Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

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

3,018 Reviews
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style AleSierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 3,018 | Ratings: 7,374
Photo of soper2000
4.14/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brand new 2005 vintage.
Poured a beautiful deep burnt amber with a thin head that quickly retreats to ring the side of the glass. Smell is wonderfully balanced. Big heavy malts invade the nose gently giving way to crisp citrus hops with a resiny finish. Taste was still a tad bid hot with a smell malt presence in the start which is quickly cut with an intense hop bite, which morphes between piney/resiny to citrus fruit. Finally alcohol and a subtle sweetness pair up with the hops to create a nice finish. While this is currently a decent beer, I'm aging some as I can now imagine how this one gained it's fame among those who cellar.

 639 characters

Photo of Brewfan
4.67/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Haven't had this vintage in over a year. When I first had it, it was very new, too hoppy for my palate back then. But now that I've crossed over to the "hop side", I'd like to go back and taste my first ones again.
Cellar temperature. Poured the Bigfoot into a barleywine glass and just watched the head reach for the rim. Nice THICK cream color head sitting on a slightly hazy mahogany beer. Loved the contrast. Head died out a bit, but even at the end of the beer, some was still there. Lace stayed around even after the beer was gone.
Big, soft mouthfeel. Like drinking a velvet milkshake. Little carbonation. Loved the way it clung to my tongue long after the beer was down my throat.
Nice hoppy nose with some floral and orange peel. Caramel and pine also make guest appearances. Definate alcohol presence.
Hops have mellowed out in the past 2 year on this one, but they are still the dominating palate. This has rounded out nicely though, letting the malt come out and play. A little dry, still at the end, but not too bad. This one will be with me for a while.
I don't want this one to end. Sitting here looking at the last 3 ounces and waiting until the 2005's hit my area. Cannot wait to see what the other 2003's will be like in years to come.
Top notch finish. Bitter and malty, smoothness with a little bite. Loved this beer. I have 6 more '03's downstairs screaming "DRINK ME". In time, my friends, in time.

 1,432 characters

Photo of IrishMike
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

man, i've been waiting for this to hit Jersey for quite some time now. The last shipment from SN to our liquor store didn't carry it due to the shipment being sent out prior to the release date, and it took until today to get my hands on it. Well, so long as it finally arrived i'm a happy man. Purchased from my place of employment for $8.99 a six pack, making it a downright steal in the barley wine market.

appearance- Pours a dark copper with a nice one finger sized head that establishes and maintains itself well. Solid lacing on the sides of the snifter and stays throughout the entire experience. Initial pour brings forth a few bubbles of carbonation that dissappear once the beer has been given a moment to settle.

Smell- HOPS! Piney, citrusy, and every other adjective you'd associate with Celebration Ale that ever-so-slowly back away into a nut/caramel blend that are as rich as they are subtle. Alcohol bite comes up in the hop blast, then backs away with the rest of the hops as the malt character steps in. Caramel covered grapefruit, if you will.

Taste- Reversing what was noted in the nose, the malts come forth first and the hops do their business afterwards. Scratch that; in all reality, the hops and malts come together first, then the hops take over the palate once the nutty character has backed off. A hop beast, but not in the out-of-control style that Old Crusty is. More of that pine and citrus with almost an oaky tone to it come together attacking the palate; even my nose is flaring up drinking this baby. Definetly could clear up the sinuses if you down it quick enough. Warms you up, but at the same time doesn't tell any secrets about the alcohol sitting within.

mouthfeel- Oily, sits in your mouth much longer than you'd expect it to. And yet, at the same time doesn't try to out stay it's welcome in your mouth. Hell, this beer is always welcome.

drinkability- well, it tastes great, but there's always that overwhelming hop factor and high alcohol content to take into account. Still, i'd gladly make a session beer out of this, provided i drank them slowly enough.

I always like to compare this brew to Old Horizontal, of which it shares many similarities, and it comes down to a basic question when evaluating which one is for you; do you like more hops or more malt? Bigfoot seems to have the hop market cornered here, while Old Horizontal (while no slouch on the hops itself) definitely takes the maltier, less intense path. As for me, i'm gonna be buying a twelve of both tomorrow; there is no winner or loser in my mind, just two extraordinary brews. The Pale Ale may get all the attention, but this and Celebration are, without a doubt, Sierra Nevada's pride and joy.

