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:
1,300
Avg:
4.14
pDev:
9.66%
 
 
Wants:
177
Gots:
614
For Trade:
73
User Reviews
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Reviews: 251 | Ratings: 1,300
Photo of hctap00
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A sexy beer. I am not good at colors, but I'll do my best to describe the appearance. Held to the light, it is ruby red, with a fair amount of translucence. When not in the light, it reminds me of a scotch ale. Are dark brownish mahogany, with red hints, fairly murky. Lovely tan lacing that never fades.

Aroma has hints of regular Bigfoot. Some of the citrus and pine hops, but far more subtle. Plenty of oak and vanilla, maybe some molasses. Some booze noticeable but not too much. Overall malty, sweet goodness. More mellow than I expected.

It is still pretty hoppy. Definitely has mellowed after a year in the barrel, but the hops are still prevalent. This is a good thing, as I love the hop profile of Bigfoot. Perfect combination of citrus, pine, and hop sweetness. The malt profile surrounding the hops is also Bigfoot-esque, but richer, and a bit harsher, but in a good way. Hard to pick out individual flavors with so much going on. Obviously the oak/vanilla is prominent. The bottle label says "rich burnt sugar...toasted coconut and raisins." Not sure about the last two, but definitely the burnt sweetness. There is some kind of lingering fruitiness in the finish that I like. I really like that the whiskey booziness is distinct but not overwhelming. Adds another layer of complexity rather than merely burning alcohol.

Rather creamy, lingers for a while...nice.

While it was not exactly what I was expecting, it was still very enjoyable. Perhaps it is the Boltcutter effect, but I thought that BA Bigfoot would be an all out flavor assault and completely lacking in subtlety. Far from it, this beer was rather mellow and never overpowering. The flavor of the whiskey barrel rather than the intensity and the heat was most noticeable. I like what SN did with this. I hope they continue with this annual release.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A-Clear ruby, not much carbonation, one finger off white head.

S-Burnt coconut, oak and not much whiskey.

T-Some spiciness, the burnt coconut is a tad too dominate, some bitterness and some molasses.

M-Medium bodied and nicely carbonated.

O-The coconut was too much for me. Wanted more bourbon/oak and caramel. Maybe age will do this some good.

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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 DrinkSlurm
4.36/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into wine glass at avenue pub nola. Pours a syrupy brown with reddish hue. Not any head but some lacing is present. Big sweet syrup molasses malty booze aroma. Lots of whiskey notes and dried cherry. Taste is sweet dried fruity malty...all kinds of flavors here. Some tobacco and vanilla woody shine. Its soooo smooth its almost unbelievable. I could basically chug this. Wow. What a fantastic barleywine...

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Photo of olfolxholme
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into Deschutes tulip snifter

A - Beautiful, clear, dark ruby beer pours with about 1 finger of crisp white foam. Really gorgeous when held to the light. Slight head retention, good lacing.

S - Everything I was hoping to smell here. Great barrel aged character, chocolatey barley - these overpower the hops that I normally associate with Bigfoot.

T - Oak whiskey barrel and sweet barley forward. Chocolatey. A nice bitterness. Great taste.

M - Nicely carbonated, good amount of oiliness, just the right amount of burn. Very refreshing.

O - So. Good. There were a lot of things to love about this beer, and it definitely did not disappoint. I really hope they can continue to release this year after year. It is an EXCELLENT barleywine, and a great contender in the current barrel-aging craze. Absolutely worth trying. Buy two or three bottles, try to cellar at least one.

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Photo of ocelot2500
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear reddish amber color with a small, fizzy off-white head that fades quickly leaving little to no lacing.

Smells of oak notes of wood and a bit of vanilla.

Tastes of big hop and whiskey notes duking it out. Oak and vanilla notes come through first and definitely make their presence known. This leads rather well into a toasted bread, caramel, and toffee to soften the presence of the oak. Dark fruit notes come through as well with the sweetness adding depth. Everything culminates in a big hop finish with pine and citrus notes cutting through the sweetness. Finishes a little hot with a slight belly and throat warmth.

