Bigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Bigfoot Barleywine-Style AleBigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale
BA SCORE
4.14/5
Exceptional
7,564 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:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 02-06-1998

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,605
Reviews:
3,083
Ratings:
7,564
pDev:
11.35%
Bros Score:
4.41
 
 
Wants:
420
Gots:
1,848
Trade:
69
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,564 |  Reviews: 3,083
Photo of turamarth
4.15/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into NewBelgium Globe.

Appearance: Pours a nice dark, dark amber color. Lots of orange-cream colored head that leaves lots of lacing. The head it's self is rather fluffy and nommy looking.

Smell: A very nice malty base in the nose. Lots of nice piney hops. Some caramel too i believe.

Taste: A very nice balance i think between the hops and malts. While neither really trumps the other, they are both present in their own way. The hops are, like in the nose, very piney. Some nice sweet candied malts. Some toasty, buiscuity malts. This actually tastes like it could be a wine (the other barley wine i've had was just more of a hop bomb). The alcohol is there as well.

Mouth: Has a very bright carbonation, may be a little too much for my palate, but isn't overtly bad. Leaves the mouth with a slight thickness, but in a good way. Pretty good.

Drink: Despite being quite the sipper with the carbonation and alcohol content, this for me is very drinkable. I love this beer, if it weren't 11$ a sixer, it would be a goto. yum!

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Photo of birchstick
3.53/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - perfect sized head and a nice dark ruby red color that is typical of the style.

S - the hops dominate the aroma. There is also some sweet, caramely malts and fig.

T - there is some sweet malt upfront, which is immediately followed by pine and citrus hops, which dominate the finish. Tasted more like a hoppy pale ale than a barleywine.

M - very creamy and smooth; the booze is well hidden as well.

D - this is my first encounter with the sasquatch. This was a pretty good beer, but it didn't contain the flavors that a barleywine normally exhibits - at least the ones I have tried. Pretty good, and I will try to cellar some, for I hear that this beer is good with age.

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

Poured into snifter. Dark brown/amber with lots of tan fizzy head. A fresh, hoppy/bitter smell with pine needles and sweet caramel.

A heavy malty flavor with a bitter hoppy finish... ends up being very well balanced. A lot of pine flavors are apparent. Thick and creamy mouthfeel... fairly drinkable for a beer where alcohol definitely makes its presence known.

A delicious slow sipping beer.

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Photo of Offa
2.73/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

This is a very bitter barleywine with good qualities and rich, fruity barleywine character that to me ends up being largely ruined by sharp, clashing bitterness in the end. I had the 2008 vinatge, purchased in Feb08 and stored until April 09, when I drank it, in anticipation of the strong hops. Even so, the hops still came out far too bitter and intense.

Deep copper and faintly hazy, it has a medium tan head with orange hue, very slowly shrinking to a thin, foamy ring and wisps with a little lace.

The aroma is grapefruity-piney hops, very flowery, with candied lemon, fruit, caramleized grapes, raisiny-pruny alcohol. It smells a bit similar to Lagunitas Brown Shugga or Lucky 13, yet more "barleywine" like with a defintie English barleywine character underneath.

The taste is somewhat similar, rich flavour and body with burnt, winey fruit, smokey wood and earth, caramelized burnt orange peel and grapefruit - a rich, sweet barleywine with definite English-barleywine undertones - but then a sharp, mouth-puckering, intense citrusy bitterness takes over near the finish, clashing around and drowning out the rest in the finish, lingering and sticking to the mouth. It doesn't have a drying feel because of the otherwise rich chracter and feel, but it made me extremely thirsty after drinking only about 6 ounces. The feel is rather rich, oily and frothy like many other barleywines I've had. Ultimately, the one-note, intense hop bitterness dorwns out everything else. I waned to like it but just couldn't.

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

Pours a deep rich burgundy, with an tannish head, and peach colored highlights. Smell is amazing. Cascade hop citrus mixed with sweet sappy malts. I'm damn near drooling.

Big hop bitterness up front, followed quickly by the malts. Hints of maple syrup, pine, light spicing. Alcohol presents itself more as the beer warms up. Some floral flavors come through here as well.

Some nice lacing around the side of the glass that I don't tip up.

