Bigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Bigfoot Barleywine-Style AleBigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale
7,585 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:
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,585 |  Reviews: 3,090
Photo of bongobob
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had a 2 year old and 1 year old bottle, pretty good but not as good as Anniversary Barleywine in my opinion.

The look/smell/feel was excellent but what bothered me about this beer is it tasted too sweet for my liking.

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Photo of Holderness
3.94/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had this one with 5 years of age on it (2012 vintage)

Surprisingly robust and long-lasting head given the age and ABV. Great lacing. Aromas are very sweet -- mostly molasses, maple, brown sugar, and caramel. Some grassy hoppiness as well. Tastes retain a good amount of tea-like/grassy hop character and an intense barley malt presence that borders on being cloying. Good amount of tannins. Somewhat velvety mouthfeel. Medium carb. Long-lasting, bitter finish. Overall I don't like the way the hops age on this one as much as on other sweet barleywines like Old Ruffian -- it's pretty one-dimensionally grassy


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

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

Photo of monkist
5/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was glad to find this one from Sierra, as they are one of my favorite breweries - and I love barleywine so the joy was double. It is from 2015 so by today (2017) it is already somewhat vintage.
Actually it is a barleywine-style ale the bottle says and right, it is not as syrupy as a normal barleywine would be. It is rather like a heavily hopped ale and Sierra are masters of this kind of beer. Along with heavly caramellized malts I feel loads of hops, especially perhaps bittering hops? because the aftertaste is quite bitter with quite a complexity. Very good that the body is lighter than a usual barleywine, but the remarkable taste is still there both in the nose and the feel. Makes me feel like a very very rich IPA... the richness of the hops is amazing, perhaps with Sierra's trademark Cascades? If I had to compare it to something, perhaps it is similar to the Arrogant Bastard Ale - and this should tell it all: it is amazing!
An excellent beer this is, Sierra did a great job again. It is a piece of art.

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

Photo of justme
3.89/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of bluehende
3.83/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Keeling
3.31/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of ADG2995
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of baldy00
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of k47k
3.93/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Gaddabble
3.77/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of poisoneddwarf
3.97/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

2009 backlog. Beer rating # 100 on Ratebeer. 12 oz bottle. 2009 vintage. Ah, Bigfoot! For beer #100 I had to review the beer that got me hooked on craft beer about 10 years ago. This vintage isn’t as great as past years. That first year (1998 or 1999) was a standout. So was 2008, their anniversary edition. This year’s isn’t as exceptional as those examples, but it’s pretty damn good. Aroma is of bananas, spiced apples, caramel--strong malty presence. Pours a huge head with good lacing. Dark copper hue. Light carbonation. Initially sweet, turns bitter. The bitterness and strong alcohol presence linger. This is still my favorite barleywine. ----- 2/14/10. Vertical tasting of the 2009 and 2010 vintages. This is my re-rank (and comparison with the 2010) of the 2009 vintage. 7/5/8/5/17 (4.2 total score). 12 oz bottle. Aroma of caramel, Christmas spices; malty. Murky amber hue. Medium dissipating head with nice lacework (better than the ’10). Mellow, awesome maltiness on the tongue. Starts out sweet, finishes bitter. Medium carbonation. ----- Ranking of the 2010 vintage (and comparison with the 2009): 7/4/9/5/17 (4.2 total). 12 oz bottle. Much hoppier aroma than the ’09. Lots of citrus. Not as murky as the ’09, but the same hue. Way hoppier than the ’09. Not as complex. Medium carbonation. ----- In summary, drinking these two beers back to back, I prefer the ’10 because it’s hoppier, although it’s really freaking close. I think the ’10 will mellow in a year and be much like the ’09 tastes now. The ’09 is more complex, and more interesting, but not as drinkable. This beer is meant to be aged, though, so I’m thinking the ’09 is closer in taste to what the brewers want it to taste like in the end.

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Photo of izzyismyrott
3.65/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.96/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

It pours a dark red/brown in my chalice. No head forms, but a slight white film clings to the sides of the chalice. Spider-web like lacing graces the sides of the chalice. The smell has the hops up front, coming forth in an earthy/woody way, some light citrus comes out as the beer warms. The taste is bitter with the previously mentioned flavors adding a bit of a tobacco flavoring in a boozy sort of way. It becomes slightly sweet as the beer warms. The palate is heavy with some slight harshness on the tongue, still smooth and slightly creamy. I’d say this isn’t exactly that drinkable, ABV aside, but it is an American Barleywine, so its expected. Overall, though the hops come forth strong in the smell and taste than most barleywines I’ve had, I still liked this. The normal complexities of a barleywine come out to make this a great offering from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of BeerAndFilm
3.96/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of EmeraldMist
2.8/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.25

Bottle from 2017

Look - Clear ruby color, a short and sudsy off white head, minimal lacing.
Aroma - Dried mango, pine sap, maraschino cherry.
Taste - Resinous and bitter. Up front there's a ton of pine, marmalade, malt tastes like simple syrup and plays second fiddle to the hops. Sweet grapefruit and long bitter aftertaste.
Feel - Medium bodied, sticky, ample carbonation, alcohol well hidden.

Overall - This one is for the hop heads. More IPA than barleywine.

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Photo of EdFed
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of wroywel
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of Red5StandingBy
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12oz short bottle into Snifter glass. Bottled on February 23rd 2017.

L: Beautiful clear mahogany color, finger width beige head has great retention. Gorgeous lacing.

S: Hop forward aroma, citrus and pine with a toffee like malt backnote. Faint fruity and alcoholic esters.

T: Very hop forward at first, citrus and pine blasts the tongue with a strong bitterness. Roasted malt sweetness wrestles its way back in keeping this beer very balanced. Fruity esters and even a yeast backnote add complexity.

F: Chewy, like you are gnawing at a fresh picked hop. Medium body, crisp carbonation, hop residuals linger on the tongue.

O: Wow this is a great beer. Took me quite by surprise. Highly recommend.

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Photo of craigbelly
4.16/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Drinking 16 and 17 back to back. Rich, robust, aromas are popping with this one. 16 seems to have a little of the hop mellow out. Very sugary and boozy. Nice full body and great carbonation.

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Photo of outdoor7or24
4.07/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass, 2017 brew I'm reviewing.
A: pours a dark ruby red brown body, one finger white foam head, carbonation
S: soft sweet malt, undertones of vanilla, candy sugar, oak, slight boozy aroma
M: full thick body, juicy finish on the tongue
T: oak, sweet malt, burnt char, earthy hops, grainy, slight herbal taste inn the finish, alcohol is well hidden
O: always a staple to get one each year, aroma is well done! Cellaring for a bit would help mellow out the earthy hop.

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Bigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.14 out of 5 with 7,585 ratings