Bigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
7,501 Ratings
Bigfoot Barleywine-Style AleBigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
7,501
Reviews:
3,058
Avg:
4.14
pDev:
11.35%
 
 
Wants:
417
Gots:
1,827
For Trade:
69
User Ratings & Reviews
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first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 7,501 |  Reviews: 3,058
Photo of ADG2995
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of baldy00
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of k47k
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Gaddabble
3.77/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of poisoneddwarf
3.97/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

2009 backlog. Beer rating # 100 on Ratebeer. 12 oz bottle. 2009 vintage. Ah, Bigfoot! For beer #100 I had to review the beer that got me hooked on craft beer about 10 years ago. This vintage isn’t as great as past years. That first year (1998 or 1999) was a standout. So was 2008, their anniversary edition. This year’s isn’t as exceptional as those examples, but it’s pretty damn good. Aroma is of bananas, spiced apples, caramel--strong malty presence. Pours a huge head with good lacing. Dark copper hue. Light carbonation. Initially sweet, turns bitter. The bitterness and strong alcohol presence linger. This is still my favorite barleywine. ----- 2/14/10. Vertical tasting of the 2009 and 2010 vintages. This is my re-rank (and comparison with the 2010) of the 2009 vintage. 7/5/8/5/17 (4.2 total score). 12 oz bottle. Aroma of caramel, Christmas spices; malty. Murky amber hue. Medium dissipating head with nice lacework (better than the ’10). Mellow, awesome maltiness on the tongue. Starts out sweet, finishes bitter. Medium carbonation. ----- Ranking of the 2010 vintage (and comparison with the 2009): 7/4/9/5/17 (4.2 total). 12 oz bottle. Much hoppier aroma than the ’09. Lots of citrus. Not as murky as the ’09, but the same hue. Way hoppier than the ’09. Not as complex. Medium carbonation. ----- In summary, drinking these two beers back to back, I prefer the ’10 because it’s hoppier, although it’s really freaking close. I think the ’10 will mellow in a year and be much like the ’09 tastes now. The ’09 is more complex, and more interesting, but not as drinkable. This beer is meant to be aged, though, so I’m thinking the ’09 is closer in taste to what the brewers want it to taste like in the end.

 1,749 characters

Photo of izzyismyrott
3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.96/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

It pours a dark red/brown in my chalice. No head forms, but a slight white film clings to the sides of the chalice. Spider-web like lacing graces the sides of the chalice. The smell has the hops up front, coming forth in an earthy/woody way, some light citrus comes out as the beer warms. The taste is bitter with the previously mentioned flavors adding a bit of a tobacco flavoring in a boozy sort of way. It becomes slightly sweet as the beer warms. The palate is heavy with some slight harshness on the tongue, still smooth and slightly creamy. I’d say this isn’t exactly that drinkable, ABV aside, but it is an American Barleywine, so its expected. Overall, though the hops come forth strong in the smell and taste than most barleywines I’ve had, I still liked this. The normal complexities of a barleywine come out to make this a great offering from Sierra Nevada.

 875 characters

Photo of BeerAndFilm
3.96/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of EmeraldMist
2.8/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.25

Bottle from 2017

Look - Clear ruby color, a short and sudsy off white head, minimal lacing.
Aroma - Dried mango, pine sap, maraschino cherry.
Taste - Resinous and bitter. Up front there's a ton of pine, marmalade, malt tastes like simple syrup and plays second fiddle to the hops. Sweet grapefruit and long bitter aftertaste.
Feel - Medium bodied, sticky, ample carbonation, alcohol well hidden.

Overall - This one is for the hop heads. More IPA than barleywine.

 464 characters

Photo of EdFed
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of wroywel
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of qcghost
4.34/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Red5StandingBy
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12oz short bottle into Snifter glass. Bottled on February 23rd 2017.

L: Beautiful clear mahogany color, finger width beige head has great retention. Gorgeous lacing.

S: Hop forward aroma, citrus and pine with a toffee like malt backnote. Faint fruity and alcoholic esters.

T: Very hop forward at first, citrus and pine blasts the tongue with a strong bitterness. Roasted malt sweetness wrestles its way back in keeping this beer very balanced. Fruity esters and even a yeast backnote add complexity.