Mouthfeel is full and chewy. Finish starts out sweet, but it's tricky, it dries out quickly and a long.. shit now I don't know. Every other drink has me thinking dry and then back to sweet. I'm going to go with sweet I guess, but who the fuck knows. Either way I got no complaints.

Overall this is a tasty, tasty beverage. I dig the hell out of it, and wish with all my dirty little heart that they have some more in Madison tomorrow. If not, I'm stocking up in '10. Cheers!

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Photo of BeanBone
4.37/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage Reviewed Shortly After Release:

Appearance: An every-so-slightly hazy bronze-orange body capped by over two fingers of pillowy cream-colored head. The head fades slowly and leaves excellent lacing all the way down.

Aroma: A bright and citrusy hop presence over a solid caramel malt backbone. There's a bit of booze here, but not much.

Flavor: Wow, there's a lot here to describe. Up front, a big wave of citrusy, tropical fruit-like, piney, resinous, and thoroughly bitter hops. Underneath, there's a big and bruising biscuity caramel malt backbone that's up to the challenge issued by the hops. There's a lot of spicy heat and some booze from the alcohol, but it works nicely. Somehow, even with so many massive flavors in the mix, they all stay nicely balanced. Biscuity malt, a hint of booze, and lots of lingering bitterness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: A chewy full body with smooth medium carbonation. Plenty of heat from the alcohol in the cheeks and throat.

Drinkability: Certainly something that will take a little time to wrap up, though it drinks much faster than you'd imagine.

Verdict: Bursting with a multitude of full flavors, yet still balanced and somehow drinkable, Bigfoot is a true classic that is well worth waiting for each year. I can't wait to report back on how this has fared in 10 years or so.

---

2009 Vintage Reviewed Shortly After Release:

Appearance: Somewhat hazy deep red body with red laser beam highlights. Two fingers of caramel-tinged head that leaves great lacing.

Aroma: Lots of hops, lots of malt, and lots of booze - just what I expected. Relatively balanced in its massiveness, but the hops take the spotlight. It's a complex mix: perfumey Cascade hops, dark fruit, spices, caramel malt, and alcohol.

Taste: Again, intense and complex. Masses of grapefruity and piney Cascade hops riding on top of a very solid caramel malt base with everything simply dripping with alcohol. Still plenty of dark fruit and spices flavors here. The aftertaste is brilliantly bitter and boozy.

Mouthfeel: So chewy you could chip a tooth with good carbonation. A great dry, boozy finish that segues into a long-lasting hoppy aftertaste.

Drinkability: Very filling and obviously a sipper. One is certainly enough, but a second is still tempting...

Verdict: Bigfoot, like any good Barleywine, is simply a massive beer. Everything about it is larger than life. There are enough hops to make it unique, but not so many that the lines are too blurred with a Double IPA. I can't wait to see how this ages.

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Photo of MrIncognito
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - 2009 bottle, poured into a stemless wine glass. Mahogony red and mostly clear with just the slightest hint of haze. Nice, big 2-finger off-white head that is sticky and leaves beautiful lacing. Head retains a 1/4-inch film for the duration of the beer (I sipped this for 2 hours)

S - Big hoppy smell with some sweet malts and alcohol in the background. Light hints of grapefruit.

T&M - Huge hop flavor right from the getgo. Pretty much dominates the palate. Other flavors that sneak in include the grapefruit and then the warming alcohol. Alcohol is definitely there with a sweet yet spicy flavor, but masked well by the hop bitterness. Sticky, syrupy mouthfeel, but not necessarily in a gross way. Light carbonation livens this up a bit. The hops really drown out alot of the other flavors and takes away from the balance.

D - As mentioned earlier, I took two hours to sip this down. Not only because I was savoring the flavor but because the hops are just a bit too harsh for my taste. Left the back of my tongue feeling braquish like I drank sea water. Don't get me wrong, I liked it but I think some time in the cellar would really mellow this out well and become more balanced.

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Photo of brow1901
3.61/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bigfoot is an alleged "big" beer. But I have found no proof, instead I find a decent barleywine that doesn't live up to the name.

A- The beer pours a dark and deep red, very clear. White thick head that sticks around for most of the beer.

S- bigfoot has a much more pronounced hop character than other barleywines I've had. So that is the first thing that stands out. Like many bw's the malt is pronounced and there is a hint of alcohol.

