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Bigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Bigfoot Barleywine-Style AleBigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale
7,527 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,527 |  Reviews: 3,070
Photo of mychalg9
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of VaterRoss
4.78/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle split with a friend, Red Oak becker, 2012 batch

Appearance is a gorgeous ruby with an incredibly persistent off-white head (hund around for almost an hour). Smell is like being punched in the nose by hops, super oily grapefruit smell. Malt must be there as it is almost balanced, but sweetness is blasted aside by powerful grapefruit hops with notes of pine and tangerine. My god, this is a hoppy brew and a slow sipper. Body is pretty light considering the hops and medium carbed, it almost burns in the palette from hops alone.

Best American barley I have had, nice body that avoids the syrup and smokiness so common in American barleywines.

 657 characters

Photo of sdcherto
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Deconstructionis
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours reddish brown with a creamy egg shell head which dissipates. Moderate carbonation with medium sized bubbles. The aroma is complex, malt, herbs and something I'd descibe as woodsy-- like the forest in the fall. It's strong tasting as you would expect and want from the style, very malty and rich but not sweet with a definite alcohol warmth and something that for lack of a better term I'll again call woodsy.This is a thick brew but not cloying as there are sufficient hops and a spicy/herbal aftertaste to balance the richness.

Overall, I'd highly recommend this to people who enjoy barleywines. I'm never quite sure what "drinkability" is supposed to convey. This is a tasty beer with nothing i would think would be off putting to anyone who likes big beers, but no barleywine is something meant to be drank quickly or in large amounts.

 846 characters

Photo of Polycarp
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Auracom
3.76/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Really thought I had reviewed this one before. Had it on-tap a few times but decided to grab a 2012 bottle. 12 oz. poured into a CBS snifter on May 10th, 2012.

A - Semi-clear, deep ruby-brown with blood red hues. Great looking three fingers' worth of a light khaki head, very tight bubbles. Good retention and great lacing. Moderate alcohol legs.

S - Huge pine tree and ripe ruby grapefruit at the forefront. Malt bill is primarily caramel, light raisins, and rye bread. Alcohol solvency at the very back.

T - Front to mid-palate expresses quite a lot of sweetness from citrusy fruit, caramel malts, brown sugar. There's a big bitter swing into the rear-palate. Robust pineyness and astringency.

M - Moderate body, semi smooth, medium (and appropriate) carbonation. sweet, residual sugary finish. Alcohol warming on the backend.

D - It's not the most complex barleywine, but it is pretty dynamic across the drink. It is too hot and a maybe too brash when young. A staple for the old ale redone ala-west-coast.

 1,015 characters

Photo of JVan
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of RyanRiley
3/5  rDev -27.5%

Photo of danieelol
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage.

Pours a lovely golden amber with great head and very complex lacing.

Smell is very subtle. Lots of SN's distinctive hopping/yeast style. Complex and get lots of CCC hops. In fact I quite I quite enjoy the subtle nose for what is normally an intense style. Lots of pine and a bit of toffee showing through. A little bit of alcoholic spice. More pine, almost christmas-tree like. Bit of cherry syrup and apricot jam.

Finally we get to the taste. This is massively hoppy. Loads of bittering hops, and they really shine through, murdering your palate in conjunction with some sweet malt which nevertheless knows its place.

Mouthfeel is just massive bittersweetness.

An intense beer, the first I've had from Sierra Nevada which lives up to its reputation. Great for a hop fix and presumably for a malty treat later in its lifespan, although I suspect it needs a decent stint in the cellar to subdue those bittering hops.

This is a slow sipper and for me, one is easily enough.

 991 characters

Photo of gutbuster
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of StubFaceJoe
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of srw
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Piason
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of TrappistJohnMD
4.13/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours ruby color with thick off-white head that leaves lots of sticky lacing along walls of glass.

Smell has lots of grapefruit, alcohol and other fruit notes.

Taste follows the smell. There is lots of hoppy citrus. Some malty sweetness with a good bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with average carbonation.

Overall this was good. Glad I got a six pack to age a few.

 379 characters

Photo of hinemk76
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Hoptimus_Prime
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of sentomaster
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Soft notes of Citrus and pine gently mix with a pronounced, but over the top malty sweetness of toasty caramel and raw sugar cane. A bit of alcohol fruitiness.

follows the news but more robust. The citrus and pine are sort just as in the nose with hints of fresh lemon, orange peel, and even some mint flavor. A full and husky body provides a grainy but smooth backdrop. A full malty sweetness is somehow not at all dominating, but perfectly integrated with just the right amount of light to moderate toasty flavors ranging from nutty to bready. Among everything the caramel sweetness and alcohol eaters mix.

Perfectly integrated flavors with a fantastically smooth and at the same time grainy profile. It all works in harmony

 744 characters

Photo of goodbeerallday
4.53/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured in tulip

A: velvet red with a slight brown. extremely creamy off white head which finishes at about 2 fingers. falls away in a fluffy coating . low to mild carbonation visible when held to light.

S: very earthy nose with a ringing scent of alcohol. hops are present in this as well, not overly predominant but there.

T: a reasonable amount of abv present with some oak notes and pine. rich and and full bodied accompanied with some spice and a lingering bitterness from the hop profile which leaves behind a creamy, fully flavoured smooth barley wine.

M: very full, overwhelmingly rich with a swarming easing tingle from spice and bitterness.

O: i love this beverage. would drink time and time again. would rate this beer so close to a 5/5 if the nose had more in it for me. an amazing beer yet again by SN

 819 characters

Photo of Beer4Baltimore
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of RollBeerTide
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of IBU99
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of theminutemen
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of OtsegoHive
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of vonnegut21
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of SaxmanRick
4.77/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

While I have enjoyed Sierra Nevada Big Foot for many years, I realized today that I had not formally reviewed this benchmark/landmark American Barleywine. Today’s 2014 (almost 2 yrs old) Big Foot, was served into a SN Torpedo English pint glass. I have been lucky to share a 6-yr vertical recently and have an appreciation for the pace and manner of Big Foot aging.

12oz bottle pour with a two-finger, off-white dense head. Lacing was solid (literally) and left thick sets of rings as the level dropped. Liquid was dark amber, maybe a slight haze.

Smell was rich caramel with a hop balance. A definite, but slight, alcohol presence. Some red fruits (dark cherry or plum). Very inviting. You know from the smell that this is going to be an epic beer.

For an American Barleywine (higher hops, thinner MF), this ale ranks at the top. First two years of cellaring tend to feature super hops with a solid malt base. 3-5 years feature a fabulous malt base – very caramelly, some hop attitude – but still balanced and fabulous. Year 2 might actually give the best of both worlds…hops, fruit, caramel, sweet, alcohol.

This is definitely not like an IPA or even an IIPA. The mouthfeel is just slightly syrupy, thicker than typical ale. Just right for this style.

This BW has been a favorite of mine for many years. But, stepping back to review it reminds me why this is a benchmark that others will be compared to. If I only had one brand of BW the rest of my life, I would, without hesitation, choose SNBF.

 1,526 characters

Bigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.14 out of 5 with 7,527 ratings
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