Bigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Bigfoot Barleywine-Style AleBigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale
BA SCORE
4.14/5
Exceptional
7,592 Ratings
Bigfoot Barleywine-Style AleBigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
sierranevada.com

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.60%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Bigfoot is a beast of a beer, brimming with bold flavors of bittersweet malt and heaps of aggressive whole-cone Pacific Northwest hops. First introduced in the winter of 1983, Bigfoot is a cult-classic beer brewed in the barleywine style, meaning a strong, robust, bruiser of a beer with the refined intensity of a wine. Bigfoot is prized by beer collectors for its supreme cellarability. Under the proper conditions, it can age like a fine wine, developing new flavors and character as it matures in the bottle. Each new release or “expedition” is vintage dated. Collect your own and see the flavors develop and progress.

Added by kbub6f on 02-06-1998

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,650
Reviews:
3,094
Ratings:
7,592
pDev:
11.35%
Bros Score:
4.41
 
 
Wants:
422
Gots:
1,861
Trade:
70
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 7,592 |  Reviews: 3,094
Photo of gmfessen
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First time I've seen Bigfoot in stores, had to pick it up. Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, 2010 Bigfoot is a clear, copper-orange color with a thick, foamy, amber-tan colored hop head (no pun intended). Bubbles rise through the glass like Champagne. The nose, to no great surprise is mostly all west coast hops like grapefruit, pineapple, heavy pine resin and floral but there are also some grainy sweet and toasty notes to boot. Hop lover's bouquet! The flavor (to no surprise again) leans towards the hop side as well with the hop flavors previously mentioned, piney and resinous more than fruity. The malt does its best to balance but this one definitely leaves a bitter aftertaste. There is a slight alcohol burn, but nothing out of line for 9.6%. Mouthfeel is full in body with a minimal but chewy carbonation and semi-dry finish. Overall, drinkable beer yes but this is definitely no quaffer.

 908 characters

Photo of velosuds
4.48/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage: 2012. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter. Purchased from LifeSource Natural Foods for $2.09. Two years ago bought a 2010 for $1.99. Wish gasoline had a similar price increase.

A-Pours a deep amber with a two finger, creamy tan foamy and bubbly head with good retention that leaves a generous lacing.

S-Wow, what a difference a couple years can make. This is a hop bomb. Cascade and Centennial hops are redolent against a malty sweet backbone almost reminiscent of a DIPA. Hmm, I wonder how this vintage will age. Nicely, I suspect.

T-Hoppier than I expected. But, hell, that is what make this an American Barleywine, eh Brits?. There is sufficient malt sweetness that makes me believe this is one to cellar for years to come. I hope the Mayans were mistaken about a 12/21/2012 end to the calendar.

M-Full bodied, but quite smooth.

O-This is a phenomenal value compared to other barleywines. I think this will cellar well, and need to buy me some more.

Original review was 4.18

Vintage: 2010. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a clear pint glass. Purchased from John's Market for $1.99.

A-Pours a deep amber with a two + finger, creamy tan foamy and bubbly head with good retention that leaves a modest lacing.

S-Malt for certain. Fruity, especially plums and raisins, and maybe apricots. Sweet smelling too, like English toffee.

T-Very pleasantly sweet yet balanced. At 9.6% ABV, the alcohol is very well masked.

M-Full bodied, but quite smooth.

D-This is a phenomenal value compared to other barleywines. At $1.99 a 12 oz. single it is almost too good to be true. I have paid over twice this amount for other 12 oz. barleywines, not normally available in this size, and the price per oz. of bombers is usually much higher.

 1,751 characters

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

Poured from 12oz bottle. 2010 version.

A- Pours a light brown/amber color. Two finger tan head shows fantastic retention. Chunky lacing left on the glass as I drank this one down.

S- Good floral and pine like hops in the nose. A sweet caramel and toffee malt makes up the backbone of the beer. Some light brown sugar notes with a strong alcohol backend.

T- Sweet caramel malts in the front of this. A nice piney hop jumps out there along for the ride in front. There is a strong alcohol taste in the middle which I found to be interesting as I expected it to be more in the ending. Light darker fruits and a sweet brown sugar and caramel taste collide with a light citrus hops in the backend. Overall a good taste for this beer.

