Bigfoot - Barrel-Aged
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Bigfoot - Barrel-AgedBigfoot - Barrel-Aged
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Barleywine - American
4.18 | pDev: 9.57%
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Bigfoot - Barrel-AgedBigfoot - Barrel-Aged
Reviews: 280 | Ratings: 1,368 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of misteil
misteil from Ireland

4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

had this, 2016 bottle, while on a zoom call with my friends on what would usually be our yearly wine and cheese night, covid got in the way of those plans, also barelywine has wine in the name so good enough, this beer was crazy, so complex, such great depth of flavour, very floral and earthy, lot of pine, whiskey, brandy, dark malt flavours, pumpernickel bread, ovaltine, honey, caramel, honey, nicely sweet, medium to high bitterness on the finish, malt flavours linger, great beer

Dec 27, 2020
Photo of EMV
EMV from Pennsylvania

4.31/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 vintage. Poured form a cork'n'cage bomber into a Dogfish head tulip

L: Cloudy chestnut brown pour. Thick foamy white head leaves great lacing.

S: Bourbon and vanilla. Booze... sweet sugars and spice.

T.F: Follows the nose. Brown sugar and toffee... bourbon and booze. Dark fruit, bread, and whiskey. Complex... some vanilla and spice. Thick and heavy bodied... sticky mouthfeel. Some bitterness comes through as well. Boozy but dangerously drinkable. Better as it warms a bit.

O: An outstanding BA barley-wine. It's hard to do this style this boozy this well, but Sierra Nevada nailed it. 5 years in the bottle and drinks like a dream.

Jun 28, 2020
Photo of jlindros
jlindros from Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been waiting to do this for a while. A long day with lots of yardwork, I'm sore. Then campfire and smores with the kids, this is a nice top off, 2015 vintage

It has the consistency of fresh motor oil when it pours, thick and viscous, light foamy off-white head fair retention, fair lacing as well, long sticky legs, dark hazy mahogany brown color

Nose brings a great barleywine aroma, juicy malts, lots of sweet candy like malts but not too sweet, toffee, caramel, really nice soft almost winey aged slight oxidized malt character with some malt-derived ester fruits like plum, little raisiny, rich caramel, vanilla cream and mild barrel notes, with some smooth whiskey in the background almost Irish whiskey,

Taste starts with more of the rich malts, but this time big whiskey comes through, more American whiskey almost bourbon like, lots of vanilla barrel and vanilla cream, a little toasted oak, plenty of sweet malts, burnt brown sugar, candi sugar or rock candy like, lots of caramel and toffee, with more malt-derived fruity esters, light plum fig like, and a little aged malt slight oxidized sherry or port wine characters, toasted oak and a little baking spices, touch of coconut even, typical Bigfoot hoppy note, earthy spicy hops kick in with med-high bitterness, mild sticky finish with a bit of stickiness and lingering spicy hops

Mouth is med to fuller bod, rich almost chewy, med foamy carb, light warming alcohol

Overall what I expected, delicious, wish the barrel was a bit more, but maybe age dropped the barrel out a bit, hops are still very prevalent, and aged malt characters were nice, so overall still a great beverage, but hard to justify the huge price tag

May 03, 2020
Photo of Lucular
Lucular from Maryland

3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

5 oz pour on tap. This is a big, boozy barleywine that features caramel, oak, toffee, and citrus/pine hops with some bourbon. Too sweet and boozy for my taste. Mouthfeel is surprisingly thin. Unfortunately this one is a letdown for me.

Jan 09, 2020
Photo of 1EyedWilly
1EyedWilly from Colorado

4.74/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Tasted and bought at Sierra Nevada Brewery. Bigfoot has always been a favorite. Barrel aged (and aged again) just makes it that much more interesting and special.

Aug 23, 2019
Photo of GarrettB
GarrettB from Colorado

3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

Dec 01, 2018
Photo of BeardedWalrus
BeardedWalrus from North Carolina

4.6/5  rDev +10%
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.

Nov 25, 2018
Photo of larryi86
larryi86 from Delaware

4.39/5  rDev +5%
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.

Sep 07, 2018
Photo of stevoj
stevoj from Idaho

3.96/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

Apr 02, 2018
Photo of hman43
hman43 from North Carolina

4.29/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Dec 27, 2017
Photo of Korbynlehr
Korbynlehr from Kentucky

4.48/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

Dec 18, 2017
Photo of ryan1788a5
ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts

3.86/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

Nov 26, 2017
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

Oct 23, 2017
Photo of FFreak
FFreak from Vermont

4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Oct 23, 2017
Photo of BoldRulerVT
BoldRulerVT from Vermont

4.18/5  rDev 0%
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!

Oct 23, 2017
Photo of Jeffo
Jeffo from Netherlands

4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Sep 27, 2017
Photo of HopHunter19
HopHunter19 from Missouri

4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

Sep 27, 2017
Photo of MikeWard
MikeWard from Pennsylvania

4.16/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

big bottle pouted into 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.

Sep 15, 2017
Photo of darktronica
darktronica from Indiana

3.79/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

Aug 02, 2017
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch from Colorado

4.49/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought On-Line

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.

Jul 23, 2017
Photo of StJamesGate
StJamesGate from New York

4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
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

Jul 17, 2017
Photo of stephens101
stephens101 from Oklahoma

4.34/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Jul 01, 2017
Photo of DIM
DIM from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

Jun 05, 2017
Photo of Ozzylizard
Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

3.32/5  rDev -20.6%
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.

May 05, 2017
Photo of bshefftz
bshefftz from California

4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
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!

Apr 27, 2017
Bigfoot - Barrel-Aged from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 1368 ratings