Bigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

3,048 Reviews
Bigfoot Barleywine-Style AleBigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.60%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 02-06-1998

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Reviews: 3,048 | Ratings: 7,477
Photo of HotDogBikeRide
4.52/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Darker mahogany colored, rich looking beer with a nice bubbly white head. Super malty smelling beer, with a little bit of booze wafting out. Taste is of pale? roasted malts, syrup/molasses, roasted sugary caramel, booze, and has a crisp, refreshing finish and an ever present aftertaste on the back of the tongue with a touch of hops. Pretty easy to drink despite my initial assesments when purchasing the beer. Nice and creamy feel and taste. Really enjoyed this one. Sierra Nevada does it again

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Photo of jkblr
4.11/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottled 12/4/14 (beer is 29 months in cellar at time of review) poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial tulip pint at fridge temp. The beer is brownish copper in color with thick sticky khaki 3" head from an aggressive pour. The head settles to a quarter inch with abundant lacing. Aroma is burnt sugar, caramel and rich malt. The taste retains little of the bitterness that characterizes this beer young. More burnt sugar/caramel comes out in a sip but it retains enough hop taste and bite to not be sweet. Mouthfeel is full and moderately carbonated. It finishes fairly dry for the amount of malt present. Overall, very good. As I grow older, I appreciate this beer more with time than fresh.

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Photo of crimsonfloyd
4.46/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A reddish brown with light tan head that leaves dense lace. Smells lightly of syrup and lightly of grain. Taste is sweet and thick, like molasses and brown sugar. A slight blackberry flavor as well. Finishes with a hot, burnt, charcoal flavor. I'm not too experienced with barelywine, so I don't have a lot of comps, but I really joined this beer.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I am still deeply involved in the eradication of the Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody and it perplexes me as to how I have not reviewed Bigfoot before now. No time like the present, I suppose.

From the bottle: "Bigfoot is a beast of a beer, brimming with bold, bittersweet malt flavor and heaps of whole-cone Pacific Northwest hops. First introduced in 1983, Bigfoot is a cult classic prized by beer collectors. Drink it fresh or cellar it in a cool, dark place to taste as the flavors develop over time."

My first dip into this particular pool with be with a very young, very fresh 2017 bottle. Having Pop!ped the cap, a gentle pour seemed to be the order of the day. A vigorous in-glass swirl raised just under two fingers of dense, foamy, deep-tan/light-brown head with decent retention that left behind loads of sticky lacing as it fell. Color was Coppery-Brown (SRM = > 17, < 22) with NE-quality clarity. Nose was boozy with a minty, piney quality. As I said, this bottle is young and will undoubtedly smooth out, given sufficient time. Mouthfeel was big and thick, like a dollop had been scooped onto my tongue. Ahhh! It burns! Well, kind of, anyway. It was definitely a young version of this beer, evincing a lot of fusel alcohol heat to go along with all of those piney, minty hops. Phew! The hops were really overwhelming the malts at this stage in its development, but I will agree with their mention of "bittersweet". This was definitely an American Barleywine. Finish was dry, hot, boozy & evocative of another nap. Jeez-o, man, I just awoke from one! This is no playin' around.

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Photo of ABabbidge
3.99/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2017 version, reviewed about 4 months after bottling.

L: Reddish-brown body with a creamy light tan head.

S: I get mostly caramel malt. A little bit of pine and some raisins and other dark fruits.

T: Pretty intense flavor. A good play back and forth between the caramel like malts and bitterness of the hops. Hops are very bitter and intense with a lot of pine and earthy notes. Although it is pretty intense, it seems to be balanced pretty well.

F: Pretty full bodied and creamy. Lingering bitterness/dryness.

O: As excepted, this is very bitter as young as it is. There are some definite fruity undertones that I think might be more pronounced if this had a year or two to age. I'll try to find out.

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Photo of Shmallory0
4.52/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Dark amber color with a lot of head when poured. Has a little bit of bitterness but not overbearing due to the little bit of maltiness that it has. Delicious!

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Pours deep red with a small off white head. Smells of sweet fruitiness and just a hint of pine. Tastes of raisins, slight berry and just a hint of hop bite. Beer is full bodied with heavier carbonation and a good sipper. Overall, a very good beer.

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Photo of lastmango
4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a beautiful copper red/brown with a 3 finger fluffy milkshake tan head. Heavy lacing. Aroma of sweet toffee, malt, prunes and piney hops. Tastes of caramel, malt and noticeable piney hops on the tail end. This is a big bold tasting brew! The beer has a full body with moderate carbonation, A pronounced oiliness is present. You feel the alcohol after a few sips.