M- Medium-heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Big malts left on the palate with a warming alcohol and darker fruits left long in the aftertaste. Flavors were well put together which made for a nice drinking beer. Medium drying on the palate though from the alcohol.

D- This was a very drinkable barleywine. Although, this didn't taste like most barleywines I'm used to. I would have put it in a DIPA area. Fantastic beer from Sierra Nevada.

 1,190 characters

Photo of milkbaby9
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (date code 2010 day036) into Duvel tulip (8-29-2010). A clear deep red amber with 2 1/2 finger off white to very light tan head that reduces to about 1/2 cm cap with big patchy lacing. Awesome lacing left as the liquid was quaffed down.

Aroma initially sweet, grapefruit rind and pine, with malt poking through. Taste of grapefruit soda with bitterness popping up as the initial carbonation fades off the tongue accompanied with a nice sweet maltiness. French bread rides on the tongue while grapefruit rind/peel and piney bitterness coats the back of the roof of my mouth and lasts through the aftertaste. Alcohol pokes through only late during the swallow.

A little light bodied versus what I expected. Not exactly what I expected of this beer because it was hoppy but the maltiness is there and really hits back against the hops blow for blow during the super long finish.

Probably too high of an ABV to drink a lot of, and as it warms up the alcohol expresses itself too much. Also, the high hops would probably wear on me too much eventually. The beer burp was pure grapefruit! However, this is a pretty nice beer that I enjoyed and would definitely drink again!

 1,182 characters

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

2010 bottle poured into large snifter glass.

A - Pours a hazy auburn with orange and copper hues. A creamy, one finger high, off-white head retains nicely with layers of lacing littered across the glass.

S - Crispy dark malts, caramel, and a bit of warming alcohol.

T - Surprisingly bitter and juicy hops on the front end, mixing with citrus such as grapefruit. A beefy malt backbone lies underneath with caramel and toasted grain. There's a touch of fruit sweetness hidden in between everything along with a bit of astringency, which might be capable of turning people off. Finally, a flair of alcohol heat warms up the palate during the finish.

M - Medium to full body, somewhat chewy, yet ultimately smooth.

D - Between the biting hops and boozy touch, this is definitely more of a sipper, but for 9.6% everything is masked well.

This is hands down one of my favorite Sierra Nevada beers by a longshot. I'd really like to try some more vintages and see how much this mellows out over a longer period (5-10 years).

---

12oz bottle poured into snifter - 2011 vintage

Pours dark cherry auburn with a decent beige head which fades to nicely retained film with assorted patches and spots of lacing.

Strong pine resin and hops in the nose with some scents of fruity esters followed by malty sweetness.

Intense hop presence up front with sticky pine. Malted sweetness with caramel, burnt brown sugar and bready tones. Softer fruit notes and cherry hidden in between the more aggressive hop profile. Thick malted backbone laden with some warm alcohol presence. Smack of sticky pine hops, dryness and boozy warmth in the finish.

Full medium body, higher carbonation, a bit creamy and sticky. This is probably the freshest Bigfoot I've ever had, and it's definitely a different animal than the aged variety. This almost resembles a complex DIPA, but still remains super tasty and drinkable, although ultimately I enjoy it better with age.

 1,952 characters

Photo of montecristo2
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 2010 ale served from a bottle into a snifter.

Two fingered thick head. Smells piney and of caramel.

Same flavors persist in the taste-a nice caramel flavor and a great balance between hops and malts.

Awesome lacing on the glass as it slowly disappears into my mouth...

Nice to let this one warm a bit before drinking. Leave it out on the shelf for a few minutes before you drink straight from the fridge.

I've had vintages of this as old as 2005, which is AMAZING. Imagine the flavors present in this ale only much more smooth and pronounced.

Highly recommended. Buy a few to lay down for a couple of years!

Cheers!

 625 characters

Photo of GDBEERMAN
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 bottle into snifter. 2010 vintage.
A: Pours a thick foamy head that grabs onto glass and leaves full lacing on the glass. Body is light amber in color and the head is a light tan. The haze in the body is a rich and non-transparent.
S: An aroma of rich, sweet caramel dominates. A classic barley aroma that is only a treat for what is to come. Slight notes of roses are present.
T/M: A strong and sweet balance is presented by this classic barley wine. A subtle spice is present thought the entire experience. A great malt back bone is layered with a nice balance of hops. The mouthfeel is thick and creamy, with great lingering tastes.
D: This is a great brew, that is very drinkable, in regards to style. Good balance of flavors make this my goto barley wine. A brew that can be drank anytime of year with a character that has you coming back for more.

