Bigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
7,509 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
Ratings:
7,509
Reviews:
3,060
Avg:
4.14
pDev:
11.35%
 
 
Wants:
418
Gots:
1,833
For Trade:
69
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 7,509 |  Reviews: 3,060
Photo of ABH
2/5  rDev -51.7%

Photo of NOLANDMAN
2/5  rDev -51.7%

Photo of mwar
2/5  rDev -51.7%

Photo of magoover
2/5  rDev -51.7%

Photo of StoughtonGuy
2/5  rDev -51.7%

Photo of thatdirtymick
2/5  rDev -51.7%

Photo of lostinfla
2/5  rDev -51.7%

Photo of Rpreskenis
2/5  rDev -51.7%

Photo of SoupKitchenBeerSnob
2/5  rDev -51.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I told myself I'd never drink another Sierra Nevada beer, but saw this and thought, ok, they're doing a barley wine-- maybe this one will be different. Nope. Just more hops than ever before. I mean really... Sierra Nevada takes the IPA model and makes every damn thing they brew taste like just another version of an IPA. Did I happen to mention that I detest IPA's? Cramming a brew full of hops does not equal a great brew-- it just shows a profound lack of imagination. But for all you hop-heads out there, you'll love this stuff. Personally, I'll pass, and thank you very little.

 582 characters

Photo of MOVERTON1284
2/5  rDev -51.7%

Photo of ralree
2.06/5  rDev -50.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

A: Head is a little weak, but that's almost expected from this style. 1/2 finger at best. Color is reddish-orange and murky. Laces nicely.

S: Grainy and pretty fruity. Will probably be good.

T: REALLY bitter. I wasn't expecting this level of bite. It's not my style, so I'm going to give it a lower rating than some others might. The alcohol is very evident as well. Has a bready finish.

M: A little thick - a little astringent.

D: Had to pour it all out. Completely undrinkable.

 483 characters

Photo of NODAK
2.12/5  rDev -48.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Nose has an assault of piney, floral hops upfront. Very potent. But after that subsides, a very boozy quality comes out...hints of sherry and raisins are present. It leaves me wondering which of these two sides are going to dominate the taste.

The taste leaves no confusion about that. It has abrasive bitterness from the start on through the finish, increasing in intensity and lasting well on into the aftertaste with stinging astringency. It's one of the most bitter beers I have ever had. Yes, there's some raisin, toffee, and booze on the taste as an undercurrent that shows through on the finish pretty well....but absolutely nothing approaches the hoppiness here. It left me grimacing after each swallow. I know I'm not the biggest hophead on the planet, but the lack of balance here just turned me off.

In the end, it's just not my type of beer I suppose. More balance would have been appreciated...as it is, it's just too strong and one-sided for me.

 961 characters

Photo of sugit
2.15/5  rDev -48.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

2010 Bigfoot.

A: Cooper color pour with big long last head. Great lacing.

S: Some hops, but mostly a nice carmel malt aroma. Faint raisins and other dark fruit. Damn, this is going to be good.

T: Bamboozled!! Man, nothing like the nose. A hops assult on the palate. I really don't like this beer. I love good hoopy beers, but this one has a way of jut blasting you in not a good way.

I get very very little of sweet malts from the nose. The aftertaste is like waking up after a night of beer and cigars. Terrible.

M: Full bodied. Feels like gritty hops stuck to my teeth and tongue.

D: Drain pour. Such a harsh tasting beer I couldn't even finish a serving.

This is the second time I've tried 2010 BF and it just does not do it for me. I'm coming to realize I like English Barleywine, but don't like American Barleywine at all.

I'll leave the rest of my 6-pack in the cellar for another year and see what happens.

So far, I equate BF to a hot stupid blond. Got the looks and smell, but everything else that counts is terrible.

 1,038 characters

Photo of voraciousalky
2.16/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I just bought a four-pack of 2013 Bigfoot at a nearby beer shop. I tried this ale several years ago and didn't really like it. I thought maybe I would appreciate it a little more now that I'm older and more experienced. I was wrong.

This beer doesn't taste good, and taking a big swig is a wholly unpleasant experience. Some folks pick up the taste of fruit; I pick up the flavor of OTC cough syrup. I know good and bad are subjective when it comes to beer, but I can't figure out why everyone thinks Bigfoot is worthy of a score in the nineties. Am I just unsophisticated? Maybe. But then again, there might be a lot of groupthink supporting Bigfoot's high average rating. For the record, Busch, Budweiser, Miller High-Life, etc. are all better than this beer. (Yes, I said it.)