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Photo of jrsqc7
4.11/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Clear deep red with lightly off white head with heaps and heaps of lacing.

Flavor includes burnt biscuits after warming; initially it's fruity mostly plums and flathead cherries. Very smooth feel.

Good. Very good.

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Photo of princessbay710
4.53/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Transparent brown. Amazingly sweet smell. Taste is like a strange fruit I've never tried. A bit too strange. Dark malts, slightly winey finish. All in all it's not quite what I was expecting or what I've gotten from other barleywines.

This beer is incredible this go around, has characteristics similar to a porter but instead of the caramel, coffee, cocoa malts it's much more fruity and refreshing, alongside excellent carbonation and a smooth mouthfeel.

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Photo of Hoppy_Time
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Aged just over a year:

Pours a deep coppery Brown with a one finger off white head. Dissipates within a couple minutes to a little veil of bubbles and a halo. Some alcohol legs.

Aromas of rich toffee and malt, dates, prunes, sweet dark fruit. Lesser notes of caramel, brulee, papaya, and a hint of nuttiness.

Taste is sweet dark fruit up front, mostly prunes and dates, some raisin, caramel, toffee, and some of that nuttiness that came through on the nose. Then as the sweetness mellows out the bitter starts to come through, playing on flavors of black tea, rooibos, dark chocolate, burnt sugar, peat, and pine. It's a rather bold bitterness drawing off from both char and herbal qualities.

It's light to medium bodied, fairly smooth with a light tingly carbonation. Slightly astringent and a touch of heat from the alcohol.

This is a very bold and classic American Barleywine, starting off similar to it's English brethren but bursting with bitterness on the finish. It's a sipper but not incredibly intricate. My favorite part is the tea like flavors as the sweetness fades and the bitterness enters.

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Photo of Reema
4.36/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Serving type: 12 oz bottle of 2017 poured into a tulip glass

Look is a deep amber copper color with a medium amount of turbidity. Smell is of intense pine, slight melon/cantelope, with a sweet bready malt scent coming through. Mild amount of sweet caramel intermingles. No alcohol detected. Taste reflects the smell. Intense initial pine and earthy hops lead into a splendid caramel and sweet fruit flavor. Finishes with a great mix of sweet caramel malt and a small but lingering bitterness. Some alcohol head is present if you really look for it but it does not detract from the beer. Feel is semi-thick, chewy, it fits the sweeter elements of the beer. Overall, this is a really good beer with great flavors that I imagine will mellow over time. Fresh, it's a treat. Fresher, I would imagine it's even more of a treat.

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Photo of aleigator
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bigfoot 2015 on feb 2017

Pours a glowing red color with a big, fluffy beige head.

Smells of caramel, ripe oranges, dried wild berries, wood bark and fresh cut lemons.

Has a soft, lower carbonation, displaying a medium bodied beer, which has a convincing balance to it, although the finish in this is pushing it, in regards of its bitter hop impact.

Tastes of toffee malts, glazed caramel and bakers chocolate, together with an earthy note, from which slowly a herbal dryness evolves. Its midpalate is still defined by the malts, but now the hops are easily recognizable for their leafy lemon bite. The finish is a complete turnover, it is utmost bitter and dry, with a ripe, malt accompanied fruitiness cutting through.

Wow, this is intense. The beer has a marvellous taste evolution. While it begins like a regular barley wine, sweet, fruity and malty, it finishes unexpectedly dry with a bitter fruit note to it. Very well made and outstandingly well build, everything comes together perfectly in this.

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Photo of TBoneJones
4.31/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Copper pour with sticky thick off-white head, lacing aplenty. Nothing more needed in looks in a glass.
Nose is hops, all pine goodness, and a hint of fruit esters.
Taste is a full-on harmony of hops and underlying malts, the latter of which don't bring forth much sweetness like I usually like in a barleywine, however the balance of this big stuff is very nice given the huge hop presence. Fruit is a far away hint, malts are in check, and with the hops the end result gives me the impression of a Sierra Nevada Celebration IPA crossed with a Sierra Nevada Hoptimum. Nothing complex, but so well-made. Each sip brings more hints of fruit: crisp cherry-apple.
Medium-bodied and some oily/ smooth, bitterness.
Just a bunch of big tasty beer with ample raw hops. I'm certain this would be a perfect 5-across the board on a couple years + of aging, but in my book there's no trouble detecting a high quality beer no matter how early it's cracked open.

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Photo of Martin194
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look: Clear reddish-brown, small light brown head.

Smell: Hops, bready, pine, some citrus, a tiny bit of caramel.