 856 characters

Photo of TKEbeerman
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my SN XXX glass, this brew pours an almost perfect amber orange with an impressively frothy tan head. Lacing is left all the way down the glass

S: The aroma is lacking power and complexity, but is full of toasty malt and pinny hops. After months in my closet, this brew is still a hoped up slice of heaven.

T: The flavor is sweet caramel, with hoppy bitterness increasing over time. Overtime, this brew has maintained it's hop presence like no other.

MF/D: mouthfeel is still full, and drinkability is still superior.

 532 characters

Photo of dgilks
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bigfoot pours a rich, chestnut colour with a big, fluffy, light tan head. Great head retention. The beer is a touch hazy.

The aroma is citrussy and resinous and very reminiscent of a solid DIPA. There's plenty of alcohol too and a hit of toasty malt. Not overly malty.

This is actually a bit of a surprise. It's nowhere near as full on as something like Green Flash Barleywine and the hops are definitely forward presenting as a moderately-high bitterness and mild citrus character. The malt is sweet but not cloying with toasty, chocolate character which is good.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Very good.

I like this though it is somewhat laid back compared to other American Barleywines (Green Flash and Rogue come to mind).

 739 characters

Photo of Reaper16
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage served on-tap at Mellow Mushroom, Tuscaloosa, AL

How is this beer still on-tap in September? I was worried about the tap lines but I had a sample and everything was OK, so I ordered this twice.

Pours a luscious rufous color, like liquid rust. Dark enough that you can't see through it but it is not cloudy in the slightest bit. A dense two fingers of buff leather colored head sits like a heavy crown. Add to it spindly lacing and you have an impressive looking draught beer.

Pungent, toasted sourdough bread and some caramel provide the initial aromas. This is mostly malt, which is expected given the nine months of age on this keg. Raisin, drunken fig, maybe a small trace of Werther's Original candy. The hops provide a astringent quality to the nose; the citrus fruit is pretty much missing at this point. This is still good though it will get even better.

The taste mostly follows the nose. Lots of bready flavors. The hops are felt more prominently on the tongue; pine and a touch of tangerine are well-integrated into the malty body. Dark fruits and toffee. Booze for sure. A smidge of diacetyl, unfortunately; I taste a bit of butterscotch here and there.

This pour of Bigfoot was pleasantly toothsome in terms of mouthfeel but not so viscous that you couldn't drink the thing. The alcohol makes this a sipper, especially on your second glass that you shouldn't have but get anyway. No less drinkable than what the style calls for though.

Bigfoot is in its awkward in-between stage - some of you who have long hair will remember the awkward in-between stage of short and long when you were growing your hair - where the hops have started lose their fresh impact but the malt character hasn't developed enough to compensate. This stage occurs between 7 months and 14 months old in my experience. It's Bigfoot though - it is always going to be good. I was just stoked to see it on-tap here in AL.

 1,925 characters

Photo of korguy123
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my snifter. 2010 bottle.
Special thanks to my brother nwfodder for grabbing these for me.

A- Dark amber/brown/crimson pour. Carbonation just bouncing around the glass like a presentation of swan lake. Two finger off white/meringue head. Fantastic lacing.

S- Sweet malts, pine, strawberries, mango, peach and faint jolly rancher smells.

T- Toasted malts, brown sugar, vanilla, piny hops. Very balanced for 90ibu. Sweet candy taste, roasted coffee beans. The alcohol is expertly hidden in this taste.

M- Sticky on the lips, creamy and silky. Slight juicy finish from the hops.

Outstanding beer. This is my second ever barley wine, last one I had reminded me more of an ice wine than anything. This is the epitome of superb. If it wasn't 9.6% and only be available in the states I'd drink one a night.

 827 characters

Photo of IPAescotch
4.23/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reasonable color, thick lacing. Dark pale amber. More dark than pale, but not a deep dark, a light dark if im making any sense.

smells of grapefruit and hops. Esters are strong in this one. Citrusy hops

tastes same as smell. Bitter with a fruity aftertaste and a smooth malt finish. At first i didn't think much of this one, but i like the way the taste develops through the sip.

