Bigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

7,507 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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,507 |  Reviews: 3,059
Photo of saburky
3/5  rDev -27.5%

Photo of prdstmnky
4/5  rDev -3.4%

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

A - Dark amber with a nice thin white head

S - Pine with some hoppy florral notes

T - Toffee, big malts, finish is a nice hop bitterness

M - Heavy body, oily mouthfeel, smooth finish

O - One of the better barleywine's i've had. Always a solid offering from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of Roguer
4.12/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Beautiful beer. Darkly translucent, brown with glowing auburn highlights. Almost two fingers of thick, clingy, off-white foam, leaving enormous amounts of lacing.

S - Citrus and pine, but relatively subdued.

T - Wow, a huge dose of malts. Caramel, wood, vanilla. Balanced with some bright hop notes - mostly pine, but a hint of citrus. I normally don't like beers with this kind of malt profile, but this is supremely well-balanced.

M - Thin but oily; medium feel. Clings all over your mouth, leaving a dull, woody aftertaste reminiscent of tobacco. Quite a bit of foam from chewing and swishing. Huge dose of liquor-like alcohol.

O - This is my first barleywine, so I have little to which I can compare it. I see the resemblance to old DIPAs; there's definitely a heavier focus on the malts.

2013, poured into a Duvel tulip.

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Photo of ScottRansom
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of pascilla
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Juuroumaru
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of micko323
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of JamLand
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of DSkilling
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of trocketsauced
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of BostonPhilly
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Brewman123
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of camartin27
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Erice78
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of SmashPants
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: reasonable brown bottle with an original and decent label. I also like the inside of the bottle cap, which has a picture of Bigfoot sharing a beer. Very cute.

Appearance: orange-ruby in colour, quite clear but with a light haze. A one-finger beige head pops up and retreats to a thin film over 30 seconds. Decent lacing also - looks good.

Aroma: definite heavy fruits and brandy up front. Some sweet caramels in the back. Quite interesting.

Taste: sweet caramels and toffee with some hop bitterness - pretty good actually.

Aftertaste: the hop bitterness becomes more intense and biting - and not in a good way. It is accompanied by an unpleasant ethanol-like alcohol. Nowhere near as pleasant as the initial taste.

Mouth feel: heavier in body and smooth, with moderate carbonation to bring the flavour through.

Overall: not a bad barleywine all told, but really not worth the price, especially when compared to cheaper yet betterrounded barleywines from brewers like Moylan's or Green Flash.

 1,005 characters

Photo of FrankK
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of MPSTARR
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of FrostyWPG
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of davesway10
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of norinco
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of ahermsen
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of nollie77
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of chuckv
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of Jadjunk
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

"Bigfoot is a beast of a beer, brimming with flavor from massive amounts of roasted malt and spicy hops; brewed in the barleywine style, with a rich, bittersweet body and whole-cone Pacific Northwest hops." Brewed in the style of an American Barleywine. Released annually in January. 2013 marks the realignment of this beer into the 4-pack imperial series amongst Narwhal Imperial Stout and Hoptimum Double IPA. Despite the dropping of 2 bottles, it's still a bargain at under $10 per 4-pack.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a snifter. Served north of 57º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a frothy caramel cream head with a mild airiness to it. Body color is a medium hazy red amber with light sediment and moderate carbonation. Retention is slightly above average and lacing is light and thin. Head quality is oddly shallow for the fresh batch. 3.5

(Smell) Aromas of roasted, clean caramel malt, piney, herbal and mellow citrusy hop blends, followed with a pinch of sharp alcohol. Aroma is well rounded with a decent touch of grain husk and hop character to round out the malt sweetness. Altogether it's a very accessible aroma. Potency is medium. 4

(Taste) Up front waves of husky grain malt, rough around the edges and a moderate slick sweetness with a touch of bready smoothness. It finishes out with a peppery, citrusy and herbal hop bouquet with a strikingly bitter and perky dry finish. The alcohol makes its way into the finish but is nicely concealed by an abrasive hop perk. It's a slow sipper, but a worthy one. 4.25

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick with just a touch of carbonation. Body is medium amongst Barleywines, medium/heavy overall. Balance is slightly hot over bitter over malty. Malt depth is a touch reserved for a fresh batch, but will likely grow bolder given time and thicken up the body some accordingly. Carbonation is just right for the style, not too perky and not too shallow. 4.25

(Overall) Bigfoot Barleywine is a beast of a beer with lots of bitter hop action and a slick, candied malt sweetness to round it out. I spoiled myself by drinking this alongside the verticals and found it a fantastic beer on it's own, yet wait until you try it with some age on it. The possibilities this beer has to age are seemingly endless. This is certainly a great staple representative of the American Barleywine style and I have been picking up some annually for the value and quality it maintains. If you choose to start your Barleywine expedition with any given Barleywine, this is a prime candidate. 4.25

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.'s
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale

Vertical Notes:

2012 Bigfoot (1 Year, 6 Months Aged):

Pours a slightly more golden cream head, thicker in consistency albeit much improved retention and lacing. Sediment is far more heavy. Aroma is notably more husky and robust, collectively less clean. The hop character is fading but still largely intact, herbal hops prevail and the subtleties or citrus and floral notes fade to the background. Alcohol is still notable, although a touch less hot than in the fresh batch. One year makes a difference in flavor with a more revealed sweet malt character and a faded, but still highly potent hop bitterness. The flavor gives way to some unusual yeast characteristics- hints of pronounced pepper, figs and raisins are subtle but far more notable with a milder, more rounded flavor. Alcohol is still very perky and hot, but collectively this is a more drinkable beer than the fresh vintage. Feels very much like a work-in-progress with a half-developed malt and hop profile, still a little rough around the edges and too young to settle down.

2011 Bigfoot (2 Years, 6 Months Aged):

Appearance is similar in quality to the 1 year batch, a touch more foamy and lighter in complexion. More intense carbonation and finer sediment. Aroma is similar to the 1 year batch, the malt bill is slightly cleaner and more bready with hints of peppery and herbal hops still permeating, but becoming increasingly one-dimensional in light of a smooth barley-led character. Aroma is rounding out significantly, the alcohol pinch is tough to spot out in the open. Two and a half years has given this beer a great deal of time to mature and round out any off-notes even more. Expect a faint growing dryness amongst a developed slick malt base with just a touch of creaminess and a fuller body. Hop presence is relegated to some mild bitterness, still balancing out the flavors well. Candied malt characters are coming out from the yeast- dark fruits more notable than ever before, yet still traces of the depth this beer has. Alcohol presence is finally backing off. This beer is going places with age, much more committed than 1.5 years but still certainly not at the end of its journey. I'll keep aging a few bottles to see where this takes us in the coming years.

Recommended Vintage: Fresh or 2.5 years+

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Bigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.14 out of 5 based on 7,507 ratings.
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