Bigfoot - Barrel-Aged | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Bigfoot - Barrel-AgedBigfoot - Barrel-Aged
BA SCORE
4.15/5
Exceptional
Bigfoot - Barrel-AgedBigfoot - Barrel-Aged
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#3,449
Reviews:
275
Ratings:
1,353
pDev:
9.64%
 
 
Wants:
181
Gots:
603
Trade:
69
 
User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 275 | Ratings: 1,353
Photo of GarrettB
3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

July 9th, 2015 - This is a big boy, and like an adolescent labrador it doesn't know it's own heft, but it settles on your gut anyway. For such a dark sounding beer, it actually let's some light through the shaker pint glass it occupies, casting a dark brown haze onto the table. But the nose is true to form, with three primary notes at play: booze, wood and whiskey. The palate is noticeably oily, with alcohol and plenty of whiskey to burn, which deserves to be shared. The flavor is neither too sweet nor too intense, and repeated sips reveal subtler notes of leather. But make no mistake - this brew is hot with ethanol.

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Photo of BeardedWalrus
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber, dated 3/29/16. Poured into a Fonta Flora snifter. Pours a deep reddish brown, very little light visible through the glass. Smells of heavy malts, toffee, and bourbon notes. Taste is similar, but with nicely balanced hop flavors as well, the age seems to have eased the hop forward characteristic of the standard Bigfoot. Feel is thick, but not too heavy, goes down very smoothly despite its strength. Overall a fantastic improvement on the already excellent Bigfoot.

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Photo of larryi86
4.39/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, 2015, poured into a tulip

A- A deep ruby red/brown with a two finger off white head.

S- Caramel malts, some dark fruits and some cherries, some whiskey, charred oak, piney hops.

T- Whiskey, caramel, some vanilla, some dark fruits/sweet cherries, oak, piney.

M- Smooth, medium to full body.

O- A really like how this aged, I remember sharing a fresh bottle with a friend and liking it but felt the barrel and hops needed some time to mellow and smooth out, and that is exactly what happened to this.

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Photo of stevoj
3.96/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml 2015 vintage. Copper colored pour, small bubbly head. Sweet heat in the aroma, molasses, malts and booze. Taste is also sugary sweet, smooth, enough warmth to be noticeable. Not over the top, but right where it needs to be.

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Photo of hman43
4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Look: It pours brown with reddish hues. Head retention is moderate and it has visible legs.

Smell: It has numerous malty and hoppy aromas initially. The malty flavors are caramel and molasses. The whiskey notes are moderate. There are also some citrus flavors and dark fruits of figs and raisins. There is a hint of spice in the background.

Taste: The whiskey flavors are prominent with the caramel and molasses. There is also a slight brunt note in the background. In addition there are cherry pipe tobacco notes with figs, floral, and citrus flavors in the background.

Feel: It has a full body that is not quite chewy with a moderately bitter after taste with a slight hot alcohol warming into the finish.

Overall, there are an abundant aromas and flavors the work well together than become more clear as the beer warms. The slight hot warming is just enough to make it enjoyable and not overly done.

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Photo of Korbynlehr
4.48/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I was gifted a generous tasting of this as an aged 4 year old. The smoothness was surprising as was the buttery goodness. It was soft and could not believe it was a Barleywine. One of the best I have tasted.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.86/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle poured into a snifter. 2013 vintage.

A: Mahogany in color with a mild haze. Virtually no head or lacing.

S: Caramel, toffee, biscuit, toast, treacle. Caramel turtles, nutty. Bread pudding. Hops have faded into a soft earthiness. Golden raisin and fig. Barrel brings seasoned oak and faint whiskey.

T: Heavy toast, over-baked scones, bread crust, caramel. Hops have faded into a sharp steely bitterness with faint earth. Pinches of brown cocoa. Caramel turtles. Booze-soaked raisins. Oaky. Whiskey heat. Hop bitterness returns on the finish.

M: Very thick and rich. Coating. Little to no carbonation remaining.

O: This is at an awkward age. The whiskey heat comes on a bit strong and the hop bitterness isn't done fading out. Just makes for a weird vibe. Fresh, this has all the boldness and hops of Bigfoot, but with the added oak and whiskey character. Fresh, it was very good. At 4 years of age, I'm not feeling it as much. Maybe more time will help? Who knows. To play conservative I think I would open at 2yrs if done again.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: Poured a deep brown color ale with a medium size foamy head with OK retention and some light lacing notes. Aroma of caramelized malt notes with light residual sugar with vanilla and oak notes also perceptible. Taste is a great mix of caramelized malt notes with light sugar notes also perceptible, with some oak, vanilla and bourbon notes also present. Body is full with good carbonation with light warming alcohol notes. Quite the big beers but still keeping some good drinkability with plenty of complexities.

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Photo of FFreak
4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Opened and shared on a warm October evening around the campfire. Almost clear, pinkish amber color with a finger of rough head that dissipates to a ring. Nice aromas of rock candy and plums. Taste is smooth and sweet with just a hint of bourbon and oak. Delicious.