Mouthfeel is full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is quite tasty and the barrel-aging fans should love it.

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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 elNopalero
4.8/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This was just incredible One of those beers you are familiar with and have tried over the years—fresh and aged—and then it’s knocked out of the park with the new characteristics barrel aging gives it.

This poured an amber color with light foam. Simply incredible aroma, with a muted hoppiness but just these great toffee and coconut notes that have emerged. The flavor has an upfront bitterness which turns into part smooth and partly sweet. I pick up candied orange, shaved coconut, and this nice piney chew. Fantastic finish. I could easily drink this one all day.
This is a fantastic beer turned extra amazing.

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Photo of yourefragile
2.83/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

750 mL bottle shared By Banich, thanks!

Pours a clearish ruby amber with a transient light cream head that fades to a thin collar and no lace. Aroma of whiskey and... um, whiskey and pine sap, maple, oak and oppression. Flavor is sweet and oaky. Doesn't really taste like Bigfoot, just straight whiskey and wood. Sweet and syrupy, burnt and toasted, piney hops and awww hell who cares. Very raw, oaky, hoppy and woodsy. Even Oaked Horizontal was more interesting than this. Seriously, what's the point of this mess?

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Photo of harrymel
3.57/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Didn't think I'd get any of this - low and behold I scored seven bottles today.

Toasted hazelnut with a light etching of creamy foam. Smells are initially boozy and harsh, allow this one to open for a good 10 minutes. then you'll be rewarded with vanilla, nougat, whiskey barrel, caramel, hops are still in there, but profoundly subdued. Taste ranges from boozy, to sweet to bitter all in the same mouthful. I get lots of sharp alcohol early, then a deep malty character accented with syrup, spiced rum, bitterness, pine sap, toffee and some bits of plum. The body is thinner than I'd prefer, and the carb a little hi with a wet finish.

Make no mistake, the barrel added to the intensity of this beer. The barrel did not, however, tone down the beast, only changed the hairdoo. This beer is fucking hardcore. I am really surprised it was in the barrel for over a year, as the beer still seems a little rough around the edges (something I respect in a fresh Bigfoot) but with the added potential the whiskey barrel added to the overall depth.

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Photo of portia99
4.04/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged bottle poured into a CBS snifter.

A - Bottle opens with a healthy pop and pours a slightly dirty/muddy medium dark amber color. A short head of loose bubbles forms briefly and leaves behind an uneven ring of off-white bubbles for a collar.

S - Sweet toffee aroma upfront, backed with some assertive vanilla, lightly buttery, sweet and boozy whiskey.

T - Whiskey is up front here for sure and takes the lead with a boozy, alcohol fronted flavor. The Bigfoot base comes thru tho behind it...big hop bitterness comes on behind the booze with some citrusy aspects as well. Oak, vanilla, butter, toffee, bit of brown sugar. A bit unbalanced to me - whiskey and hop bitterness dominate and overpower the rest instead of complementing.

M - Big and boozy - quite noticeable alcohol...a bit rough around the edges and somewhat hot. Noticeable alcohol burn that lingers long past the swallow. Medium body with a lighter mid-level carbonation.

O - Wanted to try a bottle of this fresh, as I love fresh Bigfoot in its standard incarnation (although being aged in a barrel for an extended time probably doesn't qualify this as truly fresh) and its big hop profile that dies over time. Despite these feelings, before drinking this I was figuring that this version would probably go against this and be better with some age. After drinking this bottle, I think that is probably correct. Not bad now, but a bit disjointed and unbalanced. I think as this ages, the whiskey will smooth out and the hops will fade more and this should transform into a much more balanced and better beer. As suspected, my other bottle will be sitting in the cellar for a while to see what happens with this over time.