T- The taste kinda disappoints me, I really felt that it tastes like their PA with more alcohol. Plus some malts. But again the hops are very present and I feel like the beer isn't balanced in this sense ( not balanced compared to other bw's).

M- The beer is full bodied, with enough carbonation. Leavers the mouth sticky and its not really enjoyable IMO.

D- At 9% this beer is drinkable, they will catch you off guard.

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Photo of FallinDeck
3.57/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Red body with off white, ok sized head. The color is great but the head and lack of lacing brought down my appeal to the look.
Smell: Hops, Molasses, and alcohol. Not too heavy.
Taste: Very dry hoppy, and I swear I can taste Molasses.
Mouthfeel: Heavy and goes down like syrup without the sugar.
Drinkability: Poor drinkability do to the sour molasses taste and high alcohol level.

All said this is a good beer, it's just a one beer sitting in my opinion.

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.37/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought a six pack, vintage 2009. Poured from the bottle into a glass with a small beige head that receded quickly. Appearance is between amber and orange, with a slight haze throughout. The smell hits upfront with the pine and citrus scent of the hops. Also noticable is the caramel note from the malt, although it is not as prominent in the aroma. The flavor hits immediately with the pine and citrus notes of the hops. The taste that follows is the sweet caramel of the malts, to a much lesser extent than the hops in the beginning. The mouthfeel is crisp and light, which works well with beer, making it seem lighter than the ABV would indicate. The drinkability is decent considering the high ABV and the strong flavors. However, I have had more than a couple of these in one sitting and enjoyed them all.

Overall, this was a great barleywine and a solid offering from Sierra Nevada. Definitely recommended for anyone.

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Photo of cadenwhitaker
3.58/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear red with a beige head

Smells of grapefruit, citrus, pine, brown sugar

Taste - lots and lots of hops, as to be expected, followed by immediate sweetness.

Overall - Despite all the great reviews I wasn't really expecting to like this beer, which I'll admit isn't a good way to approach a tasting. I'm just not as big a hop head as most others out there. With that said, I could see why people like this beer, it is crisp and complex, it tastes like it was brewed with care.

To sum it up I enjoyed it tasting it and I can't say I found anything really wrong with it, but one glass was just enough for me.

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Photo of earthboundagain
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 brown bottle, 2009 on the cap

A: Pours a clear orange red, nice off white head that is very light and fluffy. Retention was not the greatest. But had a thin lacing that lasted till the bottom of the glass.

S: Wow the aroma is great, very pleasant and it hits you before you even get close to the glass. I can smell lots of big pine, some citrus, and bread, plus much more the smell is very complex.

T&M: Now that is a taste, nice and big and bitter. Lots of pine and citrus, malt is in there too. There is a lot here, and I really can not tell you everything. Great body that's starts bitter but smoothes out some as you go. Very clean with a good amount of carbonation, the aftertaste is not bad but it stays with you.

D: This one is an odd critter, it is very drinkable but at the same time is a sipper. Its taste and aroma make you want to drink it all down, but I think this beer deserves the time to be enjoyed. This is my first Barleywine and my first Sierra Nevada product, and I am impressed with both. While I may not be able to tell you all the taste and aromas, I can tell you that it is good.

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Photo of Durge
3.79/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found on tap at The Great Lost Bear in Portland, Maine, I couldn't resist trying this after enjoyment from the numerous bottled versions. This poured an orangey amber with a nice full off-white head and similar lacing. The aroma surprised me to seem somewhat non-descript. The usual citrus was not pronounced in this tulip glassful. I did get some mild malt sweetness and a hint of the grapefruit, but I found it odd that the this would be less impressive on tap, and unfortunately the taste followed suit. The flavor matched the aroma with the addition of that familiar bubblegum overtone. It had nice medium bodied creaminess with decent small bubble carbonation and was decidedly drinkable but this just didn't strike me the way bottle Big Foot has always managed to impress me. I wondered if maybe the taps here at the Bear were less than perfect in delivering this fine brew. Still, it wasn't bad, just more ordinary I guess, and a bit of a disappointment.

