Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale - Barrel-Aged | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale - Barrel-AgedSierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale - Barrel-Aged
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
sierra-nevada.com

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Callenak on 12-05-2006

BEER STATS
Reviews:
251
Ratings:
1,301
Avg:
4.14
pDev:
9.66%
 
 
Wants:
177
Gots:
614
For Trade:
72
User Reviews
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Reviews: 251 | Ratings: 1,301
Photo of zac16125
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle into a snifter
2015 Expedition


A: Pours a very hazy, dark rust colored brown with 1 plus fingers width of light tan head. Head has good retention and leaves a few patches of lacing. 4.25

S: Big nose. Boozier than I expected, with a Scotch-like peet character. Big barrel notes with oaky vanilla, subtle toasted coconut, and bourbony booze. Sweet malts include caramel and dark fruits. Hops are much more subtle than regular Big Foot of the same vintage (although the same vintage of the barrel aged variant would have about a year of natural aging on it from the time in the barrel). There is a somewhat astringent, almost acidic character that I don’t love, still a very good aroma though. 4.25

T: Wonderful maltiness with caramel, candied sugar, dark fruits, and subtle licorice. Bitterness from the hops is present and balances the sweetness very well. Barrel notes are present, but not as strong as in the aroma, and include charred oak and bourbon booze. Excellent beer. 4.5

M/D: Full bodied but not thick, carbonation appropriate, ABV is noticeable but in a good way, drinkability is excellent. 4.5

O: Very enjoyable. Take one of my favorite beers and throw it in a barrel for almost 1 year, what could go wrong? Whatever could go wrong certainly didn’t here. A great beer that I would have anytime it was available. 4.5

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

On-tap at the Brewkettle, Strongsville, OH 3/11/07

Listed as "Sierra Nevada Bourbon Bigfoot". Listed at 11% ABV on the board, but I assume that this is the same beer.


A: Pours a reddish-brown with a dense creamy head. Lots of lacing.

S: Fruity and malty with a noticable bourbon presence.

T: Big flavor. The same old familiar hoppy Bigfoot taste but with a strong taste the evolves from potent bourbon to a soft and complex vanilla flavor as your palate adjusts.

M: Big, thick, and silky smooth with light carbonation.

D: There are many beers that don't do well with bourbon aging. This isn't one of them. If you like Bigfoot, then you should buy copius amounts of this if given the chance.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.44/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

corked and caged bottle to the dome...in a sierra nevada balloon glass. picked this up locally...gotta say one of the harder beers to track down of late.

a - brew poured a semi transparent ruby with a thin off beige head of bubbles that hung out for a short time leaving a thin skin of bubbles on the surface.

s - wow. really nice. bigfoot is there, with a big glazing of whiskey. it is a perfect match. lots of wood and boozy caramel with the hoppy goodness of bigfoot's big hop and malt bill beneath. toffee, vanilla, caramel...whiskey.

t - zippity doo da...VERY nice. sort of what one would expect, exactly as advertised...it is bigfoot in a whiskey barrel. much like the nose, toffee, caramel with a strong glazing of whiskey over everything. definitely boozy, but palatable. burnt sugar and toasted coconut.

m - fairly boozy, leaves a tingle in my mouth. chewy.

o - overall, as advertised. bigfoot in a whiskey barrel. it is a winner. paint me impressed!

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.44/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Served on-tap at Harry's Hofbrau in a sampling glass.

A: No head. Very murky golden brown. Translucent.

S: Fruity alcohol. Smells great!! Rich toffee malts, tropical hops(!?), and delicious whisky. Huge fan.

T: Wow. Boozy and hugely bourbony. This tastes more like a bourbon barrel aged RIS than a Barleywine. Hops are strongly bitter, but overshadowed by the caramelized sugar and great malt. The end taste is dry and long and lingeringly bitter. Very impressive.

M: Light, spicy hops; sweet sticky caramel. Hops win.

O: Truly phenomenal. One of the most exciting beers I've tried in recent memory. Highly recommended.

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Photo of StaveHooks
4.44/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml served in a snifter.
Huge thanks to Hopswagger for snagging this one for me.

A - Pours a slightly hazed amber/brown body with golden edges and a yellowing tan head. A steady collar holds strong the entire session.