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Photo of lovindahops
4.24/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I like fresh Bigfoot so I figured I should probably try this fresh as well.

A- BA Bigs pours a dark red amber with a frothy white head that recides quickly. Glowing intimidation (if you will) of a big body beer in the distance seems to be the likely case

S- Big whiskey and the groo grux king! Massive presence of the barrel aging is mingling over the dark fruit, fig, raisin, and sweet apple flavor. Caramel, oak, and vanilla coate the aforementioned fruit them presenting a high octane scent profile. I can certainly smell some coconut theme in there too. Extreme scent profile might be a understatement

T- sweet caramel, figs, and oak vanilla is amplified by a burst of the whiskey barrels. A smooth burnt sugar flavor enrobes your mouth with flavors that are then whiplashed with whiskey. This is a big time well thought out barrel aged brew. The darkened fruit bigfoot flavor has heightened caramel flavor, but not so much in the hops department. It's just a straight shot of beastly oaky barleywine flavor

M- good syrupy carbonation is anticipated upon and equally received

O- what a beast. This brew is a monster. There is so much activity going on that has blown up exponentially from the whiskey barrels. Detailed work that produced an excellent product. I would have expected nothing less from sierra nevada

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Photo of MadScientist
4.7/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: A light copper with good clarity. The head is persistant and made of creamy tan bubbles that leave a light lacing on the glass. The alcohol shows some legs but mostly coating the glass in sheets.

S: There was an inviting aroma of burnt sugar that hit my nose when poped the cork, down in the glass there is a strong aroma of oak and malt. The oak mostly brings cinnamon, coconut and whiskey notes while the rich barley wine malt brings smells of sweetness, burnt sugar, red cherries and raisins. There isn't any noticeable hops but a smooth, moderate alcohol aroma.

T: Cherries, oak, a toffee-like malt sweetness and moderately-strong hops bitterness dominate the flavor with some alcohol making it's presence clear in the middle. Moderate whiskey flavors as well. There is a good amount of hops bitterness but an almost equal amount of sweetness making for a balance that is about even with a finish that manages to be sweet while having a lingering hops bitterness.

M: A Creamy, medium-full bodied beer with a moderate carbonation. Fairly strong alcohol warmth without being unpleasant or solventy.

O: I'd use this as a classic example of style for an oak aged beer as the barrel aging of strong yet the Barleywine flavors are clear and the overall flavors are balance and complementary.

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Photo of SirHefeweizen
4.17/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I was very happy to get a hold of this beer. Poured into a Leffe glass it was a few shades darker than the original bigfoot. Almost a brownish burnt color. The mouth feel was not as thick as I was expecting, The taste was a whole new beast for sure, heavy on the whiskey notes, with a lot less hop profile than before. Some burnt sugar and raisin notes as the bottle mentions. The nose was strong with the barrel, it was hard to get the sweet malty scent i was used to, very little hop overtones either.
Overall I was very happy with this beer, the alcohol, while very high, was not too dominant in the flavor and it was unique for sure

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Photo of ms11781
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2013 Expedition marked on bottle. 750ml bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a deep, murky ruby red color, close to brown but not quite. A decent off white head develops, maybe a half a finger, and settles in as spotty foam cap. There is some wispy lacing left on the glass and there is less of it as the beer disappears.

The appearance might be the Bigfoot we all know but the nose sure isn't. Whiskey and oak dominate the nose. Neither is overpowering but they stand out above all else. To a lesser extent there is some vanilla and a caramel/toffee sweetness. The barrel notes really come through here and make this a completely different beer than it was.

The taste still has a lot of barrel character to it but the hops that pack a punch in fresh Bigfoot are here as well. Caramel, toffee, vanilla, oak, whiskey, some dark fruit and piney hops are all here and mix so well that it's tough to discern where one ends and the other begins. Aside from the unmistakable resiny bitterness from the hop finish each characteristics seem to be present all the way through each sip.

