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Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
92
outstanding
3,018 Reviews
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style AleSierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale
BEER INFO

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

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
Reviews:
3,018
Ratings:
7,373
Avg:
4.14
pDev:
17.63%
 
 
Wants:
395
Gots:
1,777
For Trade:
78
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 3,018 | Ratings: 7,373
Photo of Ciocanelu
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear mahogany color with brownish head. Aroma has nice caramel malts but also some earthy and resiny hops. Taste starts slightly sweet with caramel and dark bread notes and gets hoppy and bitter towards the finish. Aftertaste is quite bitter and dry. Really classic, american style barleywine taste profile.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.7/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter vintage 2011.

Pours gold from the bottle giving a nice cream colored head. Lots of leg action and stickiness with pocked marks. Head is very resilient with staying power. Burnt orange to very dark amber body in appearance, but seems a little hazy also.

The first thing I got off the bouquet was strangely supermarket red grapes.. citrus faintness but with hop character. Interesting. Some fresh cut lawn grass sense as well. Some little tight visible carbonation from the bottom of the glass.

Hop character and bitterness shows through in a tolerable way, but missing hinted at fruit character off nose in the taste. Alcohol is masked a little, with double imperial American pale ale feel. Strange grassy feel (literally lawn cut grass) to this that doesn't translate into lingering aftertastes. Fairly alright but sort of a letdown. Palate seems to be focused on the front for me than the entire region tasting this beer.

Does this need to age perhaps? Well can't say, I don't have a time machine. Tolerable drink. Would I chose this over other recent barleywines that I have of this style the answer is no.

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

Bottle shared by Matt, the foot on the cap said 2005, I didn't investigate further.

Beer is brown to gray and hazy with a thin off white head of small bubbles.

Aroma is alcoholic slightly, like a liquor, with caramel and mild toffee and perhaps some leather.

Beer is big, chewy, in the mouth. Viscous. Its not hot any longer, its sweet at the lead off and heavy. The flavors of dark fruits and raisins cover the mouth. Its great and highly drinkable. While the beer seems syrupy, its not offputting, its a very nice aged barleywine.

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Photo of Billolick
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, 2002 vintage, pours a golden amber.
Hoppy nose, rich, thick mouthfeel, Rum, brandy type flavor notes. Alcohol obviously present, warming. rich malt center, and a wollop of hops! Citrus, resin, pine notes. This one is a whole lot of beer. Malt, hops alcohol, strong flavors, yet it remains in balance. A favorite that deserves the high marks it typically gets.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.73/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

01/25/05- Purchased at Beverages and More in Sacramento, CA

2005 Edition

Presentation- 12 oz bottle with no bottling or expiration date. Poured into my Duvel glass.

Appearance- About an inch creamy white head, excellent lacing and a brown-amber colored elixer. It even had those small ufo circles that you sometimes (if you are lucky) find in your belgiun or higher abv beers.

Smell- Very sweet and frutiy. Lots of hops (pine, grapefruit and maybe some melon) and a decent amount of malts. A pleasure to smell.

Taste- I have never tasted this many hops in a beer with this high of an abv or actually in a barleywine. Bitter grapefruit hops in your face with a nice warming 9.6 abv feeling in my tummy. Sweet malts polish off this beer.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation, a bit higher than expected. Chewy and resiney.

Drinkability- ABV is the only thing holding me back from having more than three of these (yeah, I'm a lightweight). An excelent beer to have on a day just like this (cold and rainy). Looks like I will be getting a few more six packs of these. Another score for Sierra Nevada.

Version 2006....

Appearance exactly the same. Smells a touch hoppier and a bit less malt. As for the taste....needs some time in the cellar. Very light in the malt department with a huge hop bite and a very long lasting bitter hop aftertaste. Still a great beer, but needs some time to mellow, unlike the 2005, which was incredible a week after production.

Version 2007-

This version IMO will mask the 2005 in maybe a years or less time. Much more mellow out of the gate than the 2006 (which still needs plenty of time before it's great). Hops are fairly intense, but the malt plays much more of a role in the '07.

Version 2008-

Same appearance as always. The scent has changed to a more caramel malt dominant one than hops (even though they are still there). This vintage has a very bold caramel malt base that is actually equal to the hops! IMO this is very drinkable right now. I actually like balanced barleywines much better than the hop bombs that everyone is producing these days. Probably the most drinkable Bigfoot yet, at least right off the production line...gets some competition from 2005 though.

Version 2009-

The scent is the least in your face out of all the vintages. Hops seem a touch lighter and maybe just not as much flavor overall. Smoother than most years. Definitely not harsh. Drinkable right now.