Very drinkable and refreshing.

My favorite thing about this beer is licking the drops out of my moustach after a superbly satisfying sip. im a beer slob, its a guilty pleasure, but it makes it taste better.

 590 characters

Photo of LiquidCucumber
4.06/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark cloudy brown, amazingly dark. This one didn't have much of a head but it's leaving nice lacing.

S - Caramel malts and the scent of pungent hops, I am guessing it's mostly Cascade because it smells so much like other SN brews.

T - That very same caramel maltiness but now with a blast of bitterness from the hops, I bet this stuff mellows out to be amazing (never had an aged one, really only on tap). But tastes pretty well balanced as it is, maybe it's the 6 months or so the 2010 has had on it.

M - Slick hops and sticky malts cover your mouth and linger for quite some time, very nice, epic even.

D - As a barleywine it suffers generally with the big D, but this one does pretty good. I really don't want to woof these down but I could easily finish several in a night, and that's saying something when I can't usually have more than a couple really flavorful beers in a sitting. Probably my favorite from Sierra Nevada.

 937 characters

Photo of ohoh
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice, dark amber colour with a tan, sticky head.

A real warm scent of caramel malts and interesting floral hoppiness. There is also a hint of alcohol, but that's hardly a surprise.

Taste is true to the smell. The hops come quickly and balances the sweet malt with the alcohol complementing it nicely.

The body is surprisingly light and it's quite easy to drink. It's balanced by two different explosions of a) roasted malts and b) floral hops. You could definitely sip this for a while - it's interesting enough to concentrate on for some time - although I think I drank it a bit quickly.

 594 characters

Photo of jsprain1
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark copper, rather opaque. A big head settles into a thin foam with good lacing.
S- Smell is of intense hops, grapefruit and pine, with a lightly roasted malt background aroma along with a bit of alcohol.
T- Super aggressive hop opening transitions into a nice malt flavor. Finishes with a bit of alcohol warmth.
M- Rather astringent and mouth-whacking if you will. Dry finish from the alcohol. Medium body and low carbonation, yet this plays into the beer pretty well.
D- A darn good beer, solid in almost every regard. A very good beer, even if it doesn't fit the barleywine mold. But then again, SN was made to be outside the mold.

 639 characters

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

A: Poured an aged 2009 Bigfoot into my new Duck Rabbit snifter. It's a dark amber color with a two finger off white head. Nice lacing down the side of the glass that hangs around for a while.

S: Floral/hoppy notes are the first and most prominent scent I noticed. Slight fruity scent is evident as well.

T: The higher ABV hits you right off the bat, followed with some serious hops. Much smoother than I can remember before it was aged. Letting this beer sit for a while seems to help in the taste category.

M: Medium bodied with not much carbonation. Not sure if this is due to the aging process or not.

D: Very smooth and hoppy. The aging process will definitely give this beer a nice smooth taste, I have a 2010 that I will be drinking soon to compare, still aged but not quite as long.

 794 characters

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

A: Murky orange/amber color; like a light copper. Poured a 1 finger creamy tan head with good retention. Sheets of sticky lacing.

S: Roasted caramel malts. Piney floral hops. Alcohol. Lots going on.

T: Sweet roasted malt up front. Big floral hop flavor quqickly follows; more like an explosion. Fruity alcohol finish. For as sharp as all the flavors all, balance is good

M: Light body. Moderate carbonation. Sharp, dry and hot.

D: Flavorful. Balanced in an odd way. definitely a sipper.

 490 characters

Photo of jmarvin4189
3.94/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a bottle into a glass, 2010 Bigfoot Ale

Appearance - this is a unique looking beer its a dark brown but almost looks purple with off white head that leaves a nice lacing

Smell - has an alcohol smell along with some sweet fruit undertones

Taste/Mouthfeel - I don't know how to describe this taste, its very unique, this is my first barleywine. Right off the bat you get slammed in the face with the high abv which creates a very nice warming feeling all the way down. the taste is very complex its sweet but at the same time it isn't, i really can't describe this beer. its just tasty

Drinkability - not something i could slug back but it is definitely a joy to be drinking it

 693 characters

Photo of philosobeer
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a large wine glass. The vintage I'm reviewing now is 2010, so this is virtually unaged.