The mouthfeel is big and sticky with a decent but not unwelcome alcohol kick. The carbonation is relatively high for the style, especially a BA version. Lower carbonation would perhaps make the beer a bit smoother and less rough around the edges. Time could work that out as well.

This is definitely a really good beer. The barrel notes already seem to be well integrated already and it compliments the already great base beer nicely. As mentioned, the carbonation is high for the style and it sort of throws the mouthfeel off a bit for me. I'd like to see this beer down the road to see what comes of it.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.01/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared thanks to Jason, thanks man.

The beer pours a nice brown and red mixed color with some nice shine, it has a *tiny* head with a fresh pour but it dies down to a still spirit look very quickly.

The smell is absolutely dominated by the whiskey, really the only reason it's not all whiskey is that th malt balances the heat down on the barrel completely so it's nice and fluffy... good, but one dimensional.

The taste has a nice marshmallow pillowy sweetness with some nice warm pie spice notes and even a hint of slight acidity. Good barrel notes, some slight hoppy and raisin notes from the base.

Feel is good, beer good overall.

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Photo of yamar68
4.14/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I've heard that this one is pretty hot at the moment - but I've never been afraid of a bit of booze in my beer. Plus, I prefer fresh Bigfoot 9 times out of 10 to begin with. Let's see...

Pours pretty much just as you'd expect with the addition of a deeper copper body. Good, consistent lacing and a surprising amount of beading beneath the carb cap. Really nice looking stuff I'd say.

They definitely didn't hesitate when it came to the barrel's contribution to the nose profile. Massive warm whiskey and vanilla, oak... the hops take a back seat to everything that is whiskey. There's also plenty of muddied toffee and caramel beneath all that. Alcohol content certainly shows itself, no doubt. I can jibe though.

There's the hops. Huge bittersweet hops jump right on the front end of the palate, giving way to the heat of the whiskey and a semisweet finish. Between the bite of the hops and the warmth of the alcohol, it tears up the tongue. Everything surfaces in the end though... caramel and toffee, smooth charred wood, dry yet sticky... plenty of heat.

I'd love to give this a taste a year or two down the road but I can dig it for what it is. Well done, Sierra Nevada. My favorite 750ml beer from them in recent memory.

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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 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 barleywinefiend
3.33/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

2007 Bourbon Bigfoot (draft) from the Toronado BWine Festival (A-)

A Poured a nice deep,deep amber as the bourbon pushed through this. You can tell the bourbon influence just by the look.

S: Medium smell of bourbon, not to overbearing and very subtle. It did not overpower the barleywine which was good. They were well balanced.

T: Taste is fully sweet, rounded malty goodness and that smooth bourbon flavor was there throughout.

M: No bite on this one.

O: Like liquid candy and one of my favorite barleywines to date.
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2013 Bourbon Bigfoot (bottle)

A: Poured clear copper color with bubbles and a short-lived tannish colored cap which leaves behind some faint bubbles but no lacing

S: Pickle juice? Cheap bourbon, old wood, caramel and faded piney hops

T: Initial stinging booze with hop bitterness, pine needles, whiskey and old wood breakthrough as does some Earthiness. Mdway I get a bit of sticky sweetness with a light run at vanilla. The finish is looong with bittering hops a bit sticky at times

M: Medium to full body, a bit overcarbonated and thin,pickle juice comes to mind as a lingering flavor on the palate

O: Not so impressed by the bottle. A but thin, overcarbed, a light astringency and ultimate letdown compared to then draft version. It reminded me of BA Old Ruffian to a deree and thats not a positive.

