Ginger and wasabi. Very pleasing and refreshing.
Flavor – 4 - Begins with a subdued ginger which mutates into a mild white pepperiness, slightly sweet. Ends with a gingery aftertaste. No malt, no distinct hops, no oak barrel, no whiskey, no diacetyl, no dimethylsulfide. Belches produce ginger and faint malt.
Palate – 4.25 - Medium, almost syrupy, lively carbonation(!).
Impression and summation – 4.5 - I like ginger – when I cook with it, I eat the slices. While the appearance of this barley wine is darker than expected, the first thing I noticed was the fantastic aroma – this smelled like a Japanese restaurant (Minus the stench of shellfish)! While the ginger is not overpowering, it certainly makes its presence known and, while this beer doesn’t lay claim to any wasabi, I’ll swear I can smell it too. This doesn’t resemble Bigfoot in either smell or taste – perhaps a cousin twice removed on his mother’s side – one that shows up the rest of the family. If it wasn’t for that godawful price point!

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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania, Feb 26, 2018
Photo of stortore
4.21/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle into a tulip snifter. Had 4/14/17.

Pours a deep ruby/amber, somewhat opaque, with a short, quickly dissipating head and some foamy lacing. Aromas of malt, plums, figs, dates, brown sugar, brown bread, whiskey, toffee, light ginger and spices. The taste is malt, plums, more ginger than the nose, cherries, caramel, raisins, whiskey, oak, some vanilla, light alcohol. Mostly smooth, a solid medium to full body, well carbonated.

A very good Barleywine, with a great balance between the base beer and the barrels. The ginger certainly adds to the flavor, but is a no-show in the aroma. Liked this one a lot and probably could have aged it quite a bit longer. Not sure why the low rating on this.

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stortore from Illinois, Feb 03, 2018
Photo of Sabtos
2.43/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

Clear shimmering copper-brown with a fizzy tan head that disappears completely to a mirror surface, but for some popping clear bubbles that emerge sporadically.

This smells like a freshly prepared Japanese dish--tons of fresh zesty ginger, while sesame oil and soy are either seared into my brain as accompaniments, or are actually coming through too.

Thankfully some caramel and bourbon-esque heat attempt to come through on the palate, but that super spicy, potent and fresh ginger absolutely dominates. Again it's almost simulating other typical flavors you get when you're having a dish featuring that fresh of ginger, like Thai basil.

Feel is medium, with a crisp carbonation that thickens up to a froth, finishing dry with some boozy heat. It just a food that beer really shouldn't be trying to taste like.

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Sabtos from Ohio, Dec 29, 2017
Photo of Pencible
3.36/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a clear dark mahogany with a little light tan head.
S: It smelled like bold ginger, with some grassy and pine hops and coconut and a bit of caramel and oak.
T: It tasted like fresh ginger, with some pine hops and coconut and a little caramel and vanilla and oak. It had a clean and spicy ginger aftertaste.
M: It was thick and chewy with moderate carbonation. Great huge body.
D: This was a unique brew, but the scent and taste were dominated by ginger so all the delicious barrel aged Bigfoot was lost. The body was great, but the finish was a little harsh, so it was better to sip. Age would probably help the ginger subside and bring better balance. Fresh is interesting to try, but not really that great. Disappointing.

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Pencible from Virginia, Dec 23, 2017
Photo of IvoryFoxhole
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750 mL bottle from Fall, 2016. Aged until now. Poured into Kane tulip glass.

L: Really pleasant chestnut color. Very little white foamy head with no retention, leaves nothing.

S: Ginger upside yo' head. Really crowds out everything else. Hope you like ginger. Some bourbon barrel and yeasty notes.

T: Ginger and ginger ale predominate. Bourbon and barrel and some breadiness in middle before ginger re-asserts. Slightly spicy finish (it's the ginger) and maybe a little ABV heat.

F: Medium bodied to a little bit full, not much carbonation. Ginger is very powerful and not sure if any amount of aging would bring this into balance. It just dominates.

O: I've always been a Mary Ann guy, personally.

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IvoryFoxhole from Virginia, Aug 01, 2017
Photo of CJNAPS
2.19/5  rDev -43.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.25

I'm sure it's just me but didn't like this at all, but I'm not a fan of ginger at all but had to give this a try
being how its from SN. So don't take my word and give it a try for yourself. cheers

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CJNAPS from California, Jul 17, 2017
Photo of ryan1788a5
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Burnt Siena sort of color in the glass. Clarity appears good- perhaps a mild haze. Hard to tell. Cream-colored head settles out after a time. Wispy lacing.

S: Bready. Thick caramel. Golden raisin. Very bread pudding-like. Hefty dose of earthy and piney hops. Ginger pulls out of the background as it warms, in a sweeter candied form. Faint whiffs of whiskey and wood.