Appearance - Tan and a good couple fingers thick. It settles down, but remains coating the top.

Smell - The hops stick out, but with a certain alcohol presence and some very sweet flavors. There's some lemon and grapefruit here, and a tone of pine. The only thing it loses points on is it's slightly solventy, too.

Taste - Very nice. It is on the bitter side of the scale, but there are nice malt sugar tastes really makng a good balancing act. Also treacle, and an almost plum like fruitiness. Did I mention the hops? Lots of depth here.

Feel - Sits very well. It is heavy but also quite silky. The underplayed carbonation a big plus here, too.

Drinkability - I wondered if it should be this drinkable. It really warms you up, and it's hard to out down, but the alcohol and heft make this a little hard to finish a second (though I usually keep it to one)q

 962 characters

Photo of generallee
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: (2009-2008-2007 vertical) They were poured from brown 12oz bottles into tulip glasses. Each label is different and each cap has the year or vintage of the brew.

Appearance: (2009) Its body has a deep reddish brown color with a slight haze. The head is thin, about one finger, and very clingy. Over time as I slowly sipped this one it gradually settled down to wispy thin covering that makes nice lace rings.
(2008) This one is very close to the 2009 in color, haze, head and lacing.
(2007) The 2007 has the same color as the 09 and 08 but with a little more haze and a little less head.

Smell: (2009) There are lots of wonderful citrus and resiny pine like hop notes in the aroma over rich sweet caramel and roasted malty notes. The alcohol is noticeable and boozy in a good way.
(2008) This one still has big hop notes with some more bready, roasty and caramel notes coming out. The alcohol is still noticeable and boozy.
(2007) This one has the closest balance with hops still most noticeable. The barley malt really comes out here and the boozy alcohol adds its own sweet touch.

Taste/Palate: (2009) Its big full body brings a base of warm boozy sweet malt with strong hops mixed in. There are notes of rich caramel, roasted grain and red lickerish candy covered with powerful citrus and resiny spicy hops. Hop bitterness bites onto the tongue and hangs on long into the finish. The texture has a firm slick feel with nice soft carbonation.
(2008) In this year the caramel notes sweeten slightly, alcohol mellows a touch and roasted notes come out more with bready yeast notes coming in as well. Hop notes are still big but bring some herbal orange and lemon citrus notes the piney hop bitterness.
(2007) With this year all the flavor notes and bitterness mellow and blend together just a bit more.

Notes: All three years were outstanding and very tasty. All were very similar with just a gradual mellowing of character. The hops really held up well with age.

 2,000 characters

Photo of BobZ
3.29/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz., 2010 Vintage, Poured into my Duvel Tulip.

Appearance: Golden copper/orange, initial thin head dissipates, decent amount of lacing.

Smell: Hops are very dominant, very little sweetness, in fact very little beyond the piney/slightly citrus hop aroma.

Taste: Follows the nose almost verbatim. Hop bitterness at the beginning, middle, and finish, no real taste of alcohol, in fact not much malt flavor either. In some ways, a one dimensional beer, there are other flavor elements present but the hoppy bitterness envelops them all.

Mouth feel: Clean and relatively smooth, well carbonated.

Drinkability: A sipper and a bit bitter for my liking.

No real comparisons can be made to a British or even a Belgian barleywine. Color and appearance characteristics are the only similarities.

 796 characters

Photo of GarrettMD
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle

A - Pours a clear ruby color with 2 fingers thick bubbly off white head.

S - Smell is mostly citrus hops with a slight alcohol scent.Some slight caramel malt is coming through.

T - Huge malt character, caramel, slight roasted flavor. Hops are very present as well. Citrus is still the main flavor, bitterness overpowers the hop flavor though.

M - Medium bodied, good carbonation. Slightly oily from the hops. Finish is mostly bittering hops with a small hint of alcohol.

D - Very good drinkability, ABV isn't too noticeable, very smooth beer with a well rounded flavor.

 586 characters

Photo of Jiggamyte
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A Poured a light reddish brown with light lacing. Very little head sticks around for the entire beer to be finished.

S A pleasant floral, hoppy scent with subtle malt undertones. Citrus and grassy are the major scents here.