 2,731 characters

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

2003 edition, I believe. I got the opportunity to have a glass of this, and it was aged two-years. The aging didn't diminish much of its hop character. Still very hoppy and well preserved. Poured with a head which just wouldn't go away. Still sizeable after everything but the foam was consumed. Very drinkable for such a big beer. The hops dominated the malt character, which prevents this from being perfect in the taste category. But excellent none the less. I would even let this age a couple more years.

 508 characters

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

Pours a lovely amber colour with a minimal head. Smell is rich and malty with some nice spicy floral hops. Taste is great. So well balanced even though it is hoppy. Strong malt uptick with a blast of hops at the end that more than dry it out. Some people say the change in recipe has just made this a malted up hopped up SNCA. I dont see it. It still retains its barleywine character where as the Celebration is well a Celebration of scathing hops. Mouthfeel is good even though it isnt that strongly carbonated. Drinkability is dangerously good. The near 10% doesnt stand out and this is actually a quaffable barleywine..=-- Scary good

 636 characters

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

2005 Edition: Yet another nice beer from Sierra Nevada. This one pours out to a murky brownish in the glass with a medium-sized head. The aroma is that of citrus and pine and malt. The taste is reminiscent of the Pale Ale and Celebration, containing the signature SN hop profile, however, it does have some malt in here which helps to round it out and mellow it out just a bit on the swallow. The ABV is well hidden. This really didn' t seem like a barleywine to me. It seemed more in the vein of an IPA.

 504 characters

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

2005 version

Poured a deep ruby brown. Quarter inch head, thinned but never disappeared, left foam on the glass.

Hops and pine assault the nose. This baby beer is going to be all hops.

And sure enough it is all hops. Completely unbalanced, but Bigfoot has a reputation and I'm not about to buck it. A sixer is going to cool in garage for a few months so these monsters can shed their youthful bitterness and mellow a bit.

Loved the mouthfeel. Full and nutty, hints of walnut or bitter almond. It is only diminished when the bitterness finds those taste buds in the back of the tongue; at that point all balance is lost.

If you like hops and bitterness, drink it now. But, for me, barley wine is about deep maltiness with a bitter mix. My expectation is that this needs some time, maybe three months, maybe six. At that point I'll revisit a bottle. I'm looking forward to it.

 889 characters

Photo of skybluewater
3.91/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004 edition (brewed late 2003). Pours a deep cherry color. Thin head leaves a ring of lace at the top of the glass, but that's it. Smells of booze and dark fruits, especially raisin. Taste is nice, with a nice bit of raisiny malt, as well as some brighter fruitiness, as well as some hops (I've never tasted a fresh Bigfoot, so I have no idea how this has mellowed at all over the last year).

Overall, this is a nice barleywine. I'm really beginning to like the style, and this is among the better ones I've had (I've only had one "bad" one, and that one was just raw). Great way to warm up on a blustery winter night.

 623 characters

Photo of blitz134
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A fresh 2005 edition…my first Bigfoot…thank you new Georgia beer laws.

Pours an attractive caramel color with a decent off-white head on top. The smell on this brew is amazing. Its loaded down with hops, fruit and pine totally dominate. There is a bit of malt sweetness in the background. Both compliment each other extremely well. Taste is again dominated by hops with a pretty dry tasting finish, very unbalanced, but for me this isn’t a huge deal but I would like to see a little more balance. Hops are mostly pine and resin with sweet citrus in the background making this beer a little sweet. Many people compare this to Celebration, but the hop profile is definitely different. The flavor is much sweeter than its resin dominated counterpart. I don’t pick up much else from this in the malt area. No alcohol flavor to speak of, but it does warm as it goes down. Mouthfeel is full and oily while drinkablity is a thing of beauty. These could get you in trouble.

For a hop lover this is a good beer, even if it doesn't follow the typical style profile of most barleywines. Very typical Sierra Nevada.

 1,113 characters

Photo of CVC
4.6/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2005 expedition.

Came in a 12 oz. bottle; served in a pint glass.

