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 | website

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:
240
Ratings:
1,254
Avg:
4.15
pDev:
22.41%
 
 
Wants:
181
Gots:
630
For Trade:
75
User Reviews
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Reviews: 240 | Ratings: 1,254
Photo of BEERchitect
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
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%
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 +8.2%
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 +8.2%
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 +8.2%
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 +8.2%
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 +8.4%
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 +8.4%
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 +8.7%
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 +8.7%
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 +8.7%
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 +8.9%
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 +8.9%
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 +8.9%
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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Photo of facundoCNB
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

a deep ruby red/burgundy almost black with a finger of creme colored head which gave off some nice lacing. the smell is a blast of vanilla and whiskey, caramel, sweet malt, a banana-like scent makes it overall sweet and leaning towards fruity. oh my.. the flavor is SO SO tasty. the whiskey is as mellow as it is in the central waters bourbon barrel barleywines.. i'd hate to compare it, but this is on par with that. vanilla, banana, whiskey/bourbon (sorry, don't mean to offend people but there's not much of a difference to my palate in the 2 different liquors), oak, tons of delicious sweet malt.
full body with a moderate amount of carbonation for the style. creamy and very subtle with the alcohol warmth but it does catch up to you.

this is a phenomenal beer in every aspect. as a barrel aged beer, it falls nothing short of its promise. as a barleywine, i like mine hoppy, strong, yet sweet.. this one is lacking on the hops, but is still damn close to perfect. as a barrel aged barleywine, it is delicious. a 12% abv that you don't realize until, well, it's too late.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Barrel-aged Bigfoot Barleywine-style Ale, Ale aged in Whiskey Barrels. Alc. 11.9% by Vol.

Appearance: Clear, bright and beautiful crimson coloring, lush, creamy off-white head, lazily leaving lace. Just about perfect.

Aroma: Caramel and vanilla caress the nose….no, that's not right, but I didn't want to say "assault" either. What's right? It's a passionate flowering, how about that? A gentle invasion of whiskey flavors flooding the senses. Deep and powerful, the barrel affects are pounding on the gates, and letting loose, with the proper Bigfoot Barley-wine lagging a little behind.

Taste, now: In the mouth, the bourbon blares on through once more, the caramel, vanilla, char and oak associations sound off the loudest on the tongue. And now the Bigfoot comes crawling from his cave, here comes all the flavors we've known all the rich malt, the brandy notes, the toffee and the dried fruit and the leather. And as we go on, it's growing and showing it's full flower. Increasing intensity. While Remaining mellow.

This ale moves back and forth. Now, the heat increases, now the alcohol rises. The barley-wine flavor peeks through, then the whiskey tones return. It's a complicated thing, this. Cool and hot, incredibly complex. Now, it's showing rich fruit, with high alcohol presence. Then, caramel malt resurfaces….the flavor is as full as it gets, the finish is ever-lasting.

This one goes beyond what I like to pay for a bottle of beer ($20), but it's worth every penny. It even feels cheap for quality of this magnitude. In fact, it seems necessary to buy more just to keep and cellar.

The more I drink it in, the more ridiculously drinkable it is, despite the richness, despite the high ABV. It's just damned well-done is what it is.

Time to read the bottle: "2015 Expedition. Our Bigfoot Barley-wine-style ale is a craft beer legend. Each winter, this beast of a beer appears to ambush unsuspecting palates with it's intense bittersweet flavors. We matured this special barrel-aged version in oak Kentucky bourbon casks for nearly a year before unleashing it into the wild. The result is an incredibly complex version of the classic beer. Bigfoot's notorious assault of resinous hops has mellowed and the wood's influence shifts your focus toward the malt, rich burnt sugar flavors and notes of vanilla, toasted coconut, and raisins. Grab this elusive beast while you can, it won't be around for long."

You may notice that this time I did not refer to the copy on the back of the bottle as "gobbledygook." Because it isn't. (Also notice that they weren't so shy about using the word "assault.")

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Photo of Pete_IV
4.54/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: A crisp ruby reddish mahogany color, with a quater inch high tan head
S: instant bourbon, toffee, vanilla, maple
T: smoooooth toffee bourbon notes, no hop bite at all really, some toasted sweet malts, more vanilla flavors.
F: so creamy and smooth on the tongue.
O: Very happy with this beer. For me this is what I imagine barrel aged to mean.