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

2011 batch. I've never had this brew, so I'm trying some fresh and planning to age the rest.

The beer pours a crystal clear amber-copper coloring that starts with a thin, dense, yellowish, half-inch foamy head that quickly disappears, leaving only a slight film across the top of the brew. The nose has a surprisingly strong undertone of hops which does a decent job to balance the caramel malty smells. The flavor is complex, and honestly feels like it changes as it swims through my mouth. Wow. The first thing I got was a blast of flavor, both hoppy and caramel sweet, but that went by quickly. The next thing I tasted was a littly boozey and a little peppery. The quickly transitioned to a smokey flavor so strong I thought my uvula had been set on fire. Subsequent drinks give similar kaleidescopic flavors, and I also start to pick up some slight sour notes and the steadiness of the hops bitter throughout the taste, although sometimes stronger than others. Very complex. Every once in a while I get a flash of some grapefruit type flavors, too...a little tart and a little sweet. All of these flavors ride a creamy and smooth body that transitions to crisp right at the end. The beer leaves a slightly bitter and puckered feel after swallow, and that feeling lingers a while along side the slightly sour and spiced aftertaste. This beer begs to be consumed. Shockingly easy to drink despite the slightly elevated ABV and the robust catalog of flavors. Now the test will be of my will power to keep from drinking the rest of this and actually age some of it.

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Nice dark amber shade. Lumpy tan head.

S - This one smells wonderful. You get spicy hop aroma, fruity notes and citrus, and earthy grains in your nose.

T - Huge delicious hop flavor without being overly spicy or dry. Dark sugar, dired fruit and sweet sap are there as well. You can taste the alcohol in the finish. The combination of loads of hops, and plenty of sweet and earthy tastes make this brew complex and enthralling to the tastebuds.

M - This beer is so smooth and appeases the mouth. Not too carbonated, not too dry, not too sweet, not overbearing with alcohol flavor even amidst the high abv.

D - I'm not sure there is another beer with this abv that is as easy to drink. Bigfoot is super creamy smooth and packed with huge flavors. More than one is needed to get your fill of this brew.

Notes - I got a 6 pack of this stuff just to try something new and didn't realize what i was about to get into. I hadn't read up on it prior to my purchase and I was blown away. This beer has it all...huge flavor, complexity, drinkability and alcohol! One of my favorites for sure. Too bad it's hard to come by.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2013 bottle. Opened April 2014.

A - Pretty spot on color for a barelywine. Murky redwood and deep brewed tea. Bone-white head settles into a nice rim and then hangs around with excellent retention.

S - Sweet with just an edge of booze in the background. Caramel, orange, chocolate chips, applewood, prunes, and mashed apples.

T - Close to my archetype of an american barleywine; clean bitter hops and a sweet malty center with a warm boozy frame. Caramel, sourdough bread, toffee, strong woody hops, white booze. Lingering bitters and caramel.

M - On par for a barelywine. Medium body with nice carbonation.

O - Lives up to expectations. Definitely on the hoppy end of the spectrum for the style, but imho that's one of the most important features that separates American Barleywines from English Barleywines.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.31/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Re-reviewing. First review from 1-28-10 (2007 Vintage) was when my palate was somewhat unrefined.

This one is a 2011 vintange; poured in to Duvel tulip glass.

A - Poured a translucent medium to dark amber colour with two fingers of thick, foamy cream coloured head with good retention.

S - Hop bitterness is the initial unexpected nose with some citrus and pine notes coming through. Caramel and brown sugar flavours are evident as well and become more noticeable after a few minutes. A seemingly balanced barleywine (unlike most that I have had to date).

T - First taste is bitterness, followed by sweet caramel malts. The bitterness returns in the a dry finish. The sweet malt profile becomes more noticeable after a few sips and quickly dominates the palate with notes of caramel, toffee, brown sugar and raisins. The bitterness soon becomes evident only in the finish, and lingers somewhat. Very sweet and robust malt profile that actually becomes difficult to drink at about the half way point.

M - Medium to full body; light to moderate carbonation.

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Photo of WesWes
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a reddish amber color with a thick off-white head. The aroma is great. It has an awesome hop scent surrounded by a fine malty base. The taste is good. It is intensely malty with an equally intense hop flavor. It goes down easy. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a great barleywine. It has real good flavor. This is the best beer Sierra Nevada produces.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 vintage. Bigfoot is a deep copper color with a large (very large for a barleywine) head. The head is tan and frothy with nice retention. Citrusy hops have a strong presence in the aroma, light caramel malt smell is also noted. Taste starts off very hoppy in a west coast citrusy sort of way. The hops are soon joined by a slick malty taste which give way to more hops in the finish. Fruity ale flavors also run throughout the sip. This is definently a west coast interpretation of the style, normally I like my barleywines a little less hoppy, but this is a damn fine beer.