Taste: Very hoppy, woody flavor, some sweet undertones.

Feel: Normal carbonation, dry, alcohol-y aftertaste with a bit of a sticky feel.

Overall: A great beer overall!

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Photo of ManapuaMan
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a sixer of the 2017 bottles to tuck away in the cellar...when I realized I haven't had one of these fresh in over a decade, maybe closer to two. New label looks great and love the six instead of four pack. Pours a garnet, ruby body with a bubbly head. My god the aroma - huge hops (pine, grapefruit, spruce) and doughy malt. Forgot how hop-forward this is. Taste (after it warms a bit) is an upfront burst of pine, grapefruit, blood orange proceeding to candied fruit, honey, dark fruit and roasted malt. Finishes bitter with a good dose of alcohol heat and tobacco-tea like notes. A true beast of a beer that mellows with age.

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Photo of Jsteez
3.39/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 2014 bottle.

Poured a murky brown with ruby red highlights; a small tan head that dissipated to some sticky lace around the edge of the glass. Smelled of coconut, marzipan, cherries, alcohol, prunes, and almonds. The smell was right down to the nose: cherries, prunes, figs, some slight funk and dry spice, grass, and a grimy tobacco aftertaste; there was even some alcohol in the flavor as well. It seemed off and perhaps it's because it's a 3 year-old bottle. It was chewy and full-bodied. A slight dirty feel. It was okay. Maybe I will only let it sit in my cellar for a year next time.

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Photo of Evilyak
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

this is comfort food on a cold, winter day. pours ruby red with a touch of lacing. definitely piney notes, and some citrus. mouth has just a touch of lingering bitterness to it, but it's ok. moderate carbonation, but a bit syrupy.

this one does the trick.

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Photo of Terp96
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really good American barleywine. Pours a ruby red with not much head or lacing. Smell is off sweet caramel malt, tobacco and piney hops. Tastes of spicey, piney hops and roasted caramel, molasses but not overly sweet. Slight alcohol burn lingers on the tongu and throat. Really well done year after year.

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Photo of DraconusDesanctus666
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle packaged 12/08/16,into a Funky Buddha snifter.

Thin off white head that does not last very long.Light brown / ruby red in color,with distorted light showing through the glass.Light amounts of carbonation.

On the nose I am getting alot of sweet malts,and fruity citrus hops.Getting some caramel notes as well.

The palate follows the nose with sweet malts,and a strong dose of bitter hops.Also getting a little bit of caramel and alcohol.The alcohol is not that intense,but definitely there.

The body is thin with a dry finish,and slight alcohol warming.

This is a pretty good beer.Not really my style,but a solid brew nonetheless.

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Photo of jcMPLS
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2017 Bigfoot. Really glad to see this back in 6-pack format! This is everything a non-barrel aged American Barleywine should be. It is tasting just like you would expect, but nice and hoppy since it was just bottled a month ago.

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Photo of atr2605
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-pours a reddish amber color with an ff white head with good retention and nice lacing
S-tons off toffee, dry biscuit, molasses, prunes
T-toffee, roasted coffee, caramel, more dry biscuit, resiny pine finish
M-medium-feel bodied and smooth
O-big, bold, complex brew that is great to sip on. excellent example of the style

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Photo of breadwinner
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

What a great barleywine, no punches pulled here, no softening of the edges for the faint of heart, just a big, bold blasts of tobacco, dried fruit, molasses, and a whiff of smoke. The booze and hops are there, but they don't dominate, nor prohibit all the preceding notes from getting their share of the fun. Excellent stuff.

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Photo of LampertLand
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada 'Bigfoot Ale' @ 9.6% , 2015 vintage served from a 330 ml bottle purchased for $4
A-pour is amber fom the bottle to a clear amber in the glass with a small beige head leaving a spotty lace along the snifter
S-malt more than PNW hops
T-complex intial taste , sweet start , bitter finish
MF-ok/decent carbonation , full body
Ov-good beer , needs to be cellared
prost LampertLand

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Photo of GuyFawkes
3.44/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 12/11/14; drank 12/14/15 @ the Yarchives.

Poured from the bottle into a glass.

Murky orange/red rust appearance.

A rough pour yielded a HUGE khaki head; strong, frothy lace.

Caramel, grapefruit & stale hop notes in the nose.

Thick, sticky mouthfeel.

Caramel & grapefruit flavors up front; dry leather, stale hops & faint booze heat notes on the finish. Cloying, dry & tough to enjoy; yet another argument to abolish the American barleywine.

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Bigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.14 out of 5 based on 7,477 ratings.
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