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Photo of Justin_Neff
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Dark copper color with a 2 finger head. Great lacing that sticks on the glass throughout the entire drink. The foamy lacing sticks around the brew for the whole drink. Nice and fluffy.

S: Whhhiskey! Hints of caramel, toffee, brown sugar, dark fruits, and butter. Good.

T: More whiskey. Lots of malt. Caramel - more than the nose suggests. Some oak. Finishes with some hop bitterness.

M: Full body and very creamy. Low carbonation.

O: Couldn't believe when my dad showed up at my doorstep in Ohio this morning and told me he came across a bottle of this in Indiana. I truly owe him, as this one was worth the hype. Thanks Pops!! Great balance of flavor, smell, and body.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.56/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I feel like I popped this at the near perfect time given my preference on Bigfoot. The hops were still plenty pronounced even after 8 months of cellaring but it complemented the barrel notes wonderfully. Nice creamy feel and insanely drinkable for the high ABV. My recommendation would be to age it longer if you don't enjoy the spiciness of the hops in Bigfoot. If you like that hop character, drink it now. It's wonderful.

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Photo of Nife
4.56/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

First time I have tried this. A 10oz glass at SN taproom. Bigfoot hops r still there but subdued. Whiskey barrel taste complements the Bigfoot flavor perfectly. Everything is in balance. Mod malty nose with whisky barrel aroma nicely in step. Mine is a bit cold now. Hides its alch very well. Very enjoyable. Went perfectly with dinner.

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Photo of DonDirkA
4.57/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The nose is similar to the original only in the background, right up front it is definitely barrel aged. Bourbon, vanilla, toasted coconut, oak, caramel, molasses, a hint of piney hops and some booziness. The bourbon barrel comes forward REALLY strong in the taste. Toasted coconut, oak, bourbon, caramel, pine hops, vanilla, some citrus and sweet roasted, caramel malts. I like the more pronounced malts of the barrel-aged version as opposed to the standard Bigfoot. The hops are much more muted and subtle. Medium to full body, low but proper carbonation, very smooth, not too boozey and a sweet, somewhat chewy mouthfeel. I could drink this all the time whereas the original is a bit rougher, in my opinion.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.58/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: deep amber brown with ruby highlights, tan two-finger head of dense foam; didn't really lace my tulip glass - they subsided quickly

S: sweet malty aromas and whiskey, floral and earthy hops and yeasts.

T: fantastic tasting - rich, rugged malt flavors, sweeter up front than on the finish. I thought of bitter toffee/burnt sugar and old coffee. Some hints of dried dark fruit, vanilla, and musky earth and wood; nicely bitter and savory. Whiskey notes hover around the palate. Bittersweet and resinous...

M: great chew, medium density, moderate carbonation, more coating than tingling, slight tackiness

O: a great barleywine - complex and hearty, strong and only semi-sweet - sweeter than the normal Bigfoot, but not overly sweet; the bitter hops leaft a great aftertaste between sips. Reminded me of American and English strong ales/old ales. Definitely something to buy again if spotted.

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Photo of Trilogy31
4.59/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Hoping i am in the right place for this beer as it it appears i am the first to review the newly released 750 bottled version. A slow hiss as i pull the cork, this brew pours a brilliant amber ruby hue with a beige finger of creamy foam - stunning looking. The nose is a beauty as well, bourbon barrel booze esters, caramel, nougat, vanillin. Also bright sugar plums and sticky toffee along with dates and booze soaked figs. Very complex on the nose with a lot of booze as well. The taste is not quite to the level of the nose with the alcohol hiding up some more of the noses nuanced characteristics. Brings oloroso sherry, rye whiskey as well as irish whiskey, somehwhat grainy and drying. The finish is somewhat tannic and very boozy, cannot imagine how amazing this will be in two years after having time to mellow and all the flavors to integrate.

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Photo of RyanEley
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The Sierra Nevada Brewery is an amazing place to sample beers. They always have ones that you have never seen in the store or have never heard of. Last night I had wood barrel aged bigfoot. It was aged in a whiskey barrel so it ended up being 12.5% and it had a nice taste of whiskey at the end.

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Photo of BenwayPHD
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, reddish brown with a light brown thin head. The nose is robust and delicious. Whiskey and booze right up front. Toffee, vanilla, pepper, mild citrus, Hawaiian Punch. The flavor is really nice. A bit more subtle than other barrel aged barleywine I've had. The mouth feel is a bit too thin, but still nice.

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Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale - Barrel-Aged from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.15 out of 5 based on 1,254 ratings.
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