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Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Damn, this beer still knocks my socks off. Big estery malts with big citrus hops, rolled into an explosive barleywine. The balance aspect of this brew falters a bit from the kick making a little tough to drink. It's almost like the flavor is too big. I'm going to have to stow some bottles away in a cellar/closet and see what they can do after a couple years.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.92/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2005 edition.
Cloudy amber/brown body with minimal head that stayed for a bit, then fizzled out.
Smell had some light hints of alcohol, with a bit of peach or apricot. Sweet malt and sticky honey smell as well.
Taste was a bit thin, but still good. The alcohol became more present and the peach/apricot moved to papaya and leather. Earth tones finish it out.
Thin feel. Alcohol seemed to stop any flavors that appeared. However, it was easier to drink than first suspected.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage. This bottle may be off since the beer was only filled up to the top of the label. It didn't taste oxidized or flat, so I am reviewing it.

Pours a reddish-amber color with a white head. The aroma is brown sugar, alcohol and caramel malt. Pretty basic barleywine aroma. The flavor is brown sugar, toffee and piney and citrus hops. Even with the big hop flavor, the bitterness is not too high. The alcohol is definitely detectable and is front and center in the flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation

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Photo of Gavage
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Broke open a bottle from 1998. Let sit at room temperature for 45 minutes and then poured into a glass. It was a lovely deep auburn / burgandy color with a thin head. The aroma was sweet and alcohol was noticeable. The taste definitely mellowed over the five years, as it was still quite malty, extremely smooth, and a bit of caramel tones were detected.

The hoppiness that is present in current releases is much mellower and tamed from aging, but still is noticeable. The smooth flavors lasts long into the aftertaste, and the alcohol is quite noticeable. Always save a bottle or two for the future. It ages well.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.37/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I really like strong beers, but the irony here is I've had limited experience with barleywines. Here's a mainstream one which seems highly respected. Poured into an Old Guardian glass, on to the beer:

Deep reddish copper with a compact frothy head on top. Some clumps of yeast splash into the beer during the pour, but I'm not surprised. Big hop aroma with some burnt sugar and caramel notes. The taste is exploding with hops, but the balance is pretty good for what it is. Citric and piney at first, dextrin and fruity esters then take over the ride, then a burst of passionfruit and pine bury the palate in the aftertaste. Thick and smooth like syrup.

Great success. Here's to the last day of April 2008!

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Photo of Tone
4.35/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber color. An inch and a half of head that's more of a pale yellow than an off-white. Good retention and good lacing. Smells strongly of hops (of course its a Sierra Nevada :). I can pick up a slight fruitiness as well as some distinguished sweetness. I'm not really picking up any malt characteristics, at least in the aroma. As far as I've read this fits the styleof an American Barleywine. So far this beer is wetting my palate and I'm really hoping not to be let down. Mouth feel is really smooth and crisp, with an associated dryness of higher alcohol content. There's a low carbonation level. The first taste is the alcohol, then the hops hits, and then some tartness is present in the aftertaste along with a little sweetness. Wow, this is like no other beer I've had, but I'm really liking it. The aftertaste is quite strong. Overall, this is a great beer, but I definitely would not be able to drink more than a couple - wow.

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Photo of Duff27
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 bottle

A- Pours an amber/brownish-red color with a two-fingered light-brown head. The lacing left behind is incredible.

S- Very piney.

T- A sippin' brew for sure. Drink this one over a 45 minute to an hour period. Tastes really come out as it warms. More pine/citrus hops with some fruitiness.

M- Full bodied. Alcoholic warmth. Goes down fairly easy.

D/O- Call it good after one of these. Probably the easiest barleywine style beer to find and that's a good thing folks. Going to leave 3 out of the 6 pack to age at least a few years. Also aging a 2009 bottle.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a philadelphia flyers pint glass. 2009 version. 1st time having this.

A- Bigfoot has a deep dark amber with a mixture of orange and red spots in places. A semi aggressive pour yields one inch of off white foam that sticks to the glass. Slow rising bubbles lead me to believe this is thick.

S- A nice aroma coming from this as i'm getting a nice hop punch up front resembling piney scents, some citrus as well. Malts giving off some caramel. A bit of honey.