S - Opens up with big vanilla and whiskey barrel, lots of fermented fruit, woody dates, berries, apples, concentrated pine forest, sweet charred caramel malts, maple syrup, piney alcohol,

T - Thick caramel malt, resinous pine and peppery hop bitterness, maple flavored cotton candy sweetness, There's a tart slightly acidic fruit character, apple skins, dates, golden raisins, and berry fruit. Charred coconut, vanilla, oak wood, candied citrus oils only come out when warmed up. The hops don't seem to grow in bitterness on the finish like the normal version. The finish is rounded, smooth, and woody. A soft bitterness emerges on the aftertaste.

M - Silky soft feel, full body, carbonation is low and you barely notice it but it still has lifting power.

I've been looking forward to this one as Bigfoot is one of my all-time favorite beers. The aroma and flavors are similar but very different. The whiskey barrels seems to bring mostly vanilla and fruit but not much whiskey flavor. The fruit esters were unexpected and added a nice touch. The mouthfeel was extraordinary. Not as complex as other barrel aged beers I've had but this is still awesome.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 ml cork and caged bottle poured into a snifter.
12.2% ABV, 2013 Expedition

A - Ruby highlights accentuate this clear rusty amber beer giving it a fantastic color! The modest pour creates a tan head atop the still liquid and is nicely retained, resulting in a ring of foam and some fingers of lace after a few moments of settling.

S - Barrel-aged Bigfoot is upfront about it's booze; "ale aged in whiskey barrels" adorns the front of the bottle and, with the first whiff, it's evident. The alcohol flows freely from this beer but somehow remains in check with the base beer, harmoniously complimenting it rather than sweeping it aside. Oak and whiskey envelope gooey caramel sweetness and toasted bread adding complimentary notes of vanilla and traces of pure maple syrup. Don't give this beer a swirl though, you'll regret the off-putting aroma of burning rubber and resiny plastic immediately. Unlike the yearly release of this beer, barrel-aged Bigfoot is hardly hoppy-smelling.

T - Sharp whiskey alcohol grips the tongue with the first sip, softly giving way to bold maltiness and the complex nuances that follow; vanilla, oak tannins, dark fruits and pure maple syrup. With each passing sip, the alcohol which lingers on the palate becomes a little less intrusive, allowing for greater exploration of the malt complexity within. Notes of hops; earthiness and grapefruit rind add a fine layer of depth to the finish.

M - Whiskey flavor and alcohol give this big beer a surprisingly thin feeling from the get-go, but it's smooth and nicely rounded for a wonderful drinking experience that finishes with subtle dryness, alcohol warmth, and lingers on the palate for a long-lasting impression. Bigfoot's usual bitterness is surprisingly absent here.

O - Taking a iconic beer such as Bigfoot and giving it the barrel treatment seems like a big, yet necessary step for Sierra Nevada which resulted in a terrific contrast to the yearly release and is quite a pleasure to drink side-by side with the "normal" one. It's most noticeable variance is (obviously) the whiskey, but also the stark lack of hops, seemingly overpowered by it's time in the barrel. This potent "older brother" to Bigfoot is a welcome addition to Sierra's offering which will hopefully return (with more availability?).

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: On tap at the Prohibition Pig after a long day. Served in a 12 oz. tulip glass slightly chilled.

Appearance: Pours a creamy beige head with some nice retention. The lacing holds well to the glass. Medium to dark amber in color with a touch of haze.

Aroma: The whiskey from the barrels is very upfront and blends surprisingly well with the base beer. The base contributes some caramel, sherry and a touch of piney hops. The hops are definitely far more subdued than in fresh Bigfoot.

Taste: Really nice blend of the barrel and the base beer. Caramel, vanilla, whiskey, and a touch of peat all hit upfront with a bit of fused alcohol. The hops are definitely faded and don't dominate nearly as much as they do in fresh Bigfoot. They do lend a nice bitterness that offsets some of the other sweet flavors and adds some nice complexity. Drinks really smoothly.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, with nice carbonation. A big beer.

Overall, I really thought that the barrel did wonders to this beer and really added some nice new dimensions to the base beer. I got the really nice background sherry and medicinal tones of 2-3 year old Bigfoot along with really nice barrel character. It didn't feel muddled as I thought it might with the combination of the hops and the barrel. Well done. I will be looking to get a bottle or two to see how this evolves over time.