T: Bread, crust, caramel, heavy toast. Earthy and piney hop bite is stiff. Hops go a bit grapefruity and citrusy too. Ginger rides up alongside the hop bitterness with a sharpness of its own. Strong ginger spice. Orange marmalade. The barrel is far more vocal than the nose let on- oaky vanillins, firm whiskey character, woody. The finish is a strong interplay of barrel and ginger, with the ginger dominating and remaining in focus long after the swallow.

M: Rich, thick, round, creamy. Huge body. Gentle but apparent carbonation enhances the ginger sharpness. Warming and soothing.

O: Bigfoot is a bold and monstrous beer, so the philosophy seems to have been to incorporate an equally bold ginger addition. It comes across a bit too heavy-handed for me though. It gets to be sharp and domineering. That's coming from a guy who loves ginger too. I think it would work a bit better if it were just toned down a few notches. As it stands, not a bad sipper if you like ginger and can deal with the heavy-handed approach.

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ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts, Jun 27, 2017
Photo of AlfaMale
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours malt brown with a small head. Little lacing. Ginger is noticed in aroma and taste. Whisky not so much. Interesting combination which intrigued me, but ended up not being my cup of tea. I can see how this could be popular in the right crowd, during the right season (winter) and paired with the right food (BBQ).

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AlfaMale from Virginia, Jun 13, 2017
Photo of hman43
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Look: It pours slightly dark brown with a tan head. Head retention is low.

Smell: The initial aroma is predominantly ginger. There are also malty rich elements and whiskey. It also has hints of dark fruits and bread.

Taste: The spiciness of the ginger drives the taste. The malty richness is in the background. The malts are highlighted by sweetness and a touch of molasses and bread. There are also low dark fruit notes.

Feel: It has a moderately heavy feel to it with a finish that is spicy from the ginger combined with bitterness.

Overall, this is an interesting barleywine in which ginger dominates the palate with the traditional barleywine elements in the background.

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hman43 from North Carolina, Jun 03, 2017
Photo of jamesodu16
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper aroma. Can taste the ginger in the beer. Almost like eating a gingerbread cookie. This was a first attempt at a barleywine ale. Would recommend.

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jamesodu16 from Virginia, Apr 22, 2017
Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark ruby red with a one finger off white creamy head. Nice amount of soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is heavy ginger, vanilla and oak.

T - The taste is heavy ginger, caramel malts, vanilla, oak, piney hops and light whiskey notes. Finishes with a lingering ginger spice.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel with a soft dry finish.

O - This is a nice take on Bigfoot. The ginger dominates the flavors. A fun beer but at the price point I wouldn't drink again.

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TreyIsWilson from Michigan, Apr 22, 2017
Photo of jzlyo
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Aroma is ginger, malts and caramel. The flavor is malts, ginger, caramel, frui/dark fruit, very slightly nutty and a mix of sour and warmin/spicy alcohol in the finish.

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jzlyo from Iowa, Mar 27, 2017
Photo of colts9016
3.4/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

When I saw that is was available on draft I was stoked to try it. The regular bigfoot is a very good beer. A ruby red copper color beer with some amber highlights. The off-white head is two fingers thick, the head is creamy and foamy. Sadly, the head dissipated very quickly, like a Berliner, but it did leave some lacing on the glass. The beer did have some carbonation, but not too much.
Mega ginger note, heavily toasted malt notes, toffee, caramel, floral, vanilla, oak, char, grapefruit, fruity esters, biscuit, bready, and a hint of herbal.
Heavy ginger note, vanilla, oak, heavy toasted malt, toffee, caramel, floral, char, grapefruit, fruity esters earthy, alcohol, and a touch of an herbal note.
Full body beer, medium carbonation, some alcohol warming, a touch of astringency, and a full blast finish.
This beer is too heavy handed with the ginger, it is so overpowering that the other flavor just get lost in the beer. The age in the barrels gave it a stickiness to the beer. I really did not care for this trip to the wood, and I was unable to finish the beer. The beer just lacked balance and the subtle refinement that Sierra Nevada is known for.

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Photo of metter98
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap at Mugs Alehouse, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is clear dark red in color (black when viewed from afar). It poured with a thin layer of off white bubbles on the surface.
S: Strong aromas of ginger are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell, having very strong flavors of ginger that stand out in front of the underlying barleywine.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The ginger lingers into the finish.
O: This is like a souped-up version of a ginger beer and tastes nothing like a barleywine, except that it is strong. It hides its alcohol rather well.

Serving type: on-tap

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metter98 from New York, Mar 12, 2017
Photo of Greywulfken
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours dark ruby brown with nice clarity and no head to speak of. Aromas of fruit and herb - I guess that's ginger, but there were also suggestions of date and cherry? Or was the color of the beer playing tricks on my head? Started off relatively cold, and I got just a little of the Bigfoot base beer. This is way thinner in body and feel than that as well. No trace of carbonation, and the flavors run thin, too - something alcohol-hot, faint medicinal and herbal fruit impressions, and bit of sweet caramel on the edges. I want to say that there is something akin to vanilla in there - suggestive of whiskey, but it gets muddled in again what I'll presume to be the ginger.