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Photo of DonDirkA
4.57/5  rDev +10.4%
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 wspscott
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle in Duvel tulip
2013 vintage

A: Dark copper/reddish color when held up to a light. Pours with a very thick/creamy tan head that never quite disappears. A little bit of lace.
S: When first opened the bourbon dominates (vanilla, toasted coconut, some wood) but as it warms, the hops become more apparent (hints of citrus and generic "fruit" along with pine).
T: The bourbon barrel is very obvious on the tongue, a definite bourbon flavor along with some of the oak (thankfully not overly tannic like some BA beers). I always get hints of coconut in BA beers but those are usually RISs, it doesn't quite work in an American Barleywine, but it is hidden so not too bad. Along with the coconut, a bit of vanilla and then muted American hops (citrus and pine). The hops jump out a little more if I hold it on my tongue i.e. they are hidden in the malts and bourbon.
M: Very creamy mouthfeel, feels "rich", a sippin' beer, no alcohol heat at all.
O: I like this a lot, but I wonder if some of the Bigfoot greatness is lost in the barrel. This comes across as a slightly hopped up version of an English barleywine, very malt driven with some American hops in the background. In the end a great beer, but I wish they had bottled a BA version of the 30th anniversary stout (Fritz and Ken?) that would be amazing. Very glad to try this, but at $16 a bottle, not sure how often I would pick this up. At the same time, I might finish the whole bottle tonight :)

In the end, I am having a hard time separating what I paid for the beer along with the "rareness" as I rate the beer. This is a delicious beer, but I don't think it is a truly great beer.

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Photo of Chaney
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this side-by-side with Bigfoot 2012.

Served in an Olde Hickory glass.

A: About a shade or two darker that the standard Bigfoot, with a head that was about a finger + shorter. Great looking BA brew.

S: I got a sillouette of the hops in there from "Bigfoot," but there was a nice coconuty, bourbon character on top. Understated, but really nice.

T: Oh yeah. Definitely the SN hop profile underneath the barrels. Muted, muted, muted, yet still there. I could definitely tell it was the same beer.

M: Low in carbonation (as it should be), low in lacing (as it should be), and not too sweet, bitter, or bourbony.

O: This was like an old friend who you respect as a cook and lets you try something that wasn't QUITE as good as what he or she made recently, but you can tell they are experimenting are their proud of it. I respect this beer and Sierra Nevada for making it.

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Photo of MDDMD
4.19/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-reddish amber color with a decent off-white head and minimal lacing

S-whiskey, caramel, malt

T-dark fruit, caramel, sweet malt, oak, vanilla, enveloped in whiskey

F-medium body with low carbonation, smooth with the alcohol not very apparent given the ABV

O-a nice variation of one of my favorite barleywines

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Orange pour, really impressive, looks more like a dipa than the somewhat brown tones of regular bigfoot. The significant jump from 9.6% to 12.2% also makes me think that it might just be a stronger base batch, as thats a big jump from just being a in a bourbon barrel, but not impossible either. Anyways, orange pour, nice 1/3" white head on it, something you don't see every day with a barreled beer.

Good and complex aroma, obviously whiskey, maybe even some peat malt, oak, toffee, stayed away from hot alcohol sting. Even a little twinge of citrus to it.

Taste, the vanilla was much stronger than expected, but not a problem at all. Drank pretty easy. Usually, I like to either drink Bigfoot fresh, or after at least 3 years, the 2 years that this was aged made me worried it would be in an awkward teenage phase, but not at all. It is very different from fresh bigfoot, no doubt. But it is also different than 2 year old bigfoot, the barrel just really transforms this beer into something you don't (or didn't) associate with what I've come to know Bigfoot as since the mid90s.

Plenty of caramel still runs through the mouthfeel, but the hops are so far downplayed on the flavor list, you still can't believe this is Bigfoot. Its robust and strong, I don't want to say "boozy" but this is never going to be mistaken for a session ale either. I was pretty impressed, and I'm sure I'll save a bottle or two to drink in 2020 or whatnot down the road.

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Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale - Barrel-Aged from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.14 out of 5 based on 1,300 ratings.
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