Bigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Bigfoot Barleywine-Style AleBigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale
7,518 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: 7,518 |  Reviews: 3,066
Photo of MattMorin
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of crimsonfloyd
4.46/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A reddish brown with light tan head that leaves dense lace. Smells lightly of syrup and lightly of grain. Taste is sweet and thick, like molasses and brown sugar. A slight blackberry flavor as well. Finishes with a hot, burnt, charcoal flavor. I'm not too experienced with barelywine, so I don't have a lot of comps, but I really joined this beer.

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Photo of JuiceMan818
4.16/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of docdeens
4.81/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of songoftheeclipse
4.11/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of woodychandler
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I am still deeply involved in the eradication of the Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody and it perplexes me as to how I have not reviewed Bigfoot before now. No time like the present, I suppose.

From the bottle: "Bigfoot is a beast of a beer, brimming with bold, bittersweet malt flavor and heaps of whole-cone Pacific Northwest hops. First introduced in 1983, Bigfoot is a cult classic prized by beer collectors. Drink it fresh or cellar it in a cool, dark place to taste as the flavors develop over time."

My first dip into this particular pool with be with a very young, very fresh 2017 bottle. Having Pop!ped the cap, a gentle pour seemed to be the order of the day. A vigorous in-glass swirl raised just under two fingers of dense, foamy, deep-tan/light-brown head with decent retention that left behind loads of sticky lacing as it fell. Color was Coppery-Brown (SRM = > 17, < 22) with NE-quality clarity. Nose was boozy with a minty, piney quality. As I said, this bottle is young and will undoubtedly smooth out, given sufficient time. Mouthfeel was big and thick, like a dollop had been scooped onto my tongue. Ahhh! It burns! Well, kind of, anyway. It was definitely a young version of this beer, evincing a lot of fusel alcohol heat to go along with all of those piney, minty hops. Phew! The hops were really overwhelming the malts at this stage in its development, but I will agree with their mention of "bittersweet". This was definitely an American Barleywine. Finish was dry, hot, boozy & evocative of another nap. Jeez-o, man, I just awoke from one! This is no playin' around.

And now, a 2016 vintage on M, 19 June 2017.

I Pop!ped this 1.5 year-old cap and commenced the gentlest pour possible. It was clearly not done fermenting as the head just kept rising during the pour to create a finger of creamy, dense, layered, deep-tan/light-brown head with phenomenal retention. Color was Brown to Dark Brown (SRM = > 22, < 27) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had begun to take on a leathery quality. Mouthfeel was surprisingly thin-to-medium, not watery, but close. The hops, while still minty, had begun to fade, giving rise to an alcohol heat underlain by that leathery, bready maltiness noted on the nose. I felt like it was still in its early stages, much more hoppy than I would like in a Barleywine, even if it was of an American bent. The hops have to fade & die at some point, which is why I actually prefer the English Barleywines, even as a hophead. Finish was dry, mainly due to the unrelenting heat of the alcohol. I am sure that it will die down like the embers of a fire.

Next up, a 2013 vintage again on M, 19 June 2017.

The Pop! of the cap was uneventful, so I commenced a VERY gentle pour. It quickly became clear that it had lost none of its carbonation as I garnered better than a finger of dense, foamy, deep-tan/light-brown head with fantastic retention. Color was a gorgeous Coppery-Brown (SRM = > 17, < 22) with NE-quality clarity. It had the same rusty sheen as the hair on my beloved Linda Lou who I lost to a deployment as she married another man. Sigh. Mouthfeel was medium with a carbonated quality that seemed to scrub my tongue. The taste was STILL driven by pine & evergreen, underlain by the emerging leatheriness. OMFG! How long does it take?!? Finish was still rather hot & in need of more aging! Wow.

It is now T, 20 June 2013 & Mr. Peabody's WAYBAC machine takes us to 2005!

