Bigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

7,490 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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,490 |  Reviews: 3,055
Photo of BelgianDip
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Photo of vitese
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Pellinore1
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Photo of MichaelBurns
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of fmccormi
4.29/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Straight pour from a 12oz pry-off bottle to a 25cl Duvel Single tulip; bottling date of November 30, 2012 printed in yellow ink on the shoulder of the bottle in a Julian variant (“2335207:26”), making this beer just over ten weeks old.

Appearance (4.5): This pours two and a half fingers of very fine-looking, cappuccino foam-colored head. Light tan and just beautiful. The body is a slightly hazy, ruby-amber color that, again, is just beautiful. This leaves tons of lacing and boasts far above average retention, taking a very long time to die down while leaving thin collars and webby patches of lace wherever it’s been. For the style, this beer is killer.

Smell (4.25): Rich caramel and toffee mix with dark fruits (raisins and plums) with warming, spicy alcohol keepin’ it lively. Spicy and fruity hops aromas brighten it up a bit, with red grapefruit flesh and a mix of rye-type spiciness and resin adding another dimension.

Taste (4.25): All of the same malt depth picked up in the nose shows on the palate: rich, caramel-soaked cereal graininess comes off like a rich coffee cake-type flavor, mixed with toffee, prunes, brandied plums, raisins, and plenty of booziness. Damn—rich and hot, which I certainly appreciate for this style (and other things in life). There’s a solid citrus zest and vegetal bitterness on the back end (Centennial?) that helps dry out the finish, though even the ABV and hops bitterness can’t overshadow the complex malt depth here. Very balanced.

Mouthfeel (4.5): Wonderful feel: subdued carbonation at first gives way to an extremely fine-grained prickle that reaches every surface, leaving a sheen of hop oiliness all over the place; the hop oils and ABV help to make this a dry-finishing beer, ultimately, but the full-feeling weight of the body and the chewiness of the malt stand up to it all.

Overall (4.25): Yep, big fan of Bigfoot. Very solid beer, and a really classic representation of the style; it may not be as big or as hoppy or as rich or as hot as a lot of other examples, but it makes up for all of these things with balance and, to be frank, a degree of finesse. (Not that there’s anything understated about this at all.) Cheers to Sierra Nevada, for making this beer and continuing to fire on all cylinders, even after all these years (even if this IS one of their most classic products).

 2,368 characters

Photo of Rollzroyce21
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Miamilice
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Photo of andylipp
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Photo of avaldivia
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of DocDownUnder
5/5  rDev +20.8%

Photo of Agold
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Jwren5
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of bombadil
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of brewskifan55
3.92/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 2010 bottle into a snifter

Appearance: iced tea brown/orange with a half finger head that lingers; strong lacing

Smell: piney, hops pop up. Barley included

Taste: Hop start that goes pow. Explodes on the taste buds. Strong barley presence. Bitter finish. Alcohol comes in loud and clear.

Mouthfeel: medium, creamy

Overall: my first barleywine was a weird, wunnerful, hoppy experience. Not for the faint of heart. Mixes well with cheddar. Drink it slow and prepare for a nice nap. Might have had more malt presence with age.

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

Ok so I did a side by side tasting of a 2011, 2002, 2001, and 1998 and this review is of my favorite of the 4. Let me start off by saying I hated the beer fresh I found it overly hoppy for a barleywine and the flavor not very good.

So this is a review of the 1998 aged 13 years.

Look: Dark mahogany in color and of course no head a slight off white ring at the top of the beer

Smell: Dark fruits raisins plums and a very sweet malt backbone and believe it or not a just note of alcohol still present

Taste: Very very complex and it reminds me a real good belgian dubble. Great dark fruit flavors plums raisin and figs. Age has been very kind to this beer

Mouthfeel: Full body and no carbonation and a bit chewy

Overall: Again time has been great to this beer. The 02' and 01' were really good as well but the 98' was just slightly better. I have a 95' 94' and 93' that I can't wait to try out

 899 characters

Photo of Innocentexile
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into 20oz. pint glass

A-Dark amber/brownish colour. preatty good sized head thats pretty frothy

S-Pine aroma with some citrus. inviting

T/M-really smooth with almost no carbonation. malt at first that ends in a cascade of hoppy goodness

O-Enjoyable. tastes a little less flamboyant than other barleywines i've tried.

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

A- golden brown color with a light tan head and decent lacing

S-yeast and malt aromas with some citrus and pine

T-heavy roasted malt flavor with a rich sweetness that fades to a hoppy finish

F-smooth mediun body with moderate carbonation

O-good flavor and balance, a nice change of pace

 290 characters

Photo of JMWEB2
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A very dark amber and copper color, solid 2 finger head, some nice lacing, looks great.