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Photo of RuntoBarleywine
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009:

Outstanding beer! As soon as that beer hits the glass you catch the aroma of hops which pulls you in. At first taste the taste buds are covered in a tasty combo of hops with a hint of sweetness, not sweet tasting. It is a fun beer to drink, looks good in your glass and it is a wonder to taste. Truly if you want to try an American Barleywine this is the one.

The head starts okay when you pour, not a big crown which this beer definitely deserves, but as the beer sits in your glass the head dwindles to nothing, letting you focus on the beer's beauty as you drink it. A beautiful medium dark amber color the whole way from pour to finish.

Definitely going to store at least a six pack in the cellar. I look forward to tasting how this beer ages over the next five plus years.

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

Enjoyed some of these with ThePeskyDingo

Poured into New Belgium Globe Glass

Bubbles stuck to the inside of the glass. Pours a 1 finger tan head, some what pillow-toped. Good retention with splattered lace. Color is a clear copper ruby.

Aroma is very complex. Pine hops, citrus fruits, honey, and bready malts.

Taste: Hops, hops, and more hops. This beer follows the sierra nevada line-up for sure. Piny hops, honey, grapefruit, bready malts, just like the smell. Alcohol peeps out a little here. For some reason this beer reminds me of a couple month old hopslam.

Mouthfeel is bitter at first then it gets a little smoother, but still pretty bitter. Decent carbonation and has a very clean aftertaste.

Overall a hoppy beer that I really enjoyed. If I had tasted this blindly, I would have thought it was a double ipa. It is, however, a sipper at 9.6% abv.

Edit: had a side by side tasting with 08 and 09 and here are a few notes.

The 08 was a lot farmer. Hops faded a little but the beer developed very well. Color is more hazy for the 08. The Aroma is sweeter/ not as hoppy. Overall, I enjoyed the 09 hops but I loved the developed flavor of the '08. Simply an amazing beer.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.83/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow!!! Beautiful beer!

appearance: reddish brown copperish, great head and lacing.

smell: good hop presence from the first sniff, sublte citrus and caramel

taste: strong hops, sublte citrus, rich and touch of caramel sweetness. very robust and IPA strength hop presence

mouthfeel: medium bodied

drinkability: smooth beer. I was impressed. SN did it again! Despite ABV, I could session on these they are so good.

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Photo of Gyle41386
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours what I guess I'd call a reddish copper. Highlights of orange in there, too. Couple fingers of head, beautiful lacing.

Smells, well, like a Sierra Nevada beer. Big citrus and pine from the C-hops. Loads of caramel malt as well. Very nice aroma.

The flavors are every bit as big as they were in the nose. The sweet caramel malt leads the way, and then the hops take control. Big citrus, big pine feel on the tongue. I love Sierra Nevada's choice of hops. The intense malt sweetness and intense hop bitterness are perfect matches for each other.

Long finish, coats the entire mouth like cough syrup. Full body, great rich texture. It's boozy without feeling boozy. Incredibly smooth drinker. The feel is just...perfect. Not much more to say. The 9.6% keeps this from being an all night drinker, but it begs you to take another sip. Just an awesome barleywine.

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Photo of johnmichael712
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is the fourth Bigfoot that I've had from the 2009 vintage, and I decided that it's high time I review this absolutely beastly barley wine.

Appearance: Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into a nonic glass. This beer pours a beautiful mix of orange, copper, amber, and red and is exceptionally clear. The head is a dark khaki/sand color with a stiff, sticky appearance and it leaves an absolutely huge amount of lace behind on the glass. So much lace, in fact, that my glass is barely translucent by the time I finish.

Smell: The nose of this beer has a very rich and overwhelming maltiness that resonates with strong notes of caramel and sweet malts. There is also a strong citrusy hop aroma in the nose, and the C-hops (Cascade, Chinook, and Centennial in this particular beer) are definitely on display in this one. There are also faint hints of mustiness and earthiness, and this is one fabulous smelling barley wine.

Taste: Bigfoot has a flavor as big as his footprint, and this beer is well balanced with intense hop bitterness and equally intense, yet rich, malt flavor. The malts are what start this beer out, with a sweet and syrupy taste that has very strong notes of caramel and toasted malt. After that, however, this beer is all about the hops, and the C-hops that I mentioned earlier come rushing in with much ado. The flavor moves to an intense leafy bitterness with strong notes of lemongrass, grapefruit, tangerine, and bitter orange peel, and this insane hoppiness leads to a finish that is obstinately long and has a prominent alcohol taste along with a hoppy bitterness that leaves me swearing I can taste the hop leaves.