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Photo of arlo19
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into DFH signature glass. Great head, look, and sweet bourbon flavor. Can taste the same hop profile as their classic pale ale. Aroma and after taste is dry bitter hops, too much for my taste. Overall, solid American barleywine. Personally I prefer sweeter English style :-)

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Photo of Phigg1102
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lots of apple/peach in the nose. This beer is quite sweet, which I normally find a bit of a turnoff but it works for me here. Lots of caramel flavors swirl in the taste to accompany the stone fruit. Hints of tobacco and leather round it all out. I love bigfoot and this was a great barrel aged version.

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.46/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a great large tan head with sticky lacing edging to the sides of the glass as it settled after the pour.

S: Aroma of faint whiskey barrel, signature Bigfoot caramelized sugars and a less pronounced hop presence overtaken with subdued caramel notes as compared to the standard edition.

T: Flavor is completely different from the old familiar taste of Bigfoot. Being a large fan of this beer for a number of years now and stocking a good supply to age, the hop notes are notably not as overpowering as they are in the year that it is brewed, there is a great whiskey presence which for most whiskey barrel aged beers cannot be said, so this is a big plus for me in that it is prominent. Whiskey barrel notes add vanilla, caramel, wet wood, earth and prune flavors.

M: Thick as the original , but notably smoother, more balanced and rounded.

O: Overall this is very good. I had avoided getting this a few years back as the price of it is clearly higher than the standard Bigfoot which is one of the better prices for what was a 6 pack and is now in 4 packs. Unfortunately this year I wasnt able to find any before they sold out of inventory from my locals to keep the vertical going.

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Photo of K-Dog
4.46/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The perfect beer to sip on for st patricks day and the first round of ncaa tournament. Nice look and great smell of vanilla and oak. At first taste a little boozy but as it warmed the flavors really mellowed out nicely. This is best as it warms to room temperature. Excellent beer and a must try for those a fan of barley wines.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Credit for the American-style barleywine can be largely, if not solely attributed to Sierra Nevada and their Bigfoot Barleywine. Its taken thirty years of recipe formulation and execution and over a decade of barrel aged technique to achieve the seduction of taste that this bottle delivers.

Its tawny brown pour provides highlights of mahogany, ruby, and maroon just as soon as the beer releases its slightly yellowish foam. Mostly clear in color, the beer's sheer darkness prevents it from being see-through. Capped by that ultra-creamy froth, the beer retains exceptional for its high alcohol and barrel-aged character, all the while lacing randomly and intricately as the beer fades.

Maple syrup, oak, and incredible whisky are the boldest scents to entice the olfactory senses, but a secondary rise of dark pitted fruit, kettle caramelized toffee, toast, citrus peels and vanilla often times rival the more overt scents. Its a very lush and inviting set of aromas that seem to meld together beautifully.

Robust sweetness of caramelized malts provide a healthy and heaping dose of toffee, maple, and caramel. But just as the sweetness takes on port-like proportions, the fruit notes of plumb, raisin, currant, dates, grapes, and figs take hold and turn the beer slightly tart and savory. Aged oak, vanilla, and malt starches provide a mild creamy taste that teases the middle palate with notions of milkshake. But finishing with an overwhelming sense of whisky is peppery, coconut-like, moderate citrusy bitterness and strongly of barrel-infused alcohol for a taste that takes the original Bigfoot right out of orbit.

Full bodied without question, however the beer has a certain lightness due to how the whisky barrel smoothed out the textures, mellowed the hops, and tamed the alcohols somewhat. But a gradient lessening of malt sweetness allows the stronger alcohols to cut through the malt and usher in a balanced, warm, and malty-dry finish.

I'm rather surprised of how much the barrels diealed down the hops and rounded out the malts to sherry-like or port-like savoriness and complexity. But with the influx of bourbon barrel aged beers, I have become accustomed to expect more bourbon character than this simplified whisky flavor provided. Even still, its a world class barleywine that more resembles English versions than the standard Bigfoot provides.