S: Hoppy caramel scent, also got a little citrus as well, and the malt is there too.

T: Got the sweetness and caramel, and the hops are rich, some spice as well. Sweetness in the finish gives way as you drink.

M: Medium body, somewhat creamy.

O: Nice clean and crisp, I'm pleasantly surprised. Sierra Nevada did nice job, glad I finally tried it.

 441 characters

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

2001 vintage tasted on 11/01/11.

Pours murky light brown with a nice amber head.

There are still a lot of hops in the aroma, but after ten years the malts dominate. Lots of similarities to port at this poiint. I love port.

Toffee, sweet bread, some grass and lemon peel hang around in the mouth. Lots of righ character and depth.

The feel is still creamy, surprisingly. Not watery like some older beer can become.

Overall, this was a great experience. Thankfully I have a couple more of this vintage to enjoy later on. This could still go for quite some time.

 564 characters

Photo of modernartblues
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from Notes, Poured into a Tulip at Prime 16 (late October 2011)---I am assuming a 2010 keg

A: dark red, big white head, excellent lacing

N: hoppy and full bodied malt, classic citrusy Sierra Nevada nose, more DIPA like than barleywine for my money

T: sweet malt is more than balanced by the grapefruit bitterness from the hops, complex and changes as it warms

M: pretty thick, and coats the palate, but enjoyable

O: This is pretty intensely hoppy for a beer brewed almost a year ago. It may not be a barleywine to style, but its probably my favorite barleywine to date. Really enjoyed and will def. be picking up a sixer come 2012.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Vierenner
3.33/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fantastic beer on all fronts except for the sharp hop bite which strikes several seconds after a swallow and sticks around. The mouthfeel and taste are remarkably good. There is a floral sweetness and a bright, exciting flavor ... until the hops take over and ruin the whole experience.

 291 characters

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

2011 bottle

Pours a crystal clear ruby red with a huge off white head that does not go away and laces.

Smells of sweet, caramel malt with some grapefruit, biscuit, and honey notes.

Taste is up front sweet, bready malt with honey notes, some slight fruit character that fades into a hop bitter finish and ends on a sweet note. The hop character is present but somewhat subdued in this now that it has a bit of age on it. Some slight citrus notes from the hops but this one is all about the bready/biscuit character.

Medium bodied with low carbonation work well enough. It is sweet but not cloying, and there is noticeable alcohol.

This beer is a nice hop forward barleywine. At this point the alcohol, sweetness, and hop characteristics have not quite blended making for an odd beer overall. It's in the awkward teen years. I'm hoping it gets through those and ends up a more interesting, satisfying beer. Still, not much to complain about here...

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Photo of Cmack15
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: caramel reddish rust

Aroma: malty fresh grains smell

Taste: malty sweetness hops not really coming through little boozy

Mouthfeel: nice carbonation medium body with a dry finish

Not familiar with this style so it would be unfair for me to say how good or bad a barleywine this is. The abv of this beer would be a nice sipper on a cold night.

 357 characters

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

Bigfoot 2011

A: Pours with a nice foam that takes a few minutes to dissipate. It has a deep cherry, amber color along with some nice mahogany.

S: Smell is a of sweet grapefruit, orange, and some candied tangerine. There is some pine and herbal notes as well.

T: There is a lot of pine, herb, and some lightly sweet malt in the background. There is also some grapefruit to the back end as well.

M: Rich, perfectly carbonated. It also rolls smoothly over the tongue with a rich maltyness.

O: This beer definitely needs some aging to be a barleywine, but right now it is definitely an amazing double IPA. It has a lot of rich hoppiness and some light maltiness. Even after almost a year, this is still extremely hoppy. And while sipping it has a great lacing quality. This beer I think needs at least 3-4 years before it has a nice malty sweetness, but even now it is a hopheads dream, and it's drinking amazingly well!

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

A - Cloudy amber and red color with a tan thick two finger head that sticks around and leaves great lacing, not too many bubbles.

S - Sweet and fruity malt, maybe some raisin and floral/pine hops. Yum!

T - Fruity malt that has some sweetness as the beer warms up and ends with some nice pine bitterness and a big of alcohol that taste very good with the very, kind of a rum raisin thing.

M - Full bodied beer, coats your mouth, low carbonation deliciousness.

O - Great beer that I want during all seasons, out of the bottles seems more sweet and malty than on tap, more hoppy, probably due to the freshness.

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Bigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.14 out of 5 based on 7,490 ratings.
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