Mouthfeel: This beer is exceptionally full-bodied and chewy, and it has a luscious, velvety texture that is hard not to love. The alcohol is there, but it doesn't reach a solventy or hot mouthfeel. There is also a very light amount of carbonation, and this beer has one incredible mouthfeel.

Drinkability: This beer is definitely a nightcap, and not something I ever see myself beginning a night of drinking with. The high ABV combined with the exceptionally long finish make this beer a definite sipper, and the hoppyness makes this beer a definite palate-destroyer. Regardless, this is one highly smooth and delicious beer, and I've had no problem finishes the 12 ounces of this sample.

Notes: Michael Jackson called this beer "perhaps the world's hoppiest barley wine", and although I haven't tried very many barleywines I am inclined to agree. This is definitely not a beer for the faint of heart or the faint of palate, and if you haven't gotten your palate accustomed to the deliciousness that lies within intensely hoppy beers this probably isn't a good starting point. To those that are ready, however, Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot is a rich, thick, and exceptionally flavorful and full-bodied barley wine that is hard not to love. A real ass-kicker of a beer, Bigfoot is something to be sipped and savored.

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

The color is a very deep brown that shines copper in the light. Maybe it's just my particular bottle, but once the head had gotten to about one finger of thick foam, it never dissipated. Sticky lacing is left everywhere in its wake. The smell is complex. Great, pure hops are the first thing on my nose. Grapefruit and pine with a pure fruit presence and lightly sweet malt. The taste is every bit as complex. Hops bitterness is strong but the flavors it brings out are glorious. Underlying is the malt, adding a bit of caramel sweetness. There's a certain earthiness to this brew as well, and light biscuit toastiness with some subtle fruit flavors round it out. One of the most balanced brews I've ever tasted. I can't stress the purity of the hops; I'm picturing raw, young, green buds right off the plant. By the by, this claims 9.6% ABV and I can barely tell as an aftertaste. Impressive. There's nothing remotely astringent about this brew. Drink this now and live.

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Photo of Lambstrong
4.7/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark amber, almost mahogany in color. Yellow head that quickly dissipates.

Aroma: Nice floral aroma. With barley wines I'm used to an upfront sweet smell mixes with phenol notes. I like this already.

Taste: Right away I got the sweet barley wines taste. However, the bold hops used meshed beautifully with this ale. I really enjoyed the intermingling of the sweet and bitterness. Two big thumbs up!

Mouthfeel: Not over carbonated which is appropriate for this style.

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Photo of cdkrenz
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Update:
My good friend Rob Hamilton, aka drizzam, gave me a 2001 edition. He offered it up back in September 2008. He had it stored in his fridge since he bought it way back when. I kept it at about 58 degrees since I inherited it.

Today, with the birthday of the late Michael Jackson (The Beer Hunter) I was informed that a world-wide toast was taking place. Whom was it that informed me? Well, it was drizzam. He also informed me that the Beer Hunter was a big fan of the Bigfoot. He suggested I pop the top on the 2001, so I did. I am amazed!

I didn't think this brew could actually get better. My only wish is that I had 3 more of this Bigfoot's brothers to share... with myself. (CK, March 27, 2009)

$7.99/Six Pack
JR Liquor
Stevens Point, Wisconsin

Appearance - An excellent pour with fast action and multiple shades of auburn. The hazy auburn turns light inside out offering a golden glow. The frothy white 1.5 inch head lingers temptingly. As the head thins it leaves a trail of white lace along the glass. This is a beautiful beer!

Smell - The fruity aroma was instantly noticeable as I poured the beer even a foot from nose. It has a deep ripened fruity scent that it very nice. The hoppy smell is also very noticeable and the two fragrances compliment one another very well.

Taste - A taste of fall. There is a fruity beginning and then a bitter finish. The one or two seconds of sweet fruit flow into the hops but the hoppiness really overwhelms the beer at the end. If it finished with a little less bite, it would be better than good.