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed from the bottle in a snifter.
Hard to say on color as I was by a campfire in evening. Nice amber/garnet color from what I could see a low level of head.
Aromas were lots of sticky sweet roasted malt, plum, raisin. Some mellow vanilla and bourbon.
Flavor was really nice, sticky, candy with plum and raisin, wood and bourbon.
Mouthfeel was good.
Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. Maybe could use a bit more bourbon, but really nice!

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Photo of Jeffo
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one in Buffalo a couple summers ago.

From a corked and caged 750 into a snifter
Vintage: 2015
Aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels

APPEARANCE: Pours a two finger, medium looking, creamy, off-white head with great retention. Clear maroon red or rust in color with lower levels of carbonation. Head slowly recedes to a full wisp and coats the glass. A splotchy wisp and ring remain leaving decent lacing down the glass as it empties.

SMELL: Oak, bourbon, woody character, vanilla notes, some caramel and red fruits on the nose. Raisin aromas as well. Good stuff.

TASTE: Bourbon and oak flavors up front, with caramel sweetness and vanilla up front. Bold finish of woody notes, bourbon, alcohol, piney hop bitterness, as well as some raisins and red fruits. Fruity, bitter with good bourbon and wood flavors here.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy on the palate, enough weight, goes down fine with a bit of a burn at the swallow and finishes sticky on the palate. Some heat lingers.

OVERALL: Good stuff all around. This is definitely hoppy Bigfoot with bourbon and wood on it. Well done and enjoyable, and the couple years on it probably worked out for the better. A solid barrel aged version of a hoppy barley wine. Good stuff and well worth picking up if you see it.

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Photo of HopHunter19
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - great bottle, a more refined bigfoot. And bigger.
S - huge citrus and pine hops, caramel malts and a big barrel character - vanilla, bourbon, oak, caramel, toasted coconut
T- same deal as nose - big pine and grapefruit balanced well by a caramel malt character but then that barrel characteristic kicks in
M - oh it's heavy, alc present but appropriate, 11.9%abv; aftertaste is more of the same goodness
O - great beer. Not much else to say about it. It's a classic.

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Photo of MikeWard
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

big bottle pouted into 4 4.5ml glasses and enjoyed with old friends on 9/7/17.

deep brown/red body with initially a nice small tan head which disappeared fairly quickly. No lacing.

Nose is encouraging, a little hop, a lot of sweet aromas, dried fruit and malt.

The hops are a little stronger on the taste, as is the bozziness, but not so much so that it takes over the drink. Solid sweet background and this balances out quite nicely for a palate like mine which leans towards English more than the American style barleywines.

Mouth is a little below medium, warm sweet and boozy with a little bite in the finish.

Overall, a sipper enjoyed by all.

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Photo of darktronica
3.79/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle, 2015 vintage, and I really didn't care for it in comparison to its un-barreled brethren. Far more sharp bitterness than even a fresh Bigfoot, and I'm not sure why. Maybe this is an outlier bottle, despite being properly cellared. I've had BA Bigfoot on draft before and don't recall it standing out like this.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.49/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought On-Line

750ml
Caged/Corked
2015 Expedition
ABV: 11.9%

Poured into a goblet a really nice cloudy brownish color, very nice carbonation, with a pretty nice small/creamy light tan head, which also leaves a medium size island, and some sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, hoppy, with some nice whiskey/oak, vanilla, with some raisins, figs, plums, some sweetness. The taste is malty, hoppy, with some very nice whiskey/oak notes, nice touch of vanilla, nice touch of dark fruit (raisins, figs, plums), some pretty nice sweetness. Full Body, ABV hidden pretty well, pretty nice complex brew. Overall, this is one tasty brew. Glad I found some.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.12/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Speckled custard over cherry amber. 4.25
Wood, cherry cough drop, brown sugar, and booze. 4
Cranberry and autumn leaf, dried orange rind, bourbon sugar, speck of cocoa, and pine bite. 4.25
Medium-dull, chewy, smooth. 4

First time I’ve seen a BA’s barleywine truly work. Sierra quality showing through. 4

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Photo of stephens101
4.34/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 bottling.

An old classic with a new touch. Who wouldn't be excited about that!

Burgundy and covered by a thick tan froth. Aroma is bigly with ripe cherry, gum, plum and pine. Smells like the base brew but a bit more boozy. Tastes rich with cherry, other dark fruits and pine of course but has a bigger fusel bit among some notes of wood and throughout the finish. Medium side of heavy in body and goes down a bit rough at the edges (as expected), so make no mistake, this is no metro-sexual stroll down the runway, but a hike through the woods, which is just the way I like it.

Definitely a brew any long-time geek will want to get to, and that some newer folks to the scene (that don't mind the ignominy of seeking out a lesser whale) may enjoy.

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Photo of DIM
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 expedition.

I typically don't age barrel aged beers, especially ones I've never tried. I made an exception this time because Bigfoot is MUCH better to me with at least 3 years on it. This spent almost a year in the barrel, so this beer is in my sweet spot. I've been looking forward to this for a long time.

