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Bigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Bigfoot Barleywine-Style AleBigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale
7,531 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:
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Ratings: 7,531 |  Reviews: 3,070
Photo of thatdavegy
2.5/5  rDev -39.6%

Photo of Independant
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a brilliant dark tawny color with a one finger heavy cream head with impressive retention/lacing for the ABV. The yeast settles in the bottom of the snifter after a while.

S: A strong hoppiness dominates (both piny and grapefruit aromas) that would seemingly indicate it being an DIPA, but there's some nice (if subtle) candied sugar in the smell, too.

T: There's a big hit of opening bitterness from the grapefruit, pine, mango, and apricot flavors, which smooths out some after subsequent sips. I think it could use a bit more lingering sweetness on the finish, but this is surprisingly easy drinking. Still, I wanted more of the caramel and toffee notes to appear to help balance it better. The alcohol is noticeable, culminating in a finishing taste of rum-soaked raisins mixing itself fairly well with the lingering bitterness. I want to try this aged, to see how the malt backbone comes out in comparison to the faded alcohol and hops.

M: Quite creamy at first, which then fades into a somewhat drying hoppy finish. You can definitely feel the booze in this one going down the throat, but it's not 'hot' by any stretch. The body is fairly thick, with lowish carbonation.

O: I didn't know what to expect from this (considering I have literally no experience with barleywines), apart from the fact that it was from Sierra Nevada, meaning this would probably be hoppy. All told, it's a good introduction to barleywines, but it just falls short of true greatness to me. Having said that, it's biggest flaws (its hoppiness and noticeable booze) can be ironed out by aging it for a year. I'll buy it again for the sake of doing just this.

 1,675 characters

Photo of unshodjogger
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Bito401
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

You had this beer. Write a review.

Photo of rinhaak
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of brandon911
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of steamboatbrewer
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of r0gueleader
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bigfoot pours a nice amber brown with hints of ruby red when held to light. The head is a thick foamy eggshell with great retention that leaves behind a spider web of lacing as it recedes. Even a mediocre beer looks great in a snifter, but this one fits the glass perfect. A very sexy brew.

At first, I’m getting everything I expected on the nose. An even balance of piny hops and sweet, malty caramel. A little booze hovers in the middle, but is certainly not over powering (we’ve got a respectable 9.6% abv here, folks). As I get about halfway down the glass and the beer warms, things get more interesting. Swirling to release volatiles gives up a pleasing, flowery quality. I describe it as lavender and Dave agrees. The hops have faded at this point and it’s really become a mixture of estery perfume, sweet pear fruit and a bourbon like alcohol.

The taste closely mirrors the bouquet as I’d hoped. A bitter piny bite leads the front. Then sweet caramel and pear fruit, almost like a caramel apple wash over the tongue and thanks to the oily mouth-feel, the flowery esters cling to the back of the palate, leaving a grassy, herbal finish. It actually reminds me a bit of what I expect a good Belgian IPA to taste like.

Bigfoot is a complex and intriguing beer that I can recommend highly.

 1,305 characters

Photo of craftbeer31
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of GehenHerzog
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of BadLemur
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Photo of nitro0292
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Photo of Jsmitty1967
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of bdoughty
4/5  rDev -3.4%

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

2012 Bigfoot, tasted in Feb 2012. Big, big nose. Hop aromas are a mix between clear/crisp and pungent -- I’ve never smelled those aromas in balance before, and it is great. Also pulling in some malty sweetness. Big head explodes on pour. Beautiful amber color.

Entry is much more pungent than I expected. VERY flavorful. Not that much carbonation in the mouth. Exits with a little sweetness, and a touch of alcohol. Leaves a pretty heavy load of puckery bitterness in the back of the mouth mixed with a sweet aftertaste. Some floral notes toward the back-half of the palate? Keeps threatening to dip into that ‘syrupy’ hops flavor I’m not a fan of, but never really falls off the cliff.

Overall: A-, For a beer this big it really holds together!