F: Chewy, like you are gnawing at a fresh picked hop. Medium body, crisp carbonation, hop residuals linger on the tongue.

O: Wow this is a great beer. Took me quite by surprise. Highly recommend.

 730 characters

Photo of craigbelly
4.16/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Drinking 16 and 17 back to back. Rich, robust, aromas are popping with this one. 16 seems to have a little of the hop mellow out. Very sugary and boozy. Nice full body and great carbonation.

 190 characters

Photo of outdoor7or24
4.07/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass, 2017 brew I'm reviewing.
A: pours a dark ruby red brown body, one finger white foam head, carbonation
S: soft sweet malt, undertones of vanilla, candy sugar, oak, slight boozy aroma
M: full thick body, juicy finish on the tongue
T: oak, sweet malt, burnt char, earthy hops, grainy, slight herbal taste inn the finish, alcohol is well hidden
O: always a staple to get one each year, aroma is well done! Cellaring for a bit would help mellow out the earthy hop.

 499 characters

Photo of user785335
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of NickSMpls
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Aged 1 year after a buy of the High Altitude Series at the local Costco. A thick, almost viscous, pour with vestigal head and light lacing. The aroma catches the nose right away with a blast of bourbon and smoke. Very nice taste, complex and deep. The first impression is that your're having a shot of Kentucky bourbon, then it mellows out to a heavy malt, sweet and boozy. Aging is a necessity for these SN ales. Buy it, then give it a year.

 448 characters

Photo of wmartin
4.63/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Obtained a 2014 bottle from a bottle shop. As this had probably sat on the shelf at store temp for 3 years, I was a little unsure about buying it, but decided to give it a try as this beer should age well.

The previous copy of this beer I had was fresh from the brewery, and I found the extreme bitterness too strong for my taste. The barrel-aged version; however, is one of my favorite beers. Upon trying this 3-year shelf-aged sample, I found the extreme bitterness tamed quite a bit; not quite to the barrel-aged level, but very, very good!

Poured into Teku at 47F. On first sip, I got a dark oily flavor that I didn't really appreciate, but that mostly faded as I proceeded through the glass. The strong, but mellowed bitterness leaves a strong, long lasting aftertaste that wears very well. I drank this yesterday, and am still thinking about it. This was very similar to the barrel-aged version, just without the wood flavors.

Barley wines have great bitterness, without the hoppy flavor of an IPA; which is one of the reasons I like this style. They are also high ABV, which stimulates the toungue, and adds a dreaminess to the flavor.

Now, back to the store to buy the rest of their 2014 stock.

 1,214 characters

Photo of IBUBrew
4.06/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of ladle69
4.34/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of red_5_sooner
4.62/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of BJB13
4.07/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2017 release.
12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic style pint glass.

Look- A clear, deep red amber body topped by one and a half fingers of tan foamy head with some lacing.
Smell- Moderate strength but a little one dimensional. Dominated by resinous hops with a hint of caramel malt.
Taste- As with the nose, very hop forward. The bitterness is rather high, but good front to back. There is just enough malty sweetness to keep the hoppiness in check.
Feel- Medium bodied but definitely to the high side, it has a nice weight to it. Smooth with good medium carbonation.
Overall- Good stuff. The alcohol isn't very noticeable in the nose or taste. It makes sense that if cellared the hoppiness would diminish bringing hop and malt to more of a balance. It's pretty good as is though and I needed to make a conscious effort to sip, not drink it.

 841 characters

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

Photo of Beerme124535
4.51/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

poured from bottle into tulip glass
look: dark red, rusty, pencil thin head, dissipates quick okay lacing.
smell:malty maybe grapefruit a bit of alcohol.
taste: lots of hops, malts, grapefruity, bitterness, warming alcohol finish
somewhat dry on the mouth feel.
overall: really liked it alot! ive heard good things and was not disapointed at all!
if you like strong heavier beers with lots of alcohol this perfect for you!

 424 characters

Photo of caburdette51
3.69/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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Bigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.14 out of 5 based on 7,501 ratings.
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