Pours a brownish amber color with an off-white, one-finger head. Leaves little lace. Smells herbal, hoppy, and slightly piney. Tastes like it smells. Has such a full-bodied mouthfeel, and is mighty/dangerously drinkable.

Oh, Bigfoot--good stuffs, indeed. Still great even though Sierra Nevada changed the hops around. From what I remember from last year's batch, this year has almost more of a dark [Sierra Nevada] Celebration Ale taste mixed in. 2 parts Pale Ale, 1 part Celebration Ale. In a good way. Still an awesome brew this year around.

 612 characters

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

Presentation: bottle cap says "Bigfoot Expedition 2005". I'm already interested.

Appearance: Pours brick red with a ruby background and a nice cake-like appearing tan head.

Smell: I smell citrusy and pine-like hops. I've not experienced that in a barleywine before. Although, I've only had two and this is my first run in with Bigfoot (I knew he existed....)

Taste: Interesting...it tastes like a buffed up Celebration. Hop profile is pretty prominent with a grapefruit-like twist to them. A slightly bitter lemon zest finish to it. Light alcohol notes definitely coat the palate.

Mouthfeel: Medium to thick and creamy.

Drinkability: On the heavy side but not bad.

Notes: I must admit...this didn't meet my expectations. I expected sweeter, more malt presence, and more alcohol notes. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed the hop presence of this beer. I was just lamenting the other day that I got the last sixer of SNCA but if I close my eyes, I can't tell much difference b/t Bigfoot and SNCA. I can see myself getting into a lot more barleywines if they are like this however I think this is the exception and not the norm....

 1,150 characters

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.

 2,428 characters

Photo of jed
4.52/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bigfoot Barleywine 2004

Presentation: Comes in a brown, 12 oz bottle with Sierra Nevada logo and an amusing illustration of a prospector following bigfoot tracks. Snowprint cap with 2004 on it. No best by date. Poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a warm, chestnut brown with some lighter brown areas throughout the beer. Nice color. Good size head, which fades quickly and leaves almost no lacing behind.

Smell: Bigfoot explodes with sweet, pine and citrus hop notes. A quick whiff of raw alcohol esthers, along with some smokiness, but then back to the main hop aroma. Excellent aroma.

Taste: Initial smoothness fades to carbonation and extreme citrus bitterness from the hops. Hints of tobacco, grainy hops. Very little malt, but some caramel-like sweetness. Some alcohol esthers in the back, but nothing major — a year of aging has definitely moderated the alcohol in this beer. Finish is dry, with astringest citrus bitterness from the hops.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, if slightly thin mouthfeel. Solid, but not amazing.

Drinkability: Surprisingly high. While a beer with such a high ABV and hop profile would normally be relegated to sipping, this beer has mellowed to the point where the flavor is extremely smooth and drinkable.

Bigfoot is a staple that I've enjoyed but never gotten around to reviewing, the beer that first got me into the barley wine style. After a year of aging, the drinkability of the 2004 is perfect, and the flavor is nicely developing. Believe in Bigfoot — stock up, drink a few, and let the rest hibernate in the cellar.

 1,573 characters

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

2004 vintage. Hazy tawny that is a wonderful, multi-hued melange of orange, red, caramel and copper. The pale caramel cap is a thing of beauty as well. Creamystiff and tacky at once, its rugged surface is slowly deflating in sections and thick gobs of lace are beginning to stick to the glass. A real looker, this one.

The nose is hugely powerful and smells like generously spiced fruit brandy. Sweet caramel candy bass notes hold down the bottom end while barely disguised ethanol and floral-citric hops rampage on the top end. The slight rubbing alcohol scent keeps it from greatness.

Sweet, syrupy, bitter, chewy, malty, hoppy... Bigfoot BSA covers all the bases. Repeated mouthfuls fail to isolate a dominant presence on the palate; all of the various elements of the flavor profile are combined seamlessly. Unfortunately, that includes alcohol. I know that it's difficult to hide the alcohol in what is, essentially, a 20-proof beverage, but it seems to me that it could have been done with a bit more success.