T- A big focus on the hops in this b-wine, perhaps the most hopped in this style that i've had to date. They give off a rather bitter appeal. Backed by some malts that drown out the hops although they never fully leave. A bit of caramel/toffee. some alcohol as well.

M- Medium to semi full bodied with a very slick feel as it glides down the tounge. A nice bitterness to start but smooths out. A bit of alcohol here as well.

D- A slow sipper for sure, i took about two hours with 12oz. A bit of hotness and the thick appeal makes for small sips. Only one bottle a night for me. This is a great example of the style and will try in a year or so.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.44/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2004 Vintage, Sampled March 2004
Pours a clear, amber-ruby color when held up to the light. A thick tan head rests atop this beer. Thick aromas of malt and hops waft from my glass as I pour. The hops dominate the aroma, Citrus, dark fruit, pine, alcohol, and a nectar like quality are all in the nose. Thick bodied, with a slightly syruppy consistency. The taste is sweet with American hops bursting forth all over the place. A strong malt character (caramel, biscuit) is here, but it is definitely subservient to the hops in this fresh example. The malt only serves as a vehicle to allow the hops to express themselves to the fullest. This is a brew that suggests what it would be like to suckle from a flower fat with Lupulin glands.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2015 Edition

Pours a clean/clear ruby red color, very nice carbonation, nice fizzy creamy off-white head, which leaves a nice big island and sticky lacing behind. A nice hoppy/malty scent with some fruityness. The taste is slightly sweet, hoppy, malty, with some cherry notes. Medium body, nice bitter/dry finish. Very Drinkable, but to me, again, this is a totally different brew still.

2014 Edition

Pours a clean/clear ruby red color, very nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy off-white head, which leaves a nice big island and sticky lacing behind. A nice hoppy/malty scent with some fruityness. The taste is slightly sweet, hoppy, malty, with some cherry notes. Medium body, nice bitter/dry finish. Very Drinkable, but to me, again, this is a totally different brew since over the last 7 years. A very tasty brew, quite drier/bitter than in the past.

2013 Edition

Pours a clean/clear ruby red color, very nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, which leaves a nice big island and sticky lacing behind. A nice hoppy/malty scent with some fruityness. The taste is slightly sweet, slightly hoppy, malty, with some cherry notes. Medium body, nice little bitter/dry finish. Very Drinkable, but to me this is a totally different brew since over the last 7 years. I like this one alot better than the last 2 versions.

2012 Edition

Pours a clean/clear amber/grape color, very nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, which leaves some small islands and sticky lacing behind. A nice hoppy/malty scent with some citrus thrown in. The taste is sweet, slightly hoppy, malty, with some apple notes. Medium body, nice little bitter/dry finish. Very Drinkable, but to me this is a totally different brew since over the last 7 years and not as good.

2011 Edition

Pours a clean/clear amber/grape color, very nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, which leaves some small islands and sticky lacing behind. A nice hoppy/malty scent with some citrus thrown in. The taste is sweet, slightly hoppy, malty, with some apple notes. Medium body, nice little bitter/dry finish. Very Drinkable, but to me this is a totally different brew since over the last 6 years and not as good.

2010 Edition

Pours a hazy amber color, very nice carbonation, nice little one-finger creamy tan head, which leaves some thick creamy sticky lacing behind. A nice hoppy/malty scent with some citrus thrown in. The taste is awesome, hoppy, but mild. Sweet malts and a nice tangy taste, nice little bitter bite in the finish. Also, a nice warming effect in the throat. Medium body, a nice complex brew. Very drinkable, again a joy to drink.

2009 Edition

Pours a clear amber color, nice carbonation, nice little one-finger creamy tan head, which leaves some nice little islands and sticky lacing. A nice hoppy/malty scent with some citrus thrown in. The taste is awesome, hoppy, but mild. Sweet malts and a nice tangy taste, nice little bitter bite in the finish. Also, a nice warming effect in the throat. Medium body, a nice complex brew. This one is more like last years, more hoppy/bitter.

2008 Edition

Pours a clear amber color, nice carbonation, nice little one-finger creamy tan head, which leaves some nice little islands and sticky lacing. A nice hoppy/malty scent with some citrus thrown in. The taste is awesome, hoppy, but mild. Sweet malts and a nice tangy taste, nice little bitter bite in the finish. Also, a nice warming effect in the throat. Medium body, a nice complex brew. This one is a little different than the other's, more hoppy/bitter, but still very tasty. Like other's have said, more of a DIPA. Very drinkable, really enjoyed this one.