Now that all that's out of the way...

This is certainly an interesting brew, despite the off-putting taste. A lot of reviewers note the strong bitterness and hop aroma, but I was surprised that a beer with an IBU of 90 was so well-balanced. When I drink Bigfoot, I'm not overwhelmed at all by the smell or bitter taste of the hops at all. It is truly well-balanced.

Then there's the alcohol. Bigfoot does a far better job of masking the taste of alcohol than other brews, such as Hoptimum, with similar ABVs. I don't know how they did it, but I've had beers with substantially lower levels of alcohol that were far more "boozy" tasting than Bigfoot.

 1,434 characters

Photo of nicnut45
2.21/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Presentation: 12 oz bottle poured into Chimay chalice/2011

A- Deep red brown color, slightly hazy with sediment swirling around. Superfine off white head.

S- Smell is very muted upon a vigourours pour, perhaps it needs to warm up a bit. Upon warming up there is very little scent to this beer. What is there, smells like fruitiness from the yeast with a slight rubbing alcohol scent.

T&MF- This is just plain bitter without the finer qualities of hops. Malts are underwhelming and over attuenated resulting in hot rubbing alcohol flavors. This overly overly dry in my opinion. There is a faint glimmer of sweetness to this beer and it reminds me of burnt sugar but it is soon overpowered by alcohol and bitter hops.

O- I will be laying down at least one of these bottles in hopes that it gets better with age. The others will go to enemies.

 845 characters

Photo of PatYoda
2.22/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

2005 Version

Appearance is perfect. Nice clear mahogany with a perfect 1 finger creamy head of miniscule bubbles. Leaves lacing all the way down the glass, which is very unexpected for the style. Smell is almost all hops, and I'm not talking the nice citrusy hops that I love. Pure pine needles. There is actually some caramel malt smell underneath everything, just barely. Unfortunately it doesn't show up in the taste. At first the hops bite hard. Like eating pine needles. Then you wait for the initial hop bite to subside and for the malt to smooth things over...and you can wait all day if you want, but it never happens. The finish is even worse - it's pure bitterness. There is absolutely no flavor that lingers in the mouth, just bitterness, and linger it does! Mouthfeel is actually pretty good. Nice and thick and creamy like I like my barleywines. Right now I don't care how good this will taste in 10 years, it's nearly undrinkable at the moment.

 961 characters

Photo of Smelly
2.23/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

It's a waste to be a hater, but I gotta be honest. It's like they took a regular off the shelf mass produced Sierra Nevada Ale and threw "something" in the mix to try and make it a "Barleywine". I tried this twice to be sure my palate wasn't off....so many good reviews here. However.....it's just plain terrible. Maybe I got a bad 4-pack:(

 345 characters

Photo of PeterOlfe
2.23/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

Photo of Apeloquin19
2.24/5  rDev -45.9%

Photo of Damian74
2.25/5  rDev -45.7%

Photo of rudy0908
2.25/5  rDev -45.7%

Photo of Anvilfarm
2.25/5  rDev -45.7%

Photo of skaboom420
2.25/5  rDev -45.7%

Photo of JackRWatkins
2.27/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

A: clear dark ruby, persistent, creamy 1 finger head
S: weak, subtle sweetness as well as a touch of salt and caramel
T: hop bitterness up front, heavy malt presence, some caramel malts, has the toasty character of a red ale, has a filling and juicy body but not a fruity character, detected a very (incredibly so, could've imagined it) subtle touch of lychee
M: subtle dryness lent by hop character
O: would likely be enjoyable with some age on it but to me there is no real pay off here, its hop character is assertive but everything else is either pushing the hop bitterness or disappointingly subdued, would not drink it fresh again

 636 characters

Photo of mnstorm99
2.28/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

12 oz. bottle poured into a 22 oz. globe wine glass.
Oh Boy, I hope this one ages well (I guess I have wasted $10 on worse things).
Good looking copper beer with a nice JUST off white 1 finger head that sticks well, and laces better.
Aroma is a very nice strong fruity and spicy hops, quite a bit of promise here, reminds me of something from when I was a child I just can't place it.
Taste, Ouch nice flash of hops and fruits, but before they even make much of an appearance the alchohol burn just won't go away. I was guessing this beer to be around 12%, but then I come here to see it is only 9.6% with that kind of burn, this is poor craftsmanship IMHO.
Mouthfeel is burning overly carbonated and thin. I could hardly finish one of these, not going to have another until after a few months downstairs.

 805 characters

Bigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.14 out of 5 based on 7,509 ratings.
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