T Citrusy, piney, grapefruity, and grassy are your big tastes. In the background are tastes of caramel and slight malt.

M There is a heavy, crisp, and bitter mouthfeel here. This beer has a warmth that builds up due to high levels of alcohol.

Overall this is a good beer to have during a cool fall or spring evening. It is refreshing and very strong. One or two of these can certainly help someone go to bed.

 679 characters

Photo of nerdrocker101
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 vintage thanks to my buddy Ashton.

Pours a syrupy brown with just a ring of creamy head and a nice lacing.

The smell is certainly sweet malts with almost a wintergreen aroma to it. I find that to be a little odd, but not exactly a bad thing.

Tastes like brown sugar, maple, vanilla and a little bit of raisin.

Very well rounded with age, medium-full body. Slick, oily feel.

This is certainly the oldest vintage of any beer that I've ever had. Wow, does it make a difference. I've got to get on top of aging some more things.

 535 characters

Photo of CHickman
4.48/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 BigFoot BarleyWine Style Ale: Pours cloudy blood red with a creamy/foamy 2 finger tan head that lasted a while and left a creamy layer on top as the beer went down; a lot of sediment floating in the beer and great lacing that clings to the glass. Love the artwork on the bottle as well!

Smells of floral hops, piney hops, really sweet malt, caramel, syrup, wheat bread and brown sugar. Very hoppy nose that is also incredibly sweet and inviting even with the alcohol present in the aroma. This beer lets you know from the star that it's got a kick.

Huge sweet malt and hop flavor up front, followed by the alcohol heat that tasted like rum or bourbon; this tastes of floral hops, citrus hops, piney hops, sweet malt, caramel, dark fruit like plum and or raisin, orange peel, grapefruit, light brown sugar, some vanilla as well as molasses. Very sweet, yet somewhat bitter like an IPA from the hops. This is a strong beer and has a very good balance, with a bitter pucker in the finish which leaves a combo of toasted grains, sweet malt and grapefruit or citrus hops. A real nice beer to sip and savor, I found this extremely enjoyable on the palate.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth with very little carbonation and an oily feel; body was heavy and chewy, but still managed to go down easy even with the alcohol presence.

Drinkability was good, especially considering the high ABV, but this is a beer to end the night with or just enjoy slowly. A very tasty beer that I would definitely have again and highly recommend!

2011 BigFoot BarleyWine Style Ale: Pours hazy blood red with brown and orange accents near the edges and a massive bubbly/creamy/foamy 2 finger tan head that faded very slowly and left excellent lacing with foamy rings going down the glass; the head was so solid it didn't move for a while and looked like a foam cloud and then when it was gone it left a creamy layer on top. A really great looking beer.

Smells of huge hops up front, with the malty sweetness, with caramel, toffee, wet bread, grains, dark fruits, brown sugar and some alcohol that smelled like it was aged in a wine barrel. Just like the 2010 brew, this has a very hoppy nose that's incredibly sweet and inviting even with the alcohol present in the aroma.

Tastes like it smells, with huge hops up front, floral hops, piney hops, citrus hops, then followed by the alcohol heat, sweet malt, pepper or hop spices, caramel, dark fruit like plum or raisin, orange peel, brown sugar, toffee, molasses and the wine barrel aging hints. It's sweet, but the hops provide enough alcohol punch to make it like an IPA with just enough spice flavor. A slight bitter pucker in the finish.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth with very low carbonation and an oily feel, a medium body, and some chewyness to it; it's heavy and you can sense the alcohol presence, but it's still a really great beer that goes down easier than it should.

Drinkability was very good, especially considering the high ABV. Not a session beer, but a very tasty beer that I look forward to drinking each winter. Highly recommend again!

2012 BigFoot BarleyWine Style Ale: Spot on and amazing again; had it fresh and just cracked open a bottle over a year later and this beer ages with the best of them. To me the most impressive aspect may be how well the head stands up and sticks around after a year of aging; taste, smell and experience are all equally impressive both fresh and aged.

9/13/2016: Had a 2016 bottle and it was equally malty and hoppy, with sharp piney hops coming off like rye before the citrus and herbal notes resume control. Smooth and well balanced, it goes down easier than it should for a 9.6% ABV brew.

 3,691 characters

Bigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.14 out of 5 with 7,592 ratings