I've been hearing for years about how hoppy Bigfoot is, especially when young, but it doesn't seem overly bitter or hoppy to me. Perhaps my 'mouthful of hop cones' expectations were misplaced or perhaps the gargantuan amount of malt and the high ABV do an effective job of smoothing out and blunting the hop flavor.

As noted in the description of the nose, melted caramel blends with brandy-macerated orchard fruit and citric hops to form a wonderfully viscous, mouthcoating, sweet sipper of a beer. The finish is seemingly infinitely long and features diminishing echoes of caramel-drizzled hops. Warming and satisfying.

Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale is good beer. It isn't as hoppy as I had hoped and it doesn't surpass Old Foghorn as far as I'm concerned, but its reputation is well deserved. I plan to pick up at least a sixer every year to see how each vintage changes from year to year and how each changes with cellaring.

 1,958 characters

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.

 827 characters

Photo of markman
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale (2003):

Not sure what I can add to the Bigfoot-body-of-knowledge. An in your face barelywine…not for the meek. Big hop bite that, when at cellar temperature, tenderly dominates a cognac inspired oily body. As good as this is, it seems to have a bigger hop profile than, say, my introduction to Bigfoot in 2000…but, in the end, who the fuck cares? This is damn fine drankin’ and if you think you may be a “hophead” but are not really sure, this is one brew that will settle any confusion.


 550 characters

Photo of xforce
4.52/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. 2004 bottling.
nice 1/2 inch bone head, slowly dissipates, although never goes away. nice brilliant hop nose, mixed with grapes, dates. aroma gradually mellows out to a nice woody aroma and a fresh leaf hop. the flavor is wonderful, with a nice full, yet low carbonated mouthfeel. a bit of a cookielike flavor added to a nice malty foreward and a wonderful hop finish. slight chocolate notes, along with a fruity datelike taste in the middle. an awesome beer, a little too strong to have as many as i would like, but its an incredible beer.

 548 characters

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

12 oz brown bottle.

2004 expedition.

Creamy 1" lightly tan head with very good retention. This leads to a thin, whispy sheet that remains until the last sip. Layered and condensed lacing with solid strength. A murky light garnet in color; noticeable sediment throughout.

Strong ripe fruity-esters with a big hop nose. A light caramel malt sweetness along with a faint chocolate aroma. The main aromatics are driven by cherry, plum, and apple hints.

Very complex in flavor! At first, the fruit: apple, grape, and cherry flavors are very evident along with a toffee, high malt sweetness. This is followed by a big hop bitterness with plenty of alcohol flavors. The aftertaste contains a touch of chocolate as well.

Full bodied; heavy and a bit grainy on the palate.

What a great barleywine! The 9.6% abv makes this one tough to drink as a session beer, but it is certainly a treat for the winter months. Probably my favorite Sierra Nevada offering and one of my favorite versions of the style.

 1,009 characters

Photo of ken3c
4.52/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5


Cloudy medium brown. Decent head resolves to a thin ring.

Smells Very malty and very hoppy with a slight sense of alcohol.

Taste is very strong malt and very strong hops. There is a pleasant grapefruit finish. This will age well.

Mouthfeel is thick, bubbly, and dry, everything I could possible expect in a barleywine.

Drinkability is DANGEROUS. I could easilty drink myself into oblivion with this one.

 425 characters

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

2004 batch. This beer pours a very hazy dark reddish brown. About a half inch of bubbly head on top, though it doesn't leave much lacing to speak of. Quite aromatic... hops up front but also a big presence of ripe fruits like apircots and pears. Bigfoot is certainly an appropriate name for this brew. Big all-around flavorful taste. A grapey sweetness hits the palate first, folowed by more fuity malts and finished with a piney hop bitterness. A lot of beers seem to put the hop taste out front, but I like that bitterness as sort of an afterthought in this beer. This beer is a perfect example of a well balanced beer. It's not too over the top in any particular feature, but it's extremely flavorful and has a wide variety of complex tastes to be sought out by the drinker. Exellecent smooth and full mouthfeel. Although a lot of people generally give these bigger beers a fairly low drinkability score I think this is a very drinkable beer, as long as you can handle the %10 ABV. Personally, I feel up to the challenge!