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Photo of Roguer
4.48/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Brew looks mostly like regular Bigfoot: dark, nutty, and very clear. Pours with a strong fluffy beige head, decent retention, and tons of lacing.

Strong, rich aroma: tons of earthy, piney hops; caramel and toffee; whiskey and oak taking a nice back seat.

Up front, flavor is regular Bigfoot, but smoother: brown sugar, caramel, and a healthy dose of bitter hops. Whiskey starts to kick in mid-palate, slowly bringing some alcohol heat along. Finish carries notes of coconut and vanilla from the barrels. Complex, smooth, rich, deep, and with a long finish.

Silky mouthfeel; not exactly thick, but definitely a sipper. A little hot, but represents 12.2% incredibly easily. Long finish.

This is an excellent brew, with the barrel incorporated carefully to add to, vice subtract from, Bigfoot's regular character.

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Photo of kerry4porters
4.49/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2013 version very strong whiskey nose but mellow whiskey flavor with lost of barley wine flavors brown sugar molasses alcohol sweetness not bad at all really smooth after a year of age nice buzz after drinking the entire bottle haha

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Photo of Sparty1224
4.49/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Serving: 1 Pt 9.4 Fl. oz. bomber poured into a Founder's CBS snifter. Bottled on 1/22/15, making this just under a month old.

A: Pours a dark ruby-red color, pretty clear. Just a thin ring of white head laces the beer.

S: Lots of vanilla, oak, molasses. Some maple-candy sweetness in there as well. Picking up some licorice and candied red apples too. The whiskey barrel isn't huge on the nose, but it's definitely there.

T: Vanilla, oak, rich maple syrup. Some caramel and raison notes as well. Big, big hop presence here in the finish. Lots of dank, piney, resinous qualities to it. Quite bitter actually.

M: Nice and full, good carbonation for a barrel-aged beer. Very hot and boozy on the finish, with quite a lingering bitterness.

O: I remember being very fond of this beer back when it first came out in 2013... but that was before I had tried BCBBW. I love regular Bigfoot, and in general I prefer the very hop-forward American-style barleywines. But when it comes to throwing them into barrels, I think you have to go English-style. The smooth, malty flavors just work so much better in the barrel. This beer still feels very hot, hoppy and undercooked, even after a year in a barrel. Also, the barrel character isn't huge here. BCBBW is in 3rd-use barrels, and the barrel is way more present there. This is a very nicely done beer, and it's just what I expected from barrel-aging Bigfoot. But I just really prefer BA English-style BW's so much more, and this leaves me wanting a bit.

Recommendation: A bit easier to come by in 2015 compared to 2013, so get on it while you can, it's totally worth it.

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Photo of AirBob
4.49/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Muddy amber-brown body with a thin film of off-white head. Nice lacing.

Bourbon. Vanilla. Maybe some underlying dark fruit and oak. Some pine resin in the back end.

Starts with bourbon, vanilla, and oak. Shifts to some caramel, orange, and pine. Finishes with some sweet raisin, orange, vanilla, and citrus pith. Super complex.

Mouthful is slightly sticky - the bitter finish helps to cut through. Medium bodied and carbonation.

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Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.49/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bigfoot is such a cult classic in the craft beer world. The Barrel Aged version is no different in terms of genius. This takes all those fine aspects of the original and adds even more complex sweetness from the barrels. This is a truly special bottling from SN and one I hope they send my way every year. One of the best American Barleywine ales in the world.

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

This beer capped off a vertical tasting of Bigfoot from 2007 to 2013. By this point, we were pretty much palate-fatigued, but this beer really made everyone sit up and take notice. The aroma is immediately striking, with its strong whiskey notes. Two years in the barrel really imparted a strong character. Same goes for the taste. It’s Bigfoot, but wrapped up in whiskey barrel goodness. Never too much of the barrel though. Really, the balance is exceptional in how they managed to deliver the best of both worlds. The oaky vanilla also nicely plays with the flavors. Barrel Aged Bigfoot was the star of the show as we all thought it was the most enjoyable beer of the bunch. I feel lucky to have tried this special release.

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

750ml bottle into a snifter. Birthday present from BA morningthief (/hat tip).

Appearance: Translucent orange-ish brown. Free pour yields a 2 inch frothy white head that dissipates steadily and lacelessly. Predictably leggy due to the high ABV. Great clarity.

