Bigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Bigfoot Barleywine-Style AleBigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale
Liked This Beer
4.14 w/ 7,514 ratings
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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,514 |  Reviews: 3,063
Photo of lnashsig
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage, poured on 3-5-11 into my dogfish head snifter. Pours a transparent dark amber color- a frothy head fills to the top of the glass, and slowly receeds, leaving crazy lacing on the glass. 30 minutes after the pour, there is still a puff of foam floating in the middle of the glass. Taste- sugar malty greatness, big hops backbone- Bigfoot is such an awesome hoppy American Barleywine. The age has done this one well, but I bet it can probably really improve with more time.

 484 characters

Photo of Vogie
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

P: Served in a Duvel tulip glass. Pour is a nice amber color with about a half finger of pancake like head that leaves some lacing around the edges. Added some smoked cheddar cheese on the side.

S: Strong aromas reminiscent of a DIPA. Roasted malts and grapefruit are definitely present here.

T: Very hoppy and roasty. Definitely getting a strong grapefruit presence with some other tropical fruit sweetness in there as well.

M: Light body with a strong bitterness on the backend. Almost gets smoother as it warms.

O: Not a huge fan of this style or hoppy beers in general. I felt the taste was a bit rough and maybe would mellow with some age. However, I am trying to remain objective in this assessment. I did serve this with some slices of cheddar cheese, which was an excellent touch with the hop bitterness. Well made, not my favorite, but I appreciate the complexity.

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Photo of tr4nc3d
3.44/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12fl oz bottle poured into my sniter

This pours a very dark brown color but fails to produce any head at all. A mere little ring of foam is left on the edges of the beer. No lacing noticeable at all either.

Aroma is full of malts. I get toffee, caramel, plums, grapes, leather, cedar. Overall this is one of the sweetest smelling beers I have ever smelt.

Sweet ppfront taste of caramel that leads way into roasted malts and a pretty strong bitterness. Flavors tasted of molasses, brown sugar, plums, and black malts. Pretty intense bitterness if you ask me.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, not thick but very bitter taste all throughout and way after you have taken your sip.

Overall I prefer other barleywine beers over this one. Recommend to try, but there is better beers of this same style.

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

2011 batch. 12oz bottle

Bigfoot pours a deep red coppery color. A two finger head of off-white foam floats on top for a moment, then recedes leaving a delicate lattice of lacing on the sides of the glass. The nose is hops and sweet malt, emphasis on the hops. Taste starts out with citrusy hop flavors. Exquisite bitterness is momentarily balanced by a very nice malt backbone, then careens back into hoppy goodness. Finish is dry with an excellent lingering bitterness. Feel is thick and viscous with a lower level of carbonation that serves to enhance the bitter character of this big barleywine. Alcohol is masterfully disguised by the interplay of hops and malt rendering an extremely drinkable beer. Overall this a wonderful take on the style by Sierra Nevada, a supremely bitter, satisfyingly malty brew that is a joy to savor. A yearly favorite!

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

Photo of mtpHokie
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of JJWIGHT
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

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 docoman
4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of bkilpatr
3.19/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle in a Chimay glass. 04/20/08. 2008 version.

Pours a clear reddish brown color with an almost non-existent beige head. Aroma is toasted malt and grassy hops. Lots of hops.

Taste is sweet caramel at first along with some dark fruits. The finish is hoppy bitterness. Very intense earthy hop flavor. Very bitter. Can definitely taste the alcohol.

Very slick and oily from the hops. Still leaves a bit of stickiness on the tongue. Not very drinkable due to the high ABV (9.6%) and the intense bitterness.

Worth a try if you like barleywines, or hoppy west coast beers.

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Photo of jstewart1130
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of bertram
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of dvanhandel
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of ISmith87
4.56/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried this one out of the bottle poured into a St. Bernardus Chalice...