No head, even with a swirl. Color has deepened to a Brown to Dark Brown (SRM = > 22, < 27) and the clarity is crystal-clear. Nose has an anise aspect to accompany the leatheriness that has been common throughout. Mouthfeel was soft, very lightly carbonated, but the alcohol heat was becoming very pronounced. The taste was extremely leathery with undercurrents of dried dark fruits like currants, prunes & raisins. Finish was now as dry as any sherry. Phew!

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Photo of ABabbidge
3.99/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2017 version, reviewed about 4 months after bottling.

L: Reddish-brown body with a creamy light tan head.

S: I get mostly caramel malt. A little bit of pine and some raisins and other dark fruits.

T: Pretty intense flavor. A good play back and forth between the caramel like malts and bitterness of the hops. Hops are very bitter and intense with a lot of pine and earthy notes. Although it is pretty intense, it seems to be balanced pretty well.

F: Pretty full bodied and creamy. Lingering bitterness/dryness.

O: As excepted, this is very bitter as young as it is. There are some definite fruity undertones that I think might be more pronounced if this had a year or two to age. I'll try to find out.

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Photo of Shmallory0
4.52/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Dark amber color with a lot of head when poured. Has a little bit of bitterness but not overbearing due to the little bit of maltiness that it has. Delicious!

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Photo of jcflorian
4.18/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of cyclonece09
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Pours deep red with a small off white head. Smells of sweet fruitiness and just a hint of pine. Tastes of raisins, slight berry and just a hint of hop bite. Beer is full bodied with heavier carbonation and a good sipper. Overall, a very good beer.

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Photo of Maestro0708
4.77/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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

Poured a beautiful copper red/brown with a 3 finger fluffy milkshake tan head. Heavy lacing. Aroma of sweet toffee, malt, prunes and piney hops. Tastes of caramel, malt and noticeable piney hops on the tail end. This is a big bold tasting brew! The beer has a full body with moderate carbonation, A pronounced oiliness is present. You feel the alcohol after a few sips.

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Photo of BrentMcQuirk
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jaketaz
3.81/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Grizzarky
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DallasK
4.34/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Spoild
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Stofko1992
4.11/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jrsqc7
4.11/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Clear deep red with lightly off white head with heaps and heaps of lacing.

Flavor includes burnt biscuits after warming; initially it's fruity mostly plums and flathead cherries. Very smooth feel.

Good. Very good.

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Photo of princessbay710
4.53/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Transparent brown. Amazingly sweet smell. Taste is like a strange fruit I've never tried. A bit too strange. Dark malts, slightly winey finish. All in all it's not quite what I was expecting or what I've gotten from other barleywines.

This beer is incredible this go around, has characteristics similar to a porter but instead of the caramel, coffee, cocoa malts it's much more fruity and refreshing, alongside excellent carbonation and a smooth mouthfeel.

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

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

Photo of Hoppy_Time
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Aged just over a year:

Pours a deep coppery Brown with a one finger off white head. Dissipates within a couple minutes to a little veil of bubbles and a halo. Some alcohol legs.

Aromas of rich toffee and malt, dates, prunes, sweet dark fruit. Lesser notes of caramel, brulee, papaya, and a hint of nuttiness.

Taste is sweet dark fruit up front, mostly prunes and dates, some raisin, caramel, toffee, and some of that nuttiness that came through on the nose. Then as the sweetness mellows out the bitter starts to come through, playing on flavors of black tea, rooibos, dark chocolate, burnt sugar, peat, and pine. It's a rather bold bitterness drawing off from both char and herbal qualities.

It's light to medium bodied, fairly smooth with a light tingly carbonation. Slightly astringent and a touch of heat from the alcohol.

This is a very bold and classic American Barleywine, starting off similar to it's English brethren but bursting with bitterness on the finish. It's a sipper but not incredibly intricate. My favorite part is the tea like flavors as the sweetness fades and the bitterness enters.

 1,109 characters

Photo of Chackman151
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of SGR1220
3.85/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.14 out of 5 with 7,518 ratings
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