Mouthfeel - This beer is smooth as silk. I'm so impressed with the way this beer feels, I wanna sleep with it.

~ This ale was made for the most pure enjoyment that anyone can have with a beer. If you wanna sit back and relax with an excellent Sierra Nevada I suggest you invite the Sasquatch. And for $7.99/sixer, you can't go wrong.

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Photo of projectflam86
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- 2009 poured slowly into a snifter. I had refrigerated initially but allowed to warm for a half hour before pouring. One of the most beautiful brews I have ever seen. Deep scarlet/amber color with dancing bubbles that look so inviting. A nice creamy tan head appears thick and stays around for the entire experience.

S- Almost too complex to pinpoint. The nose starts out with earthy hops and piney fruit scents (mostly grapefruit and apple?) Malt and some alcohol smells can be detected as well.

T- This one has a bit of a kick! Strong initial hops give way to a wonderful cascade of earth and fruit flavors. The alcohol is very detectable but isn't bothersome. The malt gives a nice sweet balance but the hops know who is boss. Ester and citric flavors are more pronounced as the beer warms.

M- Incredibly smooth full body with a nice amount of carbonation.

D- I have to admit, this is my first barleywine, but now I know what all of the fuss is about. Bigfoot is a must try. This brew demands respectful sips and the high ABV will make you pay if you don't.

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Photo of Bobo77
4.44/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Suprised to see this around here but Friar Tuck's had it. Poured a thick dark brown body with a light brown lumpy head. We are off to a good start.

Smell- I am very surprised, though I shouldn't be because it comes from Sierra Nevada the purveyors of ultra-hoppy West Coast beers, but this Barleywine smells citrusy!

Taste-After having tried a few different Barleywines several years ago, one being Brooklyn's Monster Ale, I had decided that it was a style best avoided as it just seemed to me to be a syrupy malty mess. But back then I also didn't like hops and since my tastes have since changed, and also since I discovered food pairings such as cheese with beer, I thought that I would go ahead and give this style another chance as well. Hops come out way in front, they are the first thing and last thing you will take note of in this beer. Malt is there but is subordinated by the citrusy West Coast hop domination. Don't get me wrong, you do taste the malt but much in the same way that Wasabi comes through when eating sushi (at least when the Wasabi is fresh) the hops come through. This makes this beer much more interesting. As I finish another sip, my lips are sticking together from the oily hops.

As for pairing this with food my brother and I knocked back a couple of these with some Stilton that I picked up at Global Foods in Kirkwood and the two complimented each other very well (Gorgonzola would work too.) Just remember, strong beer = strong cheese.

Something else I noticed, after knocking back a couple of these, you will feel a nice buzz as Bigfoot packs a mighty 8+% ABV.

Mouthfeel is rich and thick, this is without a doubt a sipping beer and definately not for the novice beer drinker. It may be one that a beer drinker has to work their way up to like I have.

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Photo of rwdkosak
3.89/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle at cellar temp produced a short-lived head but exceptional color. Dark amber, clear and very much wine-like when light shining through the glass.

Smell is average, some floral and malt detected but nothing huge on the nose but still pleasant and certainly no hint of 9+% ABV.

Taste is better up front and on the finish though something about the bitterness in the middle distracts me though not at all a deal breaker; this is a very drinkable beer.

Overall a great example of the style. Especially given it's available in most local stores, served up in six-packs.

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

Pours a very dark amber with thick, foamy white head and ruby highlights when light passes through the glass.. Smells strongly of hops, floral, piney and with some candy-like sweetness just behind it. The flavor follows the smell in that the hops are at the forefront in a big way, to the extent even of an IPA on the first few sips. But there is a sweetness behind it which grows as the beer opens up a bit and settles towards room temperature.. This isnt so much a malty sweetness but sugary and a bit fruity. Its very complex but its sort of a journey (like searching for a sasquatch) in that you have to search for it a bit. The mouth is moderate with sort of a full body and prominent, crisp carbonation. Its refreshing though it almost approaches syrup-like quality in the sweetness. This brings down its drinkability a bit. Overall its great, but its very "big" in a lot of ways.. the floral aspect is really out at the forefront and I could stand the hop character brought down a pinch, but it becomes much more complex as you get through it.

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Bigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.14 out of 5 with 7,564 ratings