It's obvious that Bigfoot spent that year in a freshly emptied, quality barrel. In light of that, it's incredible to me how easy it is to taste that aged Bigfoot flavor I know so well in the midst of all that oaky, boozy goodness.

The sharp, charred toffee flavor and pine needle bitterness don't jibe perfectly at all times with the sweet, vaguely chocolaty, whiskey notes punctuated by tingly oaky tobacco.

Some sips are a sublimely balanced treat that represent everything I hoped this beer would be. Sometimes too much of that toffee peeks through, clashing with the whiskey.

Overall I would have to say that this a magnificent treat that I would love to have again. If SN packaged this sensibly in 12 ounce bottles I would buy a case every year.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.32/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchase place/price unrecorded. Numbers above the label are partially removed.
750 mL cork and cage bottle stored at 42 degrees. Served at 60 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Aroma – whiskey which fades to nothing.
Head small (Maximum < two cm, aggressive pour), tan, creamy with some rocks, good retention. Slowly diminishing to a three mm ring with tight lacing immediately above. Thin complete layer with rocks.
Lacing – very nice: wide curtains of small, intricate patterns of even tinier bubbles. The lacing and head are all that give this beer any visual appeal.
Body – dark brown, dirty looking.
Flavor – really not very good. The whiskey from the nose doesn’t make it to the flavor. In fact, there is little flavor at all. Allowing it to warm on my tongue frees the alcohol and a hint of caramel and nothing else. Overall, kind of sour and not in a good way. No hops, no diacetyl, no malt.
Palate – medium, creamy, soft carbonation.

Appearance 3.75, Aroma 3.5, Flavor 3, Palate 3.5, Overall 3.5.

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Photo of bshefftz
4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyable beer, slightly hoppy American barley wine with strong underlying malt flavor. Just popped a bottle from 2013 - carbonation declined but flavor seems to have mellowed and deepened. Good now or good later!

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Photo of hreb
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 Expedition Barrel-Aged Bigfoot barley wine. Aged somewhat, obvious. Pours slick and viscous, like smooth caramel, falling into my Chimay chalice. No head formed. Aroma is rich and intoxicating with sweet malt and vanilla rich from the oak. Flavor is more assertive, with a strong American barleywine profile up front, and the dull bitterness of baking cocoa in the middle of my tongue. Gradually that melts away and reveals the (comparatively subtle) oaky vanilla profile has soaked into every corner of my mouth. Just a hint of alcohol burn in the back of the mouth, and then it's all gone -- remarkably clean finish. With a little age on it, barrel aged bigfoot is an impressively layered beer. And yeah, I do get a bit of that coconut. Enjoyable and quite drinkable even at 11.9%.

750 mL, 2015.

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Photo of TrojanRB
3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2015 bottle poured march 2017

Pours a brownish amber, thin cream head

Massive oak nose, a little vanilla, some bourbon

Taste is overpowering oak, burnt sugar, a little molasses

Slightly oily, little carbonation

Overall, disappointing. I didn't taste it fresh, but I'm not impressed after 2 years of aging. The barrels didn't seem charred (I got mostly fresh oak, not much caramelization, bourbon), and it was overpowering. Perhaps I'm spoiled by Firestone and the Bruery's BA beers

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Photo of ovaltine
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a HUUUUUGE beer, appropriately enough. It follows the base beer - dark copper color, tan head, and the aromas have the base beer, especially the caramel and toffee and the resiny hops.

Where this steers away from the base beer, obviously, is the barrel, which is very present on the nose and in the taste, but not in a negative way - the vanilla and oak mix well with the base beer to create a new beer that is most excellent.

I sat on this for two years, and I'm glad I did, because it aged really well. Just a pleasure to drink on a cold Minnesota evening.

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Photo of infinitebruner
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

October 25, 2016

750 ml bottle, tulip glass

A – Deep, brilliant mahogany, and extraordinarily clear. Almost two inches of off-white to light tan foam, frothy, which leaves significant legs and lacing as it recedes.

S – Resin, treacle, chewy molasses, a blast of vanilla, crème brulee, caramel. Some straight bourbon notes, along with stone fruit, peach pits.

T – A lot of alcohol here, fruity and slightly floral. Molasses and vanilla are massive. Some resin, apple, and caramel. Not as complex as the nose.

M – Still highly bitter, prominent so throughout, despite the barrel aging. Malt sweetness and a warm, nearing hot, alcohol bite. Somewhat thick, though not as chewy/viscous as other examples, comes across more as a “triple IPA” than a barleywine. Somewhat tannic, dry on the finish.

O – A very strong entry in the barrel aged barleywine category, but lacks complexity on the flavor, and seems to be missing something on the mouthfeel.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Pours a murky reddish brown with a one finger off white head. Tons of soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is caramel, vanilla, coconut and whiskey.

T - The taste starts sweet with vanilla, caramel, toffee and coconut followed by some piney hops. The finish is oak and whiskey barrel.

M - Heavy body with medium carbonation. Soft creamy mouthfeel with a dry finish.

O - This is a solid beer. The flavors are heavy on the piney hops and oak. Not something i'd buy often but I'm glad I tried it.

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Bigfoot - Barrel-Aged from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 1,353 ratings