Smell: Lingering piny hops, white bread, rounded out by a good dose of oaky vanilla tinged with whiskey. Doesn't hit you over the head, but very pleasing; spicy like whiskey, with some good marzipan-oriented pastries right out of the oven aromas going on. Smells like Bigfoot, aged in whiskey barrels--exactly what you would expect.

Taste: Love it. Huge piny bitterness cutting through thick layers of vanilla oak and "how did they come up with a grain bill that would yield a beer so rewarded by oxidation and age?" Bigfoot malt flavors. This is the beer that taught beer geeks about what good can come of exposing beer to time and oxygen... exposing it to oak tastes exactly how you would expect it to in light of this: delicious.

As for the grocery list: lots of vanilla, not so much caramel, surprisingly heavy layer of molasses, lots of pine bitterness, decent alcohol heat kick but (even at 12%) the heat is overwhelmed by pure flavor. Decadent, satisfying treat.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Not very intrusive; mild carbonation, mildly dry, not particularly creamy or slick. Just lets the dazzling flavors do their thing.

Overall: I had high expectations for BA Bigfoot and they were met. If you've drank a lot of Bigfoot and a lot of barrel aged beer, you should have a pretty good idea of what this *should* taste like. As is so often the case with Sierra Nevada, the finished product delivers.

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Photo of chugalug06
4.51/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Very minimal white head grows on top of the clear emerald colored medium viscous liquid.

Lots of caramel, coconut, tobacco, leather, vanilla, whiskey, yum.

Loads of dry tobacco flavors. Whiskey is very prevalent. Bitterness is near perfect and I dig the extremely low carbonation. Sweetness is nice-and-even throughout the dynamic complexity of the brew. Very well blended and thought out.

Drink this badboy near room tempature... Opens very nicely and has a wonderful array of deep flavor. It's certainly one of the top BA B-wines IMO. I can't wait to see what direction my other BABF goes in after 5years+... Highly recommended

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.51/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle served in a snifter.

L - clouded reddish/amber color with a off-white head that thinned to a ring.

S - the whiskey makes itself known but the aroma of Bigfoot is lurking in the background.

T - WOW, Bigfoot is a delicious beer to begin with and SN takes it up a notch with the whiskey barrel aging. Everything malty and hop wise that Bigfoot is with the taste of whiskey blended in perfectly.

F - medium/full bodied with a smooth feel.

O - the abv never makes itself known but someone put whiskey in my Bigfoot and I like it!

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Photo of johnnieoz
4.51/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Boxing Day brew.
Same lovely amber maple syrup hues as regular Bigfoot with a smaller off white crown. Oaky aroma, somewhat muted. Taste? Taste! Absolutely magnificent barrel-aging in effect - vanilla, caramel, woody hops. I can't recall having had a smoother beer. It coats the palate with all those flavors thanks to the subdued carbonation. Perhaps it's because I know and love the base beer, but this is one of best beers I've ever had. Kudos Sierra Nevada & please make it available every once in a while.

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Photo of Mertzy81
4.52/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a reddish-brown with a dense creamy head. Lots of lacing.

S: Fruity and malty with a noticable bourbon presence.

T: Big flavor. The same old familiar hoppy Bigfoot taste but with a strong taste the evolves from potent bourbon to a soft and complex vanilla flavor as your palate adjusts.

M: Big, thick, and silky smooth with light carbonation.

D: There are many beers that don't do well with bourbon aging. This isn't one of them. If you like Bigfoot, then you should buy copius amounts of this if given the chance.

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Photo of InkedinRi
4.52/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very smooth.. Awesome mouth feel on this beer! And it's fresh not aged, it's a 2015, it would like velvet in my mouth after a couple of years in the cellar!

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.52/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bigfoot Barleywine pours a dark reddish color with a big long lasting lacing head. There is a big oakey and whiskey aroma. The taste has a big oak flavor, hints of whiskey, dry fruit like raisins, with a warm alcohol finish. Nice body good flavors. Overall very complex, lots of fruit, sugary flavors, with whiskey and oak mixed in. Much better then regular bigfoot.

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Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale - Barrel-Aged from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.14 out of 5 based on 1,301 ratings.
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