A – copper body w beige/white head, deep ruby, hint of haze

S – spicy hops with malt background, tingly, some smoke, dark malts, floral, a little bit of caramel, smells kind of like a double/imperial ipa

T – spicy hops at first, pine on the mid, alcohol, grapefruit, brown spice bread, sweet roasted malts, caramel, toffee,

M – rich, thick, oily, alcohol warmth for sure, peppery feel, fizzy carbonation, bitter

O – Good, definitely a sipper given the ABV, another great one from Sierra Nevada to go along with Narwahl and Hoptimum

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Photo of UnderPressure
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of BethanyB
3.72/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: A hazy, light copper, with a massive, tightly-beaded eggnog-colored head with a smooth, creamy top. Head was long lasting, as I've come to expect from any Sierra Nevada beer, and left significant lacing on the glass.

Smell: Pungent American hops hit me right away, but were well balanced by toasted malt and caramel. Lacking in alcohol scents and fruity esters, both of which I would expect to find in even an American Barleywine (as opposed to the fruitier English version).

Taste: Rich, toasted malt with medium-high bitterness that lingers on the roof of the mouth. Toasty vanilla bean and toffee flavors mix with apricots, pears, and golden apples. Very nice. despite the lack of alcohol flavors usually present in this style.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and somewhat chewy, with medium-high (slightly high for the style) carbonation. Here's where the alcohol made itself known, lightly coating the tongue with warmth.

Overall: This is a brighter tasting barleywine than I'm used to, but I rather liked it! Could have been a bit more balanced (a smidge less hops, a dash more fruit), and was lacking in alcohol characteristics, but a good beer, nonetheless.

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Photo of MykeJ
4/5  rDev -3.4%

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

Photo of Epicfail97081
3.99/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jamesmk48
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

12.4.2014 bottle poured into a tulip; pours rich ruby malt color with generous and lingering head. Smell is bread, malt, caramel, toffee, hops. Taste is sweet, malt, rich bread and then to hops and slightly bitter finish and feint abv bite. The hops have held on surprisingly well after 13 months of cellaring; it'll be fun to see how much they hold on after a while longer. The mouth is fantastic--smooth, creamy, very nicely carbonated.

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Photo of RenoZymurgist
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2004 vintage. Poured a clear red that was very rich in color with a white head that lasted for an amazingly long time for a brew of this gravity.The aroma was very nice with a strong hop aroma that seemed a blend of pine and citrus. The taste was excellent as a strong hop presence was immediatly made which segued smoothly into a sweet carmelized malt flavor and finished with a lingering hop flavor and an alcoholic warmth. This ale seems like it recieved a full amount of aging and the yeast finished this beer very cleanly. The body complements the alcohol wonderfully as it is viscous and the light carbonation provides a touch of carbnic bite which offsets the sweetness of the malt and the differently assertive hops flavor. Very drinkable I try to save some of this every year but it rarely makes it through the summer.

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Photo of Biscuit033
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear orange-brown With nice one finger light tan head and good lacing.

S: Caramel, toffee, citrus, and some grassy notes.

T: Piney, citrussy hops with a huge background of malty caramel and butterscotch.

M: medium to full body with a nice creaminess and a alcoholo induced dryness.

D: Great example ofthe style. I could have a few servings of it now and I am guessing based on the past two years store afew bottles for down the road.

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Photo of wiseguy142
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I think this is a great example of an affordable, not so radical commercial Barleywine because of the great balance between hops, malt, and alcohol content. I had it on draft in a snifter for a very affordable price- I believe under $5. The color was very clear and orangey-amber with little visible carbonation. Smelled of whispy cascade hops. The taste was also of cascade, crystal malt, and alcohol, but not in an extreme sense like "i'm drinking straight vodka mixed into a normal beer." It was very well balanced with the alcohol content matching the overall "strong" character of the beer in all respects. Towards the end the alcohol started getting to me in terms of drinkability but I suppose that is natural.

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Photo of sidetracked
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle. Pours a clear deep-ruby amber with a substantial tan head.

Smells of bitter citrus hops, slightly sweet caramel malts and hints of alcohol.

The taste upfront is bitter grapefruit that quickly lends way to sharp toasty malts. Finish is bitter and a bit hoppy. Alcohol heat comes through as it goes down.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and somewhat syrupy with low carbonation.

Drinkability is great despite the alcohol presence.

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Bigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 88% out of 100 with 7,514 ratings
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