 757 characters

Photo of BeerBucks
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

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

My first barleywine, and I have to say I will be getting more.

A - Dark red with a big, frothy white head. Leaves a lot of lacing.

S - Heavy smell of pine hops and citrus, grapefruit mostly.

T - Starts off with a heavy dose of piney, floral hops, with good grapefruit and lemon flavors. Malts are sweet and provide some balance but there is no doubt the hops are the star here. Tail end yields some darker fruits, mostly prune, and finishes slightly bitter with some alcohol warmth.

M - Mildy carbonated, texture is rather creamy as it warms. A heavy beer, but it fits.

O - This is an excellent beer, and is a style I'm glad to have tried. I will be getting more of this, perhaps aging a couple bottles from the next set.

 726 characters

Photo of TWStandley
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 2012 bottle into my Portsmouth Brewery Tulip Snifter.

Poured a dark purplish red color, mostly see-through. Produced a relatively light cream colored head with some good lacing left on my glass.

Smell is very complex. At first I pick up a piney hop smell, followed closely by some dark fruits, port wine, and grape scents. Alcohol esters can be detected as well.

Taste follows closely what the smell was. First I tasted some piney hop flavors, followed by some dark fruit/wine tastes. Reminded me a bit of the Gloog my Grandmother makes at Christmas. A bit of alcohol flavors are left behind.

Mouthfeel is typical for a beer of this size. Pretty warm, but very comforting. Nice and thick, but not too harsh.

I really enjoy SN Bigfoot, and have had many different vintages. I set half of my six pack to cellar to see if the heat dies down with a few years on it. Once again, a great SN offering, and one I will continue to purchase.

 950 characters

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

2012 bottle (date on cap & label) served in a pint glass.

A. Dark reddish-amber with 1+ finger of bone-colored head. The head is markedly thick, has great retention and leaves plentiful sticky lacing. There's a very slight haze, but both coarse and fine carbonation bubbles can be seen rising from the bottom of the glass. No room for improvement here.

S: The first thing to strike me was the clear hop aroma, with a mixed of resin (primary) and citrus (secondary). This is no IPA, however, and there's a solid, sweet malt base, and hints of brandy and dark fruits. High ABV becomes increasingly evident with warming, but still mixes nicely with the other aromatics.

T: Caramel malt sweetness up front is quickly replaced with a big bitter hop hit. Relatively strong, hoppy and bitter finish and aftertaste. ABV is fairly well hidden.

M: Moderate carbonation. Rather full body. Smooth. Inevitable impact of high ABV does have a negative impact on the mouthfeel.

O: This is a big beer in aroma, appearance, and flavor. Would not be out of place in a DIPA tasting session: it may well stick out less in a group of DIPA than with a bunch of other barleywines. Tasty, but consume slowly.

{Re-tasted March 2013 -- aged nicely and is a better, less-hoppy beer. Ratings partially adjusted for aged version}

 1,309 characters

Photo of mctizzz
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of abcramer
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of cjtwigger
3/5  rDev -27.5%

Photo of chilly460
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep honey/amber, somewhat cloudy. Three fingers of thick, tightly bubbled, lightly tanned head dissipated slowly, leaving globs of foam along the sides.

S: Immediately dominated by citrus hops and pine. They're quite intertwined, can't pick out a definite "citrusy" or "piney" prevalence. The malt background is impressive, scents of caramel, toffee, and maybe some maple syrup. Some raw boozy smell in there too, clean

T: I get a lot of piney hoppiness hitting first here, not so much of the citrus I got in the nose. Ther are hints of lemon and grapefruit though, just not prevalent. Nice malt background here, quite subdued, but dry biscuits, not so much sweet caramel as expected from the nose.

M: Quite nice, medium to full body, tightly bubbled to give it a velvety feel.

O: Not a big Barleywine fan, but I liked this. To be honest, drank a lot like a huge DIPA to me, I feel there is a wide range in the style and I liked that the malts were subdued here.

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Bigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.14 out of 5 with 7,531 ratings
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