I was concerned that I would hate this beer after I'd bought it and had time to consider what I was going to be drinking, but I don't. It is a far cry from Bigfoot and the "normal" barrel-aged version (which I liked far more than most), but taken as an independent entity, and absolving it of any style expectations, it is a pretty enjoyable drink. Sweet but not too much, little to no bitterness; mostly fruity in flavors, with a boozed element to them, with some sharp herbal impressions that make me think of a sweetened sahti or fruited ginger beer.

Unfortunately high-priced, so its tough to recommend, but it was a worthwhile drinking experience if you're game.

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Greywulfken from New York, Feb 20, 2017
Photo of MonkeyBread
3.34/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Best that can be said is the smell is a real ginger root and pine knockout that is great. The rest of the beer is a hot mess. Age it a long time to hope it mellows. Right now has a lot of alcohol heat and overwhelming booze in the finish.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.46/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle served in a big snifter. I don't see a date on it.

Pours a dark but translucent brownish red with a smallish fine pale head and moderate amount of fine carbonation. Smell is super strong ginger. I don't get anything else.

Taste is super strong ginger. There's definitely some hops bitterness in there, but it's still strongly dominated by ginger. Some wood, some vanilla. After a few tastes, the bourbon comes out a little more.

Mouthfeel is is moderately thin, surprisingly so, good carbonation. Overall, I think it would have been a much better beer with about 90% less ginger. I was hoping for just an accent, not such domination.

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snaotheus from Washington, Feb 04, 2017
Photo of Philsadvns
4.16/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great barrel aged beer. Pour with a nice then cl head which dissipates to a thin ski of foam after 5 mins or so. The spirit and wood flavor is alive and well in this bottle as well as the ginger, which seems like a strange flavor to put on the forefront of a beer but it works really well here. The look is great too. Deep copper and black mix together to give somethin by just short of burnt sienna. The smell is pure ginger and whiskey. Love it. This is an excellent beer and true showcase of what Sierra Nevada is capable of...which is somethin by I have long suspected.

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Philsadvns from New York, Jan 27, 2017
Photo of BEERchitect
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Big on malt, big on hops, big on oak, so it's going to take a big ginger addition to join the team of balance with the Ginger Bigfoot edition of Sierra Nevada's "Trip in the Woods" series. This beer is certainly not for the timid in taste. Go big on flavor or go home!

Beautifully crimson and garnet, the bright beer appeases the eye like polished tiger eye. A frothy off white column of foam mounts on the ale while those intense measures of ginger, toffee, citrus, pine and oak swirl about the nose. Intensely sweet on the tongue, the flavors open with toffee, caramel, maple and molasses for a sweet and syrupy introduction.

Just as the sweetness proves too much, the exotic spice of ginger rolls onto the middle palate with a not-so-subtle peppery, herbal and citrusy perfume. The floral spice blends in nicely with the growing hops that trend from grapefruit and orange peel and into a grassy, herbal, piney flavor that balances the lingering malts and gives a boldness to the ginger. As the melange of tastes simmer on the finish, a plethora of complexities emerge in form of intense sun tea, pipe tobacco and tarry stone fruits.

Bright, bold and with a depth of taste, the full bodied beer casts a sense of drinkability from the dryness of ginger, hops and booze. An oaken tannic finish allows a reprieve from the malty sweet finish and intensifies the hop bitterness with a whisky-like peppery heat to close. As the ale smartly achieves a balance in intense tastes, its bigness suggests that "balance" isn't the way to go. Perhaps a hierarchy of flavors would resonate better on the palate where everything isn't equal and the white noise of taste isn't so apparent.

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BEERchitect from Kentucky, Jan 25, 2017
Photo of tprinzing
4.75/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a tulip glass with a finger of head.

In my opinion this beer is outstanding. I've had the regular BigFoot, which I consider a somewhat mediocre barleywine. The barrel aging and ginger make it great!! I personally find the ginger flavor very subtle, though some reviews claim it was overpowering. It might be that aging mellows it, as I think the bottle may have been fairly old. I bought more of these (but they might not be the same year as the one I reviewed).

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Photo of craftaholic
4.11/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

This is like a walk in the woods...Face first. Smacked around with resinous pine right in the mouth. The nose on this smells like a fantastic rustic candle and the flavor profile is riddled with zesty citrus and bright hop bitterness. Coats your mouth and lingers like sap in the finish

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craftaholic from New York, Jan 03, 2017
Trip In The Woods: Ginger Bigfoot from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 126 ratings