2007 Edition

I've had this sitting around since the beginning of the year. Pours a clear amber color, nice carbonation, tiny head though, and some nice lacing afterwards. A nice hoppy/malty scent with some citrus thrown in. The taste is awesome, hoppy, but mild. Sweet malts and a nice tangy taste, nice little bite finish. Also, a nice warming effect in the throat. Medium body, a nice complex brew. Very Drinkable.

2006 Edition

I've had this (4 bottles) sitting around since the beginning of the year. Pours a clear amber color, nice carbonation, tiny head though, and some nice lacing afterwards. A nice hoppy/malty scent with some citrus thrown in. The taste is awesome, hoppy, but mild. Sweet malts and a nice tangy taste, nice little bite finish. Also, a nice warming effect in the throat. Medium body, a nice complex brew. Very drinkable, way to go SN.

2005 Edition

I've had this sitting around since the beginning of the year. Pours a clear amber color, nice carbonation, tiny head though, and some nice lacing afterwards. A nice hoppy/malty scent with some citrus thrown in. The taste is awesome, hoppy, but mild. Sweet malts and a nice tangy taste, nice little bite finish. Also, a nice warming effect in the throat. Medium body, a nice complex brew. Very drinkable, an awesome brew.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.57/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from 2/2011 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Drinking a three year unevenly distributed vertical; '11,'10,'03. The newest ones are a nice clear red amber, the '03 pours a somewhat darker, more opaque red amber. Minimal head on the '03 and '11, nice thin, long lasting head and lacing on the '10. The newer ones have a sweet malt, fresh hop aroma. The '03 has a more subdued sweet malt and dark fruit aroma. '11 has distinct fresh hops, sweet malt, dark and dried fruit and an almost pine flavor. '10 is the best with dark fruit and the sweet malts becoming more forward and mellow, but with a nice hop finish; not as fresh hopped as the newer one, but my favorite of the three. The '03 has completely mellowed, with a sweet malt, dark fruit and English barley wine flavor but with a subtle hop finish. These are all excellent and I look forward to tracking the newer ones through time.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.98/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured ontap, assuming its the 2010 vintage. A rich reddish color with a large off white head and a sheet of lace engulfing the whole glass. A beautiful looking beer.

Smell: Floral hops, hints of malt sweetness.

Taste: Bitter hops mingle with the malt. Notes of caramel, brown sugar and a soft fruityness. The hops are very piney and resinous, and really round out this big beer. Alcohol heat is not noticeable right away, but creeps in later as it warms. Light citrus, pine and earthy tones, brown sugar and caramel malt.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth on a fuller bodied beer. The mouthfeel of the draught Bigfoot is very nice and worthy of note.

Drinkability: Though it is a rather strong beer, I had no problem drinking several 12 oz pours of this. Great beer.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 bottle from the cellar preparing for the coming '08 release.

3finger head poured into my New Belgium goblet... perfect cascading lace.. clear deep amber with beautiful red highlites... after a while the head recedes and looks like a dollop of whipped cream atop a glass of cold black tea.

Fairly thick pine and citrus hops with deep caramel malts dominate the nose... quite a bit of fruitiness.

Hop palate rips most of the other flavors to threads.. pine is dominant, but grapefruit is definately a soldier in the fight. Malt sugars are there but are still on the backburner.. caramel and chocolate only come into play after the IBU's die down.. even then, the fruitiness and tongue slaying hops make for a very long finish.

I think of Bigfoot as the perfect body for an ABW.. thick without being cloying.. firm while still enough carbonation to keep the palate moving... very tasty for sure, but it will mellow with some time in the bottle.

The '07 still is pretty raw, I had my last '05 a couple months back, thinking it would be ready.. I was wrong.. Bigfoot can settle down for at least 3 years... I have an '02 and'03 in the cellar; but now have to score another 4 and 5 to complete a 6 year vertical.. I must do it soon... If you can help, beermail me.... I'll make it worth your while.

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Photo of aasher
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This bottle was the 2008 vintage, and almost three and a half years old.

It poured a cherry brown in color with a nice three finger cream colored head. The foam sat atop the glass for a good three to four minutes before dissipating enough to drink. The aromas are very sweet and full of raisins especially. You also get sweet carmel malts and cherries. Unfortunately the flavors aren't quite as complex. You get a boatload of sweet malts, oak, vanilla, caramel, and candied sugar but it's hard to get past the sweetness. This three year old barleywine drinks a little flatter than I'd like. It's lost considerable carbonation throughout time. Overall this is definitely a solid barleywine, but it's very, very sweet and too sweet for my liking. Tasting verticals of Bigfoot through the years is fun to watch and taste. The change can be pretty considerable.

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Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
92 out of 100 based on 3,018 ratings.
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