 1,024 characters

Photo of newyawker
3.87/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Brown in the glass, a bit hazy with a tan head. Smell is sweet and hoppy. Also a bit like biscuits baking in an oven. Frontal hop assault! Yeah! Not too bad, althougth a bit hard to drink a lot of. It tastes good, yet harsh on my tounge. I have to take drinkablity points away because I am only having a bit of this one. All in all, I can't say I recommend it, yet its got something going on.

 392 characters

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

Bottled vintage 1998, thanks mat. Pretty tasty stuff. My memories are pretty vague, and a remember spilling about a quarter or so of the contents of the bottle (sorry everyone). Just really tasty. mapley,hoppy, the length of flavour is great. Great to have such a an old beer, great experience. Sorry for spilling some of it guys :(

 332 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.62/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2004 Expedition:

After a long wait I finally get to try the Bigfoot...the only bottled SN brew I've yet to try and my first barleywine as well! This pours a beautiful deep mahogany amber red with a small half inch head. Looks great in my SN snifter glass. The smell has some lovely caramel malt notes with a huge hop presence. Some candied fruit tones come through...plums..raisins. The alcohol is there as well...very complex smell that keeps my nose going back for more.

The first sip is massive!! The rich caramel malts intertwine magically with the wonderfully piney, citrusy hops. The fruit tones come through on the palate as well. Sweet and bitter play a tug of war and it seems like it ends up a tie...everyone wins. If there is a nectar of life then this may very well be it. A very complex brew that is best sipped. I love the biterness on the back of the palate. I just can't believe I haven't tried this sooner!

Mouthfeel is excellent. Not too thin, not too syrupy....this goes down smooth...almost too smooth for 9.6%abv. Carbonation is just right. As for drinkability...I'd imagine I could have a few of these on a cold night...probably no more than two..but overall it's a damn tasty brew that does not dissapoint. SN has been one of my faves before ever trying Bigfoot...and now after trying it they've just gone up another notch in my book. I got a few more in the cellar...let's see what happens...

Thanks to Ninjaworm for the opportunity to sample this fine brew.

2005 Expedition - 3-29-05:

Hops are more upfront in the nose than the 2004...citric and piney with the same strong malty background. Nice creamy two finger head. First sip brings a rush of bitter hoppy goodness...definetly "green"...but in a good way, especially for the hopheads. A nice caramel nut chewy malt background. Just a tasty, enjoyable brew again this year. Good full mouthfeel and quite drinkable. I have a sixer saved for when I go camping this summer...can't wait for that!

 1,989 characters

Photo of diablo14
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the name bigfoot is well earned for sure. its not hairy but its massive and certainly gave me a kick i wont be forgetting in a hurry. not convinced its a barley wine compared to others ive tried, but whatever it is its still a marvellous brew in anyones language.

delightful rich, deep ruby color with mahogany panes, and a dense but not huge white head which held forth till i was done. the smell alone is enuff to sit you on your ass. mammoth piney hops and caramel malt aromas erupt from the bottle the second its opened. on decanting it also exudes some lovely citrus and dried fruit notes and a hint of chocolate. extremly rich in body, it has big ticket characters, caramel, chocolate, fruit, and something a little smokey in there. all backed with some mindblowing sprucey hops, the bitterness of which fair popped the shoes right off my feet. not usually big on hops of this magnitude, but the beers different elements called for it. i suppose having said all this it was quite complex, like a fine wine, and could cellar well for several years. perhaps ive just talked myself into this being a barley wine without question haha.

no matter, big foot is a dead set ripper of a brew that i just didnt get to have enuff of. one of the best ive had the pleasure of consuming this year. thanks to malto for the sample (and recommendation)

 1,348 characters

Photo of beerceller99
4.87/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2002 bottling from Nov.' 03 notes.
Pours a dark brown reddish hue with a slight head that leaves a decent lace. Still a big floral alcohol smell though not as pronounced as a " fresh " bottle.The taste is huge and chewy; caramel dark raison sweetness with a big hop and alcohol presence.
The huge hop intensity and raw alcohol taste has refined since this was bottled some 22 months ago. This makes it a much more drinkable brew. One of the best Bigfoots of any age or bottling.

 483 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.